Saturday, June 24, 2017

House of Saudi Cards: The Inside Story

Sputnik | Jun 24, 2017 | Pepe Escobar

© Sputnik/ Mikhail Voskresenskiy
Just when geopolitical practitioners were betting on regime change in Qatar – orchestrated by a desperate House of Saud – regime change ended up happening in Riyadh, orchestrated by Warrior Prince, Destroyer of Yemen and Blockader of Qatar, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

Considering the impenetrability of that desert petrodollar family oligarchy impersonating a nation it’s up to a few foreigners granted access to make sense of the latest Arabian Game of Thrones. It also does not help that the “largesse” of Saudi – and Emirati – lobbies in Washington reduces virtually every think tank and hack in sight to abject sycophancy.

A top Middle East source close to the House of Saud, and a de facto dissident of the Beltway consensus, minces no words; “The CIA is very displeased with the firing of [former Crown Prince] Mohammad bin Nayef. Mohammad bin Salman is regarded as sponsoring terrorism. In April 2014 the entire royal families of the UAE and Saudi Arabia were to be ousted by the US over terrorism.  A compromise was worked out that Nayef would take over running the Kingdom to stop it.”

Before the Riyadh coup, an insistent narrative had been pervading selected Middle East geopolitical circles according to which US intel, “indirectly”, stopped another coup against the young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, orchestrated by Mohammad bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with help from Blackwater/Academi's Eric Prince’s army of mercenaries in the UAE. Zayed, crucially, happens to be MBS’s mentor. 

Our source clarifies, “the events are connected. Prince is CIA, but he probably stopped any coup attempt on Qatar. The CIA blocked the coup in Qatar and the Saudis reacted by dumping the CIA selected Mohammed bin Nayef, who was to be the next King. The Saudis are scared. The monarchy is in trouble as the CIA can move the army in Saudi Arabia against the king. This was a defensive move by MBS.”

The source adds, “MBS is failing everywhere. Yemen, Syria, Qatar, Iraq, etc. are all failures of MBS. China is also displeased with MBS as he has been stirring up trouble in Xinjiang. Russia cannot be happy that MBS was and is behind the lower oil price. Who are his allies?  He has only one and that is his father, who is hardly competent.” King Salman is virtually incapacitated by dementia.

The source is adamant that, “it is very possible the CIA will move against the monarchy in Saudi Arabia.” That would qualify as the war between President Trump and selected sectors of the US deep state reaching a whole new level. 

And to add to the charade, there’s the Jared of Arabia factor. There's no way any serious inside player would confirm anything about the (aborted) coup in Qatar. But if that coup attempt really happened, and was squashed, Jared Kushner may have had inside information, considering his connections.

According to the source, “Jared Kushner is essentially bankrupt at 666 Fifth Avenue, and needs Saudi financial help. So he is doing everything the Saudis want. 666 Fifth is in such bad financial shape that even his father-in-law cannot bail him out.”

Operation Desert Hubris

This convoluted trail of events does corroborate the famous December 2015 memo by the BND – German intelligence, according to which the House of Saud had adopted “an impulsive policy of intervention”, with then Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince MBS, a “gambler”, bound to cause a lot of trouble.

The BND memo detailed how the House of Saud, in Syria, bankrolled the creation of the Army of Conquest – basically a revamp of Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria — as well as ideological sister outfit Ahrar al-Sham. Translation; the House of Saud aiding, abetting and weaponizing Salafi-jihadi terrorism. And this from a regime that now charges Qatar of doing the same (Doha supported different outfits).   

In Yemen, the BND worried that MBS’s war against the Houthis and the Yemeni Army was only profiting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Now MBS’s war – conducted with American and British weapons — has also provoked a horrendous humanitarian catastrophe.

How come an arrogant, sloppy, hubristic ignoramus like MBS has come so close to set the whole of Southwest Asia on fire? And not only Southwest Asia; waves of despair are flowing in Western investment circles to the effect that MBS is such a loose cannon his actions will destroy retirement accounts all over the spectrum.

