It was not a protest movement, it was an armed insurgency integrated by US-Israeli & allied supported “jihadist” death squads. From Day One, the Islamist “freedom fighters” were supported, trained & equipped by NATO & Turkey’s High Command.
Federico PIERACCINI | 26.12.2018 Strategic Culture Foundation
Federico PIERACCINI: Iran, Russia, Syria are the only ones who do not need to bluff, because they occupy the best position – the commanding heights. They view Trump’s decisions and his allies with distrust.
He’s just shifting the burden to allies and relying more on mercenaries
December 23, 2018
By Stephen Gowans
The announced withdrawal of US troops from Syria and the drawdown of US occupation forces in Afghanistan very likely do not represent the abandonment of US aims in the Middle East, and instead more likely reflect the adoption of new means of achieving longstanding US foreign policy goals. Rather than renouncing the US objective of dominating the Arab and Muslim worlds through a system of veiled colonialism and direct military occupation, US president Donald Trump is merely implementing a new policy—one based on shifting the burden of maintaining the US empire increasingly to allies and private soldiers bankrolled by oil monarchies.
Trump’s foreign relations modus operandi have been guided consistently by the argument that US allies are failing to pull their weight and ought to contribute more to the US security architecture…
Ursprünglichen Post anzeigen 1.862 weitere Wörter
Germany And France Just Broke The US Boycott Of Syria
There weren’t exactly any breakthroughs at the four-way summit involving France, Germany, Russia, and host Turkey in Istanbul on Saturday, but the event itself was a significant victory for one side in terms of optics.
Says Syria expert Joshua Landis: „The real importance of France and Germany going to Turkey to meet Putin and Erdogan is that they are effectively hiving off from the US by joining the Astana process.“ Ultimately, according Professor Landis:
They are breaking the boycott of Syria, while preserving the „need for elections“ talking point.
Alas, as the photo op of summit participants suggests, the United States has indeed effectively been cut out of the Russia and UN-brokered Astana process to bring Syria’s war to a close — which has both set the terms for the current shaky Idlib ceasefire agreement, and brought Turkey and Russia into an orbit of cooperation to seek long-term peace and stability. Notably Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron now see the Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib as the only workable track that could stave off another mass refugee and jihadi influx into Europe, already reeling from a years-long migrant crisis.
And President Putin, sitting beside his European counterparts, still affirmed that Russia is in the driver’s seat since its 2015 intervention in the war at the request of Damascus. Putin vowed during the summit: „Should radicals… launch armed provocations from the Idlib zone, Russia reserves the right to give active assistance to the Syrian government in liquidating this source of terrorist threat.“
Image via Global Look Press
* * *
But after years of calling for and at times directly assisting the West’s regime change efforts in Syria, what is the real importance of France and Germany going to Turkey for talks?
The below is authored by Professor Joshua Landis of Syria Comment
The real importance of France and Germany going to Turkey to meet Putin and Erdogan is that they are effectively hiving off from the US by joining the Astana process. They are breaking boycott of Syria, while preserving the „need for elections“ talking point.
We may safely conclude that Assad will not permit any „political process“ or constitutional committee to dislodge him or bring members of the opposition to power in Damascus. He has won the war.
Europe is frightened for its security. It does not want the refugee situation nor the Jihadi situation in Europe to be made worse by an Idlib invasion. This is why Europe is in Istanbul. As Macron said, the Idlib deal my be sustained.
Russia has reiterated that the Idlib deal is temporary. The jihadists must be killed or arrested. But Russia wants the EU to engage and commit to reconstruction aid for Syria, which can help refugees return.
Europe is angry at the U.S. for unilaterally scuttling the Iran deal and possibly crushing the Iranian economy, which could further destabilize the region and lead to an even greater refugee flow toward Europe. The US policy is very bad for Europe.
Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia want to drive the US out of North Syria and end its alliance with the YPG.
There are many competing agendas among the different sides in Istanbul, but this is an important step forward, breaking with America’s stated goal of boycotting Syria so long as Assad remains in power.
It is a logical step forward after many Gulf countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, took measures to recognize the present reality of the Assad victory and work toward the normalization of relations between their countries.
It is a logical step forward after many Gulf countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, took measures to recognize the present reality of the Assad victory and work toward the normalization of relations between their countries. pic.twitter.com/6vXjT4wt8Z
— Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) October 27, 2018
* * *
Below is a quick summary of agreed upon points issued in a communique by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the conclusion of this weekend’s Istanbul summit, via RT News:
Only political solution for Syria: The leaders have “expressed their support for an inclusive, Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process that is facilitated by the United Nations.”
Need to start work on constitution in Geneva: A committee tasked with drafting a new constitution for Syria should begin its work as soon as possible, preferably before the end of this year.
