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Thu, 05 Dec 2019
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Yoda

Tulsi Nails it on National TV: US Regime-Change Wars

Tulsi Gabbard
© Stefani Reynolds
Tulsi Gabbard
No wonder Democratic Party bosses and mainstream media are trying to bury presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard. She is the only candidate, perhaps the only politician in the US, who is telling the American public exactly what they need to know about what their government and military are really up to: fighting illegal regime-change wars, and to boot, sponsoring terrorists for that purpose.

It didn't come much clearer nor more explicit than when Gabbard fired up the Democratic TV debate this week. It was billed as the biggest televised presidential debate ever, and the Hawaii Representative told some prime-time home-truths to the nation:

"Donald Trump has blood of the Kurds on his hands, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime-change war in Syria that started in 2011... along with many in the mainstream media who have been championing and cheer-leading this regime-change war."

Comment: Outspoken, brave, truthful - which is why the establishment wants to shut her down:


Tulsi Gabbard takes the gloves off on Twitter:







Binoculars

Turkish Invasion of Syria, Day 10: 'Ceasefire' Goes Into Effect, Followed by Immediate Violations - UPDATES

turkish tank
© Reuters / Murad Sezer
Turkey has confirmed reaching an agreement with the US on temporarily halting its military operation against Kurdish-led militias in northern Syria but refused to call it a 'ceasefire', adding that it will go on with its plans.

'Operation Peace Spring' will be seized for five days, Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu announced. It came just as US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - currently on a visit to Ankara - were breaking the same news to journalists there.

While saying that the Turkish Army would indeed stop a further incursion and let the Kurdish YPG militias - which Ankara calls a 'terrorist organization' - leave the 'safe zone', Cavusolgu still refused to call it a ceasefire. Such a thing is only possible between "two legitimate sides," he told the local media.


Comment: Because the Turkish side is so "legitimate" - complete with jihadist lunatics.




He also said that Turkey intends to pursue its initial strategy and create a 32-kilometer deep 'safe zone' along its border with Syria stretching from the Euphrates River to Syria's border with Iraq. He added that, under the fresh deal with the US, this zone would be controlled by Turkish troops.

Another part of the agreement involves the "collection" of all heavy arms from the YPG (key force of the Kurdish-led SDF) and destruction of their positions in the area. That said, Cavusoglu made it clear that Turkey did not give America any "guarantees" on the fate of such cities as Kobani (liberated in 2015 from Islamic State by the Kurds).

Comment: The Syrians and Russians currently hold Kobani, so the Turks would have to start another war in order to take it. As for the ceasefire, the Syrian Kurds welcomed the decision:
Senior Kurdish official Aldar Khalil welcomed on Thursday the agreement between the United States and Turkey on a ceasefire in Syria, Al-Arabiya television reported. "We welcome the truce," Khalil said. According to Khalil, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was forced to compromise and agree to the ceasefire "because of the Kurdish resistance."

Later, SDF commander Mazloum Kobani said that they accept the agreement with Turkey and will do what's needed to make it succeed, Ronahi TV reported. He added, however, that the ceasefire agreement is just the beginning and will not achieve Turkey's goals.
Despite demanding such a move, top Democrats are naturally criticizing it - because Trump - saying it destroys U.S. credibility (as if the U.S. didn't lose what credibility it had years ago):
Can Trump do anything right? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer don't seem to think so, calling his agreement to pause Turkey's military campaign in northeastern Syria a "sham."

The US-Turkey agreement to pause Ankara's operation "seriously undermines the credibility of America's foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted," Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement on Thursday.
President Erdogan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything.
Just last week, however, the pair were tearing their hair out over what they were certain was the impending genocide of the Kurds at Turkey's hands. Pelosi called President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of northern Syria in order to clear the way for the Turkish anti-terror operation "a foolish attempt to appease an authoritarian strongman," while Schumer insisted Trump was "putting America in danger."

