Saif al Islam
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Latin American leftists fear Libya-style endgame in Syria - NOT ONLY Latine America, But all Humans with GOOD WILL

Latin American leftists fear Libya-style endgame in Syria - NOT ONLY Latine America, But all Humans with GOOD WILL | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
CARACAS (Reuters) - A bloc of left-wing Latin American governments accused Western nations on Friday of planning to intervene in Syria as they did in Libya and praised President Bashar al-Assad 's government despite widespread global condemnation.

 ...

"Though Venezuela and Cuba are the loudest voices in ALBA, it also includes Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincente and the Grenadines, with a combined population of 75 million people."

 



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Saif al Islam
The Ongoing Killing Of a Good Man in 21st Century
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REPORT by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL LIBYA RULE OF LAW OR RULE OF MILITIA mde190122012en.pdf - Google Drive

REPORT by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL LIBYA RULE OF LAW OR RULE OF MILITIA mde190122012en.pdf - Google Drive | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Quociente Cultural 's insight:

Amnesty removed the report from their web site ... I kept a Copy of Amnesty PDF. Pls check and see what is Amnesty hidding from you. Ask @Amnesty why they removed the report. Ask @Amnesty why they want by hidding Libya reality? How far they go on Helping Torture as a HumanRight for Libya Rebels? How Torture can become a sport with @Amnesty help. 

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Justin Trudeau on Fidel Castro: ‘A legendary revolutionary’ who improved education and healthcare

Justin Trudeau on Fidel Castro: ‘A legendary revolutionary’ who improved education and healthcare | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
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Obama Says He's Had A Scandal-Free Administration. Here Are 11 of His Scandals.

Obama Says He's Had A Scandal-Free Administration. Here Are 11 of His Scandals. | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
President Barack Obama—who isn't going away after he leaves office—just unleashed this massive whopper:
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Trump’s Slim Chance for Greatness by By Robert Parry

Trump’s Slim Chance for Greatness by By Robert Parry | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Donald Trump must decide – and decide quickly – whether he wants to be a great U.S. President or a robo-signature machine affixing his name to whatever legislation comes from congressional Republicans and a nodding figurehead acquiescing to more neoconservative foreign policy adventures.

Or, to put it in a vernacular that Trump might use, does he want to be “Paul Ryan’s bitch” on domestic policies? And does he want to surrender his foreign policy to the “wise guys” of Washington’s neocon establishment.

Trump’s problem is that he has few fully developed ideas about how to proceed in a presidency that even many of his close followers did not expect would happen. Plus, over the past few decades, the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks have marginalized almost every dissenting expert, including old-line “realists” who once were important figures.

So, the bench of “confirmable” experts who have dissented on neocon/liberal-hawk policies is very thin. To find national security leaders who would break with the prevailing “group thinks,” Trump would have go outside normal channels and take a risk on some fresh thinkers.

But most mainstream media accounts doubt that he will. That is why speculation has centered on Trump settling on several neocon retreads for Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, such as former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former CIA Director James Woolsey and ex-National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, all staunch supporters of George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq War which Trump has denounced.

‘Team of Rivals’

If Trump is guided in that direction, he will make the same mistake that President Barack Obama made during the 2008 transition when Obama was seduced by the idea of a Lincoln-esque “Team of Rivals” and staffed key top national security jobs with hawks — keeping Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates, hiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and leaving in place top generals, such as David Petraeus.

That decision trapped the inexperienced Obama into a policy of continuity with Bush’s wars and related policies, such as domestic spying, rather than enabling Obama to achieve his promised “change.”

Faced with powerful “rivals” within his own administration, Obama was maneuvered into an ill-considered “counterinsurgency” escalation in Afghanistan in 2009 that did little more than get another 1,000 U.S. soldiers killed along with many more Afghans.

Secretary Clinton also sold out the elected progressive president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, when he was ousted in a coup in 2009, signaling to Latin America that “El Norte” hadn’t changed much.

Then, Clinton sabotaged Obama’s first attempt in 2010 to enlist the help of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to work out a deal with Iran on constraining its nuclear program. Clinton favored an escalating confrontation with Iran along the lines dictated by Israeli hardliners.

Clinton and the other hawks succeeded in thwarting Obama’s will because, as Gates wrote in his memoir Duty, Gates and Clinton were “un-fireable” in that they could challenge Obama whenever they wished while realizing that Obama would have to pay an unacceptably high price to remove them.

As clever “inside players,” Gates, Clinton and Petraeus also understood that if Obama balked at their policy prescriptions, they could undercut him by going to friends in the mainstream news media and leaking information about how Obama was “weak” in not supporting a more warlike approach to problems.

Obama’s Real Weakness

Yet, by failing to stand up to this neocon/liberal-hawk pressure, Obama did make himself weak. Essentially, he never got control of his foreign policy and even after the Gates-Clinton-Petraeus trio was gone by the start of Obama’s second term, the President still feared angering Washington’s foreign policy establishment which often followed the heed of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama was so worried about Israel that, at the apex of his power after winning reelection in 2012, Obama went on a several-day trip to visit Netanyahu in a craven attempt to show his love and obeisance to Israel. Obama took similar trips to Saudi Arabia.

Still, that was not enough to spare him the wrath of Netanyahu and the Saudi royals when Obama finally pushed successfully for an Iran nuclear deal in 2014. Netanyahu humiliated Obama by accepting a Republican invitation in 2015 to speak to a joint session of Congress where he urged U.S. lawmakers to repudiate their own President.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia demanded and got new concessions from Obama on arms sales and his grudging support for their proxy war in Syria as well as their direct aerial bombardment of Yemen – both part of a Sunni Wahhabist sectarian strategy for destroying Shiite-related regimes. (The Sunni/Shiite clash dates back to the Seventh Century.)

