• NATO states lead Russia jets out of North Sea space
    NATO states lead Russia jets out of North Sea spaceBy presstvBritish, Dutch and Danish warplanes have scrambled to intercept a pair of Russian bombers approaching airspace of NATO member states over the North Sea.The UK sent jets from RAF Leuchars in Scotland to “determine the identity of unknown aircraft” on Wednesday, a spokesman for the UK Ministry of Defence said. “The aircraft were subsequently identified as Russian military aircraft,” he said.The Netherlands sent two F-16s from Volkel air base to intercept two Russian TU-95 Bears. “…The Danish scrambled and the English scrambled, to ensure they fly out of our air space,” said Dutch officer Major Wilko Ter Horst.Anders Fridberg, spokesman for the Danish Defense Command, said, “We just followed them and just turned back when we reached Germany.”Focus has been sharpened on Russia due to tensions in Ukraine, which escalated since Crimea’s March reunification with Russia.The development comes as US Army paratroopers reportedly arrived in Poland to conduct military exercises amid escalation of Washington-Moscow tensions over Ukraine.The US Air Force said recently that it plans to deploy 18 warplanes, already based in Europe, to Poland for joint maritime exercises at Lask Air Base in the Black Sea.Tensions between the West and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, in which nearly 97 percent of voters in Crimea said yes to reunion with Russia.Relations between Russia and NATO have been at their worst since Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
  • Does Washington want War with Russia?
    Does Washington want War with Russia?By Bill Van AukenDoes Washington want a war with Russia? A review of recent US actions surrounding the crisis in Ukraine clearly poses what would have once seemed an unthinkable question. The Obama administration is playing a very dangerous game of Russian Roulette. In the last 48 hours, the Pentagon has announced the deployment of US paratrooper units to Poland and the three former Baltic republics of the Soviet Union—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—bringing US troops to Russia’s very border. Another American warship has been dispatched to the Black Sea and more US forces are slated to deploy to Ukraine itself this summer under an exercise known as Operation Rapid Trident. These military moves by Washington are unfolding in the context of an acute crisis within Ukraine that, thanks to the machinations of Washington and its puppets, threatens to erupt into full-blown civil war. Less than one week after signing a joint statement with Russia, the US and the European Union in Geneva pledging to end all violence in Ukraine and disarm illegal groups, the US puppet regime in Kiev has ordered its military to carry out an “anti-terrorist” crackdown against the restive Russian-speaking population in the country’s industrial southeast. To that end it has dispatched not only troops, tanks and warplanes, but also armed thugs from the neo-fascist Right Sector. The Putin government in Moscow, which has desperately searched for an accommodation with Washington, appears to be waking up to the deadly seriousness of the situation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned in an English-language interview with the state-run RT television channel Wednesday that his government would treat an attack on Russian citizens in Ukraine as an attack on Russia itself. He raised as a precedent the August 2008 offensive launched by the government of Georgia on Russians in South Ossetia, to which Russia responded by intervening militarily to repel Georgian forces. The implication that the Russian government would carry out a similar intervention to stop Ukrainian troops from slaughtering Russian-speaking civilians in the Donbas region should be treated with the utmost seriousness. In the interview, Lavrov also observed, referring to the actions of the government in Kiev, that “the Americans are running the show in a very close way.” This is indisputable. The regime itself is the product of a protracted American intervention in the country’s internal affairs, with some $5 billion in so-called “democracy promotion” funding pumped into Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. These efforts culminated in the fomenting of a right-wing opposition movement to destabilize the Russian-aligned government of President Viktor Yanukovych by means of street violence. When a deal was brokered between the opposition and Yanukovych, Washington ensured that it was scuttled and the elected president overthrown by fascist paramilitary forces. The prime minister of the regime brought to power by the February 22 fascist-led coup, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was handpicked by US officials, who affectionately referred to him as “Yats.” The point person for this operation has been US Undersecretary of State for Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, a former chief security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and the wife of Robert Kagan, the founding chairman of the Project for a New American Century. She has brought to Ukraine and to Russia itself the same policy of aggressive war that was implemented in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The way in which Washington calls the shots has been demonstrated in an even more sinister fashion with the launching of the first abortive “counterterrorist” operation in the Donbas in the immediate aftermath of a covert trip to Kiev by CIA Director John Brennan, and then its resumption in the immediate aftermath of this week’s visit by Vice President Joseph Biden. From start to finish, the Ukraine crisis has been instigated by US imperialism. Every action Washington has taken has been directed at exacerbating and intensifying this crisis. The longer this crisis goes on, the clearer it becomes that US policy is directed not so much at Ukraine as at Russia itself. Ukraine, it would seem, is meant merely to provide the pretext for a war with Russia. Short of that, it would be used to force a humiliating capitulation by Moscow that would only set the stage for redoubled aggression aimed at Russia’s dismemberment and transformation into a powerless semi-colony. Presumably, those in the White House and the Pentagon believe that such a conflict would stop short of a nuclear war, but who knows? The threat of a US war on Russia is also apparent in the flood of war propaganda being unleashed upon the public. Vladimir Putin is being subjected to the same kind of demonization previously reserved for Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, while the State Department and its faithful scribes at the New York Times serve up “photographic evidence” of Russian troops in Ukraine that has all the authenticity of similar “proofs” of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction.” What underlies the US war drive? In the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, Washington had grown increasingly incensed by Moscow’s role in blocking US war plans against both Syria and Iran, not to mention Putin’s granting of asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Earlier, there was the fiasco that Moscow dealt Washington in the US-backed 2008 war launched by Georgia against South Ossetia. The events in Ukraine suggest that US imperialism has embarked on a strategy to eliminate Russia as an obstacle to its drive to assert hegemony over the Middle East and, more broadly, the landmass of Eurasia. There are also internal factors driving Washington to war. Social contradictions within the United States have reached a dangerous intensity. Masses of working people continue to bear the brunt of the capitalist economic crisis, even as Wall Street recoups its losses from the 2008 collapse and grows richer than ever. More and more fingers are pointing at the super-rich as the party responsible for unprecedented social inequality and misery in America. As so often in the past, war provides an external outlet for internal social pressures and the danger of domestic unrest. Under conditions of overwhelming popular hostility to military intervention, one thing is certain: a war with Russia would rapidly lead to the shredding of the Constitution, the abrogation of democratic rights, the outlawing of political opposition and a massive escalation of police state measures. The greatest danger would be to underestimate the threat of war. Even if it is averted or postponed in the immediate instance, the profound contradictions of the imperialist system make the catastrophe of a nuclear Third World War not just a danger, but an inevitability, outside of the working class mobilizing its strength internationally in a unified movement to put an end to capitalism.
  • US, fascist allies behind Kiev crisis