Some essential background is in order. What we have today is the Third Saudi kingdom — founded by Ibn Saud in 1902, keeping the same, previous noxious alliance with troglodyte Wahhabi clerics. Ibn Saud only ruled Najd in the beginning; then, in 1913, he annexed Shi’ite Eastern Arabia (that’s where the oil is), and up to 1926 Hejaz, on the Red Sea coast. A “united” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed only in 1932.

Ibn Saudi died in 1953. Arguably the most influential of his harem of wives was Hassa al-Sudairi. They had 7 sons together. (Demented) King Salman, Nayef and MBS are all Sudairis. MBS is the first of Ibn Saud’s grandsons within striking reach of the throne.

Quite a few other princes are more competent that MBS. Nayef, who spent a long time in the Interior Ministry, was the Saudi counterterrorism czar (thus being a CIA darling). There’s Mitab bin Abdullah, minister of the Saudi Arabian National Guard; notorious Prince Turki, former intel chief, former ambassador to the US, and former best pal of Osama bin Laden; and Khaled bin Faisal, governor of Mecca and former education minister.

MBS is betting everything on his Vision 2030 – which in theory might propel the Saudi economy beyond oil monoculture, but implies a virtually impossible political aggiornamento; after all the House of Saudi Cards is un-reformable. Take the risible list of 13 demands now imposed on Qatar – that’s MBS’s work – including the bellicose virtual  excommunication of Iran and shutting down al-Jazeera.   

No wonder every major geopolitical player is now gaming war scenarios – although only Germany stated its concerns on the record. Qatar is a NATO observer. Doha is adamant; it won’t fold to the absurd Saudi demands. What next; will MBS – the most dangerous “leader” in geopolitics today – lose face or launch yet another, demented, unwinnable and this time globally-convulsing war?


Trump's Clueless Tweeting As the World is About to Burn


© MotherJones
On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia.

One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government.

Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to seperate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

These independent actions were misrepresented by Washington and the presstitutes who whore for Washington as a “Russian invasion.” Despite all facts to the contrary, this misrepresentation continues today. In US foreign policy, facts are not part of the analysis.

The most important fact that is overlooked by the Washington Post and the Russophobic members of the US government is that it is an act of insanity to call for more punishment and more pressure on a country with a powerful military and strategic nuclear capability whose military high command and government have already concluded that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack.

Are the Washington Post editors trying to bring on nuclear armageddon? If there was any intelligence present in the Washington Post, the newspaper would be urging that President Trump immediately call President Putin with reassurances and arrange the necessary meetings to defuse the situation. Instead the utterly stupid editors urge actions that can only raise the level of tension. It should be obvious even to the Washington Post morons that Russia is not going to sit there, shaking in its boots, and wait for Washington’s attack. Putin has issued many warnings about the West’s rising threat to Russian security. He has said that Russia “will never again fight a war on its own territory.” He has said that the lesson he has learned is that “if a fight is unavoidable, strike first.” He has also said that the fact that no one hears his warnings makes the situation even more dangerous.

What explains the deafness of the West? The answer is arrogance and hubris.

As the presstitute media is incapable of reason, I will do their job for them. I call for an immediate face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin at Reykjavik. Cold War II, begun by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, must be ended now.

So, where is President Trump? Why is the President of the United States unable to rise to the challenge? Why isn’t he the man Ronald Reagan was? Is it, as David Stockman says, that Trump is incapable of anything except tweeting? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47310.htm

Why hasn’t President Trump long ago ordered all intercepts of Russian chatter gathered, declassified, and made public? Why hasn’t Trump launched a criminal prosecution against John Brennan, Susan Rice, Comey, and the rest of the hit squad that is trying to destroy him?

Why has Trump disarmed himself with an administration chosen by Russiaphobes and Israel?

As David Stockman writes, Trump “is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/mainstream media prosecution” and “has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive” against those working to destroy him. But there is no Trump offensive, “because the man is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.”

Our president twitters while he and Earth itself are pushed toward destruction.

