Unbelievable arrogance from the number one terrorist state on the planet. Lying hypocrites!
In 2014, a moratorium was placed on federally funded research which involved making flu viruses more lethal. The moratorium was placed after heated debate generated by research published by a Netherlands team, headed up by Ron Fouchier. Fouchier’s research had produced a strain of H5N1 which was able to go airborne, thus greatly enhancing its ability to spread. Fouchier focused on the transmission of the disease among ferrets, which are the lab stand-in for people.
Now, scientists in California have published research concerning enabling the human-to-human transmission of the bird flu virus H7N9. This virus strain is of concern to scientists as it has already infected 1500 people and killed 40% of them. H7N9 has not been known, however, to spread easily from human contact.
The article explaining the three genetic changes which need to be made to transform H7N9 into a virtual pandemic agent was published on June 15, 2017 in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
According to Scripps biologist Jim Paulsen, as quoted in an NPR article, “As scientists we’re interested in how the virus works…. We’re trying to just understand the virus so that we can be prepared.”
The NPR article quotes Paulsen as stating he wants next to test the mutated strain on ferrets.
Reuters reported on a number of scientists who were enthusiastic about the Scripps findings. Reuters quoted immunology expert Fiona Culley, who stated that “This study will help us to monitor the risk posed by bird flu in a more informed way, and increasing our knowledge of which changes in bird flu viruses could be potentially dangerous will be very useful in surveillance.”
Reuters also quoted virologist Wendy Barclay. “These studies keep H7N9 virus high on the list of viruses we should be concerned about,” she said. “The more people infected, the higher the chance that the lethal combination of mutations could occur.”
Not all the scientists interviewed were happy about the research. When posed with the question of scientists making the genetic changes in the actual H7N9 virus, David Relman, a Stanford professor of microbiology and immunology, was quoted by NPR as stating, “I would be very hesitant, were they to want to do that. In fact, I would be reluctant to have them do that.”
What are the chances that this research may be used for nefarious purposes?
Since 2001, the US government has poured over $100 billion dollars into what was initially called “Biodefense” but has euphemistically been renamed “Health Security.” Many of these programs are dual-use; that is to say the research can be used for either protection or weaponization. Scientists argue that it is necessary to first create the weapon (in this case a pandemic agent) in order to research the cure.
However, the US’s record of straightforwardness surrounding her “Biodefense” or “Health Security” programs has been abysmal. The limp-wristed investigation into the anthrax mailings of 2001, in which federal investigators neglected or refused to consider any lab but Fort Detrick as the locus for mailing the anthrax spores — which killed five and sickened over a dozen — resulted in the probable culprit at US Army’s Dugway Proving Ground getting a “Get out of Jail Free” card.
It was less than two years ago when Dugway was caught sending live anthrax through the mail to labs, worldwide. Initially, it was thought that nine labs received the live anthrax. The number soon expanded and it was ultimately admitted that 575 separate shipments of live anthrax had gone out in the span of a decade.
The official excuse, “We didn’t know our deactivating equipment wasn’t working!” was suspect, given numerous earlier reports that the equipment was faulty.
It has also come to light that the US has been leading the UN around by its virtual nose and providing false information both to the Biological Weapons Convention and also to the 1540 Committee concerning its “Biodefense” programs.
The reality is that the sort of research that delves into how to make H7N9 spread easily and efficiently among humans is the kind of research that should raise substantial alarm. According to sources in the US government, the moratorium on publishing this type of research is soon to be lifted. Shortly, anyone with two specimen vials to rub together may very well be able to surf the Web and learn how to create a worldwide plague. And in our current technocracy, with its worship of science as an inherent good, there just doesn’t seem to be much concern about this.
In 1998, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said,“Iraq is a long way from [America], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face. And it is a threat against which we must and will stand firm.”
We never found those weapons in Iraq. In our zeal to protect ourselves from bogeymen and “rogue states,” we may well have become the very threat that we feared.
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist whose articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The San Bernardino County Sentinel, The Santa Monica Daily Press, The Long Beach Press Telegram, Oui Magazine and other regional and national publications. Janet specializes in issues pertaining to legal corruption and addresses the heated subject of adult conservatorship, revealing shocking information about the relationships between courts and shady financial consultants. She also covers issues relating to international bioweapons treaties. Her poetry has been published in Gambit, Libera, Applezaba Review, Nausea One and other magazines. Her first book, The Hitler Poems, was published in 2005. She is also the author of a tell-all book EXILE, (also available as an ebook). She currently resides abroad.
The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.
The Importance of the Main Chakras in the Body
These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. A bathtub is simple; it’s physical so the fix is easy.
Keeping a chakra open is a bit more of a challenge, but not so difficult when you have awareness. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. Take for example, a wife, who has recently lost her husband. She develops acute bronchitis, which remains in the chest, and then gets chest pains each time she coughs. The whole heart chakra is affected in this case. If she realizes the connection between the loss and the bronchitis, healing will occur much faster if she honors the grieving process and treats that as well as the physical ailment.
The Chakras of Matter
The first three chakras, starting at the base of the spine are chakras of matter. They are more physical in nature.
First Chakra: The Muladhara is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. It encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon. When this chakra is open, we feel safe and fearless.
Second Chakra: The Svadhisthana chakra is our creativity and sexual center. It is located above the pubic bone, below the navel, and is responsible for our creative expression.
Third Chakra: The Manipura chakra means lustrous gem and it’s the area from the navel to the breastbone. The third chakra is our source of personal power.
The Fourth Chakra: The Connection Between Matter and Spirit
Located at the heart center, the fourth chakra, anahata is at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit. The fourth is also spiritual but serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The heart chakra is our source of love and connection.
