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Wed, 24 Aug 2016
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Turkish tanks cross Syrian border in military op to retake city of Jarablus from ISIS with US air support

© Stringer / Reuters
Turkish army tanks and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters make their way in the Syrian border town of Jarablus as it is pictured from the Turkish town of Karkamis, in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, August 24, 2016.
Turkey has launched a ground incursion into Syria targeting Islamic State and Kurdish fighters near the town of Jarablus. Ankara says it wants to take the town to stop cross-border attacks, while the Kurds warn that Turkish troops will get into a quagmire.

"At 4:00 this morning, operations started in the north of Syria against terror groups which constantly threaten our country, like Daesh [Arabic name for Islamic State] and the PYD [the Democratic Union Party of Syria]," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

The Turkish operation is focused on the Kurdish border town of Jarablus, which has been held by the Islamic State terrorist group since July of 2013.

Comment: So while Joe Biden is visiting Ankara, Turkey invades Syria without permission and is supported by US coalition fighter jets. This is getting ugly. What will Syria and Russia do in response?

Bad Guys

Propaganda for Syrian 'regime change'

© State Department
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at a United Nations Security Council Session on the situation in Syria at the United Nations in New York on Jan. 31, 2012.
Neocons and Clintonites have launched a major campaign with the goal of direct U.S. military intervention and aggression against Syria, potentially leading to war with Iran and Russia.

An early indication emerged as soon as it was clear the Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party nominee. Following the California primary, The New York Times reported on State Department diplomats issuing an internal memo "urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al Assad."

In early August, Dennis Ross and Andrew Tabler opined in The New York Times about "The Case for (Finally) Bombing Assad". Dennis Ross is a favorite Clintonite. In her book Hard Choices, Clinton described how she asked Dennis Ross to come to the State Department to "work on Iran and regional issues."

New York Times regular Nicholas Kristof made his own pitch for war against Syria. According to the self-styled humanitarian, we need "safe zones" as proposed by Clintonite Madeline Albright and retired General James Cartwright. That is risky, Kristof said, but "the risks of doing nothing in Syria are even greater."


North Korea responds with ballistic missile launch from submarine

© KCNA / Reuters
A North Korean submarine has test-launched a ballistic missile in the East China Sea, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported. It comes amid US-Korean military drills that Pyongyang has called a "threat."

The missile was reportedly launched off the North's eastern coast, according to Yonhap.

The missile traveled several hundred kilometers in the air before falling into the Sea of Japan, Japan's national public broadcaster NHK reported, citing the Japanese military.


US State Department ramps up anti-Iranian propaganda by issuing travel warning

Comment: The State Department is apparently feeling the need to ramp up anti-Iranian sentiment. This 'warning' comes on the heels of Iran providing Russia with access to their airbase for bombing U.S. terrorist assets in Syria. Coincidence?

The State Department issued a warning on Monday urging U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Iran, which has made the detention of Americans a priority.

The latest travel advisory, which emphasizes Iran's desire to capture U.S. citizens, comes on the heels of a growing scandal over the Obama administration's decision to pay Iran $400 million in cash on the same day that it freed several U.S. hostages.

The payment has been cast by lawmakers and others as a ransom payment and prompted concern among U.S. officials that Iran is making arresting Americans a priority.

Comment: The $400 million payment was money owed to Iran since the 1979 Iranian Revolution and was a part of the negotiations during the nuclear deal. Other than the US actually owing quite a bit more, it is a non-issue just like this ridiculous 'travel advisory'.

The travel warning is meant to "highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans," according to a State Department announcement on Monday. "Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and Western countries including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran."

"U.S. citizens traveling to Iran should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel," the warning adds. "U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country."


Just follow the money trail for the source of 'Russian threat' paranoia

© Nobuhiro Kubo / Reuters
You'd have to have been locked in a wardrobe if you live in the West not to have heard ominous phrases like 'The Russian threat', 'Russian aggression in Europe' and 'Russia set to invade Poland/Estonia/ Ukraine/Finland'.

Certain people are trying to scare us witless about Russia and the 'threat' the country apparently poses. The hysteria reminds one to the build up to the Iraq war, when we were warned every day about the 'threat' of Saddam's deadly WMDs, which - surprise, surprise - turned out not to exist.

Now, we can talk for hours about grand, highfalutin theories in the field of geopolitics and international relations in attempts to explain why this is happening.

But 'follow the money' trail is all we really have to do. Ask yourself who benefits financially from all this scaremongering and then you'll understand it.


Iran didn't 'revoke' Russia's use of airbase - they initiated it!

© wikipedia.org
Tupolev Tu-22M
The initiative for Russian planes to use Iran's Hamadan Airbase in their strikes against terrorists in the Syrian city of Aleppo came from Tehran, a high-ranking Iranian official has said.

Tehran asked Moscow for airstrikes "next to the land operation" in Aleppo, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), told state television, according to AFP.

"Iran has brought powerful Russia along... due to its need to cooperate with Syria" in the fight against militants, Shamkhani added.

The SNSC secretary also stressed that "a coalition among Iran, Syria and Russia to fight terrorism exists."