How America Armed Terrorists in Syria

Washington's Blog | Jun 23, 2017 | Gareth Porter

Free Syrian Army fighters in Saqba, a suburb of Damascus (Photo: Freedom House / CC-BY-2.0)
Three-term Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, has proposed legislation that would prohibit any U.S. assistance to terrorist organizations in Syria as well as to any organization working directly with them. Equally important, it would prohibit U.S. military sales and other forms of military cooperation with other countries that provide arms or financing to those terrorists and their collaborators.

Gabbard’s “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” challenges for the first time in Congress a U.S. policy toward the conflict in the Syrian civil war that should have set off alarm bells long ago: in 2012-13 the Obama administration helped its Sunni allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar provide arms to Syrian and non-Syrian armed groups to force President Bashar al-Assad out of power. And in 2013 the administration began to provide arms to what the CIA judged to be “relatively moderate” anti-Assad groups—meaning they incorporated various degrees of Islamic extremism.

That policy, ostensibly aimed at helping replace the Assad regime with a more democratic alternative, has actually helped build up al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise al Nusra Front into the dominant threat to Assad.

The supporters of this arms-supply policy believe it is necessary as pushback against Iranian influence in Syria. But that argument skirts the real issue raised by the policy’s history.  The Obama administration’s Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the “Global War on Terrorism”—the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates. The United States has instead subordinated that U.S. interest in counter-terrorism to the interests of its Sunni allies. In doing so it has helped create a new terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East.

The policy of arming military groups committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad began in September 2011, when President Barack Obama was pressed by his Sunni allies—Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar—to supply heavy weapons to a military opposition to Assad they were determined to establish. Turkey and the Gulf regimes wanted the United States to provide anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels, according to a former Obama Administration official involved in Middle East issues.

Obama refused to provide arms to the opposition, but he agreed to provide covert U.S. logistical help in carrying out a campaign of military assistance to arm opposition groups. CIA involvement in the arming of anti-Assad forces began with arranging for the shipment of weapons from the stocks of the Gaddafi regime that had been stored in Benghazi. CIA-controlled firms shipped the weapons from the military port of Benghazi to two small ports in Syria using former U.S. military personnel to manage the logistics, as investigative reporter Sy Hersh detailed in 2014. The funding for the program came mainly from the Saudis.

A declassified October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report revealed that the shipment in late August 2012 had included 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG (rocket propelled grenade launchers) along with 300 RPG rounds and 400 howitzers. Each arms shipment encompassed as many as ten shipping containers, it reported, each of which held about 48,000 pounds of cargo. That suggests a total payload of up to 250 tons of weapons per shipment. Even if the CIA had organized only one shipment per month, the arms shipments would have totaled 2,750 tons of arms bound ultimately for Syria from October 2011 through August 2012. More likely it was a multiple of that figure.

The CIA’s covert arms shipments from Libya came to an abrupt halt in September 2012 when Libyan militants attacked and burned the embassy annex in Benghazi that had been used to support the operation. By then, however, a much larger channel for arming anti-government forces was opening up. The CIA put the Saudis in touch with a senior Croatian official who had offered to sell large quantities of arms left over from the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. And the CIA helped them shop for weapons from arms dealers and governments in several other former Soviet bloc countries.

Flush with weapons acquired from both the CIA Libya program and from the Croatians, the Saudis and Qataris dramatically increased the number of flights by military cargo planes to Turkey in December 2012 and continued that intensive pace for the next two and a half months. The New York Times reported a total 160 such flights through mid-March 2013. The most common cargo plane in use in the Gulf, the Ilyushin IL-76, can carry roughly 50 tons of cargo on a flight, which would indicate that as much as 8,000 tons of weapons poured across the Turkish border into Syria just in late 2012 and in 2013.

One U.S. official called the new level of arms deliveries to Syrian rebels a “cataract of weaponry.” And a year-long investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealed that the Saudis were intent on building up a powerful conventional army in Syria. The “end-use certificate” for weapons purchased from an arms company in Belgrade, Serbia, in May 2013 includes 500 Soviet-designed PG-7VR rocket launchers that can penetrate even heavily-armored tanks, along with two million rounds; 50 Konkurs anti-tank missile launchers and 500 missiles, 50 anti-aircraft guns mounted on armored vehicles, 10,000 fragmentation rounds for OG-7 rocket launchers capable of piercing heavy body armor; four truck-mounted BM-21 GRAD multiple rocket launchers, each of which fires 40 rockets at a time with a range of 12 to 19 miles, along with 20,000 GRAD rockets.