Indeed, the little-recognized Israeli-Saudi alliance targeting the so-called “Shiite crescent” – Hezbollah in Lebanon, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Iran – is at the heart of what has been driving U.S. policy in the Middle East since the 1990s.

And, if President-elect Trump wants to truly reverse the downward spiral of the United States as it has squandered trillions of dollars in futile Mideast wars, he will have to go up against the Israeli-Saudi tandem and make it clear that he will not be manipulated as Obama was.

Facing down such a powerful coalition of Israel (with its extraordinary U.S. lobbying apparatus) and Saudi Arabia (with its far-reaching financial clout) would require both imagination and courage. It would not be possible if Trump surrounds himself with senior advisers under the thumb of Prime Minister Netanyahu and King Salman.

So, we will learn a great deal about whether Trump is a real player or just a pretender when he selects his foreign policy team. Will he find imaginative new thinkers who can break the disastrous cycles of Mideast wars and reduce tensions with Russia or will he just tap into the usual suspects of Republican orthodoxy?

Sunlight on the Swamp

Trump could also show his independence from Republican orthodoxy by recognizing that government secrecy has gone way too far, a drift into opacity that dates back to Ronald Reagan and his reversal of the more open-government policies of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

Trump says he wants to “drain the swamp” of Washington, but to do that first requires letting in much more sunlight and sharing much more information with the American people.

For starters – assuming that the timid Obama won’t take the risk – President Trump could pardon national security whistleblowers who have faced or could face prosecution, such as Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, John Kiriakou, Jeffrey Sterling and Edward Snowden.

That could be followed by an executive order forbidding excessive secrecy inside the federal government, recognizing that “We the People” are the nation’s true sovereigns and thus deserve as much information as possible while protecting necessary secrets.

Trump could show he means business about respecting average American citizens by sharing with them U.S. intelligence assessments on key controversies, such as the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria and the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. [See here and here.]

The Obama administration has engaged in selective release of information about these mysteries to manipulate U.S. public opinion, not to inform and thus empower the American people. Trump could go a long way toward restoring public trust by renouncing such tricks.

He also could save many billions of dollars by shutting down U.S. propaganda agencies whose role also is to use various P.R. tricks to shape both foreign and domestic opinion, often in the cause of “regime changes” or “color revolutions.”

Trump could shut down the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy, return the U.S. Agency for International Development to its legitimate purpose of helping poor countries build schools and drill wells, and shutter the trouble-making National Endowment for Democracy.

By steering the world away from the New Cold War with nuclear-armed Russia, Trump could not only help save the future of mankind, he could save trillions of dollars that otherwise would end up in the pockets of the Military-Industrial Complex.

FDR or Coolidge?

Regarding domestic policy, some Republicans expect that Trump will simply sign off on whatever Ayn-Rand-inspired legislation that House Speaker Ryan pushes through Congress, whether turning Medicare into a voucher program or privatizing Social Security.

In this area, too, Trump will have to decide whether he wants to be a great president in the mold of Franklin Roosevelt or someone more of the caliber of Calvin Coolidge.

Trump also must face the reality that he has lost the popular vote by a rather significant margin – almost a million votes in the latest tallies – and thus only has the presidency because of the archaic Electoral College. In other words, he lacks a real mandate from the people.

When confronted with a similar situation in 2000, George W. Bush chose to pretend that he had a decisive mandate for his right-wing policies, shoved them down the Democrats’ throats (such as his massive tax cut mostly for the rich that wiped out the budget surplus), and eventually saw his failed presidency sink into bitter partisanship.

Republicans will surely urge Trump to do the same, to ignore the popular vote, but he might do well to surprise people by looking for overlapping areas where Democrats and Republicans can cooperate.

For instance, many Democrats fear that Trump will undo the difficult progress made on climate change over the past eight years. After all, Trump has voiced doubts about the scientific consensus on the existential threat posed by global warming.

But Trump also wants to invest heavily in America’s infrastructure (plus he has vowed to help the inner cities). So, there’s potential common ground if Trump were to launch a major program to create a world-class mass transit system for urban and suburban areas.

Trump might even turn to one of his critics, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for Transportation Secretary with instructions to study mass transit in Japan and Europe and implement a similar system in the United States, quickly. Besides creating jobs and improving life for urban dwellers (who largely supported Hillary Clinton), quality and fast mass transit could get millions of Americans out of their cars and thus help in the fight against global warming, too.

To demonstrate a willingness to reach across the aisle on such important issues, Trump might even consider offering Energy Secretary to Al Gore.

But such bold steps would require Trump to have the courage and creativity to go against the Republican “playbook” which calls for a zero-sum game against the Democrats.

Whether Trump has such courage and foresight is the pressing question of the moment. Will he go for true greatness (both for himself and America) or will he be content to have his name and face on one of those place mats showing the 45 U.S. Presidents?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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Man drives car into crowd of N Dakota pipeline protesters, threatens them with gun (VIDEO)

Man drives car into crowd of N Dakota pipeline protesters, threatens them with gun (VIDEO) | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it

North Dakota authorities are investigating an incident where a woman claims she was struck by a man driving a truck who fired shots in the air.

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 I believe I have connected a convicted child abductor who was caught stealing children in Haiti with the Clintons

 I believe I have connected a convicted child abductor who was caught stealing children in Haiti with the Clintons | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
The individual in question is one Laura Silsby, former director of The New Life Children's Refuge. She was caught trying to steal 3
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What if everyone’s wrong? [Even mainstream media is now hedging their bets. Pepe Escobar comment on]

What if everyone’s wrong? [Even mainstream media is now hedging their bets. Pepe Escobar comment on] | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Hillary Clinton leads in most national polls, and in enough battleground states to put her on pace to surpass the 270 electoral votes she needs Tuesday to become the next president. But not far beneath the surface, as Donald Trump has narrowed the gap following the late-breaking FBI announcement of a renewed review of emails related to her private server, lurks a question making Democrats squirm in these frenzied final days.