With Trump having "rescued" the Kurds from the doom predicted by his opponents - though Ankara has insisted all along that their quarrel is not with the Kurds, but with the PKK, a Kurdish militia group designated terrorists by Turkey, and its alleged offshoot in Syria - the top Democrats have rushed to condemn the deal he made, though it's hard to see how anyone loses under the agreement.
Assad advisor Bouthaina Shaaban commented on the agreement and the surrounding issue of potential Kurdish autonomy:
"Of course we cannot accept it," Shaaban said in an interview with al-Mayadeen television responding to the question of whether Damascus could accept a "copy" of Iraqi Kurdistan on its territory.

"There are no grounds for this [Kurdish autonomy] ... We will never be able to speak about it from such an angle, since Syria consists of many ethnic and religious layers, and we do not say that someone is a Kurd, or someone follows such and such religion, we simply don't say that. The majority of the Kurds are a precious part of our society for us, but some Kurdish organizations have made a political decision that is contrary to the interests of the country," Shaaban stressed.

"The ceasefire agreement announced by the US and Turkey is unclear," Shaaban also said in an interview with al-Mayadeen television. "As for the term a 'security zone,' it is incorrect: what Turkey really implies is a zone of occupation," she added.
Republican Mitt Romney - another idiot - is also criticizing Trump's Syria withdrawal, saying it "will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history." Jesus, Mitch, you really think this will stand out compared to the utter bloodbaths of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and countless other nations the U.S. has invaded? Get a grip.

The SDF reports that Turkish forces have already violated the ceasefire by attacking Ras al-Ayn, killing at least one SDF fighter. SOHR repots that a series of Turkish airstrikes targeted the town, killing 4 SDF, 7 civilians and injuring 21. Syrian media reports that the Turks have used chemical weapons in their attacks on the Kurds in Ras al-Din. The SDF say the Turks used phosphorus weapons:
After meeting with US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien in Ankara on Wednesday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that "information emerged that terror groups are intending to use chemical weapons and blame it on Turkish military".

"Turkish military does not have any chemical weapon in its inventory, everybody knows this," the defense minister added.
The Turkish-backed jihadists have been using U.S.-made TOW missiles against the SDF.

Erdogan will meet Putin on October 22:
"There will be a meeting with Putin in Sochi on Tuesday. Our aim is to identify an acceptable solution. We want the areas under the control of the Syrian government to be cleared of militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] and the Self Defense Forces [YPG]," told a news conference in Istanbul on October 18, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

The Turkish President went on to state that he has no objections against placing the "safe-zone" under the Damascus government's control.
UPDATE - DAY 11

After talking with Trump, Erdogan has promised a "new page" in relations with the U.S.:
"My counterpart is Trump. Just as we hold necessary talks on the phone, we will also hold face-to-face meetings that will turn a new page in Turkish-US ties, a new milestone," he said on Friday. "Trump's circle supporting his positive approach will make our work easier."

Though he initially vowed he would "never stop this fight, no matter what anyone says," Erdogan has backed off somewhat in recent days. With the incursion paused for 120 hours starting Thursday, the Turkish leader has signaled his willingness to negotiate with Washington, and will involve Russian President Vladimir Putin in discussions.
He also promised to "crush the heads" of any Kurdish militias who don't leave the area by the end of the 5-day pause.

The Turkish military accused Kurdish forces of violating the ceasefire, carrying out "14 attacks in the last 36 hours". The Syrian army reportedly clashed with Turkish-backed jihadists near Ras al-Ayn, preventing the terrorists from taking a village. Here are some videos and pictures of the Syrians entering Kobani for the first time since 2012:




Assad again has called for the withdrawal of all illegal forces from Syria:
The Syrian President made the statement during a meeting with a Russian delegation headed by special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev in Damascus on Friday.

"Assad confirmed that efforts should be directed at ending this [Turkish] aggression and the pullout of all illegal forces, including the Turkish and American soldiers, from Syrian territory since they are considered occupying forces under international convention," the press service pointed out.

