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Updated: 1 hour 31 min ago

Standing With Israel On Golan Heights- Enhancing Regional Stability?

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 17:50
Published in Wall Street Journal
 Or  Foundation for the Defense of Democracy
Also The Tower


We can read this entirely at FDD or The Tower- And what a read it is!Recall my mention the other day that when Trump and Netanyahu met, Bibi asked Trump to okay the theft of Syria's territory? I presented my alternative and vastly more sensible idea: The Obvious Safe Zone for Displaced Syrians is Israeli Claimed Golan

Netanyahu asks Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights  WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US President Donald Trump on Wednesday to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. 

Check the presentation of this"sweet deal" for  Israel:
- Absurdly claiming that condoning Israel’s theft of Golan will ‘enhance stability’? Yah, like sticking Israel in the middle east enhanced stability in that region- Farcical
- Creating the pre conditions to impede the Palestinians in their negotiations for a state

- Prep for a probable attack on Lebanon and Iran


- Send a message to Russia that US and Russia interest regarding Syria don’t coincide- though tolerating this move may serve Russia’s interests regarding Ukraine? Crimea? 
 I'll highlight the interesting bits:
 “Benjamin Netanyahu has achieved his primary objective of resetting ties with the U.S. after eight years of tensions. True, the Israeli prime minister and Donald Trump still need to bridge the gap on issues such as Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy and West Bank settlements. But they seem to be on the same page on a broad range of regional matters.

That could lead to a breakthrough on an issue of strategic importance to Israel. According to reports of the two leaders’ meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu asked for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The move makes sense for both sides. It would provide the Israeli government with a diplomatic win while helping the Trump administration signal to Russia and Iran that the U.S. is charting a new course in Syria.

Israel captured the bulk of the Golan from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed the territory in 1981. The move was met with international condemnation.

For two successive Assad regimes, first Hafiz and now his son Bashar, restoring full Syrian sovereignty over the Golan has been an axiomatic demand. Israel floated partial Golan withdrawals during several rounds of peace talks with Syria over the past two decades, but the Syrians were never satisfied with the deals on offer.

With the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the facts on the ground have changed. Had Israel ceded the Golan to Syria, Islamic State, al Qaeda or Iran would be sitting on the shores of the Galilee across from the Israeli city of Tiberias. (Israel's terrorists are nicely situated in Golan)

Mr. Netanyahu and other senior Israeli government officials argue that Syria is destined for partition along sectarian, ethnic and regional lines. And while the retaking of Aleppo shifted the tide of war in favor of the Assad government, some Israelis believe it might be time to acknowledge Israel’s hold on the Golan as permanent.

This position has so far found no traction among the major powers, which still say they want to preserve a unitary Syria. Russia, which intervened militarily to shore up Bashar Assad in the name of Syrian territorial integrity, is chief among them.

A disagreement with Russia over Syria is a long time coming. By recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan, the Trump administration would signal to Russia that, while Washington may now coordinate with Moscow on activities such as fighting Islamic State, it doesn’t share Russia’s goals for Syria.

Moreover, it would show that the U.S. will take a tougher line on the provision of arms and intelligence to Iran and Hezbollah.

Recognition of Israel’s Golan claims would acknowledge that it needs these highlands to hold off a multitude of asymmetric and conventional military threats from Syria—( Israel is the biggest military threat to Syria) and whatever comes after the war there. Israel continues to target Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah to prevent them from establishing a base of operations on the Syrian Golan.

Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan would also soften the Palestinians’ core demand for a state within the 1967 borders. If an international border can be revised along the Syrian border, the Palestinians will have a harder time presenting the 1949 armistice line along the West Bank as inviolable. This might pave the way for compromise when Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, begins to make his push for Palestinian-Israeli peace.Recall:  For Jared Kushner, Israel Policy May be Shaped by the Personal

Will we  see more Israeli aggression & expansion shaped by Jared Kushner's personal experiences and indoctrination?
The move will anger the Europeans and the United Nations, but that storm will pass. Syrian opposition groups will also protest. While some might be tempted to break their tenuous ties with Israel, they understand that the real enemy is Mr. Assad.

Similarly, Arab states will express their outrage, but they will likely see the big picture. Mr. Assad has fallen out of favor with the Arab League, and a blow to the Assad regime and its patrons in Tehran will be seen as a win by these regional Arab players, especially if the Trump administration makes it clear that this is the goal.Recall: Saudi Arabia and Shamoon 2-
 We could be looking at a US/Israel thumb screws tactic being employed to encourage Saudi Arabia to be cooperative, in some way.For the Israelis, the risk of internal instability resulting from the move is low. The Druze Arabs of the Golan, who number about 20,000, are unlikely to respond with unrest. While they profess loyalty to Mr. Assad, the carnage inside Syria has made the stability and prosperity of Israel increasingly attractive.

Mr. Netanyahu’s request will come as a surprise to some observers. But the Israeli prime minister clearly studied “The Art of the Deal.” He knows that his counterpart likes to think big and respects those who do the same.
Don't Miss:
  
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"White Helmet" Terrorists Get Visa for Oscars. Trumping the Travel Ban

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 20:17
 The White Helmets must have played their "Trump" card! to get in to the US
a decisive overriding factor or final resource —called also trump card The White Helmets are truly  trump like individuals
a dependable and exemplary personIs the oscar nomination for special effects? Cause the White Helmets cinematographer is attending!  Yup, they have a cinematographer!  What else could on have expected?
 Cinematography = Special Effects= Fooling the audience
Here's a cinematographer who has made a series of brief video demonstrating the ease with which it's done  1st  &  2nd 

White Helmets Get Visa to Travel to US for Oscar Psyop

The White Helmets going to the Oscars is perfect!- Their theatrics and production is pure Hollywood- So why not an Oscar nomination?
Two Syrian rescue workers said they plan to travel to next week's Oscar ceremony, where their documentary "The White Helmets" is nominated for an award, after weeks of uncertainty caused by US President Donald Trump's travel ban. Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, and cinematographer Khaled Khatib have both obtained visas to travel to the US for the 26 February Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles, producer Joanna Natasegara said. "They both have valid visas. We remain cautious about the physical part of entering the country. Things had been very unclear until this point, but we are now being told they are welcome to enter," Natasegara said.
theatric production from brand white helmets Yet another theatre like production - that made their fakery obvious


I wrote about these slime balls last year: Little Boy Rescued From Rubble? Coincidentally "White Helmets" Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

White Helmets, Really?


Link:


Have you noticed that since Aleppo was liberated from terrorists, terrorists shipped out,  there have been no more White Helmet "rescue" videos? 
"You live in a world of illusion.Where everything's peaches and cream We all face a scarlet conclusion.But we spend our time in a dream"Steve Miller  Band

From Earlier: A little more illusion for us all to break free of
Encore Presenation:The Weapon of Mass Migration: RCMP aids illegals/McDonalds cares??
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Encore Presenation:The Weapon of Mass Migration- RCMP aids illegals/McDonalds Cares?

Sat, 02/18/2017 - 10:54
This lecture and PDF were first posted here December 1/ 2015- Nearly one and a half years later the topic has become that much more pressing. Ever more relevant. We're being played folks. In Canada and the US. Wake up to the division being created. Wake up to the destruction being planned.  The 'refugee crisis' is a plan.  The news today of the RCMP- the Royal Canadian Mounted POLICE breaking Canada's laws at the border to assist illegal entry to Canada simply left me flabbergasted! It was the impetus for the repost! This news is surreal. To say the least. We Canadians need to understand that our government does not serve us at all. It is beholden to other masters.. 

The RCMP standing at the border as Canada is illegally entered?   When I first saw that news this morning "it blew my mind"! (really surprised me, really amazed me) Illegal entry to Canada has always been a crime and for good reasons. Yet there is the RCMP, assisting persons in breaking laws, the RCMP is supposed to uphold? How surreal is that? And the ever pushing an agenda media is present to commemorate the crime, while creating some heart tugging narrative to sell the crime as acceptable? Media is a weapon of mass mind manipulation. It's never been more obvious.

CTV


A family is helped into Canada by RCMP officers along the U.S.-Canada border near Hemmingford, Que., on Friday, February 17, 2017The usual child prop to manipulate - to tug heart strings.

Staged for maximum PR effect- CBC
Notice all photos of RCMP have children in them- manipulation maximus!
Eight asylum-seekers, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border on Friday as a U.S. border patrol officer tried to stop them and a Reuters photographer captured the scene.(A Reuter's photographer at the scene)One by one they scrambled across the snowy gully separating the two countries. RCMP officers watching from the other side helped them up, lifting the younger children and asking a woman, who leaned on her fellow passenger as she walked, if she needed medical care.  "Nobody cares about us," he told journalists. ( Who just happened to be there at that exact moment- coincidence- I think not!) He said they were all from Sudan and had been living and working in Delaware for two years.Living and working in Delaware for the past two years!!
The RCMP declined on Friday to confirm the nationalities of the people. (Not doing their job, obviously) A Reuters photo showed that at least one of their passports was Sudanese. The RCMP carried the articles to their vehicles, and the people piled in to be driven to a nearby border office to be interviewed by police and to make a refugee claim.Canada- US agreement 
The Canada-United States Safe Third Country Agreement, which was signed in 2002, requires people to apply for refugee status in the first safe country they arrive in. Any refugee claimant entering Canada at an official border crossing with the U.S., which is the only country that Canada has designated as a safe third country under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, is supposed to be turned away unless they have a blood relative in the country. People who illegally sneak into Canada at unregulated crossings, however, will generally have their asylum cases heard. Because the Safe Third Country Agreement encourages dangerous illegal border crossings, there have been calls for Ottawa to revoke the U.S.’ “safe third country” status. The federal government, however, has expressed no interest in doing this.This reads to me as if this agreement was signed to encourage exactly what is happening!- Notice when it was brought into effect? 2002. Immediately after 9/11 which kicked off the remake the middle east/north africa plan that is still ongoing present day

Chapter 5: Preventing Illegal Entry into Canada- Auditor General Report 2013
Why it’s importantFailure to prevent illegal entry compromises Canada’s border, the immigration program, and the safety and security of Canadians. Illegal entries are a significant burden on taxpayers. In some cases, authorities must spend time, resources, and effort to track down individuals who are considered a significant threat to the safety of Canadians. The government has not estimated the cost of illegal entries, but Citizenship and Immigration Canada estimates that each rejected refugee claimant, some of whom enter Canada illegally, costs taxpayers about $26,000. The Agency and the RCMP spend about $728 million per year combined on their border control activities.Yet, the RCMP is standing at the border helping the illegals- What is really going on here?
Weaponized migration folks 
McDonald's shuts branches across US during 'Day Without Immigrants' protestWeaponized migration. Divide to conquer.

