Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tracking Turkey for the month of January 2017

Tracking Turkey's downfall into a worse fate than the one Erdogan planned for Syria. 




2 injured after gunmen attack
restaurant in Istanbul – media
At least two people were injured in a gun attack on a restaurant in Istanbul’s Fatih district, local media reports. Police are looking for the suspects who fled the scene, Turkish news outlets say. ...

Turkey orders arrest of hundreds of businessmen in Gulenist purge
Warrants for 380 said to have backed imam who president claims was behind failed coup

From FT
Turkey orders arrest of hundreds of businessmen in Gulenist purge
Warrants for 380 said to have backed imam who president claims was behind failed coup

Al Nusra becomes PKK/PYD pawn
Experts say the west is distracting Turkey by throwing Al Nusra in front of them as a pawn to protect the PKK/PYD, and the recent assaults prove terrorists are working jointly against Turkey
Turkey launched the Euphrates Shield Operation on August 24 in Syria to ensure its border security and combat terrorist groups, such as Daesh and the PKK, lingering near its borders.

The Euphrates Shield Operation has yielded significant results in Al-Bab, pushing forward into the Daesh stronghold. Upon capturing Al-Bab from Daesh, Turkish officials announced that the next target would be Manbij and Afrin in order to clear the area of PKK and PYD terrorists.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD) is a faction of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) terrorist group, which has waged an armed war against Turkey for over 30 years.

Upon announcing the new direction of the Euphrates Shield Operation, Turkey has been encouraged by the U.S. to target Al Nusra instead....

From Yenisafak
Additional footage of gunman behind Istanbul attack released
New footage of the gunman responsible for Istanbul's New Year's Eve terror attack emerges
New footage of the gunman responsible for Istanbul's New Year's Eve terror attack at the Reina nightclub in Ortaköy has emerged.

In footage obtained by Yeni Safak daily, it has been revealed that the gunman left his house at 10:49 p.m.

The identity of the gunman has not been made known to the public. The gunman is allegedly Uyghur, and moved to Konya with his family in November 2016. His family has been taken into custody.....

Jan 12
Terror charges could get HDP leader life in prison
HDP Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdag accused of spreading terrorist propaganda and supporting separatism
Prosecutors are seeking life in prison for an opposition party co-leader on charges of disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state and spreading terrorist propaganda, according to judicial sources....

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 243 military members 
in post-coup probe: Anadolu
Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 243 members of the military in 54 provinces across the country, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday, in a probe following July's failed coup.

Anadolu said the suspects were being sought on suspicion they were using Bylock, an encrypted smartphone messaging app that the government says was used by the network of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the attempted coup....

Turkey opposition fears 'dictatorship'
At President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's behest, the ruling AKP party wants to introduce a presidential system in Turkey. The country's political opposition is up in arms.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu doesn't mince his words. The head of the biggest Turkish opposition party, the CHP, believes that the introduction of a presidential system in the country would be tantamount to establishing a "dictatorship."

One thing seems clear: If Turkey were transformed from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential system under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it would mean the strongman at the head of the country would become even more powerful.

A state of emergency has been in place in Turkey since the attempted coup last July, meaning that President Erdogan is able to rule by decree. At present, parliament has to approve these decrees retrospectively. Under the proposed presidential system, this parliamentary control would be dropped.

Added to this, the head of state would also be the head of government. In this position, Erdogan would be responsible for naming and removing all of his deputies and ministers. He would no longer be represented by the head of parliament but by his vice-presidents, and could decide for himself how many of these there would be.....

Turkey: 2 dead in explosion near courthouse in Izmir
Police killed two assailants, according to Izmir Gov. Erol Ayyildiz, who blamed the militant Kurdistan Worker's Party or PKK, for the attack.
So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.
On Thursday, police had stopped a suspicious vehicle at a checkpoint in front of the courthouse, which led to an armed clash between attackers and security forces, Ayyildiz said. During the clash, the attackers "detonated a car bomb as they tried to escape," he told reporters.
The attackers were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and grenades, Ayyildiz said. ....

Jan 27
Turkey threatens to cancel migrant deal after Greece ruling
Ankara considering scrapping deal to retake illegal migrants landing in Greece after Greek Supreme Court refuses to extradite eight soldiers suspected of involvement in July’s failed military coup.
ANKARA -Turkey on Friday threatened to abandon a key pillar of a deal with the EU to reduce the migrant flow after Greece blocked the extradition of alleged coup suspects.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara was considering scrapping a "readmission agreement" under which Turkey has been taking in migrants sent back across the Aegean after landing illegally in Greece.

His remarks followed Thursday's decision by the Greek Supreme Court not to hand over eight former military officers wanted in connection with last year's failed putsch in a move which angered Ankara.....

Jan 29
Education ministry suspends 11,285 personnel for PKK links

Thousands of teachers in southeastern Turkey, suspected of being connected to the PKK Terrorist Organization, become debarred
A total of 11,285 personnel of the Turkish Education Ministry have been suspended on Thursday for their alleged links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist organization.

The move comes days after the Turkish Prime Minister had announced some 14,000 teachers serving in the southeastern region were somehow associated with terrorism.

The figure is expected to escalate, as the PM had vowed that all teachers associated with the PKK terror group would be suspended....

UK's BAE Systems in deal with Turkey
to develop new Turkish fighter jets
Britain's BAE Systems on Saturday signed a deal with Turkey's national aerospace firm to develop a new generation of Turkish fighter jets, the British government said in a statement.

Under the deal signed in Ankara during a visit by British Prime Minister Theresa May, BAE Systems and state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will establish a partnership for the development of the TF-X fighter jet.

Commenting on the agreement, May said it indicated that "Britain is a great, global, trading nation and that we are open for business", after the Brexit vote saw the country seeking new partners for trade....

Turkey jails HDP deputy co-chair Aysel Tugluk

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy co-chair Aysel Tugluk has been arrested tonight after appearing in court in Diyarbakir.

A twice former MP of the HDP's predecessor Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Tugluk was detained on Monday in a house raid in Ankara.

According to reports Tugluk has been arrested on charges of being the "member of an illegal organisation", namely the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

12 HDP deputies are awaiting trial in custody on alleged terrorism related charges....

Cartoons .... they are all about the new US prez








Sunday, January 29, 2017

Some News, Views and Opinions from the Alternative Media ... week ending Jan 29


Robert Parry at ConsortiumNews
Trump Lets Saudis Off His ‘Muslim Ban’

Exclusive: By leaving Saudi Arabia and other key terrorism sponsors off his “Muslim ban,” President Trump shows the same cowardice and dishonesty that infected the Bush and Obama administrations, writes Robert Parry.

President Trump’s ban against letting people from seven mostly Muslim countries enter the United States looks to many like a thinly concealed bias against a religion, but it also is a troubling sign that Trump doesn’t have the nerve to challenge the false terrorism narrative demanded by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The Israeli-Saudi narrative, which is repeated endlessly inside Official Washington, is that Iran is the principal sponsor of terrorism when that dubious honor clearly falls to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni-led Muslim states, including Pakistan, nations that did not make Trump’s list.

