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Fri, 02 Dec 2016
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Repugnant elite want more military aggression and covert action from U.S. in Syria

© Getty Images
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks alongside former US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley
The United States should prepare to use greater military power and covert action in Syria to help forge a political settlement to end the country's civil war, according to a bipartisan report to be released on Wednesday.

Produced by a task force led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a Democrat, and former U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, a Republican, the report amounts to a bipartisan rejection of President Barack Obama's decision to limit U.S. military engagement in the nearly six-year civil war.

Largely drafted before Republican Donald Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, the paper, which has not been presented to Trump, makes a case for deeper U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

"Isolationism is a dangerous illusion," said the report, which was obtained by Reuters on Tuesday. It calls for outside nations to help wind down conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Yemen and back home-grown reform throughout the region.


Comment: 'Home-grown reform' is anything but that when it has the backing of the United States! Besides that, by 'home-grown reform', they really mean Saudi Arabian-grown terrorists.


Comment: What this Reuters report fails to disclose is that this 'task force' wasn't formed by any governmental agency but by the Atlantic Council, a Washington D.C. think tank that seeks to dictate U.S. foreign policy. These organizations have no business in U.S. politics, but we'll see if the Trump presidency will be able to resist their 'suggestions'.


Calendar

Putin announces new priorities in State of the Nation address

© Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sisoev
President Vladimir Putin, State of the Nation address
Any address by Vladimir Putin is an important event in the life of the country, and today's address is no exception. Every year, I collect the rumors gathering around the speech and every time I am surprised by the extent to which our political scene so poorly knows our president.

[Forward to 13:33 ]


Light Saber

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: End illegal U.S. wars of 'intervention'

© Reuters/Abdalrhman Ismail
People dig in the rubble at a site hit previously by an airstrike in the rebel-held Tariq al-Bab neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, September 26, 2016.
I felt it was critical to meet with Donald Trump now, before warmongering neocons convince him to escalate the Syrian conflict

I recently met with President-elect Donald Trump to give voice to the millions of Americans, including my fellow veterans, who desperately want to end our country's illegal, counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government. We had an hour-long, meaningful, back-and-forth discussion about the problems with current US policy in Syria and where to go from here.

I felt it critical to meet with him now, before warmongering neocons convince him to escalate this war that has already taken more than 400,000 lives and left millions of Syrians homeless and in search of safety for themselves and their families.

I conveyed to the president-elect how the post-9/11 neocon agenda of interventionism and regime change has left US foreign policy absurdly disconnected from our actual security interests. Our actions to overthrow secular dictators in Iraq and Libya, and attempts now to do the same in Syria, have resulted in tremendous loss of life, failed nations, and even worse humanitarian crises while strengthening the very terrorist organizations that have declared war on America.


Comment: Hussein, Gaddafi and Al-Assad are not and never were dictators. The stories and ideologies feeding this scheme were invented by the West through propaganda and falsified intelligence.


Since 2011, the United States—working with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey—has been providing support to "rebel groups" fighting to overthrow the government and take over Syria. A recent New York Times article reported that these "rebel groups" supported by the United States "have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of Al Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as Al Nusra." How the United States can work hand-in-hand with the very terrorist organization that is responsible for the killing of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 boggles my mind and curdles my blood.


Comment: The very terrorist organization they created and funded - blood-curdling, indeed.


Comment: See also; Concealing American military combat casualties in Syria and Iraq - tricks, strategy and outright lies


Safe

The age of banking secrecy is coming to an end in Switzerland

© Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
The Swiss government plans to dramatically increase international cooperation on fiscal transparency, sharing private information about clients of the country's banks.

The automatic exchange of information (AEOI) on bank accounts will be spread to 22 more countries, including Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay as well as India and South Africa, according to the Federal Department of Finance.

The move aims to put an end to Switzerland's long-protected banking secrecy practices as well as stopping wealthy foreigners from hiding their undeclared income in the country.

Info

GOP's vow to replace Obamacare may take years

© Getty
“We’re talking about a three-year transition now that we actually have a president who’s likely to sign the repeal into the law,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (second from right).
Prepare for the Obamacare cliff.

Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump's transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.

They're crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance. The idea is to satisfy conservative critics who want President Barack Obama's signature initiative gone now, but reassure Americans that Republicans won't upend the entire health care system without a viable alternative that preserves the law's popular provisions.

"We're talking about a three-year transition now that we actually have a president who's likely to sign the repeal into the law. People are being, understandably cautious, to make sure nobody's dropped through the cracks," said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).

The tentative strategy is reminiscent of Capitol Hill's infamous "fiscal cliff" days, when Congress imposed simultaneous deadlines to raise the debt ceiling, extend expiring tax cuts and fund the government. The hope was that it would create irresistible political pressure to get behind a bipartisan mega-fiscal deal.