Comment: Yet here is how the NYT reports it (with no source backing up their assertions):
Iran on Monday annulled permission for Russian planes to fly bombing runs into Syria from an Iranian base, only a week after having granted such extraordinary access, saying that the Kremlin had been unacceptably public and arrogant about the privilege.
See also: Deciphering the Russian 'withdrawal' from Hamadan, Iran: Not a withdrawal at all


NATO's nukes in Romania: Rumor versus reality

© www.euractiv.com
Unconfirmed reports regarding the US moving nuclear weapons it reportedly maintains at Incirlik Airbase, Turkey to Romania (a NATO member since 2004) made the rounds last week. It is just one of many stories surrounding the apparent fallout between the United States and its stalwart ally and fellow NATO member, Turkey.

Following a failed coup in July, Turkey has accused the US openly of orchestrating the attempted overthrow of the government. Despite this, US forces continue operating from Turkish territory, and according to official reports, American nuclear weapons remain in Turkey.

But what if they were being moved? And if not to Romania as Romanian officials insist, to another NATO members state, what would this mean? And if they are not being moved, who started this rumor and why?

Comment: Commentary, speculation and rumors have surfaced from one end of the spectrum to the other regarding the US nukes at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey as to their current location. Given the difficulties in actualizing and securing this move, likely to be done in stages if it becomes a reality, it is reasonable to consider nothing has been done so far. Romania has denied receiving the shipment.

See also:


Philippine President Duterte breaks the mold of being a vassal to the United States

© Lean Daval Jr / Reuters
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a news conference in Davao city, southern Philippines August 21, 2016.
Duterte is concerned about the prospect that Washington, the former colonial power in the Philippines, might want to manipulate his country against China, Gerald Horne, historian, told RT. Brian Becker of the AntiWar coalition also joins the conversation.

The Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte delivered foul-mouthed rants about global bodies and other senior world officials. Moreover, he threatened to leave the UN after the organization labeled his war on drugs 'criminal'. He also lashed out at America.

RT: What do you make of the provocative statements made by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte?

Gerald Horne: Well first of all, that is his style. You may know that the recently elected president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is referred to in a colloquial sense as 'Duterte Harry', in reference to a popular Hollywood cinema character, Dirty Harry, who oftentimes violated the rights of particular suspects. Mr. Duterte is also concerned about the prospect that Washington, the former colonial power in the Philippines, might want to manipulate the Philippines against China in light of a recent decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that basically awarded certain rights to offshore islands to the Philippines. This helps to shed light on Mr. Duterte's rather colorful language.

RT: Do you expect Washington to react in any way?

Gerald Horne: Not on the official level, not on the public level. As noted, Washington has very important military bases in the Philippines. Washington sees the Philippines as a kind of beachhead in the 21 century against China. Therefore, it wants to maintain very positive relations at least on the public and official level.


The anti-Russia roots of the 'cultural left': CIA-backed controlled opposition

In recent speeches, including her speech accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for the Presidency, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has declared she would work to eradicate "systemic racism." Clinton did not present any specific strategy or policy to do this, yet each time she has uttered the two word phrase "systemic racism" there is a large burst of applause from her audience. An article from vox.com claimed that use of this term was "major" because it is a phrase that is "embraced in particular by younger activists."

In her speech, Clinton could have said she would work to eradicate "discrimination" or "under-representation" of minorities, but instead chose to use the favored buzzword of a specific political milieu to whom Clinton's campaign seems to be pandering. The phrase is part of a whole vocabulary of what some call "oppression theory." Young people have learned it from their University professors, namely those who teach Black or Gender Studies. This new lingo is used on various internet forums, especially Tumblr.

When the Democratic Nomination was still up for grabs, the internet was filled with Clinton supporters who referred to Sanders supporters as "Bernie Bros", arguing that supporting the Presidential campaign of the Senator from Vermont was an expression of "white male privilege."

Comment: The 'new left' is a perfect case study in the ponerization of ideology. Couched in terms once associated with anti-imperialism, it has become a weapon for the most bloodthirsty imperialists. Clinton and the people like her would make Hitler and the people like him proud.

Star of David

Don't speak of Israel influence: Let's talk about Russian influence

Neera Tanden and Netanyahu at Center for American Progress
Over the weekend there was a lot more talk about Donald Trump and his operatives loving Russia, and about how Vladimir Putin wants Trump to win. "The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this campaign for some time," Hillary Clinton's campaign manager said on ABC.

The Russian influence must be true, because it's all over our media; but you can be sure it's only half true because they're saying it so loud. The other half of the truth is that Russia is going to lose, big (because the media are talking about it and because Trump is going down). And the media have a guilty conscience, because they know the U.S. power structure is beholden to Israel, but they can't talk about that foreign influence.

No one talks about the hand of Israel; but Hillary Clinton promises her biggest donor, Haim Saban, whose one issue is Israel, that she'll work against the boycott campaign and she'll meet Benjamin Netanyahu in her first month of office: the same Netanyahu who tried to undermine our president's signature foreign policy achievement by speaking and lobbying Congress under the president's nose, Netanyahu who said that America could be easily moved, Netanyahu who pushed the Iraq war in 2002 to transform the Middle East, even as Hillary Clinton was voting for that war.