Back to  Professor Kelly Greenhill- the lecture and the pdf from 2015

 This is a must listen lecture- Absolutely a must listen! In fact, listen to it twice. That's how many times I listened last week! But as you absorb the info take note of what is not really mentioned?  This woman doesn't mention that NATO is using forced displacement and coercion on a global level at this time. She mentions state actors, but, fails to mention the global tyranny above the nation state.  Or the ethnic cleansing being engaged in present time: Kurdistan aka “Second Israel”- Ethnic Cleansing the Indigenous of the Middle East

Professor Greenhill examines an understudied, yet relatively common, bargaining tool and method of persuasion: namely, the use of migration and refugee crises as non-military instruments of state-level coercion. Who employs this unconventional weapon, how often it succeeds and fails, how and why this kind of coercion ever works, and how targets may combat this unorthodox brand of coercion will be exploredKelly M Greenhill is Associate Professor at Tufts University and Research Associate and Chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center (BCSIA). Shel also serves as Associate Editor of the journal Security Studies. Much of her research focuses on the use of military force and what are frequently called 'new security challenges', including civil wars; the use of forced migration as a weapon; military intervention and (counter-) insurgency; foreign and defence policy; and international crime as a challenge to domestic governance. She is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs), co-author and co-editor of Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell) and The Use of Force, 8th edition. Her research has also appeared in a variety of other venues, including in the journals International SecuritySecurity StudiesCivil Wars, and International Migration, in media outlets such as the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the British Broadcasting Company, and in briefs prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court and other organs of the U.S. government.

Weapons of Mass Migrationmercury.ethz.ch/.../Files/.../ch5_SI_V9_I1_2010_Greenhill_116.pdfWeapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement as an  Instrument of .... To put the prevalence of coercive engineered migration in perspective.


I will try to reconnect the 2015 link if possible, for now, PDF available at link below also:

 http://commons.wikimannia.org/File:Kelly_Greenhill_-_Weapons_of_Mass_Migration_-_Forced_Displacement_as_an_Instrument_of_Coercion.pdf


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Robert Harward Declines National Security Offer - Trump Asks Again

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 18:38
President is trying to persuade ex-navy Seal to change his mind on White House role

Donald Trump is trying to persuade his preferred candidate to succeed Michael Flynn as national security adviser to change his mind after the retired admiral tapped for the role told the US president he could not accept the White House position, according to two people familiar with the situation. Mr Trump asked Robert Harward, a retired navy special forces officer, to succeed Mr Flynn, who was fired as national security adviser on Monday. At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Trump said his decision to replace Mr Flynn had been made easier because he had an “outstanding” candidate to serve as a replacement.
But Mr Harward later told The Associated Press he had turned down the offer. He said: “It’s purely a personal issue. I’m in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.” One person with first hand knowledge of the discussions between Mr Trump and Mr Harward said: “Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality.” A second person said Mr Trump had asked Mr Harward to return to the White House for another meeting to try to change his mind. Appointing Mr Harward, a well-liked navy veteran who is close to James Mattis, US defence secretary, would have helped Mr Trump start to reduce some of the turmoil that has rocked his administration in recent weeks. The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the decision by Mr Harward. I'll wait a bit longer to see how this plays out- Is the decline certain? 
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Trump Offered NSA Job to Robert Harward- Iran Attack?

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 19:00
As mentioned here two days ago! 
If you didn't read it then, you may want to now?
Feb 14/17: Flynn's Ouster Planned? Robert Harward (Attack Iran?) Frontrunner Harward is a most interesting individual particularly when one considers the post of February 10/17: "How America Could Stumble Into War With Iran" ? Elliot Abrams Nixed
"In Donald Trump’s first term there is a serious possibility of a military conflict, whether intentional or inadvertent, between the United States or Israel and Iran. What follows is how it could unfold, and how it might be avoided" If the Trump administration is set to 'stumble' into war with Iran- this is the man for the job From Trump's Press Conference, today:
 "Another mess I inherited. We have imposed new sanctions on the nation of Iran, who has totally taken advantage of our previous administration. And they are the world's top sponsor of terrorism. And we're not going to stop until that problem is properly solved, and it's not now"It's one of the worst agreements I've ever seen drawn by anybody. I've ordered plans to begin for the massive rebuilding of the United States military.
Harward sans hair
 The Hill President Trump has offered the job of national security adviser to retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward following Michael Flynn's resignation earlier this week, according to reports.
It wasn't immediately clear if Harward, who previously served as a Navy SEAL and as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, had accepted the position
Politico 
 President Donald Trump has asked retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward to succeed Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
I'll update the outcome of this Trump offer as soon as possible- Acceptance or Decline? 

Earlier today
Euphrates (Tabqua) Dam, in Syria, at Risk of Failure- Oroville Dam Karma?24 hours earlier The Obvious Safe Zone for Displaced Syrians is Israeli Claimed Golan
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Euphrates (Tabqua) Dam, in Syria, at Risk of Failure- Oroville Dam Karma?

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 18:37
This is one I’ve been following for a while now, but have been tardy in getting the news posted.
Same scenario as Mosul Dam- the flooding of “biblical” proportions would cleanse the area of an Arab population the Kurds/US/Israel have no tolerance, no love, for. All the while ensuring rich rebuilding contracts.
Any damage that may have occurred presently is most probably from coalition (US) airstrikes-
The localized flooding may be due to US proxies “ISIS” terrorizing the locals which works out very well for the YPG/PKK. Rising water levels will definitely come from the winter thaw and spring rains


Rudaw
The Tabqa Dam, already damaged by war, is now at risk of flooding due to rising water levels in the Euphrates River, the UN warned on Wednesday. (Yesterday)

Heavy rain and snowfall combined with ISIS opening three turbines of the dam have resulted in water levels in the Euphrates River rising by about 10 metres in the last three weeks, according to a UN report seen by Reuters.
 Agricultural lands in eastern Deir e-Zor province flood. Photo courtesy of Omar Abu Laila, Deir Ezzor 24
The UN is claiming ISIS opened turbines... Perhaps? How much from snow thaw and rain to opened turbines? I don't know.
“As per local experts, any further rise of the water level would submerge huge swathes of agricultural land along the river and could potentially damage the Tabqa Dam, which would have catastrophic humanitarian implications in all areas downstream,” the report read.

Tabqa Dam has already been damaged by ISIS militants who have deliberately destroyed infrastructure, and in coalition airstrikes carried out in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling ISIS on the ground in northern Syria.

Earth-filled Tabqa Dam, the largest in Syria, has been under control of ISIS since 2013. The extremist group has used it as a headquarters, prison, and training centre.The SDF are within a few kilometres of the damAtlantic Council
The station has been headed towards disaster over these past years of neglect, complete loss of replacement parts, and the exodus of technical experience. (Thanks to the US backed destabilization) The risk of fighting around the station when the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) makes the danger imminent.

The Euphrates Dam power station protects the dam from collapsing by controlling the water flow from the reservoir and through the turbine generators and the eight spillway gates on the station’s roof.

The portion of the Euphrates flowing from Turkey is 700 cubic meters per second. Since ISIS took control of the dams, this amount reached unprecedented lows. The Euphrates Dam reservoir is about 90 km (60 miles) long, stretching from the city of Tabqa to the Tishrin Dam on the outskirts of Manbij, and an average of 8 km wide. The dam itself is 4 km long and 60 m (197 ft) high, with a width of 512 m (1680 ft) at the base and 20 m (66 ft) on the surface, and is composed of sand and gravel rubble. The dam holds 14.1 billion cubic meters of drinking water as well as a huge wealth of fish, and its reservoir provides irrigation for vast areas of agricultural projects on its banks.There is currently heavy fighting ongoing between the SDF and the Islamic State in the area around the dam. Coalition airstrikes are targeting the Islamic state in the city of Tabqa, near the power station. Tremors from explosions reach the station’s foundations, and are affecting the dam and weakening its integrity.Image from Atlantic Council If the dam or power station is directly targeted, whether intentionally or accidentally, the structure could quickly collapse. It will be coalition airstrikes that will bring this dam down. Same as it will be in Mosul. Same as it was coalition airstrikes that took out all of the Mosul bridges in Iraq. Same as it was coalition airstrikes that destroyed two bridges that crossed the Euphrates- That’s right coalition airstrikes.
 

Link
Deir e-Zor residents and merchants have relied on river barges since late September 2016, when the US-led coalition struck and destroyed two main bridges connecting the western and eastern bank of the Euphrates River, Syria Direct reported at the time.That’s right it was NOT the Syrian government that blew the bridges. It was not Russia or Turkey that blew up the bridges- It was the US led coalition- which is mostly the US- So familiar!
ISIS’ decision to partially open three of the dam’s spillway gates, cause the water level behind the dam to rise, and flood huge areas of agricultural land, is a military strategy to create a natural barrier that would prevent attacking forces from advancing and surrounding the city. The only option the Syrian Democratic Forces are left with is crossing over the dam itself, which is only 20 meters wide, completely exposed, and secured by weaponry. If the dam becomes a battlefield, this could pose an even greater problem, since any aerial assault would damage it, and could even damage the retaining wall on the side of the reservoir, which would allow water to erode the sandy rubble. This process would accelerate rapidly, creating caves behind the dam’s structural reinforcement on the reservoir side, making it unable to hold back the weight and pressure of the water. If this happens, the collapse of the dam would be inevitable.
It would be preferable for SDF forces to attack the city from the west, since their chance of entering it would be less dangerous to the bridge. They appear to have no choice, however, since the battlefront on the west is too wide.

If the bridge collapses in less than ten minutes, it would unleash a rush of water to the Baath Dam, which is 25 km away. The flood of water would join the 90 million cubic meters of water in the Baath Dam’s reservoir, and create a disaster headed for Raqqa at speeds that could reach 120 km / hour.  At this rate, the water would reach Raqqa in less than half an hour, drowning the city. In two hours, it would reach Deir Ezzor, and from there al-Bukamal in Iraq.

The collapse of the dam would not only eliminate all forms of life in the area and change the natural landscape, but would also affect oil wells in Deir Ezzor. Water could mix with crude oil, creating an additional natural disaster. If the Euphrates Dam collapses, it would also affect the areas upstream of the dam, causing droughts and reducing the agricultural output. Was thinking about how the actions of the US have detrimentally affected two dams, Mosul and Tabqua/Euphrates, in two nations Iraq and Syria- While negligence at home, thanks to war making abroad,  has resulted in trouble at a dam in California- All because politicians and coopted scientists preached permanent drought for California- fools! While the upper tier politicians reshaped entire regions of the world instead of taking care of their home turf- Pathetic

Oroville Dam:

A year ago, politicians and experts were predicting a near-permanent statewide drought, a “new normal” desert climate. (thanks to Fake Climate Science) The most vivid example of how wrong they were is that California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall. That could spell catastrophe for thousands who live below it and for the state of California at large that depends on its stored water.
The poor condition of the dam is almost too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole; its possible failure is a reflection of California’s civic decline.The poor condition of the dam is too good of a metaphor for many things-
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The Obvious Safe Zone for Displaced Syrians is Israeli Claimed Golan

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 18:56
That's right readers!It's the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about!
It would be the most efficient, cost effective and best for the Syrian people.It is already a safe zone- UN peacekeepers are  in the area and more can be deployed! Therefore displaced Syrians can be moved within Syria's territory, back to Golan and quite easily be resettled. The land is rich. Fertile soil. Water and natural resources are abundant. No burden for the EU. Canada. The US.

