Full beast mode. The United States still refuses to coordinate airstrikes against ISIS with Russia — but it doesn't even matter at this point: Russia has gone full beast mode. Over the last 48 hours, Russia has destroyed a fleet of 500 ISIS...
Originally appeared at Asia TimesUp to the very gloomy day when the “soldiers of the Caliphate” hit “the capital of abomination and perversions” – as ISIS/ISIL/Daesh framed its attack on Paris – French President Francois Hollande and his insufferable poseur of a Prime Minister Laurent Fabius were adamant: Assad must go.
With the death toll in the Paris terror attacks still rising, French President Hollande is condemning an “act of war” by the Islamic State, but the underlying reality is that France’s rich friends in the Persian Gulf are key accomplices in the mayhem.
The Russian military has launched cruise missiles against Islamic State positions in Syria from both the Mediterranean and Caspian seas, one of which killed over 600 terrorists in the Deir Ex-Zor Province, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said.
TO PLACATE their pique at his effort to get a non-proliferation agreement with Iran, Barack Obama met last Thursday at Camp David with Saudi royals and leaders of the other five feudal dictatorships of the Persian Gulf.
He reaffirmed the United States "ironclad" commitment to their security and promised even more military aid and cooperation. After the personal dust-up between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu settles, we can expect the Administration and Congress to add even more steel to our commitment to protect and subsidize Israel by adding more to its already vast store of sophisticated weapons.
Thus, we take another step deeper into the tragedy of US intervention in the Middle East that has become a noxious farce.
Consider just one of the head-spinning subplots: We are allied with our declared enemy, Iran, against the bloody Islamic State, which was spawned from the chaos created by our own earlier decisions to invade Iraq and to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, which has us fighting side-by-side with jihadist crazies financed by Saudi Arabia, whom we are supporting against the Houthis in Yemen, the bitter rivals of Al Qaeda -- the perpetrators of 9/11!
[The following petition was issued on 11 February 2014 by the below signatories. The petition was organized in response to the Saudi authorities' arrest and detention of Ashraf Fayadh in 2013 for a collection of poems he published in ...
One of the organizations providing anti-Syrian propaganda is the U.S. based Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) which claims to be "Using science and medicine to stop human rights violations".
It used neither in its most recent pamphlet about "Aleppo" which fraudulently asserts that a tiny piece of the city is representative for all of it. The NYT short piece on that "report" says:
A New York-based human rights organization is accusing the Syrian government of flouting international law by killing health workers, bombing hospitals and blocking lifesaving aid from entering a strategic city in northern Syria that was held by the opposition groups.
In a report released Wednesday, the group, Physicians for Human Rights, chronicled 45 attacks on medical facilities in Aleppo since 2012, mostly by Syrian government forces.
The report paints a harrowing picture of the risks to those who provide basic medical services in Aleppo. A barrel bomb killed a doctor and a public health worker who were vaccinating children against polio in early 2014 — the first of 26 airstrikes on medical facilities. ... The report says that 95 percent of Aleppo’s doctors have fled or been killed. The group also says that Russian airstrikes have hit 10 medical facilities since the air campaign began in September.
The NYT piece is only about "Aleppo" and fails to differentiate between the insurgent held eastern part and the government held western part.
That may have been because the PHR press release on its "report" also only speaks of "Aleppo". It claims:
A new report by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) shows the devastating impact of the Syrian conflict on Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city and the area that has been the hardest hit in terms of attacks on medical facilities. In the past three years, Aleppo has suffered 45 attacks on health care facilities, more than two-thirds of hospitals no longer function there, and roughly 95 percent of doctors have fled, been detained or killed. Today’s ratio of doctors to residents is eight times less than what it was before the conflict began, and this extreme shortage of health professionals is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian crisis.
That press release is intentionally deceiving and the NYT writer fell for the scam.
Only deep in the longer PHR report (pdf) do we find what area the report is really about:
This report focuses on the state of health care in eastern Aleppo city4..
The footnote 4 at the end of the report says:
Eastern Aleppo city is referred to as “Aleppo” in the remainder of this report. Any references to western (government-controlled) Aleppo city or Aleppo governorate are noted explicitly.
