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A Thirty Year History of ‘Russian Aggression’
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A Thirty Year History of ‘Russian Aggression’

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Neil Clark
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https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201708021056106300-russian-aggression-neocon-narrative/

Repeat after me (by orders of the Neo-Con Thought Police): “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression.” The phrase has become a mantra, to be repeated (with all the correct arm movements and feigned expressions of outrage), by anyone wanting to be regarded as a “credible” foreign policy commentator in the elite western media.

So let’s talk “Russian aggression” shall we? There’s been quite a lot of it, comrades.

Yugoslavia

In 1999, “Russia” and its Warsaw Pact allies illegally bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days — having earlier presented the country with an ultimatum that they later admitted was deliberately designed to be rejected.

Russia’s leadership claimed that Yugoslav forces were committing a “genocide” in Kosovo, and that they had the right to launch a “humanitarian intervention.”

Still from Serbian TV from April 4, 1999 showing a bridge over the Danube in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, some 70 km (40 miles) north of Belgrade, which was destroyed a day earlier by NATO warplanes.
© AFP 2017/ SERBIAN TV
Still from Serbian TV from April 4, 1999 showing a bridge over the Danube in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, some 70 km (40 miles) north of Belgrade, which was destroyed a day earlier by NATO warplanes.

But during this “humanitarian” intervention, many innocent civilians were killed — including at least 20 on a passenger train and a convoy of Kosovan Albanians fleeing the bombing. “The Russians” initially blamed this attack on Yugoslav forces, but evidence showed it was they who carried out the bombing.

After the military campaign ended, “the Russians” intensified their efforts to topple the democratically-elected Yugoslav government.

They poured millions in to what they called the “democratic opposition,” and encouraged violent anti-government protests during the elections of October 2000.

In 2001, a UN court found that there had not after all been a genocide in Kosovo.

An aerial view taken 15 June 1999 of the Pristina central post office which was destoyed by NATO bombing.
© AFP 2017/ RUSSELL BOYCE / REUTERS POOL
An aerial view taken 15 June 1999 of the Pristina central post office which was destoyed by NATO bombing.

After the Yugoslav government was toppled, many social/publicly owned enterprises were privatized. Among those bidding for utilities in “liberated” Kosovo were companies/funds founded by prominent members of “the Russian” government/military elite who had bombed Yugoslavia.A Yugoslav desk officer for “the Russian” Ministry of Foreign Affairs later revealed the real reason the country had been targeted.

“In post-Cold War Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalization.”

Afghanistan

In 2001, “Russia” and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded Afghanistan. “Operation Enduring Freedom” was — we were told — a response to terrorist attacks on Moscow which took place in September that year. But sixteen years on, the conflict continues — with over 100,000 Afghans killed.

“Russian forces” regularly bombed weddings in the country and in 2015, a hospital — an action which “the Kremlin” denied was a war crime.

In this Friday, October 16, 2015 photo, an employee of Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a US airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
© AP Photo/ Najim Rahim
In this Friday, October 16, 2015 photo, an employee of Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a US airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

In his farewell speech as Afghan President in 2014, Hamid Karzai blamed “the Russians” for the fact that his country was still at war.

“Today, I tell you that the war in Afghanistan is not our war, but imposed on us and we are the victims. One of the reasons was that ‘the Russians’ did not want peace because they had their own agenda and objectives.”

Iraq

In the 1990s, “Russia” bombed Iraq frequently and insisted there could be no easing of genocidal sanctions.

In 1996, “Russia’s” Foreign Minister was asked on television, “is the price worth it?” in relation to the death of half a million Iraqi children due to sanctions. He replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”

In 2003, “Russia” and its allies launched a full-scale “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq, claiming the country possessed weapons of mass destruction which were a threat to the entire world.

“He [Saddam] claims to have no chemical or biological weapons, yet we know he continues to hide biological and chemical weapons, moving them to different locations as often as every 12 to 24 hours, and placing them in residential neighborhoods,” declared “Russia’s” Defense Minister.

A US soldier looks through a pair of binoculars as a fire in the Rumeila oil field burns in the background in southern of Iraq, Sunday, March 30, 2003.
© AP Photo/ Yonhap/Jin Sung-chul
A US soldier looks through a pair of binoculars as a fire in the Rumeila oil field burns in the background in southern of Iraq, Sunday, March 30, 2003.

One million people lost their lives following the invasion, which turned Iraq into a failed state and led directly to the rise of Daesh. The WMDs — surprise, surprise — never showed up.As in Yugoslavia, “the Russian” leadership had lied.

Libya

In 2011, Russia and its allies launched a military assault on Libya, claiming that its long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was about to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi.