When we work through our physical chakras, or the first three, we can open the spiritual chakras more fully.
The Chakras of Spirit
Fifth Chakra: The Vishuddha chakra is the fifth chakra, located in the area of the throat. This is our source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth. The fifth chakra includes the neck, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, jaw, mouth, and tongue.
Sixth Chakra: The Ajna chakra is located in between the eyebrows. It is also referred to as the “third eye” chakra. Ajna is our center of intuition. We all have a sense of intuition but we may not listen to it or heed its warnings. Focus on opening the sixth chakra will help you hone this ability.
Seventh Chakra: The Sahaswara chakra or the “thousand petal lotus” chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine. It is located at the crown of the head.
Video based on
Music: Acoustic – Hyde (Royalty Free)
You cannot cooperate with war criminals…
The ministry has demanded a thorough investigation by the US military command into the incident with the Syrian government military jet, with the results to be shared with the Russian side.
“In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.
Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.
The actions of the US Air Force are in fact “military aggression” against Syria, the statement adds.
The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.
“The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.”
In a Showtime interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin by American film-maker Oliver Stone, which started airing on June 12th, Putin called «lies» many of the allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies, to the effect that he or his government attempted to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. He also accused the U.S. government of having actually done not only that (influencing other countries’ democratic process), but far more actual meddling in Russian elections, and in the elections in other former Soviet-and-allied countries, and even done it in recent times, and even done it to countries that had never been friendly toward Russia. The way he asserted this accusation was veiled, however, so that he didn’t identify the specific governments he was referring to, otherthan to say: «In 2000, and in 2012, this always happened. But especially aggressively in 2012. I will not go into details.» (This article will supply some of those «details», in what follows.)
Putin described the current accusations against Russia, by the U.S. government, as a deceitful and fictitious tat, which ignores the very real and longstanding American tit, of CIA and other U.S., meddling in the electoral processes of foreign countries. The neoconservative American Jan Wenner’s Rolling Stone magazine headlined on June 16th about these Showtime interviews, «10 Most WTF Things We Learned From Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews», and sub-headlined: «From denying any involvement with U.S. election hacking to Putin’s love of Judo and Stalin, our takeaways from these truly baffling conversations». Wenner’s reporter opened:
What’s the Russian equivalent of Kool-Aid? Whatever it is, it’s definitely red – and Oliver Stone has eagerly drunk it down. The trailers for The Putin Interviews, Showtime’s four-part series documenting a series of conversations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Stone, would have you believe that you’re going to hear some pretty hard-hitting stuff as the autocrat and the filmmaker face off, Frost-Nixon style. What we got instead was a series of softballs lobbed lovingly in the direction of one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the world. Except for a few moments, Stone seems serenely unconcerned with anything beyond flattering his subject – and engaging in some supremely one-sided exchanges about history and policy along the way.
The term «red» in this context refers, of course, to communism, and alleges that Russia is still a communist country. To allow that type of smear to appear in any ‘news’ vehicle, is to expose itself as being actually a propaganda-vehicle, unless the allegation is backed up by solid documentation, which Wenner’s magazine didn’t do — Wenner’s magazine presented no documentation at all, for the inflammatory allegation. The magazine’s presumption was that their readers will simply believe what Wenner’s operation delivers, to be ipso-facto ‘true’. But any such reader would be welcoming his own deception by Wenner’s propaganda-operation. Evidently, successful magazines can insult their own subscribers’ intelligence, so long as it’s done in ‘the right way’ — the subscribers won’t despise the publisher for trying to deceive them about such important matters as what countries to invade, or whether to invade, or why to invade. The U.S. military-industrial complex (MIC) can attract cannon-fodder for its operations, by means of such ‘news’ media to produce dupes for that MIC.
During the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, Mr. Wenner’s propaganda-machine had ardently campaigned for the neoconservative Hillary Clinton against the moderately progressive Bernie Sanders in the U.S. Democratic Party primaries; and, then, once she (and her friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz who ran the Democratic National Committee) managed to steal the nomination from her opponent, Wenner’s operation campaigned for Ms. Clinton against her Republican opponent Trump, who claimed (falsely as it turns out, in lies exceeding Clinton’s own) to be opposed to neoconservatives (whom he has actually loaded into his Administration). Trump now relies upon neocons for his support, but perhaps Wenner and Robert Kagan and other neoconservatives won’t be satisfied until the U.S. government takes control over Russia — which cannot happen except upon all of our dead bodies (WW III) — which is precisely what Hillary Clinton was aiming for (and maybe Trump is, too). That’s how insane the U.S. aristocracy (and its PR organs such as Wenner’s) now is — they’re pushing the world toward nuclear Armageddon.
So, the American system had offered to its public a choice between two neoconservatives, one of whom hid his neoconservatism and won the election but still isn’t sufficiently neoconservative to suit the neoconservatives (such as Wenner).
What, then, about the substance of Putin’s allegation here, that the U.S. government meddles in other nations’ democratic processes?
Here are some prominent examples of that phenomenon:
From the very moment when Barack Obama became the U.S. President on 20 January 2009, the U.S. government was aiming for a ‘revolution’ to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Then, by no later than 2011, the operation was already under way in the U.S. State Department. Furthermore, also by no later than 2011, a parallel operation was under way to overthrow the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Whereas in Syria it would be ‘freedom fighters’ who would be paid by the Sauds but armed and trained mainly by the U.S., and mainly organized and led by Al Qaeda; in Ukraine it would be ‘Maidan demonstrators’ who would be paid by the U.S., and mainly led and organized by leaders of Ukraine’s existing two racist-facist, or ideologically nazi, political parties, Right Sektor, and the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine (renamed by the CIA as «Svoboda» or «Freedom» Party).
