Wreath

China marks 70th anniversary of end to 'Great Anti-Fascist War' with massive military parade

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China marks the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism/Fascism with a massive military parade in Beijing
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of Japan's capitulation in WWII, China has showcased hundreds of its newest military hardware in a remarkable parade which saw some 12,000 troops marching across Tiananmen Square in front of dozens of world leaders.


Some 30 foreign leaders attended the memorial event, representing countries from Russia and Belarus, to Egypt, South Korea and Venezuela. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also attended the parade, while the majority of "high-profile" Western leaders have passed on the event.

Comment: No, that's not our term for WW2; the 'Great Anti-Fascist War' is what the Chinese call it. It's the best term for it because it accurately describes what it was.

This is the first time the Chinese have ever held a military parade to commemorate a war in which they were second only to Russia in terms of military and civilian casualties. They haven't held one before now because Sino-Communist ideology held that nothing prior to 1949 was worth remembering. But, like Russia revisiting and reintegrating the totality of its history, China is remembering its past.

The fact that (nearly) all Western countries boycotted it (undoubtedly because Washington told them to), while the same leaders of Eurasian countries attending the Moscow May 9th parade also attended here, speaks volumes about the division of the world into those contributing to or anticipating a post-American, post-hegemony world, and those desperately clinging to the violent, unjust, and ultimately doomed order.

They will tell you they are wary of China's 'militaristic intentions'. This 'concern' is laughable given the country's relatively peaceful and extraordinarily long history. Still waters run deep...


Heart

Shocking image of drowned Syrian boy symbolizes growing NATO war refugee crisis, sparking outcry on social media

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© DHA
The image of a lifeless toddler washed up on a beach lying face down in Turkish sand has sent shockwaves across social media, serving as a stark reminder of the reality of the refugee crisis facing Europe.

The tiny Syrian boy with his shoes still attached to his feet and wearing shorts and a t-shirt is also captured being plucked from the sand and carried off the beach by Turkish authorities.
© AP Photo/ DHA
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of a child, Aylan Kurdi, after a number of refugees died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized.
Some have criticized the Independent newspaper's decision to publish the images on grounds they are too graphic. But Peter Bouckaert, emergency director of Human Rights Watch who shared the picture of the refugee who was one of 12 Syrians to drown crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece, defended the Independent's decision to circulate the pictures.

"What is offensive is dead kids washing up on our beaches when deaths could have been prevented by EU action, not the picture themselves," Bouckaert tweeted.

Comment: This latest heart-wrenching story comes less than a week after 50 dead NATO war migrants found were found decomposing in the back of an Austrian truck.

For more information on this horrific and rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis:

Read this sott focus article: Victims of Western wars forced to flee their countries called 'swarms of marauding people' by Western warmongering politicians

Listen to last week's 'Behind the Headlines' show on blog talk radio: NATO, war refugees and the EU immigration crisis


Better Earth

Preparing for the worst: Russian and NATO military exercises making war in Europe more likely?

© AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
NATO drills in Europe, August 2015
Over the last 18 months, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated considerably. One aspect of the confrontation, as previously documented by the ELN, has been a game of Russian-instigated dangerous brinkmanship which has resulted in many serious close military encounters between the forces of Russia and NATO and its partners over the last 15 months. Another aspect, however has been the increased scope and size of the military exercises conducted by both Russia and by NATO and its partners in the Euro-Atlantic area since the Ukraine crisis began. To assist the public and wider policy community in understanding the realities of this new and dangerous security environment in Europe, the ELN has prepared a short policy brief and two interactive maps presenting in detail the anatomy of two recent, large scale military exercises. The two exercises profiled are:
  • A Russian 'snap exercise' conducted in March 2015, which brought together 80,000 military personnel.
  • The NATO 'Allied Shield' exercise conducted in June 2015, which brought under one framework four distinct exercises taking place along the Eastern flank of the Alliance, totalling 15,000 personnel from 19 Members states and three partner states.

Comment: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said on Tuesday:
The United States and NATO are increasing their military presence in European states neighbouring Russia. Hotbeds of military tension are being created near our border. There have been continuous attempts at bringing anti-Russian political regimes to power in former Soviet states.
This is what Russia has to deal with. In August alone Russia carried out 79 military exercises, focusing on Central Asia. More are scheduled for September, including joint drills with other CSTO members (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan).


Cult

US created ISIS to be a tool for overthrowing Syria's President Assad - leaked Pentagon report


Comment: Though this commentary was written at the time the Pentagon report was leaked, the analysis is as relevant today. ISIS has gone from strength to strength in a manner that could only be possible with massive, covert support.