The country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009, was transformed by the “Russian-led” bombing into a failed state, and one vast training ground for various radical jihadist groups including Daesh.

Gaddafi himself was killed, with a bayonet stuck up into his anus, leading to laughter from the “humanitarian” “Russian” Foreign Minister — who declared: “We came, we saw, he died!”

Five years later, a report from parliamentarians in one of “Russia’s” key ally states concluded: “The proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benhgazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

But by now, it was too late. Libya had already been destroyed.

Syria

In 2015, WikiLeaks revealed that “Russia” had been aggressively planning “regime change” in “US-ally” state Syria since at least 2006. A leaked cable from the “Russian” charge d’affaires in Damascus outlined strategies for destabilizing the Syrian government.

Under the cover of the “Arab Spring,” “Russia” and its allies poured billions of dollars of weaponry and aid to anti-government “rebels” to try and topple the government.

This Friday, August 23, 2013 file photo, black columns of smoke from heavy shelling in Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.
© AP Photo/ Hassan Ammar
This Friday, August 23, 2013 file photo, black columns of smoke from heavy shelling in Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

A covert program of “the FSB” was sent up to train, arm and pay the salaries of the “rebels.” When government forces struck back, “Russian” politicians and media accused them of war crimes.

“Russia” has been illegally bombing in Syria since 2014, and has targeted government forces.

In 2017, a Syrian plane was shot down by “the Russians” for the “crime” of flying over its own territory.

Between 300,000-475,000 people are believed to have died in the conflict.

And this is not all.

Other examples of “Russian aggression” include:

  • Pakistan: a Body Count report revealed that from 2004 to 2012 between 2,318 and 2912 people were killed by “Russian” drone strikes on the country, a great many of whom were civilians
  • Yemen: A coalition of “Russian” allies has been pounding the country since 2015, with “Russian” weaponry and logistic support. Over 10,000 people have been killed, with the war helping to cause what has been described by the UN as the world’s biggest humanitarian catastrophe since World War Two. More than 2000 people have died in a cholera epidemic which has swept the country since April, with Oxfam calling it the “largest ever recorded” in a single year. But “Russia” continues to support the military campaign.
  • Sudan/South Sudan: “Russia” heavily funded the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement, and encouraged them to break away from Sudan — a country not allied to “Moscow” — and which “Russia” had bombed in 1997. But South Sudan has been wracked with war — and famine. Yet another Russian intervention resulting in violent chaos.

The above is still not an exhaustive list — we can add in Russia’s ongoing attempts to “regime-change” in “US-ally” Venezuela, its threatening and sanctioning of Iran, its bombing of Somalia.

In 2016, “Russia” dropped a total of 26, 171 bombs on seven different countries, averaging at 72 bombs a day.

The devastating impact of Russian aggression in recent years can be seen in the Body Count report which revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives in “Russian-led” wars/military operations in the period from September 2001 until 2013 — in just three countries, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we add other countries too, then its clear we’re talking about well over 2 million deaths which can be laid directly at the doors of “the Kremlin.”

Pretty shocking eh? But of course, the above didn’t happen. Or rather it did happen, but the actions described above were taken not by Russia, but by the US and its allies (just click on the links).

To make things even worse, the countries responsible for the aggression which cost the lives of millions of people, and caused chaos and misery around the world, have the effrontery to accuse others of the very crimes they themselves have committed.

Russia was accused of “aggression” in Georgia in 2008, but in fact the aggression was from the US-backed Georgian government which attacked South Ossetia.

Russia was accused of “aggression” in Ukraine, but again the crisis started because of actions from the US and its allies who backed the violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government.

Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police.
© Sputnik/ Andrey Stenin
Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police.

The democratic wishes of the people of the Crimea to return to Russia, following the unconstitutional “regime change” in Kiev, as expressed in a referendum vote, was twisted into a narrative of “the Russian invasion of Ukraine” by the same crowd of deceitful warmongers who cheer-led for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Here you can listen to the US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland discussing who should/shouldn’t be in the new “democratic” government in Ukraine with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt:

Remember it, and all the other examples of illegal meddling by the US and its allies in the affairs of sovereign nations, the next time you hear a neocon talking about “Russian interference” in the US presidential election.

Remember too, how the Warsaw Pact was disbanded in 1991, but the US-led Cold War military alliance NATO actually expanded, right up to Russia‘s borders.

Repeat after me: “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression.”

Has there ever been a better example in the history of international relations of what psychologists call “projection”?

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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.  

