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Sat, 04 Feb 2023
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Iran: Israel will be first victim of U.S. military action against Syria

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Hossein Sheikholeslam
A senior member of Iran's Majlis says the Israeli regime will be the first entity to fall victim in case of a potential military intervention by the United States in Syria.

Iran's Majlis Director General for International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam stressed on Monday that a military strike on Syria is very unlikely, but added that if it actually occurred, "the first victim... would be the Zionist regime (Israel), because the Syrian military... can launch a major offensive on" Israel and "flatten the place that is tied to the US's national security."

On August 23, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon was positioning military forces as part of "contingency options" provided to US President Barack Obama regarding Syria.

Colosseum

Groklaw was the canary in the coal mine

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up." - Lily Tomlin
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No more
Freedom and the rule of law lost a valuable resource and unique voice on Tuesday when Pamela Jones concluded that she could no longer in good conscience run Groklaw in the face of oppressively ubiquitous internet and email surveillance by US and allied intelligence agencies.

That was not just sad and unfortunate. It is absolutely unacceptable in a supposedly civilised society that an inoffensive, non-political legal researcher and information technology journalist perceived such a real threat to her privacy and that of her correspondents that she decided she had no choice but to stop using the internet almost entirely.

The metaphor of the canary in the coal mine springs to mind. If such an honourable, upstanding, straight arrow, good government supporter passionately dedicated to the rule of law like Pamela Jones could no longer believe that her privacy remained relatively safe using the internet and email, we are all in big trouble.

War Whore

General Wesley Clark reveals 2001 U.S. plan to conduct 'regime change' in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran

General Wesley Clark reveals the US plan to invade and take over 7 countries, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, And Iran, before we even invaded Afghanistan. The first part of the plan was revealed 10 days after 9/11 and was expanded to included the other nations. Clark is quoted as saying the invasion wasn't based on links to Al-Qaeda or any other intelligence reports but just because the US has an army that is great at taking over other nations.


Comment: Iraq, check. But with al-Maliki's government supporting Iran and Syria, regime change has already failed, again.

Lebanon, failed, but still working on it.

Iran, failed, but still working on it.

Somalia, check.

Sudan, check.

Libya, check.

Syria, still working on it.

And then there is Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Egypt, countries that may not have been on the post-9/11 list but have been subject to heavy US and Western military intervention in the past decade.

Clark's recounting of the Pentagon's ad hoc, almost flippant, approach to targeting countries is significant because it shows that military budgets come first, then planning and justifying wars comes later.


Vader

Tony Blair says UK and US should intervene in Syria

Tony Blair
© kennardphillipps/Reuters

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on London and Washington to go to war in Syria to end what he claimed to be attacks on civilians "not seen since the dark days of Saddam".

"People wince at the thought of intervention. But contemplate the future consequence of inaction and shudder," said Blair who took Britain to the war in Iraq based on fabricated claims that Saddam had ready-to-launch weapons of mass destruction.

"Western policy is at a crossroads: commentary or action .... After the long and painful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understand every impulse to stay clear of the turmoil .... But we have collectively to understand the consequences of wringing our hands instead of putting them to work," he wrote in an article for The Times on Tuesday.

Pirates

UK gathers warplanes, military hardware in Cyprus base near Syria - report

"Warplanes and military transporters" have reportedly been moved to Britain's Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus in the latest sign of the allied forces' preparations for a military strike on Syria amid bellicose rhetoric against the Syrian government.

Two commercial pilots who regularly fly from Larnaca, Cyprus, claim to have spotted C-130 transport planes from their own aircraft and small formations of possibly European fighter jets from their radar screens, according to the Guardian.

Akrotiri airbase is less than 100 miles from Syria, making it a likely hub for a bombing campaign. Residents near the airfield confirmed to the Guardian that "activity there has been much higher than normal over the past 48 hours."

Meanwhile, top military officials from ten Western and Middle Eastern nations - led by US Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey and his Jordanian counterpart - met in Amman, Jordan, to discuss potential military action in Syria. This follows reports that Dempsey presented potential military options to the White House over the weekend.

On Friday, Reuters revealed the US Navy was expanding its Mediterranean presence with a fourth ship capable launching long-range, subsonic cruise missiles to reach land targets in Syria.

USS Gravely destroyer
© AFP
The guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107)

Rocket

Western logic on Syria: 'We need to bomb it to save it'

Bombed street in Syria
© John Cantlie
Rubble litters the street in the main souk or market area of Maraat al-Numan, Syria.
The military buildup in the Mediterranean indicates that Assad's opponents intend to militarily intervene in Syria under cover of 'humanitarian intervention', a disingenuous narrative that could not be further from the truth.

Pictures and videos that have surfaced following the alleged use of chemical agents in the eastern suburbs of Damascus are profoundly disturbing and a thorough and substantial investigation into what took place there is absolutely essential. However, it is conversely disturbing that those Western governments who have staunchly supported anti-government militants are using this opportunity to legitimize the use of force against the government in Damascus.

The United States, Britain, and France are unwavering in their assertions that the Assad government and the Syrian Arab army were the perpetrators of the chemical weapon attack, despite no evidence to substantiate these claims. These governments seem to be sure that Damascus is guilty on the basis of it preventing a UN investigation team from visiting the site, and when investigators eventually did reach the area, it didn't matter to them because they argued that the Syrian government had destroyed all evidence of wrongdoing.