Comment: See also: Trump taps anti-Obamacare Tom Price as secretary of Dept of Health and Human Services


Arrow Down

Kim Jong-un in awe of military simulations that demonstrate how he could 'wipe out' South Korean defenses

© Kcna / Global Look Press
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has conducted large-scale artillery exercises aimed at "completely" incapacitating South Korea's ability to counterstrike. Meanwhile, Seoul has unveiled "symbolic" new sanctions against Pyongyang.

Artillery units of the Korean People's Army Front were deployed in the military exercise on Thursday, with long-range artillery divisions at the front line of the training. They were tasked with "hitting military objects and reactionary governments," North Korea's KCNA state news agency reported.

Attacks on five border islands and "enemy cities" were simulated, KCNA said, with AFP specifying that both Seoul and Tokyo were "targeted."

"The earth shook as if an earthquake happened, thunderstorm cried in the sky, and everything was wrapped in dust... on the target island," KCNA said, reporting on the drills.

Comment: Kim Jong-un is a dangerous idiot made more unstable by the United States reckless interference in South Korea.

See: The geopolitics of North Korea's bomb


Bomb

Russian MoD: Bomb disposal unit departs for Aleppo on de-mining mission

© REUTERS/ Russian Ministry of Defence
Russian army sappers work at the historic part of Palmyra, Syria, on April 9, 2016
A Russian bomb disposal unit has departed for Syria to help clear the liberated eastern part of Aleppo from the mines left there by the militants, the Russian Defense Ministry has said in a statement.

"An advance unit of the international anti-mining center of the Russian Armed Forces has flown to Syria to participate in the humanitarian demining of districts in eastern Aleppo liberated from the militants," the statement said.

The servicemen from the task force initially underwent special training before being dispatched to the war-torn country and have now been sent to the Russian Khmeimim airbase in Syria.

The bomb disposal unit "is fully autonomous and is equipped with the most advanced demining tools and means of protection," the statement added.

The unit has also been joined by a squad of mine-detecting sniffer dogs. The Russian sappers have aided Syrian forces previously in demining the territories liberated from the militants.

Comment: See also:


Blackbox

Is Trump really only a conman prepping the U.S. for war?

© Scott Olson/Getty Images
Let me begin by immediately say that I have the utmost respect for F. William Engdahl and that I consider him a person far more knowledgeable of US politics than myself. Furthermore, I want to also make it clear that I am not going to refute a single argument Engdahl makes in support of his thesis simply because I believe that his arguments are fact-based and logical. I strongly urge everybody to read Engdahl's article "The Dangerous Deception Called The Trump Presidency" in the New Eastern Outlook and carefully consider each of his arguments. Of course, Engdahl only offers indirect, circumstantial, evidence and only time will really show whether he is right or wrong. What I propose to do today is to consider the other possibility, that in spite of all the evidence presented by Engdahl, Trump might not be a fraud and a showman. You will see that this conclusion is not necessarily more optimistic than Engdahl's.

My main argument is much more primitive than Engdahl's and even more circumstantial: I see clear signs of a *real* struggle taking place inside the US elites and if, indeed, such a struggle is taking place, then I conclude that Trump is not a showman who has been "selected" (to use Engdahl's words) by the US elites but that quite to the contrary, his election is a nightmare for these elites.

Comment: In support of the Saker's view: Trump promises "new era of peace", end to regime change during Thank You tour. See also: Will General Flynn roll back post-9/11 intelligence reforms, re-focus on actual intel?


USA

Trump promises "new era of peace", end to regime change during Thank You tour

© Mike Segar / Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a USA Thank You Tour event at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., December 1, 2016.
Donald Trump promised a "new era of peace" during the first stop of his "Thank You" tour in Cincinnati, Ohio, vowing that the US will stop trying to overthrow world governments and will cooperate with countries fighting terrorism.

The president-elect also promised to cooperate with any country interested in destroying Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

"We will partner with every nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism," Trump told a large crowd at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati on Thursday evening, as quoted by TASS.

"We will destroy ISIS. At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks," Trump said, as quoted by The Washington Examiner.

Comment: Peace is a dangerous word. See also: Is Trump really only a conman prepping the U.S. for war?


Jet4

Seven US-led coalition airstrikes 'inadvertently killed' 54 civilians in Syria & Iraq

© Delil Souleiman / AF
A Syrian man rides his motorcycle past collapsed buildings in the northern Syrian town of Manbij
The US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq have left 54 civilians "inadvertently killed" in seven strikes between March and October, according to the coalition's official statement.

"Although the coalition makes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some cases casualties are unavoidable," the coalition said in a statement.

The deadliest strike happened on July 18, when the coalition hit a group of Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) fighters near Manbij in Syria. However, "up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed in a known [IS] staging area where no civilians had been seen in the 24 hours prior to the attack," the coalition statement said.

In a July 28 strike, also in Syria, 15 civilians died when a moving IS vehicle that had been aimed at slowed in a densely-populated area.

The latest figures bring the official coalition's civilians death toll to 173 since the start of the campaign two years ago.

Nevertheless, this figure is far from reality, as Airwars, a London-based group of activists, said to AFP: they estimate the number of likely civilian deaths from coalition strikes is minimum 1,915.