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Trump’s Biggest Lie?

Trump’s Biggest Lie?

Trump’s Biggest Lie?

INTRODUCTION

(NOTE: Remarks from US President Donald Trump that will be considered as representing possibly his biggest lie will here be boldfaced, so that they will stand out from the context in which he stated them.)

Trump escalated Bush’s and Obama’s invasions and military occupations of the sovereign nations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. But on January 7th, he promised, in one of his thousands of lying tweets, that, “Endless Wars, especially those which are fought out of judgement mistakes that were made many years ago, & those where we are getting little financial or military help from the rich countries that so greatly benefit from what we are doing, will eventually come to a glorious end!”

Then, on Sunday, January 13th, he tweeted that if Turkey won’t do in Syria what he, the US President, wants it to do there, then the United States will be in the first official stage of war against Turkey, the economic-sanctions phase, which nowadays is the prelude to an invasion, as has been the case since 1990 regarding Iraq. On January 13th, he tweeted, “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone….” Minutes later, he tweeted“…Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!”

First, here, will be discussed his January 7th string of lies, in order to isolate which one of those was the biggest:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Commanders In Syria Recommend Leaving US Weapons With Kurds

It has been little over a week since President Trump upended US foreign policy in the Middle East by abruptly recalling the few thousand US troops fighting alongside Kurdish fighters in Syria, and the administration is still figuring out exactly how to manage the withdrawal in a way that won’t leave an opening for ISIS to make a comeback. Perhaps the biggest sticking point so far has been how much support to allow the Kurds, who – in addition to trying to take back the few slivers of ISIS territory remaining in northeastern Syria, are also at risk of being decimated by Turkish forces in a cross-border attack.

And though the DoD hasn’t finished hammering out the final details of a plan to be presented to President Trump, one of the more controversial strategies under discussion is the possibility that the US might allow Kurdish forces to hang on to the weapons that were initially supplied by the US back in the spring of 2017 ahead of a bloody offensive against the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa (the self-declared caliphate’s de facto capital), according to an anonymously sourced Reuters report.

Kurds

The report could create some tension next week when National Security Advisor John Bolton is expected to visit Turkey, which vehemently opposed the US’s decision to arm the Kurds, and would likely view the decision to allow Kurdish forces to hold on to the arms as an affront, arguing that US arms could wind up in the hands of Kurdish separatists in Turkey, which have been subject to a brutal crackdown by President Erdogan and his regime.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Troops Out, Syrian Army In: Kurdish City Handed Back To Damascus As Turkey Poised To Invade

After days of Turkey mustering huge military forces poised to enter the northwestern Syrian Kurdish town of Manbij, and just as American advisers have pulled out of the area based on Trump’s broader Syria draw down, what many analysts saw as impossible throughout seven years of war has suddenly happened: the de facto autonomous Syrian Kurdish region has formally invited the Syrian Army to take control to prevent the invading Turks from seizing it.

Damascus has now confirmed government forces have entered Manbij in a move likely to stave off a full-scale Turkish offensive. An official statement  said government forces were already entering the city in what is among the most historic moments signalling Assad is likely to take back all of natural Syria: “Considering the Arab Army’s duty and in a response to a call by the people of Manbij, the Syrian general staff announces that the Army has entered Manbij and raised the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic there,” the statement cited by Syrian media said.

Syrian pro-government channels indeed showed the national flag raised over municipal buildings in Manbij early Friday.

As pro-Turkish rebels as well as Turkey’s Army stationed forces along the province’s western border for what Ankara called an “anti-terrorist operation” around the city, with the Kurdish YPG being the target (as Ankara considers the group an extension of the outlawed PKK), the Syrian Army likewise has built up troops in the area over the past days ready to take back sovereign Syrian territory.

Shortly before handover the town to the Syrian Army, the YPG issued an official statement announcing its withdrawal to positions east of the Euphrates where it will engage remaining ISIS pockets. The YPG spokesman stated:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Administration isn’t Ending the Wars in the Middle East — It’s Shifting Strategy

The Administration isn’t Ending the Wars in the Middle East — It’s Shifting Strategy

The loss-averse President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a platform to “defeat ISIS, sought to uphold his election-season slogan by declaring “historic victories against ISIS” as a reason for his Wednesday decision to end US military presence in Syria.