The evidence of who is funding and supporting most of the world’s terrorism is overwhelming. All major terrorist groups that have bedeviled the United States and the West over the past couple of decades – from Al Qaeda to the Taliban to Islamic State – can trace their roots back to Sunni-led countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Qatar.....

F William Engdahl at NEO Journal
Rex Tillerson and the Myths, Lies and Oil Wars to Come

Rex Tillerson, former CEO of the ExxonMobil oil colossus is not designated Secretary of State because of his diplomatic experience. He is there because clearly the Trump Project of those Patriarchs behind Trump–ones such as Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and others–want a person from Big Oil guiding American foreign policy the coming four years. Already as President, Trump has given the green light to the controversial KeystoneXL pipelines that will not ship US oil, but costly Canada Tar Sands sludge. His EPA plans a friendly stance to the environmental hazards of shale oil production. But most essential, with Secretary Tillerson, the US plans a major reorganization of control over oil, reminding of the oft-cited Kissinger statement, “If you control the oil you control entire nations or groups of nations.”

I want to give here a personal account of the change in my own belief about the genesis of hydrocarbons as I feel it will become increasingly important in the near future to grasp precisely what the Oil Game of the Big Four Anglo-American oil giants–ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP–is truly about. It’s about creating myths, lies and ultimately oil wars based on those myths and lies.

It was during the period in late 2002 as it became clear that the Bush-Cheney US Administration was determined to destroy Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. How a US government could risk a potential break with its European and other major allies for any real or imagined threat from Iraq at that point puzzled me greatly. There must be a deeper ground, I told myself.

Then a friend sent me an article from a now-defunct website, From The Wilderness, founded by the late Mike Ruppert. The article laid out a major argument as to how the volume of oil in the ground was finite and disappearing rapidly. It argued that the single largest oil field in history, Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, was so depleted that it needed water injection of millions of barrels daily to get an ever declining output of crude oil. They argued that Russia was past the “peak” in its oil. They illustrated their notion with the famous Gaussian bell curve graph. The world, after more than a Century in the hydrocarbon era, had consumed so much oil that we were near to “absolute peak.” Or so they claimed.

Absolute Peak?
I dug deeper, found other articles on the peak oil theme. It seemed to offer an explanation for the mad Iraq War. After all, Iraq according to estimates had the world’s second largest undeveloped reserves of oil after Saudi Arabia. If oil was in such short supply, it would offer an explanation......


Robert Roth at GlobalResearch
What’s Really Happening in Syria: Who Started the War,
Who Can You Trust to Tell the Truth?
A Consumer Fraud Lawyer’s Mini-Primer
If you try to follow events in the mainstream media (MSM), you may have noticed that they routinely refer to Syrian president Bashar al Assad as a “brutal dictator”. Assad is supposed to have responded to peaceful protests with repressive violence and by “killing his own people”. The U.S., UK, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar continue to maintain that “Assad must go”.

I disagree with all of that, as I’ll explain in this article.

I spent 25 years prosecuting lies in commerce for the attorneys general of New York and Oregon. I prepared this primer to help you cut through the lies and get at the truth about Syria.

It’s still quite possible that a nuclear war could arise from careless U.S./NATO confrontations with Russia in Syria. President-elect Trump has indicated he favors a cooperative relationship with Russia, but he will face continuing pressure from the Deep State, neocons, and apparently, the media, to continue the New Cold War that was initiated in Ukraine. And the demonization of Russian president Putin and of Russia itself has been going on for some time and shows no sign of letting up.1 So in addition to the suffering of the Syrian people, which has been horrific and continues as I write, the conflict in Syria also poses a serious threat to all of us.

Apart from this introduction and some other brief statements of my own, most of this article is a string of excerpts from the excellent work of other people I’ve come to trust and citations or links to sources for further information and analysis.....


From Telsur
Rex Tillerson Already Talking Regime Change in Venezuela

The secretary of state nominee attacked both Venezuela and Cuba.

The new U.S. administration of Donald Trump has made it public that it will seek a regime change policy in Venezuela disguised in “transition to democracy” rhetoric, the country’s potential new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview this week.
“If confirmed, I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbors Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the OAS, to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela,” the former executive in ExxonMobil told Latin America Goes Global.

He further claimed that the economic crisis in the oil-rich South American country was “largely a product of its incompetent and dysfunctional government, first under Hugo Chavez, and now under his designated successor, Nicolas Maduro.”

The government of President Maduro has, however, blamed the recent crisis on an economic war by right-wing politicians as well as corporations who are hoarding products and halting production to put pressure on the socialist administration.

Meanwhile, Tillerson struck a less aggressive tone when pressed about how he would deal with the standoff between the government and the opposition-led national assembly in Venezuela.....




Andre Vltchek at InformationClearingHouse
The Philippines in the Center of Asian Realignment
Philippines, for decades a limping invalid, poor and suffering from countless ailments, is now suddenly finding itself at the vanguard, reshuffling the entire Asia Pacific, sending Western imperialists packing.

In Manila, where the US used to roam unopposed, now Russian warships are calling on goodwill and symbolic visits.

On January 6 2017, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte boarded the Russian anti-submarine combat vessel Admiral Tributs, chatted with its officers, and then declared, loudly and clearly: “Friends, long live! That’s from the heart; I hope you can come back more often.”

Definitely, Russians will be happy to come back!....




Emerson Urry at EnvironNews
It’s Finally Here: Radioactive Plume From Fukushima Makes Landfall 
Tillamook County, Oregon — Seaborne cesium 134, the so-called “fingerprint of Fukushima,” has been detected on US shores for the first time researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) said this month. WHOI is a crowd-funded science seawater sampling project, that has been monitoring the radioactive plume making its way across the Pacific to America’s west coast, from the demolished Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in eastern Japan. The seawater samples were taken from the shores of Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach, and were actually obtained in January and February of 2016 and tested later in the year. In other strikingly similar news reported last month, researchers at the Fukushima InFORM project in Canada, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen, said they sampled a sockeye salmon from Okanagan Lake in British Columbia that tested positive for cesium 134 as well. Multiple other reports have circulated online, mostly in alternative media outlets, and mostly not corroborated by any tangible measurement data, that point to cases of possible radioactive contamination of Canadian salmon, but EnviroNews Oregon has not independently confirmed any of these claims........




Jeremy Scahill at TheIntercept
Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Promoting Russian Hacking Story
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview that he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case that President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts.

Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion of the pronouncements of the director of national intelligence and the CIA, given their track records of lying and misleading the public.

“The way they behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said when I sat down with him at his home in Washington, D.C., two days after Trump was inaugurated. “They were just so willing to believe stuff. And when the heads of intelligence give them that summary of the allegations, instead of attacking the CIA for doing that, which is what I would have done,” they reported it as fact. Hersh said most news organizations missed an important component of the story: “the extent to which the White House was going and permitting the agency to go public with the assessment.”

