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Tue, 28 Feb 2017
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U.S. bombed Syrian Army after Russia tried to publish ceasefire agreement

© The Hawaii Independent
U.S. air strikes on Syrian army positions at Deir Ezzor looks like the U.S. is warning Russia, as the Lavrov - Kerry agreement unravels.

News of the US air strikes on the Syrian military positions near the besieged eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor comes as Russian criticism of the US failure to abide by the terms of last Sunday's Lavrov - Kerry agreement is intensifying.

The first point to make about this attack is that though the US immediately backed off after receiving a Russian warning, the US claim that the attack was a mistake stretches credulity to breaking point.

The US says the situation in Syria is complicated, which is true, and says that this is the reason for the attack, which it insists was a mistake. The key point however is that though the situation may be complicated in other parts of Syria, it is not complicated in Deir Ezzor at all.

Comment: Further reading: Russia-brokered ceasefire shattered as US airstrikes against Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor leaves 80 soldiers dead, over 100 injured (UPDATES)


Star of David

Knesset MP says no secret army cooperates with Al-Nusra Front, IDF chief denies

© Baz Ratner / Reuters
The IDF has no links to Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in Syria, the Israeli army chief said, responding to accusations by a Knesset member. The military does, however, have contact with Syrian "militias" to ensure calm on the border, he added.

Speculations about the Israeli military covertly supporting, or at least benefiting from, various Islamist factions, such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Al-Nusra Front and the like, have long circulated in Israel and beyond.

But those speculations remained largely unfounded until last week, when Akram Hasson, a Druze member of Knesset, openly accused the military of aiding the Islamists.

"It is no secret that the IDF is cooperating with [Al-Nusra Front]. In the past they have told us that the Nusra Front coordinates with the IDF. We don't know? What, were we born yesterday?" Hasson said in an interview to Israeli Channel 2, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Comment: More evidence of IDF cooperation with terrorists: Wounded al-Nusra terrorists taken to Israeli hospitals following clashes and Israeli air strikes


Document

Possible link between Saudi royal and jihad recruitment found in Gitmo transcript

© Joshua Nistas / Reuters
A Guantanamo Bay prisoner said he heard a phone conversation between a religious figure who talked about his qualifications for jihad, and a person the figure addressed as "your highness," who the prisoner believes to be a Saudi royal.

Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi, a 41-year-old Saudi national, is among the remaining 61 terrorist suspects being held at the US detention facility in Cuba. In June, he reported the alleged conversation with a Saudi royal family member to the Periodic Review Board, which assesses whether Guantanamo prisoners can be released. On Thursday, the Pentagon published a redacted transcript of his words.

The conversation Sharbi described happened in early 2001, shortly after he returned to Saudi Arabia from the US, where he had taken some flight school courses in Phoenix with two men who would become hijackers in the 9/11 attacks, AP reported. The religious figure was urging him to go to America again and take part in a plot against the US.

Bad Guys

US lifts sanctions against Myanmar as it loses influence in Southeast Asia

The United States will lift trade sanctions against Myanmar, said President Barack Obama after a meeting with the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who called on the US leader to drop the trade restrictions. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. Munir Majid, an expert in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The context against which all of this is happening is clearly a contest for power and influence in the Asia-Pacific between China and the US, in which Southeast Asia is the main theater of competition and perhaps the South China Sea is the main area of contest," Majid told Sputnik.

He further said that, "Efforts that are being made by the US or China, if seen against that background, can be understood more clearly."

However, in his opinion, with the way things are going, it seems clear that the "US is losing in that contest and China is winning."

Comment: Further reading:


Quenelle

Former US diplomat: US-backed 'moderates' just as violent & depraved as ISIS

© AFP
"We're here to bring you freedom and democracy."
Rebels from the US-backed Free Syrian Army appear to have kicked a group of US special operations forces out of a Syrian border town, calling the fleeing Americans "infidels" and "crusaders." This incident, experts say, shows that groups Washington persists on calling "moderate" are in fact "mercenaries" and "fanatics."

"The subgroup that did this supposedly is Ahrar al-Sham, which is a really nasty piece of work. It is as Wahhabist, as radical, as violent as [al-Nusra Front] or [Daesh]," former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

Interestingly, Washington blocked Moscow's initiative to add Ahrar al-Sham, who often conducts joint operations with al-Nusra Front, to the UN Security Council's terrorist list, claiming that they are in fact moderate rebels and should be treated as a legitimate opposition to the government in Damascus. "I don't see any evidence that there are any [moderates in Syria]," Jatras said. "What you have is a variety of Wahhabist terrorist groups some of which are maybe slightly less terrorist than others but I don't know how you measure that exactly. Who are the moderates? Where are the moderates?"

Black Magic

Hillary linked, SuperPac-owned media outlet creates fake grass-roots social media campaign to arrest, interrogate Trump

© REUTERS/ Scott Audette (L), Javier Galeano (R)
The liberal news outlet Share Blue, formally Blue Nation Review, owned by the head of the SuperPac Correct the Record which directly coordinates with Hillary's campaign called for the use of official state organs against Trump in a move eerily reminiscent to third-world crackdowns on dissent.

Advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign Peter Daou, the lead editor for the liberal media news outlet ShareBlue, previously known as Blue Nation Review, launched a rallying cry on Twitter on Friday for Donald Trump to be interrogated and arrested by the United States Secret Service after the bombastic billionaire made a poorly worded but seemingly innocent comment regarding Clinton's position on the second amendment raising the specter of use of official state violence against political dissidents.

