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Fri, 22 Sep 2017
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Puppet Masters


Planned U.S. 'humanitarian intervention' in Venezuela means "provoking armed confrontation"

© Reuters
Troops at the Tolemaida military base in Colombia.

Translation by Tortilla con Sal.

As Southern Command chief Admiral Kurt Tidd put it, "The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could make necessary a regional response."

The military option against Venezuela mentioned recently by President Donald Trump has been active since even before he made his remarks. In an unconventional warfare scenario, conventional military action as such is not to be expected. The Petri dish nutrient is "humanitarian crisis" cultured by agents of anti-Chavismo both nationally and internationally.

Unusual and extraordinary military exercises

The number of U.S.-led military exercises is growing all the time covering various aspects of warfare, but it is noteworthy that the "humanitarian" component is always present, even when the substantive contribution of U.S. armed forces in dealing with natural disasters with tragic consequences is unknown. What happened in Houston, Texas, is just one example.

A combined exercise was held last June in Barbados "to improve the collective ability of defense forces and police to counteract international organized crime and carry out humanitarian relief/disaster operations." Based in Barbados' capital Bridgetown, this international exercise in maritime security and disaster response, titled, "Caribbean Tradewinds 2017," involved 20 countries, including Mexico.

Comment: See also: President of new Constituent Assembly Delcy Rodriguez: There is no humanitarian crisis in Venezuela


Pepe Escobar: Trump and the art of unraveling the Iran deal

© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
Contrary to a barrage of spin, the P5+1 meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to assess implementation of the Iran nuclear deal did not go especially well, as diplomats confirmed to Asia Times.

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson was forced to concede Tehran is abiding by the deal. But once again he hammered the new US meme - now it's about Iran not fulfilling "expectations."

At a tense table, Tillerson - for the first time - met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. At least the spin was not explosive. "There was no yelling," he said later. "We didn't throw shoes at one another. It was not an angry tone at all."

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini - not exactly the brightest bulb in the room - was compelled to stress there was no doubt the deal was being respected. She even warned, "all member states are considered to be bound by its implementation. The international community cannot afford to dismantle an agreement that is working and delivering."

Light Saber

United with Russia: Chinese FM Wang Yi tells UN General Assembly "aggression is not in the Chinese genes"

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
It was a serendipitous occasion that while the order of speakers at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly is chosen at random, that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was scheduled to speak directly after his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavov.

This gave the world the opportunity to see just how united Russia and China are on the most important elements of modern geo-political affairs and peace keeping issues.

Foreign Minister Wang opened his speech by praising the role of the United Nations for preventing full-scale wars which dominated the first half of the 20th century.

He then praised the development of the multi-polar world which he characterised as the domineering force in modern global cooperation.


Facebook reaches agreement with Congress to release ads purchased by Russian agency during 2016 election

© Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP
Facebook has reached agreement with the US Congress to release the ads purchased by a Russian agency during the 2016 presidential campaign, the social network said in a statement.

"After an extensive legal and policy review, we've concluded that sharing the ads we've discovered with Congress, in a manner that is consistent with our obligations to protect user information, will help government authorities complete the vitally important work of assessing what happened in the 2016 election," Facebook said in its blog.

"We want to do our part," the company said, adding that "Congress is best place to use the information we and others provide."

In a separate statement, Facebook co-founder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is "actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference."


Pakistan PM praises China & cautions US attitudes in 'bold' UN speech

© UN Photo/Cia Pak
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of Pakistan addresses the general debate of the General Assembly's seventy-second session.
The eloquently delivered address left little room for ambiguity.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi delivered a wide ranging speech to the United Nations clarifying his country's position on key issues including its burgeoning partnership with China, its desire to bring "hostile" India to the peace table and explanatory warnings against false US assumptions about Pakistan's role in the war against terrorism, specifically as it relates to the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Prime Minister began his speech by praising the United Nations for preventing large scale wars from breaking out. However, in a statement alluding to the United States and its allies, Abbasi lamented that "some countries have shown a proclivity to use force against (other) states to settle differences".

