01/11/15

Permalink US assassination drone strike kills 8 in east Afghanistan

At least eight people have been killed and three others wounded in the latest assassination drone strike carried out by the US forces in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar. Afghan border police spokesman, Edris Mohmand, identified the victims as Taliban militants, adding that the aerial assault took place in the Lal Pur district of the province on Sunday morning. The Taliban have made no comments on the incident yet. The US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan have recently increased their air raids against civilian areas. The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.


01/04/15

Permalink Past Russian wars: a quick look at history

The Saker The number of well-informed commentators, politicians, blogger and observers who are predicting a war - or at least of a serious risk of war - between Russia and the USA is sharply rising. Though I myself am rather inclined to believe that the US will use the Ukrainian junta to attack Russia rather then risk a direct confrontation, I would not go as far as saying that I find a direct US-Russian war impossible. If only because many wars are not deliberately started, but rather stumbled into. For all these reasons, it is, I think, high time to look at the historical record of Russia in wars. It turns out that a military historian in Russia already did all the work for us. Nikolai Shefov is the author of 10 books about Russian history including one entitled "The Battles of Russia" in which he not only looks at each war, but actually at all the major battles fought in all the wars of Russia between 1700 and 1940 (he stops at the Soviet-Finnish war and does not include WWII). Here are his findings: Between 1700 and 1940 Russia/USSR fought in 34 wars and won 31 and in 392 battle and won 279. We could say that Russia won 91% of her wars and 71% of her battles. Russia's opponents included: Swedes, French, Germans, Turks, Poles, Tatars, Finns, Caucasians, Japanese, Chinese, Austrians, Hungarians, British, Italians and Central Asians.


12/23/14

Permalink North Korea’s Internet connections cut off

In what points to a US cyber-attack, North Korea completely lost its connections to the Internet for several hours on Monday after days of unusual instability, according to several Internet monitoring companies. The loss of access came just days after the FBI accused Pyongyang of hacking into Sony Pictures Entertainment and President Barack Obama declared that the US would carry out an unspecified “proportionate response” against North Korea at “a time and place of our choosing.”


Permalink Civil Claim Filed Against Bush And Other High-ranking Officials Dismissed

Federal Court Gives “Early Christmas Present” to War Criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Others, Immunizing Them From Civil Inquiry Regarding Iraq War. Late Friday, a federal judge dismissed a civil claim filed against George W. Bush and other high-ranking officials regarding their conduct in planning and waging the Iraq War, and immunized them from further proceedings.

“This is an early Christmas present to former Bush Administration officials from the federal court,” Inder Comar of Comar Law said. Comar brought the claim on behalf of an Iraqi refugee and single mother, Sundus Shaker Saleh. “This was a serious attempt to hold US leaders accountable under laws set down at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946. I am very disappointed at the outcome.”

The tribunal at Nuremberg, established in large part by the United States after World War II, declared international aggression the “supreme international crime” and convicted German leaders of waging illegal wars. The case alleged that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz committed aggression in planning and waging the Iraq War. Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that high-ranking Bush officials used the fear of 9/11 to mislead the American public into supporting a war against Iraq, and that they issued knowingly false statements that Iraq was in league with Al-Qaeda and had weapons of mass destruction, when none of those things were true. “The decision guts Nuremberg,” Comar said. “Nuremberg said that domestic immunity was no defense to a claim of international aggression. This Court has said the opposite.”

Patrick Martin & David North The New York Times calls for torture prosecutions || The editorial published Monday in the New York Times, headlined “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses,” marks a new stage in the political crisis triggered by the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture authorized by the Bush administration. The language of the editorial, beginning with the headline, is remarkably blunt in condemning the torture carried out in CIA secret prisons under the Bush administration. [...] In effect, the most influential newspaper in the United States has declared that the Bush administration was a criminal government.