Comment: This certainly wouldn't be the first time that Hillary Clinton has used underhanded tactics to achieve her psychopathic aims:


Snakes in Suits

How Britain is whitewashing its Libyan crime as the US is ignoring it

Just a few weeks have passed since the Chilcot report, which looked at the Blair government's role in the Iraq war, and a British House of Commons Committee has now published a report into the Cameron government's role in the Libyan war.

Its assessment is scathing. Given the state of Libya, it could hardly be otherwise. This is how the report describes Libya's economic state before the Western powers intervened in 2011 to "save" it from "Gaddafi's tyranny":
"The Libyan economy generated some $75 billion of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010. This economy produced an average annual per capita income of approximately $12,250, which was comparable to the average income in some European countries. Libyan Government revenue greatly exceeded expenditure in the 2000s. This surplus revenue was invested in a sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which was conservatively valued at $53 billion in June 2010. The United Nations Human Development Report 2010—a United Nations aggregate measure of health, education and income—ranked Libya as the 53rd most advanced country in the world for human development and as the most advanced country in Africa. Human rights remained limited by state repression of civil society and restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression."

Attention

The Bayer-Monsanto merger - The world's food supply now in the hands of very few globalist insiders

© The Corbett Report
If you had told someone a few decades ago that by 2016 the company that brought aspirin to the world and the company that brought Agent Orange to Vietnam were going to team up to control a quarter of the world's food supply, chances are you would have been labeled a loony.

Unless your name was Robert B. Shapiro. He was CEO of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000, and in 1999 he told Business Week that the company's goal was to wed "three of the largest industries in the world--agriculture, food and health--that now operate as separate businesses. But there are a set of changes that will lead to their integration."

With this week's announcement that Bayer had finally succeeded in its quest to acquire Monsanto, it is hard to deny that Shapiro's vision has been realized. Too bad for all of us that that vision is a nightmare.

The Bayer-Monsanto merger (as James Evan Pilato and I discussed on this week's New World Next Week) is turning heads, and rightfully so. Clocking in at $66 billion, or $128 per share, it is the largest cash takeover bid in history. It also combines Bayer and Monsanto's shares of the world seed market (3% and 26% respectively) and their share of the agrochemical market (15% and 8% respectively) with Bayer's pharmaceutical division to create the single largest player in Shapiro's quickly-materializing "agriculture/food/health" industry.

But Bayer and Monsanto are not the only ones playing this game. Major competitors DuPont and Dow are in the midst of a merger that is expected to create a $130 billion behemoth when the dust settles. China National Chemical Corp.'s $43 billion takeover bid for seed giant Syngenta AG was approved by US regulators last month. And just like that, the number of companies presiding over the global supply of (increasingly genetically modified) seeds and agrochemicals is about to be cut in half.

But in fact, as I explained in "How Big Oil Conquered the World," even the current agrochemical industry has to be seen in its historical context as a fusion of the petrochemical fertilizer giants (Dupont, Dow, Hercules Powder and other businesses in the Standard Oil orbit) with the "ABCD" seed cartel of Archer Daniels Midand, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. These previously separate fields were gradually consolidated under the flag of "agribusiness," itself developed at Harvard Business School in the 1950s with the help of research conducted by Wassily Leontief for the Rockefeller Foundation.

Then with the advancement of GMO technology in the 1980s and 1990s (again with considerable help from the Rockefellers and other oiligarchical interests), new opportunities for consolidation presented themselves. Seeds used to be sold by seed companies, and fertilizers and herbicides used to be sold by chemical companies. But then the GMO "revolution" came along and all of these companies spun off "biotech" branches to genetically engineer seeds. That in turn opened up opportunities to create GMO seed strains that are tailored to work with patented herbicides and fertilizers. The combination of GMO seeds and specially tailored agrochemicals has been especially lucrative for the companies at the top of this food chain (pardon the pun), and Monsanto was the first to capitalize on those synergies, winning regulatory approval for its first Roundup Ready soybeans in 1994.

Magnify

Dutch experts refused to see Russian MH17 experiments and analysis, wrong about key parameters of crash

© Dominique Faget/AFP
A piece of wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is pictured on July 18, 2014 in Shaktarsk, the day after it crashed.
With two weeks before the results of the official investigation into flight MH17 crash over Ukraine in 2014 are announced, a video has emerged summarizing criticism of the international experts for ignoring the vital findings of experiments by a Russian arms producer.

The video, published by the Segodnia.ru website, recalled that as the sole developer and manufacturer of all components of the BUK missile systems, Almaz-Antey held two consecutive experiments to shed the light on what happened to MH17.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine's Donetsk Region on July 17, 2014. The lives of 298 people were lost in the tragedy, which took place in an area where Kiev's troops were battling rebels who are rejecting the coup-imposed central power and battling for the establishment of a self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.

Newspaper

Opinion: How 'letting Russia own Syria' helps US national interests

© Unknown
The Syrian agreement recently concluded by Secretary of State John Kerry has spurred guarded optimism for a solution to the five-year-old conflict. In exchange for a ceasefire between the Assad regime and U.S.-backed rebels, the United States and Russia have agreed to coordinate airstrikes against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, the local Al Qaeda affiliate.

While the likelihood is slim that the ceasefire will hold, the fundamental problem isn't the deal's implementation. Rather, the reality that in a shattered Syria, neither airstrikes nor rebels will achieve America's chief goal of dislodging ISIS.

From the beginning, our policy in Syria has suffered from an inherent contradiction. The United States insists on Assad's ouster as a condition of peace, but the groups that have proven most effective against his forces are hardline Islamic militias, which are themselves anti-American.