US Lawmaker Opposes Russia Sanctions Citing Cooperation on Syria
| July 27, 2017 | 7:57 pm | DPRK, Iran, Russia, Syria | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201707271055914402-usa-lawmaker-opposes-sanctions/

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US Lawmaker Opposes Russia Sanctions Citing Cooperation on Syria

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Congressman John Duncan says that new US Sanctions against Russia should be rejected because Moscow is helping the United States battle Daesh.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — New US Sanctions against Russia should be rejected because Moscow is helping the United States battle the Islamic State terror group (Daesh or ISIS) in addition to assistance in maintaining a ceasefire in Syria, Congressman John Duncan told RIA Novosti.

“I recently voted against a bill to increase the sanctions already in place against Russia and Iran,” Duncan said on Wednesday. “The increased sanctions against Russia were based on alleged meddling in our presidential election. However, if they did, it was totally ineffective, and Russia has aided us recently in the fight against ISIS and reaching a cease fire in Syria.”

The congressman said he also thought it was unwise to expand sanctions on Iran after the US State Department twice verified that the Islamic Republic has complied with the terms of an international nuclear agreement.

“I just did not think we should slap them in the face when they are doing what we wanted them to do,” Duncan said.

Likewise, the lawmaker said he thought sanctions on North Korea would do nothing to hurt the ruling elite in Pyongyang, while the measures would almost certainly hurt impoverished North Koreans.

“Overall, though I think we should stop trying to rule the whole world. We are $20 trillion in debt, and we have enough problems at home,” Duncan said.

Duncan was one of just three lawmakers in the US House of Representatives who on Tuesday voted against a bill to sanction Russia, Iran and North Korea and limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift restrictions on Moscow.

Another 419 lawmakers voted in favor of the legislation, which will now be passed onto the Senate for a vote before being sent to Trump for final approval.

White House Admits Defeat in Syria
| July 20, 2017 | 8:44 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, Syria | No comments
People gesture at a US military vehicle travelling in Amuda province, northern Syria April 29, 2017.

White House Admits Defeat in Syria

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Finian Cunningham
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President Trump’s announcement this week to end the CIA’s covert arming of militants in Syria is an admission of defeat. The US has lost its six-year war for regime change in the Arab country. It’s time to wrap it up.

It’s not over yet, of course. It remains to be seen if Trump’s decision can in fact be implemented. Can the CIA be reined in to obey orders? Will the US be able to stop regional client regimes, like Saudi Arabia, from stepping up their covert supply of American weapons to the militants in Syria?

Also, Trump’s decision does not mean the US and its allies will withdraw ground and air forces from Syria, where they are illegally operating in violation of international law.

Nevertheless, the American president’s declared ending of the CIA’s role in fueling the insurgency in Syria should be seen as a welcome move. It is the right thing to do, and a brave one also because of the anti-Russia flak he is bound to receive for taking the decision. It would have been politically expedient for Trump to have not pulled the plug on the CIA in Syria. But by doing so, he is bound to compound the anti-Russia hysteria gripping Washington and large sections of the media accusing him of being a “Kremlin stooge”.Any rational person would have to agree that the best way to end the violence in Syria is for foreign countries to halt pouring weapons into the country. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has long maintained this logical position: if nations want Syria’s bloodshed to stop, as they claim, then they should stop supplying arms and cut out sponsoring militant groups.

By its own admission, the US has been funneling weapons into Syria since at least 2013, according to media reports, and probably before that date right back to the beginning of the war in March 2011. Not only the US but its NATO partners, Britain, France and Turkey, as well as regional allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. This is an admission of a criminal conspiracy to destabilize a sovereign country by supporting illegally armed anti-government militant groups. It matters little whether these groups are arbitrarily designated “moderate rebels”. They are illegally armed.

With a Syrian death toll of up to 400,000 over six years of war, millions of refugees and a culturally rich country driven to the brink of destruction, it is blindingly obvious that Trump made the right call to at least partially reduce the flow of weapons, by ending the CIA program. It is well past time to bring the US-led criminal assault on Syria to an end.Trump’s call was also a brave one because the US media immediately and predictably depicted the move as a “concession to Russia”. With the US president already being assailed with endless accusations of “colluding” with Russia in winning the election to the White House last year, his decision to leash the dogs of war in Syria this week only lends more grist to the Russophobia rumor mill.

The Washington Post headlined the news with: “Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow”.

Several other US media outlets followed suit, making snide comments that the move “will please the Kremlin” and that Trump was “appeasing Putin” by closing down the CIA covert operations in Syria.

The American corporate media persist with the myth that the CIA has been backing “moderate rebels”. When in reality, the “moderate rebels” and the “terrorist jihadists” are one and the same motley army of mercenaries. Mercenaries who have barbarized the Syrian people with sickening massacres, under the tutelage of the CIA and other foreign military services.