Permalink Russia to probe media reports that Ukraine military shot down MH17

Russia’s Investigative Committee is to investigate a Russian newspaper report alleging that a Ukrainian military jet shot down Malaysian Airlines passenger plane MH17 over the rebel-held eastern part of the country last summer. A witness, who chose to remain anonymous, told Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) daily that a pilot of a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet was behind the MH17 flight downing on July 17. He claimed that the pilot used air-to-air missiles to shoot down the Malaysian Boeing, which he concludes was probably mistaken for a military plane. “About an hour before the catastrophe, three fighter jets took off [from Dnepropetrovsk]. One of the planes was an Su-25, which was equipped with these kind of [air-to-air] missiles,” the witness told KP in an interview, adding that he was on the airport grounds at the time. Once the surviving pilot got out of the plane, he looked “very frightened.” The Ukrainian pilot’s first words as he got out of the jet were: “Wrong plane,” the alleged witness claimed. Later in the evening that same pilot also reportedly stated: “The plane happened to be in the wrong place at a wrong time.”

Sputnik News: Ukrainian Combat Jet Returned Without Missiles After MH17 Crash: Reports


12/22/14

Permalink N. Korea threatens US, demands apology for Obama’s ‘reckless rumors’ of Sony hack

N. Korea has demanded an apology from the US for “recklessly” circulating an unsubstantiated rumor about Pyongyang’s culpability in the recent Sony hack, warning the “proportional” response promised by Obama will be met with the “toughest counteraction.” The FBI report of the investigation into the hack at the Sony Pictures Entertainment is based on “intentional allegation rather than scientific evidence” of the North Korean involvement, said the Policy Department of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK. “After all, the grounds cited by the FBI in its announcement were all based on obscure sci-tech data and a false story and, accordingly, the announcement itself is another fabrication,” the statement reads, that accuses the US of “gangster-like behavior”. [Hard to disagree with that.]


Permalink Syria downs Israeli drone in Golan Heights: Reports

An Israeli reconnaissance drone has been downed over the southwestern Syrian city of al-Quneitra reportedly by the Syrian army. Citing military sources, media reports said the Skylark unmanned aerial vehicle “was brought down” on Sunday when it was doing reconnaissance over Quneitra in the Golan Heights. Quneitra is located in the demilitarized zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights monitored by the UN peacekeepers since 1974. No further details have been given yet. There has been no comment from the Israeli officials so far.


12/20/14

Permalink "Authorized" US drone strike kills 5 in Pakistan’s North Waziristan

At least five people have been killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan’s northwestern restive tribal region near the Afghan border. Two missiles were fired on Saturday at a compound in Mada Khail neighborhood of Datta Khail area in North Waziristan. Local security officials confirmed the drone strike in Pakistan’s volatile northwest, warning that the death toll is expected to rise. It is difficult to verify the exact number of the dead as the area is off-limits to journalists. The US military carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in several Muslim nations such as Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia. Pakistan has borne the brunt of the notorious attacks, with large numbers of its citizens being killed.


Permalink Dictator Obama "authorizes" economic embargo on Russia’s Crimea

US Dictator Barack Obama has "authorized" sanctions against individuals and entities operating in Russia’s Crimean peninsula, according to the White House statement. Obama has issued an executive order that “prohibits the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea,” according to the statement. The executive order also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on “individuals and entities operating in Crimea.”

ABC News/AP: Russia Dismisses New US Sanctions as Useless


Permalink Evan Goldberg wonders if the Sony hack was an inside job

"The Interview" Co-Director Evan Goldberg on the Sony hacking scandal. “For two seconds it was the North Koreans, and then the younger guys in our office who know way more about computers were, like, ‘No way. You’d have to know Sony’s network, it has to be somebody on the inside.’"

RT.com: North Korea offers US joint investigation of Sony cyberattack
Reuters: North Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.
PressTV: Panel to advise against punishment for CIA computer "search" [hacking]


12/19/14

Permalink Did North Korea really hack Sony Pictures? Some experts aren't so sure

Last week, a dreadful message appeared on the computers of some Sony Pictures employees. "Hacked by #GOP," the text read, referring to a group calling itself Guardians of Peace. "Obey us," they wrote in the message, plastered over a drawing of a skull that seemed to be lifted from children's horror book cover. Far from a stunt, the attack has actually compromised gigabytes, if not terabytes, of internal Sony Pictures files, including five leaked movies and a vast number of sensitive documents. After siphoning off all that data, the hackers apparently used destructive malware to wipe Sony's computers and make them unusable — something akin to a group of robbers stealing boxes of documents from a corporate office and then setting it on fire. As news of the attacks started spreading, rumors soon followed. Unnamed sources pointed the finger at North Korea, partly on the basis that the country was angry about Sony Pictures' upcoming comedy The Interview, which pokes fun at the secluded communist regime and its leader, Kim Jong-un.

