Category Archives: Saudi Arabia

Conversation: The roots of conflict in Syria

There is an unfortunate tendency for our society to want everything now, immediately and on demand!

This results in ignoring chronological events, not understanding the complex nature of life and as such rendering one’s point of view fundamentally incomplete.

Please have a listen to the permanent representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations, Mr. Bashar Jaafari. This was recorded in 2014. The ground realities today in 2016 relate directly to the facts and events discussed below. You will need to ‘invest’ some of your time to actually understand what is happening today.

Mohsin Siddiqui

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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Germany and the UNO against Syria, by Thierry Meyssan

Source: Voltairnet

The neo-conservatives and liberal hawks who have been preparing the war against Syria since 2001 have been relying on several states from the UNO and the Gulf Co-operation Council. While we know about the role played by General David Petraeus in launching and pursuing the war until today, two personalities – Jeffrey Feltman (number 2 at the UNO) and Volker Perthes (Director of the main German think tank) – have remained in the shadows. Together, with the support of Berlin, they have been using and are still manipulating the United Nations in order to destroy Syria.

The German academic Volker Perthes has been working with the CIA in the preparation of the war against Syria since 2005. He directs the most powerful European think tank, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP).

The German academic Volker Perthes has been working with the CIA in the preparation of the war against Syria since 2005. He directs the most powerful European think tank, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP).

In 2005, when Jeffrey Feltman – then the US ambassador in Beirut – supervised the assassination of Rafic Hariri, he relied on support from Germany, both for the assassination itself (Berlin supplied the weapon) [1], and for the UNO Commission charged with accusing Presidents el-Assad and Lahoud (prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, police commissioner Gerhard Lehmann and their team). The international campaign against the two Presidents was notably led by the German political analyst Volker Perthes [2].

Volker Perthes studied in Damascus, Syria, in 1986 and 1987, funded by a German research grant. He then went on to pursue a career as professor of political science in Germany, with the exception of the period between 1991 and 1993, during which he taught at the American University of Beirut. Since 2005, he has been the Director of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), the main German public think tank, which employs more than 130 specialists, half of whom are university professors.

However, when Feltman organised the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006, he implicated only the United States, hoping that once Hezbollah was beaten, Syria would come to its rescue in Beirut, which would provide an excuse for US intervention. Finally, Berlin sent only its marines to participate in the United Nations Forces (Finul).

During the annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group, between the 5th and the 8th June 2008 – five years before the war – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave a presentation which underlined the necessity of overthrowing the Syrian government. She was accompanied in this task by the Director of the Arab Reform Initiative [3], Bassma Kodmani (future founder of the Syrian National Council), and the Director of the SWP, Volker Perthes. The Bilderberg Group is a NATO initiative, and NATO directly handles security for these meetings [4].

According to a cable revealed by Wikileaks, Volker Perthes advised Ms. Rice concerning Iran. He believed that it would be dangerous to launch a military operation which could have unpredictable regional consequences – it was, however, more efficient to sabotage its economy. Volker Perthes’ advice was followed, in 2010, with the destruction of the software of Iranian nuclear plants by the Stuxnet virus [5].

In March 2011, Volker Perthes published an opinion column in the New York Times mocking President el-Assad’s speech to the People’s Chamber, during which the President had denounced a « conspiracy » against Syria [6]. According to Perthes, the « revolution » was under way in Syria, and el-Assad had to go.

Continue reading Germany and the UNO against Syria, by Thierry Meyssan

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Speaking the Unspeakable: Why the Establishment Wants to Silence Donald Trump, by SAM HUSSEINI

Sam offers below a fresh perspective on how there could still be hope left in the most unlikeliest of places, the police state of America.

After all, the country still claims to be a democracy so why not call it out on that? At the very least it advances the debate beyond the goebbelsesque headlines being pumped out of the “media”. The establishment has always fed off hate at every turn and the common man is manipulated,isolated and disenfranchised.

300+ million Americans are being “informed” by 6 media companies on what they should eat,drink,write,think,see,accept,vote and well you get the picture. Anything that leads to a distortion in a false reality – which promotes endless war – is positive.

Sam has done a great job at bringing a viable solution to the table, check out his excellent initiative at votepact.org

Augmented Ether
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source: counterpunch

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The establishment so wants everyone else to unfriend Trump supporters on Facebook. There’s even an app to block them. That’ll teach them!

Yes, Trump plays a bully boy and is appealing to populist (good), nativist, xenophobic, and racist sentiments (bad).