The end user document for another Saudi order from the same Serbian company listed 300 tanks, 2,000 RPG launchers, and 16,500 other rocket launchers, one million rounds for ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns, and 315 million cartridges for various other guns.

Those two purchases were only a fraction of the totality of the arms obtained by the Saudis over the next few years from eight Balkan nations. Investigators found that the Saudis made their biggest arms deals with former Soviet bloc states in 2015, and that the weapons included many that had just come off factory production lines. Nearly 40 percent of the arms the Saudis purchased from those countries, moreover, still had not been delivered by early 2017. So the Saudis had already contracted for enough weaponry to keep a large-scale conventional war in Syria going for several more years.

By far the most consequential single Saudi arms purchase was not from the Balkans, however, but from the United States. It was the December 2013 U.S. sale of 15,000 TOW anti-tank missiles to the Saudis at a cost of about $1 billion—the result of Obama’s decision earlier that year to reverse his ban on lethal assistance to anti-Assad armed groups. The Saudis had agreed, moreover, that those anti-tank missiles would be doled out to Syrian groups only at U.S. discretion. The TOW missiles began to arrive in Syria in 2014 and soon had a major impact on the military balance.

This flood of weapons into Syria, along with the entry of 20,000 foreign fighters into the country—primarily through Turkey—largely defined the nature of the conflict. These armaments helped make al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al Nusra Front (now renamed Tahrir al-Sham or Levant Liberation Organization) and its close allies by far the most powerful anti-Assad forces in Syria—and gave rise to the Islamic State.

By late 2012, it became clear to U.S. officials that the largest share of the arms that began flowing into Syria early in the year were going to the rapidly growing al Qaeda presence in the country. In October 2012, U.S. officials acknowledged off the record for the first time to the New York Times that  “most” of the arms that had been shipped to armed opposition groups in Syria with U.S. logistical assistance during the previous year had gone to “hardline Islamic jihadists”— obviously meaning al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al Nusra.

Al Nusra Front and its allies became the main recipients of the weapons because the Saudis, Turks, and Qataris wanted the arms to go to the military units that were most successful in attacking government targets. And by the summer of 2012, al Nusra Front, buttressed by the thousands of foreign jihadists pouring into the country across the Turkish border, was already taking the lead in attacks on the Syrian government in coordination with “Free Syrian Army” brigades.

In November and December 2012, al Nusra Front began establishing formal “joint operations rooms” with those calling themselves “Free Syrian Army” on several battlefronts, as Charles Lister chronicles in his book The Syrian Jihad. One such commander favored by Washington was Col. Abdul Jabbar al-Oqaidi, a former Syrian army officer who headed something called the Aleppo Revolutionary Military Council. Ambassador Robert Ford, who continued to hold that position even after he had been withdrawn from Syria, publicly visited Oqaidi in May 2013 to express U.S. support for him and the FSA.

But Oqaidi and his troops were junior partners in a coalition in Aleppo in which al Nusra was by far the strongest element. That reality is clearly reflected in a video in which Oqaidi describes his good relations with officials of the “Islamic State” and is shown joining the main jihadist commander in the Aleppo region celebrating the capture of the Syrian government’s Menagh Air Base in September 2013.

By early 2013, in fact, the “Free Syrian Army,” which had never actually been a military organization with any troops, had ceased to have any real significance in the Syria conflict. New anti-Assad armed groups had stopped using the name even as a “brand” to identify themselves, as a leading specialist on the conflict observed.