Hersh said many media outlets failed to provide context when reporting on the intelligence assessment made public in the waning days of the Obama administration that was purported to put to rest any doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking of the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails....

Ron Paul


Daniel C Maguire at ConsortiumNews
Calling a Lie a Lie in the Age of Trump

The L word is suddenly center stage as Trump’s presidency begins. No surprise there, given the river of falsehoods flowing from the administration and his devious cabinet misfits. Journalists scruple about the propriety of calling a lie a lie, especially when the liar is the President of the United States. The New York Times made news by calling one of Trump’s manifest falsehoods a lie. National Public Radio, perhaps wary about federal funding, shies from the word.

Underlying all this is broad public confusion as to just what a lie is. The Oxford English Dictionary oversimplifies it by saying that a lie is “a false statement made with intent to deceive.” Let ethics come to the rescue. Telling the Gestapo that the Frank family had left Amsterdam (even though you were actually bringing them food on a daily basis) would not earn you the moral stigma of “a liar.”

And that is the point. “Lie” and “liar” are not neutral words. Sometimes you have a moral obligation to deceive as when someone intent on murder asks if you know the location of his intended victim. Truth-telling in that case would be lethal; intentional deception is mandatory....

From GreanvillePost
As much of Washington prepared
 for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, I spent last week on a fact-finding mission in Syria and Lebanon to see and hear directly from the Syrian people. Their lives have been consumed by a horrific war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and forced millions to flee their homeland in search of peace. It is clear now more than ever: this regime change war does not serve America’s interest, and it certainly isn’t in the interest of the Syrian people.
We met these children at a shelter in Aleppo, whose families fled the eastern part of the city. The only thing these kids want, the only thing everyone I came across wants, is peace. Many of these children have only known war. Their families want nothing more than to go home, and get back to the way things were before the war to overthrow the government started. This is all they want.....


How can building a wall help when the bulk of the so called "illegal immigrants" come legally via valid visit visas and through US airports and then stay put in
US?  If Trump wants to compete with China's Great Wall why can't he just come out and say so.



Gareth Porter at InformationClearingHouse
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump

 A new coalition of US-based organizations is pushing for a more aggressive U.S. intervention against the Assad regime. But both the war in Syria and politics in the United States have shifted dramatically against this objective.

When it was formed last July, the coalition hoped that a Hillary Clinton administration would pick up its proposals for a more forward stance in support of the anti-Assad armed groups. But with Donald Trump in office instead, the supporters of a U.S. war in Syria now have little or no chance of selling the idea.

One of the ways the group is adjusting to the new political reality is to package its proposal for deeper U.S. military engagement on behalf of U.S.-supported armed groups as part of a plan to counter Al Qaeda, now calling itself Jabhat Fateh al Sham.

But that rationale depends on a highly distorted presentation of the problematic relations between Syria’s supposedly “moderate” rebel groups and Al Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot.

The “Combating al-Qaeda in Syria Strategy Group” was formed last July by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), according to the policy paper distributed at an event at the Atlantic Council on Jan. 12.....

From RonPaulInstitute
Trump’s Foreign Policy: An Unwise Inconsistency?

Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions have been anything but consistent. One day we heard that NATO was obsolete and the US needs to pursue better relations with Russia. But the next time he spoke, these sensible positions were abandoned or an opposite position was taken. Trump’s inconsistent rhetoric left us wondering exactly what kind of foreign policy he would pursue if elected.

The President’s inaugural speech was no different. On the one hand it was very encouraging when he said that under his Administration the US would “seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world,” and that he understands the “right of all nations to put their own interests first.” He sounded even better when he said that under Trump the US would “not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.” That truly would be a first step toward peace and prosperity.

However in the very next line he promised a worldwide war against not a country, but an ideology, when he said he would, “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.” This inconsistent and dangerous hawkishess will not defeat “radical Islamic terrorism,” but rather it will increase it. Terrorism is not a place, it is a tactic in reaction to invasion and occupation by outsiders, as Professor Robert Pape explained in his important book, Dying to Win.

The neocons repeat the lie that ISIS was formed because the US military pulled out of Iraq instead of continuing its occupation. But where was ISIS before the US attack on Iraq? Nowhere. ISIS was a reaction to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The same phenomenon has been repeated wherever US interventionist actions have destabilized countries and societies....

Jim Kavanagh at CounterPunch
Game Change: Syria, Interrupted
The recapture of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies marks a turning point not only in the conflict in Syria, but also in the dynamic of international conflict. For the first time since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the rolling imperial engine of regime change via American-led military intervention has been stopped in its tracks. To be sure, it’s certainly not out of service, even in Syria, and it will seek and find new paths for devastating disobedient countries, but its assumed endgame for subjugating Syria has been rudely interrupted. And in our historical context, Syria interrupted is imperialism interrupted.

Let’s remember where things stood in Syria seventeen months ago. After a four-year campaign, directed by the United States, thousands of jihadis in various groups backed by the US/NATO, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Israel, were on the offensive. ISIS occupied Palmyra, Raqqa, and swaths of territory, and was systematically raping, beheading, and torturing Syrian citizens and looting and destroying the country’s cultural treasures. Al-Qeada/al-Nusra had triumphantly poured into the eastern part of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city (and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world), were beheading and crucifying their newly-subjugated Syrian captives, and were beginning their siege of the larger and more populous part of that city. Turkey had commenced military operations on Syrian territory against Kurdish forces (who had won significant victories against ISIS), and was enabling the transit of foreign jihadis into Syria and convoys of ISIS oil through its territory. Against these dispersed offensives, the Syrian Arab Army was undermanned and overstretched.

As John Kerry himself later admitted, in a meeting with Syrian opposition, the Obama administration saw the ISIS advance as a positive development: “[W]e know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that DAESH [ ISIS] was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. [We] thought, however, we could probably manage that. Assad might then negotiate.”(....

...In Facebook world, Russia and Syria are in a relationship.

The United States? Well, it has Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, al-Nusra (“bad” al-Qaeda), Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (“good” al-Qaeda), ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, the Army of Conquest, the Kurds, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the rest of “Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve,” Refugee Nation, and Croatia? It’s complicated.

Whose Timeline would you want to get involved in?...


Eric Margolis at LewRockwell
Trump Bull in the Mideast China Shop

President Donald Trump is getting ready to plunge into the burning Mideast with all the zeal and arrogance of a medieval crusader. The new administration’s knowledge of the region is a thousand miles wide and two inches deep.

Reviving a truly terrible idea originated by know-nothing Congressional Republicans, Trump proposes US-run safe zones in Syria for refugees from that nation’s conflict. The president went out of his way to insist that such safe zones would spare the United States from having to shelter Syrian refugees.

He should better worry about Chicago where 762 citizens were murdered last year.