The international community does NOT recognize Israel's claim on Syria's territorial land.  Therefore the land claimed by Israel is Syrian territory! For the Syrian people!
 

Israel has no legal/lawful claim to the land.
It is Syrian territory. 
Refugee problem solved.
It's as easy as that Donald Trump! 

Netanyahu asks Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US President Donald Trump on Wednesday to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Most of the world considers the Golan, a high plateau between northeastern Israel and southwestern Syria, to be occupied by Israel, which annexed the territory in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally. Don't do it Mr Trump-
UN rejects Israel's claim over Syria's Golan Heights

The UN Security Council has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that the annexed Golan Heights in Syria would "for ever" remain under Israeli control.
The 15-member council agreed on Tuesday that the status of the Golan, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967, "remains unchanged", Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds this month's council presidency said.

Liu recalled a 1981 resolution which states that Israel's "decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was nul and void and without any international legal effect."
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Flynn's Ouster Planned? Robert Harward (Attack Iran?) Frontrunner

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 19:11
Well, well, well... doesn't the resignation of Flynn get more and more interesting ????

White House Said to Prepare for Flynn's Ouster Since Last Week Bloomberg February 14, 2017, 5:54 PM EST White House officials spoke with Robert Harward, a potential replacement for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, as early as last week and again yesterday, a senior administration official said a day after Flynn was dismissed. The official said preparations had been under way to replace Flynn for a long time. The person asked not to be identified discussing a personnel matter. Harward is a retired vice admiral who once served under Defense Secretary James Mattis.Harward is a most interesting individual particularly when one considers the post of February 10/17: "How America Could Stumble Into War With Iran" ? Elliot Abrams Nixed
"In Donald Trump’s first term there is a serious possibility of a military conflict, whether intentional or inadvertent, between the United States or Israel and Iran. What follows is how it could unfold, and how it might be avoided"Let's take a gander at Harward

Robert Harward: Everything you need to know about possible national security adviser 

If the Trump administration is set to 'stumble' into war with Iran- this is the man for the job
Harward served as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command under Gen. James Mattis, now the secretary of defense. Harward is an ABC News contributor. Here’s everything you need to know about the man who could serve as Trump’s chief White House adviser on national security issues. 
U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward shakes hands with U.S. Navy Cmdr....
Name: Robert S. Harward Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island What he used to do: Harward was appointed in 2011 as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, serving under then-commander Mattis, until his retirement from the military in 2013. Before that assignment, he was the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 in Afghanistan. Since Sept. 11, 2001, he led troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for six years. Harward, 60, is now the chief executive officer for Lockheed Martin United Arab Emirates. Career track:Harward enlisted in the Navy and was later awarded a fleet appointment to the U.S Naval Academy, from where he graduated in 1979. He qualified as a surface warfare officer aboard the destroyer USS Scott before joining the Naval Special Warfare community. Harward was the “Honor Man” of his Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL class 128, an award given to the most outstanding member of the training course. Throughout his distinguished career, Harward has been stationed around the world, but also worked for the executive branch in the nation’s capital. He has served on the National Security Council as the director of Strategy and Policy for the office of Combating Terrorism and was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Counterterrorism Center as a member of the Senior Interagency Strategy Team, according to his Navy biography. He holds a master’s degree in international relations and strategic security affairs, served as a federal executive fellow at Rand and completed the Center for International Studies’ foreign policy program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to the biography. Harward was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award in 2013 by the U.S. Naval War College for his prominence in the field of national security. In 2012 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award for individuals “whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration,” according to the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, which sponsors the award. Things you might not know about him:Harward grew up the son of a naval officer and spent much of his teenage years in Iran. He graduated from Tehran American High School in 1974 and speaks Farsi.For his retirement ceremony in Coronado, California, in 2013, Harward jumped out of a plane and parachuted in, landing on the beach where the ceremony would take place. Adm. William McRaven, then-commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Mattis, then-commander of Centcom, spoke at his retirement.

Harward’s parachute had the SEAL trident flag along with his three-star flag above it, according to The Coronado Times.
Interesting no? Harward and his family smack dab in Iran during the reign of the Shah
Images from the 1979 revolution


Full Circle? Related
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Saudi Arabia and Shamoon 2

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 18:13
I’m not going to automatically assume that Iran was behind this. We could be looking at a US/Israel thumb screws tactic being employed to encourage Saudi Arabia to be cooperative, in some way.
 
Link :Looking for some thoughts.
Saudi Arabia is warning that a computer virus that destroyed systems of its state-run oil company in 2012 has returned to the kingdom, with at least one major petrochemical company apparently affected by its spread.

Suspicion for the initial dispersal of the Shamoon virus in 2012 fell on Iran as it came after the Stuxnet cyberattack targeting Tehran's contested nuclear enrichment program.

It wasn't immediately clear who could be responsible for the new infection, though the relations between regional rivals remain tense.

A report Monday by Saudi state-run television included comments suggesting that 15 government agencies and private institutions had been hit by the Shamoon virus, including the Saudi Labor Ministry. The ministry said it was working with the Interior Ministry to contain the virus.

Sadara, a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., shut down its computer network Monday over a disruption.

Company spokesman Sami Amin said its network remained down Tuesday, though it hadn't affected operations at the facility. He declined to comment further.

Sadara is based in Jubail Industrial City, which sits about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the eastern Saudi city of Dammam in the heartland of the kingdom's oil industry. The $20 billion facility, inaugurated by Saudi King Salman in late November, includes 26 manufacturing units that will produce more than 3 million metric tons of plastics and chemical products.

Another state-run TV report on Tuesday said the Saudi Technical and Vocational Training Corp. was affected, though a spokesman denied the virus did any damage to its network.

Symantec Corp., a California-based security firm, warned in late November that Shamoon had been spotted again in Saudi Arabia. Computers affected had their hard drives erased and displayed a photograph of the body of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, who drowned fleeing his country's civil war, Symantec said.

"Why Shamoon has suddenly returned again after four years is unknown," Symantec said . "However, with its highly destructive payload, it is clear that the attackers want their targets to sit up and take notice."

The November attacks apparently involved previously stolen passwords. Symantec on Monday said the outbreak might be linked to a group it called Greenbug, which previously attacked targets in Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey with emails carrying malicious attachments.

Shamoon, named for a folder in its code, first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. In that attack, which hit Saudi Aramco and Qatari natural gas producer RasGas, the virus deleted hard drives and then displayed a picture of a burning American flag on computer screens. The attack forced Saudi Aramco to shut down its network and destroyed over 30,000 computers.

"All told, the Shamoon virus was probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date," then-U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the time.

Shortly before Panetta's speech, a former U.S. official told The Associated Press that American officials firmly believed Iranian hackers likely backed by Tehran were responsible for the attack.

Iran denied being responsible for the 2012 Shamoon outbreak. Tehran had no immediate comment on the new outbreak.

The first emergence of Shamoon came as Iran faced international sanctions over its contested nuclear program and after it saw thousands of centrifuges destroyed by the Stuxnet virus, widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation.

Last year, a series of fires at Iranian petrochemical plants and facilities have raised suspicions about hacking potentially playing a role.
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For Jared Kushner, Israel Policy May be Shaped by the Personal

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 17:33
Shaped by the Personal? Personal beliefs? Personal agenda? Personal grudges?

Will we  see more Israeli aggression & expansion shaped by Jared Kushner's personal experiences and indoctrination?

NYT’s
Read in full at link above
Mr. Kushner was a high school basketball player, a Billy Joel fan, a quiz team manager and no one’s guess to become a negotiating partner with Mr. Netanyahu. But unlike other students on the trip, he knew the prime minister, who was friendly with his father, a real estate developer and donor to Israeli causes. Mr. Netanyahu had even stayed at the Kushners’ home in New Jersey, sleeping in Jared’s bedroom. (The teenager moved to the basement that night.)

On Wednesday, when the Israeli prime minister visits the White House, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Kushner will reunite on far different terms from before — and yet their meeting will be imbued with some of the shared ideas of those old encounters. Mr. Netanyahu is on his second stint as prime minister; Mr. Kushner, now 36, is President Trump’s son-in-law and a leading adviser on Middle Eastern affairs with a daunting assignment. Mr. Trump has said that Mr. Kushner will try to “do peace,” which the president has called “the ultimate deal.” Kushner “is a mystery to most Middle Eastern officials. He has no experience in government or international affairs. His up-close exposure to the Arab world amounts to little more than trips to a handful of Persian Gulf countries and a star-studded jaunt to Jordan.

Though Mr. Kushner has visited Israel since childhood, and more recently to do business, he is little known there. He holds strong views about the state of Israel, but he has not been outspoken about them, save for editorials in The New York Observer, the newspaper he owned. His thinking on matters like settlements is not well understood.“Israel wasn’t a political discussion for him; it was his family, his life, his people,” said Hirschy Zarchi, rabbi at the Chabad House at Harvard, where Mr. Kushner was an undergraduate.Mr. Kushner has ties to Israel that are personal and religious. His visit to Auschwitz was stark, but its themes were not new to him. His grandmother survived the Holocaust by crawling through a homemade tunnel in Poland. His grandfather escaped the massacres by hiding in a hole for years. An Orthodox Jew, Mr. Kushner was instructed to protect Israel, remember the genocide and assure the survival of the Jewish people, those close to him say.

He was educated at Jewish schools where second graders were expected to draw maps of Israel from memory and the West Bank was often referred to by its biblical names, Judea and Samaria, a practice that emphasizes Jewish claims to the land. His family used its real estate fortune to donate millions of dollars to American Jewish and Israeli hospitals, schools and other institutions, including a few in settlements, according to public records. In his classes, Palestinians were regarded at a distance, in part as security threats who committed acts of terrorism — including one that killed a sister of a classmate of Mr. Kushner’s.
Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in New York in 2011. Mr. Kushner is holding the lulav, a palm branch, and the etrog, a citrus fruit, which are used in the celebrations.
When Mr. Trump ran for president, his son-in-law’s stances on Israel helped shape the campaign. Mr. Kushner helped script a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and consulted with Netanyahu officials behind the scenes. When he brought the candidate and the prime minister together for a meeting, his father, Charles Kushner, was invited to join them.