Lavrentyev, in turn, underscored Russia's firm support for Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Friday meeting came a day after Assad pledged that Damascus would give a relevant response to Turkey's military operation.

"No matter what false slogans could be made up for the Turkish offensive, it is a flagrant invasion and aggression. Syria has frequently hit [Turkish-backed] proxies and terrorists in more than one place. Syria will respond to the assault and confront it anywhere within the Syrian territory through all legitimate means available", Assad stressed during his talks with Iraqi National Security Adviser Falih al-Fayyadh.
Hilariously, Macron says he found out about the U.S. withdrawal on Twitter. He called the Turkish offensive "madness" and criticized NATO's reaction:
He also criticized NATO's position in the debacle and its inability to react to the unfolding situation as a "serious mistake" that "weakens our credibility to find partners on the ground who will be by our side thinking they are protected in the long-term."

"So that raises questions on how NATO functions," Macron added.
Trump has caused some confusion by claiming on Twitter that the U.S. managed to "secure the oil" in Syria. Will U.S. troops remain in eastern Syria, and not just in al-Tanf? A military source told Al-Masdar News that U.S. forces aren't withdrawing from the oil-field regions of Deir Ezzor and don't plan to.

And finally, some videos of Russians in the abandoned U.S. bases:
The journalists included a correspondent from Zvezda, the official television channel of Russia's Defence Ministry. The correspondent gave a tour of what remains of the base, which was built about three years ago, and is situated about 7 km outside the town of Manbij itself.


Along with an estimated 300 US servicemen, the base housed about 15 vehicles, which US forces used to patrol the area.

"It appears that US forces managed to evacuate only their weapons, ammunition and vehicles; they weren't even able to set fire to the base. However, it seems they understood perfectly well who would come to replace them. Across the base one finds messages for Russians," the correspondent explained, pointing to a makeshift drawing of a bald eagle with the phrase "America is watching - always watching" written on its feathers. Separately, he pointed to a book with the message "With love from the US Army" written into its cover.

Zvezda's reporters weren't the only ones to make it into the base, with News-Front posting another video featuring several more of the so-called "messages to Russians" mentioned by the outlet, including a whiteboard with the message "WE LOVE USA, heart, Russia @realDONALDTRUMP" and "#TheComrades" and a separate whiteboard proclaiming that American Nike was better than Adidas (the German clothing brand preferred by Russians, according to US pop culture) and that whiskey was superior to vodka.


At about 9:50 into the video the correspondent discovers a notebook with the phrase "I expect Nothing from this deployment, and I'm still let down," in the cover.

The videos also showed other areas of the base, including a soundproof room believed to have been the base's command centre, the canteen, laundry room, barracks, and more.
For previous analyses and updates, see:


Flashlight

Sorting Facts From Fiction About The US Withdrawal From Syria

If one believes in the restoration of international law and the tenets of the UN Charter, then the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria is a good thing. Here are some facts and history that explain why.
US soldiers syria
© Maya Alleruzzo | AP
A Syrian boy selling snacks looks at a U.S. soldier standing guard in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near Tal Abyad, Syria, Sept. 8, 2019.
The foreign policy elite is in an uproar. They claim we have abandoned our allies, they question how can America be trusted, they say the decision to withdraw from northern Syria was a gift to Russia, Iran, and Assad, to ISIS even. It is true that the U.S. and NATO policy of interventionism is failing, but that has been true since the invasion of Iraq or earlier. After the disastrous invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and an 8-year undeclared war on Syria, isn't it time to question the foreign policy elite?

If one believes in the restoration of international law and the tenants of the UN Charter, then the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria is a good thing. Here are some facts and history that explain why.

Newspaper

Scrubbed Reports Uncover New Secrets Into The Prince Andrew-Jeffrey Epstein Relationship


Comment: The media sure dropped the Epstein pedo scandal fast once he died eh?

Thankfully, Whitney Webb at MintPress News is still uncovering what can be uncovered before they bleach the internet of all evidence...