    US, fascist allies behind Kiev crisis: AnalystBy presstvThe United States and its fascist allies in Kiev are to blame for the crisis in Ukraine, an analyst tells Press TV.“Washington and its fascist Ukrainian partners in Kiev bear full responsibility for what’s going on in Ukraine including all the disruptions, all the violence,” Stephen Lendman said in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.The political commentator said the US government continues to support the “illegitimate” coup of March 2014 in Ukraine.“[US President Barack] Obama’s new friends, many of them are neo-Nazi extremists, are thugs – absolutely thugs,” Lendman said.He held out the possibility of “a very, very serious East-West confrontation” over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.Lendman said Washington faces resistance from Russia in its attempts to eliminate all independent governments and install “only pro-Western ones, subservient ones.”“There are lunatics that make policy in Washington. Neo-cons that infest the Obama administration, that infest the Congress, these are the kind of people influencing policies,” Lendman stated.Tensions between Western powers and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining the Russian Federation, with a voter turnout of over 83 percent.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States and the European Union of having orchestrated a “color revolution” in Ukraine.In the meantime, 600 US troops are reportedly heading to the region following Kiev’s orders for a new “anti-terrorist” operation in eastern Ukraine, where protests are gaining momentum.
  • Enemy moves under Iran watchful eyes
    Enemy moves under Iran watchful eyes: Top commanderBy presstvA senior Iranian military commander says the naval forces of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) are closely monitoring all movements of foreign forces in the region.“The IRGC Navy, the Second Naval Zone in particular, fully monitors all moves in the region, and will not be indifferent about any aggressive movement,” Commander of the IRGC Second Naval Zone Rear Admiral Ali Razmjou stated on Thursday.The Iranian commander went on to say that the IRGC Navy is equipped with state-of-the-art defensive military hardware.On Wednesday, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic are fully prepared to protect the country. “Our country’s armed forces, under the wise command of [Leader of the Islamic Revolution] Ayatollah [Seyyed Ali] Khamenei are fully prepared to defend the Islamic Republic of Iran’s territory,” Dehqan stated.On April 7, Deputy Commander of the IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said the IRGC has equipped its fast attack crafts with indigenous Ghader (Capable) anti-ship cruise missiles.Iran unveiled its home-made Ghader anti-ship cruise missile in September 2011. The 200-kilometer (124-mile) range missile reportedly enjoys automatic digital pilot system, high-precision navigation systems, high-precision striking capability, anti-jamming radar systems and a rapid deployment capability.In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and has attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.The Islamic Republic has repeatedly assured other countries that its military might poses no threat to other countries since the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is based entirely on deterrence.
  • 5 Killed, 1 Injured in Special Operation in Ukraine’s Slaviansk
    5 Killed, 1 Injured in Special Operation in Ukraine’s SlavianskBy RIA NovostiMOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – The special operation against pro-federalization protesters underway in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk has left five members of local self-defense forces dead and one policeman injured, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said Thursday. “During an anti-terrorist operation by a department of the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry, three roadblocks were destroyed that were set up by armed gangs in the northeastern part of the city of Slaviansk in the Donetsk region. During the armed conflict, at least five terrorists were killed. One policeman was injured,” the ministry said in a statement. Police in the region earlier reported that members of Slaviansk’s self-defense group had constructed eight roadblocks. A spokesman for self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine confirmed the report, saying five people were killed after the security operation in Slaviansk. Self-defense forces said earlier two activists were killed and three injured in a fighting with the Ukrainian army in Slaviansk. A senior commander of self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine, Sergei Tsyplakov, said military vehicles without any insignia had blocked all the routes to the city. The Security Service of Ukraine announced Wednesday that the military operation launched by Ukrainian authorities earlier this month against protesters in eastern Ukraine had again entered an active phase, following a temporary suspension after an agreement reached in Geneva last week. Ukrainian authorities launched a special operation to crack down on pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country that have been swept by rallies since last month. Protesters in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic's reunification with Russia. Updates with confirmation of death toll
  • US 'pivots', China reaps dividends
    US 'pivots', China reaps dividendsBy Pepe Escobar "Asia Times"Let's start with a flashback to February 1992 - only two months after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. First draft of the US government's Defense Planning Guidance. It was later toned down, but it still formed the basis for the exceptionalist dementia incarnated by the Project for the New American Century; and also reappeared in full glory in Dr Zbig "Let's Rule Eurasia" Brzezinski's 1997 magnum opus The Grand Chessboard. It's all there, raw, rough and ready: Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed by the Soviet Union. This ... requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia. That's all one needs to know about the Obama administration's "pivoting to Asia", as well as the pivoting to Iran ("if we're not going to war", as US Secretary of State John Kerry let it slip) and the pivoting to Cold War 2.0, as in using Ukraine as a "new Vietnam" remix next door to Russia. And that's also the crucial context for Obama's Pax Americana Spring collection currently unrolling in selected Asian catwalks (Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Philippines). Obama's Asia tour started this week in full regalia at the famed Jiro restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, ingesting hopefully non-Fukushima radiated nigiri sushi (disclosure: I was there way back in 1998, when sushi master Jiro Ono was far from a celebrity and the sushi was far from atomic). Obama's host, hardcore nationalist/militarist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, obviously picked up the bill. But the real bill comes later, as in Japan bowing to strict US demands - on trade, investment, corporate law and intellectual property rights - embedded in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is code for American Big Business finally cracking open the heavily protected Japanese market. Abe is a tough customer. His rhetoric is heavy on "escaping the post-war regime", as in re-weaponizing Japan and not playing second fiddle militarily to Washington in Asia anymore. The Pentagon obviously has other ideas. Post-sushi at Jiro, what matters for Obama is to force Tokyo to bend over not only on TPP but also on keeping the weaponizing subordinated to the larger US agenda. Beijing, predictably, sees all that for what it really is, as expressed in this Xinhua op-ed; the actions of an "anachronistic", "sclerotic" and "myopic" superpower that needs to "shake off its historical and philosophical shackles". The Southeast Asia leg of the Spring collection tour is all about making sure to Malaysia and Philippines, not as strong militarily as Vietnam, that the US Navy will never be replaced as the hegemon in the South China Sea - or even allow China to reach parity with it. It's at the heart of the "pivoting to Asia" as containment of China, whose aim is preventing China from becoming a naval power simultaneously in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. The Pentagon is predictably paranoid, accusing China of waging not only one but "three warfares" against the US. The fact is Beijing is developing a state-of-the-art underground base for 20 nuclear submarines in Hainan island just as Malaysia boosts its own submarine base in Borneo and the Philippines keeps imploring Washington for more planes, ships, airstrips and cyber capabilities as protection for what it regards as its absolute priority: explore for oil and gas in the West Philippine Sea to boost the economy. Radiate me with trade deals, baby The Spring collection is far from derailing other pivoting - whose latest offering is the current "anti-terrorist" campaign in eastern Ukraine by the Kiev regime changers, which follows a most curious calendar. CIA's John Brennan hits Kiev, and the regime changers launch their first war on terra. Dismal failure ensues. Vice President Joe Biden visits Kiev and the regime changers, right on cue, relaunch their war on terra. Thus the pivoting to Cold War 2.0 proceeds unabated, as in Washington working hard to build an iron curtain between Berlin and Moscow - preventing further trade integration across Eurasia - via instigation of a civil war in Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel remains on the spot: it's either Atlantic high-fidelity or her Ostpolitik - and that's exactly where Washington wants her. As for the batshit crazy factions fully deployed across the Beltway revolving door, everything goes, from "warning" China not to pull a Crimea to advocating war in Syria and even the North Atlantic Treaty Organization entering a nuclear war, as shown here