So, when weapons from Turkey arrived at the various battlefronts, it was understood by all the non-jihadist groups that they would be shared with al Nusra Front and its close allies. A report by McClatchy in early 2013, on a town in north central Syria, showed how the military arrangements between al Nusra and those brigades calling themselves “Free Syrian Army” governed the distribution of weapons. One of those units, the Victory Brigade, had participated in a “joint operations room” with al Qaeda’s most important military ally, Ahrar al Sham, in a successful attack on a strategic town a few weeks earlier. A visiting reporter watched that brigade and Ahrar al Sham show off new sophisticated weapons that included Russian-made RPG27 shoulder-fired rocket-propelled anti-tank grenades and RG6 grenade launchers.

When asked if the Victory Brigade had shared its new weapons with Ahrar al Sham, the latter’s spokesman responded, “Of course they share their weapons with us. We fight together.”

Turkey and Qatar consciously chose al Qaeda and its closest ally, Ahrar al Sham, as the recipients of weapons systems. In late 2013 and early 2014, several truckloads of arms bound for the province of Hatay, just south of the Turkish border, were intercepted by Turkish police. They had Turkish intelligence personnel on board, according to later Turkish police court testimony. The province was controlled by Ahrar al Sham. In fact Turkey soon began to treat Ahrar al Sham as its primary client in Syria, according to Faysal Itani, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

A Qatari intelligence operative who had been involved in shipping arms to extremist groups in Libya was a key figure in directing the flow of arms from Turkey into Syria. An Arab intelligence source familiar with the discussions among the external suppliers near the Syrian border in Turkey during those years told the Washington Post’s David Ignatius that when one of the participants warned that the outside powers were building up the jihadists while the non-Islamist groups were withering away, the Qatari operative responded, “I will send weapons to al Qaeda if it will help.”

The Qataris did funnel arms to both al Nusra Front and Ahrar al Sham, according to a Middle Eastern diplomatic source. The Obama administration’s National Security Council staff proposed in 2013 that the United States signal U.S. displeasure with Qatar over its arming of extremists in both Syria and Libya by withdrawing a squadron of fighter planes from the U.S. airbase at al-Udeid, Qatar. The Pentagon vetoed that mild form of pressure, however, to protect its access to its base in Qatar.

President Obama himself confronted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his government’s support for the jihadists at a private White House dinner in May 2013, as recounted by Hersh. “We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria,” he quotes Obama as saying to Erdogan.

The administration addressed Turkey’s cooperation with the al Nusra publicly, however, only fleetingly in late 2014. Shortly after leaving Ankara, Francis Ricciardone, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2011 through mid-2014, told The Daily Telegraph  of London that Turkey had “worked with groups, frankly, for a period, including al Nusra.”

The closest Washington came to a public reprimand of its allies over the arming of terrorists in Syria was when Vice President Joe Biden criticized their role in October 2014. In impromptu remarks at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, Biden complained that “our biggest problem is our allies.”  The forces they had supplied with arms, he said, were “al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

Biden quickly apologized for the remarks, explaining that he didn’t mean that U.S. allies had deliberately helped the jihadists. But Ambassador Ford confirmed his complaint, telling BBC, “What Biden said about the allies aggravating the problem of extremism is true.”

In June 2013 Obama approved the first direct U.S. lethal military aid to rebel brigades that had been vetted by the CIA. By spring 2014, the U.S.-made BGM-71E anti-tank missiles from the 15,000 transferred to the Saudis began to appear in the hands of selected anti-Assad groups. But the CIA imposed the condition that the group receiving them would not cooperate with the al Nusra Front or its allies.

That condition implied that Washington was supplying military groups that were strong enough to maintain their independence from al Nusra Front. But the groups on the CIA’s list of vetted “relatively moderate” armed groups were all highly vulnerable to takeover by the al Qaeda affiliate. In November 2014, al Nusra Front troops struck the two strongest CIA-supported armed groups, Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front on successive days and seized their heavy weapons, including both TOW anti-tank missiles and GRAD rockets.

In early March 2015, the Harakat Hazm Aleppo branch dissolved itself, and al Nusra Front promptly showed off photos of the TOW missiles and other equipment they had captured from it. And in March 2016, al Nusra Front troops attacked the headquarters of the 13th Division in northwestern Idlib province and seized all of its TOW missiles.  Later that month, al Nusra Front released a video of its troops using the TOW missiles it had captured.