No to division of Syria: Syria must continue to exist within its pre-war borders. Any separatist movements or desires of foreign powers to occupy parts of the country are therefore firmly rejected.
Keep ceasefire & defeat terrorists: The four countries have expressed their support for the Idlib ceasefire deal, brokered earlier by Russia and Turkey. At the same time, they emphasized the importance of fighting terrorism and condemned the use of chemical weapons.
Boost humanitarian aid: The United Nations and other international organizations should bolster aid deliveries to the war-torn country. “Swift, safe and unhindered” flow of humanitarian aid will provide much-needed relief to the sufferings of the Syrian people.
Help return of refugees: The four leaders stressed the importance of “safe and voluntary” return of refugees to Syria. To facilitate the process, appropriate housing and social care facilities must be constructed in the country.
Internationally observed elections: The ultimate goal of the political settlement process is holding transparent, internationally observed elections, the statement reads. All Syrians, including those who had to flee the country, must be able to participate.
18:07.2018 – 23:00
following some unagitated geopolitical observations on the Helsinki Summit by Pepe Escobar.
A walk on the wild side as Trump meets Putin at Finland station
US President stirs up a hornet’s nest with his press conference alongside his Russian counterpart, but it seems that no ‚grand bargain‘ was struck on Syria, and on Iran they appear to strongly disagree
By Pepe Escobar July 17, 2018 2:29 PM (UTC+8)
“The Cold War is a thing of the past.” By the time President Putin said as much during preliminary remarks at his joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, it was clear this would not stand. Not after so much investment by American conservatives in Cold War 2.0.
Russophobia is a 24/7 industry, and all concerned, including its media vassals, remain absolutely livid with the “disgraceful” Trump-Putin presser. Trump has “colluded with Russia.” How could the President of the United States promote “moral equivalence” with a “world-class thug”?
Multiple opportunities for apoplectic outrage were in order.
Trump: “Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed. As of about four hours ago.”
Putin: “The United States could be more decisive in nudging Ukrainian leadership.”
Trump: “There was no collusion… I beat Hillary Clinton easily.”
Putin: “We should be guided by facts. Can you name a single fact that would definitively prove collusion? This is nonsense.”
Then, the clincher: the Russian president calls [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller’s ‘bluff’, offering to interrogate the Russians indicted for alleged election meddling in the US if Mueller makes an official request to Moscow. But in exchange, Russia would expect the US to question Americans on whether Moscow should face charges for illegal actions.
Trump hits it out of the park when asked whether he believes US intelligence, which concluded that Russia did meddle in the election, or Putin, who strongly denies it.
“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
As if this was not enough, Trump doubles down invoking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server. “I really do want to see the server. Where is the server? I want to know. Where is the server and what is the server saying?”
It was inevitable that a strategically crucial summit between the Russian and American presidencies would be hijacked by the dementia of the US news cycle.
Trump was unfazed. He knows that the DNC computer hard-drives – the source of an alleged “hacking” – simply “disappeared” while in the custody of US intel, FBI included. He knows the bandwidth necessary for file transfer was much larger than a hack might have managed in the time allowed. It was a leak, a download into a flash-drive.
Additionally, Putin knows that Mueller knows he will never be able to drag 12 Russian intelligence agents into a US courtroom. So the – debunked – indictment, announced only three days before Helsinki, was nothing more than a pre-emptive, judicial hand grenade.
No wonder John Brennan, a former CIA director under the Obama administration, is fuming. “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to exceed the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
How Syria and Ukraine are linked
However, there are reasons to expect at least minimal progress on three fronts in Helsinki: a solution for the Syria tragedy, an effort to limit nuclear weapons and save the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty signed in 1987 by Reagan and Gorbachev, and a positive drive to normalize US-Russia relations, away from Cold War 2.0.
Trump knew he had nothing to offer Putin to negotiate on Syria. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) now controls virtually 90% of national territory. Russia is firmly established in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially after signing a 49-year agreement with Damascus.
Even considering careful mentions of Israel on both sides, Putin certainly did not agree to force Iran out of Syria.
No “grand bargain” on Iran seems to be in the cards. The top adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was in Moscow last week. The Moscow-Tehran entente cordiale seems unbreakable. In parallel, as Asia Times has learned, Bashar al-Assad has told Moscow he might even agree to Iran leaving Syria, but Israel would have to return the occupied Golan Heights. So, the status quo remains.
Putin did mention both presidents discussed the Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action and essentially they, strongly, agree to disagree. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have written a letter formally rejecting an appeal for carve-outs in finance, energy and healthcare by Germany, France and the UK. A maximum economic blockade remains the name of the game. Putin may have impressed on Trump the possible dire consequences of a US oil embargo on Iran, and even the (far-fetched) scenario of Tehran blocking the Strait of Hormuz.