by the appropriately denominated Anne Marie Slaughter. This is what she's teaching her exceptionalist students at Princeton. How's Beijing reacting to all this hysteria? Simple: by reaping dividends. Beijing wins with the US offensive trying to alienate Moscow from Western markets by getting a better pricing deal on the supply of Eastern Siberian gas. Beijing wins from the European Union's fear of losing trade with Russia by negotiating a free-trade agreement with its largest trading partner, which happens to the be the EU. And then, the sterling example. Just compare Obama's Spring collection tour, as a pivoting appendix, to the current tour of Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It's a business bonanza, focused on bilateral financing and, what else, trade deals. It's all in the mix: Peruvian and Chilean copper; Brazilian iron and soybeans; support for Venezuelan social programs and energy development; support for Cuba in its interest for greater Chinese involvement in Venezuela, which supplies Cuba with subsidized energy. And all this against the background of a Beltway so excited that the Chinese economy is in deep trouble. It's not - it grew at 7.4% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2014. Demand for iron and copper won't significantly slow down - as the Beijing-driven urbanization drive has not even reached full speed. Same for soybeans - as millions of Chinese increasingly start eating meat on a regular basis (soybean products are a crucial feedstock). And, of course, Chinese companies will not losee their appetite for diversifying all across South America. For the large, upcoming Chinese middle class - on their way to becoming full-fledged members of the number one economic power in the world by 2018 - this Spring collection is a non-starter. He or she would rather hit Hong Kong and queue up in Canton Road to buy loads of Hermes and Prada - and then strategically celebrate with Jiro quality, non-Fukushima-radiated, sushi. Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: A snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com. Front-page picture credit: AFP PHOTO/JAPAN POOL/Cabinet Public Relations Office
  • Missing plane mystery solved?
    Missing plane mystery solved?By Kevin Barrett, Veterans Today Editor, for Press TVTwo former high-level insiders may have solved two of the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370: What caused the plane to suddenly fly off-course? And why are all of the governments involved covering up the truth? Had MH 370 crashed in the ocean, it would have left a huge, easily-visible debris field. Countries with satellite surveillance systems, and their partners, know exactly where the plane went. Boeing and its engine-manufacturer Rolls Royce also know, since planes and engines have GPS systems. (You can buy a GPS system for a little over $50 in the US; it would be naive to think a $320 million aircraft doesn’t have one.) Even the INMARSAT satellite “pings” that we have been told can only sweep a broad arc of possible locations could in reality be used to locate the aircraft with some precision, due to the fact that radio transmissions vary in signatures according to time of day, sunspots, and so on. The “hunt for the airliner” peddled to the mainstream media is clearly a charade. So what are all of the major players – both in governments and the aircraft industry – working so hard to hide? Matthias Chang, a barrister who served as Political Secretary to Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, explained during an exclusive Truth Jihad Radio interview that only a remote-hijacking fly-by-wire scenario can explain the plane’s disappearance. Chang’s views were confirmed by Gene “Chip” Tatum, a former Special Forces Air Combat Controller and US Army special operations pilot who has carried out ultra-sensitive missions at the direct orders of US Presidents. Chang says the Malaysian government has been given sealed evidence by one or more foreign governments concerning the fate of MH-370. As a condition of receiving that evidence, Malaysia is not allowed to divulge it. Matthias Chang is familiar with the highest levels of power in Malaysia. He presumably has some idea of what is in the sealed evidence. But if he did know, he could not say it directly. Maybe that is why Matthias Chang recently sent an email to MH-370 investigators in the alternative media with a “hint”: “WHAT IF THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MH 370 IS SUCH THAT IF THE TRUTH BE KNOWN AS TO HOW IT HAPPENED IT WOULD NOT ONLY BE A SECURITY ISSUE, IT WOULD ALSO HAVE A GLOBAL IMPACT ON THE WORLD’S ECONOMY. ‘THINGS’ (USED IN A BROAD SENSE, AND SO YOU HAVE TO THINK WHAT ‘THINGS’ THAT) WOULD COME TO A COMPLETE HALT, ALMOST A COMPLETE SHUT DOWN.” What “things” would “come to a complete halt” and badly damage the world economy if the truth about MH-370 were told? Chip Tatum thinks those “things” are commercial airplanes. In our interview Friday night, Tatum suggested that the current generation of airliners’ fly-by-wire systems are extremely vulnerable to catastrophic sabotage, including electronic hijacking. Tatum called the alleged search for the aircraft “a smokescreen… They’re keeping the media busy in the South Indian Ocean while things are being done in other areas. I think the government doesn’t want us to know what they know because they don’t think we can handle the truth.” But what could that truth possibly be? Tatum explains: “If it were known that something is that easily hijacked by remote control, people would stop flying. And then you’re talking about a huge impact on business and everything else.” So when Matthias Chang says that the truth about MH-370 would cause “things” to come to a complete halt, he is presumably referring to commercial air traffic. I asked Chang point blank if this was true. He did not deny it. But rather than confirm this hypothesis – which may be off-limits to direct discussion due to its inclusion in the sealed evidence Malaysia has been given – Chang directed me to his most recent article at FutureFastForward.com citing evidence that new technology allows planes to be flown from the ground. Chip Tatum speculates that a bright teenager with a laptop and a cell phone could hack into commercial aircraft fly-by-wire systems. He explains that in newer aircraft, cables driven by pilot controls have been replaced by computers sending electronic signals. While technologies have been patented for protecting these fly-by-wire systems – notably US Patent #8,391,493, which the US government immediately “disappeared” from Patent Office records by invoking the Invention Secrecy Act – they apparently have not yet been implemented. If Tatum is right, commercial aircraft currently flying are wide-open for remote hijacking. The scenario outlined by Chang and Tatum explains how MH370 was hijacked, and why all the major players are covering up the truth. But it does not explain who remote-hijacked MH370 and why. One clue: Tatum provides evidence for the possible involvement of the CIA-based Bush crime family in the cover-up. The fake satellite trail to the remote and dangerous Southern Indian Ocean, a gigantic red herring, was fabricated by INMARSAT – whose largest owner, Harbinger Capital, is the new name for George H.W. Bush’s notorious Zapata Corporation. Tatum has first-hand knowledge of the depravity and corruption of the Bush mob. While working in Special Operations for the CIA and US military in 1992, Tatum was personally ordered by then-President George H.W. Bush to “neutralize” Bush’s political opponent Ross Perot. Based on his past missions for Bush, Tatum understood those orders meant that Bush wanted him to force Perot out of the presidential race by any means necessary, including murder. (Tatum refused Bush’s orders – the beginning of the end of his career in Special Ops.) Tatum has also revealed his knowledge of Bush-related CIA drug smuggling and mind control operations. He survived as a whistleblower due to the extremely sensitive documents and recordings he set up to be released in the event of his death or incapacitation-by-torture. Tatum has released many other documents corroborating his stories of Bush’s corruption, CIA assassinations and mind-control. But despite his credibility, the mainstream media refuses to report such information. If the Bush crime family is deceiving the world about an operation involving remote-hijacked airliners, it wouldn’t be the first time. On September 11th, 2001, fly-by-wire systems appear to have been used in the false flag attacks on New York and Washington. Bush loyalists and Israeli Mossad assets are the two main groups of suspects in those attacks. Could the same forces be involved in the theft of MH370 – perhaps as part of a plan to stage another plane-into-building false flag, as Christopher Bollyn has suggested? Related Posts:“Flight 370 Was Remote-Hijacked” ‘MH370 call exposing 9/11 cover-up?’‘MH370: 9/11-style false flag gone awry?’ FLT 370 – A Little Bit of PrestidigitationNEO – Flight 370: Another US Conspiracy? Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=299088 The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners. Legal Notice Posted by Kevin Barrett on Apr 24 2014, With 643 Reads, Filed under 9/11, Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Russia 'forced' to launch military drills at border in response to Ukraine op - Moscow