Thanks in part to the younger Mr. Kushner, Mr. Netanyahu will arrive at a White House that has already adopted many of the prime minister’s perspectives on the region. Now Mr. Kushner is helping Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu craft a strategy to recruit Sunni Muslim countries that oppose Iran to help foster an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The approach is a long shot: Negotiations are dead. The Israeli right is pushing for more settlement in the West Bank as talk among Palestinians turns to a single state in which they have equal rights.Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian leader who was involved in peace talks both with Israelis and internally, said Palestinians were skeptical of Mr. Kushner, and Mr. Trump’s team generally, seeing them as close only to the Israeli side. As part of its philanthropy, Mr. Kushner’s family has made donations to the Beit El settlement, which Mr. Barghouti finds particularly worrisome.We need somebody who is really impartial,” Mr. Barghouti said, pointing out that it is unclear whether Mr. Kushner has ever visited a Palestinian area (the White House would not say). “There is no indication he is interested in hearing from the other side.”
Mr. Netanyahu’s list of potential donors, including Mr. Kushner’s father, Charles. Credit Ynetnews.com
Through a White House spokeswoman, Mr. Kushner declined to respond or be interviewedThe major Jewish institutions of Mr. Kushner’s life — school and synagogue — emphasized the connection between religion and Zionism. “In the modern Orthodox community, the state of Israel has an important place in identity, as a religious ideal, not only a political reality,” said Elie Weinstock, rabbi at Kehilath Jeshurun, the Manhattan synagogue Mr. Kushner joined.At his elementary school, the Hebrew Youth Academy in Livingston, N.J., it was impossible to walk the halls “without seeing the flags of Israel and Israeli historical figures and how the kids celebrate Israeli holidays,” said Stephen Flatow

During high school at the Frisch School in northern New Jersey, where Mr. Kushner spent long days attending mandatory prayers (morning and afternoon) and studying in English, Hebrew and Aramaic (the language of the Talmud), every year of his education was interwoven with events in Israel.

But classmates say the environment Mr. Kushner lived in could feel apolitical, because most everyone shared similar views, and Palestinian perspectives were barely considered. Some teachers told students that “Palestinian” was a made-up identity, a label adopted for political reasons. There was little discussion of what it was like to live under occupation, several classmates of Mr. Kushner’s recalled. Many rabbis and teachers seemed comfortable with settlements, and some students said they never learned that Israel’s borders were a highly contested topic.“There was such an assumption that Jews deserve to have this place, that it was theirs for thousands of years by biblical fiat,” said Eli Schleifer, who graduated the year before Mr. Kushner. “There was such a strange blindness to the complexity of the situation.”In 1999, Mr. Kushner left New Jersey for Harvard, where he no longer wore a skullcap to classes, but continued to follow rules of Orthodox Jewish life.

 Soon the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, was setting off criticism of Israel on campus and then responses from students who defended the country, but Mr. Kushner kept his head down.

Instead he spent time at the Chabad House, where Rabbi Zarchi was struck by how Mr. Kushner “never felt the need to apologize for his differences, his religious commitments,” he said.

Mr. Kushner sometimes expressed his views during long Sabbath meals at the house. “He certainly believed that a strong and secure Israel was in America and the world’s best interest,” Rabbi Zarchi said. He didn’t believe that Israel needed “the approval of Europe, the United Nations or even Washington or London,” the rabbi continued.

While Mr. Kushner was at Harvard, Mr. Netanyahu once again visited his father, speaking at his office, kicking a soccer ball at one of the schools that carried the family name and sitting down for a tabbouleh lunch with students, including Jared’s younger brother, Joshua.But Mr. Kushner’s task is formidable. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump want to set in motion a chain of events that could block Iran, redefine Israel’s relationship with the Arab world and create Israeli-Palestinian peace — “the deal that can’t be made,” as Mr. Trump has said.

“The prime minister is coming into the meeting with the hope to forge a common policy with the president, and Jared’s role is critical in that,” said Ron Dermer, the ambassador of Israel, with whom Mr. Kushner has been in close contact. “He’s someone who, in my interactions with him, has really been able to deliver.”

Ron Dermer the ambassador of Israel has been in close contact with Mr Kushner and states. “He’s someone who, in my interactions with him, has really been able to deliver.”
Able to deliver what? For whom?

From Earlier:
America’s “Best Fighting Forces” Rule With an Iron Fist
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America’s “Best Fighting Forces” Rule With an Iron Fist

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 16:59
I dare say the YPG/PKK have been and continue to be the darlings of the main stream media and so called alternative news too. There will be little that is new to long term readers here as I’ve stated these very facts for years now-
The Kurdish YPG recruits fighters at gunpoint, assassinates political opponents, and suppresses the media.I’m excluding wild speculation, exaggeration and what appears to be fallacious and misleading based on my own knowledge of this situation. Example: Claims by YPG/PKK of  not being adequately trained or armed by the US are absurd.  They have NATO special forces embedded among them, bombs are dropped on their word- The US partnered with the YPG/PKK in  their ethnic cleansing/displacement agenda- They've had tons and tons of weapons delivered to them- The US is supposed to be fighting terrorists/ism, not bolstering it

Cutting to the chase:

This is the second of a two-part investigation, which was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Part one can be read here.
The raid began at 3 am in a Syrian village close to the Iraqi border. Kurdish-led military police, many masked, piled out of their pickup trucks, set up roadblocks, drew their weapons, and launched a house-to-house search. It was America’s favorite Syrian militia, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, at work. Top figures in the Obama administration and even the professional military praised the YPG as the most effective Syrian force against the Islamic State, or ISIS. (The Trump administration hasn’t yet indicated how it plans to work with the YPG.)But its mission last September 10 was nothing to brag about. The northeast Syrian village being stormed, Bani Shkawe, is Kurdish, and the Asayish, or military police, were not scouring for radical Islamists but for Kurdish draft-dodgers. They arrested seven young men, but many others got away, local residents said.    Two weeks later, the Asayish returned with a force of 700. When a group of young men took flight, the Asayish opened fire, killing Hani Khanjar, an 18-year-old Kurd. They captured three young men, but set them free, since they were under 18.   

The YPG regularly raids villages such as Bani Shkawe, and several times a month it sets up roadblocks and checkpoints at the edge of major towns and villages, according to opposition politicians and local human rights monitors.

Measures such as these testify to the unpopularity of the Democratic Union Party, the PYD, the political wing of the YPG, but it’s not the only reason. The PYD runs the region, which it calls Rojava or west Kurdistan, with an iron hand, suppressing political opposition, detaining journalists and shutting down independent media, and expelling tens of thousands of Arabs as it seeks to consolidate control. Forced recruitment is both a cause and an effect of its unpopularity.   

“The PYD has a manpower problem,” said Fabrice Balanche, a French academic expert on Syria with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He estimates that 500,000 Kurds—half the population—have fled northern Syria rather than submit to YPG rule.   

The US military has got wind of the YPG’s forced-recruitment practice. “We’ve heard of it. I don’t know if we’ve confirmed it,” Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the US Central Command, told The Nation. But, he added, “forced conscription is not something we are in there advising” the YPG to do.    

American demands on the YPG may be driving the number still higher. The problem begins with the YPG itself and its hostile relations with neighbors on two sides, Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

In addition, the YPG is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a group on the US, Turkish, and European Union terrorism lists. While there may be military logic in teaming up the US military machine with a ground force that has a central organization, an officer corps, and combat experience, that’s also the drawback, for the PKK’s combat experience was gained fighting Turkey for some 30 years in an insurgency that flared up again in the summer of 2015.

The State Department claims the YPG is a separate entity from the PKK, a stance viewed throughout the region as fiction. Asked for evidence to prove its point, the department refuses to answer specific questions about US policy.

At US behest, the YPG took a step in late 2015 to broaden its appeal by setting up the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, an umbrella group with a major component of Arab fighters but under YPG control. And that means PKK control.   

“Of course all orders come from Qandil,” said Balanche, referring to the Iraqi headquarters of the PKK. According to PKK defectors interviewed by The Nation, 70 percent of the YPG forces were PKK units based in Qandil. 
Compulsory YPG military service dates back to June 2014, when the PYD-ruled legislative council in the self-styled Jazira canton issued a “law of performing self-defense.” It required every family to provide a male “volunteer” between 18 and 30 years of age to serve for six months. Families without an eligible male were encouraged to send females instead, leading to unrest throughout Jazira and the other cantons, Kobani and Afrin.   

The YPG has been raiding and arresting young men—as well as women and girls—since the beginning of 2014, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported early this year.   

SNHR has also reported extensive forced recruitment of child soldiers—adolescents under 16. Some 1,876 children were forcibly recruited between 2012 and 2015. “Children have been forced to use and train on guns since 2012 extensively,” SNHR said. Both the Pentagon and the State Department declined to respond to questions from The Nation.   

The YPG agreed in writing in 2014 to halt the recruiting of underage soldiers, according to Geneva Call, an NGO that lobbies armed groups to adhere to international norms in war. As of late 2015, 214 children under 16 had been demobilized and 49 others between 16 and 17 had been discharged from military service, the group said in a report early last year, according to YPG officials.   
Silencing Local Journalists..
“They told me that either I give up journalism and leave or they will kill me.” —Sadun Sino, Orient TV

In the first year of force recruitment, local journalists produced many stories, in part because anxious parents approached them and urged them to report the news. But public protests were quickly suppressed, and independent journalism has been crushed.   

In 2013 Sadun Sino began working for Orient TV, an opposition news outlet in Rojava. After reporting on a series of assassinations of Kurdish opposition figures—all of which he believed were carried out by PYD operatives—Sino began regular coverage of protests, which usually erupted when the YPG seized an underage boy or girl. Sino said he produced at least 15 reports from his hometown of Derbasi, and other reporters in Amudah and Kobani produced even more. The YPG “staged so many roundups in Derbasi that I lost count,” Sino said. “People came to me asking me to report on it,” he pointed out.   

He reported on the conscription of girls, at least two of whom were under-age, and on PKK arrests of young men and women at checkpoints. “On one day in 2014, they took 40 men and boys at one checkpoint,” Sino said. “It was happening every day.” On another day, the YPG issued an order to round up 150 conscripts.   

Finally, the authorities cracked down on the news coverage. “They told me that either I give up journalism and leave or they will kill me,” Sino told The Nation. After being jailed four times, he fled Rojava in January 2015.   

“The PYD and the YPG violently suppressed freedom of assembly and severely limited freedom of speech.” —US State Department
Jason Stern, a researcher with the New York–based Committee to Project Journalists until last week, said CPJ has found that censorship and arrests are routine in Rojava. “Too often the authorities there get glowing coverage for their role in fighting Islamic State, and, as a result, their regular practice of censorship is ignored,” Stern observed in an e-mail.   

“Journalists have been routinely detained for days at a time and then released—each incident sending a clear message to other journalists,” Stern said. Media affiliated with other parties or the Syrian opposition “are targeted” for censorship, he said. And he noted that the PYD withdrew the license of two major news outlets in August 2015, the KRG-based Rudaw news agency and the Syrian opposition station Orient TV. Both were banned permanently in February 2016, according to Saeed Omar Khalil, a human-rights lawyer in Erbil, the KRG capital.   