What if the polls are wrong?

And more: What if Clinton’s vaunted data operation and ground game don’t deliver? What if there is, in fact, a “silent majority” of Trump fans? What if Clinton’s banked stash of early-votes is insufficient? What if, as President Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe not so affectionately describes nervous Democrats, the “bed-wetters” are right?

“Our magnificent, historic movement has surprised the world and defied expectations at every single turn,” Trump told a crowd in Orlando this week. “And now, next Tuesday, we will have one more glorious surprise for the pundits, the politicians and the special interests when we win and return the power back to the people.”

It’s an outcome that official Washington — more consumed with potential Clinton Cabinet picks (Biden! Sandberg!), her policy agenda, the battle for the Senate — seems wholly unprepared for.

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Intel Officer Steve Pieczenik Talks Hillary Coup

Steve Pieczenik gives you an indepth look at how the military feels and is reacting to Hillary Clinton and her potential presidency. Help us spread the wor
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EXCLUSIVE: Source of DNC, Podesta Leaks 'Comes From Within Washington'

EXCLUSIVE: Source of DNC, Podesta Leaks 'Comes From Within Washington' | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
According to former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, the now infamous Podesta and Democratic National Committee emails were not leaked by Russian hackers, but by a Washington insider.

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, Mr. Murray said:

"The source of these emails and leaks has nothing to do with Russia at all. I discovered what the source was when I attended the Sam Adam's whistleblower award in Washington. The source of these emails comes from within official circles in Washington DC. You should look to Washington not to Moscow."

When asked about whether or not WikiLeaks have ever published information at the behest of Moscow, Mr. Murray said:

"WikiLeaks has never published any material received from the Russian government or from any proxy of the Russian government. It's simply a completely untrue claim designed to divert attention from the content of the material."

The Podesta leaks are a trove of emails that have been dropped almost daily by WikiLeaks and consist of emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta. The leaks, along with the DNC troves, have provided insight into the inner workings of the Clinton campaign, leaving the presidential nominee red-faced. Clinton's allies have accused the whistleblowing website and Russia of working in cahoots with the Trump campaign.
Clinton advisers Jake Sullivan (L), Nick Burns (2L) and John Podesta (2R) wait with Clinton Campaign Chairman, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on September 19, 2016 in New York.
© AFP 2016/ Brendan Smialowski
Clinton advisers Jake Sullivan (L), Nick Burns (2L) and John Podesta (2R) wait with Clinton Campaign Chairman, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on September 19, 2016 in New York.

The role of WikiLeaks as a thorn in the side of the US government dates further back than the Podesta and DNC leaks.

The whistleblowing site is renowned for leaking information on sensitive US policy positions, such as the much excoriated relationship with the monarchy of Saudi Arabia. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is quoted as saying in reference to Mr. Assange, "can't we just drone this guy?"
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How Western Media Teleported a Child 'Victim' from Homs to Aleppo (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

How Western Media Teleported a Child 'Victim' from Homs to Aleppo (PHOTOS, VIDEO) | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
The West keeps fighting its informational war on Russia blaming Russian Air Force for bloody crimes in Syrian Arab Republic. To persuade the world community of the fact that Moscow is to blame for catastrophic humanitarian situsation in Syria and not «moderate opposition» fighters turning the country into chaos world media descend into manipulating facts and publishing fakes. 
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Libya on brink of economic collapse - World Bank

Libya on brink of economic collapse - World Bank | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
The Libyan economy is facing collapse as the civil war is disrupting the country's main source of income oil production, warns the World Bank.

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© Heinz-Peter Bader Libyan central bank struggles to open Gaddafi golden coins vault, hires safecrackers

“With oil production just a fifth of the potential, revenues have plummeted, pushing fiscal and current account deficits to record highs. With the dinar rapidly losing value, inflation has accelerated, further eroding real incomes,” the report said.

As a result of falling crude prices and low output, Libya's foreign reserves have shrunk from $107.6 billion in 2013 to a projected $43 billion by the end of this year.

Over the first half of 2016, the country managed to produce an average of 335 thousand barrels per day, down 20 percent from last year. Libya's daily oil production before the 2011 uprising stood at 1.6 million barrels.

The Libyan economy has shrunk by an estimated 8.3 percent, leaving the country in recession since 2013, with GDP per capita dropping by nearly two-thirds of its pre-revolution level, the bank says.

In the first seven month of 2016, Libya’s state income of 3.2 billion dinar ($2.28 billion) was just a tenth of what it was during the same period last year. The Libyan dinar has dropped 73 percent against the dollar on the black market.

The budget deficit remained high at 69 percent of GDP. “While the central government was a net lender before the revolution,
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Ed Klein: Comey ‘Under Pressure to Redeem Himself’

Ed Klein: Comey ‘Under Pressure to Redeem Himself’ | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
“In my view, what has not been reported, and what I think is very significant, is that we’ve all forgotten that Anthony Weiner is under investigation for what amounts to child pornography, alleged child pornography,” said Klein.
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Pepe Escobar: "This is not in any way an endorsement of Breitbart - but the fact is Ed Klein, a competent hack, is absolutely on the money. Please read it carefully. I also got the same rumors that pervert Wiener was selling inside State Dept. info in Wall Street to selected brokers, who made a killing out of it. The Obama asset Loretta Lynch angle is also spot on. Some of all this mess features in my Sputnik column published yesterday."
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American Dream, Revisited By Pepe Escobar  #Trump #Hillary

American Dream, Revisited By Pepe Escobar  #Trump #Hillary | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Will Trump pull a Brexit times ten? What would it take, beyond WikiLeaks, to bring the Clinton (cash) machine down? Will Hillary win and then declare WWIII against her Russia / Iran / Syria «axis of evil»? Will the Middle East totally explode? Will the pivot to Asia totally implode? Will China be ruling the world by 2025?