    Russia 'forced' to launch military drills at border in response to Ukraine op - MoscowBy RTRussia has begun extensive military exercises in Ukrainian border area following the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine. “The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow. “War games by NATO in Poland and the Baltic states are not helping the normalization of the situation. We are forced to react to the situation.” Shoigu said that the drills involve march and deployment exercises by forces in the southern and western military districts, and separate Air Force maneuvers. Shoigu said that 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers, 160 tanks, 230 armored carriers and at least 150 artillery pieces are involved in the operation against anti-Kiev activists. “National guard units and Right Sector extremists are fighting against the peaceful population, as well as a volunteer Donbass ‘anti-terrorist’ unit. Also security and internal forces transferred to Lugansk and Donetsk from other areas of the country are suppressing dissent,” the minister said. He added that Ukrainian sabotage units have been deployed near the Russian border. In contrast, Shoigu said that the pro-Russian self-defense units number about 2,000 and have about 100 guns between them, which have mostly been taken from local police stations. RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo
  • Kiev military op: Ukrainian army tanks, APCs, troops attack Slavyansk
    Kiev military op: Ukrainian army tanks, APCs, troops attack SlavyanskBy RTFive anti-government protesters have reportedly been killed and one injured in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after Kiev authorities sent tanks and armored vehicles against the local population. Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on military operation in eastern Ukraine “During the antiterrorist operation, three checkpoints erected by illegal military groups have been destroyed in the northeastern part of Slavyansk,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said, adding: "At least five terrorists have been killed. One policeman was injured.” Witnesses report on Twitter Slavyansk self-defense forces are now burning tires to hamper the entrance of infantry vehicles from Kiev into the city. According to Rossiya 24 TV channel, self-defense forces have repelled the attack of the Kiev gunmen at the key checkpoint 3 km north of Slavyansk. At least three infantry vehicles had to retreat. Police has announced the beginning of the crackdown via loudspeakers and a special vehicle is currently patrolling the streets warning local people about the crackdown. The local citizens in the city are preparing for the Kiev crackdown. The majority of shops, kindergartens and schools have been closed in the city. Only the shops selling bread and water remain open. “Fighting the outskirts of Slavyansk started at about 12pm Moscow time (08:00 GMT),” one of the leaders of the self-defense forces, Miroslav Rudenko, told Interfax, "We are checking reports of one dead and one injured. There are shootings at a number of checkpoints at some of Slavyansk exit-roads.” Rudenko said it was impossible to reach self-defense leaders in Slavyansk by phone, suspecting that mobile phone connection could have been switched off. Ukrainian special forces take position in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 24, 2014 (Reuters / Gleb Garanich) Rossiya 24 TV channel reported there was a slow offensive by Ukrainian troops on Slavyansk. “Now armored vehicles and special forces are just 10km away from the town,” said Rossiya 24 correspondent currently on the ground. According to locals, at least eight armored infantry vehicles passed the village of Hrestische, near Slavyansk, on Thursday morning, reports Gazeta.ru. At least three snipers from Ukrainian army are now at the barricades, the residents also told Gazeta.ru, adding that when one of the journalists tried to approach the barricades, the snipers opened fire. Meanwhile, two columns of armored vehicles are heading towards Slavyansk. The first column is now 6km from the city, while the second is 3 to 4km, Mayor of Slavyansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev told Rossiya 24 TV channel. Ukrainian special forces take position in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 24, 2014 (AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev) Meanwhile, the armored infantry vehicles are currently heading towards the town of Izyum in the Kharkov Region, not far from Slavyansk. Anti-government protesters are still controlling the checkpoints on the outskirts of Slavyansk. Screenshot from youtube.com @sherlaimov Screenshot from youtube.com @sherlaimov Ukrainian military Mil Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters have been detected in the city of Artyomovsk near Slavyansk. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Kiev’s crackdown on anti-government protesters “a very serious crime.” “If the Kiev regime started military actions against the country’s population, this is without doubt a very serious crime,” Putin said. He maintains that the current situation in eastern Ukraine is another proof that Russia was right when it supported the Crimeans when they decided to have a referendum. Meanwhile, Russian OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) envoy Andrey Kelin proposed sending immediately the observers to Slavyansk, calling the city and near-by regions “hotspots.” He criticized Kiev’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation, launched against anti-government protesters in the city as “serious violation of the Geneva agreements.”
  • Today's News Headlines by RT(April 24,2014)
    Today's News Headlines by RT(April 24,2014)UN fund pays out another $990mn in Kuwait compensation A UN panel that settles claims for damages resulting from Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait paid out another $990 million Thursday, AP said. The payment by the UN Compensation Commission brings the total paid so far to the government of Kuwait to $45.5 billion. The latest payment goes toward settling a claim by Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for production and sales losses resulting from damage to the country's oil fields. Another $6.9 billion remains to be paid from that award, which at $14.7 billion was the largest the panel made. 10:17 Pakistan bombing kills 4, Air Force kills militants in strikes A bombing in southern Pakistan killed a police officer known for his anti-militant campaigns and three other people on Thursday, AP reported. Meanwhile, army officials said the Pakistani Air Force carried out airstrikes against insurgents in a northwestern tribal region, killing 16 militants. The airstrikes reportedly pounded two militant hideouts in a remote area of Tirah Valley in the Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border. 09:12 US embassy says 3 Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack An Afghan security guard who opened fire at an international hospital in Kabul on Thursday killed three Americans, the US embassy said. “We can confirm three Americans were killed,” Reuters quoted an embassy official as saying. At least one other person, a female nurse, was wounded, according to an Interior Ministry official. 08:36 At least 10 people killed in Iraq suicide attack A suicide attack on a police checkpoint south of Baghdad has killed at least 10 people and wounded 18, Iraqi officials said. The bomber drove his explosives-laden car into the checkpoint at the entrance of the southern city of Hillah, about 95km south of Baghdad, AP reported, citing a police officer. He said six civilians and four policemen were killed in that attack. 07:16 3 foreigners killed in Kabul hospital as Afghan guard shoots medical staff An Afghan security guard killed three foreigners, including at least one doctor, at a Kabul hospital on Thursday morning, police said. The guard suddenly turned his weapon on the staff he was supposed to be protecting at the Cure Hospital in western Kabul and started shooting, AP quoted police Chief Hafiz Khan as saying. One other person was also reportedly wounded in the spray of bullets. The nationalities of the victims were not immediately known, and the motive of the attacker, who is a member of the Afghan Police Protection Force, was not yet clear. 06:27 China frees Japanese boat in 7-decade dispute A Chinese court released a seized Japanese freight ship Thursday after owner Mitsui OSK Lines agreed to pay about $39 million in a dispute dating back more than seven decades. The Shanghai Maritime Court said that it freed Mitsui’s Baosteel Emotion after the company paid more than $28 million in compensation for two leased Chinese ships it lost in 1938 and 1944 and also court costs, AP reported. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga downplayed the possibility that the settlement might encourage similar lawsuits by Chinese companies. 04:49 ​6.6 magnitude earthquake hits off Canada's Vancouver Island A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has been registered 94km south of Port Hardy municipality, British Columbia, western Canada, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake occurred at 03:10 GMT at a depth of 11.4km. No tsunami danger has been issued for potentially affected US and Canadian areas, including Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, according to the US tsunami warning office. Currently there is no information on possible casualties or damage.