We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.


Amidst the steady gains of the Syrian army, who has reclaimed land from ISIS and various rebel factions since 2016, Trump has sought to market the destabilization of Syria as a success in his presidency.

Though US military withdrawal is always a cause to celebrate, a steady geopolitical undercurrent shows that the move only represents a shift in strategy in loss minimization for the Gulf-Israel-US axis in the Middle East.

The decision was decried by right-wing war hawks, such as Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio–as well as many Hollywood liberalspinning it as evidence of alleged Putin-Trump collusion.


As Trump pulls troops out of Syria, we must acknowledge the enormity of the world’s failure to halt a humanitarian catastrophe . U.S exit benefits Russia,, ISIS – still active, Iran & Assad. Was this agreed to during Putin/Trump’s 2 hour Helsinki meeting- without witnesses?


The Syria Democratic Forces urged the U.S. to not withdraw, warning that the cessation of support and presence will have “serious repercussions” that will “create a vacuum” in the region.

The withdrawal represents a loss in regime change objectives from the US and its allies, something the US envoy to Syria James Jeffery explicitly has said the country is no longer interested in, coming soon after Syria regained over 90 percent of its territory.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It

Continued American Occupation of the Middle East Does Not Suppress Terrorism, It Causes It


Even the neo-con warmongers’ house journal The Guardian, furious at Trump’s attempts to pull US troops out of Syria, in producing a map to illustrate its point, could only produce one single, uncertain, very short pen stroke to describe the minute strip of territory it claims ISIS still control on the Iraqi border.

Of course, the Guardian produces the argument that continued US military presence is necessary to ensure that ISIS does not spring back to life in Syria. The fallacy of that argument can be easily demonstrated. In Afghanistan, the USA has managed to drag out the long process of humiliating defeat in war even further than it did in Vietnam. It is plain as a pikestaff that the presence of US occupation troops is itself the best recruiting sergeant for resistance. In Sikunder Burnes I trace how the battle lines of tribal alliances there today are precisely the same ones the British faced in 1841. We just attach labels like Taliban to hide the fact that invaders face national resistance.

The secret to ending the strength of ISIS in Syria is not the continued presence of American troops. It is for America’s ever closer allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to cut off the major artery of money and arms, which we should never forget in origin and for a long time had a strong US component. The US/Saudi/Israeli alliance against Iran is the most important geo-political factor in the region today. It is high time this alliance stopped both funding ISIS and pretending to fight it; schizophrenia is not a foreign policy stance.

There has been no significant Shia Islamic terrorist or other threat against the West in recent years. 9/11 was carried out by Saudi Sunni militants.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

In Drastic Reversal, US Set For “Full Withdrawal” From Syria As Trump Claims Victory Over ISIS

update 2: A troop withdrawal appears already underway after a Pentagon official said it would happen “quickly”.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders has issued a formal statement on troop withdrawal from Syria: “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign.”

Moments after President Trump confirmed reports of US pullout via Twitter saying “We have defeated ISIS in Syria,” Pentagon officials said the president “ordered full US troop withdrawal from Syria,” and that this will be “rapid”.


Sarah Sanders: “We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign…”


Meanwhile Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. has vowed to continue combating Iran in Syria if US forces leave. Russia has alternately said “Syria will stabilize” should the thousands of American troops stationed there exit.

***

update: It’s official, within an hour after the first headline the president tweeted “We have defeated ISIS in Syria” and in reference to reports of a planned US troop withdrawal from Syria which unnamed officials say is to be initiated “immediately,” he added that the terror group’s defeat was “my only reason for being there”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Rules of Engagement Between Syria and Israel, as Russia Changes its Position

NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN SYRIA AND ISRAEL, AS RUSSIA CHANGES ITS POSITION

Syria will adopt a new rule of engagement with Israel now that Russia has taken a tougher and clearer stance on the conflict between Israel and the “Axis of the Resistance”. Henceforth, Damascus will be responding to any Israeli strike. If it damages a specific military target it will reply with a strike against a similar objective in Israel. Decision makers in Damascus said “Syria will not hesitate to hit an Israeli airport if Damascus airport is targeted and hit by Israel. This will be with the consent of the Russian military based in the Levant”.

