CENTCOM Commander on Phony Regional Threats
According to Russia’s General Staff deputy head of operations Gen. Viktor Poznikhir,
“(t)he presence of American ABM sites in Europe and ABM-capable ships in the seas and oceans close to Russia’s territory creates a powerful clandestine potential for delivering a surprise nuclear missile strike against Russia.”
“The presence of the global ABM system lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, because it gives the US the illusion of impunity for using strategic offensive weapons from under the protection of the ABM ‘umbrella.’”
“The ABM shield is a symbol of the build-up of rocket forces in the world and a trigger for a new arms race.”
Since the onset of Western-instigated Cold War in the late 1940s, “analysts” in Washington and at the Pentagon believed nuclear war on Russia was winnable.
Madness persists, undermining global security, threatening humanity more than ever with neocons in charge of US militarism and war-making.
Intense US hostility toward Russia negates the chance for nuclear sanity, increases the unthinkable – mass annihilation from possible nuclear war.
In testimony before House Armed Services Committee members, CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel lied about Iran, calling the Islamic Republic “the greatest longterm threat to (Middle East) stability.”
America and Israel earned that dubious distinction long ago – threatening the region and world peace.
Votel: Iran seeks regional “hegemon(y).”
Fact: Iran seeks mutual cooperation among all nations. It seeks world peace, forthrightly opposing US-led imperial wars.
Votel: “(H)umanitarian cris(es) are exploited by violent extremist organizations and terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.”
“These groups have clearly indicated their desire and intent to attack the US homeland, our interests abroad and the interests of our partners and allies.”
Fact: America bears full responsibility for creating humanitarian crises in the Middle East, North Africa and central Asia. NATO, Israel and their rogue allies share blame.
Fact: America created and supports al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups. Chances of them attacking the US homeland are virtually nil. Votel lied claiming otherwise.
Votel: “(T)he central region has come to represent the nexus for many of the security challenges our nation faces.”
Fact: America’s only threats are invented ones, no others. They’re used to enlist public and congressional support for out-of-control defense spending – funds used for militarism and endless wars of aggression against nations threatening no one.
Votel: An investigation will be conducted on the March 17 Mosul airstrike killing hundreds of civilians – “to establish what happened, establish what the facts are, identify accountability, and…lessons learned…”
Fact: America indiscriminately massacres civilians in all its wars. Investigations when conducted are systematically whitewashed to avoid accountability for Nuremberg-level high crimes.
Fact: Eyewitness survivors blamed US-led warplanes for the March 17 massacre. Facts don’t need to be “establish(ed).” They’re indisputable.
Mass Pentagon-led slaughter of civilians will continue in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. US war criminals remain unaccountable for high crimes of war and against humanity.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
The London Attack: False Piety and Hypocrisy in the Aftermath of Terror
While bereaved relatives and a shocked population have to endure the bitter aftermath of an attack we hear the same automated platitudinous statements delivered in the defiant statesman posture such as:
1. “We will never give in to the terrorists”.
2. “Hate and evil will not destroy our freedoms and our democracy”.
3. “Our values will remain intact”.
Yet, the sum “freedoms” that the British people have built up for centuries have been slowly but surely been denuded by a series of Parliamentary Acts including the recent Investigatory Powers Act of 2016, the so-called ‘Snoopers Charter’, the passage of which was presided over by Prime Minister May’s government.
This law gives the state extraordinary powers of surveillance over its citizens. It effectively nullifies personal rights related to privacy as activity over the Internet can be intercepted at will. The security and intelligence services have been given carte blanche to monitor the day-to-day activities of citizens through a variety of means including the reading of private emails.
Thus it makes no sense for politicians to monotonously keep on asserting that “terrorism will not be allowed to destroy our democracy and take away our freedoms”.
When it comes to “values”, people need to re-examine what precisely is meant by this. Are these the “values” sanctioned by both Parliamentary and executive action which has enabled Britain to contribute to and otherwise support invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria; actions that have led to the wanton destruction of human life and infrastructure? The accumulated loss of life over the past decade and a half runs into the millions.