Furthermore, on 28 June 2009, shortly after Obama became President, a coup by Honduras’s twenty-four richest families overthrew the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, who had been trying to institute land reform so that serfdom could become replaced there by a real democracy, but all governments except the U.S. refused to recognize the coup-regime, until first Hillary Clinton and then her boss Barack Obama recognized it and financed it with U.S. taxpayer money so that the international pressure to restore the democratically elected President failed and the junta-regime became stabilized. The U.S. government supported the aristocratic families, and helped them rig an ‘election’ amongst only contenders whom that oligarchy and the U.S. oligarchy supported. Much manipulation of the Honduran ‘news’ media and deceit against the Honduran public were perpetrated by both the U.S. aristocracy and the Honduran aristocracy in order to silence of else kill anyone who would challenge it. Here’s the excellent 3-minute video summary of that; and here’s my article documenting it with 72 links to the sources on that matter.
So: those are three examples of extremely severe «meddling» — Syria, Ukraine, and Honduras — all three of which occurred during Obama’s Presidency (and so we’re not talking here about Iran in 1953 or Chile in 1973 or Iraq in 2003 or anything other than the most recent U.S. President). Each and every one of them is vastly more heinous than anything that Putin and Russia did, but Russia isn’t imposing sanctions upon the U.S. Even if all of the U.S. regime’s propaganda against Russia were true, the U.S. regime does vastly more damage to democracy, and to national sovereignty, around the world, than Russia does.
On 14 June 2017, at 2:08 in the afternoon, the U.S. Senate passed, by a vote of 97 to 2 (only Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it) an intensification of U.S. economic sanctions against Russia, sanctions that President Obama had first instituted when Russia accepted the petition supported by more than 96% of Crimeans, for Crimea to become again a part of Russia, from which the Soviet dictator Khrushchev had transferred Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 without even consulting the residents there at all. Obama’s brutal coup overthrowing the Ukrainian President for whom 75% of Crimeans had voted is what had sparked Crimeans to seek to become, yet again — as they had been for hundreds of years until 1954 — Russians. For this ‘conquest of land’ as Obama called it, Russia was slapped with sanctions by Obama, and even now increasingly by the U.S. Congress. One of the four co-sponsors of that bill was the ‘progressive’ Democrat, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Apparently, corruption (or else one would need to call it simply «evil») is quite bi-partisan. And, given that the vote to increase sanctions was 97 to 2, that corruption (or evil) is almost universal in the U.S. Senate.
This government of the United States became finally entrenched as a facsist regime on 24 February 1990, when the U.S. President, George Herbert Walker Bush, began telling America’s allies, in secret, that, though the Cold War was now ending on the Soviet side, it would be continuing on the U.S. side, until Russia itself is finally conquered by the U.S. What we’re seeing now is an intensification of that aggression by the U.S. government.
Let us dismantle the United Nations and the International Court of Justice in the Hague, as they obviously serve no purpose at all.
Russia strictly complies with its commitments in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (the Chemical Weapons Convention – CWC). On June 12, it announced that all sarin chemical agent stockpiles had been destroyed. Before that Russia had also eliminated the stockpiles of mustard gas and soman. All in all, Russia has destroyed 99% of all stockpiles. The ones left are sophisticated munitions; it takes time to eliminate them. The remaining 1% of stockpiles is to be destroyed till the end of the year.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an international arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors. It is administered by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organization based in The Hague, the Netherlands. The OPCW receives states-parties’ declarations detailing chemical weapons (CW)-related activities or materials and relevant industrial activities. After receiving declarations, the OPCW inspects and monitors states-parties’ facilities and activities that are relevant to the convention, to ensure compliance.
The CWC entered into force in 1997. 192 states have joined the convention.
The United States promised, but failed, to destroy its stocks by 2012. The complete destruction is expected to take place only by the end of 2023 at best. The efforts to neutralize the remaining munitions have slowed to a trickle in recent years. The Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot in southern Colorado still has a long way to go to full operational capacity expected to be reached no earlier than 2018. The Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky, is being built and is expected to start operations only somewhere in 2023 – roughly eleven years after the date the US promised to destroy all the stockpiles, and eight, may be nine, years after the Russian Federation.
While raising ballyhoo over chemical weapons in Syria, the US fails to meet its international obligations. Other nations have also asked for extensions of deadlines but the United States is evidently not in a hurry to comply with the CWC and the delays are really impressive. If the US finally meets its promise of destroying all chemical weapons by the end of 2023, the process will have taken more than a quarter of a century and cost an estimated $40bn.
Meanwhile, technological and political challenges have resulted in lengthy delays. The snags on the way are multiple.
Unlike Russia, the US does not hesitate to use white phosphorus munitions. The weapon does not fall into the category of chemical weapons but as an incendiary weapon. Protocol III of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons «prohibits the use of said incendiary weapons against civilians (already forbidden by the Geneva Conventions) or in civilian areas».
In fragrant violation of international law, the United States used white phosphorous shells in Iraq during the assault on Fallujah in 2004. At present, the incendiary munitions are used in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa Syria. In 2015, the United States used depleted uranium (DU) in Syria. It promised not to use DU but did it.
Although no sole treaty explicitly banning the use of DU is yet in force, it is clear that using DU runs counter to the basic rules and principles enshrined in written and customary International Humanitarian Law (IHW). Article 36 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions requires to ensure that any new weapon, means or method of warfare does not contravene existing rules of international law. General principles of the laws of war/IHL prohibit weapons and means or methods of warfare that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, have indiscriminate effects or cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment.