From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world's stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world's terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the "straight to beheading YouTube clip" purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria's president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant - and belligerent - source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.

The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year:
If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad's forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama's new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that "such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa."
But it's one thing to speculate; it's something entirely different to have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.

That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the "leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an 'Islamic State' in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the 'Islamic State' as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to "isolate the Syrian regime."
And not just that: as we reported last week, now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people's heads of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, sophisticated weapons in the region in order to "modernize" and "replenish" the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq.

Chess

Russian-American chess grandmaster: Vladimir Putin is America's reluctant foe

Editorial introduction
Lev Alburt will celebrate his 70th birthday in August. His life was divided in two: the first half passed in the Soviet Union, the second is going on in the USA. In his first homeland, the Odessian GM achieved many successes: he was 3-time Ukrainian Champion, a winner and a prize-winner of numerous international competitions, a repeated participant of the USSR Championship finals which were by then the strongest tournaments in the world. In 1979, Alburt, as the saying went, "chose freedom", deciding not to come back from abroad. He has settled down in New York city and has been living there from then on.

As Alburt moved to the USA, he became one of the top American Grandmasters, winning the U.S. Championship three times and representing this country many times at the Olympiads. He is still into chess, being not only a successful coach but also a prolific writer. He is the author of many chess books on various topics, which are being sold in prestigious American and European book shops and could occupy nearly a bookshelf if taken together.

Apart from that, Albert has devoted a lot of his time to fighting Soviet communism. He spent his first-earned US money on a trip to Washington D.C. for the Sakharov Hearings. Whenever he got a chance, he provided his chess colleagues coming to the West with anti-Soviet literature. He participated in different rallies and forums, knew Bukowski and Amalrik, was in correspondence with Solzhenitsyn. He was also a member of organizations that made no secret of their intentions to change the Soviet regime.

Dramatic acceleration of events in his former country the USSR, resulting in its collapse, was quite unexpected for Alburt as well as for many others. These days, 25 years after that sharp turn of history, Lev Alburt is still interested in the world political situation. The fate of his former country still worries him, as well as, of course, the fate of his new homeland. We are presenting the Grand Master's point of view on the matters still very important to him.

Comment: Like Julius Caesar dealing with Pompey and the Optimates before the Civil War, Putin is giving the West every opportunity to make the rational, better choice. But they refuse at every new opportunity. This status quo can only continue for so long...

See also:

Putin's phone call to Obama and its significance

Vladimir Putin's historic defiance of the Anglo-American Axis and their New World 'Order'


Eye 1

How covert agents infiltrate the internet to manipulate, deceive, and destroy reputations

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A page from a GCHQ top secret document prepared by its secretive JTRIG unit
One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It's time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about "dirty trick" tactics used by GCHQ's previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking "Five Eyes" alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled "The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations."

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse "hacktivists" of using, the use of "honey traps" (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Quenelle - Golden

If Russia plays by the West's rules it will lose

© AFP 2015/ Filippo Monteforte
In a recent op-ed for Czech online newspaper Nova Republika Slovak-Ukrainian politician, writer and political analyst Sergei Chelemendik suggested that it's time for Russia to stop playing the game of geopolitics according to the rules established by the West.

The writer began his piece by noting that "today there is an elementary truth that is being ignored by philosophers in both Russia and Europe: that history gains a new impetus for development when one of its participants puts forth new rules of the [geopolitical] game, forces the rest to play according to these rules, and begins to emerge victorious, using these rules."

Looking to history for examples, Chelemendik recalled that "this is how all the great conquerors and empires acted, long before the globalists and neoconservatives and even before Genghis Khan."

Comment: An ideology of sorts is actually available to Russia: Eurasianism, as expounded by Aleksandr Dugin and others. We get hints of it from time to time in official Russian statements - "humanitarian free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok", "moving to a multipolar world", and "many civilizations, not one global hegemon".

But the likely reason why it has not been fully embraced as 'Russia's explicit ideology, complete with 10-step program' is because Russians have learned the hard way that committing to ideology can lock you into a cul-de-sac, whereas their opponent (Washington), while it has mastered an ideology for world revolution on its terms ('freedom and democracy'), behind that mask retains the freedom to act as it pleases.


Megaphone

Mass shootings and gun control in the U.S.: The problem is not gun laws, but a society dripping in fear, insecurity, anger and violence

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© Chris Keane / Reuters
People gather to pay respects at a memorial outside of the offices for WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Virginia, August 26, 2015.
The problem in the US is much deeper than simply access to weapons, the whole society is dripping with fear, with violence, people are afraid of each other and there is a lot of insecurity, journalist and political analyst Caleb Maupin, told RT.