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Iran

نوروز امسال: نیک پرس Image

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نوروز امسال: نیک پرس

نوروز امسال: نیک پرس

 

نیک پرس، با افتخار، امیدوار وآرزومند است که فرارسیدن فروردین و نوروز، این فراشگرد فروزندهٔ فرهنگ ایرانی، بر همهٔ شهروندان شیدا و شیفتهٔ سر زمین کهن و زرخیز و زرفام، ایران زمین، خجسته و فرخنده باشد!

امید است که نوروز امسال شروع دیگری باشد که ایرانیان در سراسر گیتی، با فراست وفرزانگی و فرهیختگی پیروزمندانه، بسان پارتیزانهای پیشرو و پیشاهنگ، پژواک گر و مشعل دار مدنیت ملی، بر فرازستان بشریت باشند تا با اتخاذ گروش به راه و روش اعتقاد و اعتماد به مقاومت مداوم و مقتدرانهٔ خویش در جهت همبستگی، همگرایی وهمبودگی، هم سویی وهم گونی ملی و وارستگی سیاسی ـ اقتصادی، آلبته با اهداف دست یازیدن به قلعهٔ ایده آل های ایرانی، بتوانند چون گذشتهٔ دورتر، اما اکنون بیشتر،

نقشه های ابلیسانه و اهریمنانهٔ جانیان جهانی، یعنی یاغی های اروپايئ و یانگی ها ی آمریکایی را که با سلاح و سخن تهدید وتحریم، تخریب وترور، تزویر و ترفند، با آمیزه ای آغشته و آمیخته به دروغ و دیو دروج، و با تکیه بر مدد مزدوران وموریدان مرتد و مکار، چون دوزخیان دون پایهٔ ایرانی نما، که با دژآهنگی و کژآهنگی سیاسی وبا سپر سرسپردگی، جاسوسی و سالوسی به همراه چاکری و چابلوسی، در تلاشند تا سرعت سمند تکامل وتداوم تمدن ایران را سترون سازند را با سرسختی سرآفرازانه وسرورمنشانه با عقل و عاطفه و علاقهٔ ملی ـ میهنی، سد نمایند!