Banned by more than a hundred nations, US cluster bombs are used against civilians in Yemen.
In April, President Trump said the alleged Syria’s chemical attack «crossed many, many lines» to justify the US cruise missiles’ strike. Today, the reports about white phosphorous shells used by the US in Iraq and Syria are coming in. What about the US crossing the lines? Is there a better example of hypocrisy?
Police used tear gas and other chemical irritants against Occupy protesters in 2011. Tear gas is prohibited for use against enemy soldiers in battle by the Chemical Weapons Convention. The protesters in Oakland were civilians, so, formally, the police action did not constitute a breach of international law! It’s just that the police failed to give them the protection required for those who oppose the US military on a battlefield.
Known for its penchant to moralize and teach others, the United States is the biggest international law violator in the world. It uses banned weapons and ignores humanitarian norms and principles. It has already crossed all the possible lines implementing the policy of double standards but nothing stops it from high fallutin’ accusations against others. The pot just can’t stop calling the kettle black.
Breathing is not just for consuming oxygen; it’s also related to brain function and behavior.
June 19, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have found for the first time ever that the rhythm of breathing causes electrical activity in the human mind that boosts emotional judgments and memory recall.
These influences on behavior are based on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the mouth or the nose.
In the research, each person was able to identify a fearful face faster if they saw the face while breathing in compared to breathing out. Additionally, individuals were more likely to recall an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than on the exhaled one. Interestingly, the effect vanished if breathing was through the mouth.
“One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation,” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus, all across the limbic system.”
The study was published Dec. 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The senior author is Jay Gottfried, professor of neurology at Feinberg.
Northwestern scientists first found these differences in brain activity while examining 7 patients with epilepsy who were scheduled for brain surgery. A week before the surgery, a surgeon implanted electrodes into the patients’ brains to identify the origin of their seizures. That gave scientists the opportunity to acquire electro-physiological data directly from their brains. The electrical signals proved that brain activity fluctuated with breathing. The activity takes place in brain areas where feelings, memory and smells are processed.
The discovery led scientists to ask if cognitive functions typically related to these brain areas — especially fear processing and memory — could also be influenced by breathing.
The amygdala is strongly connected to the emotional processing, especially fear-related emotions. So scientists asked about 60 individuals to make quick decisions on emotional expressions in the lab environment as their breathing was being recorded. While looking at pictures of faces expressing either fear or surprise, the individuals had to tell, as fast as they could, which feeling each face was expressing. (NeuroscienceNews.com picture is for illustrative purposes only.)
When faces were shown during inhalation, subjects recognized them as fearful faster than when faces were shown during exhalation. This was not the case for faces expressing surprise. These results decreased when individuals performed the same task while the breathing was through the mouth.
In another experiment — tied to the hippocampus — the same individuals were looking at pictures of objects on a computer screen and tried to remember them. Later, they were asked to describe those objects. Researchers discovered that recall was better if the pictures were shown during inhalation.
According to Zelano, the discoveries indicate that fast breathing may offer an advantage when somebody is in a dangerous situation.
“If you are in a panic state, your breathing rhythm becomes faster,” Zelano said. “As a result you’ll spend proportionally more time inhaling than when in a calm state. Thus, our body’s innate response to fear with faster breathing could have a positive impact on brain function and result in faster response times to dangerous stimuli in the environment.”
Another potential result of the research is on the main mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network,” Zelano noted.
Just when you thought our Syria policy could not get any worse, last week it did. The US military twice attacked Syrian government forces from a military base it illegally occupies inside Syria. According to the Pentagon, the attacks on Syrian government-backed forces were “defensive” because the Syrian fighters were approaching a US self-declared “de-confliction” zone inside Syria. The Syrian forces were pursuing ISIS in the area, but the US attacked anyway.
The US is training yet another rebel group fighting from that base, located near the border of Iraq at al-Tanf, and it claims that Syrian government forces pose a threat to the US military presence there. But the Pentagon has forgotten one thing: it has no authority to be in Syria in the first place! Neither the US Congress nor the UN Security Council has authorized a US military presence inside Syria.
So what gives the Trump Administration the right to set up military bases on foreign soil without the permission of that government? Why are we violating the sovereignty of Syria and attacking its military as they are fighting ISIS? Why does Washington claim that its primary mission in Syria is to defeat ISIS while taking military actions that benefit ISIS?
The Pentagon issued a statement saying its presence in Syria is necessary because the Syrian government is not strong enough to defeat ISIS on its own. But the “de-escalation zones” agreed upon by the Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and Turks have led to a reduction in fighting and a possible end to the six-year war. Even if true that the Syrian military is weakened, its weakness is due to six years of US-sponsored rebels fighting to overthrow it!
What is this really all about? Why does the US military occupy this base inside Syria? It’s partly about preventing the Syrians and Iraqis from working together to fight ISIS, but I think it’s mostly about Iran. If the Syrians and Iraqis join up to fight ISIS with the help of Iranian-allied Shia militia, the US believes it will strengthen Iran’s hand in the region. President Trump has recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia where he swore he would not allow that to happen.
But is this policy really in our interest, or are we just doing the bidding of our Middle East “allies,” who seem desperate for war with Iran? Saudi Arabia exports its radical form of Islam worldwide, including recently into moderate Asian Muslim countries like Indonesia. Iran does not. That is not to say that Iran is perfect, but does it make any sense to jump into the Sunni/Shia conflict on either side? The Syrians, along with their Russian and Iranian allies, are defeating ISIS and al-Qaeda. As candidate Trump said, what’s so bad about that?We were told that if the Syrian government was allowed to liberate Aleppo from al-Qaeda, Assad would kill thousands who were trapped there. But the opposite has happened: life is returning to normal in Aleppo. The Christian minority there celebrated Easter for the first time in several years. They are rebuilding. Can’t we finally just leave the Syrians alone?