MaxwellAndrewEpstein
© Claudio Cabrera
Ghislaine Maxwell • Prince Andrew • Jeffrey Epstein
While the Jeffrey Epstein scandal has largely faded from media coverage in the United States, it has continued to attract attention abroad, particularly in the United Kingdom in connection with Epstein's long-standing association with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and the Queen's son.

The Epstein-Prince Andrew relationship has long been a fascination of the U.K. press, with numerous articles dating back to the early 2000s detailing the most outrageous aspects of their relationship. Prior to that, Epstein had also garnered attention from U.K. newspapers regarding his association with Ghislaine Maxwell, whose reputation in the U.K. is rather notorious, as was that of her father, Robert Maxwell.

Yet, since Epstein's arrest in July, many of these older articles on Epstein and Maxwell, as well as those focusing on the Epstein-Prince Andrew relationship, have disappeared from the archives of several prominent U.K. media outlets that reported on these relationships years ago.

Several of these articles, though largely scrubbed from the internet, were recently obtained by MintPress and a review of their contents makes the likely motive behind their disappearance clear: several articles not only reference Epstein's connection to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence years before the first investigation into Epstein's exploitation of minors had even begun, but also reveal surprising aspects of Prince Andrew's involvement with Epstein that strongly suggest that the Prince partook in illicit sexual activities with minors to a much greater extent than has previously been reported.

Quenelle - Golden

'Catalonia Separatists Bad, Hong Kong Pro-democracy Protesters Good' - Western Media Treating Orwell's 1984 as User Manual

Catalonia/HongKong protests
© AFP/Pau Barrena/Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Protesters clash with Spanish policemen near El Prat airport in Barcelona on October 14, 2019 • Anti-government protesters at Sham Shui Po, in Hong Kong, October 6, 2019
When supporters of Catalan leaders jailed for organizing a democratic vote advance on Barcelona airport, media make a fuss over 'separatists' causing chaos. When the same tactic's used in Hong Kong, it's a 'pro-democracy' protest.

In George Orwell's 1984, The War Ministry was renamed the Ministry of Peace. Truth was Lies, Hate was Love. But author Lewis Carroll got there first.

In Through the Looking Glass, first published in 1871, Humpty Dumpty tells Alice, and in rather a scornful manner:
"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice "whether you CAN make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."
Humpty Dumpty has indeed been put back together again, in our newsrooms and in the mouths of our politicians. As so often happens, it finds its apogee in Syria.

Comment: They're into their third evening of mass protests in Barcelona, which show no signs of calming down:


The police are clearly under instructions to use maximum force:


Which is fuelling, no pun intended, a spiral of increasing violence:

Protests against the state have broken out across Spain, even in the capital Madrid:


This is the scene tonight in Girona, another city in the breakaway Catalonia region:




Family

The Police State's Deadly Toll on America's Children

"Mommy, am I gonna die?" — 4-year-old Ava Ellis after being inadvertently shot in the leg by a police officer who was aiming for the girl's boxer-terrier dog, Patches

"'Am I going to get shot again.'" — 2-year-old survivor of a police shooting that left his three siblings, ages 1, 4 and 5, with a bullet in the brain, a fractured skull and gun wounds to the face
US Police State
© The Sleuth Journal
Children learn what they live.

As family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wisely observed, "If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive."

And if children live with terror, trauma and violence — forced to watch helplessly as their loved ones are executed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later — will they in turn learn to terrorize, traumatize and inflict violence on the world around them?

I'm not willing to risk it. Are you?

It's difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the toxic stress of the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to protect children from the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.

Case in point: in Hugo, Oklahoma, plain clothes police officers opened fire on a pickup truck parked in front of a food bank, heedless of the damage such a hail of bullets — 26 shots were fired — could have on those in the vicinity. Three of the four children inside the parked vehicle were shot: a 4-year-old girl was shot in the head and ended up with a bullet in the brain; a 5-year-old boy received a skull fracture; and a 1-year-old girl had deep cuts on her face from gunfire or shattered window glass. Only the 2-year-old was spared any physical harm, although the terror will likely linger for a long time. "They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything," the family attorney said. "The two-year-old keeps asking about 'Am I going to get shot again.'"