Amidst so many frenetic fragments of geopolitical reality precariously shored against our ruins, the temptation is irresistible to hark back to the late, great, deconstructionist master Jean Baudrillard. During the post-mod 1980s it was hip to be Baudrillardian to the core; his America, originally published in France in 1986, should still be read today as the definitive metaphysical/geological/cultural Instagram of Exceptionalistan.

By the late 1990s, at the end of the millennium, two years before 9/11 – that seminal «before and after» event - Baudrillard was already stressing how we live in a black market maze. Now, it’s a black market paroxysm.

Global multitudes are subjected to a black market of work – as in the deregulation of the official market; a black market of unemployment; a black market of financial speculation; a black market of misery and poverty; a black market of sex (as in prostitution); a black market of information (as in espionage and shadow wars); a black market of weapons; and even a black market of thinking.

Way beyond the late 20th century, in the 2010s what the West praises as «liberal democracy» – actually a neoliberal diktat - has virtually absorbed every ideological divergence, while leaving behind a heap of differences floating in some sort of trompe l’oeil effect. What’s left is a widespread, noxious condition; the pre-emptive prohibition of any critical thought, which has no way to express itself other than becoming clandestine (or finding the right internet niche).

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Why Portugal has become an oasis of stability

Why Portugal has become an oasis of stability | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Any celebrations of António Costa‘s first anniversary as Portugal’s prime minister were muted by the announcement this week that the man Costa spent five months persuading to lead Portugal’s biggest bank had resigned, plunging into doubt the government’s efforts to shore up the country’s shaky financial system.

Yet compared to the existential threats facing so many of Europe’s leaders and mainstream political forces, Portugal’s Socialist prime minister looks to be sitting pretty.
PUBLICIDADE
inRead invented by Teads

A poll published Friday gave Costa an 81 percent approval rating, up from 47 percent in December 2015. Not bad compared to fellow center-left leaders such as Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who’s slipped to around 30 percent, and French President François Hollande, languishing around 4 percent.

“We’ve been able to keep all our promises to the Portuguese people,” Costa said Tuesday after parliament approved his budget for 2017. “We’ve turned the page on austerity … we’ve shown an alternative is possible and we’ll keep building that alternative.”

Far-right populism, surging across Europe, is largely absent in Portugal, and the government has been stealing support from the two far-left parties who back the minority government in parliament. Both the Portuguese Communist Party on 6 percent and the Left Bloc on 8 percent have dropped a couple of points since the election.

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Fidel, visto por Eduardo Galeano

Fidel, visto por Eduardo Galeano | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Assim Eduardo Galeano se referiu a Fidel no livro Espelhos, uma verdade quase universal: E seus inimigos não dizem que apesar de todos os pesares, das agressões de fora e das arbitrariedades de dentro, essa ilha sofrida mas obstinadamente alegre gerou a sociedade latino-americana menos injusta. Seus inimigos dizem que foi rei sem coroa e que confundia a unidade com a unanimidade. E nisso seus inimigos têm razão. Seus inimigos dizem que, se Napoleão tivesse tido um jornal como o Granma, nenhum francês ficaria sabendo do desastre de Waterloo. E nisso seus inimigos têm razão. Seus inimigos dizem que exerceu o poder falando muito e escutando pouco, porque estava mais acostumado aos ecos que às vozes. E nisso seus inimigos têm razão. Mas seus inimigos não dizem que não foi para posar para a História que abriu o peito para as balas quando veio a invasão, que enfrentou os furacões de igual pra igual, de furacão a furacão, que sobreviveu a 637 atentados, que sua contagiosa energia foi decisiva para transformar uma colônia em pátria e que não foi nem por feitiço de mandinga nem por milagre de Deus que essa nova pátria conseguiu sobreviver a dez presidentes dos Estados Unidos, que já estavam com o guardanapo no pescoço para almoçá-la de faca e garfo. E seus inimigos não dizem que Cuba é um raro país que não compete na Copa Mundial do Capacho. E não dizem que essa revolução, crescida no castigo, é o que pôde ser e não o quis ser. Nem dizem que em grande medida o muro entre o desejo e a realidade foi se fazendo mais alto e mais largo graças ao bloqueio imperial, que afogou o desenvolvimento da democracia a la cubana, obrigou a militarização da sociedade e outorgou à burocracia, que para cada solução tem um problema, os argumentos que necessitava para se justificar e perpetuar. E não dizem que apesar de todos os pesares, apesar das agressões de fora e das arbitrariedades de dentro, essa ilha sofrida mas obstinadamente alegre gerou a sociedade latino-americana menos injusta. E seus inimigos não dizem que essa façanha foi obra do sacrifício de seu povo, mas também foi obra da pertinaz vontade e do antiquado sentido de honra desse cavalheiro que sempre se bateu pelos perdedores, como um certo Dom Quixote, seu famoso colega dos campos de batalha. (Do livro “Espelhos, uma história quase universal”) Tradução: Eric Nepomunceno. Publicado originalmente no diário universal.
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Wikileaks Shows Every Reporter on Hillary's Payroll - I Hate Hillary - CHECK before u read MSM

Wikileaks Shows Every Reporter on Hillary's Payroll - I Hate Hillary - CHECK before u read MSM | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Wikileaks continues to flex their muscles when it comes to getting dirt on Hillary. In the latest leak, Wikileaks shows every reporter on Hillary's payroll.
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Obama Tries to Cover Tracks by Ordering a Mop Up of Jabhat al-Nusra Leaders | New Eastern Outlook

Obama Tries to Cover Tracks by Ordering a Mop Up of Jabhat al-Nusra Leaders | New Eastern Outlook | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
If you might have the impression that Barack Obama was the first US president that established close ties with various terrorist organizations across the world, you would be bitterly disappointed when you learn the truth…
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Trump elected as President – risks and opportunities | The Vineyard of the Saker

Trump elected as President – risks and opportunities | The Vineyard of the Saker | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
So it has happened: Hillary did not win! I say that instead of saying that “Trump won” because I consider the former even more important than the latter. Why? Because I have no idea whatsoever what Trump will do next. I do, however, have an excellent idea of what Hillary would have done: war with Russia. Trump most likely won’t do that. In fact, he specifically said in his acceptance speech:

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.