When you get to the point where your actions are actually helping ISIS, whether intended or not, perhaps it’s time to stop. It’s past time for the US to abandon its dangerous and counterproductive Syria policy and just bring the troops home.
“…The strike “should be first of all regarded as the continuation of the US agenda of neglecting the norms of international law.”
As if the USA follows any law at all, be it moral or international. The US is now a rogue state.
“What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law,” Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow.
“If you want, it’s actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy,” the official added.
Ryabkov added that he believed the strike “should be first of all regarded as the continuation of the US agenda of neglecting the norms of international law. Regardless of who has power in Washington, people there are used to the fact that there are circumstances allowing them to arrogantly look down on – and in some situations, to openly ignore – the basics of international relations.”
June 19, 2017
A US fighter jet has shot down a Syrian government plane in Syria’s Raqqa province, officials from both sides have said.
The US-led coalition on Sunday said it downed the plane after it dropped bombs on American-backed forces fighting ISIL in northern Syria. Yet, the Syrian army said its jet was on a combat mission against the armed group’s fighters near the city of Raqqa, ISIL’s de-facto capital in Syria.
The incident came as a monitoring group reported the first ground fighting between Syrian government troops and the US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.
“At 6:43pm (17L43 GMT), a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) fighters south of Tabqa and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defence of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet,” the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.
It said that two hours earlier, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad attacked SDF fighters in the town of Ja’Din south of Tabqa, “wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town”.
Coalition aircraft then stopped the pro-government forces’ initial advance with a “show of force”, the coalition said, adding that it does “not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces” but would not “hesitate to defend itself or its “partnered forces from any threat”.
Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian army said that “the so-called international alliance today noon targeted the jet over the area of al-Rasafa in the southern countryside of al-Raqqa while it was on a combat mission against the terrorist Daesh”, using an Arabic acronym of ISIL, which is also known as ISIS.
The pilot of the jet went missing after this “flagrant aggression”, the army’s command added in a statement, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA.
The US-led coalition has in recent weeks escalated its aerial bombing campaign in northern Syria and Raqqa province. US-backed forces have encircled the city of Raqqa and captured several districts from ISIL fighters.
The Syrian army has also taken territory from retreating ISIL fighters in the western Raqqa countryside and seized back some oil fields and villages that had been under the group’s control for almost three years.
Following the downing of the Syrian plane, clashes between government troops and coalition-backed fighters broke out in two villages some 40km south of the city of Raqqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies
With permission from
June 19, 2017
It is a dangerous moment for any government when the public suspects that it is incapable of preventing a great disaster like the Grenfell Tower fire. Angry people see the state as failing in its basic duty to keep them safe. Politicians in power, in such circumstances, are embarrassingly keen to show that there is a firm hand on the tiller, calmly coping with a crisis for which they are not to blame. Above all else, they need to dissuade people from imagining that a calamity is a symptom that something is rotten in the state of Britain.
Whatever the real culpability, it is vital to play for time in the expectation that the news agenda will ultimately move on. The old PR adage holds that the accused should first say “no story” or, in other words, deny all guilt until the media has lost interest and they can safely say “old story”.
This ploy is usually effective but is difficult in the present case. The mistakes that led to the inferno in Kensington are so blatant, undeniable and easy to establish that the Government looks evasive as it pretends that long enquiries are necessary to establish what went wrong.
It is already known that the cladding that encased the tower was inflammable and led to the building igniting like a torch within 15 minutes. It is likewise established that this material is banned in buildings of any height in the US because it poses a fire risk and that it was chosen in preference to fire-resistant cladding because it was cheaper. A sprinkler system, which would have suppressed the original blaze before it spread, was never installed because it would have cost a small amount of money. The Government is quoted, in words that it may come to regret, as saying that “it is the responsibility of the fire industry, rather than the Government, to market fire-sprinkling systems effectively”.
What I find so shocking and disgusting is the way in which the Government has deregulated the building industry with the excuse that it is “cutting red tape”, while at the same time it is strangling the weakest, poorest and most vulnerable people with “red tape” in order to deprive them of meagre benefits they receive from the state. Compare the enthusiasm of successive governments to increase regulations for claimants in the name of austerity with their laggard performance when it comes to protecting the public.
Just as ministers were trying to explain their snail-like progress in putting in place basic rules to stop tower blocks burning down, I spoke to a charity worker about the hideous maze of regulations facing those in most need. People with mental health problems must fill in labyrinthine forms, something which, by the nature of their disability, they cannot do. Once upon a time, an experienced social worker would have helped them, but their numbers have been slashed. The charity worker, who wanted to stay anonymous, said that often the red tape was so complicated that “mental patients give up in despair and do without the benefits which should be theirs by right”.
It is not only the mentally ill who fall victim to these regulatory booby traps. Another example is families who are about to be evicted and become homeless. The charity worker said: “I always tell them that they must stay in the house until the bailiffs begin to break the door down. This is because, if they leave even a few hours before the bailiffs arrive, the council may deem them to be ‘intentionally’ homeless and refuse to do anything for them.”
The Government is clearly frightened that the burned bodies in Grenfell Towers will be seen as martyrs who died because of austerity, deregulation and outsourcing. It is not as if Theresa May does not know about social wrongs and her speeches often contain eloquent descriptions of the miseries facing the mentally ill. But her proposals smell of political opportunism, primarily geared to attracting media attention and usually ending up as an expression of good intentions with nothing concrete happening.