But this is only part of the picture of repression. In its annual human-rights report last year, the State Department, quoting Kurdish activists and press reporting, said “the PYD and the YPG violently suppressed freedom of assembly and severely limited freedom of speech in areas under their control.”   

In the past two years at least eight journalists have been abducted or arrested, according to Kurdwatch, a Berlin-based watchdog group. It reported a case in early 2015 where a journalist from the website of a news outlet affiliated with the Kurdish Unity Party was abducted by the Asayish military police, beaten with iron bars, and had a finger cut off.   

Lawyer Khalil gave The Nation a list of 57 political activists who had been arrested through last September. Among them was Yunes Assad, the head of the town council in Amudah, who was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured in May 2016.   

The severe political repression has also contributed to the reluctance of Kurds to serve in the YPG, Kurdish refugees said. As of last autumn, according to Kurdwatch researcher Eva Savelsberg, as much as 40 percent of the security forces in Rojava are recruited by force. The rest, mainly young men from poor families, join largely for the salary in a region where there are almost no employment opportunities.   

Despite the forced recruitment, the YPG was still short of fighters last year, so a new rule was issued on October 17 requiring nine months of service, with three more months tacked on for those who don’t register by December 1.   

Rojava opposition politicians claim that the PYD support base is no more than 10 percent of the population; as proof they cite the YPG’s closure of the border with Iraqi Kurdistan since last spring. KRG officials say that if the YPG were to open the borders to Iraqi Kurdistan, three-quarters of the population would flee.   

In Bani Shkawe, the public mood remains defiant. “Our village is surrounded by hills and valleys, and the village people know every valley and stone,” said a resident, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. “Our youth go into hiding when the village is stormed.”   

“We don’t want anything from the PYD,” said the resident. “We just want them to leave us alone.”    Too bad for the remaining Kurds and Arabs the US has backed this team of terrorists. I'll repeat that which has been stated here on many an occasion- Kurdistan/Israel 2.0 will be just another NATO terror state- It will be Israel 2.0.
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What's At Stake In Battle For Al-Bab? Turkish/Syrian Cooperation

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 18:16
Via the BBC: Fabrice Balanche:  Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Interesting? Share your thoughts.
The Syrian town of al-Bab was rather insignificant until it emerged as a strategic stake between the Syrian president and his allies (Russia and Iran), Turkey, the Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party) and the so-called Islamic State group.

Al-Bab was quickly occupied by rebels in spring 2012, and subsequently seized by IS during the winter of 2013-2014, which eliminated the other rebel factions. The town has since become an IS stronghold, home to many foreign jihadists and their families. It has served as the basis of IS's offensives against the Syrian army and the rebels in Aleppo province.

Today, the city and its suburbs (Qabasin, Bizaa and Tadif) are almost surrounded. Operation Euphrates Shield forces, led by the Turkish army, are closing in from the north, while the Syrian army, which has quickly advanced over the last two weeks, moves in from the south.

The Russian air force has also bombed the IS positions south of al-Bab, leaving Turkish aviation to strike targets in the city itself. This suggests that rather than competition between the Syrian army and the Euphrates Shield forces for al-Bab, there is coordination and a shared area of influence.

The Aleppo-Manbij road, to the south of al-Bab, may function as the border between the Syrian Army and Euphrates Shield forces: al-Bab, Bizaa and Qabasin will be occupied by Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels, while the Syrian army will be satisfied with Tadif.
Syrian government forces walk in an area south of the city of al-Bab in the northern province of Aleppo on January 14, 2016.Southfront

Reporting from southfront seems to confirm the analysis from WINEP

After liberating Tadif, the Syrian army will not enter al-Bab. The Syrian military agreed with Turkey on a demarcation line with pro-Turkish forces (the Turkish army and pro-Turkish militant groups).“As a result of the advance, the Syrian government forces have reached a demarcation line with the Free Syrian Army’s units as it had been agreed with the Turkish side.”Meanwhile, the Syrian army has got a control over the highway linking al-Bab and the ISIS self-proclaimed capital of Raqqah.

'Stopping the Kurds'The objective of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria is to prevent the linkage of the Kurdish cantons of Afryn and Kobane. After regaining the htown of Manbij from IS in August, the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had planned to next seize al-Bab and thus unify their territories. A race towards al-Bab began between the SDF and the Turkish army. This was halted in December when Turkey bombed the SDF, sending a message that their advance needed to stop.

Neither the Syrian regime nor Turkey had any interest in the Kurds taking al-Bab. The agreement between Russia and Turkey, in August 2016, joined by the Iranians, came at the expense of Kurdish interests. In the deal, Turkey also ceased aiding rebels in exchange for Russian neutrality in Turkey's campaign against the Kurds.

East Aleppo was retaken by the regime soon after the conclusion of this agreement; al-Bab, it seems, will be left for the Turks.Rebels with different prioritiesTurkey is, however, experiencing difficulties in seizing the city. It has been making slow progress since mid-November 2016 and must send significant reinforcements because its Syrian proxies are not motivated by the battle for al-Bab. The primary objective of these rebel groups is to fight the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not IS, and certainly not to collaborate with the Syrian Army in al-Bab.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no choice, as he needs to use the battle of al-Bab to prove the effectiveness of the Turkish army and its Arab proxies, if there is to be any hope of getting the United States to renounce a plan of making SDF its main ally in the offensive against IS in Raqqa, the group's other stronghold in the country's east.

Taking al-Bab is also an issue of domestic politics for President Erdogan, as it appeals to Turkish nationalism. If it succeeds, the Turkish army may finally turn towards Manbij, in order to repulse the SDF to the east bank of the River Euphrates. What next?

President Assad is not pleased with Turkey creating a zone of influence in the north, less than 30km (20 miles) from Aleppo. Al-Bab was expected to have fallen to the Syrian army, which has been only 10km south of the city since January 2016. But the Russo-Turkish agreements seem to have decided otherwise.

What do Russia and Turkey foresee for the future? Will the Turkish army be allowed to advance even further south, and then head for Raqqa by the southern shore of Lake Assad?

This is difficult to imagine: the progression of the Syrian army south of al-Bab seems to indicate that it will next go towards Lake Assad to cut the Turkish route.To cut the Turkish route? We shall see.
If President Erdogan wants to go to Raqqa he will have to attack the SDF, the US allies postpone the offensive on Raqqa. It is, therefore, in IS's interest to prolong the battle of al-Bab, increasing the potential for Turkish-US discord, as its best strategy for protecting Raqqa. From earlier today:
Fukushima Update: 3 Admitted Meltdowns, 6 Years After the Fact
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Fukushima Update: 3 Admitted Meltdowns, 6 Years After the Fact

Sun, 02/12/2017 - 12:09
Long term readers here were aware in 2011 that there had been multiple meltdowns at Fukushima. Though the main stream media reports of the day denied and denied that fact- My posts from 2011 will be relinked after the latest news reports.

 Sadly the  most recent media articles mention the 3 meltdowns in a very casual manner- as if attempting to gloss over or obscure the fact that this triple meltdown occurred nearly 6 years ago and the subsequent radiation contamination continues to be a problem for the planet to this very day


Techtimes
Azby Brown of citizen science organization Safecast said that while the radiation level proves “astoundingly high,” it does not readily represent any alarming radiation level change at the nuclear site. It’s just that they were measured that far inside the reactor for the first time. “[I]t does not mean that levels there are rising, but that a previously unmeasurable high-radiation area has finally been measured,”
Two items I’d like to address regarding above information:

 First: Safecast appears to be the media go to group. I wondered why that was and checked them out! Safecast : which takes no position on nuclear power, is supported by foundations, grants and individual donations.” I cannot find their financial information on site

Claiming to take no position can simply mean Safecast doesn't want to state a position
“Safecast is funded by individuals, grants, and charitable foundations, however financial contributors and donors have no input on Safecast methods or mission.”  NGO? If Safecast's statement is to be taken at face value, why not publish the donor list? 
Is it not published because to do so would incriminate Safecast? Is this a lie by omission?
 2nd: You are supposed to find statements such as the one made by Azby Brown reassuring. But should we? While it may be true that "radiation levels that prove astoundingly high" may not necessarily indicate a rise in radiation-  It can equally be true that these very high readings, finally taken, indicate that extremely high levels of radiation have been contaminating the environment for nearly 6 years now! These high levels also indicate to us that this will continue on unabated. That’s not reassuring.

Science Alert
Reactor 2:
"Even the remote-operated camera sent in to capture these images is only designed to withstand 1,000 sieverts of radiation, which means it won't last more than two hours in the No. 2 reactor.

It's not yet clear exactly what's causing the high levels either. It's possible that previous readings were incorrect or not detailed enough, and levels have always been this high. Or maybe something inside the reactor has changed.

The fact that these readings were so high in this particular location suggests that maybe melted reactor fuel escaped the pressure vessel, and is located somewhere nearby.

Adding to that hypothesis is the fact that the images reveal a gaping 1-metre (3.2-foot) hole in the metal grate underneath the pressure vessel - which could indicate that nuclear fuel had melted out of it.

On Monday, Tepco also saw "black chunks" deposited on the grating directly under the pressure vessel - which could be evidence of melted fuel rods"JapanTimes
The hole could have been caused when the fuel escaped the pressure vessel after the mega-quake and massive tsunami triggered a station blackout that crippled the plant’s ability to cool the reactors.

If confirmed, this would be a huge deal, because in the six years since the three Fukushima reactors went into meltdown, no one has ever been able to find any trace of the nuclear fuel rods.In the six years since the three Fukushima reactors went into meltdown....“The world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 triggered core meltdowns in reactors 1 through 3. Portions of the core in each reactor are believed to have melted through their pressure vessels and pooled at the bottom of their containment vessels.Triggered core meltdowns in reactors 1 through 3. The actual condition of the melted fuel remains unknown because the radiation is too high to check it”There it is. Finally. After years of lying and covering up. Three reactors went into meltdown, immediately after the earthquake and tsunami,  exactly as I'd informed my readers of, nearly 6 years ago.. After taking time to reread those older postings I remain as disheartened now as then.
All of March 2011 posts covering Fukushima's Triple Meltdown
March 14/2011Nuclear Power is the Problem, Not the Solution
March 15/2011: Japan: Spent fuel pond ablaze, radiation spewing and a third explosion!March 15/2011: Japan hit by 6.0 aftershockMarch 17/2011: Fukushima, GE design flaws, MOX Plutonium fuel at #3 plant, and interviews Where to begin with this one....
I want to be wrong, and I hope to be wrong. But, I fear that Japan is far, far worse then we are being told, quite humbly I will say, Dire is the word that comes to mind. Please let me be wrong.March 18/2011: Mark1 problems long known, Spent Fuel more threatening then reactors

March 21/2011: # 3 MOX plant at Fukishima, smoke reported today. Questioning the reporting
 You may wonder why, why do you persist on this topic? Mainly because I am of the opinion we are being lied to. All of us. Not just the Japanese, but, all the people of the globe.
Governments lie to us daily. To cover up for their business and banking cronies. It is a fact.
Any look over the most recent news, that is if you are really paying attention, would surely mean you are aware of that.
So it is back to Japan, nuclear reactors and radiation and plutonium poisoning. Specifically, we are going back to the # 3 plant at the nuclear complex. This is the one I have addressed on several occasions. This is the MOX fuel plant.