Георгиевская ленточка

Sergey Lavrov offers Russia's point-by-point rebuttal of Trump's inflammatory UN speech (full video)

Sergey Lavrov addresses the UN on September 21, 2017
Russia's Foreign Minister has rejected almost every point made in Donald Trump's speech before the UNGA.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's long serving Foreign Minister has delivered his country's address to the plenary session of the 72nd meeting of the UN General Assembly.

The speech which was delivered at a rapid pace, can be characterised as a point-for-point rebuttal of the majority of issues raised by Donald Trump during his deeply controversial speech delivered on the 19th of September.

Below are the main points covered by Lavrov

Comment: See also: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani's speech at the UN: A clear and calm rebuttal of Trump's hostile message

We might also compare Trump's divisive speech with Xi Jinping's at the UN in 2015.

Two different 'ideas' about how the world ought to be run; two different worldviews; two different psychologies.


James Comey attempted to discredit Trump's wiretapping claims that proved true

© Getty
James Comey
The FBI had wiretapped President Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort before and after the election, contrary to what former FBI Director James Comey suggested earlier this year.

CNN reported:
US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.
The CNN report also noted that Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower, although it said it was "unclear" whether the wiretapping took place there or not.

Comment: See also:


Trump caves: Falls in line with Deep State's imperialist interventionism

© Whitehouse.gov
President Trump speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 19, 2017.
President Trump's U.N. speech showed that despite his America First rhetoric, his policies are virtually the same as the neocon strategies of George W. Bush and liberal interventionism of Barack Obama,.

In discussing President Trump, there is always the soft prejudice of low expectations - people praise him for reading from a Teleprompter even if his words make little sense - but there is no getting around the reality that his maiden address to the United Nations General Assembly must rank as one of the most embarrassing moments in America's relations with the global community.

Trump offered a crude patchwork of propaganda and bluster, partly delivered as a campaign speech praising his own leadership - boasting about the relatively strong U.S. economy that he mostly inherited from President Obama - and partly reflecting his continued subservience to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, perhaps most importantly, Trump's speech may have extinguished any flickering hope that his presidency might achieve some valuable course corrections in how the United States deals with the world, i.e., shifting away from the disastrous war/interventionist policies of his two predecessors.


Star of David

Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi: 'American Jews drive America's wars'

© GettyImages/KJN
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?

I spoke recently at a conference on America's war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, "Why doesn't anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it's American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn't we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?"

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called "dual loyalty," particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Comment: Without strong leadership from the top that recognizes if and when it is being manipulated and has the ability to wake up the public, there is little chance for an independent, clear thinking and free America. The new anti-semitism definition, that includes everything critical or questioning of 'Israel', has virtually sealed the lid on social commentary and opposition in all of Western society.


Tillerson: Trump is 'clear and concise' but remains quiet on Iran deal decision

© Politico/KJN
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insists that Iran is only in "technical compliance" with its nuclear deal, following President Donald Trump's cryptic announcement that he has reached a decision on whether to re-certify the agreement.

Tillerson said that Trump has been "quite clear and articulate" about his concerns with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, during a press conference Wednesday. Tillerson detailed some of the meeting he had just completed with his international counterparts involved in the Obama-era agreement.

Tillerson said that he spoke personally with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari and other leaders in an "open and candid exchange," and said it was "useful to hear their perspectives."

While Tillerson said that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the deal, he also said the US still finds "significant issues with the agreement."

Comment: Is Trump rashly creating a nexus to war? Renegotiating uncomfortable points without tossing the agreement would seem prudent -- unless you are a tiny and powerful fear-mongering country that has the US by the jugular. Any decision to scrap the Iran Deal will not be out of consideration for 'the best interests of the American people.'