And Putin’s reply was immediate:

We heard the statements he made as candidate for president expressing a desire to restore relations between our countries. We realise and understand that this will not be an easy road given the level to which our relations have degraded today, regrettably. But, as I have said before, it is not Russia’s fault that our relations with the United States have reached this point.

Russia is ready to and seeks a return to full-format relations with the United States. Let me say again, we know that this will not be easy, but are ready to take this road, take steps on our side and do all we can to set Russian-US relations back on a stable development track.

This would benefit both the Russian and American peoples and would have a positive impact on the general climate in international affairs, given the particular responsibility that Russia and the US share for maintaining global stability and security.

This exchange, right there, is enough of a reason for the entire planet to rejoice at the defeat of Hillary and the victory of Trump.

Will Trump now have the courage, willpower and intelligence to purge the US Executive from the Neocon cabal which has been infiltrating it for decades now? Will he have the strength to confront an extremely hostile Congress and media? Or will he try to meet them halfway and naively hope that they will not use their power, money and influence to sabotage his presidency?

I don’t know. Nobody does.

One of the first signs to look for will be the names and backgrounds of the folks he will appoint in his new administration. Especially his Chief of Staff and Secretary of State.

I have always said that the choice for the lesser evil is morally wrong and pragmatically misguided. I still believe that. In this case, however, the greater evil was thermonuclear war with Russia and the lesser evil just might turn out to be one which will gradually give up the Empire to save the USA rather than sacrifice the USA for the needs of the Empire. In the case of Hillary vs Trump the choice was simple: war or peace.

Trump can already be credited with am immense achievement: his campaign has forced the US corporate media to show its true face – the face of an evil, lying, morally corrupt propaganda machine. The American people by their vote have rewarded their media with a gigantic “f*ck you!” – a vote of no-confidence and total rejection which will forever demolish the credibility of the Empire’s propaganda machine.

I am not so naive as to not realize that billionaire Donald Trump is also one of the 1%ers, a pure product of the US oligarchy. But neither am I so ignorant of history to forget that elites do turn on each other, especially when their regime is threatened. Do I need to remind anybody that Putin also came from the Soviet elites?!

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Assange: Clinton is a cog for Goldman Sachs & the Saudis (JOHN PILGER EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT)

Assange: Clinton is a cog for Goldman Sachs & the Saudis (JOHN PILGER EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT) | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it

Whistleblower Julian Assange has given one of his most incendiary interviews ever in a John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films, in which he summarizes what can be gleaned from the tens of thousands of Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks this year.

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What does it take to bring Hillary Clinton to justice? - Pepe Escobar

What does it take to bring Hillary Clinton to justice? - Pepe Escobar | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Virtually the whole planet holds its collective breath at the prospect of Hillary Clinton possibly becoming the next President of the United States (POTUS).
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US Elections 2016

How’s that humanly possible, as the (daily) Bonfire of The Scandals – relentlessly fed by WikiLeaks revelations and now converging FBI investigations - can now be seen from interstellar space?

It’s possible because Hillary Clinton, slouching through a paroxysm of manufactured hysteria, is supported by virtually the whole US establishment, a consensual neocon/neoliberalcon War Party/Wall Street/corporate media axis.

But History has a tendency to show us there’s always a straw that breaks the camel’s back.

This could be it – as revealed by WikiLeaks; March 2, 2015, the day when John Podesta wrote, “we are going to have to dump all those emails.”

That happened to be the exact same day it was revealed Hillary Clinton had used a personal email server as Secretary of State.

Yet this reveals only part of the puzzle. There’s got to be a response to Podesta’s email – which WikiLeaks may, or may not, leak in the next few days before the election. If the back and forth clearly shows intent (to mislead), then we’ve got a 100 percent smoking gun: the whole Clinton (cash) machine narrative – according to which Hillary just deleted "personal" emails – crumbles like the ultimate House of Cards.

Moreover, that would unveil what was from the start the privileged Clinton machine strategy: to thwart the subsequent internal State Dept. and FBI investigations.

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Assange: WikiLeaks did not receive Clinton emails from Russian govt (JOHN PILGER EXCLUSIVE)

Assange: WikiLeaks did not receive Clinton emails from Russian govt (JOHN PILGER EXCLUSIVE) | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
In a John Pilger Special, to be exclusively broadcast by RT on Saturday courtesy of Dartmouth Films, whistleblower Julian Assange categorically denied that the troves of US Democratic Party and Clinton work and staff emails released this year have come from the Russian government.

“The Clinton camp has been able to project a neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything. Hillary Clinton has stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 US intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That’s false – we can say that the Russian government is not the source,” Assange told the veteran Australian broadcaster as part of a 25-minute John Pilger Special, courtesy of Dartmouth Films.

Assange, who spoke with Pilger at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been for four years, also accused the US presidential candidate of being a pawn of behind-the-scenes interests, and voiced doubts about her physical fitness to take charge of the White House.
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Assange spoke via telephone to a conference in Argentina. © Peter Nicholls Assange claims ‘crazed’ Clinton campaign tried to hack WikiLeaks

“Hillary Clinton is just one person. I actually feel quite sorry for Hillary Clinton as a person, because I see someone who is eaten alive by their ambitions, tormented literally to the point where they become sick – for example faint – as a result of going on, and going with their ambitions. But she represents a whole network of people, and a whole network of relationships with particular states.”