 March 22/2011:  Fukushima: Core Meltdowns, nuclear lobbyists working overtime, non-existent US evacuation plans & Ann Coulter (crackpot)
 Yesterday it was actually reported, finally, that three of the Fukushima reactors are in meltdown.
 U.S. nuclear advocates try to limit political impact of Japan reactor crisis Nuclear power advocates are waging an intense lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill this week in an attempt to limit the political fallout from the reactor crisis in Japan. Spurred on by federal subsidies and potential climate-change legislation, the nuclear industry has dramatically stepped up its federal lobbying and campaign contributions in recent years, records show.
Briefly: Keeping the Fukushima disaster quiet serves the globalist in building their desired profitable money making/smart control technocracy- They want everything to run electrically for the sheer ability to control- everything- Centralized power control grid.  Your smart everything in your smart city will run on electric power generated by many more nuclear power plants- Control, control, control.

March 23/2011:   Stuxnet /Fukushima: Connected? Why and Why not

March 23/2011: Skimming headlines for the "facts" on Fukushima

March 24/ 2011: Fukushima: Meltdowns, neutron beams, yellow rain & radiated workers As I reported to you some days ago, there was at least 3 nuclear reactors in some state of meltdown. Finally a mainstream piece, from Egypt, has reported this today!

It was actually confirmed on March 18/2011 by the Japanese IAEA that 3 reactor cores were damaged-  You would never know any of this if you watched the likes of CNN or any of the other western mainstream propaganda outlets. Who have been busily covering for their corporate masters...
But, I digress once again. A neutron beam has been reported emanating from Fukushima

Neutron beam observed 13 times at crippled Fukushima nuke plant
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.So Fukushima has been in meltdown from the beginning! Neutrons are emitted during a nuclear chain reaction; so given the context, is Kyodo's report to be taken as indicating that a chain reaction took place after the reactors shut down? March 28/2011:Fukushima: Damaged containment vessels, including # 4, poisons in the ocean, plutonium in the soil.
 Let's face it, if TEPCO is finally acknowledging this as a possibility, you KNOW the reactor containment vessels are damaged and have been since the beginning.

Damaged containment vessels are present in reactor #1, #2 and #3 (MOX fuel)
I have covered the three crippled plants and the MOX fuel in several previous posts.
So if your new or haven't been paying attention I will relink them all at the bottom.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. acknowledged for the first time possible damage to core pressure containers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant--the last line of defense in preventing radioactive materials from spewing out.March 29/2011: Japan may have lost race for containment in Unit # 2

March 30/2011:  Fukushima: Radiation soars in Seawater, Plutonium poisons soil, 4 plants decomissioned, Media lies, No safe levels of radiation

It's certainly a sad collective memory.
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"How America Could Stumble Into War With Iran" ? Elliot Abrams Nixed

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 19:14
 Does a nation ever 'stumble' into war? Stumbleto come unexpectedly or by chance
 The Atlantic-
"In Donald Trump’s first term there is a serious possibility of a military conflict, whether intentional or inadvertent, between the United States or Israel and Iran. What follows is how it could unfold, and how it might be avoided" Step 1: ProvocationsYou can read the provocations at the link above- Cutting to the chase the author claims Iran will provoke the US into attacking. Why would Iran do that? 

Wouldn't it make more sense that the US will claim Iran is being provocative? 


Step 2: SanctionsOne of the fundamental disagreements about the nuclear agreement is whether it is permissible to further sanction Iran for non-nuclear behavior. Washington—including both Democrats and Republicans—says yes, while Tehran believes any additional sanctions constitute a violation
 While the nuclear deal allowed for non-American companies and countries to resume commercial relations with Iran, U.S. sanctions largely remained in place.   Shortly after Flynn put Iran “on notice,” the Trump administration crossed Khamenei’s ostensible red line by imposing additional sanctions against 25 individuals and entities connected to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (who oversee Iran’s military activities and regional policies). Additional reports suggest the Trump administration may designate the entirety of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards—the country’s most powerful political and economic institution—as a terrorist organization.While unilateral U.S. sanctions will not be sufficient to moderate Iranian behavior, they are likely to trigger an Iranian response, and a process of escalation.    While the US provokes Iran?

 Step 3: Escalation Among the few articulated foreign-policy priorities of the Trump administration thus far has been a reset of relations with America’s traditional Middle East allies, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia. Embedded within this is a more confrontational approach toward Iran, which both Tel Aviv and Riyadh believe to be the region’s greatest source of instability. Trump’s national-security brain-trust—including Defense Secretary James Mattis, Flynn, and several of Flynn’s NSC deputiesshare this assessment, and hold the Iranian Revolutionary Guards directly responsible for over a thousand U.S. military casualties in Iraq. During the Obama administration they felt restrained, and now they’re eager to show they can and will respond. The opportunities for confrontation are multifold
 The opportunities for confrontation are multifold. The U.S. and Iran are on opposing sides of numerous regional military and political disputes, including in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Israel-Palestine, Bahrain, and most recently Afghanistan, where Iran has been accused of becoming “increasingly close” to the Taliban. Despite the U.S.’s overwhelming conventional military superiority over Iran, however, today’s Middle East wars are increasingly unconventional fights involving nonstate actors in weak or failing states where America has no strong allies, unclear interests, and no desire to be Let's think about one "non state actor" already engaged in attacking Iran, with US backing aplenty! The seeds of a destabilization planted nearly two years ago.
  
 August 07/2015: P5+1 is a distraction. Early Seeds of Iranian destabilization cross the Turkish border

The seeds of an Iranian destabilization are being  sown- April 2016:  Iran's Forgotten Kurds Step Up the Struggle- So The Media Promotion Begins

May 05/2016: Kurds on the Attack in Iran- As Predicted ......

Recall all those US Military bases being set up in Northern Iraq? 

July 21/2016: The Puzzle of the US Multi-Base Deal with Iraq's Kurds- One On Iran’s Border
 "Fishar News reported that one US air base would be built in Harir some 70 km north of Erbil, the KRG provincial capital. The base would be used to host American jet fighters and helicopters as well as military advisers.
Another military base will be established in Alton Kopri south of Erbil and will be used to store light weapons, while two other bases will be built in KRG-controlled areas in Mosul, the media outlet said.
A stunning surprise is that the US will be allowed to build the fifth military base in Halabja on the border with neighbouring Iran, according to the Fishar News report.
Stunning because that's PKK turf! Stunning because the US will reprise it's support to the 'beleaguered kurds' yet again"
The Atlantic continued.....
 Step 4: Unraveling  Though politicians on both sides routinely denounce the nuclear deal, it remains unclear whether they would truly welcome the deal’s collapse. Neither the U.S. nor Iran will want to be blamed for unilaterally tearing up the agreement and potentially triggering a global crisis. A more likely scenario is one in which the deal gradually unravels, with each side blaming the other for its demise.   In an atmosphere of increased escalation, sanctions, and regional skirmishes, Iran’s hardliners will find ample pretexts to make good on their threat of reexamining their nuclear commitments. But rather than race toward a nuclear weapon, which would provoke a strong international reaction, Tehran is more likely to reduce cooperation with international inspectors and resume its nuclear activities—under the pretext of a civilian energy program—in a way that will accentuate fissures in the international coalition (known as the P5+1) that negotiated and enforces the nuclear deal. I asked my Carnegie colleague Mark Hibbs—a renowned nuclear researcher—how, specifically, Tehran might go about this. “If Tehran aimed to divide the P5+1 and aggravate Israel and Western countries,” Hibbs told me, it might do things not expressly forbidden by the JCPOA but that would not be in the spirit of the accord. What benefit would Iran gain from dividing the P5+1?

Accords have "spirits"? I don't think so.  This agreement must have terms, like a contract, so it should come down to breaching the  actual terms of the contract or not breaching the actual terms of the contract/accord? The spirit of the accord/contract is really a spin type of terminology

The US: Iran you broke the spirit of the accord!
Iran: We did not engage in any action expressly forbidden by the accord,
The US: No matter you broke the spirit of the deal- It's the spirit we're talkin' about
Iran: What the heck is the spirit of the accord! How is that even defined?

See the problem with the spirit of the accord? It means many things to many people. It's not clear or concise.
Step 5: DisunityThe JCPOA builds in dispute-resolution mechanisms in case either Iran or the P5+1 countries feel the other side is in non-compliance. But any such mechanism is ineffectual when two parties are seemingly coveting an escalation. (The US and Israel) And any U.S.-Iran escalation may break the unity of the U.S. and its partners. Given the chaos and carnage in today’s Middle East, most major countries in the world (with the notable exception of the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia) see Iran as a stable regional power and a tactical ally against the more nefarious threat of radical Sunni jihadists like ISIS. Russia is working in unison with Iran in Syria, Chinese-Iranian trade is booming, and Europe cannot afford another unpredictable conflict that exacerbates regional unrest and creates more refugees.Clearly the US and Israel are unconcerned with ISIS, for what should be obvious reasons.
Saudi Arabia is a bit different, it's divided... and malleable because of that division

History has shown that Iran only responds to pressure when it is encircled with a united international front. Unilateral U.S. pressure, however significant, is insufficient if Tehran feels it has escape doors in Europe, Russia, and Asia.Step 6: ConflictA context in which Iran has resumed (or you are told they have) its nuclear activities and a divided P5+1 fails to meaningfully react creates a dilemma for both the United States and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu—who views Iran an “existential threat”—has a lower threshold than the United States for taking military action against Iran. While the Obama administration restrained Netanyahu, Trump has thus far indulged him. Though Netanyahu may not succeed in compelling Washington to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities—his first preference—he may succeed in getting Trump’s greenlight, and the requisite military hardware, for Israel to take military action.  What is the likelihood that Trump himself would authorize military action against Iran’s nuclear sites or military assets? One of Trump’s core beliefs, taught to him by his former lawyer Roy Cohn, is “When attacked, hit back harder.” While it remains to be seen how a philosophy born out of New York City real estate quarrels can be applied to complicated geopolitical disputes, throughout his campaign and his first weeks in office Trump’s decision making has been marked by impulsiveness more than restraint. How will he react if Iran continues to defy him despite his repeated taunts and tweets?
 It's been reported that Elliot Abrams did not get the State Department job
Mr. Trump overruled his newly minted secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, and rejected the secretary’s choice for his deputy at the department, two people briefed on the decision said Friday. The deputy’s job was denied for Elliott Abrams, a conservative who had served under President Ronald Reagan and President George W. Bush, deals a blow to Mr. Tillerson in his first week on the job. The rejection of Mr. Abrams leaves Mr. Tillerson without a sherpa to help guide the first-time government official around the State Department headquarters.  Relevant relink: Trump's Presidency: A Dangerous Deception
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Thank-You James Corbett: What I Learned From the CIA Archive

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 18:46
 This morning Gimlet Eye had left me a message:
Gimlet EyeFebruary 9, 2017 at 1:23 AMOff topic, but you'll want to see this report from Corbett, skip to 6:00 and watch for ~1min if you're short of time-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z42sClWyqhUObviously I went to watch the video and to my surprise 6:00 minutes in, what appears?
Why it's my blog!!