At the same time, Trump, declaiming from his new Mount Olympus of New York’s Trump Tower, vowed to impose a 30-day halt on immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to ‘protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals.’
One wonders if any of Trump’s Praetorian Guard noticed that all these listed ‘terrorist’ nations have been attacked by the United States or seen their governments overthrown by Uncle Sam. I’m surprised Afghanistan and Pakistan were left off the list. Their time will likely come soon. Is it any wonder that all of these Muslim nations bear a serious grudge against the United States? The angriest group is ISIS, who are seeking revenge for the destruction of Iraq....

Patrick J Buchanan at his blog 
What Trump’s Wall Says to the World
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote poet Robert Frost in the opening line of “Mending Walls.”

And on the American left there is something like revulsion at the idea of the “beautiful wall” President Trump intends to build along the 1,900-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The opposition’s arguments are usually rooted in economics or practicality. The wall is unnecessary. It will not stop people from coming illegally. It costs too much.

Yet something deeper is afoot here. The idea of a permanent barrier between our countries goes to the heart of the divide between our two Americas on the most fundamental of questions.

Who are we? What is a nation? What does America stand for?

Those desperate to see the wall built, illegal immigration halted, and those here illegally deported, see the country they grew up in as dying, disappearing, with something strange and foreign taking its place.

It is not only that illegal migrants take jobs from Americans, that they commit crimes, or that so many require subsidized food, welfare, housing, education and health care. It is that they are changing our country. They are changing who we are.

Two decades ago, the Old Right and the neocons engaged in a ferocious debate over what America was and is.....

Gotta wonder why the folks protesting now at US airports didn't protest when Obama was bombing the countries of these same refugees become so because of USA's destruction of their lands


The lack of protests from the Left throughout the last 8 yrs reign of warlord Obama when countless thousands have died and millions have become refugees, has shone a very, very bright light on the minuscule morality of the Left.  Even folks who don't like Trump can see through the hypocrisy of the Left and that makes the Left's voices now lose all the credibility they once possessed.  



 A bright light has also been shone on the liar and hypocrite Trump.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from whence comes all that's wrong with Islam .... suicide bombings, headchopping, women stoning, burkha wearing, etc.etc. ... that country is not on Trump's list.
Protests are (at this moment in time, Jan 29) going on at Detroit Metro Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Boston airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and several other airports and in front of  government buildings all over the USA.



 Being an immigrant myself, I can walk in the shoes of the incoming immigrants and refugees and can feel their pain and confusion. If people had protested against Obama's wars on Muslim nations, we wouldn't have been seeing uprooted people making their way to the safety of the West.  



Below some of vids relating to this event. I liked what comedian Jimmy Dore had to say. 






Friday, January 27, 2017

More on Warlord Obama legacy


From James Corbett Report
Obama’s legacy is measured in ashes.
From wars of aggression to a police state on steroids, banking bailouts and Obamacare, Obama has been the perfect captain to carry the New World Order football further down the field. But as Americans prepare for a new liner to be placed in their gilded bird cage, today we remember how the Deep State tricked the public in 2008 by giving them what they thought they wanted.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Some Views, News and Opinions from the Alternative Media for week ending January 22


From ADhrb
Bahrain Executes Stateless Torture Victims
Following King Hamad’s Authorization
15 January 2017 – Bahrain today executed three torture victims following authorization by King Hamad. Sami Mushaima (42), Ali Al-Singace (21) and Abbas Al-Samea (27) were executed this morning by firing squad, the first people executed in Bahrain since July 2010, and the first Bahrainis executed since March 1996. The execution came less than a week after the Court of Cassation upheld their death sentence on 9 January. We, the undersigned, condemn Bahrain’s violation of the individuals’ rights to life and their rights not to be tortured, and government’s complete failure to consider and investigate the torture under which the confessions, the basis of their convictions, were extracted.

Events began yesterday, 14 January, when reports indicated that the security forces were preparing to carry out the death sentences. Authorities in the legal department at the Central Jau Prison, where the three are held, called their families on the morning to schedule mandatory visits for later that day. This directive is in accordance with Article 330 of Bahrain’s Criminal Procedure Code, which states that relatives of persons scheduled for execution will be permitted a final visit before the sentence is carried out.

Contrary to standard visitation practice, when the families arrived at the prison they were taken in police cars to a second location and very heavily searched. The families described being surrounded by over fifty police officers. Al-Samea, Al-Singace and Mushaima had not been informed of these procedures and were surprised by the events.....

On Amsterdam


Prof Michel Chossudovsky at GlobalResearch
“Color Revolution” against Donald Trump

What will happen on Inauguration Day?

Anti-Trump protest movements are envisaged alongside a campaign to disrupt.

While there  are “genuine protests” –e.g. those led by the Answer Coalition and Workers World–, the main thrust is coming from an “engineered” campaign supported and financed by the Neocons, which is largely intent upon disrupting the inauguration and destabilizing the Trump presidency.  Several progressive organizations have nonetheless joined the bandwagon of the #Disruptj20 campaign.

The protest movement in fact started on the evening of November 8 prior to the announcement of the election results.  The organizers of this movement are acting on behalf of powerful elite interests. People are misled: the protests are not being led on behalf of the genuine concerns of Americans who oppose Trump’s right wing racist agenda.

The engineered protest ops are coordinated with a relentless propaganda campaign led by the mainstream media, which includes accusations of high treason and sedition directed against Donald Trump, who is portrayed as an instrument of the Kremlin.

Even prior to the November 8 elections, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leo Panetta had already intimated that Trump is a threat to National Security. According to The Atlantic,  Trump is a “Modern Manchurian Candidate” serving the interests of the Kremlin....

CANVAS  was set up by the CIA as “an International network of trainers and consultants” involved in the “Revolution Business”. Funded by Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well private corporate foundations. CANVAS constitutes a  consulting outfit, advising and training US sponsored opposition groups in more than 40 countries. In this regard, OTPOR played a key role in fomenting the mass uprisings during the Arab Spring in Egypt in 2011. What appeared to be a spontaneous democratization process was a carefully planned intelligence operation. View video below....


Al Jazeera Investigates Part I


Asa Winstanley at ElectronicIntifada
How the Israel lobby fakes anti-Semitism

Undercover video shot by Al Jazeera reveals the lengths to which some leaders of the UK’s influential pro-Israel networks will go to discredit their critics.

Part three of The Lobby, broadcast on Friday night, shows the chairperson of Labour Friends of Israel falsely claiming a Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporter had abused her with anti-Semitism.

Speaking to an undercover reporter who she thought was a pro-Israel activist, lawmaker Joan Ryan claimed the PSC activist had said Labour Friends of Israel was a route to getting a job at a bank in the City, London’s financial district.

“You heard her say … ‘join you lot and you get into Oxford’ or ‘you get into working in the bank,’” Ryan says.



But the film shows that PSC supporter Jean had said no such thing.

“A friend of mine’s son’s got a really good job at Oxford University on the basis of having worked for Labour Friends of Israel,” the undercover footage proves Jean saying at the LFI stall at the Labour Party conference in September.

At no point does the PSC supporter mention banks or the City of London.....