RT.com: FBI formally accuses North Korea in Sony hack
PC World: Think North Korea hacked Sony? Think about this
TMZ: North Korean Government: Sony Hackers Don't Work For Us
RT.com: Sony slammed by Deputy PM Clegg for bowing to N. Korean ‘intimidation’
Dmitri Trenin Russia-NK Opening Sends Message to Region
Patrick Martin US stokes conflict with North Korea over Sony hacking


12/18/14

Permalink Latest Psaki gaffe no laughing matter - Video

Jen Psaki, the US State Department spokesperson, uttered yet another gaffe when she declared that the Obama administration signed off on more economic sanctions against Russia, setting off alarm bells in Russia. The bill, which provides some US$350 million in military and non-military assistance to Ukraine, is expected to be signed “by the end of the week,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. Perhaps Jen Psaki thought that was not expedient enough. “He signed it yesterday,” Psaki said during the briefing, interrupting RT’s Gayane Chichakyan who was asking a question about the military aid tucked away inside the controversial legislation, called the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.

RT.com: ‘Can’t stuff this bear’ & other Putin Q&A quotes
Itar-Tass: Key topics of Vladimir Putin's tenth annual press conference


Permalink What Obama’s Ukrainian Stooges Did

Eric Zuesse Here are highlights from a one-hour-and-thirty-seven-minute video documenting the ethnic cleansing or attempted genocide against the residents in southeast Ukraine, the Ukrainian area that had voted overwhelmingly for the man whom Obama overthrew on February 22nd. If the voters in that region were to stay in the then-existing territory of Ukraine, no nationwide Ukrainian vote (such as for Ukraine’s President) would favor the pro-U.S, anti-Russian, Government, that Obama had installed in February of this year. Even if new leaders would be elected, the government would then go back to being predominantly pro-Russian, as it had been under Yanukovych. That’s why Obama wanted the residents there slaughtered until enough escaped to Russia so as to eliminate enough of them from the voter-rolls in Ukraine so as to enable Obama’s Ukrainian coup d’etat to succeed (i.e., be stable) on a long-term basis. So, that’s what was tried; and one chooses for carrying out such a purpose racist fascists — or nazis — whose particular hatred is focussed against ethnic Russians: against the people who lived in the pro-Yanukovych region of Ukraine, Ukraine’s southeast.


Permalink Washington Seeks an Excuse to Wage a Nuclear War on Russia?

Eric Zuesse “We’re Close to the Precipice. Will the Public Remain Silent?” || For America’s elite, the Cold War never ended, because it was never really about communism versus capitalism — not for them. They are fascists, and they want global dominance. All they really care about is dominating the world, destroying enemies, which means anyone who refuses to be controlled by them. Aristocracy hasn’t changed since, well, long before the Bible began. Domination is the big thing, for the aristocracy. Russia threatens the vaunted global control by America’s aristocracy, their dominance over all other aristocracies, because Russia is the second-most-powerful military nation. Russia is the only nation that can say no to U.S. aristocrats and (maybe) get away with it. That’s what this conflict is all about. It’s why they ratcheted up the “enemy” figure for Russia from 6% to 22% in just the past seven years.


12/17/14

Permalink U.S. Ambassador to Israel Sparta Gets an Early Hanukkah Gift: an Iron Dome Menorah

So there you have it, a real symbol of the holiday spirit: missiles; i.e. 'Holy War' A pretty spot-on metaphor for the American-Israeli relationship: U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro holding a menorah in the shape of the Iron Dome missile system. A State Department official emails to say that the menorah was presented to the ambassador at a staff holiday party. It was made with “an empty box of coffee capsules, an old VHS cassette, paper clips, and heavy-duty tape,” among other materials. By the looks of it, a lapel pin does double duty as a flag.