Despite all May’s supposed concern for the mentally ill, something she presents as a sort of signature policy, her accomplishments are small. Criminalisation of mental illness has continued relentlessly and the number of beds available to mental patients is now 17,000. This is well below the number of mentally ill people who are in prison – 21,000, a quarter of the prison population.
Most of these miseries are suffered in silence by deprived people unable to defend themselves. Injustices may evoke concern, but there is little pressure for action because most people are not affected. This is very different from the Grenfell Tower disaster, visually overwhelming even as a burned-out hulk, as were the shattered towers of the World Trade Centre on 9/11. Everything about the disaster conveys a sense of total failure in which the whole political system is implicated.
Natural and man-made disasters have frequently been the last nail in the coffin of governments that were already tottering. There was the Tangshan earthquake in China in 1976, which helped determine who would rule the country after Mao Zedong. The Rex Cinema fire in Abadan in Iran in 1978 was blamed on the Shah and helped end his reign. The failure of President Bashar al-Assad to do anything for the two or three million Syrians who fled to the cities to escape the four-year-long drought in 2006-10 helped to cause the uprising the following year.
But commentators are probably right in seeing the closest parallel to the burning of the Grenfell Tower as being the devastating floods in New Orleans 12 years ago when Hurricane Katrina sent a 9m-high surge of water into the city on 29 August 2005 that led to the death of 1,464 people. The disaster had been repeatedly predicted by experts, but nothing effective was done so the levees and flood walls were too low or too weak or had been built out of clay that rapidly disintegrated under the impact of the rising water. The victims were mostly poor African Americans without the influence to get adequate flood defences.
As New Orleans was being engulfed, President George W Bush was on an extended holiday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he remained for several days. He finally flew back to Washington on 31 August, his plane making a detour over the stricken city. It was a picture of him looking distant and disengaged as he viewed the wreckage of New Orleans that destroyed his reputation forever.
It is curious that Theresa May should make much the same mistake as Bush by not meeting survivors in Kensington while appearing cold and uninterested. Even the photo editors have turned against her and mostly chose to contrast her chilly appearance with a cuddly looking Jeremy Corbyn comforting a victim. She appears to be somebody who cannot handle pressure, which makes it look particularly odd of her and her advisers to have sought to win re-election as the unshakeable national leader. Corbyn, on the contrary, seems to thrive on crisis and adversity.
“Our Western governments tell us that they’re at war with “Islamic terror”. Yet in the geopolitics of the Middle East our governments align themselves with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – the kingdoms which sponsor “Islamic terror”. Everyone with half a brain knows that Saudi Wahhabism is the mother of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.”
With permission from
June 19, 2017
“The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq…..It’s doubling the bet across the region [and the world]. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”
— Martin Indyk (former US ambassador to Israel) 2007
The West’s policies in the Middle East are coming home. Remember the “Vietnamese” heroin that showed up in the body bags at home? Well there’s a lot of body bags at home right now that are full of “Islamic” terrorism. And remember the army that invaded Basra? The British one! Well it’s now on the streets of Britain. And the army that destroyed Libya? The French one! It’s now on the streets of France. Meanwhile in America the US President is fighting the FBI and the US media are begging for a coup. And everywhere in the trans-Atlantic sewer the populists are freaking out the elitists. The Empire of chaos is a structural mess.
It is a case of one contradiction too many. On top of the West’s never ending class wars and imperial wars, the West’s latest “forever and ever war on terror” is a fiasco that has tipped the balance in favour disbelief and dissent. The illegitimacy of this “war on terrorism” points to the illegitimacy of all the structural wars the West is fighting across the planet. It is the domino theory in reverse. One imperial war stops making sense and so all the wars stop making sense (if they ever did). The Western establishment has tied itself in a knot in an attempt to prolong itself. Watch it fall.
Our Western governments tell us that they’re at war with “Islamic terror”. Yet in the geopolitics of the Middle East our governments align themselves with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – the kingdoms which sponsor “Islamic terror”. Everyone with half a brain knows that Saudi Wahhabism is the mother of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. And a half of that half a brain can connect the dots between Western Interests in Arabia and “Islamic terror”. It’s obvious that the West have used and still are using “Islamic terrorism” as a proxy in places like Syria, Libya and Iraq. So when these same “terrorists” pop up in the West and cause mayhem: what the fuck?
Could it be that the West’s terrorists in the Middle East are still working for the West when they bomb and shoot in the West? Could our Western governments be targeting the West?
The House of Saud and the House of Commons as well as the White House (you can add the Houses of Rothschild and Rockefeller to this list of elite Houses) do nothing without each other. So if a Saudi linked death squad attacks the West: the Western establishment is complicit.
Why? To begin with the House of Saud was a British intelligence asset during World War I – long before Saudi Arabia was born in 1932. The British paid for Saudi head chopping back in the 1920s. And nothing has changed since then. For example, since the Saudi invasion of Yemen in 2015 the UK has sold £3.3 billion worth of military equipment to the Saudis.
The USA joined the Saudi bloodbath in the interwar period. The California -Arabian Standard Oil Company institutionalised this nefarious relationship in the 1930s. And Henry Kissinger cemented it in the 1970s. Oil and petrodollars therefore were the parents of Al-Qaeda. And any jihad since the 1980s has been a happy meeting of CIA and Saudi minds.
This includes ISIS. Seymour Hersh explains the latest US/Saudi cooperation explicitly in his 2007 New Yorker article ‘The Redirection’. After the US lost control of Iraq, Washington DC allowed the Saudis to ‘redirect’ US foreign policy in the region – in an effort to “contain” Iran. The end result was Sunni extremism in Iraq and eventually ISIS. And a US/Saudi 2017 military deal worth $110 billion.
