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Tue, 09 Feb 2016
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The Syrian bombfest begins! Washington has gone stark raving mad

America's spanker-in-chief is at it again - threatening to bomb Syria owing to the uncivilized actions of its inhabitants. And when it comes to Syria, Washington avers that there are punishable malefactors virtually everywhere within its borders.

Exactly one year ago Obama proposed to take Bashar Al Assad to the woodshed because he had allegedly unleashed a vicious chemical attack on his own citizens. That was all pretext, of course, because even the CIA refused to sign-off on the flimsy case for Assad's culpability at the time - -a reluctance corroborated since then by the considerable evidence that hundreds of Syrian civilians were murdered during a false flag operation staged by the rebels with help from Turkey. The aim of the rebels, of course, was to activate American tomahawk missiles and bombers in behalf of "regime change", which was also the stated goal of the Obama Administration.

Now the White House is threatening to bomb Syria again, but this time its "regime change" objective has been expanded to include both sides! In 12 short months what had been the allegedly heroic Sunni opposition to the "brutal rule" of the Assad/Alawite minority has transmuted into the "greatest terrorist threat ever", according to the Secretary of Defense.

So Obama has already unleashed the drones and surveillance apparatus to identify targets of attack that will help bring down a regime in northern and eastern Syria - the so-called Islamic State - which did not even exist a year ago. And a regime that is now armed to the teeth with America's own latest and greatest weaponry as previously supplied to the disintegrated Iraqi army and the Syrian rebels trained by the CIA in Jordan.

Dollar Gold

Hagel: Iraq crisis may make DOD rethink 2015 budget

© beforeitsnews.com
Counterterrorism drill in progress.
The Pentagon might have to retool its $555 billion 2015 budget proposal to account for the threats posed by and actions taken against the Islamic State, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

"[Y]ou're constantly shaping a budget to assure that resources match the mission and the mission and the resources match the threat," Hagel said during a briefing at the Pentagon.

"[Y]ou're shifting [money] all the time on what you think is going to be required," Hagel said. "We've had to move assets over the last couple of months...to accomplish what we accomplished in Iraq. That costs money, that takes certain monies out of certain funds. So it's a constant, fluid process as you plan for these."

Since Aug. 8, US forces have conducted 89 airstrikes against Islamic State militants, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the briefing.

Dempsey said US forces have delivered 636 bundles of food, water and medical supplies to Iraqis. As well, manned and unmanned military aircraft are flying more than 60 intelligence missions each day. "I think we're fine for fiscal year '14 and we'll have to continue to gather the data and see what it does in '15," Dempsey said.

Comment: The Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, requested by Obama, May 2014, is a network of partnerships from S. Asia to the Sahel. Funding of $5B allows the U.S. to train, build capacity, facilitate partner countries on the front lines, add flex to missions, includes training security forces in Yemen on offensive against al-Qaida, peacekeep force in Somalia, work with EU allies for security force and border patrol in Libya, French operations in Mali, Syrian crisis, push back against extremists, support Jordan and Lebanon, work with Turkey and Iraq with refugees and confront terrorists.

This seems like a lot of speculative spending on perhaps unjustified, unauthorized and unequal "partnerships." What this really may be is a way to circumvent spending caps imposed by Congress on the base military budget. With draw downs in Afghanistan and other such limiting activity, it is a question of how much longer the Pentagon will have access to the OCO accounts (Overseas Contingency Operations) and the inherent DOD reliance on them. The Counterterrorism Fund is a less obvious way to disguise the U.S. hand in foreign affairs and maintain military spending. Washington has created a military industrial complex that needs constant feeding, thereby its existence has become its excuse.

Eye 1

US mulls airstrikes in Syria, gets intelligence on its Islamic State proxies

© Reuters
Islamist fighters taking part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014.
In order to stop the Islamic State from gaining more power, the United States is prepared to use a variety of options, including airstrikes in Syria without Damascus' consent, if backed by regional and European partners, US officials said.

The border between Iraq and Syria is "essentially non-existent" at this point, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week, hinting the US would eventually need to strike the Islamic State positions in both states.

"With Central Command, (Dempsey) is preparing options to address ISIS both in Iraq and Syria with a variety of military tools including airstrikes," Dempsey's spokesman, Col. Ed Thomas, confirmed on Monday.

Comment: Vladimir Putin made it a point to to protect Syria from airstrikes that would produce results similar to those seen in Libya. ISIS has since been functioning as the US' right hand in Syria, and now serves as an excuse to attempt to attack the country yet again. Putin's words still stand:
The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria's borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Eye 1

Results of 'humanitarian intervention': Egypt and UAE have been conducting secret air strikes on Libya

© AFP Photo / Mahmud Turkia
Islamist fighters after capturing the Tripoli international airport on August 24, 2014
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been joining forces in secret to carry out air strikes on Libya, anonymous high-ranking US officials told the media. The two countries have reportedly coordinated and launched the attacks twice in the last week.

Both Egypt and the UAE launched the strikes without informing the US or seeking its consent, the officials told the New York Times.