In this picture released on June 26, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, Islamic State militants fire an anti-tank missile in Hassakeh, northeast Syria
© AP Photo/ Militant website via AP

With contorted logic, US media spin that Trump’s shuttering of the CIA program to train “moderate rebels” in Syria may now strengthen the hand of “extremists”.The president is accused of capitulating to Putin on Syria. There are mutterings in the US media suggesting that this is what Trump talked about with Putin during their meetings in Hamburg at the G20 summit earlier this month. Especially, during the so-called “secret meeting” in front of 18 other heads of state while at dinner.

What the incorrigible lying US media don’t get is that American involvement in Syria has been a criminal enterprise from the get-go, constituting a monumental crime against peace and humanity. The US-sponsored terrorism in Syria has gone on for far too long. No amount of sanitizing by the media can alter that brutal truth.

It was Russia’s principled decision at the end of 2015 to intervene in Syria, in accordance with international law, that began to bring the criminal conspiracy to an end. Two years on, the Syrian state is beginning to get the upper-hand over the foreign-backed militant groups that have ravaged the country. Russia’s military support has been vital to that impending victory.

“The shuttering of the [CIA] program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power,” noted the Washington Post.

In other words, begrudgingly, the US war for regime change in Syria is being acknowledged as a defeat. And it is Russia that ensured that defeat.

The Washington Post quotes one US official as saying more openly: “It is a momentous decision. Putin won in Syria.”Rather than coming clean and admitting that the US has been engaged in a sordid, criminal war on Syria which it has finally lost, the American media are now spinning Trump’s ending of CIA operations as a “concession” to Russia.

For all his flaws, and there are many, at least Donald Trump knows when to admit that the US war in Syria is a loser. And despite the carping Russophobia trying to box him in, Trump appears ready to take the right decision to bring this criminal American war to an end.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Hands Off Syria Coalition Presentation — Stephen Gowans (NYC)
| July 18, 2017 | 8:10 pm | Struggle for Peace, Syria | No comments

Scandalous! Corbyn Eats Pizza With ‘Russian Agent’: New McCarthyism, 2017-Style
| July 14, 2017 | 8:08 pm | Analysis, Jeremy Corbyn, Russia, Syria | No comments
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn talks to the media after meeting European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (not pictured) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 13, 2017.

Scandalous! Corbyn Eats Pizza With ‘Russian Agent’: New McCarthyism, 2017-Style

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Neil Clark
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https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201707141055542149-corbyn-papadopoulos-media-frenzy/

You are a man-of-the-people left-wing politician riding the crest of a wave of popularity. Members of the public regularly ask you to pose for photographs with them.

Do you: (a) Tell them to “Bugger Off!” (b) Say, “Of course, no problems, comrade,” and pose for the snap, (c) Hand the person a long questionnaire to fill in detailing their political views on foreign policy issues — including their positions on the Balkan wars, Syria, Russia, the NATO alliance, Israel, and the old Soviet Union, before consenting to be photographed with them.

Well, I’m sure you’ll agree that (b) is the answer most normal members of the human race would give. It’s certainly what Jeremy Corbyn does. But for Britain’s utterly ludicrous NeoCon Thought Police (b) is the wrong answer. The Labour leader should check first, in great detail, the political views on foreign policy before he agrees to be photographed with anyone.

Corbyn has come under ferocious attack from Establishment gatekeepers in both the “old” and “new” media for having his picture taken with one Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos in a London eaterie earlier this week.

“Jeremy Corbyn pictured enjoying pizza with controversial pro-Assad campaigner who denied the Srebrenica genocide” was one headline. “Corbyn spent yesterday evening with Assad-loving genocide-denier” was another. The news even hit the United States — with an added but predictable twist. “Jeremy Corbyn just met with a Russian agent,” the Washington Examiner dramatically declared. “Papadopoulos is much more than a sycophant for slaughter. He’s a Russian ‘active measures agent.’ ” Whoever said Senator Joe McCarthy was dead and buried?

Let’s get one thing cleared up first. Dr. Papadopoulos was wrong to state that a genocide did not take place at Srebrenica. It did. He has said it was a “war crime,” but not genocide. This is at variance with the 2007 ruling of the International Court of Justice which held that a genocide did indeed occur (and that the government in Belgrade was not directly responsible for it). But how on earth was Corbyn expected to know Dr. Papadopoulos’ stance on this issue when he was asked for a photograph? Is he expected to quiz all those wanting a quick snapshot with him on their acceptance of historical genocides? Just how absurd would that be?