Over the past nine months, WikiLeaks uploaded over 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server, while she was Secretary of State. This was followed by nearly 20,000 emails sent to and by members of the US Democratic National Committee, exposing the party leadership’s dismissive attitude to Bernie Sanders, and his outsider primaries campaign.

Finally, last month, WikiLeaks posted over 50,000 emails connected to John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and a close associate of the current presidential frontrunner.

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Breaking: Assistant Attorney General Tipped Off Clinton Camp About DOJ Investigation #PeterKadzik

Breaking: Assistant Attorney General Tipped Off Clinton Camp About DOJ Investigation  #PeterKadzik | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
On November 2, WikiLeaks released Part 26 of their emails from Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta.

A March 2015 email revealed Podesta attended a meeting with Clinton campaign General Counsel, the lobbying firm Dewey Square Partners and Clinton Super PACs. Several emails released by WikiLeaks suggest the Clinton campaign illegally coordinated with Super PACs, prompting Clinton loyalist Neera Tanden to say she thought that what the campaign was doing with Correct the Record was “skirting, if not violating” the law.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik tipped off Podesta and the Clinton campaign about what was going on at the Department of Justice. Kadzik, a friend of Podesta, will oversee the DOJ probe into Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner’s emails from Clinton’s private email server. “There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails,” Kadzik wrote to Podesta in May 2015. Podesta forwarded the email to several top Clinton staffers. The email suggests the Department of Justice was biased in favor of Hillary Clinton, and Kadzik tip to Podesta was highly unethical.

A transcript of a speech Bill Clinton gave in November 2015 has also been released—featuring a handful of bizarre quotes. “What are you going to do about the fact that life expectancy among middle-aged, non–college-educated working people is going down, while they still have their children at home—because they’re drinking more, because they’re smoking more, because they are addicted to opiates and now cheaper street heroin raised in the Sierra Madre, the poppy heads in Mexico, harvested by preteens and cheaper on the street now than the opiates because we’re beginning to enforce our law?” Bill Clinton told an audience at a private fundraiser in the Hamptons, reverberating the fear mongering he and Hillary Clinton used to push for the disastrous 1994 crime bill. In an April 2015 email, Clinton campaign staff admit “some of the Clinton policies from the 90’s contributed to mass incarceration (unless we want to argue otherwise) and she helped lobby/advocate for the
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Anonymous donor pays $2.5 million to release everyone arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline

Anonymous donor pays $2.5 million to release everyone arrested at the Dakota Access Pipeline | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
Indigenous, nature, wildlife and companion animal news. Pass it on!
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Hillary Clinton, FBI and the Real November Surprise By Pepe Escobar

Hillary Clinton, FBI and the Real November Surprise By Pepe Escobar | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
"As bad as it is the folks above the President make the decisions. They may have decided on Trump. These things do not happen by accident."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y.
© AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
So Russia Won't Elect the Next POTUS
Thus spoke a high-level US business mover and shaker with secure transit in rarified Masters of the Universe-related circles, amidst the utter political chaos provoked by head of the FBI James Comey’s latest bombshell.

It’s virtually established by now that US Attorney General Loretta Lynch told Comey not to release his letter to Congress. But Comey did it anyway. If he had not, and a scandal would – inevitably – spring up after the US presidential election, Lynch would be perfectly positioned to deny she knew anything, and Comey would be on the firing line.

Lynch is a certified Clinton machine asset. In 1999 then-President Bill Clinton appointed her to run the Brooklyn US Attorney’s office. She left in 2002, taking the private practice revolving door. She was back to the Brooklyn office in 2010, urged by Obama. Five years later she became the 83rd US Attorney General, replacing the dodgy Eric Holder.

A plausible case has been made that Comey took his fateful decision based on a serious internal revolt at the FBI – led by key people he trust — as well as being egged-on by his wife.

Yet one of the key questions that refuse to go away is why the FBI waited until 11 days before the US presidential election to supposedly "find" an email trove on certified sexting pervert Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

A Deal With Donald?

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton talks about climate change at a rally at Miami Dade College with former Vice President Al Gore in Miami, Florida, U.S. October 11, 2016.
© REUTERS/ Lucy Nicholson
What to Expect From FBI's New Probe Into Clinton's Emails
The business source, although unsympathetic to the Clinton machine, especially in foreign policy, is a realpolitik practitioner, not a conspiracy theorist. He is adamant that, “the FBI reversal could not have happened without orders above the President. If the Masters [of the Universe] have changed their mind, then they will destroy Hillary.”

He adds, “they can make a deal with Donald just like anyone else; Donald wins; the Masters win; the people think that their voice has been heard. And then there will be some sort of (controlled) change.”

What’s paramount in the whole soap opera is the faith in the US political system — as corrupt as it may be — must endure. That mirrors the faith in the US dollar; if confidence in the US dollar fails, the US as a hegemonic financial power is no more.

The source is equally adamant that, “it is almost unprecedented to see a cover-up as extensive as Hillary’s. A secret meeting between Bill Clinton and the Attorney General; the FBI ignoring all evidence and initially clearing Hillary to near rebellion of the whole of the FBI, attested to by Rudolf Giuliani whose reputation as a federal prosecutor is unquestioned; the Clinton “pay for play” foundation. The Masters are troubled that this is getting out of hand.”

The record shows that “the Masters do not usually have to go to such lengths to protect their own. They did manage to save Bill Clinton from the Monica Lewinsky perjury and keep him in the presidency. The Masters were not attacked in this case. They even got away with the 1987 cash settlement crash and the theft surrounding the Lehman debacle. In all these cases there were no overarching challenges to their control, as we see now open to the public by Trump. They antagonized and insulted the wrong man.”

