ISIS in Afghanistan: Proxy War against Iran and China, by Eric Draitser

Source: New Eastern Outlook

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The nature of the war in Afghanistan has shifted dramatically in recent months. While the US and NATO continue to be actively involved in the country – their strategic objectives having changed very little since the Bush administration launched the war nearly a decade and a half ago – the complexion of the battlefield, and the parties actively engaged in the war, has changed significantly.

The emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan, along with the impending withdrawal of US-NATO troops from the country, has driven the Taliban into a marriage of convenience, if not an outright alliance, with Iran. What seemed like an unfathomable scenario just a few years ago, Shia Iran’s support for the hardline Sunni Taliban has become a reality due to the changing circumstances of the war. Though it may be hard to believe, such an alliance is now a critical element of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. But its significance is far larger than just shifting the balance of power within the country.

Instead, Afghanistan is now in many ways a proxy conflict between the US and its western and Gulf allies on the one hand, and Iran and certain non-western countries, most notably China, on the other. If the contours of the conflict might not be immediately apparent, that is only because the western media, and all the alleged brainiacs of the corporate think tanks, have failed to present the conflict in its true context. The narrative of Afghanistan, to the extent that it’s discussed at all, continues to be about terrorism and stability, nation-building and “support.” But this is a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization of the current war, and the agenda driving it.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading ISIS in Afghanistan: Proxy War against Iran and China, by Eric Draitser

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UNTOLD SUFFERING IN FOUA AND KAFARYA: TWO NORTHWESTERN SYRIAN VILLAGES UNDER SIEGE AND ASSAULT BY NATO’S TERRORISTS

-by Eva Bartlett

Source: In Gaza

Rimas-Foua
Rimas Al-Nayef, killed by terrorist shelling of Foua village on August 10, 2015

Part One of Two

Infant Rimas Al-Nayef was one of at least 5 children killed by NATO-backed terrorists’ shelling on August 10, 2015 in the northwestern Syrian village of Foua. Another 25 residents were killed by the up to 1,500 rockets and mortars which Jebhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) and other terrorist factions rained down on Foua and neighbouring Kafarya village, just north of Idlib. Scores more were injured on that day alone. Yet, scarcely a peep in the corporate media, as massacres committed by western-backed “moderates” do not merit media coverage, do not suit the war agenda.

The attack was waged by a number of different factions, primarily al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Fattah (the so-called “Army of Conquest”), and Ahrar al-Sham (Liberation of the Levant Movement) along with other “moderates” of the umbrella organization Jabhat al-Islamiyah (the Islamic Front).

Crescent International reported: “The barrage of rockets has intensified; Western, Saudi and Turkish-supplied 500 kg rockets are fired at the villages accompanied by incursions with the clear aim to capture them.”

Kafarya-and-Fuah1

The villages, less than 10 km northeast of Idlib, had already been suffering an over 4 year long siege by al-Nusra and affiliates.

Until late March, residents—although surrounded by militant factions—still had an access road, thus supplies for their survival. With the militants’ occupation of Idlib at the end of March, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had to withdraw forces from bases in the province. Foua and Kafarya became utterly isolated.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading UNTOLD SUFFERING IN FOUA AND KAFARYA: TWO NORTHWESTERN SYRIAN VILLAGES UNDER SIEGE AND ASSAULT BY NATO’S TERRORISTS

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Who profits from the Bangkok bombing?, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Asia Times

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BANGKOK – The Guy in the Yellow T-shirt — long shorts, unruly black hair, thick dark glasses — arrived at the Erawan shrine in a tuk-tuk. No one may have noticed him; just another nondescript backpacker in one of the busiest crossroads in Asia. He may have come to pay his respects to the golden statue of Brahma at the center of the shrine – and gaze on the Thai dancers and musicians in the background.

He sits on a bench. Then, slowly, he gets rid of a black backpack. He stands up, checks his mobile. Then he walks away. Stops. Actually seems to be calling someone on his mobile. Then he finally leaves Erawan, hitting the crowded intersection, clutching a white plastic bag, but always checking his phone.

He may – or may not – have known all his movements were being tracked by multiple CCTV cameras. A few minutes after he disappears from their sights, and allegedly takes a motorbike taxi, he enters, with a lethal bang, the wilderness of mirrors that is contemporary Thailand.

Who is he? Thai police is convinced he is none other than the Bangkok Bomber. And there seem to be no other prime CCTV-captured candidates.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading Who profits from the Bangkok bombing?, by Pepe Escobar

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Libya: African Jewel, by Eric Draitser

Source: Counterpunch

Snatched away –
blood and sand
alloyed to lifeless aridity:
add water. A man-made
river stolen, siphoned

assets in frozen accounts,
darkness unpenetrated
by the electric gaze
of a once buzzing grid,
spark snuffed.

The Greeks knew this:
tragedies have heroes
and death, covalent bond –
a binary truth
to build myths upon.