This Syrian political decision is based on a clear position taken by Russia in Syria following the downing of its aircraft on September 18 this year. In 2015 when the Russian military landed in Syria, it informed the parties concerned (i.e. Syria, Iran and Israel) that it had no intention to interfere in the conflict between them and Hezbollah and that it would not stand in the way of Tel Aviv’s planes bombing Hezbollah military convoys on their way to Lebanon or Iranian military warehouses not allocated to the war in Syria. This was a commitment to remain an onlooker if Israel hit Iranian military objectives or Hezbollah convoys transporting arms to Hezbollah from Syria to Lebanon, within Syrian territory. It also informed Israel that it would not accept any attacks on its allies (Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and their allies) engaged in fighting ISIS, al-Qaeda and its allies.

Israel respected the will of Moscow until the beginning of 2018, when it started to attack Iranian bases and Syrian military warehouses, though it never attacked a Hezbollah military position. Israel justified its attack against the Iranian base, a military facility called T4, by claiming it had sent drones over Israel. Tel Aviv considered violation of its neighbours’ sovereignty as its exclusive prerogative.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Stronghold Of Evil” – Russia Slams America’s Illegal Syrian Occupation

On Tuesday a top Russian military official slammed the United States for “illegally occupying” a massive zone in southwest Syriasurrounding the American garrison of al-Tanf, effectively protecting some 6,000 armed militants that Russia has designated terrorists.

The Head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, called the US-occupied area “the last stronghold of evil” which continues to fester with militants “on the territory of the independent state”. He identified a 55 km zone surrounding the base in a desert region along the Syrian-Iraq border, which American special forces and US-backed FSA groups have held since 2016 after taking the key crossing from ISIS.

American base in Syria

“Perhaps, only our American partners do not want to see up to date how much has been done to revive peaceful life in Syria. They are holding with incomprehensible stubbornness the occupied 55 km area around al-Tanf where 6,000 armed militants are on the loose and are preventing the disbanding of the Rukban refugee camp,” the general said at a Syrian-Russian inter-departmental coordination headquarters, according to TASS.

The Rukban camp falls withing the US-occupied perimeter and is home to between 50,000 and 60,000 refugees stuck near the desolate Jordanian and Iraqi frontier, especially after Jordan closed its side of the border in 2016. Russia has accused US forces of preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the camp, except through the mediation of armed groups operating in the area, with some militants based in the camp itself.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry asked previously this week: “Why do the US’ partners insist on joining the militants from illegal armed groups to render humanitarian aid and not give their consent to real assistance to those in need in Rukhan?” 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The BBC Has Legal Protection to Spread Fake News: the Curious Case of ISIS, Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn

The BBC Has Legal Protection to Spread Fake News: the Curious Case of ISIS, Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn

Photo Source Edwardx | CC BY 2.0

The BBC spreads fake news. We all know that. From the uncritical parroting of the British government’s Iraqi weapons of mass destruction claims to the unchallenged lies spouted by war-mongering politicians, that Libya’s dictator (who was armed and trained by Britain, incidentally) was going to commit a “bloody massacre” in Libya’s Benghazi region. (A postwar British government report confirmed that the “ethnic cleansing” claim was based on what they cautiously called poor intelligence. The cruel irony is that after the BBC helped whip up support for the invasion, it reported on a real ethnic cleansing of black Libyans committed by the Islamist terrorists organized by the US and Britain to topple Gaddafi.)

But what if the BBC had legal protection to tell and spread lies? As I document in my book Real Fake News, the answer to a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that, as an arts, literature, and news organization, the BBC has no legal obligation to give its audience any information about its sources. Often, journalists cannot and should not name their sources, for obvious reasons; the main one being that no one will tell them anything in confidence ever again. However, when general claims that contradict the customary understanding of things are made, and without supporting evidence, it’s only fair to ask where the person making the claim obtained their information.

ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ BEFORE 2003? GET OUTTA HERE!

During an interview with the antiwar leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, BBC presenter Andrew Neil claimed that ISIS existed in Iraq beforethe 2003 invasion by the US and Britain. Corbyn stated, in gentle terms, that US-British foreign policy had smashed up Iraq and Libya.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Are We Siding With al-Qaeda?