Those things need to be meaningfully addressed and engaged, not for self-styled sophisticates to raise their noses, dismissing them.

But focusing only on the negative aspects of Trump’s campaign has blinded people to the good — and I don’t mean good like, oh, the Democrat can beat this guy. I mean good like it’s good that some of these issues are finally getting aired.

Trump appeals to nativist sentiments, but those same sentiments are skeptical of the militarized role of the U.S. in the world — as was the case during Pat Buchanan’s 1992 campaign.

The New York Times recently purported to grade the veracity of presidential candidates. Of course by their accounting, Trump was off the scales lying. But he recently said the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State “killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity….The Middle East is a total disaster under her.” Now, I think that’s pretty accurate, though U.S. policy in my view may be more Machiavellian than stupid, but the remark is a breath of fresh air on the national stage.

But I’ve not seen anyone fact-check that assertion, because that’s not an argument much of establishment media wants to debate. Of course, a few sentences later Trump talks about the attack on the CIA station in Benghazi, causing Salon to dismiss him as embracing “conspiracies,” which is likely all many people hear.

Shouldn’t someone who at times articulates truly inconvenient truths be noted as breaking politically correct taboos? Trump says such truths, such as this nugget from the Las Vegas debate about U.S. wars:

“We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had, we would’ve been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now.”

This I think is a stronger critique of military spending than we’ve heard from Bernie Sanders of late.

Continue reading Speaking the Unspeakable: Why the Establishment Wants to Silence Donald Trump, by SAM HUSSEINI

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An Invisible US Hand (Turkey) Leading to War? by, DAVE LINDORFF

Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness

Source: counterpunch

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In considering the terrifying but also sadly predictable news of a Russian fighter jet being downed by two Turkish fighters, let’s start with one almost certain assumption — an assumption that no doubt is also being made by the Russian government: Turkey’s action, using US-supplied F-16 planes, was taken with the full knowledge and advance support of the US. In fact, given Turkey’s vassal status as a member of US-dominated NATO, it could well be that Ankara was put up to this act of brinksmanship by the US.

What makes the downing of the Russian jet, and the reported death of at least one of its two pilots (the other was reportedly captured alive by pro-turkish Turkmen fighters on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkish border, and will presumably be returned to Russia) so dangerous is that as a member of NATO, supposedly a “mutual assistance” treaty that binds all members to come to the defense of one that is attacked, if Russia were to retaliate by downing a Turkish military plane, NATO countries including the US would be obligated to come to Turkey’s defense.

Russia knows this, and that is why so far the Russian response to the downing has been muted. Had it been a Jordanian, Saudi or Kuwaiti jet that downed the Russian SU-24, Russia’s response would have been instantaneous. The guilty party would have had some of its planes shot down, or perhaps even bombed on the ground. But President Putin so far has limited himself to demanding a meeting, to warning that Russian-Turkish economic relations would be threatened, etc.

This restraint is good, but clearly, Vladimir Putin will not stop there. Even putting aside domestic considerations (imaging the public clamor for a military response here in the US if some small country shot down a US plane!), he will have to respond or his whole project — so far stunningly successful — of restoring Russia to its pre-USSR-collapse position as a global power, would be a failure.

Putin’s options are actually quite broad, though some carry considerably more risk for everyone, not just for Russia and Turkey. He could have his own air

force in Syria, where Russia is legally acting at the request of the Syrian government to defend it against rebel forces of ISIS and Al Nusra, some of which are backed by both Turkey and the US, calmly wait for a Turkish military jet to cross into Syrian airspace. At that point it could be downed by Russian planes or missiles. No doubt Turkey will be extraordinarily careful going forward to have its pilots keep well away from Syrian air space too avoid that, but it could happen. My guess is that Russian fighter pilots and anti-aircraft batteries in Syria already have their marching orders to take that action, which probably would not activate NATO confrontation with Russia and lead to World War III, as long as there was reasonable evidence that Turkey’s plane was in Syrian airspace.

But should no such opportunity present itself, Russia has plenty of other opportunities to counter Turkey. Remember, Russia is also defending Syria’s coastline, and could sink or capture a Turkish ship that entered Syrian waters (or Russian waters in the Black Sea, which borders both countries).