But that wasn’t the only way for al Nusra Front to benefit from the CIA’s largesse. Along with its close ally Ahrar al Sham, the terrorist organization began planning for a campaign to take complete control of Idlib province in the winter of 2014-15. Abandoning any pretense of distance from al Qaeda, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar worked with al Nusra on the creation of a new military formation for Idlib called the “Army of Conquest,” consisting of the al Qaeda affiliate and its closest allies. Saudi Arabia and Qatar provided more weapons for the campaign, while Turkey facilitated their passage. On March 28, just four days after launching the campaign, the Army of Conquest successfully gained control of Idlib City.

The non-jihadist armed groups getting advanced weapons from the CIA assistance were not part of the initial assault on Idlib City. After the capture of Idlib the U.S.-led operations room for Syria in southern Turkey signaled to the CIA-supported groups in Idlib that they could now participate in the campaign to consolidate control over the rest of the province. According to Lister, the British researcher on jihadists in Syria who maintains contacts with both jihadist and other armed groups, recipients of CIA weapons, such as the Fursan al haq brigade and Division 13, did join the Idlib campaign alongside al Nusra Front without any move by the CIA to cut them off.

As the Idlib offensive began, the CIA-supported groups were getting TOW missiles in larger numbers, and they now used them with great effectiveness against the Syrian army tanks. That was the beginning of a new phase of the war, in which U.S. policy was to support an alliance between “relatively moderate” groups and the al Nusra Front.

The new alliance was carried over to Aleppo, where jihadist groups close to Nusra Front formed a new command called Fateh Halab (“Aleppo Conquest”) with nine armed groups in Aleppo province which were getting CIA assistance. The CIA-supported groups could claim that they weren’t cooperating with al Nusra Front because the al Qaeda franchise was not officially on the list of participants in the command. But as the report on the new command clearly implied, this was merely a way of allowing the CIA to continue providing weapons to its clients, despite their de facto alliance with al Qaeda.

The significance of all this is clear: by helping its Sunni allies provide weapons to al Nusra Front and its allies and by funneling into the war zone sophisticated weapons that were bound to fall into al Nusra hands or strengthen their overall military position, U.S. policy has been largely responsible for having extended al Qaeda’s power across a significant part of Syrian territory. The CIA and the Pentagon appear to be ready to tolerate such a betrayal of America’s stated counter-terrorism mission. Unless either Congress or the White House confronts that betrayal explicitly, as Tulsi Gabbard’s legislation would force them to do, U.S. policy will continue to be complicit in the consolidation of power by al Qaeda in Syria, even if the Islamic State is defeated there.
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, who received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His latest book is Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (Just World Books, 2014). Originally published by The American Conservative. Republished with permission of author.

Military Escalation on Russia’s Doorstep: Kiev Announces US Combat Troops Will Deploy in Donbass

Global Research | Jun 21, 2017

EN.News Front - Kiev, Ukraine. In remarkable events, that now look strangely related, the Ukrainian speaker of Parliament, the Rada-has announced Ukraine has an agreement with the United States of America to deploy combat troops to “assist” their martial law operation or reintegration of Donbass plan.

A security agreement with the United States has been signed that provides for the deployment of US military forces on the territory of Ukraine, as stated by the head of the Verkhovna Rada, Andriy Parubiy, on the air during a broadcast of the program “Freedom of Speech” on Kiev television.
“The agreement envisages special operations, joint scientific and technical developments, and even the deployment of military troops from the United States of America in Ukraine,” he said.
According to the Speaker, the practice of such agreements has long been used in the US, and similar documents have been signed with Japan, Australia and Israel. He noted that the agreement provides a prerogative right to provide military-grade lethal arms to Ukraine.

Parubiy believes that the question of providing lethal weapons can be resolved in the near future. As previously reported, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke in favor of giving Ukraine defensive weapons.