Here the wind dries tears,
breaks skin like stone
and stone like steel.
Still, man and martyr stand,
faces to an unforgiving sun.

And with hands that once
broke bread
tilled soil
mended wounds,
they hoist the Green Flag

And declare:
We are here.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. He is the editor of StopImperialism.org, host of CounterPunch Radio, OP-ed columnist for RT and writes for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. You can reach him at ericdraitser@gmail.com

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Greece: Raped, Humiliated, Frightened But Standing!, by Andre Vltchek

Source: Counterpunch

And on the Greek Menu today
And on the Greek Menu today

A small town of Distomo is just 150 kilometers from Athens, positioned in the heart of Greece, literally squeezed between two great world heritage sites: Delphi, the cradle of the European democracy, and a stunning Byzantine monastery of Hossios Luckas.

But Distomo is much more than some picturesque village surrounded by mountains and history. Here, On June 10, 1944, according to Greek government records, but also according to Western mass media sources like the BBC, “for over two hours, Waffen-SS troops of the 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division under the command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Fritz Lautenbach went door to door and massacred Greek civilians as part of a ‘retaliation measure’ for a partisan attack upon the unit. A total of 214 men, women and children were killed in Distomo.‪‬ According to survivors, SS forces “bayoneted babies in their cribs, stabbed pregnant women, and beheaded the village priest.”‬‬‬‬‬

Distomo was not the only place where German troops performed despicable crimes against humanity. During the WWII, Greece lost around 8% of its population.

But Distomo became one of the symbols of Fascist madness on European soil, not unlike Guernica or Lidice.

[Please click below to continue reading]

Continue reading Greece: Raped, Humiliated, Frightened But Standing!, by Andre Vltchek

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Conversation: Help keep an important voice on the air

For many years Don Debar has kept a unique independent voice of reason alive on the air waves from New York. He tells the truth as it is, no sugar coating and apologies for the Empire.

We would like to urge our readers to please donate to Don’s CPR news Radio and keep it on the air. If we all do not stand together then we all have already lost. Donate $1.00, $5.00, $10.00  or more, and help do your part of what is truly a community public radio.

Tell your friends and family and be part of the change that you so wish to see in the world. Have hope, have dreams, have strength and above all have faith in our fellow brothers and sisters who are fighting the good fight.

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AE

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Clinton, Juppé, Erdoğan, Daesh and the PKK, by Thierry Meyssan

Source: Voltaire Network

The resumption of the repression of Kurds in Turkey is nothing more than a consequence of the impossible task of implementing the Juppé-Wright plan of 2011. While it was easy to deploy Daesh in the Syrian desert and the provinces of Niniveh and d’al-Anbar (Iraq), which are mostly Sunnite, it proved to be impossible to take control of the Kurdish populations of Syria. In order to realise his dream of a Kurdistan outside of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no other choice but civil war.

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Published in 2013, the Wright plan is based on the Juppé plan for Libya, Syria and Iraq. However, Robin Wright goes further by including projects for Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Published in 2013, the Wright plan is based on the Juppé plan for Libya, Syria and Iraq. However, Robin Wright goes further by including projects for Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

When they took power in Ankara in 2003, the Islamist party AKP modified Turkey’s strategic priorities. Rather than using reports on the post-« Desert Storm » balance of power, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harboured the ambition of freeing his country from the isolation it has known since the end of the Ottoman Empire. Based on analyses provided by his advisor, Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu, he advocated solving century-old problems with Turkey’s neighbours, and becoming progressively the inevitable regional mediator. In order to do so, Turkey had to become a political model and build relations with his Arab partners, without losing its alliance with Israël.

This policy, known as « zero problem », began sucessfully at first.Ankara no longer feared Damascus and its support for the PKK, and also asked Syria for help in negotiating an exit. In October 2006, the Kurdish party declared a unilateral truce and began negotiations with the Erdoğan government. In May 2008, Ankara organised indirect negotiations between Damascus and Tel-Aviv, the first talks since Ehud Barack’s rejection of the Bill Clinton / Hafez el-Assad plan. But President Bachar el-Assad withdrew from the discussions after Israël attacked Gaza in December 2009.

Realising that because of the Palestinian conflict, it was impossible to maintain good relations with all the states in the region, Ankara chose to support the Palestinians against Israël. This was the period of the Davos and Freedom Flotilla episodes. Backed by vast popular support in the Muslim world, Ankara approached Teheran and accepted, in November 2010, to participate in a Turkey-Iran-Iraq-Syria common market. Visas were repealed ; the rights of the Customs were considerably reduced ; a consortium was created to manage the oil and gas pipe-lines ; an authority was created to enable the management of water ressources. The overall structure looked so inviting that Lebanon and Jordan presented their candidacy. Sustainable peace seemed possible for the Levant.