Permalink German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers

A news broadcast by German ZDF station on September 8 showed soldiers of the Ukraine Azov Battalion near Mariupol with Nazi symbols on their helmets. The Azov Battalion, ascribed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs is led and commanded by members of the neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly and its paramilitary wing “Patriots of Ukraine”. ZDF Moscow correspondent Bernhard Lichte used pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps and another one with a swastika. The footage had been shot by Norwegian team from TV2 station. “We were filming a report about Ukraine’s AZOV battalion in the eastern city of Urzuf, when we came across these soldiers,” Oysten Bogen, a correspondent for the private television station, told NBC News. Norwegian TV station TV2 also broadcast the footage as part of a report on Norwegian volunteers going to fight in Ukraine (see here).

Harry J. Bentham Ukraine: The great lie of our time || In Ukraine, the United States has carried out a total U-turn from supporting democracy to justifying military dictatorship. If nothing else does, this should prove to everyone that the United States is concerned least with democracy or freedom and most with installing dictatorial strongmen to back up its military dominance in each region.


12/16/14

Permalink Don't you know your queen?

xymphora There is almost nothing new in the Torture Report, except perhaps for demonstrating how obsessed the CIA is with the male butt. I wonder if they have some kind of 'fruit machine' to determine whether someone is qualified to join the CIA interrogation squad. Don't you know your queen? [...] We could even go further back to the Executive Intelligence Review News Service, 2005: "DIA Proof Of Cheney's Lies Released" (based on the CIA's President's Daily Briefing of September 21, 2001, before Ibn Shaykh al-Libi had been captured and interrogated by the Americans, and before his rendition to Egypt, where torture created his testimony of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection). This means that the intelligence community knew the stories they were creating using torture were lies. The newest revelation, separate from the Torture Report, is that Levin has details from the classified March 2003 - just before the American attack on Iraq started - CIA cable warning that the allegation that Mohamed Atta had met with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague was false. Ironically, it appears that Brennan has released this in order to attempt to protect the CIA's reputation by emphasizing that Bush/Cheney/Powell had been given due warning from the CIA that the propaganda basis for the American attack on Iraq was a lie.


12/15/14

Permalink US uses Ukraine for WWIII against Russia: Investigative historian

American investigative historian Eric Zuesse has said that the United States is using the crisis in Ukraine to wage an all-out war against Russia. “Washington isn’t out to help the Ukrainian people; it’s solely using Ukraine as a launching-pad for WWIII against Russia,” he wrote in an article published by Global Research on Sunday. The famous author explained that President Barack Obama was expected to sign the “congressional authorization for war against Russia” and the Pentagon was shipping “military supplies into Ukraine for use against Ukraine’s ethnic Russians.” Zuesse also noted that Moscow would respond to Washington’s measures against the Kremlin after a leading Russian parliamentarian said Americans wanted to turn Ukraine into a fighting platform against his country. The historian finally urged the American people to question US authorities about the reason that they voted to approve sending weapons to Ukraine.

ukraine.ru: Stratfor: Ukraine is an important prize in the US vs Russia arena
ukraine.ru: Washington urges all countries not to do business with Russia


12/13/14

Permalink East Ukraine death toll crosses 4,600: UN

The UN says the death toll from fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine has exceeded 4,600 in nearly eight months. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Saturday the conflict has left more than 300 people dead in less than a month, taking the overall toll to 4,634. The statement said some 10,243 people have been wounded since the fighting erupted in mid-April. Moreover, it said, more than 1.1 million people have since been displaced. According to the statement, as many as 488,466 people have fled to Russia. It also said that some 5.2 million people live in war-torn areas. In its last report on November 20, the UN rights office put the number of fatalities at 4,317.


12/12/14

Permalink US threatens Russia with deploying nuclear missiles in Europe

The Pentagon has threatened Russia with redeploying nuclear cruise missiles to Europe, accusing Moscow of violating two arms control treaties. “We don’t have ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe now obviously because they’re prohibited by the treaty,” said Brian McKeon, principal deputy undersecretary for policy at the Department of Defense. “But that would obviously be one option to explore,” he added. Washington says claims Moscow violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. However, Russia denied the allegation and said the testing of a ground-launched cruise missile in July 2014 was in compliance with the INF treaty.