Comment: Has America begun to lose control over its puppet regimes?

"We don't see this as constructive at all," one of the officials told the newspaper, which reported that diplomats were "livid" about the strikes. Libya is a conflict-torn area with both the UN and Western powers seeking to quell the violence.

Comment: The results of the West's "humanitarian intervention" in Libya have been horrifying:
A relatively safe country in close proximity to Europe has become a playground for radical Islamists and terrorists. There is no progress in the national dialogue. There are no law enforcement agencies. All the government agencies that matter are paralyzed. There are more human rights violations now than under Colonel Gaddafi. Civilians are killed every day, infrastructure is being destroyed, not even a semblance of order exists, and economic development is absolutely out of the question. The latest parliamentary elections did not help to stabilize the situation. The situation in Tripoli has deteriorated so far that the first session of the new parliament had to be held far from the capital of the country.


OSCE repeats: 'There are no Russian troops or military equipment in Ukraine' - Poroshenko's telling porkies

Comment: As Poroshenko and NATO ramp up the bellicose war rhetoric, and attacks against civilian targets in eastern Ukraine, under the justification that regular Russian military forces are in Ukraine, the OSCE has AGAIN stated that there are NO RUSSIAN TROOPS OR MILITARY EQUIPMENT IN UKRAINE.

The OSCE, by the way, is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Like NATO, its membership spans North America, Europe and also Asia. Unlike NATO, however, it does not conduct military offensives under US control. In other words, it has no vested interest in advancing American geopolitical aims in Eurasia.


Liar, liar, pants on fire
The chorus of allegations about a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has President Poroshenko calling for an emergency meeting of the country's security and defense council, while the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is calling for a Russian asset freeze.

"I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region, particularly in Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo, as Russian troops were brought into Ukraine," Petro Poroshenko said in a statement on his website.

The Russian representative to the OSCE Andrey Kelin has given a firm response to the allegations, saying that "We have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment."

"Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that," he said. "All of them were proven false back then, and is being proven false again now."

"There is no sense in these accusations,"
he said.


How Putin just saved Europe, and other geopolitical tales

Picture this scenario. A brother and sister squabbling with one another. Something's gone wrong, they're blaming each other, fighting, and generally at each other's throats. Along comes the boy from next door who pokes fun at one of them and starts pestering them. Brother and sister rapidly put aside their differences, join forces and deal with the boy from next door.

The saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" has played itself out many times throughout history and, while geo-political relationships may not be as close as siblings, the forming of alliances and the repercussions from having joint enemies can be profound.

During the second World War Stalin realized that he needed the Allies to defeat a Nazi invasion, and in turn the Allies realized that the Soviets were necessary for the war effort. In any other scenario the Allies would have been arch enemies of Stalin and vice versa.

During the Cold War a similar setup occurred with the Soviets and Chinese aiding North Korea during the Korean War, and then aiding the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

On a country specific basis many a dictator has been propped up and supported by Governments pretending to their citizens that they in fact abhor the acts of such people. A controlled media and messaging ensure that the vast majority of citizens don't think too much or dig too much. Government, after all, is largely in the business of marketing. Mobuto Sese Seko, Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, and currently the Saudi Royal family. All strategic at some point in time.

Comment: As Matthew Raphael Johnson argues in his book, Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin, the West have been using Putin and Russia as the scapegoat onto which they project all of their own problems. But blaming Putin doesn't change the fact that those problems are internal to the West, and no matter whom they blame, the collapse will come sooner or later. Wishful thinking, and lies, will get you every time.

Quenelle - Golden

Donetsk People's Republic press conference: "Every 30-50 years, the West invades us"

Comment: The following is a press conference delivered by Alexander V. Zakharchenko Prime Minister of The Donetsk National Republic and Vladimir Kononov, Defense Minister of DNR. It was translated and edited by the team at the Vineyard of the Saker. Pay attention to what these two men have to say about the situation in Novorossiya -- you're unlikely to find anything like it in the western media.

Prime-minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko
Alexander V. Zakharchenko: As you all know, a week ago we announced our plan to attack. We started it yesterday. Until yesterday we have been preparing for the attack, examining trophy equipment, arming the crews, and testing communication between different military formations.

I can now proudly announce that we formed 2 tank battalions, 2 full artillery brigades, 2 Grad divisions, 1 mechanized infantry battalion, 3 infantry brigades and a special purpose assault airborne brigade. All these units have now received Army numbers. The communication system has been regularized and 2 field hospitals and 1 maintenance brigade have been formed.

We have begun testing all these units in battle. Yesterday we began an attack on the Amvrosiyivka enemy group. According to our data, in the course of the offensive, the enemy lost about 45 units of military equipment, we captured 14 units of military equipment, and about 1,200 people were killed and wounded.

There are two cauldrons at the moment, in Amvrosiyivka and Starobeshevskaia. We started to advance at 4 a.m. on Elenovka, where the fighting is still going on. 2/3 of Elenovka is under our control. We hope to clean up these areas before nightfall. However, the offensive will not end at that. We will continue until we free all populated areas in the Donetsk National Republic. The army is ready and we have the support of the people. There will be more and more prisoners.