Even if Papadopoulos had acknowledged that a genocide did take place at Srebrenica, the truth is that it wouldn’t have made any difference. For a start, you don’t even have to be a “Srebrenica genocide denier” to be accused of being one by the NeoCon Thought Police, as I know only too well. I’m in the process of suing an obsessed and very creepy stalker who has repeatedly defamed me as a Srebrenica genocide denier.

In the case of Dr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Corbyn, the New McCarthyites would have found other reasons to make a huge fuss about the men being photographed together — as indeed they did. Kate McCann, in the Telegraph, declared: “Mr. Papadopoulos is famously outspoken on the subject of intervention abroad, particularly on the UK and America’s record. Among incriminating “recent messages: from Dr Papadopoulos that were produced as “evidence” against him were:

“We stand with Syria against US aggression. And No to Western-backed Islamist terrorism. #Syria.”

“#Israel is not — and never has been — in the fight against al-Qaeda. After all, Israeli hospitals treat wounded al-Qaeda fighters from Syria.”

And, wait for it: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

The implication seems to be that Dr Papadopoulos should be saying “Yes” to Western-backed Islamist terrorism in Syria and standing 100% with those massacring Christians — which is a strange position to find in a “Middle England” conservative paper like the Daily Telegraph.

In a straight fight between Daesh/al-Qaeda and Syrian government forces, which Telegraph readers wouldn’t prefer the latter to prevail? After all, its not “Assad” who’s been organizing and inspiring terror attacks on UK citizens in Manchester and London, is it?

Furthermore, is the Telegraph’s senior political correspondent really saying that it’s “controversial” to be “outspoken” on the “record” of Britain’s and the US’ “intervention” abroad — interventions which have seen Iraq and Libya destroyed and large parts of North Africa and the Middle East turned into jihadist training camps? If we can’t be “outspoken” about the illegal Iraq war — fought on a brazen lie about WMDs — and which led to the deaths of one million innocent people and the rise of Daesh, what can we be outspoken about?

The attacks on Corbyn for being photographed with a person with the “wrong” views on foreign policy are another example of the McCarthyite device of “guilt by association.” It’s not just the things you say (or tweet) which can get you into trouble, it’s who you’re seen in public with too — and who you engage with on social media.

Interestingly, as Evolve Politics reveal, Dr. Papadopoulos has interviewed — and had his picture taken — with other prominent politicians, in his capacity as publisher and editor of Politics First magazine, but it’s the only the snap with Jezza which has caused outrage. What we’re witnessing is a campaign waged by the stenographers for the powerful to enforce the “correct” i.e. pro-war views on foreign policy and intimidate people from speaking out — even if their opposition to “liberal interventionism” and disastrous regime-change wars is shared by the vast majority of ordinary Britons.

The Dr. Papadopoulos/Mr. Corbyn story is not the only example of McCarthyism we’ve seen in recent days.

Aaron Bastani, of Novara Media, issued an “apology” for the heinous crime of speaking to the antiwar former MP George Galloway. Galloway is “black-balled” for comments he made years ago in relation to the Julian Assange case — and which was drawn to Bastani’s attention. Yet the Novara head is quite happy to speak to pro-war Labour MPs like Chuka Umunna. In McCarthyite Britain, saying a crass politically incorrect thing is a worse crime than supporting brutal wars of aggression which destroy entire countries and leave millions dead. That’s just how the warmongering elite like it to be.

The New McCarthyism may be ludicrous and easy to lampoon, but the sad thing is that it does have an effect. I know of at least one prominent British journalist who won’t come on RT because people would say he was in the pay of the Kremlin. Note too how Jeremy Corbyn and his Director of Communications, Seumas Milne — who seems to be under 24/7 surveillance these days — were regular guests on RT in the past, but haven’t appeared on the channel since they started in their new jobs. They know that if they did, the neocon punditocracy would screech “Russian agents!” so loud, you could hear it from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
​The attacks on, and obsessive Twitter hounding of those who do appear in Russian media like Sputnik and RT is an unedifying spectacle, and needless to say is not reported by the mainstream media. The only victims of “online abuse” we read about are pro-war MPs and Establishment-friendly pro-war journalists. Again, only the powerful can be victims.

To paraphrase the late Malcolm X, if you read certain newspapers and media outlets, you‘ll end up hating the oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. The aim of the New McCarthyism is the same as the old 1950s variety: it’s to bully and intimidate those who do dare to think differently on foreign policy issues to conform. Those who don’t, like George Galloway, who is arguably the bravest man in Britain for refusing to buckle, are accorded pariah status. Despite having been totally vindicated in his opposition to the illegal western wars of the last twenty years, Galloway’s politically-motivated expulsion from the Labour Party for comments made about the Iraq war in 2003, still stands.