This fundamental link between the Western establishment and Saudi Arabia’s overt and covert terror networks doesn’t categorically connect the West’s governments to the bullets and bombs of ISIS that explode in the West. It doesn’t suggest anything else other than blowback. But a more sinister connection than ‘guilt by association’ comes to the surface if we analyse Western elite behaviour elsewhere. If we widen our perspective and look at the war on drugs and compare it to the war on terror, then what the Western elite are capable of within the West is alarming.
It isn’t just blowback – it’s by design. That’s the lesson of the “war on drugs”. Richard Nixon started this war in 1971. However in 2015, according to RT, the illegal drug market was “bigger than the automotive industry and it’s volume is approaching that of the oil and gas sector“. In his book The CIA As Organised Crime, Douglas Valentine answers the following question:
Ken McCarthy: A member of the Sinaloa cartel, Vicente Zambada-Niebla, is currently in prison in the US “on charges of trafficking more than a billion dollars in cocaine and heroin.” Zambada’s attorney is saying that since the late 1990s, the Sinaloa cartel has provided various US law enforcement agencies with information about the other cartels. They help the US eliminate their rivals and in exchange they’re allowed to import limitless quantities of drugs into the US. Chicago is one of their main drop-off points.
So, Doug, has there ever been a case when the US government through its various law enforcement agencies gave a pass to drug dealers in exchange for something else? How often does it happen and how far back does it go?
Valentine: An old FBN [Federal Bureau of Narcotics] agent, Lenny Schrier, once told me: “The only way you can make cases is if your informant sells dope.” So, yes; not only has it happened, and not only does it still happen, but giving dealers a free pass to deal drugs is the foundation stone upon which federal drug law enforcement is based. Once you realise that, you have to look beyond, at the political and economic context that makes such an extra-legal practice possible…
The point here, is that the “war on drugs” is a contradiction. The official Western attempt to stop the trafficking of drugs is responsible for the proliferation of drugs in the West. Valentine’s point is that politics and economics trumps the law in the “war on drugs”. For political and economic reasons the West and its intelligence agencies (primarily the CIA) allows drug trafficking to flourish.
Maybe the reason is that drug money is a good way to fund a secret war (the Contra war against Nicaragua in the 1980s, for example). Maybe drug money maintains Third World CIA assets (landlords, generals, right-wing politicians, organised criminals – the usual anti-communists). Maybe drugs destabilise and therefore controls a strategic country (Mexico) or a strategic class (the working class and underclass). Or maybe drug money fuels a key part of the economy (the Western banks and corporations). Whatever the political or economic reasons the world’s illegal hard drugs are secretly tolerated and encouraged by the West despite the law.
If this is the reality of the war on drugs: can the same contradiction be found in the war on terror? If we superimpose the war on terror onto Valentine’s description of the war on drugs: will the patterns of one fit into the patterns of the other? In the war on terror does politics and economics trump the law? Is terrorism secretly tolerated and encouraged by the Western powers? According to the UK’s Independent newspaper in November 2016:
“A 650 per cent increase in deaths from terrorism in OECD countries and a marked rise in transnational terrorist attacks means the world is now a yet-more dangerous place in terms of terrorism, according to the IEP [Institute for Economics and Peace].”
Is the war on terror therefore like the war on drugs: does it actually promote what it allegedly is fighting against? The facts suggest that this is the case. Why?
As Valentine argues in relation to the war on drugs: the reasons concern politics and economics. The war on terror which George W. Bush began in the 2000s and which Donald Trump continues today is in fact similar to the war on terror which Ronald Reagan initiated in the 1980s. In short, it’s a hoax. It’s deceitful because to paraphrase Martin Luther King: the USA and the West back in the 1980s was, as it is today in the 2010s, the greatest purveyor of terror in the world. And it is so for political and economic reasons.
Like drugs, terrorism facilitates Western power. If no non-Western military force can compete with the military power of the West, then what scares the West? Why is the West panicking if it dominates the air, sea and land when it comes to conventional warfare? Why? Because that which makes the West nervous is the world’s civilian population. Cue unconventional warfare!
When the US war on drugs began in 1971, the US and it’s allies were producing heroin and killing civilians on a massive scale in South East Asia. A postmodern (anti-modern) partnership was born. A postmodern (two faced) pattern was set. Under the cover of Western self righteousness – drugs and terror became tools of the West. And they’ve been dovetailing each other ever since – targeting civilians all the way.
The template for the West’s postmodern terror onslaught, according to Douglas Valentine, was the Phoenix Program that shaped the underbelly of America’s war in Vietnam. Realising that the civilian population of South Vietnam was it’s real enemy the US – using it’s secret CIA “warriors” – in a very conscious, bureaucratic and bloody way covertly attacked it.
Secret detention centres, torture and executions terrorised the south Vietnamese population in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s. Up to 40,000 civilians were killed. And the rest were psyched out with propaganda – if they were not killed by a straightforward bombing raid. In this darkly coordinated approach to disobedient civilians the Western state-mafia found a formula that could be systematically used elsewhere. Like heroin, programmatic terrorism could be exported in a clandestine fashion. And in a massive scale it was.
The Phoenix Program was exported to Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. It was called the ‘Salvador Option’ up north and ‘Operation Condor’ down south. And it ripped the guts out of civilian life in Central America and the Southern Cone.
A few hundred thousand executed civilians here and a few hundred thousand butchered civilians there. And, it’s fair to say, every one of the Latin American state terrorists responsible for this systematic killing of civilians passed through the US [Terror] School of the Americas which was located in Panama and now, under the name the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation”, is based in Fort Benning, Georgia. And, significantly, all of these terrorists had the political support of Latin America’s Cocaine kings and that ultimate king of war: Henry Kissinger.
