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Sat, 03 Dec 2016
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Media lies and fabrications: 'Russia bombed Syria to force refugees into Europe'

The "Morning Edition" program of the U.S. National Public Radio network — which is America's most-trusted American source of news as measured by "the ratio of people who trust a news outlet to those who distrust it" included on May 20th a segment, "Russia's Involvement In Syria Worsens Migration Crisis, Zannier Says", in which the interviewer, Renee Montagne, opened her interview of Lamberto Zannier, the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), by saying:
"There is actually a theory out there to do with the migration crisis in Europe, that Russia may have purposely been bombing Syria with an air campaign in order to send more Syrian migrants into Europe, to destabilize Europe. Now, I'm wondering whether you think that's far-fetched, but, at the same time, it sort of fits the picture of a Cold War?"
He answered:
"Yeah, certainly Russia dealing in Syria had a number of goals, ... but then of course, the impact of the bombings on civilian infrastructure, hospitals etcetera, has created an additional wave of refugees. ... It is very difficult to tell whether this was intended or not, but certainly it would fit the picture in a way."


Pepe Escobar: Beware what you wish for because Russia is ready for war

© Kirill Kallinikov / Sputnik
So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new member.

Global Robocop NATO predictably discussed Afghanistan (a war NATO ignominiously lost); Iraq (a war the Pentagon ignominiously lost); Libya (a nation NATO turned into a failed state devastated by militia hell); Syria (a nation NATO, via Turkey, would love to invade, and is already a militia hell).

Afghans must now rest assured that NATO's Resolute Support mission - plus "financial support for Afghan forces" - will finally assure the success of Operation Enduring Freedom forever.

Libyans must be reassured, in the words of NATO figurehead secretary Jens Stoltenberg, that we "should stand ready to support the new Government of National Accord in Libya."

And then there's the icing on the NATO cake, described as "measures against Russia".

Post-It Note

Senior US commander secretly visits Syria to 'prepare offensive on Raqqa'

© Win McNamee / Getty Images / AFP
General Joseph Votel, head of US Centcom, talked over cooperation with Kurdish and Arab militant groups while on a secretive trip to Syria on Friday. The talks were said to involve coordinating the US-led coalition and rebels plans on recapturing Raqqa from Islamic State.

The news on the highly secretive visit to Syria broke only after Votel had returned to the US. During his 11-hour stay in the country he met with American advisers at a camp, located some 50 miles from the battleground, as well as with representatives of the Syrian groups who are being trained by the American military experts. Votel also talked to commanders of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

In the aftermath of the visit, Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the coalition against Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL), tweeted that one of the purposes of the clandestine trip was to prepare an offensive on Raqqa, IS terrorists' stronghold in Syria since 2013.


US military proven 'incompetent' during Strong Europe Tank Challenge

© Agencja Gazeta / Reuters
Recently the US military co-hosted the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, the first of its kind since the end of the cold war. It was no doubt an attempt to showcase the overwhelming superiority of Western militaries, and to present NATO's united front to Russia. Unfortunately, the only thing the US military managed to showcase was its own incompetence.

Tank platoons from Denmark, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United States were pitted against each other in a variety of wargames at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. During the three day event, the games tested these tank crews with both offensive and defensive maneuvers, obstacle courses, simulated chemical weapon attacks, medical emergencies, IED's, and the identification of friendly and unfriendly targets.

Unfortunately the US tank crews didn't win. In fact, despite being the only nation to provide two tank platoons instead of one, the US didn't even place. Germany wound up coming in first place, followed by Denmark and Poland.

Bad Guys

Game changer in E. Ukraine: Why Nuland's preparing for Donbass' elections

© Will Stevens / Twitter
US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland has wrapped up her visit to Moscow. According to officials, Nuland came to the Russian capital to discuss the situation in east Ukraine. Adding his two cents about the real purpose of the visit, analyst Gevorg Mirzayan suggested that the secretary may have lost her bearings.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov explained the official reason for Nuland's visit, saying that the two sides discussed the situation in the war-torn eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass, with the US sharing 'first-hand information' and looking "to establish a sort of working exchange mechanism" outside the Normandy format, which doesn't include Washington.

In his own commentary on the visit, Expert Magazine columnist Gevorg Mirzayan clarified, saying that Nuland's main official goal "is to spur the negotiating process on the Donbass and, in particular, on the holding of local elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, one of the most important measures of the Minsk peace agreements."

"At first glance, of course, it seems like Nuland came to the wrong city," the analyst noted. "After all, it's not Moscow that's sabotaging the holding of elections in the Donbass, but Kiev. One of the key challenges for Ukrainian authorities is not to recognize the situation in the Donbass as a civil war. This is why Kiev comes out against the fulfillment of the political articles of the Minsk agreement, and its most important aspect: direct negotiations between Ukrainian authorities and the leaders of the breakaway republics."

Comment: Further reading:

Eye 1

FBI maintains secret biometrics database - claims NGI should not be subject to Privacy Act

© FBI / Wikipedia
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wants to prevent information about its creepy biometric database, which contains fingerprint, face, iris, and voice scans of millions of Americans, from getting out to the public.

The Department of Justice has come up with a proposal to exempt the biometric database from public disclosure. It states that the Next Generation Identification System (NGI) should not be subject to the Privacy Act, which requires federal agencies to give people access to records that have been collected concerning them, "allowing them to verify and correct them if needed."

Comment: "Facial recognition that can identify strangers on the street." Orwell's 1984 has been accomplished.