Chris Hedges with Abby Martin and Ben Norton on USA's MSM


Jason Ditz at AntiWar
US Stealth Bombers Kill Over 80 Alleged ISIS Fights in Libya Strikes
Pentagon Claims Slain Were 'External Plotters'
Having declared their military operation in Libya over a month ago, US stealth bombers flew to the Libyan city of Sirte and spent some 30 hours carrying out a massive bombing campaign, dropping over 100 munitions on camps on the city’s outskirts, and killing over 80 people....




From MiddleEastOnline
UN expert tells Saudi to end ban on women driving 

Alston concerned Saudi government is deferring to ‘small portion of conservative voices’, obstructing economic, social progress.
Saudi Arabia's government should end the kingdom's ban on women driving and reform the male guardianship system, a United Nations independent expert said on Thursday.

Philip Alston spoke at the end of a 12-day visit during which he met cabinet ministers, people living in poverty, activists, Islamic experts and others.

"My concern is that the government is in fact deferring to a relatively small portion of conservative voices," Alston told a news conference.

This is obstructing the economic and social progress which the oil-rich kingdom aims to achieve under its Vision 2030 wide-ranging reform programme, said Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights....

part 1



part 2



Jason Ditz at AntiWar
Unannounced Syria Trip

Spokeswoman: Gabbard Met With Several Government Leaders
Long opposed to US attempts to impose regime change in Syria, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI) has made a trip to Syria this week, an unannounced visit which saw Gabbard spending considerable time in the capital city of Damascus “to promote and work for peace.”
Gabbard’s office, citing security, says a lot of the details of the trip are not going to be revealed until she has returned to the United States, and they declined to say if she had met directly with President Bashar al-Assad, though they did confirm she’d met with several government leaders while in Damascus....




Brian Shilhavy at MedicalKidnap  
Snopes Exposed: A Look at the “Fake News” Watch Dogs

After receiving comments from people claiming that Snopes had proven our articles as “untrue,” I researched Snopes.com and wrote an article about their biased coverage of health issues back in 2014:
Can Snopes be Trusted on Health Issues?

It can probably be accurately stated that Snopes upholds the mainstream media propaganda, while attacking anything in the alternative media.

Last June, when we broke the story about the 14 year old rape victim in Alabama who had her new-born infant taken away from her while at the hospital at the time of the birth, the story quickly went viral gaining millions of pageviews nation wide. Health Impact News had their own reporter at the scene who witnessed the entire event, and even captured this

Snopes quickly responded with this:......

First presser from Trump's White House.


From HurriyetDailyNews
Car blast kills two in Libyan capital near Italian embassy

A car exploded on Jan. 21 in the Libyan capital near the Italian embassy killing two people who were inside the vehicle, security and medical sources said.

It was not immediately clear if the blast was accidental or an attack or whether the Italian embassy, which had reopened less than two weeks ago, was the target.

A Red Crescent official in Tripoli said rescue workers pulled two charred and unidentified bodies from the vehicle.
The car exploded on a street located behind both the Italian and the Egyptian embassies, outside the Libyan ministry of planning and near a hotel, an AFP correspondent at the scene said....




Michael Krieger at LibertyBlitzkrieg
You Can’t Resist Trump by Closing Your Eyes

I have serious concerns about a Trump Presidency. I’ve laid these out repeatedly in the past, but to summarize, they center around his authoritarian nature, a disregard for civil liberties, and lastly the fact that many of the people he has surrounded himself with posses an ideology which runs completely counter to the populist message he espouses. As I warned back on November 9th, in the post Americans Roll the Dice With President Donald Trump:

    Trump will be a failure unless he brings the right people into his inner circle. This is of the utmost importance. Indeed, I knew for certain Obama was a total fraud the moment he appointed Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner to key positions within his administration. This is the area I think Trump is most vulnerable to making some very big mistakes.

    Irrespective of my serious concerns, I desperately want Trump to succeed. America needs him to succeed. I’m confident that Trump will never read a single word of this, but it’s also possible someone with access to him will. If so, please consider my observations. The Republic depends on him unifying the people and helping to foster an environment in which every American has a opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I’ve been very disappointed with a large number of Trump’s cabinet picks, and I think the people he has surrounded himself with in general will be a hindrance to populist polices that can help the American public. That said, I acknowledge he hasn’t actually done anything yet as President, so I’ll reserve further judgment for now......




Bahrain is Queen Elizabeth's and her family's favorite Muslim country
Bahrain partially suspends Alwasat, only independent newspaper

Bahrain’s Ministry of Information Affairs (MIA) yesterday issued an order to suspend the only independent newspaper in the country, Alwasat, from using electronic media tools, effectively suspending its online presence. The order comes a day day after the execution of three torture victims and on the day the trial of journalist Nazeeha Saeed started for “unlicensed journalism.” We, the undersigned NGOs, condemn this attack on the freedom of the press and the ongoing harassment to the Alwasat newspaper.

The MIA alleges that Alwasat has been “inciting spirit of division and harming national unity,” but  provided no further basis for this accusation....



On the "Russian Connection" and Trump and USA's perpetual wars


Worth a read.
Pic below is from the article.




 
Prof John McMurtry at GlobalResearch
Trump’s “Russia Connection”, Behind America’s Perpetual Wars
Why the Enemy Structures US Identity

The enemy in one form or another drives the US – the gun culture on the streets, the rich behind  weapon-guarded enclaves, the pervasive violence entertainments of good vs. evil killers, the never-ending destabilizations of societies not submitting to US military and corporate globalization, and the hundreds of billions of public dollars pouring into continuous armed threats and wars.

The US capital-E Enemy is whatever exists in the world that stands against the ‘full spectrum dominance’ of the US in the world – the bi-partisan objective made explicit in the iconic Project for a New American Century.

But incoming President Trump has gone to the other side, and so becomes the enemy to the establishment. He has rejected globalizing “free trade deals” led by NAFTA as “disastrous”, saying to Canada, “congratulations, you now have your independence” (an idea that terrifies the branch-plant  CEO’s and their politicos and media now in power).

He has consistently intimated an “obsolete” NATO, the global military front of the US empire marching East through Ukraine to Russia’s borders (which are now standing against the next US-led looting of the greatest natural resource treasures of the world). In the backdrop lies official Canada morphed into a new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland of Ukrainian  descent, who like the US supports the 2015 neo-Nazi-led coup against Ukraine’s elected government to force US-EU access to the breadbasket of Eurasia and new fossil-fuel riches formerly prohibited from fracking – all of this publicly unspeakable fact in Canada and US corporate media today.

Trump’s Russia connection has put him on the enemy side again, although the reasons why will never be made public in the official cultures of the corporate media and NATO states.

In the last days before his inauguration, Trump has not buckled fought back hard on the truly fake news backed by the CIA-led spy apparatus of ‘US intelligence’ and by his enemies in power. We read only of how ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’ Trump is for ‘insulting the intelligence community’: in fact the lead agents of the US dark state long implicated in every state-terrorist interference with democratic process across the world, including the assassination of JFK......