If the average Briton nods in agreement to the sentiment expressed about “not giving in to terrorism”, I trust that the average person who hopefully does not have the sociopathic traits of the average politician is capable of empathizing with those civilians in Yemen who are presently being massacred by bombs and munitions supplied by Britain to the government of Saudi Arabia.
One would hope that the average citizen is informed of current events to an acceptable level so that they are aware of the recent massacre of over 200 Iraqi civilians in Mosul via the “collateral damage” of a US-led bombardment. Or of the fate of 33 people from 50 displaced Syrian families ripped to pieces at the Badiya Dakhilya school in Mansoura, a village located on the outskirts of Raqqa.
One would hope that the average Briton would recognise the stunning levels of hypocrisy by contrasting Western media reportage of the Russian bombardment of Aleppo with that of the US-led coalition bombing in Mosul. One would also hope that they are aware of proven Western facilitation of Islamic extremist groups in Syria which were created to overthrow the legitimate government of that country.
They must surely keep in mind the legacy of British involvement in illegal military actions in both Iraq and Syria as well as the curious case in 2015 where the trial of a man charged with terrorist activities in Syria collapsed on the grounds that Britain’s security and intelligence services would have been “deeply embarrassed” because of their covert support for anti-Assad (Islamist) militias.
Are the millions in these lands who have been maimed, dispossessed or who have otherwise had to endure the physical destruction of their loved ones also expected to refuse to bow to “terrorism”?
It is incumbent on the British population and citizens from other Western countries that are members of NATO to re-examine their understanding of the term “terrorism” as well as the “values” they profess to cherish.
Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.
Video: Turkey Ends “Euphrates Shield” Operation in Syria. What Next?
“It was noted that Operation ‘Euphrates Shield’, which was started with the goal of ensuring national security, preventing the threat from Daesh [ISIS], and returning Syrian refugees to their homes has been successfully completed,” Turkish National Security stated.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also announced the decision during a televised interview with Turkish private broadcaster NTV, adding that future military operations will have other names.
The Turkish leadership did not announce that units of the Turkish Armed Forces were set to withdraw from northern Syria. In this light, we can recall Moscow’s public announcements to reduce forces in Syria which didn’t lead to a significant decrease of the Russian military involvement in the conflict.
Ankara’s Operation Euphrates Shield, launched on August 24th, 2016, resulted in the following achievements for Turkey:
- Ankara seized control over the Azaz-Jarabulus-Al-Bab triangle in northern Syria;
- Turkish forces prevented US-backed Kurdish forces from the linking up of Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern and northwestern Syria;
- The Erdogan regime increased its influence in Syria and took back its role as an important player in the conflict, a role which had decreased after the start of the Russian military operation in the country.
The following goals were not achieved by Ankara:
- Turkish-led forces failed to push Kurdish forces out of the northern Syrian town of Manbij. (Kurdish units were able to remain in the area because of Russian-US cooperation in preventing the Turkish advance);
- The Turkish Armed Forces were not accepted as a participant in the US-backed advance on Raqqah.
At the same time, the Turkish military operation in Syria was likely unofficially coordinated with the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance. This, at least partly, helped Damascus, Tehran, and Moscow to achieve success in Aleppo City and to crush ISIS terrorists in the province of Aleppo. The liberation of the Deir Hafer Plains by government forces is a result of this effort.
Now, Ankara will continue to work to increase its military, political, and economic influence in the Turkish-controlled areas of northern Syria. The Erdogan regime will likely use this area as a foothold for its own diplomatic efforts and for bargaining in the case of discussions regarding the political structure of post-war Syria.
Meanwhile, some militant groups that had been involved in Operation Euphrates Shield could be redeployed to the province of Idlib to take part in the on-going Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led advance in northern Hama. Units of Ahrar al-Sham, a major militant group involved in Turkey-led military efforts in northern Syria, are already participating in the battle in northern Hama.
The Erdogan regime will also work to increase its influence in Idlib where mostly pro-Saudi Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) plays a key role among “opposition groups” operating in the province. Ankara will try to use the Idlib option to further influence the situation in Syria via non-diplomatic means, supplying arms, munitions, and providing other support to radical groups operating there. The goal of these measures is to weaken the Syrian-Russian-Iranian axis and to strengthen Ankara’s own position in the region.
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