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Sat, 27 May 2017
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Light Sabers

McMaster criticizes intelligence agencies leaking info to media - "National security is put at risk"

© AP/Susan Walsh
President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster criticized the intelligence community for leaking information about the president's communications with the Russians.

"I think national security is put at risk by this leak and by leaks like this," he said. "And there are a number of instances where this has occurred and I think it's important to investigate these sort of things."

McMaster defended the president's decision to share intelligence about Islamic State terrorists with Russian diplomats during a meeting in the Oval Office last week.

Despite growing Democratic and media hysteria over the leaked information about Trump's decision, McMaster reassured Americans that it was "wholly appropriate."

Attention

Macedonia's President surrenders to Socialist leader Zaev and Albanian radicals


Gjorge Ivanov
The move puts Macedonia's future in peril.

After refusing to do so for months, Macedonia's President Gjorge Ivanov has capitulated to foreign demands and pressure from the Socialist Party and has given Socialist leader Zoran Zaev a mandate to form a coalition government.

Ivanov has made Zaev pledge not to undermine Macedonia's Constitution nor sovereignty. It also contained a pledge to reject the infamous Tirana Platform. It is a face saving gesture that few believe will be adhered to by Zaev's coalition.

Comment: For more on the chaos in Macedonia:


Radar

Why the 30-year-old incident of USS Stark hit by Iraqi missiles remains relevant

© AFP 2017/ MIKE NELSON
On May 17, 1987 the American frigate USS Stark was caught by surprise by the Iraqi Exocet attack, exposing the vulnerability of Navy surface warships to external missile strikes. According to Sputnik contributor Andrei Kots, this problem still remains unresolved.

Exactly 30 years ago, on May 17, 1987, the USS Stark, the 23rd ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates, was incidentally struck by an Iraqi missile; the strike killed 37 crew members.

"This was the first and only case of the combat use of an anti-ship missile (ASM) against a US Navy ship. The precedent had once again proved that such weapons pose a serious threat even for the most powerful fleet," Sputnik contributor Andrei Kots wrote.

Light Sabers

16 Elite Russian Soldiers Fought a Swarm of 300 Jihadists in Aleppo


Elite Russian soldiers
Russian TV asked special forces operators who were decorated for their conduct in a firefight in Aleppo, Syria if they could recount the story of how they won their medals. They insist it was all fairly routine and no big deal:

As al-Nusra counter-attacked and Syrian soldiers withdrew in confusion, 16 Russian special forces guys fought up to 300 Nusra fighters, destroyed one suicide car bomb, a tank and an armored personnel carrier. As night fell they used the dark to mine the approaches to their positions which was a big surprise for the Nusra fighters when they attacked for the last time the next morning.


Propaganda

Defiant Trump fires back at 'unfair' media in speech to Coast Guard graduates

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump attends the United States Coast Guard Academy Commencement Ceremony in New London, Connecticut May 17 2017.
President Donald Trump sounded a defiant note to his critics, urging US Coast Guard Academy graduates to ignore naysayers and keep fighting for what is right. No politician in history has been treated more unfairly, Trump said, vowing to carry on.

"Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media," Trump told the graduating class of the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut on Wednesday. "No politician in history... has been treated worse or more unfairly."

MIB

Israel-US security ties remain strong despite claims of Trump-Russia leaks

© Carlos Barria / Reuters
Israel says its "deep, significant security relationship" with the US will remain unaffected amid claims that Donald Trump shared classified information with Russia, which he allegedly received from Tel Aviv.

"The security relationship between Israel & our greatest ally the United States, is deep, significant, and unprecedented in volume," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted on Wednesday.

"This relationship with the US is unprecedented in its contribution to our strength. This is how it has been and how it will continue to be," he wrote.

War Whore

Al-Qaeda in Syria not considered terrorists by US and Canada - Can continue receiving weapons from CIA

The original Enemy Number One and primary target of the War on Terror — has again received a green light to continue terrorizing civilians, after a transformation in name, alone, allowed its removal from the West's official list of terrorist groups.

In lockstep with the United States, Canada has now failed to list Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham — the latest manifestation of the constantly morphing terrorist organization — on its list of designated terrorist groups.

Simply put, al-Qaeda militants are no longer deemed 'terrorists' by either the U.S. or Canada — despite the group's unabashed use of the same terrorist tactics which originally garnered the terrorist designation — seemingly only because it changed its name.

Militants now calling themselves Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, are not less terroristic in tactics nor less power-thirsty in agenda than the first manifestations of al-Qaeda the U.S. deemed dangerous enough for Western governments to pin to the top of terror watch lists.

In fact, despite acrimonious contention between them, Tahrir al-Sham and the self-designated Islamic State, or Daesh, share myriad traits, and even leaders, in common — yet only the latter remains atop the terror list in Canada and the U.S.

Info

UK PM Theresa May says Trump-Lavrov leak claims won't affect UK intelligence-sharing with US

© Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said that Britain will further work and share intelligence data with the United States.

"We continue to work with the United States and continue to share intelligence with the United , as we do with others around the world because we are all working together to deal with the threats that we face," May told reporters on Wednesday, as cited by Reuters.

She added that the issues discussed by the US leader "with anybody that he has in the White House is a matter for President Trump."

The prime minister said that she has confidence in the bilateral relationship, adding that their cooperation provides better protection from security threats.

Comment: See also:


Chess

Egypt and Jordan seek de-escalation zones in Syria

© Mohamed Maaruf
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan supported on Wednesday the establishment of the de-escalation zones in Syria agreed on during recent Astana talks on Syria settlement.

Leader of Egypt and Jordan also supported the negotiations on the Syria conflict settlement in Geneva the recent round of which kicked off on Tuesday and was expected to last four days. Sisi and King Abdullah pointed out that searching for a political solution to the conflict, which would guarantee the preservation of Syria's territorial integrity remained a priority.

"The parties welcomed an agreement on the establishment of four de-escalation zones in Syria, agreed on in Astana, and reaffirmed support for the efforts aimed at ending the violence and improving the humanitarian situation," the leaders said in a joint statement after the talks.

Bad Guys

America's Second Civil War is Underway

© Sputnik/ Alexey Filippov
Civil wars are perhaps the most tragic and bitter, when a country goes to war on itself - and it's brother against brother, homesteads destroyed by other compatriots.

Today, the United States of America seems to be at war with itself again. Not yet an all-out bloodletting as in the Civil War of 1861-65, but nevertheless the nation seems to be plunging into an internecine process of shredding itself, pulling down the very edifice of the state.

There's even reports of married couples splitting in divorce because of the growing political divisions.

The governing business of running the country is held hostage by incessant political scrapping; the institutions of governance appear in meltdown from eroding authority.

Comment: The Deep State divides people through a bombardment of lies. Many Americans have been all too willing to readily accept their deceit, but it is also clear that there are a great many people who can no longer maintain faith in their leaders.

As Cunningham asserts, Trumps greatest transgression against the Washington establishment has been his inclination for cooperation between the US and Russia. Most every other contentious issue is a manufactured drama to move Trump into their desired position. While such tactics have been more or less successful for this immediate objective, the elite are also exposing themselves in more visible ways through their brazen and absurd lies.

Americans have long been united by a general consent of the ways and means of the American Empire. In recent years however, the facade has weakened as many of the working class struggle to make ends meet. Lies don't put food on the table. Since Washington has no capacity for sincere reflection or changing its fundamental ways of doing things, Americans will continue to grow frustrated, with Trump or without him.