In the last days before his entry into the White House, this CIA-CNN-McCain-led set-up of Trump has induced a feeding frenzy of the media to de-legitimate him – now all but declared guilty of treason as well as dupery by Putin and sexual perversion, any of which is usually fatal to a US politician........

Continuing with what's being said about Warlord Obama's Legacy ... Obama’s Bombing Legacy



Nicholas JS Davies at ConsortiumNews
Obama’s Bombing Legacy

As President Obama leaves office, much of his foreign policy record remains shrouded in the symbolism that has been the hallmark of his presidency. The persistence of Obama’s image as a reluctant war-maker and a Nobel Peace Prize winner has allowed Donald Trump and his cabinet nominees to claim that Obama has underfunded the military and been less than aggressive in his use of U.S. military power.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and their claims are clearly designed only to justify even more extravagant military spending and more aggressive threats and uses of force than those perpetrated under Mr. Obama’s “disguised, quiet, media-free” war policy.

The reality is that Obama has increased U.S. military spending beyond the post-World War II record set by President George W. Bush. Now that Obama has signed the military budget for FY2017, the final record is that Obama has spent an average of $653.6 billion per year, outstripping Bush by an average of $18.7 billion per year (in 2016 dollars).

In historical terms, after adjusting for inflation, Obama’s military spending has been 56 percent higher than Clinton’s, 16 percent higher than Reagan’s, and 42 percent more than the U.S. Cold War average, when it was justified by a military competition with a real peer competitor in the Soviet Union.  By contrast, Russia now spends one-tenth of what we are pouring into military forces, weapon-building and war.

What all this money has paid for has been the polar opposite of what most of Obama’s supporters thought they were voting for in 2008. Behind the iconic image of a hip, sophisticated celebrity-in-chief with strong roots in modern urban culture, lies a calculated contrast between image and reality that has stretched our country’s neoliberal experiment in “managed democracy” farther than ever before and set us up for the previously unthinkable “post-truth” presidency of Donald Trump.....

Obama’s Model
Obama’s doctrine of covert and proxy war was modeled on the Phoenix Program in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s and Ronald Reagan’s proxy wars in Central America in the 1980s. It involved a massive expansion of U.S. special operations forces, now deployed to 138 different countries, compared with only 60 when Obama took office....

Trump's first speech as President Trump



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Some News, Views and Opinions from the Alternative Media ... week ending Sunday January 15


Peter Korzun at GlobalResearch
Poland Will Do it for Us? Poland Acquires First Strike Capability to Pose Threat to Russia

It should be noted that quite often the most interesting arms contracts escape media attention. That’s how it was in 2016. Signing a multi-billion-dollar military aid package between the United States and Israel and the subsequent White House approval for long-awaited fighter sales to the Middle East hit the radar screen.

In late September, the US approved the sales of Boeing fighters worth a total of around $7 billion to Kuwait and Qatar. First mooted around two years ago, the deals had been held up by the US government due to Israeli concerns and in order to smooth the way for nuclear talks with Iran.

The same month, a $38-billion Israeli arms package over the next 10 years – the largest of its kind ever – was finalized and signed.

The news about those contacts was a real scoop hitting the headlines of all mainstream media outlets. In late November, the State Department approved another transaction- the acquisition of 70 AGM-158B JASSM-ER (extended range) missiles for Poland. The deal undeservedly failed to attract much attention. In fact, it matters much and changes a lot.

The prospects for the acquisition of the extended range version were discussed as far back as 2014. The US obviously procrastinated due to political considerations. The decision to make the deal go through makes Poland the first state outside the United States to acquire the JASSM-ER.

In 2014, Poland signed a contract to procure the JASSM AGM-158A version for its F-16C/D jets. The stealth missile is designed to destroy ground targets at distances 370+km (230 mi). As of 2014, the JASSM had also entered service in Australia and Finland.

The 370 km is a great range for the purpose of self-defense. But Poland badly wanted strategic conventional first strike capability. With the JASSM-ER deal reached, its dream has come true. Using a more efficient engine and larger fuel volume in an airframe with the .....




Charles Hugh-Smith at ZeroHedge (Plenty of informative graphs)
Dear Self-Proclaimed "Progressives"... You're As Evil As The Neocon-Neoliberal Empire You've Enabled

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Sorry, pal, you're evil. Self-righteous indignation counts for nothing in the strict accounting of real progressivism.

Dear Self-Proclaimed "Progressive": I love you, man, but it has become necessary to intervene in your self-destruction. Your ideological blinders and apologies for the Establishment's Neocon-Neoliberal Empire are not just destroying your credibility, they're destroying the nation and everywhere the Empire intervenes....

...You embraced the Corporate Media's absurd "fake news" witch-hunt, when the biggest purveyors of fake news/Imperial Propaganda are the "liberal" media you unhesitatingly believe with all your heart because it reinforces your sense of moral superiority. Never mind that the mainstream "liberal" media is owned by corporations that are in bed with the Establishment and the Empire.

You were silent when your "progressive" president engaged in a global Murder, Inc., and your former secretary of state bragged "we came, we saw, he died."Your  sputtering excuses for Imperial over-reach, extra-judicial murder and the destruction and displacement of entire populations is a travesty of a mockery of a sham of real Progressivism.....




Ben Norton at Alternet
U.S.-backed Saudi War in Yemen Fuels 'Largest Food Security Emergency in the World'

U.S.-backed bombing has killed thousands of Yemenis and pushed millions to the brink of famine.
A prominent famine monitor created by the U.S. government has acknowledged that the U.S.-backed war in Yemen has fueled the "largest food security emergency in the world." And acording to its analysis, the catastrophic situation only continues to get worse.

Since March 2015, the U.S. has supported a Saudi-led coalition that has bombed Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. With tens of billions of dollars worth of American and British weapons, more than 1,000 refueling sorties by U.S. planes and intelligence and guidance from the American and British militaries, Saudi Arabia has carried out thousands of airstrikes, at least one-third of which have struck civilian sites.

The Western-backed, Saudi-led coalition has also intentionally targeted food production and the agricultural sector in its bombing campaign in Yemen, in what a leading expert has described as a "scorched-earth strategy."....

Lizzie Phelan on Israel's attack on Syria's military airport


Brandon Turbeville at ActivistPost
Grand Mufti of Syria dismantles religious crisis lie
While most Americans are force fed propaganda and misinformation about virtually every country outside their own borders (including the country in which they live) Syria has been a particular target of the corporate press. In fact, so much propaganda and lies have been spread regarding Syria and the crisis unfolding there that the average person glued to Fake News outlets like CNN, FOX, and MSNBC could scarcely recite one fact about the country correctly.

One such propaganda narrative is the lie that the Syrian crisis is sectarian in nature and that the country was plagued by religious tension and division before the war began. Neither of these claims were the case and, five years into the NATO imperialist war effort, Syrians are as united as they have ever been.

Americans under the false impression of Syria and Syrians as well as religion in Syria might be surprised to hear from the religious leaders of the country who have denounced the violence and who have expressed nothing but compassion, understanding, and unity with Muslims, Christians, Jews and those of all other faiths....