PennyFebruary 9, 2017 at 5:53 AMHi Gimlet Eye!

Well that was a surprise.! And sort of funny to see..

Thanks for letting me know that post was included in the video-

For readers James Corbett included the post below in a recent video.

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2017/01/cia-documents-confirm-yom-kippur-war.html

I went back to look at, just like james, I said read the documents for yourself and share some thoughts...
The Corbett Video :What I Learned From The Declassified CIA Archive




The link to my post is embedded/highlighted in this paragraph from the accompanying article

"The third category is more insidious. It’s the route Ynetnews takes in its report on what CREST’s Kissinger archives reveal about the lead-up to the Yom Kippur War. To hear Ynetnews tell it, you’d think that the documents (which they only provide screen shots of, no links to) confirm the official take that this was an unprovoked surprise attack by the Arab aggressors against the innocent Israelis. Other outlets, however, come to the complete opposite conclusion from the same documents: “that Israel desired and planned for the war—despite the US asking them, more then [sic] once, not to pre emptively strike other nations.”
One thing I learned from the CIA info release is.... read the documents for yourself. Always.  When I read the documents included in the post it was not possible for me to draw the same conclusions that Ynet had presented- 


And finally- Thank You James Corbett.  

It's was nice that James noticed the documents did not confirm the claim made by Ynet. 
The Corbett Report is linked in the sidebar.


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Kurdish ISIS Leader Killed in Mosul

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 17:39
Rudaw:  A Kurdish leader of ISIS Sharia was  killed in an airstrike by the US-led coalition in ISIS-held western Mosul, Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) officials wrote in a statement."At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Walid Sarhan al-Kurdi known as Abu Ali al-Kurdi, an ISIS Sharia leader from Tel-Kaif, the area [north of Mosul], was killed in Mosul's al-Zanjili neighborhood, western Mosul," according to the KRSC, adding that four assistants were also killed.
KurdIShIS
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Alexei Navalny: Western NGO/Russian Opposition found Guilty of Embezzlement

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 19:22
Since Navalny had zero chance of winning an election against Putin.. His being found guilty is most probably due to the fact he is actually guilty of embezzlement.

I’ve written two previous posts regarding Mr Yale graduate. Hand picked and groomed as some kind of an alleged crusader for justice leader. Imagine me rolling my eyes here folks?

Even CNN labels Navalny a Kremlin criticKremlin critic Alexey Navalny found guilty in retrial
Alexey Navalny, was found guilty Wednesday of embezzlement following a retrial in a Russian court.
Judge Alexey Vtyurin handed Navalny a five-year suspended prison sentence.
The conviction will likely bar Navalny, who heads the Progress Party, from standing for the presidency in 2018 as planned, since Russian law forbids convicted criminals running for political office.Following the sentencing, Navalny tweeted in Russian: "We will continue our campaign and our fight for a better Russia despite this verdict dictated by the Kremlin. We do not recognize it and will overturn it." Navalny also said via a livestream from the courtroom that the sentence was "a cable from the Kremlin that says they consider us too dangerous to let us run in the presidential election."The absurdity of Navalny's statement is beyond compare- those statements are for western media consumption. Navalny is a nothing and a no one in Russia. It would be incredible if he could even garner 10% of the vote. Seriously, it would be amazing! There would probably have to be vote rigging in his favour for him to even get 10 percent of the vote!
"He announced his plans to run for the presidential election, but he wouldn't have more than 10 percent," Sutyagin, speaking from Oxfordshire, told Al Jazeera.Yahoo
In July 2013 he was found guilty in an embezzlement case involving an allegedly crooked timber deal and given a five-year suspended sentence, after an initial ruling to jail him was quickly altered when it prompted protests.

But Navalny was then forced to spend months under house arrest and often kept incommunicado over another graft case linked to the French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.rferl
They are charged with stealing 31 million rubles ($520,000) from two companies, including an affiliate of French cosmetics firm Yves Rocher, and of laundering some of the money.

He was also given a suspended sentence in that case, but his brother Oleg, a co-defendant, was not so lucky: He was imprisoned for three and a half years.
If you're not familiar with Navalny..

From 2013: The Strange Case of Alexei Navalny

-Navalny’s theft of state property
 -He has a record of embezzlement of public property and, therefore, ineligible to hold office
- He (Navalny) went to Yale under an American scholarship and returned to Russia as a freshly-minted public crusader
- Is Navalny an individual or is he a project?


From 2014: Alexei Navalny- He's back! Was he ever truly gone?- Destabilizing Russia

Staged Photo-op:  Navalny and a sign. Cameras, photographers & no one else! No supporters. No Surprise The typical 'defiant' photo- YawnA big fat NGO Fraud!

Earlier today:
Hillary the Hater "The Future is Female"?
Categories: Blogroll feed

Hillary the Hater "The Future is Female"?

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 10:44
Last night I had the misfortune of seeing this clip on Tell- A- Vision. I was appalled. Horrified and Disgusted. This is meme promotion of the most destructive kind. It excludes an entire segment of the population.  I understood immediately what was occurring with this bought and paid for perception management minute- brought to you by yet another special interest group/organization that plays identity politics for a living. As has been repeatedly explained here identity politics is just more divide and conquer- Divide to Conquer.  Divide. Divide. Divide.





Immediately after the election of Trump- a man that, it is claimed, epitomizes the concept as promoted by the haters, like Hillary and her ilk, of "white privilege" it became obvious to me that the US was getting it's colour revolution..

November 10/2017 :Is the US getting it's "colour revolution"? - Identity Politics aka Divide to Conquer

And it's quite clear the colour of that revolution is pink, which is the ultimate irony- It seems to me the women who participate in these types of  protests hate their womanhood. Yet choosing a colour, pink, to identify them as exactly that which they hate-

January 22/2017:  Madonna and the Pussy Hats.. Updated!


If you want to be men, start wearing blue!
This division will fracture our society. Participate in it and you are participating in your own destruction.  This is why I despise identity politics.

I'm a woman, proudly. And I think being a woman, same as a man being a man, is beautiful. Different, but, beautiful and utterly necessary to the health, well being and survival of the human race. To claim otherwise is to be filled with hate and disdain for Life. All Life.


Everything contains Yin and Yang. They are two opposite yet complementary energies. What does this really mean? Although they are totally different—opposite—in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate.



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Elliott Abrams, Will He Serve the Candidate He Allegedly Rejected?

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 18:12
NYT's

If he gets the job... this may indicate something to us about Trump's plans for Iran


WASHINGTON — Elliott Abrams, a neoconservative who has long argued for an activist foreign policy that spreads American values around the world, was advising Republicans just last spring to “keep your distance” from Donald J. Trump and offering advice about what the party should do after the “Trump collapse.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Abrams is set to visit President Trump in the White House to determine whether there is a job for him in the new administration, as the State Department’s No. 2 official.

As part of the vetting process to see whether Mr. Abrams will serve as Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s deputy, his writings have been scrutinized in a White House suspicious of anyone who was not a Trump loyalist from the beginning.

But the advantage of picking Mr. Abrams is clear: He knows the inner workings of the department, he served under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and, like Mr. Trump, he is often a critic of the Washington foreign policy establishment. Of course, he is also a member of it.

It appears that selecting Mr. Abrams is not a done deal, with much probably riding on his conversation with a president whose campaign he urged others not to join. But some are already predicting that he will emerge as part of the Trump team.

“I think he’s pretty close to being named,” James Jay Carafano, a Heritage Foundation fellow who advised the Trump transition team on the State Department, said in an interview.

Mr. Abrams, 69, is described politely in foreign policy circles as a “controversial” figure, but that deeply understates the case.

He is remembered best for the days when he was an assistant secretary of state during the Reagan administration, and his conviction in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra affair. He was later pardoned by President George Bush, and that moment has largely receded from memory — although if he is nominated, there is little question that Democrats will bring it up again.

Still, his selection would calm many at the State Department who worry that Mr. Tillerson, who has never served in government, is about to discover how running a large government bureaucracy full of dissenting opinions differs from running Exxon Mobil, where he was chief executive. Mr. Abrams knows the building well and, with a genial style and sharp views, knows how to navigate the national security bureaucracy.

His last stint in government was as deputy national security adviser during the George W. Bush administration. He often collaborated but sometimes feuded with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over whether the Middle East peace process was, in fact, meaningful.

“The peace process was like Tinkerbell in that if we all just believe in it firmly enough, it really would survive,” he wrote in a book, “Tested by Zion,” about the Bush administration’s efforts.

In ordinary times, nominating Mr. Abrams would set off tremendous opposition, especially from the left. But Mr. Trump’s many promises during the campaign to upend decades of bipartisan foreign policy doctrine, as well as a series of phone calls and meetings in recent weeks that left allies feeling insulted, led many experts to applaud him as a man who could put the Trump administration on a more predictable path.  “For the most part, I think he would be welcomed in the State Department,” said Dennis Ross, the senior Middle East adviser under President Barack Obama. “He’s seen as serious, responsible and knowledgeable.”

Mr. Abrams’s nomination would be the beginning of an important process to fill out the State Department’s top ranks. The Trump administration, as is common, asked nearly all of the Obama administration’s political appointees to leave their posts, including some seen as vital to the day-to-day management of far-flung operations.From Earlier :Did Trump Really Pull The Trigger on Obama’s Raqqa Plan?
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Did Trump Really Pull The Trigger on Obama’s Raqqa Plan?

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 11:50
This Washing Post article is working hard to present an idea that there is some change between Obama and Trump in the remake the Middle East/North Africa agenda.
So far I only see continuation of policy. Same as occurred when Bush changed to Obama. 