[Please click below to continue reading]

Continue reading Clinton, Juppé, Erdoğan, Daesh and the PKK, by Thierry Meyssan

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Reshuffling Eurasia’s energy deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan, by Pepe Escobar

Source: Asia Times

Workers-in-Kazakhstan-complete-a-section-of-a-pan-Central-Asian-gas-pipeline-designed-to-300x183
Workers in Kazakhstan complete a section of a pan-Central Asian gas pipeline

Pipelineistan – the prime Eurasian energy chessboard — never sleeps. Recently, it’s Russia that has scored big on all fronts; two monster gas deals sealed with China last year; the launch of Turk Stream replacing South Stream; and the doubling of Nord Stream to Germany.

Now, with the possibility of sanctions on Iran finally vanishing by late 2015/early 2016, all elements will be in place for the revival of one of Pipelineistan’s most spectacular soap operas, which I have beenfollowing for years; the competition between the IP (Iran-Pakistan) and TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipelines.

The $7.5-billion IP had hit a wall for years now – a casualty of hardcore geopolitical power play. IP was initially IPI – connected to India; both India and Pakistan badly need Iranian energy. And yet relentless pressure from successive Bush and Obama administrations scared India out of the project. And then sanctions stalled it for good.

Now, Pakistan’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi swears IP is a go. The Iranian stretch of the 1,800-kilometer pipeline has already been built. IP originates in the massive South Pars gas fields – the largest in the world – and ends in the Pakistani city of Nawabshah, close to Karachi. The geopolitical significance of this steel umbilical cord linking Iran and Pakistan couldn’t be more graphic.

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading Reshuffling Eurasia’s energy deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan, by Pepe Escobar

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The Fake War on ISIS: US and Turkey Escalate in Syria, by Eric Draitser

Source: New Eastern Outlook

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It is late July 2015, and the media is abuzz with the news that Turkey will allow US jets to use its bases to bomb Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria. There is much talk about how this development is a “game-changer,” and how this is a clear escalation of the much ballyhooed, but more fictional than real, US war on ISIS: the terror organization that US intelligence welcomed as a positive development in 2012 in their continued attempts to instigate regime change against the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.

The western public is told that “This is a significant shift…It’s a big deal,” as a US military official told the Wall Street Journal. What the corporate media fail to mention, however, is the fact that Turkey has been, and continues to be, a central actor in the war in Syria and, consequently, in the development and maintenance of ISIS. So, while Washington waxes poetic about stepping up the fight against the terror group, and lauds the participation of its allies in Ankara, the barely concealed fact is that Turkey is merely further entrenching itself in a war that it has fomented.

Of equal importance is the simple fact that a “war on ISIS” is merely a pretext for Turkey’s military engagement in Syria and throughout the region. Not only does Turkey’s neo-Ottoman revanchist President Erdogan want to flex his military muscles in order to further the regime change agenda in Syria, he also is using recent tragic events as political and diplomatic cover for waging a new aggressive war against the region’s Kurds, especially Turkey’s longtime foe the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

[Please click below to continue reading[ Continue reading The Fake War on ISIS: US and Turkey Escalate in Syria, by Eric Draitser

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KOS, BODRUM, DESPERATE REFUGEES AND A DYING CHILD, by Andre Vltchek

The collapsing US Empire has left in its path of chaos an increasing global refugee crisis. What were once stable, growing and promising countries have been reduced to hollow versions of their former selves.

Andre gives us the story of one boy who is just one among millions being affected in our world today.

AE

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These lucky few Syrians just given papers to go to Athens
these lucky few Syrians just given papers to go to Athens

Para gliders are flying over the stunning emerald sea. Summer hordes are descending on a Greek island of Kos from all corners of increasingly aggressive European Union. On the faces of visitors, there seems to be no regret, no shame, that Europe just raped and humiliated Greece, forcing its government to cancel democracy, instead succumbing to dictate of the mighty Germany and other dictatorial powers.

Tourists are busy frying themselves, stuffing their stomachs with seafood and boozing up in countless cafes, bars and restaurants of the old city. Hotels and eateries are packed. It is yet another hot and sunny day. Crisis? What crises? Yes, it is somewhere… there, maybe in Athens, or maybe just outside the city center.

A few minutes away, in a local hospital, which is part of Greek collapsing national healthcare system; an Iraqi child is suffering, perhaps dying, from cancer. He is only 3 years old. His mother most likely passed away trying to reach Kos.

“We found him in a park”, explains Hara, a receptionist from Triton Hotel. “He looked terribly sick. We took him to the hospital, but there, nobody wanted to do anything. We had to scream and demand that this poor child would be attended. They put several IV tubes into his tiny body, and then… nothing else. We called Medicine Sans Frontiers in Athens, but they said they couldn’t deal with such a complicated case. We have no idea what to do. If action is not taken immediately, he will most likely die.”

refugees in Kos
refugees in Kos

[Please click below to continue reading] Continue reading KOS, BODRUM, DESPERATE REFUGEES AND A DYING CHILD, by Andre Vltchek

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