RT.com: US tanks, APCs, Humvees roll through Latvia


12/11/14

Permalink 5 not-so-peaceful Obama actions since nabbing Nobel Prize

Five years on from President Barack Obama scooping a Nobel Peace Prize, and the White House has taken anything but a Zen approach to foreign policy under his watch. Here are the top 5 not-so-peaceful moves the laureate has made in the past half-decade.

1. Afghan Surge
2. Military strikes in Libya
3. Drone Wars in Yemen, Pakistan
4. Obama has a secret kill list
5. Redrawing red lines

6. TORTURE

US prosecutions unlikely as Obama juggles CIA torture fallout


Permalink Kerry demands open-ended Mideast war resolution

In an extraordinary appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined the Obama administration’s demand for a congressional resolution to authorize military action in Iraq and Syria that would be unlimited in scope, time frame and methods. Kerry argued for an open-ended resolution that would set no binding time limit on the war, nor any limit on the geographical area in which US operations could be conducted. He stressed as well that the resolution should not bar President Obama from ordering the use of US combat troops. The three-and-a-half-hour hearing saw Senate Republicans, who will control the panel starting in January, criticizing the White House for not seeking broader authority and presenting a full-scale war plan, while the outgoing chairman, Democrat Robert Menendez, favored a more narrowly focused resolution. None of the Democratic senators expressed opposition to the current war in Iraq and Syria or to its escalation.


Permalink Confusion about AngloZionist sanctions against Russia

[The] thing which those who stick to a simplistic assessment of the sanctions are missing are the following:

1) Whom are these sanctions hurting more, Russia or the West?
2) What is the Russian staying power to put up with these sanctions?
3) Will time make these sanctions harder or easier for Russia to put up with?

I would argue that these sanctions are much more damaging to the the US European colonies (known as the "EU") than for Russia. I would argue that the Russian people have a formidable resistance to hardship and that western societies are, in comparison, soft, hedonistic, lazy, spoiled and generally weak. Russians have a staying power which is simply unimaginable for a west European person (the horrible siege of Leningrad lasted 900 days!!!). Lastly, I believe that time will allow Russia to take adaptive measures to basically render these sanctions irrelevant. Furthermore, the Russian staying power under AngloZionist sanctions needs to be compared with the staying power of the Ukrainian Nazi junta to keep control of the situation. It is one thing to put up with hardship and quite another to sit on a sinking ship.


12/09/14

Permalink Iraqi Army Discovers Huge Depots of Israel-Made Weapons, Ammunition

"An Iraqi army unit has found around 10 weapons and munition depots where Israel-made weapons and explosives were kept in Hamrin mountains," the Iraqi Al-Ansar news website quoted Sadeq Al-Moussavi, a member of Diyala provincial council, as saying. Moussavi said that the depot contained a lot of explosives, weapons and bombs all made by Israel. || The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime. This is not the first time that such revelations are made about Israeli arms aids to the terrorists in the region. In February, a senior Iraqi military commander disclosed that the weapons used by ISIL in its war against both the governments of Syria and Iraq are Israeli-made. “All weapons seized from the terrorists from 2006 onwards have been advanced weapons made in Israel,” Major General Fazel Al-Barvari, commander of Iraq’s Anti-Terrorism Golden Battalion, wrote on his Facebook page.

Haaretz: UN reveals Israeli links with Syrian rebels


Permalink Iran and Russia condemn Israeli aggression on Syria

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham denounced the Israeli aggression which targeted two areas in Damascus Countryside on Sunday afternoon, saying that the aggression proves Israel’s complicity with the terrorists who seek to destroy Syria and murder innocent people. In a statement on Monday, Afkham saying that Israel seeks to exploit the crisis in Syria, but this will backfire on it, calling upon the UN to assume its responsibilities and put a stop to Israeli aggressions. In a similar statement, Official Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich denounced the Israeli attack, saying that Moscow is deeply concerned over this serious development which requires qualification, stressing that the use of force in relations among states is unacceptable and merits denouncement.

Bill Van Auken Israeli bombing of Syria threatens wider war


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