فروردین 93 .سوئد: نیک پاکپو

ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم! Image

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ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم!
ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم
  nikpress.com
   گوینده : نیک پاکپور”NICK PAKPOOR” 
  گوینده چون گذ شته سعی می کند که تلاش تحلیلی وتشخیصی و تحقیقی خود را، براساس واقعیت های عینی و پر پایه پویش و پژوهش پروسه های تاریخی وتکوینی،تطوری استوار ساخته، تا از داوری عجولانه و غیر عادلانه، پرهیز نماید!  تا بدین وسیله توانسته باشم مرزهای مخدوش شده، مغشوش شده، بین طلب کاران وتهبه کاران، تهدید گران، تخریب گران وتجاوزگران، قصابان وغارتگران سیاسی را با مشعل دارن معتقد مقاومت مداوم ومحکم، ملی گرایان ومختارگران مقتدر ومتمدن جهان را که حاضر نیستند، سروری مشتی جلاد جانی، جهادی را، با سر خم کنی پذیرا شوند، را بطور صحیح وصرافانه از همدیگر متمایز، سازم.  امید است که منشاء تفکر زنده وزاینده در جهت بیداری، بصیرندگی وبسیجندگی همگانی باشد، یا شاید، کوششی باشد که سیاست را از سطح عامیانه وعوام پسندانه وناآگاهانه به سطح آگاهانه وهوشیارانه وآکادمیک شناسانه، ارتقاء داده باشم !  برای تحقیق وتشخیص تکوینی وتاریخی، ریشه و رویش و افزایش، تروریسم جانی ،جهانی، می بیست عقربه زره بین سنج زمان را به سال های قبل وبعد از جنگ جهانی اول ، عقب گرد داد، یعنی زمانی که امپراتوری تشنه تسلط وتصرف، تاراج وتجاوز بریتانیا با دستپاچکی و desperateکوشش می کند که بر تسلط عثمانی بر مناطق عرب نشین و بادیه نشین یا bedouin ، خاورمیانه به خاطر دست یازیدن به Titanic نفتی، پایان دهد.  لذا در سال 1917 میلادی، امپراتوری بریتانیا موفق می شود که Ibn Saud را که بصورت کلان های conjugal به همراه انواع واقسام تشکل هی tribalism - traditional فامیلی، قبیله ای، بدوی،بیابانی زندگی می کردند را به client و colonial خود بدل کند. نیک پاکپور      

 یاداشت ها:  Notes  1-How do you spell ”Terrorist” C I A  By William Engdahl  2-Saudi Arabia and CIA Behind Terror Bombings in Southern Russia?  By Bill Van Auken  3-Who is behind Syria’s “Opposition Rebels”? Mother Agnes Mariam versus the US Media  By Rob Prince  4-Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network  By Prof. James Petras  5-World Renowned Peace Activist Collaborated with Stratfor and CIA  By Steve Horn and Carl Gibson  6-Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia: Has the House of Saud seen its Stalingrad?  By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya  7-Saudi digging own grave with its Middle East policies  PressTV  8-Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama  by FRANKLIN LAMB  9-Rothschild’s Saudi Lapdog Armed Syrian and Libyan Rebels  by Dean Henderson  10-On Western Terrorism from Hiroshima to Drone warfare  By Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek        

توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟ Image

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توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟
توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟
به باور گوینده الیت سیاسی و نظامی ایران که در سه دهه گذ شته با ایستادگی اوستادانه در دفاع از وارستگی ملی، شطرنج سیاسی را شرافتدمندانه و سرافرازانه،بازی کرده است اجازه چینین کاری را به یاغی های غربی و یانگی های امریکایی نخواهد داد تا بساط شبه شوم وابستگی را دوباره در کشور زرفام و زرخیز زروان و زرتشت بگستراند. فراست ، فرزانگی و فریختیگی ایرانیان از فراشگرد فردایی حکایت و روایت می کند که نمازگذارانش بامهراب خون شهیدان به سجده وسپاس چون سپا با همگرای وهم صداءی و همراهی در همبستگی وهمبودگی، سرافرازانه و هو شیارانه به رژه ایستاده اند
نیک پاکپور
Jan 18-2014

Europe

WWIII!WWIII! Image

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WWIII!WWIII!
Video: US troops put boots on Polish ground as Ukraine crisis spirals
Published on Apr 24, 2014
The first wave of US troops has arrived in Poland to begin military drills "promoting peace and stability" across Eastern Europe. Tensions continue to mount in the region, as Ukraine teeters on the brink of a civil war
WAR in Slavyansk Image

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WAR in Slavyansk
Video: Ukrainian troops APCs, choppers amid burning checkpoint in Slavyansk
Published on Apr 24, 2014
NOTE: Video partly muted
Fighting erupted again just outside Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine. Kiev restarted anti-terrorism operation leaving a checkpoint in ruin. Ukrainian troops take photos alongside APCs as Choppers fly overhead.
Who wins the battle Image

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Who wins the battle
Russia or US: Who wins the battle over Ukraine?
by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor, … with Press TV, Tehran
The following video of Press TV’s In Focus program is an excellent review of the Crimean turnover with lots of local input. This kind of coverage was censored out of Western reporting that seemed to have been been tasked to find evidence of suppression and invasion, which they did not find.
Despite that, Western leaders and NeoCon media continued to pitch the invasion line, and strangely even continued it past the 96.7 devastating vote with an 84% turnout.
In the face of total rejection by the people of what the West was telling them was happening to them, the West just stuck with the old saying, “If you tell a lie enough times it will become the truth to all who heard it.” This is the sad state of affairs for our Western media, and by consequence…ourselves.
As Crimean-like dissent is raging on in eastern Ukraine, experts believe the crisis is a new cold war between the US and Russia wondering who will win this battlefield.
Professor Yuri Katunin from Taurida National University says “this is definitely a conflict between America and Russia.” And on the outcome of this conflict, he adds, “I think it is too early to say who will win.”
 Also on the rising conflict between the two super-powers, Jim W. Dean managing editor of Veterans Today believes “the US wanted its missile shield moved closer to Russia, an obvious aggressive move which Russia had done nothing to encourage,” adding, “There will be ‘far reaching consequences’ as Mr. Rasmussen has said… but for the real planners and perpetrators of the Western aggression on Ukraine.”
Political crisis erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, when Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia. Following Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia.
Pro-Russia rallies gained momentum in Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from the former Soviet state and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum.
On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law documents that officially made the Black Sea peninsula part of the Russian territory despite condemnation from the West and the new Ukrainian government.
The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing punitive measures against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.
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Middle east

Turkish Role in Syria Ch Image

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Turkish Role in Syria Ch
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, April 7
Published on Apr 7, 2014
Visit http://www.democracynow.org to watch the entire independent, global news hour. This is a summary of news headlines from the United States and around the world as reported by Democracy Now! on Monday, April 7, 2014. Visit our website to read the complete transcript, search the vast news archive, or to make a donation to support our non-profit news program
Saudi-Al-Qaeda Image