US forces are currently acting as advisers and operate on a secret basis in Donbass. The actual deployment of US forces as a backup force to Ukrainian units involved in martial law duties fighting in Donbass is a sharp, severe escalation of the Donbass conflict to a level not seen previously.

Featured image: credits to the owner

The psychiatric agenda destroys creative children


© renegadetribune.com
“Take a child who wants to invent something out of thin air, and instead of saying no, tell him he has a problem with his brain, and then stand back and watch what happens. In particular, watch what happens when you give him a toxic drug to fix his brain. You have to be a certain kind of person to do that to a child. You have to be, for various reasons, crazy and a career criminal.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

First, here are a few facts that should give you pause:

According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), “More than 25 percent of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year.”

NAMI: “One in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have [we claim] a diagnosable mental illness.”

According to healthline.com, 6.4 million American children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. The average age for the child’s diagnosis is 7.

BMJ 2016;352:i1457: “The number of UK children and adolescents treated with antidepressants rose by over 50% from 2005 to 2012, a study of five Western countries published in European Neuropsychopharmacology has found.”

Getting the picture?

Children are being diagnosed and dosed with toxic drugs at a staggering rate.

But, as I have shown in many past articles, NO so-called mental disorder is based on a lab test. No blood, saliva, genetic, brain test. ALL 300 or so official mental disorders are defined by menus of behaviors concocted by committees of psychiatrists.

On that foundation, the diagnoses and the drugs are handed out.

Let’s look at just one of the drugs: Ritalin (or any similar ADHD medicine). After a creative child is seen fidgeting in class, looking bored, studying what he wants to study, ignoring classroom assignments, focusing on what interests him, he is diagnosed with ADHD. Then comes the drug.

In 1986, The International Journal of the Addictions published an important literature review by Richard Scarnati. It was called “An Outline of Hazardous Side Effects of Ritalin (Methylphenidate)” [v.21(7), pp. 837-841].

Scarnati listed a large number of adverse effects of Ritalin and cited published journal articles which reported each of these symptoms.

For every one of the following (selected and quoted verbatim) Ritalin effects, there is at least one confirming source in the medical literature:

* Paranoid delusions

* Paranoid psychosis

* Hypomanic and manic symptoms, amphetamine-like psychosis

* Activation of psychotic symptoms

* Toxic psychosis

* Visual hallucinations

* Auditory hallucinations

* Can surpass LSD in producing bizarre experiences

* Effects pathological thought processes

* Extreme withdrawal

* Terrified affect

* Started screaming

* Aggressiveness

* Insomnia

* Since Ritalin is considered an amphetamine-type drug, expect amphetamine-like effects

* Psychic dependence

* High-abuse potential DEA Schedule II Drug

* Decreased REM sleep

* When used with antidepressants one may see dangerous reactions including hypertension, seizures and hypothermia

* Convulsions

* Brain damage may be seen with amphetamine abuse.

Under this chemical assault on the brain, what are the chances that a creative child will go on in life to become an innovator, rather than a victim of psychiatric drugging?

Make a list of your favorite innovators. Imagine them as bored distracted children sitting in classrooms…and then diagnosed, and then hammered with drugs prescribed by a doctor.

This is happening now.

The institution of psychiatry is making it happen.

What about the consequences of diagnosing clinical depression in larger numbers of young children? What about the antidepressant drugs?

Here is just a sprinkling of information about antidepressants, from a huge body of literature:

Psychiatrist Peter Breggin: February 1990 American Journal of Psychiatry (Teicher et al, v.147:207-210) reports on “six depressed patients, previously free of recent suicidal ideation, who developed `intense, violent suicidal preoccupations after 2-7 weeks of fluoxetine [Prozac] treatment.’

The suicidal preoccupations lasted from three days to three months after termination of the treatment. The report estimates that 3.5 percent of Prozac users were at risk. While denying the validity of the study, Dista Products, a division of Eli Lilly, put out a brochure for doctors dated August 31, 1990, stating that it was adding `suicidal ideation’ to the adverse events section of its Prozac product information.”