At about the same time the CIA was training the mujahideen in the arts of terror and letting them blow secular civilian life in Afghanistan to bits. And so the Phoenix Program slowly made its way back to Asia and the heroin business.
This Western attempt to contain modern civilian life around the world, by throwing hardcore drugs and organised terrorism in the way of social progress, doubled it’s bet – in the 21st century – in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
If the Western 1% or 5% or 10% were to remain sure of their social position in global society, then they needed a countervailing primitive force or forces in the face of modern secular trends. Neoliberal capitalism and all it’s talk of competitive market forces became the primitive mainstream ideology of the 1% – the myth of free market individualism. And as it turned out hardcore drugs and hardcore terrorism covered the social and political backs of this 1% as they globalised themselves.
The catch for the Western 1% was that globalisation implied universalism. In capitalist terms, globalisation weirdly implied global equality or at least a level playing field. The BRICS took advantage of this. And the West hit back with a plethora of excuses to maintain inequality and it’s own privileged access to resources. Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilisations was one excuse. And 911 and the subsequent “war on terror” was another excuse. The bet was that chaos in the heart of the Eurasian continent (think Zbigniew Brzezinski) would divert globalisation back into the familiar ways of Western domination.
However universalism, or the 21st century global civilian, had already bolted from Western parochialism. It was too late to slam the doors of history shut. Hence the need to double the bet against the progressive secular tendencies of the 21st century – the global dimensions of science and technology (reason), and as a result the global (non-Western) dimensions of human society. Feeling unsure of itself the parochial 1% backtracked away from globalisation and doubled it’s belief in the “Phoenix Program”.
The 1% and it’s allies and tools – NATO, Israel, the Saudis and all their secret services – combined in an attempt to divide and rule the world’s citizens one more time. Strategic cultural and political fractures were exploited in order to engineer social chaos and social reaction. The reason was Western power. And no price was too much for that.
Since World War II, at least, Western governments (the US leading the pack) have had no qualms about working with drug dealers so as to promote their interests. Likewise, since at least the Vietnam War, the West has systematically used for it’s own benefit terrorism and terrorists freely. From Vietnam to the Middle East – via Latin America – even the names of the Western teachers of terror are the same. For example, US colonel James Steele and US diplomat John Negroponte. And hovering above the likes of these are the gods of terror – the CIA, MI6, Mossad, etc. (figures like the ghostly Ted Shackley).
Which brings us back to Saudi Arabia and it’s “free pass” to commit acts of terrorism in what Seymour Hersh calls “The Redirection”. The importance of Saudi Arabia to the financial and petroleum heights of the Western establishment are beyond doubt. So the question now is whether that Saudi free pass extends to Western cities? Are policies like the Salvador Option on the elite table when dealing with Western countries?
If the war on drugs is any guide then Western society is as much a target for a “Phoenix type Program” as any other Third World society. Indeed Douglas Valentine believes that The United States Department of Homeland Security is a direct descendant of the Phoenix Program.
And the bombs and bullets in the streets of Europe? If the black neighbourhoods of Los Angeles could be flooded with drugs with the discreet blessing of a US government which was allegedly fighting a war against drugs: then the working class streets of Europe can be flooded with terrorism with the surreptitious blessing of the Western governments which are allegedly fighting a war against terror.
The death toll of London’s Grenfell Tower inferno stands at 500, UK media is hiding the truth, according to DJ Ayla.
British media have censored the death of hundreds of people who have lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower fire in west London, a local resident has said.
The more than 500 people unaccounted from Grenfell Tower fire are dead, Nadia, whose family name was not given, told Press TV.
London Police Commander Stuart Cundy told reporters on Saturday that 58 people are feared dead in the fire.
According to reports, however, the building was home to about 600 people.
Nadia told Press TV’s correspondent in London, Camilia Shambayati, that only 76 out of some 600 people who were living in the building where she grew up, had been accounted for and more than 500 residents were still missing.
Nadia has identified herself on social media as DJ Isla where she has a large following.
“Where are the missing people? Where is the list of the 500, 600 people living in that building,” she asked.
“Where is everyone,” she further asked, adding, “Little kids are asking: ‘Where are my friends?'”
She insisted that the missing residents had all died and the UK media, particularly BBC, had censored the news.
“Everyone has died and no one is telling them,” she said, adding that, “the news can’t pick it up” referring to the alleged media blackout of the fatalities.
On Wednesday June 14, a massive fire erupted at London’s Grenfell Tower.
The building is a 24-story, 67-meter high tower block with 120 separate apartments in North Kensington, west London.
The cause of the fire, where many of the residents were Muslims, is not yet known and the deadly incident is under investigation.
The Deep Interview
In this exciting special episode, Dark Journalist Daniel Liszt welcomes back Former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Catherine Austin Fitts. Catherine is the President of The Solari Report, a quarterly journal and website that integrates economic trends with a larger geopolitical picture.
Ascent of the Black Budget Underworld
Catherine sees the forces vying for power in the 21st century as a combination of Black Budget underworld with its covert influence in drug running, money laundering and high finance, and the robotic, transhumanist corporate culture that is attempting to create a new kind of digital slavery.
In either case, the public civilization is only vaguely aware of the impact of these forces on their daily lives. In everyday living in modern society, an average person doesn’t often get the opportunity to see the massive plan being brought to bear for the global dominance of a worldwide smartgrid capable of cataloging every person according to its harvesting algorithm.
Fascinating, informative, alarming and crucial, you don’t want to miss this fascinating Dark Journalist episode!