Eastern Aleppo is bombed out Jihadi held part of Aleppo. It is practically empty except for the Jihadis and a few members of their families. In March the Guardian's Martin Chulov actually visited eastern Aleppo. He wrote:
Western Aleppo has had by far the better of the war, with civic services still functioning in most neighbourhoods and war damage minimal. Much of the east, though, is ravaged and empty. ... Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 40,000 from a prewar population estimated at about a million, have been without electricity or running water for more than a year.
The so-called Islamic State should have learned by now: they’ve picked a fight against the wrong guys. We have entered “take no prisoners” territory. For Russia, now all the gloves are off.
Especially after online terrorist magazine Dabiq published a photo of the alleged bomb that downed the Metrojet: a crude device inside a can of Schweppes Gold, placed under a passenger seat. Also published were photos of passports of Russian victims, allegedly taken “by the mujahedeen.”
Their collective fate was sealed the minute the Director of the Federal Security Service Aleksandr Bortnikov told President Putin, about the Metrojet crash on October 31 in Egypt that: “We can say with confidence that this was a terrorist act.”
Caliphate goons may run – in the deserts of ‘Syraq’ and beyond – but they can’t hide, as per Russia’s presidential message: “We will search for them everywhere – wherever they are hiding. We will find them in any spot on the planet and we will punish them.” The message comes with extra enticement; the $50 million bounty offered by the FSB for any information leading to the perpetrators of the Sinai tragedy.
The United Nations has called the states to fight “a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security” which is Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL, Da’esh). All 15 members of the UN Security Council voted to adopt the French-proposed resolution.
U.S. media can no agree with itself if Russia is giving ISIS an airforce or if Russia pounds ISIS with the biggest bomber raid in decades. Such confusion occurs when propaganda fantasies collide with the observable reality.
To bridge such divide requires some fudging.
So when the U.S. claims to act against the finances of the Islamic State while not doing much, the U.S Public Broadcasting Service has to use footage of Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State while reporting claimed U.S. airstrike successes.
The U.S. military recently claimed to have hit Islamic State oil tankers in Syria. This only after Putin embarrassed Obama at the G-20 meeting in Turkey. Putin showed satellite pictures of ridiculous long tanker lines waiting for days and weeks to load oil from the Islamic State without any U.S. interference.
The U.S. then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers while the Russian air force claims to have hit 500. But there is an important difference between these claims. The Russians provided videos showing how their airstrikes hit at least two different very large oil tanker assemblies with hundreds of tankers in each. They also provided video of several hits on oil storage sites and refinery infrastructure.
I have found no video of U.S. hits on Islamic State oil tanker assemblies.
The U.S. PBS NewsHour did not find any either.
In their TV report yesterday about Islamic State financing and the claimed U.S. hits on oil trucks they used the videos Russia provided without revealing the source. You can see the Russian videos played within an interview with a U.S. military spokesperson at 2:22 min.
The U.S. military spokesperson speaks on camera about U.S. airforce hits against the Islamic State. The video cuts to footage taken by Russian airplanes hitting oil tanks and then trucks. The voice-over while showing the Russian video with the Russians blowing up trucks says: "For the first time the U.S. is attacking oil delivery trucks." The video then cuts back to the U.S. military spokesperson.
At no point is the Russian campaign mentioned or the source of the footage revealed.
On November 10, an alliance of left parties forced to resign Portugal’s center-right minority government by a vote of no confidence. This is a next stage of the crisis created by conservative President Anibal Cavaco Silva. He gave the opportunity to form a government to the coalition headed by Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s Social Democratic Party despite it won just 39 percent at the October 4 general elections. In reply, the three leftist parties — the Socialist Party, 32 percent of the vote, the Left Bloc, 10 percent, and the Communist Party, 8 percent, in coalition with the Greens — united against the government.
According to the Portuguese constitution new elections cannot be held until at least June 2016. Thus, the responsibility for the formation of a government returns once again to the president which supports the minority coalition. He should to decide whether to empower the leftist coalition which holds the majority in the Parliament as a new government. However, attempts to ignore the leftist alliance would leave the president open to accusations of bias and of anti-democratic behavior. He is clearly aligned with the center-right alliance.
French police continued to negotiate with Hasna Aitboulahcen, the peroxide-blonde 26-year-old would-be jihadist, until she detonated herself with a force so powerful it blew her head off and into the street, an amateur recording and a police account revealed.
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