From SyrianNews
Top Opposition Figure Nawaf al-Bashir Repents and Returns to Syria

Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, the highest figure in the western fabricated opposition in Syria, the chief of Baggara Tribe in northeast Syria, returned to Damascus and declared his loyalty to the Syrian people, the Syrian leadership and praised the Syrian Arab Army and put himself under the command of the Syrian president Dr. Bashar Al-Assad.

With 1.2 million tribesmen and women in his Der Ezzor base, he left them behind and joined the ranks of makeshift opposition individuals convinced by Qatari officials that the days of the ‘regime’ are numbered and if they defect now they’ll reserve a place for them in the future Syria. Some were bribed with tens of millions of dollars, others were seduced with leading post-Assad posts, and the vast majority who couldn’t be bought or deceived were intimidated, only few fell for any of those.....

From RT
Venezuelan court overrides opposition parliament’s ‘impeachment’ of President Maduro

 Venezuela’s Supreme Court has annulled parliament’s resolution aimed at ousting President Nicolas Maduro. The Court ordered them to stop the “political trial” against the president, since it is not within its constitutional authority.

In a statement issued Monday, the high court reaffirmed its position previously expressed in ruling number 948 of the Constitutional Chamber dated November 15, 2016, in which it ordered the country’s parliament to “refrain from continuing the procedure of declaring ‘political responsibility’ against the president of the Republic,” as cited by AFP.

It also ordered the legislature to refrain from making decisions that are outside its legislative authority.....




Robert David Steele at GlobalResearch
The Soft Coup Collapses – CIA Bluffing, Russia Did Not Hack, Blackmail Revealed – What Next?

CIA was bluffing, produced no evidence – Russians did not “hack” the election. Is this the beginning of the end of the Deep State in the USA? Can Trump clean house & wage peace?....

....Below is my formal evaluation of the five deep failures by the US IC in this report – it is a political report lacking in professional merit.

01 The report fails to provide evidence against the Russian state. The report assumes, against all publicly known information, that Guccifer, a Romanian taxi driver with a track record of success despite antiquated equipment, was a controlled asset of the Russian state. The report, in a most unprofessional, clearly partisan political manner, does not mention any of the many credible sources clearly stating that insiders did the leaking.

In UPDATE 17 of my 30 December 2016 post I list and link to 29 different individuals – including Barack Obama as saying the Russians did not hack the election. When Obama said this (in November 2016) he was not aware that the Deep State planned to persist with the narrative in an attempt to overthrow the Electoral College with false testimony – the equivalent in the USA of jury tampering, a very serious offense. They might have succeeded, had many of us not spoken up and reinforced the common sense of the majority of electors, who ultimately realized there was no evidence being presented.

02 The report is completely lacking in responsible context, which is to say, it deliberately represents Russia as the only state engaged in cyber-espionage and information operations (IO) intended to influence the outcome of the US election. The report is devoid of much needed attention to the far greater covert operations of Israel, inclusive of collaborative operations with Facebook and Google that censored critical commentary and manipulated search results so that searches for Clinton + Crime become Clinton + Love and searches for Trump became Trump + Hitler.  Eric Schmidt and Marc Zuckerberg have much to answer for, as do the Rothchilds – particularly Lynn Rothschild – as well as George Soros and other Jewish influencers including those who stole vast sums from Russia. The report naturally fails to observe that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on (and to some extent blackmailing) many if not all Members of the US Congress as well as President Barack Obama, while CIA has been actively spying on selected Members and selected computers, an activity for which Director John Brennan was censured in September 2014.

03 There is no discussion whatever .....

From AgaKhanMuseum, Toronto
A Pearl in the Desert: Palmyra’s Multicultural Society

Thursday, January 26, 1 pm
Free with Museum Admission
Join archaeologist and Ancient Middle East specialist Clemens Reichel in an illustrated journey through the magnificent architecture and rich multicultural history of Palmyra....





Pam Martens and Russ Martens at WallStreetOnParade
Here’s How Goldman Sachs Became the Overlord of the Trump Administration

During his political campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly railed against Wall Street with a specific focus on Goldman Sachs. .....
...How did a candidate who repeatedly demonized Goldman Sachs as the poster child for a corrupt establishment that owned Washington end up with Goldman Sachs’ progeny filling every post that even tangentially has the odor of money or global finance? One answer is family ties; another may be something darker.

Trump’s non-stop nominations and appointments of Goldman Sachs alumni have left his supporters stunned. Trump nominated Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs to be his Treasury Secretary. Stephen Bannon, another former Goldman Sachs banker, was named by Trump as his Chief Strategist in the White House. The sitting President of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, has been named by Trump as Director of the National Economic Council, which, according to its website, coordinates “policy-making for domestic and international economic issues.”  Last week, in a move that stunned even Wall Street, Trump nominated a Goldman Sachs outside lawyer, Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, to serve as Wall Street’s top cop as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Adding to the slap in the face to Trump’s working class supporters, Clayton’s wife currently works as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.

But the Goldman Sachs’ ties don’t stop there.

When Alexander Blankfein, .....




Nick Turse at TomDispatch
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Special Ops, Shadow Wars, and the Golden Age of the Gray Zone 

Don’t think the fad for “draining the swamp” began on the campaign trail with Donald Trump.  It didn’t, although the “swamp” to be drained in the days after the 9/11 attacks wasn’t in Washington; it was a global one.  Of course, that’s ancient history, more than 15 years old.  Who even remembers that moment, though we still live with its fallout -- with the hundreds of thousands dead and the millions of refugees, with Islamophobia and ISIS, with President-elect Trump, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, and so much more?

In the never-ending wake of one of the most disastrous wars in American history, the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, it’s hard to imagine any world but the one we have, which makes it easy to forget what the top officials of the Bush administration thought they would accomplish with their “Global War on Terror.”  Who remembers now just how quickly and enthusiastically they leapt into the project of draining that global swamp of terror groups (while taking out the Taliban and then “decapitating” the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein)?  Their grandiose goal: an American imperium in the Greater Middle East (and later assumedly a global Pax Americana). They were, in other words, geopolitical dreamers of the first order.

Barely a week after 9/11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was already swearing that the global campaign to come would "drain the swamp they live in."  Only a week later, at a NATO meeting, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz insisted that, "while we'll try to find every snake in the swamp, the essence of the strategy is draining the swamp [itself]."  By the following June, in a commencement address at West Point, President George W. Bush would speak proudly of his administration’s desire to drain that swamp of “terror cells” in a staggering “60 or more countries.”

Like Washington for Donald Trump, it proved .....

George Galloway on Israeli spy in UK



From MidEastOnline
Thousands mark Jesus baptism at historic Jordan site

Thousands of Catholic Christians attend special mass at the Jordan River, in annual pilgrimage to the site where many believe Jesus was baptised.
AMMAN - Thousands of Catholic Christians attended a special mass Friday on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River in an annual pilgrimage to the site where many believe Jesus was baptised.