All Aboard the Huma Train

Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and longtime aide Huma Abedin at a campaign event in Iowa, November 2015.
© AFP 2016/ MANDEL NGAN
Scandal on Top of Scandal: Did Clinton Aide Abedin Break the Law in Emailing from Husband Weiner’s Computer?
Hillary Clinton is not at the center of Comey’s jaw-dropping October Surprise; it’s actually her right-hand woman and ersatz “daughter” Huma Abedin. This early January essay on Huma Abedin contains plenty of nuggets out and about – some of them positively eyebrow raising.

In case Hillary Clinton becomes the next President of the United States (POTUS), Abedin, alternatively known as Princess of Saudi Arabia, will most likely become Hillary’s chief of staff – the power behind running all White House operations.

A glimpse of the FBI-Huma Abedin connection is available here. Abedin was granted Top Secret security clearance for the first time in 2009, when Hillary named her deputy chief of staff for operations. Abedin later said she “did not remember” being read into any Special Access Programs (SAPs).

It’s crucial to remember that one of Abedin’s emails was huma@clintonemail.com. Crucial translation: she was the only high-level State Dept. aide whose emails were hosted by the notorious Subterranean Clinton Email Server – which she claimed she didn’t know existed until she heard about it in the news.

Abedin swore under oath in a lawsuit brought against the State Dept. by Judicial Watch that she had handed over all of her laptops and smart phones that could host emails relevant to the Subterranean Email Server investigation.

That may not have been the case. The laptop at the center of Comey’s bombshell was shared by Abedin and her husband Wiener before they split. If Abedin lied, she could face up to five years in jail for perjury. As if the whole illegal email-cum-sexting saga was not sordid enough, the “climax” now seems to have turned into a mixed wrestling match between the former couple, with the big “prize” being the slammer.

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton attends a campaign rally at Alumni Hall Courtyard, Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire US, October 24, 2016.
© REUTERS/ Carlos Barria
FBI Obtains Warrant to Search Top Clinton Aide Abedin’s Emails
The FBI has finally obtained a warrant and is now frantically searching no less than 650,000 Abedin emails found on sexting freak Wiener’s laptop; the objective is to exactly determine which ones came from the Subterranean Email Server.

As if this was not demeaning enough, the FBI continues to conduct an investigation on the Clinton Foundation. As former Assistant Director of the FBI Tom Fuentes said, “The FBI has an intensive investigation ongoing into the Clinton Foundation…the investigation would go forward as a comprehensive unified case and be coordinated, so that investigation is ongoing and Huma Abedin and her role and activities concerning Secretary of State in the nature of the foundation and possible ‘pay to play’, that’s still being looked at now.”

Whatever happens until election day, US voters will have to consider the startling fact they may choose a next POTUS that is the subject of a wide-ranging “comprehensive unified” FBI investigation.

A Rotten, Rigged System?

A former federal public corruption prosecutor volunteers a plausible take on Comey’s action. In a nutshell, FBI agents investigating Weiner’s sexting – and they are a different set of agents investigating Emailgate — saw evidence of State Dept emails on his laptop. Comey knew he needed a search warrant to comb the emails at Wiener’s computer. So he pre-empted the – inevitable – subsequent hype by “sending out a vague…letter to the Hill” that in the end left everyone even more confused.

That interpretation though may be only scratching the surface. Deeper and deeper, it seems that Comey’s decision was really precipitated by the senior FBI agents’ insurgence – fed up with the “extreme carelessness” Hillary cover-up. They’ve got to have some surefire material on the Clinton (cash) machine that never saw the light.

Comey could have just waited to say something after the election; after all the FBI maintains they had checked all Clinton emails, including deleted ones, not to mention the Podesta emails. So the emails on sexting Wiener’s laptop may be no more than a limited hangout.

A much more plausible explanation is that Comey had to do it not only because of the FBI internal revolt (or because he had an urge to upstage WikiLeaks?) He had to do it because the rot goes way beyond the Clinton “pay to play” racket and involves virtually the whole system, from the deep recesses of the Obama administration to the War Party scam, the Department of Justice, the CIA and the FBI itself.

What next? Brace for impact; it may well be the ultimate November Surprise.
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In Miami, Haitian-American voters grapple with mixed feelings about Clinton

In Miami, Haitian-American voters grapple with mixed feelings about Clinton | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it
In Florida, a key battleground state in the U.S. presidential elections, some Haitian-American voters are feeling spurned by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a situation rooted in the politics of Haiti and the Clintons’ role there.
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Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria

Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria | Saif al Islam | Scoop.it



On September 30, demonstrators gathered in city squares across the West for a "weekend of action” to “stop the bombs” raining down from Syrian government and Russian warplanes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Thousands joined the protests, holding signs that read "Topple Assad" and declaring, "Enough With Assad." Few participants likely knew that the actions were organized under the auspices of an opposition-funded public relations company called the Syria Campaign.

By partnering with local groups like the Syrian civil defense workers popularly known as the White Helmets, and through a vast network of connections in media and centers of political influence, The Syria Campaign has played a crucial role in disseminating images and stories of the horrors visited this month on eastern Aleppo. The group is able to operate within the halls of power in Washington and has the power to mobilize thousands of demonstrators into the streets. Despite its outsized role in shaping how the West sees Syria’s civil war, which is now in its sixth year and entering one of its grisliest phases, this outfit remains virtually unknown to the general public.

The Syria Campaign presents itself as an impartial, non-political voice for ordinary Syrian citizens that is dedicated to civilian protection. “We see ourselves as a solidarity organization,” The Syria Campaign strategy director James Sadri told me. “We’re not being paid by anybody to pursue a particular line. We feel like we’ve done a really good job about finding out who the frontline activists, doctors, humanitarians are and trying to get their word out to the international community.”