Judging by what both presidents said, and what has been leaked so far, Trump may not have offered an explicit US recognition of Crimea for Russia, or an easing of Ukraine-linked sanctions.
It’s reasonable to picture a very delicate ballet in terms of what they really discussed in relation to Ukraine. Once again, the only thing Trump could offer on Ukraine is an easing of sanctions. But for Russia the stakes are much higher.
Putin clearly sees Southwest Asia and Central and Eastern Europe as totally integrated. The Black Sea basin is where Russia intersects with Ukraine, Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Or, historically, where the former Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires converged.
A Greater Black Sea implies the geopolitical convergence of what’s happening in both Syria and Ukraine. That’s why for the Kremlin only an overall package matters. It’s not by accident that Washington identified these two nodes – destabilizing Damascus and turning the tables in Kiev – to cause problems for Moscow.
Putin sees a stable Syria and a stable Ukraine as essential to ease his burden in dealing with the Balkans and the Baltics. We’re back once again to that classic geopolitical staple, the Intermarium (“between the seas”). That’s the ultra-contested rimland from Estonia in the north to Bulgaria in the south – and to the Caucasus in the east. Once, that used to frame the clash between Germany and Russia. Now, that frames the clash between the US and Russia.
In a fascinating echo of the summit in Helsinki, Western strategists do lose their sleep gaming on Russia being able to “Finlandize” this whole rimland.
And that brings us, inevitably, to what could be termed The German Question. What is Putin’s ultimate goal: a quite close business and strategic relationship with Germany (German business is in favor)? Or some sort of entente cordiale with the US? EU diplomats in Brussels are openly discussing that underneath all the thunder and lightning, this is the holy of the holies.
Take a walk on the wild side
The now notorious key takeaway from a Trump interview at his golf club in Turnberry, Scotland, before Helsinki, may offer some clues.
“Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive.”
Putin certainly knows it. But even Trump, while not being a Clausewitzian strategist, may have had an intuition that the post-WWII liberal order, built by a hegemonic US and bent on permanent US military hegemony over the Eurasian landmass while subduing a vassal Europe, is waning.
While Trump firebombs this United States of Europe as an “unfair” competitor of the US, it’s essential to remember that it was the White House that asked for the Helsinki summit, not the Kremlin.
Trump treats the EU with undisguised disdain. He would love nothing better than for the EU to dissolve. His Arab “partners” can be easily controlled by fear. He has all but declared economic war on China and is on tariff overdrive – even as the IMF warns that the global economy runs the risk of losing around $500 billion in the process. And he faces the ultimate intractable, the China-Russia-Iran axis of Eurasian integration, which simply won’t go away.
So, talking to “world-class thug” Putin – in usual suspect terminology – is a must. A divide-and-rule here, a deal there – who knows what some hustling will bring? To paraphrase Lou Reed, New Trump City “is the place where they say “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.”
During the Helsinki presser, Putin, fresh from Russia’s spectacular World Cup soft power PR coup, passed a football to Trump. The US president said he would give it to his son, Barron, and passed the ball to First Lady Melania. Well, the ball is now in Melania’s court.
Martin Zeis 17.04.2018 17:10
Caitlin Johnstone dismantles the false flag in Douma – Dust no Gas – Weakening Narrative – Consent Required.
Syrian ‘Chemical Victims’ Suffered from Dust Inhalation, Reports Say
April 16, 2018
A report by the Independent’s veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk quotes doctors in Douma saying victims suffered from dust inhalation and that a member of the White Helmets caused panic by falsely shouting, “Gas!” in a triage center. The White Helmets were then bused out with other jihadists, as Caitlin Johnstone explains.
By Caitlin Johnstone
We are now being told (and I assure you I am not making this up) that if the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons doesn’t find evidence that the Syrian government conducted a chemical weapons attack in Douma last week, it’s because Russia hid the evidence.
“It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” reports U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward. “It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation.”
I guess the idea is that this international top-level investigative team on which tremendous credibility has been placed by the western world can be thwarted by Russians showing up with a Hoover and spraying some Febreze in the air like a teenage stoner when mom comes home? I’m not sure, but given the immense dearth of evidence we’ve been seeing in support of the establishment Douma narrative and the mounting pile of evidence contradicting it, it sure does sound fishy.