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Saudi-Al-Qaeda
Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
Madawi Al-Rasheed: Saudi Arabia helped create a network of terrorism to achieve political aims, and while it does come back to bite them at times, they promote a similar ideology and continue to these alliances - April 3, 14
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.
We're continuing our discussion about U.S.-Saudi relations, and we're going to dig in in this segment into the Saudi relationship with al-Qaeda type forces, extreme Islamists.
And now joining us again from London is Madawi Al-Rasheed. She's a visiting professor at the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her recent publications include A History of Saudi Arabia and A Most Masculine State.
Thanks for joining us again, Madawi.
MADAWI AL-RASHEED, MIDDLE EAST CENTRE, LSE: Thank you.
JAY: So I mentioned in an earlier segment that the joint congressional committee investigating 9/11 had found that the Saudi government was responsible for financing and facilitating the 9/11 attacks. And I interviewed Senator Bob Graham, who was cochair of that congressional investigating committee, and I asked him why he thought the Saudis had done this, and his answer was that bin Laden had told the Saudi king or the Saudi royal regime that he had 10,000 fighters that he could send to Saudi Arabia to try to develop an uprising against the Saudi royal family if they didn't help him launch these attacks. I don't know if Bob knows that for sure or not, Bob Graham, I don't know whether it's true or not true in terms of their motivation, but it is a kind of reflection of this very complicated relationship, where on the one hand, bin Laden's force, you know, when he was alive, certainly seemed to make the Saudi regime his main enemy, other than perhaps Shia. He talked about the way the Saudis' royal family had sold out to the Americans and such. On the other hand, there's all kinds of evidence that the Saudis have worked with these forces in Afghanistan and in many other places. So what is the nature of this relationship?
AL-RASHEED: It is a very complex relationship. To begin with, Saudi Arabia wanted to use Islamism in its fight against any external threat that may have an internal impact. I'll give you one example. In the 1950s and '60s, Saudi Arabia saw the threat to its regime coming from the leftist movement in the Arab world, and also from Arab nationalism, and it used Islamism as a counter-force to actually destroy these two movements. And therefore it sponsored Islamic education, it sponsored Islamic opinions that depict these movements as atheism. And also, during the Cold War, it enlisted its ideology on behalf of the West in order to fight battles elsewhere, such as, for example, in Afghanistan. And therefore the Saudi-Wahhabi dimension of all this al-Qaeda is extremely important, although the Saudi regime tries to distance itself from this kind of radicalism.
JAY: I think it's important to note that Eisenhower is quoted as saying that we will use--we being the United States--use the Saudis and their role in defending Mecca to help promote Wahhabism and the Saudi power to fight Nasserism, nationalism, and socialism. I may not have the quote exact, but I'm pretty close. And, of course, we know how much the CIA worked directly with the Saudis in Afghanistan. In fact, bin Laden gets to Afghanistan in a deal between the Saudis and the Americans.
AL-RASHEED: Yes, absolutely. This was part of the Cold War strategy, and Saudi Arabia deployed its ideology and support, and also funds, in order to fight wars elsewhere.
But the problem for Saudi Arabia is when this ideology came back to haunt the country itself. But it is almost like having a battle with your own ideology. And therefore it's very difficult for the Saudis to get rid of this kind of menace. And they haven't learned lessons from 9/11.
So if you look at what is going on in Syria now, they have--the Saudis have created armed rebels who are actually almost working on behalf of the Saudis in Syria, so that the Syrian revolution was derailed and lost its democratic slogans, and now it's--became a sectarian war between different groups, Shia and the Sunnis. And with Saudi intervention, we find that the rebels who were promoted were called the Islamic Front. And we have seen how this was unfolding in Syria.
Until recently, Saudi Arabia allowed its own young men to travel to Syria, or if it didn't allow them, it kept a blind eye. And only recently, just a week before Obama's visit, Saudi Arabia introduced this new antiterrorism law which says that anybody who goes to Syria and come back will face 20 years in prison.
An interesting thing is, yes, we may keep a blind eye on those people going, but we're going to arrest them when they come back. But there was no effort that was obvious to me that they will make sure they will not go there to fight--.
JAY: Well, it may be that they're going to make them stay there and fight, with a law like that.
AL-RASHEED: I think the best thing that Saudi regime can hope for is for them to go and die there.
JAY: That's sort of what I was saying.
There seems to have been a change from the days when the Saudis seemed to be very concerned about attacks on their regime in Saudi Arabia from al-Qaeda forces. There seems to have been a kind of accommodation in some way that now, in fact, it seems that the al-Qaeda type forces are almost, like, part of the way the Saudis wage asymmetrical warfare and use them in leverage. I mean, the most obvious place is in Syria, but you see it in Iraq. But then you see these threats--you know, I talked about 9/11, but we know about Bandar's threat, Prince Bandar's threat to Tony Blair when there was an inquiry into the bribery scandal based on Saudis buying several billion dollars of weapons, and apparently Bandar got a billion-dollar bribe, and Bandar says to Blair, you'd better stop this inquiry or I can't promise there won't be another 7/7 (when the buses blew up in London). And more recently, apparently, Bandar threatened Putin and said, you know, we control the Chechen terrorists. It seems like it's a lever of power in their hands.
AL-RASHEED: Yes, absolutely. And we have seen since 2008 there were no terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. They managed to push al-Qaeda to Yemen, basically. They haven't destroyed it. They haven't, you know, removed it. They simply had forced it to migrate to Yemen. And a lot of Saudis have left Saudi Arabia to go there.
But the interesting thing is it has been used as a sort of a pressure on foreign governments, meaning that, you know, you do as we want you to do or we will not cooperate with you in terms of intelligence cooperation, or we would actually--you know, they wouldn't put it so directly, but, you know, it is a subtle hint that when the Serious Fraud Office in Britain wanted to open up the Al-Yamamah weapons deal and the corruption that was involved with BAE Systems, the Saudis immediately announced that if this serious fraud investigation goes ahead, they will cease to cooperate with Britain on intelligence, meaning that we will not be able to help you catch the terrorist, basically. And it is interesting that they may have had quite a close relationship, they know them so well, but they hold information about them that they're only going to release to those other intelligence services that cooperate with the Saudis, and also in governments that are supposedly friendly governments.
JAY: Right. And the Saudis--one of the intelligence agencies the Saudis cooperate a lot with is the Pakistani ISI, and the Pakistani ISI seems to play the same game: you know, collaborate to some extent with the West in antiterrorist operations; on the other hand, there's lots of evidence the ISI has all kinds of relationship with the Taliban and al-Qaeda type forces. In fact, journalists that have reported on this have been assassinated by the ISI, including one that worked with us.
AL-RASHEED: Yes. I mean, it is the al-Qaeda monster, it's the monster that was created at a particular historical moment and began to haunt all those contributing forces that made it happen and allowed it to flourish throughout the last three decades. And the Saudis had deployed the same strategy in Syria now, whereby individuals can go and join these rebels. They kept a blind eye for a long time. But then now, when international pressure is mounting, because they see how these rebels are really not an alternative to Bashar al-Assad, Saudis introduced this new terrorism law in order to deal with the situation. But whether it will actually work, I have my doubts.
JAY: And I guess the Americans have been so part of this policy of working with extreme Islamists that they can't say or don't want to say much about it.
AL-RASHEED: Yes. I mean, it is a well-known fact now. You know, the archives will be open and declassified information will be available, and future historians will probably write incredible books with concrete evidence. Now we get the information from leaked documents or from journalists who are actually in the field at the time and can report on us where the weapons to so-called rebels are coming from and who is sponsoring them.
JAY: Okay. In the next segment of our interview, we're going to discuss why Saudi Arabia considers Iran such a mortal enemy. Please join us with Madawi Al-Rasheed on The Real News Network.
End
Media