Yet behind the lofty rhetoric about solidarity and the images of heroic rescuers rushing in to save lives is an agenda that aligns closely with the forces from Riyadh to Washington clamoring for regime change. Indeed, The Syria Campaign has been pushing for a no-fly zone in Syria that would require at least “70,000 American servicemen” to enforce, according to a Pentagon assessment, along with the destruction of government infrastructure and military installations. There is no record of a no-fly zone being imposed without regime change following —which seems to be exactly what The Syria Campaign and its partners want.

“For us to control all the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia. That’s a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make,” said Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee this month.

While the military brass in Washington seems reluctant to apply the full force of its airpower to enforce a NFZ, The Syria Campaign is capitalizing on the outrage inspired by the bombardment of rebel-held eastern Aleppo this year to intensify the drumbeat for greater U.S. military involvement.

The Syria Campaign has been careful to cloak interventionism in the liberal-friendly language of human rights, casting Western military action as “the best way to support Syrian refugees,” and packaging a no-fly zone — along with so-called safe zones and no bombing zones, which would also require Western military enforcement — as a “way to protect civilians and defeat ISIS.”

Among The Syria Campaign’s most prominent vehicles for promoting military intervention is a self-proclaimed "unarmed and impartial" civil defense group known as the White Helmets. Footage of the White Helmets saving civilians trapped in the rubble of buildings bombed by the Syrian government and its Russian ally has become ubiquitous in coverage of the crisis. Having claimed to have saved tens of thousands of lives, the group has become a leading resource for journalists and human rights groups seeking information inside the war theater, from casualty figures to details on the kind of bombs that are falling.

But like The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets are anything but impartial. Indeed, the group was founded in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, an explicitly political wing of the agency that has funded efforts at political subversion in Cuba and Venezuela. USAID is the White Helmets’ principal funder, committing at least $23 million to the group since 2013. This money was part of $339.6 million budgeted by USAID for “supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria" -- or establishing a parallel governing structure that could fill the power vacuum once Bashar Al-Assad was removed.

Thanks to an aggressive public relations push by The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets have been nominated for the Nobel Prize, and have already been awarded the “alternative Nobel” known as the Right Livelihood Award. (Previous winners include Amy Goodman, Edward Snowden and Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.) At the same time, the White Helmets are pushing for a NFZ in public appearances and on a website created by The Syria Campaign.

The Syria Campaign has garnered endorsements for the White Helmets from a host of Hollywood celebrities including Ben Affleck, Alicia Keyes and Justin Timberlake. And with fundraising and “outreach” performed by The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets have become the stars of a slickly produced Netflix documentary vehicle that has received hype from media outlets across the West.

But making the White Helmets into an international sensation is just one of a series of successes The Syria Campaign has achieved in its drive to oust Syria's government.

Targeting the UN in Damascus

When an aid convoy organized by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs came under attack on its way to the rebel-held countryside of West Aleppo in Syria this September 18, the White Helmets pinned blame squarely on the Syrian and Russian governments. In fact, a White Helmets member was among the first civilians to appear on camera at the scene of the attack, declaring in English that “the regime helicopters targeted this place with four barrel [bombs].” The White Helmets also produced one of the major pieces of evidence Western journalists have relied on to implicate Russia and the Syrian government in the attack: a photograph supposedly depicting the tail fragment of a Russian-made OFAB 250-270 fragmentation bomb. (This account remains unconfirmed by both the UN and SARC, and no evidence of barrel bombs has been produced).

Ironically, the White Helmets figured prominently in The Syria Campaign’s push to undermine the UN’s humanitarian work inside Syria. For months, The Syria Campaign has painted the UN as a stooge of Bashar Al-Assad for coordinating its aid deliveries with the Syrian government, as it has done with governments in conflict zones around the world. The Guardian's Kareem Shaheen praised a 50-page report by The Syria Campaign attacking the UN’s work in Syria as "damning." A subsequent Guardian' article cited the report as part of the inspiration for its own “exclusive” investigation slamming the UN’s coordination with the Syrian government.

At a website created by The Syria Campaign to host the report, visitors are greeted by a UN logo drenched in blood.

The Syria Campaign has even taken credit for forcing former UN Resident Coordinator Yacoub El-Hillo out of his job in Damascus, a false claim it was later forced to retract. Among the opposition groups that promoted The Syria Campaign’s anti-UN report was Ahrar Al-Sham, a jihadist rebel faction that has allied with Al Qaeda in a mission to establish an exclusively Islamic state across Syria.

A Westerner who operates a politically neutral humanitarian NGO in Damascus offered me a withering assessment of The Syria Campaign’s attacks on the UN. Speaking on condition of anonymity because NGO workers like them are generally forbidden from speaking to the media, and often face repercussions if they do, the source accused The Syria Campaign of “dividing and polarizing the humanitarian community” along political lines while forcing humanitarian entities to “make decisions based on potential media repercussions instead of focusing on actual needs on the ground.”

The NGO executive went on to accuse The Syria Campaign and its partners in the opposition of “progressively identifying the humanitarian workers operating from Damascus with one party to the conflict,” limiting their ability to negotiate access to rebel-held territory. “As a humanitarian worker myself,” they explained, “I know that this puts me and my teams in great danger since it legitimizes warring factions treating you as an extension of one party in the conflict.

“The thousands of Syrians that signed up with the UN or humanitarian organizations are civilians,” they continued. “They not only joined to get a salary but in hopes of doing something good for other Syrians. This campaign [by The Syria Campaign] is humiliating all of them, labelling them as supporters of one side and making them lose hope in becoming agents of positive change in their own society.”

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