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Fri, 01 Dec 2023
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Russia defends weapons sales to Syria, says U.S. arming rebels

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Vlad sez: the buck stops here
Russia's foreign minister on Wednesday defended his country's sale of arms to Syria and accused the United States of supplying rebels with weapons to fight against the government.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday Washington was worried Russia may be sending attack helicopters to Syria and described as "patently untrue" Moscow's argument that its arms transfers to Syria are unrelated to the conflict there.

"We are not violating any international law in performing these contracts," said Sergei Lavrov, in response to a question about Clinton's comments at a news conference during a visit to Iran.

"They are providing arms and weapons to the Syrian opposition that can be used in fighting against the Damascus government," he said on Iranian state television, speaking through an interpreter.

Russia is one of Syria's principal defenders on the diplomatic front and, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with the power to veto resolutions, has stymied efforts by Western powers to pressure President Bashar al-Assad into stepping down.

Stormtrooper

Greece: Fascists step up assaults on political opponents and migrants

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The assault launched by the spokesman of Greece's neo-fascist Golden Dawn against two political rivals on live television must be taken as a warning to working people. Especially in a country with a history of military dictatorship, the emergence of such far-right violence points to the threat of a turn to openly authoritarian forms of rule.

The attack took place in the context of the build-up to elections on June 17, which are dominated by the threat of a Greek exit from the euro. Whatever the result, the election will be followed by a vast intensification of the austerity measures against the Greek population.

Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris attacked Liana Kanelli of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and Rena Dourou of the pseudo-left coalition SYRIZA during a political debate on morning television last Thursday. Kasidiaris threw a glass of water at Dourou, after Dourou pointed out his well-documented links to acts of violence, and then hit Kanelli in the face on several occasions after she protested Kasidiaris's attack on Dourou.

Newspaper

Houla massacre carried out by Syrian 'rebels', says Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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Disgusting: it turns out that these children were executed from point-blank range and cut up with machetes by the Syrian 'rebels' directed by Washington, DC.
The May 25 Houla massacre was perpetrated by opposition forces aligned with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), according to Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The report refutes the official account by the United States and other major powers and presented uncritically by the media. The massacre was attributed to pro-government forces and used to step up the propaganda offensive for military intervention against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Without providing any serious evidence, the US and its allies claimed that either the Syrian Army or pro-government Shabiha militas carried out the mass killing of over 100 people.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on June 7 published a report from Damascus by Rainer Hermann, who based his article on investigations by oppositionists who visited the area and took eye-witness testimony. They largely confirm the account of the events in Houla given by the Assad government.

Comment: NATO's 'Civil War' Machine Rolls Into Syria


Light Sabers

Russia prepares army for Syrian deployment

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Mi-35 Russian choppers, seen here in Afghanistan
Given the worsening crisis in Syria, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported that the Russian army is apparently being prepared for a mission in Syria. Citing anonymous sources in the military leadership, the newspaper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the general staff to work out a plan for military operations outside Russia, including in Syria.

The units being prepared for an intervention are the 76th Division of airborne forces (an especially experienced unit of the Russian army), the 15th Army Division, as well as special forces from a brigade of the Black Sea fleet, which has a base in the Syrian port of Tartus.

The details of the operational plan are being prepared by the working parties of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, to which most of the post-Soviet states belong, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to which China and Russia belong.

Target

British Channel 4 journalist Alex Thomson: The Syrian 'rebels' set me up to be shot at by Syrian military

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Alex Thomson in Syria. If only the few half-decent journalists in the MSM would bother to read Sott.net and other alt.news websites, they might learn a thing or two about who they're dealing with before walking into such traps.
Standing outside the Safir Hotel in Homs as the white UN Nissan landcruisers stood waiting, the Irish officer in charge, Mark Reynolds, came over: "Usual rules Alex OK? We're not responsible for you guys. If you get into trouble we'll leave you, yes? You're on your own."

"Yup - no problem Mark. Understood."

I always say that, sort of assuming it will never come to that in any case.

Just two UN plus the local police white patrol car marked "Protocol" as escort, moving south through the peaceful areas of Homs, unmarked by war.

Barely ten minutes south from the city and it's goodbye protocol. The last Syrian Army checkpoint is right on the main highway south to Damascus.

We're headed west - just follow the direction the tank barrel is pointing next to the parked protocol car and you get the idea.

There's always that slight tightening of the stomach across deserted no-mans-land, but this is open country, no sign of fighting.

Comment: Syria's Bloody CIA Revolution - A Distraction?


Newspaper

Toulouse false flag: in videos, Mohamed Merah says he was betrayed by French Intelligence

French prosecutors on Tuesday requested access to new self-made videos showing Al-Qaeda-inspired gunman Mohamed Merah shortly before he was shot dead by police after his killing spree in southern France.

Prosecutors are requesting the videos as part of a probe into a murder suit filed by Merah's father, Mohamed Benalel Merah, over his son's death in March at the end of a 32-hour siege at his flat in the city of Toulouse.

The 23-year-old had shot dead three soldiers, and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, in a series of killings that shocked the country.


Comment: Mohamed Merah did not shoot anybody - he was a patsy, and just like 911, the official version of the Toulouse attacks and of Mohamed Merah's death is a lie.


The Paris prosecutors' office said it had made a formal request to the father's lawyers after discovering the existence of the videos when they were mentioned in court filings related to the suit.