Why Are We Siding With al-Qaeda?

Last week, I urged the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to stop protecting al-Qaeda in Syria by demanding that the Syrian government leave Idlib under al-Qaeda control. While it may seem hard to believe that the US government is helping al-Qaeda in Syria, it’s not as strange as it may seem: our interventionist foreign policy increasingly requires Washington to partner up with “bad guys” in pursuit of its dangerous and aggressive foreign policy goals.

Does the Trump Administration actually support al-Qaeda and ISIS? Of course not. But the “experts” who run Trump’s foreign policy have determined that a de facto alliance with these two extremist groups is for the time being necessary to facilitate the more long-term goals in the Middle East. And what are those goals? Regime change for Iran.

Let’s have a look at the areas where the US is turning a blind eye to al-Qaeda and ISIS.

First, Idlib. As I mentioned last week, President Trump’s own Special Envoy to fight ISIS said just last year that “Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.” So why do so many US officials – including President Trump himself – keep warning the Syrian government not to re-take its own territory from al-Qaeda control? Wouldn’t they be doing us a favor by ridding the area of al-Qaeda? Well, if Idlib is re-taken by Assad, it all but ends the neocon (and Saudi and Israeli) dream of “regime change” for Syria and a black eye to Syria’s ally, Iran.

Second, one of the last groups of ISIS fighters in Syria are around the Al-Tanf US military base which has operated illegally in northeastern Syria for the past two years.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How the U.S. Does Propaganda

How the U.S. Does Propaganda

A typical example was on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” on September 8th, when the program-host Scott Simon interviewed the Obama Administration’s diplomat Robert Malley, in a segment titled “What’s Next In The Syrian War: Idlib”.

Simon’s introduction said: “After this weekend, the last contested region of Syria may come under ferocious attack. After more than seven years of fighting, the end of the Syrian war may come down to Idlib province. … It holds more than 3 million people, many of whom have been displaced. It’s been essentially a kind of dumping ground for those opposed to Bashar al-Assad’s regime and ISIS.”

Actually, there’s a factual problem with Simon’s lead-in there. Though I have seen official estimates of the population of Idlib ranging from 1.5 million to 3 million, I haven’t seen any of “more than 3 million people.” Mr. Simon is always happy to please his CIA minders, and might simply have gotten carried away in this interview.

Furthermore, Simon’s lumping “Bashar al-Assad’s regime and ISIS” together was striking, because ISIS has actually been one of the major forces in Syria working to overthrow “Assad’s regime”; and, “Assad’s regime” was elected in 2014 and has been shown by repeated polling done since then by the British firm of Orb International to retain more support amongst the Syrian public than does anyone else to serve as that nation’s leader. Polls taken in the U.S. today show that more of the public wish that Bernie Sanders were our President than that Donald Trump is; and, so, if Syria is a “regime” instead of a “government,” then the U.S. is even more of a regime than is Syria. (And the scientific evidence is consistent that the U.S. is more of a “regime” than a “democracy.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

An Iranian Viewpoint on the Battle for Syria

An Iranian Viewpoint on the Battle for Syria

A new feature from Iran gives a totally different perspective of the war raging in Syria than Western audiences are used to, explains Rick Sterling.


West against East on the Syrian battle-field, in the newspapers and now on film: A new, full-length action movie, titled “Damascus Time,” gives an Iranian perspective on the battle against ISIS in Syria.

The movie comes from Iranian screenwriter and film director Ebrahim Hatamikia. Two award-winning Iranian actors, Hadi Hejazifar and Babak Hamidian, play father and son pilots trying to rescue civilians besieged and attacked by ISIS forces in eastern Syria. The pilots have come to help the townspeople escape in an aging Ilyushin cargo plane.

Syrian and Iraqi actors play Syrian civilians and ISIS terrorists hell bent on blowing up the plane or using it on a suicide mission against Damascus.

Still from “Damascus Time”

The movie portrays sensational scenes from real ISIS atrocities with a backdrop showing the Syrian desert and famous ruins of Palmyra. The city where civilians are surrounded and besieged is similar to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, which was surrounded and attacked by ISIS for years. During that time, the townspeople and soldiers depended on air-dropped food and ammunition to hold off the attackers, as shown in the movie.