So we're dealing with a perception change promotion- which the media is happy to deliver. And those that self identify as leftists/liberals/progressives are happy to believe. These same dupes stayed quiet as the Obama administration wantonly bombed and droned, globally  but are now so incensed about Trump- It's the theatre of the absurd with an audience of the dull and dumbed down
McClatchy:  US drops more bombs in Obama’s final year of office than in 2015 The U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs last year, 3,027 more than 2015Obama ​revises plan for ​major troop ​reduction ​in Afghanistan President Obama announced during a press conference Wednesday that about 8,400 troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of his term. Obama had previously planned to drop troop levels to 5,500 by ​early 2017​.​  The U.S. also dropped more bombs in Libya in 2016 than it did in 2015.Obama claimed he would drop troop levels but didn't- The so called liberals said nothing.
Obama claimed he would close Guantanamo. He didn't the so called liberals said nothing.
Etc.,

Washington Post:
“Planning for the final assault on Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State’s caliphate, had been grinding on for more than seven months. There had been dozens of meetings of President Barack Obama’s top national security team, scores of draft battle plans and hundreds of hours of anguished, late-night debates.
There were no good options, but Obama’s top foreign policy advisers were convinced that they had finally settled on an approach that could work —, current and former U.S. officials said. There was just one problem: The Obama team had deliberated for so long that there was little time left to pull the trigger. Trump’s advisers had also sent word that they wanted to make the decision”
 “So on Jan. 17, just three days before the transfer of power, Obama directed his national security adviser to hand over to the Trump team a paper detailing the plan to arm the Kurds, including talking points that President Trump could use to explain the move to Turkey’s president, who officials knew would be furious. The Turks viewed the Kurdish fighters as terrorists and their No. 1 enemy.
Finally settled on an approach that could work????  Arming Kurdish fighters in northern Syria?
That was not a new or original approach and there is no reason to believe this rubbish about settling on this approach.  Arming the Kurds has always been the approach for years now...
"Obama hoped that his last-minute preparations would clear the way for Trump to authorize a swift assault on the Islamic State’s most important stronghold, where U.S. intelligence officials say militants are plotting attacks outside Syria.

Instead of running with the plan, Trump’s national security team deemed it wholly insufficient and swiftly tossed it”Did the Trump team really deem it insufficient and swiftly toss it? They certainly did not!

Go back to my post of January 31/2017: Trumps Syrian Safe Zones: Trouble for Turkey & Syria / Undermining Astana Agreement

 SDF spokesman Talal Silo said the delivery of the armored vehicles marked a significant improvement in U.S. support and attributed the change to the new administration. Trump says eradicating Islamic State will be one of his biggest priorities.
The shipment was confirmed by Pentagon spokesman John Dorrian, who said it was made "using existing authorities, in the interest of helping protect our partnered force from the (IS) improvised-explosive device threat."WaPo continues:
To the incoming Trump administration, Obama’s approach was so incremental and risk-averse that it was almost certain to fail. “They provided the information, but we found huge gaps in it,” said a senior Trump administration official who reviewed the document. “It was poor staff work.”

The Obama White House viewed its Syria plans as the product of years of experience in a region where every move carries unintended and potentially catastrophic consequences. Those who steered the Obama administration’s Syria policy insisted that the new White House did not understand the complexity of the issue, but soon would.

The troubled handoff of one of the United States’ most vexing national security problems shows how far the pendulum has swung between two presidents who in many ways are opposites. Obama sweated the smallest details of U.S. military and intelligence operations, often to the point of inaction.Obama sweated the smallest details? This is pure perception management. Left vs Right politics. Obama the Nobel Peace prize president didn’t sweat the details - His remake the middle east project moved as fast as possible in the  real world circumstances.

 "Trump has made it clear that he prefers to go with his gut and has promised a swift and brutal campaign that will “utterly destroy” the Islamic State. In meetings with his national security team, he has signaled his desire to give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, whom he regularly refers to by the nickname “Mad Dog,” a free hand in doing whatever it takes to fight terrorism.

It is up to Mattis and the rest of Trump’s national security team to translate the president’s campaign-trail pronouncements into policy. Trump’s more aggressive approach could speed the destruction of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, but it also could lead to an increase in civilian deaths, fueling anger toward the United States.

Trump and his top advisers also could decide to increase coordination with Russia and even Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to seize Raqqa. Or he could ultimately conclude, as Obama did, that arming the Kurds represents the best of several bad options"Trump and his top advisers could have already increased coordination with Russia and the Syrian President. That, as of yet hasn't occured, however, his move to arm the Kurds  gives the appearance that he is continuing with the "best of several bad options"

"The policy dilemmas that Obama and his team spent more than seven months deliberating will be decided over the course of the next 30 days in a review led by Mattis and the Pentagon. Trump has directed his defense secretary to bring him multiple options and to ignore the restrictions on troop numbers and civilian casualties that were put in place by Obama".It's doubtful there were any restrictions on troop numbers and it's certain that there were ZERO restrictions on civilian casualties put in place by Obama-  Zero. None. Zip. Zilch. Don't believe me? Let's recall this post from September 30 2014?  White House- Kill Syrian/Iraqi Civilians- Exemption for airstrikes
 Not that the US was ever very careful when it came to civilians deaths however they at least talked as if they cared. Even that  pretense will not apply for Syria and Iraq
The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.  A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria's Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23. The Obama administration pretended they had strict standards, but it was just another lie from the Peace President that the self identified liberals said nothing about.  Therefore Trump does not have to ignore any restrictions that were not already completely ignored by Obama! WaPo is spinning hard, presenting fake news for mass consumption but the facts are widely available.

The next bit from WaPo is contradictory to earlier claims.. When this piece opened the author informed us all that the decision to employ the Kurds in Raqqa was a recent one. It wasn't. As explained the Kurds have been US besties for years.  And that's not all... It's acknowledged, as has been stated here for years, the Syrian Kurds and the PKK have ties. Are affiliated. Partners. Pals. Bosom Buddies

Finally some truth and reality! I'm positively tickled pink
 "The policy dilemma facing Trump began with a decision made by the Obama administration in a moment of desperation in 2014.

Islamic State fighters had just seized huge swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Obama decided to intervene militarily but ruled out the use of American ground forces on the front lines.

The Pentagon needed to find local partners in a hurry, and the Syrian Kurds stepped forward. The budding U.S. battlefield alliance with the Kurds carried big strategic risks. The Kurdish fighters who volunteered to help the Americans had ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which the Turkish and U.S. governments considered a terrorist group."Exactly as I've stated here, for years. The US is supporting terrorists.  YPG = PKK. Always has. YPG was the obfuscation. And where were the pussy hat wearers and their fake humanitarianism?

 I'm feeling so validated. :)
" In contrast to Obama, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not see the Islamic State as his country’s No. 1 threat. In private meetings with senior U.S. officials in 2014, Erdogan said the Kurds were his top concern and that removing Assad ranked second, according to U.S. and Turkish officials"

 Erdogan straight up told the US in 2014 removing Assad was NOT his top concern. The PKK/YPG was number one top concern for Turkey! This is now 2017 and this entire time the US has been stickin' the knife in the Turkey's back and twistin'.  Feeling validated yet again! In 2014 I started writing that which had become obvious Turkey was being betrayed by it's alleged allies in NATO- Just a few of many, many posts:


Washington Post continued: "By the fall of 2016, after two years of tension between Obama and Erdogan because of different priorities, a U.S.-backed offensive using Kurdish forces to recapture Raqqa was finally within sight, and Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, asked for authorization to arm them for a push into the city.

The proposal divided the Obama White House. Then-Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter backed the plan, but others worried that it would deepen the rift with Ankara.

Among the biggest skeptics was Susan E. Rice, Obama’s national security adviser. When she asked Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whether an immediate decision was needed, the general said he was still evaluating whether Turkey was serious about an offer to provide its own forces to take Raqqa instead of the Kurds"
 For two years inside the Pentagon, Turkey’s promises of sending rebels and later its own troops were viewed with deep skepticism and derisively dubbed “Erdogan’s ghosts” or the “unicorn” army, according to current and former defense officialsBy late 2016, Dunford had concluded that the Turks would not produce the forces to retake Raqqa. With less than three weeks left in the Obama administration, Dunford and Carter submitted a formal request to arm the Kurds for the assault with armored vehicles, antitank weapons, Russian-made machine guns and mine-clearing equipment.
It was covered here that Turkey had indeed offered to provide the troops to take Raqqa on the condition that the US not employ the Kurds- The US chose the PKK/YPG terrorists. Nevermind a ghost or unicorn army- note the ridicule being employed to make Turkey look foolish? I guess ridicule is one way of distracting from truth/fact/reality?
Dunford knew the exact reason Turkey would not produce the troops.

Some mention of this situation in these posts: November 03/2016:  External link included in post  Kurds will be the only force, supported by the Americans, to annex Raqqa.
 Syria's U.S.-backed SDF  says no to Turkish role in Raqqa operation "The Syrian Democratic Forces are the only force that will take part in the operation to liberate Raqqa and we informed the (international U.S.-led) coalition forces that we reject any Turkish role in the Raqqa liberation operation," SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters.
November 15/2016: The Impact of the Kurdish/US Campaign to Take Raqqa
November 22/2016 US & Turkey At "Cross- Purposes" in Syria ...

Bottom line the US didn't want Turkey's participation or they wouldn't have allied with the PKK/YPG terrorists oh so long ago... 

 On Jan. 10, just 10 days before Trump’s inauguration, Obama’s top advisers huddled in the White House Situation Room to weigh the Kurdish proposal, which would be the last major national security decision of the outgoing administration.

Carter argued that the Kurds understood that they would have to turn Raqqa over to local Arab forces as soon as the Islamic State was defeated. (LOL. That's absurd!)

Samantha Power, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and the U.S. ambassador in Ankara, along with others, warned that moving forward with the plan would further damage relations with Turkey. It also would put the United States in the unacceptable position of supporting allies of a terrorist group that was carrying out mass-casualty attacks on a NATO member, they said.
Carter is fully and completely aware that the Kurds will not turn Raqqa over to local Arab Forces and the US is not concerned with the damaged relations with Turkey. As for their partnering with terrorists? Nothing new under the sun!

 Washington Post last bit, I promise: Most of the shortcomings outlined by the Trump team were obvious to Obama’s advisers, he added. In fact, the senior Obama administration official said, arming the Kurds was Obama’s Plan B, after it became clear that Plan A — using Turkish forces to take Raqqa — would not be feasible. The US refused to move away from their terrorists knowing full well Turkey, since the coup failed, would not comply. If the US backed coup had succeeded we might possibly have been looking at a different plan
It is up Mattis and Dunford to sort through Syria’s many complexities and come up with a new plan. At the end of Obama’s term, Dunford emerged as one of the most passionate supporters of arming the Kurds, the senior Obama administration official said. Aides declined to describe Mattis’s thinking on the option. Trump has promised to give Dunford and Mattis a free hand, which could lead them right back to some variation of the Obama plan.We've come all the way back to the question I posed as the title of this post?

Did Trump Really Pull Trigger on Obama’s Raqqa Plan? He absolutely did not! 

It's disheartening to think that some will believe this is real change. When it's merely the perception/presentation of change.

The US could have always pulled back their proxies and troops in Syria. They could have worked with Russia and Syria at any time. They didn't because that was never the plan.




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