Assad's opponents have constructed a deeply cynical and hysterical political narrative that Western leaders are now parroting in unison.

USA

It is illegal to feed the homeless in cities all over the United States

Homeless
© Andy Burgess
What would you do if a police officer threatened to arrest you for trying to share a sandwich with a desperately hungry homeless woman that really needed it? Such a notion sounds absolutely bizarre, but this is actually happening in major cities all over the United States.

More than 50 large U.S. cities have adopted "anti-camping" or "anti-food sharing" laws in recent years, and in many of these cities the police are strictly enforcing these laws.

Sometimes the goal appears to be to get the homeless people to go away. Apparently the heartless politicians that are passing these laws believe that if the homeless can't get any more free food and if they keep getting thrown into prison for "illegal camping" they will eventually decide to go somewhere else where they won't be hassled so much.

This is yet another example of how heartless our society is becoming. The middle class is being absolutely shredded and poverty is absolutely exploding, but meanwhile the hearts of many Americans are growing very cold. If this continues, what is the future of America going to look like?

Attention

The world according to the global power brokers

WEF
© AFP Photo/Indranil Mukherjee
When the World Economic Forum released its 2013 Global Risks Report earlier this year, it included an interesting array of proposals which should raise eyebrows and be taken very seriously.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) used risk management exercises to address many of the challenges that we all know about - growing social and political violence, the West's on-going financial collapse, food and water shortages, and the Elite's all-time favorite "global terrorism".

However, they also worked out "proposals for government" and some rather uncanny "X Factors" which, coming as they do from one of the global powers favorite think-tanks, we would do well to read between the lines.

As German playwright Johann W. Goethe once remarked, "coming events cast their shadows forwards". This is particularly true when those shadows are cast by global power brokers in a position to drive and control those coming events, according to their hearts' desire, and here we are talking about the World Economic Forum (WEF), founded in 1971. Chaired by Klaus Schwab, who sits on David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, means he has direct access to the families of Rockefeller, Bush, Soros, Kissinger, Brzezinski, Rothschild, Lazard, Harriman, Montbatten, Warburg, Schiff, Borbón, and Orange.

Indeed, it is from behind these curtains that the global elite are planning to impose a world government on all mankind; by designing, planning, and executing the macro-changes that they need to impose upon all countries - each according to need and in their due time - as the process of privatizing global power rams forwards on a global scale.

Two interesting issues are being highlighted by the elite through the WEF: the re-engineering of national governments, and the introduction of so-called "X Factors" into the collective psyche.

USA

"Wag the Dog" - The sequel set in Syria

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© RT.com
Rebel Chemical Weapons Found in Tunnel
Over the last couple of weeks a western-backed (and armed) military junta slaughtered many hundreds of Egyptians in broad daylight live on television. The death toll, still concealed, may have been thousands.

The west confined itself to disapproving words and calls for "restraint" on "both sides" - even though the victims were unarmed.

In Syria hundreds of people have just been slaughtered in circumstances which are entirely unclear, and the west is about to launch (in our case without parliamentary approval with the prime minister acting from a beach in Cornwall) a military attack with entirely unforseen consequences on Damascus.

There is a "Wag the Dog" element about this, and indeed the war of President Clinton's penis satirised in that masterful award-winning movie has already proved a handy diversion from Egypt before its even started.

It is entirely implausible that the Syrian regime chose the moment of the arrival of a UN chemical weapons inspection team to launch a chemical attack on an insurgency already suffering reverse after reverse on the battlefield and steadily losing international support with each new video showing them eating the hearts of slain soldiery and sawing of the heads of Christian priests with bread knives.

In the absence of conclusive evidence one would have to believe that the Assad regime was mad as well as bad to have launched such a chemical attack at a time when it is in less danger than it has been for almost a year. I do not believe that Bashar is mad.

USA

As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama

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© Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Barack Obama addresses the media from his holiday home on Martha's Vineyard.

I voted for Obama reluctantly, but never did I imagine he would become another Richard Nixon


What are you thinking, Mr President?

Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?

And I voted for you. I'll confess you were a second choice. I supported Hillary Clinton first. I said at the time that your rhetoric about change was empty and that I feared you would be another Jimmy Carter: aggressively ineffectual.

Never did I imagine that you would instead become another Richard Nixon: imperial, secretive, vindictive, untrustworthy, inexplicable.

I do care about security. I survived the attack on the World Trade Center and I believe 9/11 was allowed to occur through a failure of intelligence. I thank TSA agents for searching me: applause for security theater. I defend government's necessary secrets. By the way, I also defend Obamacare. I should be an easy ally, but your exercise of power appalls me. When I wrote about your credibility deficit recently, I was shocked that among the commenters at that great international voice of liberalism, the Guardian, next to no one defended you. Even on our side of the political divide, I am far from alone in urgently wondering what you are doing.

As a journalist, I am frightened by your vengeful attacks on whistleblowers - Manning, Assange, Snowden, and the rest - and the impact in turn on journalism and its tasks of keeping a watchful eye on you and helping to assure an informed citizenry.