Before the ceremony started, dozens of priests walked to the river and filled jugs with water as scouts played traditional music.

The priests were led by Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

More than 4,000 pilgrims packed the "church of the baptism", west of the Jordanian capital Amman and near the Dead Sea, a photographer said.

During the ceremony the priests dipped their fingers in the water they drew from the Jordan River and used it to bless the congregation, emulating the baptism of Jesus....

Real News Network talks to Rania Khalek


From MoonOfAlabama
The Deep State Versus Donald Trump - New Smears And The Ukrainian Connection

UPDATED (3x) (at end of original)

As remarked on January 6:

    When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump.

    The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.

The deep state campaign against Trump opened new grounds today with the publication of completely fake and thereby unverifiable anonymous assertions which include the smear that Trump had some fun in a Moscow hotel and that Russian secret services is using that to manipulate him.

Like many smears against Trump via proxies of the Clinton presidential campaign these new ones seem to origin from Ukraine related sources and Ukrainian "nationalist" (aka fascist) putsch supporters.

The new assertions about Trump come in 35 pages of "reports" by an anonymous (claimed) former British intelligence operator working for a private U.S. company with dates ranging from June 20 2016 to December 13 2016. They say that Russia has some tapes of Trump watching sex games in 2013, they claim that Trump campaign officials coordinated the Clinton campaign leaks with Russia and that the Russian President Putin was highly involved in all of this.

Here is how the claimed former intelligence operator typically describes his sources in these "reports":.............


George Galloway on Trump and Russia


F William Engdahl at Journal Neo
Is Trump the Back Door Man for Henry A. Kissinger & Co?

The term Back Door Man has several connotations. In the original blues song written by Willie Dixon, it refers to a man having an affair with a married woman, using the back door to flee before the husband comes home. During the Gerald Ford Presidency, Back Door Man was applied to Dick Cheney as Ford’s White House Chief of Staff and his “skills” at getting what he wanted through opaque means. More and more as Cabinet choices are named, it looks like the entire Trump Presidency project is emerging as Henry A. Kissinger’s “Back Door Man,” in the Cheney meaning of the term.

Long forgotten is Trump’s campaign rhetoric about draining the swamp. In October during his campaign candidate Trump issued a press release stating, “Decades of special interest dealing must come to an end. We have to break the cycle of corruption…It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C…That is why I am proposing a package of ethics reforms to make our government honest once again.”

So far, the President-elect has already named more billionaires to cabinet and other top posts than any other president in US history–Betsy DeVos of the AmWay fortune as Education Secretary, Wilbur Ross as Commerce Secretary, Linda McMahon as Small Business Administrator, and Vincent Viola, as Army Secretary. That’s not including Trump himself as a putative billionaire.

Then in terms of the vested special interests of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs has a huge power in the new Administration. Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin is Trump’s nominee for US Treasury Secretary. Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn will be his top White House Economic Adviser. Anthony Scaramucci, Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee member, is a former Goldman Sachs banker as well as Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and Senior Counselor.

We add to that assemblage no fewer than four US military generals representing the most corrupt military industrial complex in world history: as Secretary of Defense retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Board member since retiring of major defense contractor General Dynamics; retired Lt. General Mike Flynn, with his own consulting firm, as his National Security Adviser and retired General John F. Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Add to this collection the naming of Rex Tillerson the CEO of ExxonMobil, the largest oil multinational of the United States, as Secretary of State; the ex-Governor of Texas, America’s largest oil producing state, Rick Perry, as Secretary of Energy, along with pro-shale energy Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and certain dramatic economic policy flips begin to emerge compared with the previous hapless Presidency.....




Gareth Porter at ConsortiumNews
Pushing for a Lucrative New Cold War

The New Cold War promises untold riches for the Military-Industrial Complex, causing hawks inside the Obama administration to push for more hostilities with Russia, as in a Syrian case study dissected by Gareth Porter for Truthdig...

Airstrikes by the United States and its allies against two Syrian army positions Sept. 17 killed at least 62 Syrian troops and wounded dozens more. The attack was quickly treated as a non-story by the U.S. news media; U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) claimed the strikes were carried out in the mistaken belief that Islamic State forces were being targeted, and the story disappeared....

On Snowden


Dr Ron Paul
Will Obama’s ‘Good War’ in Afghanistan Continue? 

Last week, as the mainstream media continued to obsess over the CIA’s evidence-free claim that the Russians hacked the presidential election, President Obama quietly sent 300 US Marines back into Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. This is the first time in three years that the US military has been sent into that conflict zone, and it represents a final failure of Obama’s Afghanistan policy. The outgoing president promised that by the end of his second term, the US military would only be present in small numbers and only on embassy duty. But more than 8,000 US troops will remain in Afghanistan as he leaves office.

When President Obama was first elected he swore that he would end the US presence in Iraq (the “bad” war) and increase US presence in Afghanistan (the “good” war). He ended up increasing troops to both wars, while the situation in each country continued to deteriorate.

Why are the Marines needed in the Helmand Province? Because although the foolish and counterproductive 15-year US war in Afghanistan was long ago lost, Washington cannot face this fact. Last year the Taliban controlled 20 percent of the province. This year they control 85 percent of the province. So billions more must be spent and many more lives will be lost.

Will these 300 Marines somehow achieve what the 2011 peak of 100,000 US soldiers was not able to achieve? Will this last push “win” the war? Hardly! The more the president orders military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, the worse it gets. In 2016, for example, President Obama dropped 1,337 bombs on Afghanistan, a 40 percent increase from 2015. According to the United Nations, in 2016 there were 2,562 conflict-related civilian deaths and 5,835 injuries. And the Taliban continues to score victories over the Afghan puppet government.

The interventionists in Washington continue to run our foreign policy regardless of who is elected. They push for wars, they push for regime change, then they push for billions to reconstruct the bombed-out countries. ........

Ron Paul

The Little Girl from Eastern Aleppo and photography worth a Pulitzer


The author is Jan Oberg and his photography is definitely worth looking at.     You will be amazed.

IN Aleppo at a historic moment

I visited Aleppo, East and West, December 10-14, 2016. I was there when Eastern Aleppo was liberated or fell, depending on your perspective and the media coverage; I was among the first handful of foreigners to get into the East after that event.

One can only wonder: There were no Nordic media and no Western media (with the exception of a photographer from Croatia) present on the 11th when this historic event took place. Why?


Aleppo and its massive destruction

Aleppo is, or was, the largest city in Syria and the third largest in the Ottoman Empire. It's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world; it may have been inhabited since the 6th millennium BC - the old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. All of Aleppo is about 190 square kilometres.....

I had not visited it earlier but it must have been uniquely beautiful and very dynamic in terms of culture and....


Jan Oberg at his blog
The little girl from Eastern Aleppo

New year’s night, January 1, 2017



This girl had come out of Eastern Aleppo after four dark years of occupation by Western-backed terrorists – too many to name. People who for no reason had destroyed her home, her part of that beautiful city.
Perhaps half of her life living in fear, perhaps having lost family members.

I do not know.....