Now that the jihadist-occupied suburb of Douma has been retaken by the Syrian government, western journalists have been allowed in to poke around and start asking questions, and so far it isn’t looking great for the propaganda machine
Dust Not Gas
The Independent‘s Robert Fisk has published a report which affirms the story so many westerners have been dismissing as Kremlin propaganda for days now after interviewing a doctor from the hospital of the area where the Douma attack was supposed to have occurred. Dr Assim Rahaibani told Fisk that what was in actuality an outbreak of respiratory distress among occupants of a dusty oxygen-deprived tunnel was made to look like the aftereffects of a chemical weapons attack when a member of the White Helmets started shouting about a gas attack in front of a bunch of video cameras. Everyone panicked and started hosing themselves down, but in the video, according to Rahaibani, “what you see are people suffering from hypoxia—not gas poisoning.”
This report was independently backed up by a reporter from One America News Network named Pearson Sharp, who gave a detailed account of his interviews with officials, doctors, as well as many civilians on the street Sharp says he deliberately selected at random in order to avoid accusations of bias. Many people hadn’t even heard that a chemical weapons attack had taken place, and the ones who had said it was staged by Jaysh al-Islam. The staff at the hospital, including a medic-in-training who was an eyewitness to the incident, gave the same story as the account in Fisk’s report. (Fisk also reported that the White Helmets in Duma had joined jihadists on Syrian government buses on the way to Idlib province.)
The increasing confidence with which these unapproved narratives are being voiced and the increasing discomfort being exhibited by empire loyalists like Ambassador Ward indicate a weakening narrative in the greater propaganda campaign against the Assad government and its allies, but don’t hold your breath for the part where Fox News and the BBC turn around and start asking critical questions of the governments that they are meant to be holding to account.
The journalists who have been advancing the establishment narrative on Syria aren’t about to start reporting that they’ve gotten the entire yria story backward and have been promoting a version of events manufactured for the benefit of CIA-MI6-Mossad agendas. You’re not about to see CNN, who last year staged a fake scripted interview with a seven year-old Syrian girl to manufacture support for escalations against Assad, suddenly turn around and start asking if we’re being told the full story about what’s happening Syria.
Watch them closely. Watch how they steadfastly ignore the growing mountain of evidence and keep promoting the Syrian regime change agenda that the western empire has been working toward for decades. Watch them dismiss all evidence they can’t ignore as Kremlin propaganda and shift the narrative whenever things start to look bad for them. Those riding the crest of the wave of establishment media are too far gone into the blob to ever admit error and change. The least among us aren’t about to stop constructing a public reality tunnel which depicts them as heroes of truth, tear it all down, and start advancing a narrative which makes them look like fools at best and villains at worst. It will not happen.
Luckily for us, it doesn’t need to. Internet censorship is still far from closing the door on our ability to network and share information, and we’ve been very effective at sowing skepticism among the masses. The war propagandists are not nearly as good at their jobs as they want to believe, and we can beat them.
They work so hard to manufacture support for war because they require that consent. If the oligarchs try to launch a war against a disobedient nation amidst very clear opposition from the public, they will shatter the illusion of freedom and democracy that their entire empire is built upon, and then they’re exposed. Corporatist oligarchy has succeeded in weaving its web of dominance because its oppression has thus far remained hidden and its depravity disguised as humanitarianism. They cannot expose themselves by transgressing a loud NO from the public or else the masses will realize that everything they used to believe about their country, their government and their world is a lie.
They won’t risk that. We can force them into retreating from open war by circulating facts and information and keeping a healthy level of skepticism circulating among the public. Watch them squirm, move goalposts and shift narratives, and point and yell about it whenever it happens. We can win the media war against the propagandists. We have truth on our side.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.
Die Übersetzung ins Deutsche besorgten die Nachdenkseiten:
Evidence Of No Evidence Declassified Here is the full declassified national assessment (of alleged chemical attacks on Douma) provided by the French foreign ministry in English:
April 15, 2018 „Information Clearing House“ – PARIS: France concluded after technical analysis of open sources and „reliable intelligence“ that a chemical attack on Douma on April 7 was carried out by Syrian government forces, a declassified intelligence report showed on Saturday.
Here is the full declassified national assessment provided by the French foreign ministry in English: I. SEVERAL LETHAL CHEMICAL ATTACKS TOOK PLACE IN THE TOWN OF DOUMA IN THE LATE AFTERNOON OF SATURDAY,7 APRIL 2018, AND WE ASSESS WITH A HIGH DEGREE OF CONFIDENCE THAT THEY WERE CARRIED OUT BY THE SYRIAN REGIME.
Following the Syrian regime’s resumption of its military offensive, as well as high levels of air force activity over the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, two new cases of toxic agents employment were spontaneously reported by civil society and local and international media from the late afternoon of 7 April.
Non-governmental medical organizations active in Ghouta (the Syrian American Medical Society and the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations), whose information is generally reliable, publicly stated that strikes had targeted in particular local medical infrastructure on 6 and 7 April. (…)
See highlighted Document: Report 20180415