Armenia in the crosshairs: The propaganda road to WWIII

While the two leaders from Armenia and Azerbaijan met this week and agreed to comply with the treaty set forth that ended their bloody six year war back in 1994, both action on the ground along the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) Line of Contact as well as the fierce information and propaganda war belie purported reaffirmations made by both nations' top politicians. No one can take the Vienna talks seriously anymore between Armenia's President Sargsyan and Azeri President Aliyev for the precise reason that moments after they were agreeing to uphold another ceasefire yet more Azeri gunfire, grenade launchers and mortar fire were killing yet another Armenian soldier. In a similar copycat, tit for tat announcement, the Azeri Ministry of Defense claimed one of its own soldiers was also killed though unlike the Nagorno-Karabakh soldier whose name was identified, the alleged Azeri victim remained nameless. Meanwhile, the day before the Vienna meeting, the defense ministers from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, three out of four of Armenia's bordering neighbors, announced joint military exercises in preparation for war against their common enemy, the hated Christian neighbor they surround. Only Iran bordering Armenia to the south will not be practicing war games next spring with them, remaining sympathetically neutral to Armenia's right to exist and self-determine its own fate.

The old "follow the money" adage to uncovering the underlying truth behind every action and development on the world stage of geopolitics is always a worthwhile endeavor. What we know from an entrenched recurring pattern is that the US Empire has obsessed over attempts to isolate and weaken Russia by cutting off its natural gas supply to Europe with new pipelines originating in the rich Caspian Azeri oil fields. President George HW Bush lied to Soviet President Gorbachev promising not to expand NATO "as much as a thumb's width further to the East "an inch more eastward" toward the former Soviet Union and that Russia could enter NATO. No sooner said than done was US Empire's betrayal in recruiting all of Russia's former Soviet bloc western border nations to joining NATO and aggressively installing nuclear warhead missiles aimed directly at Moscow.

These two subversive ploys, expanding the anti-Russian enemy camp along both Russia and China's borders while engaging in energy pipeline wars have characterized US foreign policy toward Russia for over a quarter century. Additionally the US and Europe have imposed economic sanctions against Russia after Putin reclaimed his own Crimean naval base the West was about to steal and annexed Crimea after its citizens voted overwhelmingly to join Russia again in response to the illegal February 2014 US-induced coup in Ukraine. Hence, the US Empire led by the notorious Washington neocons have willfully triggered cold war 2 with both Russia and China as the biggest threats to US unipolar global hegemony. The neocons as globalist puppets are selfishly unwilling to share power in this world and thus would rather endanger every life on the planet with a potential nuclear World War III showdown. The human race be damned, peace and stability are clearly not US Empire objectives.


Book review: Kill Chain, Rise of the High-Tech Assassins

Are drones the new wonder weapons, or an expensive and dangerous waste of time?

The unmanned aerial vehicle is, we are told, the new wonder weapon in the "War on Terror". Circling over Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen or Gaza, these pilotless drones relay real-time images to intelligence analysts, generals and spy chiefs watching from thousands of kilometres away. Having identified a "terrorist" suspect, many can launch their own missiles, surgically removing "high-value individuals" from the leadership "nodes" of the terrorist foe. Or they can be used to guide conventional airstrikes or to summon special forces.

This new doctrine of drone warfare promises an end to old-fashioned combat - cheaper and safer than boots-on-the-ground operations such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq, more acceptable to domestic opinion, and supposedly less harmful to civilians than conventional airstrikes or shelling. And the drones themselves, taxpayers are told, cost far less to build and operate than old-school manned aircraft.

There is, of course, some debate about the morality of drone warfare. Is it ethical to deliberately kill people without trial? Where is the warrior code, the moral hazard, for those who attack with impunity from thousands of kilometres away? What happens when mistakes are bloodily made? How does one define a terrorist? Which side are we on again? Why?

Comment: Tune in on the Sott Radio Network tomorrow, Sunday 22 May 2016, for a discussion about this book and America's drone warfare.

Light Sabers

Battle for Aleppo: The end of Erdogan's Ottoman dream in Syria

© Unknown
Forget Damascus and forget President Bashar al-Assad's seat of power - the real battle for Syria is being played out in the northern city of Aleppo, where Turkey dared dream it would revive its empire of old. Ankara here, is in for a rude awakening!

So rude in fact that Turkish President Recep Erdogan is contemplating a military incursion into Syria - a move fraught with dangers, as it could potentially send Turkey in a collision course with not just Damascus, but two military superpowers; Iran and Russia. Needless to say that while both Moscow and Tehran have exercised restraint and measure when dealing with Ankara's political folly, for the sake of regional stability; a direct military move against Syria would likely send ripples across the region that no amount of diplomacy will quiet.

Comment: See also:
Western media: Turkey is dying a 'slow death' under Erdogan's dictatorship
Erdogan's obsession with power could spell 'end of his career'


A closer look at multipolarity: France, Germany, Russia

© Katehon

Comment: This is Part 2 of a series by Sputnik's Andrew Korybko. See Part 1 here: What is multipolarity? The indicators for which nations are trying to build a better world

The first part of the study established the methodological criteria which researchers can attempt to use in scientifically assessing whether a country is unipolar or multipolar at any given moment in time. This section of the work contains a cursory example of this process in practice, but it must be prefaced by explicitly stating that it is by no means comprehensive and has been done according to the author's understanding of each of these states and their examined variables. It simply wasn't possible to carry out the proposed research in the specific manner that was earlier described due to obvious time and personnel constraints, though the author holds to his below-mentioned conclusions and believes that they remain consistent to his prior writings on each of the studied states. Furthermore, despite the relative subjectivity (or more accurately, self-described unscientific approach) of the categorization, it's intended to be used as an introduction to the topic of differentiating states into unipolar, multipolar, and contested camps and relatedly provoke a much-needed discussion about the latter.