RT: A TV crew was shot dead in Virginia in the US during a live interview. It is another tragic shooting which has reignited the debate over gun control in the US. But in the past the pro-gun lobby always seemed to win through - will this be any different?

Caleb Maupin: US media often portrays kind of a false image of US society, and a lot of people around the world are led to believe that the US is some kind of paradise in which the streets are paved with iPads and everyone lives in prosperity. But for a few moments on live television people [on Wednesday] saw what the US is really like. This is a society dripping with fear, with violence and people walk around really upset and afraid of each other and there is a lot of insecurity.

Of course there is going to be a debate about gun control following this, but the issue is obviously something deeper than that, because there are many countries around the world where people are heavily armed, but they don't feel a need to kill each other and there are not these kinds of mass shootings we see routinely happening here in the US. The problem is much deeper than simply access to weapons.

Comment: To expand upon Caleb Maupin's excellent analysis, we have a society in the U.S. set up by psychopaths in power that forces us to be at each other's throats to survive a system set up by those same psychopaths. We should all be gathering together to remove them from power to eliminate the horrible system which terrorizes us all, yet we're too busy fighting against each other to notice the big picture. As long as that's case, the Powers That Be will be happy to sit idly by while we slaughter each other.


Eye 2

U.S. puppet state Saudi Arabia and their psychopathic genocide in Yemen

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© Khaled Abdullah / Reuters
Blanketed by its wealth and protected by political alliances, Saudi Arabia has covertly run and promoted a new movement in the Middle East: religious eugenics, under the false pretense of opposing the rise of Iran. From Syria to Bahrain and Yemen the evidence is overwhelming.

Earlier this August, the Red Cross added its voice to those of other humanitarian and rights groups in its condemnation of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, lifting the lid on Riyadh's little house of horrors in southern Arabia.

In no uncertain terms Peter Maurer, the head of the international Red Cross told reporters he had seldom witnessed such degree of devastation. He said: "Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years ... The images I have from Sanaa and Aden remind of what I have seen in Syria."

He stressed "the firepower with which this war is fought on the ground and in the air is causing more suffering than in other societies, which are stronger and where infrastructures are better off and people are wealthier and have reserves and can escape."

A country in ruins, Yemen is also a nation in permanent mourning, as every day its people are relentlessly slain - casualties of a violent and murderous colonial war - the latest victims of Riyadh's expansionist military campaign in the Middle East.

Recycle

The rotting corpse of Minsk 2.0

The Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement is dead but no one wants to bury the rotting corpse. Since it was signed in February of this year the Donbas governments and Russia have bent over backward to comply with the terms of that agreement hoping against hope that the Kiev junta would do the same. They hoped in vain.

Poroshenko and his fascist allies instead have refused to change the constitution to accommodate the concerns of the Donbas republics, have tried to suppress the Communist Party and other parties in opposition, have refused to withdraw heavy weaponry from the line of contact, have maintained increasingly heavy artillery attacks on the civilian populations and areas and cut off routes for essential foodstuffs, medical aid and technical equipment. Rather than enjoying a ceasefire, the peoples of the Donbas are under a state of siege.

Poroshenko openly calls for a military solution to the crisis and has increased the draft in the west. The NATO alliance continues to pour in its forces disguised as "advisers" and "mercenaries" and puts additional pressure on Russia with multiple military exercises from the Baltic to Bulgaria, where more tanks have been recently dispatched to "send Russia a message."

Comment: Russia and Donbass have played the game of geopolitics well, despite the carnage and massive war crimes committed by Kiev and NATO against them. Knowing full well that peace was the last thing Kiev/NATO wanted (despite lip service to the contrary), Russia not only drafted all the important portions of the Minsk agreements to show that they were fully committed to a rational, peaceful resolution to the conflict; Donbass fully complied with their end of the bargain.

So when the agreements inevitably fail, it will be demonstrably Kiev's failure. What then? It looks like DPR and LPR haven't given up their wish to join the Russian Federation:
In late autumn, the integration of the two Novorossiya republics, the DPR and LPR, into the structure of Russia will reach a qualitatively new level: it is expected that after a month, after holding local elections to the government of Novorossiya, a referendum will be carried out which will put forth the question of the DPR and LPR joining the Russian Federation.
Moscow has consistently stated its wish that DPR and LPR remain part of Ukraine, albeit as semi-autonomous regions. Will that change? Or will the people's will have some effect on the so-far intransigent Kiev 'government'?