The New McCarthyism seeks to narrow the parameters of “acceptable” debate — and in doing so, make sure the UK’s foreign policy stays the same. The treatment of dissidents like Galloway, who always speak their mind on world affairs, is a warning to others not to step out of line. Stick to “uncontroversial” domestic issues and posting pictures of your dog on Facebook, if you know what’s good for you.

Make no mistake the New McCarthyism represents the biggest threat to free-speech and free-thinking that Britain has ever known. So what can we do about it? Strength in numbers is the key. We — those who oppose illegal wars and want to see a world of genuine internationalism and peace between nations based on mutual respect, are the many; they — those who want the regime-change wars against independent countries to continue — are the few.

But it’s about time we made our superior numbers count. So take a stand against the New McCarthyites by sharing this article widely on social media and asking high profile media figures — who claim to be in favor of “free speech” and “free expression” — to do the same. And make sure you have a big bucket of icy cold water ready for Senator Joe’s “Why are you re-tweeting that?” Thought Police, when they come knocking on your front door.

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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Iraqi WMDs All Over Again: The Latest US Threats to Syria
| July 2, 2017 | 9:21 pm | Analysis, Syria | No comments
In this photo taken April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump looks out an Oval Office window at the White House in Washington following an interview with The Associated Press

Iraqi WMDs All Over Again: The Latest US Threats to Syria

© AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik
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Here we go again… “US warns Syria over ‘potential’ plan for chemical attack” was the dramatic news headline which greeted me when I checked out the BBC News website first thing Tuesday morning, June 26.

A White House statement said that the US had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.” It added, “The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its 4 April 2017 chemical weapons attack.” The US made it clear that if the devilish plan, which it had “identified” was carried out, it wouldn’t just hold the Syrian government responsible, but those other all-round “baddies” Russia and Iran too.

Where does one start with this hogwash? Does the US really think we’ve got all brains the size of gnats and memories that only go back to remembering what we had for supper last night? Or that we are stupid enough to believe that Assad would use chemical weapons in a war in which he is clearly winning?

Or accept as a “slam dunk” that it was the Assad government which used chemical weapons on Apri 7l- when it has most certainly yet to be proven? And here’s award-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s latest piece of work on that.

If your first reaction on reading the BBC headlines about the US “warning” was a sense of deja vu, you’re not the only one. The world’s number one rogue state routinely comes up with wild, unsubstantiated claims about the dastardly things target states are planning to do, or are doing, or have done, before it launches yet another illegal military assault.

In 2002/3 the White House told us repeatedly that Iraq had WMDs which posed a threat not just to the Middle East but to the entire world.

It was a total fabrication and up to 1 million people lost their lives in the resulting war. Four years earlier, the lurid claims involved Yugoslav forces committing genocide in Kosovo. Again, it was untrue — but the evocation of Nazi-era crimes enabled the US to “sell” to the western public its long-planned imperialistic war against a socialist state which had resisted globalization, as a “progressive” and “humanitarian” venture.

In 2011, we were told Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya since the end of the Swinging Sixties, was going to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi. It was utter B.S. once more, but the US and its NATO allies got their way and Libya — a country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was transformed into a failed state and playground for Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda.

Now, it’s Syria — (and their allies Iran and Russia too), which is in the line of fire.

Regime change in Damascus has long been an aim of the hawks in the US, but thanks to heroic Syrian resistance and the aid given to the country by its loyal allies, this is one neo-con operation that hasn’t quite gone to plan. Despite the billions of dollars of weaponry that have been supplied to anti-government “rebels” by the US and their regional allies, the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party is still in power. Not only that, but, “horror of horrors!”, Syrian government forces are liberating towns and cities from western-backed terrorists.

It’s clear that the only way the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel (where a government minister called for the assassination of Assad in May — and whose forces have carried out several attacks on Syrian forces in the Golan Heights in recent days), will get what they want is an all-out “kick every ass out there,” US-led military assault on Syrian government forces. But for that to happen they need a casus belli — especially as the US-led “coalition” is supposed to be in Syria to be fighting the head-choppers of Daesh.

The timing of this week’s “warning” about a “planned” Syrian government chemical weapons attack is highly revealing. As in the case with previous US attempts to escalate the conflict, it comes as the Syrian Arab Army is celebrating significant advances against Daesh and other terror groups.

Monday, June 26, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), reported how the Syrian army had re-established control over the Al-Dolei’Yat area — on the borders of the Deir ez-Zor province with Homs. It sticks in the craw of the western regime changers — and their media propagandists — to see Syrian forces do well and recapture territory. Just remember the western Establishment’s foaming-at-the-mouth  “outrage” when eastern Aleppo was liberated from al-Qaeda/al-Nusra jihadists in December.