The reason for the use of such excessive force?

Police were searching for a suspect in a weeks-old robbery of a pizza parlor that netted $400.

Caesar

Russia's Balanced Diplomacy in Middle East on Rise as US War Policy Crashes

Putin saudi arabia
© Reuters / Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's King Salman attend a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 14, 2019
The timing is not merely coincidental. The shambolic policymaking of the Trump administration has thrown the Middle East into further chaos, while countries are increasingly viewing Russia as a source of stability.

The high respect afforded to Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit this week to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates speaks of a new geopolitical reality in the region. Both countries are traditional US allies, but it is Russia that appears to be the one held in more regard.


Comment: Check out how the Emirates welcomed Putin today:



Russia's pragmatic policy of "talking with everyone" sees it maintaining good relations with a host of nations, notwithstanding that several of these nations are among themselves either estranged or implacable enemies. Putin is hosted by the Saudi and Emirati monarchs despite the fact that Moscow has a growing alliance with Iran - the perceived Shia nemesis of the Sunni potentates in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

USA

America is in a Permanent Coup

James Comey
© UntitledGate
I've lived through a few coups. They're insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score.

The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who's got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who's writing tonight's newscast?

When the KGB in 1991 tried to reassume control of the crumbling Soviet Union by placing Mikhail Gorbachev under arrest and attempting to seize Moscow, logistics ruled. Boris Yeltsin's crew drove to the Russian White House in ordinary cars, beating KGB coup plotters who were trying to reach the seat of Russian government in armored vehicles. A key moment came when one of Yeltsin's men, Alexander Rutskoi - who two years later would himself lead a coup against Yeltsin - prevailed upon a Major in a tank unit to defy KGB orders and turn on the "criminals."

We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.

That's all over, in the Trump era.

Comment: Would it even be such a bad thing; Special Forces rappelling into Soros and Comey's windows? Maybe the 'third world' gets some things right? Maybe it's imperative to 'tyrannize' the ultra-liberal minority in order to protect the freedoms of the generally-conservative majority? Maybe that's what the West has to learn from everyone else in these times...


Light Saber

The Swamp's Worst Foreign Policy Nightmare: Kurdish Militants Ally With Damascus

Assad syrian soldiers

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the ground and speaking to Syrian Arab Army officers.
Last night, Kurdish officials in northeastern Syria issued a statement that an agreement has been reached with the government in Damascus allowing the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to takeover key strategic positions along Syria's northern border with Turkey.

Not surprisingly, cheers can he heard from Damascus to Moscow, and Tehran, too, while leaving Washington's foreign policy blob visibly moaning in agony.

The reality of the situation is that Turkey sprung a trap set by Damascus and its allies. In doing so, Turkey helped to clean up what was previously a near impossible situation for Damascus.

Comment: Only briefly mentioned are the tireless efforts of Russia, both military and diplomatic, to bring about a just conclusion to the tragedy the West created in Syria. If the policy-wonks in the depths of The Swamp are having conniptions, it's clear that Commander-in-Chief Trump is not:

The Kurds make a deal with Damascus: Trump's checkmate in Syria


Alarm Clock

Yellow Peril, Sinophobia and Red Scare - USA is on a Dangerous Path

beijing daxing aiport

Beijing's new Daxing International Airport
In the 1980s, American elites feared the rise of economic powerhouse Japan, but managed to contain its competitor because Japan was at root a vassal state occupied by the US military. However, China's rise today is a different story altogether. With 1.4 billion people, the largest economy in the world (by GDP at purchasing power parity - PPP), and an independent foreign policy, China's rise heralds the beginning of a multi-polar world.

The 'American Century' is over, but Americans cannot accept the fact that they - 5% of the world's population - cannot rule the other 95% forever. American entitlement and hubris are causing many to lash out and embark on a path that is perilous both to themselves and the world.