“Damascus Time”’s starkly sensational scenes are drawn from real ISIS atrocities. The jihadists display a human side, but they are wrapped in sectarianism, hate and violence.

Life’s complexities are demonstrated in the younger of the two Iranian pilots who has left his pregnant wife to be with his father. The mother-in-law of the young pilot bitterly criticizes him for leaving his wife. He tells her it will be his last trip.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Perpetual Business Of War

Perpetual Business Of War

Trump Seeks Congressional Funding for 60,000-Man Army to Overthrow Assad

Trump Seeks Congressional Funding for 60,000-Man Army to Overthrow Assad

ISIS, or ISIL, or Islamic State, has been almost completely defeated in Syria, but the U.S. Department of Defense is requesting an increase instead of a decrease in funding to support “Vetted Syrian Opposition,” or fighters in Syria against Syria’s Government, and it refers to these fighters as being part of America’s “strategy to defeat ISIS,” instead of as being what they now obviously are: fighters for regime-change, or to overthrow Syria’s Government (which is headed by its President Bashar al-Assad, who received 89% of the votes cast throughout Syria in the internationally monitored 2014 Presidential election).

The Trump Administration’s “Department of Defense Budget Fiscal Year (FY) 2019” funding-request to Congress calls for “III. Requirements in Syria” of: 

a Coalition campaign to degrade, dismantle, and ultimately defeat ISIS in Syria. One key element of DoD’s strategy to defeat ISIS is to train, equip, sustain, and enable elements of the Vetted Syrian Opposition (VSO) eligible for support under current law. By the end of FY 2018, these forces are projected to total approximately 60,000 to 65,000; 30,000 to conduct ongoing combat missions against ISIS in the MERV, and 35,000 Internal Security Forces in liberated areas (to provide approximately 20 police/security forces for every 1,000 civilians).

Here is the:

SUMMARY

The FY 2019 request fully funds the Syria T[rain]&E[quip/arm] program based on requirements to sustain a 35,000 Internal Security Force together with a 30,000 combat personnel partner forces (as required) to liberate, secure, and defend territory previously controlled by ISIS [but now no longer ISIS-controlled]. The following is a summary of the requirements in Syria by category:

Category FY 2018 Request FY 2019 Request ($ in Millions) [FY2018, then FY2019]

Weapons, Ammunition, Vehicles and Other Equipment $393.3 $162.5

Basic Life Support $6.1 $8.0

Transportation and Staging $40.0 $28.0

Operational Sustainment $60.6 $101.5

TOTAL $500.0 $300.0

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US-Led Coalition Warplanes Strike Syrian Regime Forces

The last time the US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria conducted air and artillery strikes against pro-regime forces in Syria, in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, was on Feb. 7, when hundreds of pro-regime fighters were killed, the largest number of “pro-regime” casualties inflicted by the US-led coalition in one attack. The coalition described its action as carried out in “self defense”, while the Syrian state news agency SANA described the action as an “aggression” by the coalition against “popular forces” who were fighting ISIS and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

In a bombshell update one week later, it was revealed that among the casualties were hundreds of Russian mercenaries working on behalf of the Assad regime, and hired by the Wagner PMC (Private Military Group) – a shadowy organization often referred to as Russia’s answer to Blackwater. Adding to the mystery, is that the Wagner Group is believed to be funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a rich businessman close to President Vladimir Putin and also known as “Putin’s Chef.” Prigozhin was recently sanctioned by the US due to his links to the eastern Ukraine separatists.

A November 2011 photo shows Yevgeny Prigozhin assisting Vladimir Putin at a banquet near Moscow

Unnamed US intelligence sources quoted by the Washington Post said Prigozhin was in close contact with the Kremlin in the run-up to the Feb 7 assault on the Syrian Democratic Forces base in Deir Ezzor region.

According to the unconfirmed report, intercepted communications showed that Prigozhin was also involved in the operational planning with Syrian officials, ahead of the attack.

Meanwhile, amid unconfirmed reports that more than 100 Russians had been killed, the Kremlin denied that any regular Russian military forces had been involved. It admitted only that there had been “several dozen” Russian casualties, but gave no further details.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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