An earlier study, from the September 1989 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, by Joseph Lipiniski, Jr., indicates that in five examined cases people on Prozac developed what is called akathesia. Symptoms include intense anxiety, inability to sleep, the “jerking of extremities,” and “bicycling in bed or just turning around and around.” Dr. Peter Breggin comments that akathesia “may also contribute to the drug’s tendency to cause self-destructive or violent tendencies … Akathesia can become the equivalent of biochemical torture and could possibly tip someone over the edge into self-destructive or violent behavior … The June 1990 Health Newsletter, produced by the Public Citizen Research Group, reports, ‘Akathesia, or symptoms of restlessness, constant pacing, and purposeless movements of the feet and legs, may occur in 10-25 percent of patients on Prozac.’”

The well-known publication, California Lawyer, in a December 1998 article called “Protecting Prozac,” details some of the suspect maneuvers of Eli Lilly in its handling of suits against Prozac. California Lawyer also mentions other highly qualified critics of the drug: “David Healy, MD, an internationally renowned psychopharmacologist, has stated in sworn deposition that `contrary to Lilly’s view, there is a plausible cause-and-effect relationship between Prozac’ and suicidal-homicidal events. An epidemiological study published in 1995 by the British Medical Journal also links Prozac to increased suicide risk.”

When pressed, proponents of these SSRI antidepressant drugs (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) sometimes say, “Well, the benefits for the general population far outweigh the risk.” But the issue of benefits will not go away on that basis. A shocking review-study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases (1996, v.184, no.2), written by Rhoda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher, called “Antidepressants for Children,” concludes: “Despite unanimous literature of double-blind studies indicating that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos in treating depression in children and adolescents, such medications continue to be in wide use.”

In wide use. This despite such contrary information and the negative, dangerous effects of these drugs.

There are other studies: “Emergence of self-destructive phenomena in children and adolescents during fluoxetine treatment,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1991, vol.30), written by RA King, RA Riddle, et al. It reports self-destructive phenomena in 14% (6/42) of children and adolescents (10-17 years old) who had treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac) for obsessive-compulsive disorder.

July, 1991. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Hisako Koizumi, MD, describes a thirteen-year-old boy who was on Prozac: “full of energy,” “hyperactive,” “clown-like.” All this devolved into sudden violent actions which were “totally unlike him.”

September, 1991. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Author Laurence Jerome reports the case of a ten-year old who moves with his family to a new location. Becoming depressed, the boy is put on Prozac by a doctor. The boy is then “hyperactive, agitated … irritable.” He makes a “somewhat grandiose assessment of his own abilities.” Then he calls a stranger on the phone and says he is going to kill him. The Prozac is stopped, and the symptoms disappear.

For money, for profit, for status, for control, there exists a professional class called psychiatrists. They approach children—particularly creative children who refuse to fall into lock-step with a regimented program of learning—as outliers, as ill, as strange, as maladjusted, as threats to the system. And this professional class takes action. Diagnose the children, drug them, bring them back into line, make them “normal,” reduce their curiosity and independence and drive and will power.
Instead of using overt physical force, they use relatively invisible chemical force.

Under the banner of caring, they perform, on the young, a scientific ritual of sacrifice, a rite of passage into the dead world where they, the elite rulers, exist.


Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

Israeli Air Force Strikes Syrian Army Artillery Pieces And Battle Tanks In Quneitra Province

South Front | Jun 24, 2017

The Israeli military announced on Saturday that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) destroyed undefined number of artillery pieces, battle tanks belonging to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the Syrian province of Quneitra.

The Israeli claimed in a statement that 10 shells fired from the Syrian side had fallen in the Golan Heights and the airstrikes were a response to this. However, Israel didn’t say that the SAA had fired the shells.

Since the Saturday morning, Al-Bath city in Quneitra has been under an attack from Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.

Many pro-government source reported that HTS and some Free Syrian Army groups have repeatedly open fire on the Israeli-held territory in order to provoke Israeli military strikes on the SAA .

Israel argues that only the SAA has a responsibility of any firing on the Israeli-held areas.

Many believe that this Israel policy is clearly sided and aimed at supporting of terrorist groups fighting against the SAA on the Golan Heights front.

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