Last night, in Britain, C4 News, which has acted as a cheerleader for Syrian “rebels” since the start of the conflict, referred to the “cocky” Assad. The Syrian President had earlier in the day been visiting disabled soldiers with his family in Hama. C4 News clearly wished he was holed up in a bunker like Saddam and Gaddafi — and awaiting summary “justice” administered by western “rebels” — for daring to defy Washington’s warmongers.

It’s obvious to any objective observer, that Assad — whatever your opinion of him — enjoys widespread support in Syria, and that too makes the west’s regime-changers, who think they, and they alone, should dictate who runs the country, very angry.
Syria’s secular government, which protects Christians and other minorities, and is fighting against the same extremist forces which massacred civilians in terror attacks in Europe, simply cannot be allowed to win. The Syria-Hezbollah-Iran axis has to be broken. For the west’s endless war lobby, the road to Tehran — and Moscow — goes through Damascus. The US “warning” also comes just a few days after the new French President Emmanuel Macron sought to change his country’s hawkish position on Syria to a much more sensible one. Macron said he saw no “legitimate successor” to Assad.

“The real change I’ve made on this question, is that I haven’t said the deposing of Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for everything,” Macron told the Guardian. Macron’s comments, that with under his Presidency, there would  “be an end to the kind neoconservatism imported into France over the last 10 years” will have worried the hawks in Washington. But significantly, he also said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a “red line” and would be “met with a response.”

By announcing publicly that they have “identified potential preparations” for another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the US government is making its intentions very clear.

You don’t have to be Hercule Poirot or Lt. Columbo to appreciate that the stage is now set rather conveniently for another “heinous” chemical weapons attack in Syria — carried out by western-sponsored “rebels,” but blamed very quickly on “the evil child-murdering Assad,” in order to give the US and their allies the pretext for waging their long-desired, all-out war with the Syrian government. Well, that certainly appears to be the plan, going on past history.

The good news though is that it can still be thwarted. Russia has come out strongly against the US statement, saying that the White House’s warning to Syria and its allies was “unacceptable.” If a major war is to be averted its essential that the US and its allies in the region understand that any attempt to escalate the conflict in Syria will be met with a powerful military response from the Syrian government and their allies. Note well that for all its bluster, the US still hasn’t attacked North Korea, because it is frightened to do so. It must be made equally frightened about the consequences of an all-out regime change operation in Syria.

The lies used to justify US-led military aggression against target states are, let’s face it, so transparent that a child of five could see right through them. Yet still they carry on telling them. Do they think we’re stupid, or are the regime-changers at the stage of desperation now in Syria that they really don’t care?

Follow @NeilClark66 on Twitter 

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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Iraqi WMDs All Over Again: The Latest US Threats to Syria
| June 29, 2017 | 8:38 pm | Analysis, Iraq, Syria | No comments
In this photo taken April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump looks out an Oval Office window at the White House in Washington following an interview with The Associated Press

Iraqi WMDs All Over Again: The Latest US Threats to Syria

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Neil Clark
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https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706281055041601-us-threat-syria-wmd/

Here we go again… “US warns Syria over ‘potential’ plan for chemical attack” was the dramatic news headline which greeted me when I checked out the BBC News website first thing Tuesday morning, June 26.

A White House statement said that the US had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.” It added, “The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its 4 April 2017 chemical weapons attack.” The US made it clear that if the devilish plan, which it had “identified” was carried out, it wouldn’t just hold the Syrian government responsible, but those other all-round “baddies” Russia and Iran too.

Where does one start with this hogwash? Does the US really think we’ve got all brains the size of gnats and memories that only go back to remembering what we had for supper last night? Or that we are stupid enough to believe that Assad would use chemical weapons in a war in which he is clearly winning?
Or accept as a “slam dunk” that it was the Assad government which used chemical weapons on Apri 7l- when it has most certainly yet to be proven? And here’s award-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s latest piece of work on that.

If your first reaction on reading the BBC headlines about the US “warning” was a sense of deja vu, you’re not the only one. The world’s number one rogue state routinely comes up with wild, unsubstantiated claims about the dastardly things target states are planning to do, or are doing, or have done, before it launches yet another illegal military assault.

In 2002/3 the White House told us repeatedly that Iraq had WMDs which posed a threat not just to the Middle East but to the entire world.

It was a total fabrication and up to 1 million people lost their lives in the resulting war. Four years earlier, the lurid claims involved Yugoslav forces committing genocide in Kosovo. Again, it was untrue — but the evocation of Nazi-era crimes enabled the US to “sell” to the western public its long-planned imperialistic war against a socialist state which had resisted globalization, as a “progressive” and “humanitarian” venture.

