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Fri, 22 Sep 2017
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Puppet Masters


US proxy forces tried to capture 29 Russian troops in Syria... and instantly regretted it

Spetsnaz (Russian Special Operations)
Now this is something you won't see on NBC nightly news.

The Russian military spokesman in this briefing, General Sergei Rudskoi, in a matter-of-fact deadpan, explains that 'US Secret Services', and their Al Qaeda proxies, had a very, very bad day yesterday.

Americans love bombing small, defenseless countries into the stone age, it's part of their culture like baseball, apple pie, and morbid obesity. One of the things they never do, however, is pick on a country that can fight back.

Comment: See also: Russian General Staff reports 850 jihadists killed as Russian warplanes help Syrian Army repel Idlib offensive

Today Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed at a press conference that the attack was instigated by U.S. intelligence.


Mueller investigative focus on Manafort spans 11 years

© Getty

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort (pictured) and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is reaching back more than a decade in its investigation of Paul Manafort, a sign of the pressure Mueller is placing on President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

The FBI's warrant for a July search of Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia, home said the investigation centered on possible crimes committed as far back as January 2006, according to a source briefed on the investigation.

The broad time frame is the latest indication that Mueller's team is going well beyond Russian meddling during the campaign as part of its investigation of Trump campaign associates. Manafort, who has been the subject of an FBI investigation for three years, has emerged as a focal point for Mueller.



South Korea conducts first test of 'advanced stealth missile'

© AP: South Korean Defence Ministry
South Korean Taurus missile test
South Korea has conducted its first live-fire drill for an advanced air-launched cruise missile that would strengthen its pre-emptive strike capability against North Korea in the event of crisis, according to Seoul's Defence Ministry.

The missile, manufactured by Germany's Taurus Systems, has a maximum range of 500 kilometres and is equipped with stealth characteristics that will allow it to avoid radar detection before hitting North Korean targets.

On Wednesday, the South Korean military said the Taurus missile - fired from an F-15 fighter jet - travelled through obstacles at low altitudes before directly hitting a specific target off the country's western coast.

Dollar Gold

UK weapons peddlers pay pitiful tax on vast Saudi arms sales

© AP/Simon Dawson
The UK arms industry has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from its dealings with Saudi Arabia during the conflict in Yemen, but the UK government has received just $40m of corporation tax, a new report says.

The report, released by children's charity War Child, claims that corporations, including BAE systems and Raytheon, have made an estimated $775m in profit on $8bn worth of revenue by selling arms to Saudi Arabia between March 2015 and the end of 2016.

Yet corporation tax receipts since the war in Yemen began stands at just $40m, something the NGO describes as "pitiful".


Press release on Lavrov's meeting with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas

© The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
On September 19, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a meeting with President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The officials had an extensive exchange of opinions on issues related to achieving a just Palestinian-Israeli settlement based on well-known international legal foundation, including the Arab Peace initiative, and discussed the task of restoring Palestinian unity, with a view to a prompt resolution of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

They also considered the main practical aspects of the bilateral agenda, and spoke in favour of doing the utmost to strengthen Russian-Palestinian ties in various spheres.

Comment: Further reading: Israel's Geopolitical Reality Check

Bad Guys

'Delusions of Invincibility': Why Washington's war posturing with N. Korea is dangerous

© Sue-Lin Wong / Reuters
Missiles are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade, Pyongyang.
American leaders have warned they will destroy North Korea if it threatens either the US or allies. But how much of this posturing by Washington is a bluff? And a very dangerous bluff at that.

There is a gaping contradiction in official US rhetoric. The Americans have already lambasted North Korea as a global threat due to its nuclear weapons program.

After mocking North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week as "rocket man," US President Trump went on to vilify the communist Asian nation as a "global threat" during his address to the United Nations' General Assembly.

With Pyongyang having conducted dozens of successful ballistic missile tests this year alone, some of which are reportedly capable of reaching North America, as well as having successfully carried out two underground test nuclear explosions, one might expect that Kim Jong-un has more than breached the supposed American threshold of threat posture.

Light Saber

Moscow warns it will retaliate if US-backed militias attack Syrian Army

© Delil Souleiman / AFP
Moscow has warned the US that if militias it supports in northeast Syria again attack positions of pro-government forces backed by Russia, the Russian military will use all its force to retaliate.

The troops of the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), a predominantly Kurdish militia that receives support from the US military, have twice attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army in the Deir ez-Zor governorate with mortar and rocket fire, according to the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov.

"Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed," Konashenkov said, adding that the attacks put at risk Russian military advisers embedded with Syrian government troops.

"Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary," he stressed.

Comment: A report on one of the attacks, from Sputnik:
The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said that the Syrian troops have been shelled from the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the US military, adding that a US representative had been informed on the issue.

Syrian government troops have been shelled twice from areas on the western bank of the Euphrates controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US military, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

"The Syrian governmental troops have been shelled twice from the areas on the western bank of the Euphrates controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the US military," Konashenkov said.
Things are heating up again in Syria. And these latest attacks come on the heels of a terrorist offensive the Russians say was coordinated by U.S. intelligence:

War Whore

Pepe Escobar: Unmasking his new doctrine, Trump vows carnage for "wicked" N. Korea, Iran and Venezuela

© Wikimedia Commons
Paul Delaroche, Napoléon à Fontainebleau, 1840. With other global powers increasingly at odds with US foreign policy under Donald Trump, the nation's hegemony on the world stage may soon face its own crisis point
This was no "deeply philosophical address". And hardly a show of "principled realism" - as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was "American carnage," to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller.

One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of the United States, facing the bloated bureaucracy that passes for the "international community," threatened to "wipe off the map" the whole of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (25 million people). And may do the same to however many millions of South Koreans who perish as collateral damage be damned.

Multiple attempts have been made to connect Trump's threats to the madman theory cooked up by "Tricky Dicky" Nixon in cahoots with Henry Kissinger, according to which the USSR must always be under the impression the then-US president was crazy enough to, literally, go nuclear. But the DPRK will not be much impressed with this madman remix.

That leaves, on the table, a way more terrifying upgrade of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Trump repeatedly invoked Truman in his speech). Frantic gaming will now be in effect in both Moscow and Beijing: Russia and China have their own stability / connectivity strategy under development to contain Pyongyang.


Peskov: Freeman the 'victim of emotionally-charged, self-exalted status'

In his video the actor is calling upon Americans to defend themselves against Russia for allegedly attacking the US

© Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Morgan Freeman
Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press that the Kremlin does not take a recent video seriously made by Morgan Freeman that calls upon Americans to defend themselves against Russia because it allegedly attacked the US.

Peskov believes that Freeman is "the victim of an emotionally-charged, self-exalted status."



Trump's UN speech a descent into barbarism that makes virtue out of war and genocide

© Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
It can't get more outrageous. US President Donald Trump stood in front of the United Nations and openly threatened unilateral war and genocide. It's a sign of the times that such criminal rhetoric is so casually spouted by the world's biggest military state.

When American leaders address the UN General Assembly, people are generally used to hearing a litany of falsehoods about world events and narcissistic deceptions over America's global role.

But when Trump made his debut speech on Tuesday, it marked, in addition to the usual American delusions, an unprecedented embrace of criminal militarism.

The nadir in his 40-minute rant came when Trump said the US would "totally destroy" North Korea - if it threatened America or its allies. The qualifier is a threadbare legal justification. It's also just a cynical excuse for American aggression.