Comment: Former French paratroopers join armed forces of the Donetsk National Republic

Italian Anti-Fascist brigade leads aid convoy to Donbass

Meet the Spanish volunteers fighting Kiev's military offensive

Greeks Fighting Alongside Donetsk People's Republic Militia


Russian MP suggests law that would bar politicians from receiving pensions if convicted of corruption

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenko
Oleg Mikheyev
A leftist MP is urging changes to the law that would bar people convicted of corruption from official posts and receiving increased pensions.

MP Oleg Mikheyev of the Fair Russia parliamentary caucus told reporters that the new bill concerns those who commit crimes "against the state authority, the interests of civil service and the interests of municipal power bodies." The politician further explained it meant bribery and graft. The bill also bans the employment as civil servants of anyone who had been sentenced to five or more years in prison for economic crimes.

"Officials must completely lose the opportunity to capitalize on their posts," the MP said.

The politician said the authors of the bill had based it on the experience of Singapore, and added that it had practically extinguished corruption using such methods.

According to the present rules civil servants receive increased pensions - the bonus for 25 or more years of service can reach 70 percent of average salary of the last working year.

Red Flag

Claims of second accomplice and FBI intimidation in Oklahoma City bombing

© Reuters
The wreckage of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, early April 21, 1995.
The FBI has been ordered to investigate allegations that claim the agency intimidated a witness and compelled him not to testify at a recent trial over evidence related to the Oklahoma City bombing.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, US District Judge Clark Waddoups scheduled a November 13th hearing on the matter, in which Utah attorney Jesse Trentadue accused the FBI of threatening to eliminate a former undercover agent's health benefits if he took the stand. The former agent reportedly knew convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh.

The core of the issue is that Trentadue claims the FBI has surveillance video revealing McVeigh carrying out the Oklahoma City bombing with an accomplice. The FBI adamantly denies that such video exists, and the government has insisted repeatedly that McVeigh acted alone in the event that killed 168 people.

The witness involved in this whole situation, John Matthews, was scheduled to testify regarding this alleged video in July, but withdrew at the last minute. Trentadue - as well as a freelance journalist named Roger Charles - stated that when he spoke with Matthews about his absence, the former agent told them the FBI threatened him.

"He was told he should take a vacation and that if he did testify he should suffer from a case of the 'I don't remembers,'" Trentadue told the judge back in July, as quoted by local Fox 13 News.

Comment: Oklahoma City bombing: New evidence renews conspiracy debate


Lavrov's on a roll: Tells Daily Telegraph Russia ready to protect its legitimate interests

Comment: Lavrov's statements rarely need comment. He's well spoken, rational, and to the point. That said, here's the interview he recently gave to UK's Daily Telegraph.

© Photoshot / Vostock Photo
Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister.
Russia Beyond the Headlines: There has been repeated speculation, particularly in the Western media, that Russian troops could be deployed in Ukraine and even that they have already crossed the border into Ukrainian territory. Is such an action possible in your view?

Sergei Lavrov: Unfortunately, the mass media continue to spread rumours, distorted information and even outright lies. Recently there were claims by Ukraine that its artillery destroyed an armoured column that had allegedly crossed from Russia into Ukraine, and the British media even said they witnessed the incursion. No evidence, however, was presented, and even the U.S. State Department could not confirm the incident. We view all such stories as part of an information war.

RBTH: But a real war is happening on the ground. What can Russia do to resolve this crisis?

S.L.: Our stand is crystal-clear - we want peace in Ukraine, which can only be attained through broad national dialogue in which all regions and all political forces of the country must participate. This is what Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine agreed in Geneva on April 17. At the recent meeting in Berlin of the foreign ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, no one objected to confirming the Geneva Statement. The point is for Kiev to stop war games and to abandon the illusion that the deep crisis in Ukraine can be resolved by winning the war against your own people. It is deeply saddening that the US and the EU continue blindly to support anything Kiev does.

Let's recall another document that Kiev and the West try to forget. On February 21, an agreement on settling the crisis was signed by Viktor Yanukovych, Arseni Yatsenyuk, Vitali Klitschko and Oleg Tyagnibok and witnessed by the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland. They now say the agreement "has been superseded by events" because [former Ukraine president] Mr. Yanukovych left the country. But let me remind my colleagues that the February 21 agreement listed as the number-one priority the commitment to a government of national unity. Does this goal depend on the personality of Mr. Yanukovych? Isn't national unity a universal principle for any country that wants to stay whole? Instead of honouring this commitment, the opposition leaders staged an armed coup and publicly declared they had created a "government of the winners". Unfortunately, the logic of "winner takes all" remains the thrust of Kiev's actions, resulting in thousands of victims among civilians, hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons, as well as an almost totally destroyed social infrastructure in many cities and towns in eastern Ukraine.

Comment: For more on MH17, see: Asymmetric Warfare: MH17 False-Flag Terror and the 'War' on Gaza

Regarding the aid convoy: Western propaganda exposed as Russian convoy 'invades' Ukraine with humanitarian aid