Attention

'Emergency' Invites Draconian Measures

Psychopaths
© SOTT.net
In what the Atlantic magazine called 'one of Europe's dumbest moves yet', the euro-group finance ministers apparently let it be known via leaks what kind of contingency 'emergency measures' they are considering to implement in the event of a Greek exit from the euro area.

We are actually glad this has come out into the open, as this demonstrates the enormous price citizens are likely to pay in the end if the ongoing bailout charade fails. As always, a perceived emergency is getting to the point where it is ever more likely that it will be used as an opportunity to severely limit individual liberties and in this particular case interfere massively with peoples' property rights to boot - all 'for their own good' of course.

As Reuters reports:
"European finance officials have discussed limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing euro zone capital controls as a worst-case scenario should Athens decide to leave the euro.

EU officials have told Reuters the ideas are part of a range of contingency plans. They emphasized that the discussions were merely about being prepared for any eventuality rather than planning for something they expect to happen - no one Reuters has spoken to expects Greece to leave the single currency area. [that almost guarantees it will, ed.]

But with increased political uncertainty in Greece following the inconclusive election on May 6 and ahead of a second election on June 17, there is now an increased need to have contingencies in place, the EU sources said.

The discussions have taken place in conference calls over the past six weeks, as concerns have grown that a radical-left coalition, SYRIZA, may win the second election, increasing the risk thatGreece could renege on its EU/IMF bailout and therefore move closer to abandoning the currency. No decisions have been taken on the calls, but members of the Eurogroup Working Group, which consists of euro zone deputy finance ministers and heads of treasury departments, have discussed the options in some detail, the sources said.

Belgium's finance minister, Steve Vanackere, said at the end of May that it was a function of each euro zone state to be prepared for problems. These discussions have been in that vein, with the specific aim of limiting a bank run or capital flight.

As well as limiting cash withdrawals and imposing capital controls, they have discussed the possibility of suspending the Schengen agreement, which allows for visa-free travel among 26 countries, including most of the European Union. "Contingency planning is underway for a scenario under which Greece leaves," one of the sources, who has been involved in the conference calls, said. "Limited cash withdrawals from ATMs and limited movement of capital have been considered and analyzed."

Another source confirmed the discussions, including that the suspension of Schengen was among theoptions raised.

"These are not political discussions, these are discussions among finance experts who need to be prepared for any eventuality," the second source said. "It is sensible planning, that is all, planning for the worst-case scenario."

The first official said it was still being examined whether there was a legal basis for such extreme measures." [thanks for the laugh, ed.]
(emphasis added)

Red Flag

Unmanned U.S. Navy drone crashes in Maryland


A U.S. Navy drone crashed Monday in a marsh near Salisbury, Maryland.

The RQ-4A Global Hawk drone crashed during a routine training flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, according to Jamie Cosgrove, a spokeswoman for the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Program at the base.

There were no injuries to civilians and no property damage, said the Navy, which said it is investigating the cause.

Video from CNN affiliate WBOC showed smoke rising from brush fires in the unpopulated area.

Arrow Down

EU discuss 'limiting ATM withdrawals'

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© Andrea Comas/Reuters
A trader looks at electronic boards at the stock exchange in Madrid.
European finance officials have discussed limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing euro zone capital controls as a worst-case scenario should Athens decide to leave the euro.

EU officials said the ideas are part of a range of contingency plans. They emphasised that the discussions were merely about being prepared for any eventuality rather than planning for something they expect to happen.

But with increased political uncertainty in Greece following the inconclusive election on May 6th and ahead of a second election on June 17th, there is now an increased need to have contingencies in place, the EU sources said.

The European Commission said today it was helping with legal advice in discussions of contingency scenarios regarding Greece by the Eurogroup working group.

"I've not said that I'm not aware of any discussions, I've said I'm not aware about any plans, which is a slight difference," Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told a regular news briefing, when asked about Commission involvement in discussions about the contingencies were Greece to leave the euro.

Evil Rays

TSA Waste and Fraud

tsa,nazi
© Unknown
Each week there are reports of the TSA groping children and harassing the elderly, along with stories of internal corruption and theft. To divert attention from this continual bad publicity, the TSA likes to place stories trying to show that its employees sometimes do their job and find a weapon that a passenger forgot to remove from a carry-on bag. (Though how doing one's job is somehow newsworthy is puzzling. Imagine if Domino's issued a press release every time it delivered a pizza.)

Just last week three media outlets reported that the TSA found some pistols. One was in Tennessee, two in Florida, and yet another at Southwest Florida International Airport. In this same week screeners missed a large knife, allowed a parolee to make it aboard an aircraft, and a TSA Supervisor in Philadelphia was revealed to be a known pedophile.

Notably in all of these "good catches" that the TSA cites, the common thread is that virtually every item has been found using the lowly x-ray belt. The checkpoint belts, which pre-date the TSA by decades, are the only aspect of airport security that have performed reliably and professionally and aren't loathed by travelers.

To date, there have only been three "weapons catches" directly attributable to body scanners, and none found from groin-groping. These include a "Tactical Spike" (a martial arts weapon) that was found in the sock of a passenger in Pensacola after he was screened by a body scanner, a .380 Ruger that a Detroit passenger had in an ankle holster, and a plastic knife in the hem of a woman's shirt, again in Detroit.

The TSA claims that airport screeners found 1,306 guns in carry-on bags in 2011 and that passengers continue to try getting prohibited items onboard, by hiding them in their shoes or using hollowed-out books. (Never mind the fact that guns are metal and are therefore detected by - er - metal detectors.) Based on three weapons out of 1,306, the scanners account for a dismal 0.07% of gun finds.