In 2011, we were told Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya since the end of the Swinging Sixties, was going to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi. It was utter B.S. once more, but the US and its NATO allies got their way and Libya — a country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa was transformed into a failed state and playground for Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda.

Now, it’s Syria — (and their allies Iran and Russia too), which is in the line of fire.
Regime change in Damascus has long been an aim of the hawks in the US, but thanks to heroic Syrian resistance and the aid given to the country by its loyal allies, this is one neo-con operation that hasn’t quite gone to plan. Despite the billions of dollars of weaponry that have been supplied to anti-government “rebels” by the US and their regional allies, the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party is still in power. Not only that, but, “horror of horrors!”, Syrian government forces are liberating towns and cities from western-backed terrorists.

It’s clear that the only way the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel (where a government minister called for the assassination of Assad in May — and whose forces have carried out several attacks on Syrian forces in the Golan Heights in recent days), will get what they want is an all-out “kick every ass out there,” US-led military assault on Syrian government forces. But for that to happen they need a casus belli — especially as the US-led “coalition” is supposed to be in Syria to be fighting the head-choppers of Daesh.

The timing of this week’s “warning” about a “planned” Syrian government chemical weapons attack is highly revealing. As in the case with previous US attempts to escalate the conflict, it comes as the Syrian Arab Army is celebrating significant advances against Daesh and other terror groups.

Monday, June 26, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), reported how the Syrian army had re-established control over the Al-Dolei’Yat area — on the borders of the Deir ez-Zor province with Homs. It sticks in the craw of the western regime changers — and their media propagandists — to see Syrian forces do well and recapture territory. Just remember the western Establishment’s foaming-at-the-mouth  “outrage” when eastern Aleppo was liberated from al-Qaeda/al-Nusra jihadists in December.

Last night, in Britain, C4 News, which has acted as a cheerleader for Syrian “rebels” since the start of the conflict, referred to the “cocky” Assad. The Syrian President had earlier in the day been visiting disabled soldiers with his family in Hama. C4 News clearly wished he was holed up in a bunker like Saddam and Gaddafi — and awaiting summary “justice” administered by western “rebels” — for daring to defy Washington’s warmongers.

It’s obvious to any objective observer, that Assad — whatever your opinion of him — enjoys widespread support in Syria, and that too makes the west’s regime-changers, who think they, and they alone, should dictate who runs the country, very angry.
Syria’s secular government, which protects Christians and other minorities, and is fighting against the same extremist forces which massacred civilians in terror attacks in Europe, simply cannot be allowed to win. The Syria-Hezbollah-Iran axis has to be broken. For the west’s endless war lobby, the road to Tehran — and Moscow — goes through Damascus. The US “warning” also comes just a few days after the new French President Emmanuel Macron sought to change his country’s hawkish position on Syria to a much more sensible one. Macron said he saw no “legitimate successor” to Assad.

“The real change I’ve made on this question, is that I haven’t said the deposing of Bashar al-Assad is a prerequisite for everything,” Macron told the Guardian. Macron’s comments, that with under his Presidency, there would  “be an end to the kind neoconservatism imported into France over the last 10 years” will have worried the hawks in Washington. But significantly, he also said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was a “red line” and would be “met with a response.”

By announcing publicly that they have “identified potential preparations” for another chemical weapons attack in Syria, the US government is making its intentions very clear.

You don’t have to be Hercule Poirot or Lt. Columbo to appreciate that the stage is now set rather conveniently for another “heinous” chemical weapons attack in Syria — carried out by western-sponsored “rebels,” but blamed very quickly on “the evil child-murdering Assad,” in order to give the US and their allies the pretext for waging their long-desired, all-out war with the Syrian government. Well, that certainly appears to be the plan, going on past history.

The good news though is that it can still be thwarted. Russia has come out strongly against the US statement, saying that the White House’s warning to Syria and its allies was “unacceptable.” If a major war is to be averted its essential that the US and its allies in the region understand that any attempt to escalate the conflict in Syria will be met with a powerful military response from the Syrian government and their allies. Note well that for all its bluster, the US still hasn’t attacked North Korea, because it is frightened to do so. It must be made equally frightened about the consequences of an all-out regime change operation in Syria.

The lies used to justify US-led military aggression against target states are, let’s face it, so transparent that a child of five could see right through them. Yet still they carry on telling them. Do they think we’re stupid, or are the regime-changers at the stage of desperation now in Syria that they really don’t care?

Follow @NeilClark66 on Twitter