Russia — knowing that this is really not about Turkey, but about push-back by the US against growing Russian power and influence, both globally and in the Middle East region — could also choose to respond in a venue where it has more of an advantage, for example in Ukraine, where it could amp up its support for the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, perhaps by downing a Ukrainian military plane, or more broadly, providing air cover to protect those regions. Russia could also, less directly, provide aid to Kurdish rebels in both Syria and in Turkey itself who are fighting against Turkish forces.

I’m sure there are plenty of other options available to Russia also to turn the screws against both Turkey and NATO, without openly pushing buttons that could lead to a direct confrontation with the US and its NATO fiction. Working in Russia’s favor is that the US aside, the European nations of NATO have no desire to be at war with Russia. There are clearly hotheads in the US Congress, the Pentagon, and perhaps even within the neo-con-infested Obama administration, who are pushing for just such a mad showdown. But in Europe, where the actual fighting would mostly occur, and where memories are still strong of the destructive power of war, there is no taste for such insanity. It could, in fact, have been a big error in the long run for the US to push Turkey into such a deadly provocation, if it leads to more anti-American sentiment among the citizens of such key NATO countries as France, Germany, Italy and Britain.

It should be added that Russia and China have become much closer in recent years, economically, politically and militarily. This means there is also the possibility that the two countries could, in concert, step up pressure on the US in the western Pacific, for example by forcing down one of the provocative US flights near China’s new island projects in the South China Sea. That would force an already stretched US military to shift more forces to Asia from Europe and the Middle East.

It is all terribly dangerous and it is hard to predict where things will lead. One thing seems certain, though. This outrageous shootdown of a Russian plane that was in no way posing a threat to Turkey or Turkish forces, will not end here, because Russia and President Putin cannot allow Turkey and NATO to so blatantly act against Russia and its pilots and go unpunished, particularly as it is Russia that is acting legally in Syria, while the US, Turkey and other nations backing rebel forces there are in all acting blatant violation of international law.

Unless saner heads start prevailing in Washington, this could all quickly spiral into the kind of situation in 1914, where a lot of ill-conceived treaties led to a minor incident in the Balkans turning inexorably into World War I.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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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The Perpetual Russian Invasion Train arrives at Syria!, by Pepe Escobar

Source: RT

Workers repair electrical grids as civilians walk past buildings damaged by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Shaar neighborhood February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan   (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ENERGY) - RTR4RA6R
Workers repair electrical grids as civilians walk past buildings damaged by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s al-Shaar neighborhood February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan (SYRIA – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT ENERGY) – RTR4RA6R

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Well, the Russians are always coming. The Russians never stopped coming since those heady Cold War days. The Russians are “invading” Ukraine. Every day. For over a year now. Now the Russians are “invading” Syria.

That’s just a prelude. Soon the Russians will be invading the whole Middle East, the whole of Eastern and Western Europe, the whole Arctic. And then, one day, surreptitiously, they will be back in Cuba, ready to invade Florida and then the whole homeland.

History now repeats itself under the eternal recurrence of farce. About the best illustration of the propaganda modus operandi underlying the current exceptionalist hysteria over Russia’s alleged “military incursion” in Syria was penned way back in 2011 on Counterpunch by the late, great Alex Cockburn. Enjoy:

“Suppose the CIA leaks a national security review concluding that the moon is actually made of cheese, and the Chinese are planning to send up a pair of gigantic bio-engineered rats to breed in numbers sufficient to eat the cheese and thus sabotage US plans for Missile Defense radar deployment on the moon’s dark side.

The headlines will initially proclaim, “Doubts on Chinese Rat Threat Widespread. Many scoff.” The lead paragraph in news stories in the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal will quote the scoffers, but then ‘balance’ will mandate respectful quotation from ‘intelligence sources’, faculty professors, think tank ‘experts’ and the like, all eager to dance to the government’s tune: Many say rat scenario ‘plausible’, etc.

Lo and behold, by the end of a couple of days of such news stories, the Chinese rat plot is firmly ensconced as a credible proposition. News reports then turn to respectful discussion of the US government’s options in confronting and routing the Chinese rat threat: Vice President says ‘all options are on the table,’ etc.”

There you go. China – as well as Russia – are of course major threats, according to the Pentagon’s military doctrine; as bad if not worse than ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. So Russia must have a rat threat of its own. Which brings us to the “The Russians are Coming” Syria plot, which has submerged think tanks such as the CIA front Stratfor in profoundly thoughtful speculation, everything of course based on prime, second-hand, ideologically-corrupted, lousy – and fake – intel.

Continue reading The Perpetual Russian Invasion Train arrives at Syria!, by Pepe Escobar

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