245 views

Media 'staged' Syria
The Truthseeker: Media 'staged' Syria chem attack (E36)
Published on Mar 23, 2014
BBC 'total fabrication from beginning to end' of Syria 'atrocity'; call to revoke visas for intel agents posing as reporters in NATO targets; CIA caught infiltrating CNN, and Operation Mockingbird is back.
Seek truth from facts with UK Member of Parliament George Galloway; Illinois University Professor of International Law Francis Boyle; investigative reporter John Helmer; ordinary Syrians; and Ukraine covergirl 'Julia'.

United state

19 views

'Schizophrenic US strategy
'Schizophrenic US strategy makes them bad peacemakers for Ukraine'
Published on Apr 18, 2014
More than seven hours of talks between Russia, Ukraine, US and EU diplomats have been unable to make a significant breakthrough - according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Resegregation of Schools Image

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Resegregation of Schools
The Resegregation of American Schools
ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones discusses her year-long investigation into how one of desegregation's success stories in Tuscaloosa, Alabama became one of the most segregated school systems in the country, as well as the high levels of segregation in northern schools 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education -
Bio
Nikole Hannah-Jones joined ProPublica in late 2011 and covers civil rights with a focus on segregation and discrimination in housing and schools. Her 2012 coverage of federal failures to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act won several awards, including Columbia University's Tobenkin Award for distinguished coverage of racial or religious discrimination.
Prior to coming to ProPublica, Hannah-Jones worked at The Oregonian and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. She has won the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award three times and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. She has also gone on reporting fellowships to Cuba and Barbados where she wrote about race and education.
Decriminalization/Legalization Image

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Decriminalization/Legalization
TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
As Maryland is poised to become the next state to decriminalize marijuana, MD Delegate Keiffer Jackson Mitchell and LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin debate whether it can end the racial disparity in drug-related arrests - April 11, 14
Bio
Keiffer Jackson Mitchell is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for the 44th district in Baltimore City, and voted for the bill decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland.
Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), is a 33-year police veteran who led multi-jurisdictional anti-narcotics task forces for the Maryland State Police and ran training for the Baltimore Police Department. After seeing several of his law enforcement friends killed in the line of fire while enforcing drug policies, Neill knew that he needed to work to change these laws that cause so much harm but do nothing to reduce drug use.
Transcript
TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. LegalizationJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
This week, the Maryland Senate voted 34 to eight to decriminalize marijuana. It will soon be the law here in Maryland after Governor Martin O'Malley said he'll sign the bill, which would impose only civil fines, rather than criminal offenses, on those caught with less than ten grams of marijuana.
But what else is in the bill? There'll be fines for multiple offenses. A second violation would carry a $250 fine, and a third offense would have a $500 fine. Also, a violator who is younger than 21 would have to appear in court.
Maryland will be joining 24 other states that have either decriminalized marijuana or legalized it.
Now joining us in-studio to unpack how this will affect everyday citizens are our two guests.
Neill Franklin is the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, otherwise known as LEAP. He's worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years and witnessed the war on drugs firsthand.
Also joining us is Keiffer Jackson Mitchell. He's a member of the Maryland House of delegates for the 44th District in Baltimore City, and he voted for the bill decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland.
Thank you both, gentlemen, for joining us.
KEIFFER J. MITCHELL, DELEGATE, MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES: Thank you.
NEILL FRANKLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEAP: Thanks for having me.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. So let's just jump right into this. Keiffer, I'm actually going to start off with you--actually, you know, let's first start off with Neill, because I know at the end of the day we all recognize that the war on drugs is not working. And we are seeing--I want to pull up this chart--how it affects disproportionately African Americans. So you can see in these two charts there's twice as many blacks going to jail as whites for marijuana possession despite usage levels being about the same.
Neill, I know that you're critical a bout the bill because you guys are pushing, really, for legalization. But isn't this a step in the right direction? Oh, absolutely it's as step in the right direction. Obviously, I would prefer to legalize it, tax and regulate.
And the reason I think it's better for us to keep looking forward to tax and regulate is because even though we're not going to be criminally charging people for possession of ten grams or less of marijuana, what happens when they can't afford the $100 fine? Okay? Certain people will be able to afford the fine, but our poor communities will not. Folks in our poorer communities will not. And I believe it then becomes--a bench warrant may be issued, or if they don't show up in court, then we're back into the criminal realm. So in that sense it's still problematic.
And in decriminalization, as what this bill is about, still does nothing to get our marijuana dealers off of our street corners. Okay? It's still, you know, thousands if not millions of dollars going into the hands of criminal gangs and organizations, and ultimately ending up in the pockets of the cartel. And, again, marijuana across this country, really, around the globe, is roughly 60 percent of all the profits being made in the entire illicit drug trade. So, again, moving to a place of legalization, you know, tax, and regulation will bring that money away from criminal organizations, out of the pockets of criminal gangs, and into the pockets of our citizens and our state coffers.
DESVARIEUX: Keiffer, I wanted you to--get your response, address that first point that Neill made about us actually just getting back to where we started, people not being able to afford these fines.
MITCHELL: Right. Right. Well, we--you know, the bill, I think, is--it's a step in the right direction as it relates to criminal--in terms of the civil penalties. You know, you have the escalating fine of $100 to $250, and $500 on a third offense.
The fact remains that, you know, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Maryland. And to show that it is still illegal, you have these penalties. You know. I don't think if we had lowered the fine or anything like that, I don't think it would send much of a message that it is still a illegal narcotic in the state of Maryland and other states. So, you know, I think the $100 fine is right, and I actually think that the $250 and $500 fine is also right, with all due respect, a step in the right direction.
As--I always call him Colonel in everything, 'cause that was his title--as Colonel Franklin has said, that, you know, it's not going to get the drug dealers off the corners, things like that. But I always remind people from the study, Maryland spends about $106 million just on enforcing marijuana policy or arrest or prosecution. So you take that $106 million. Now you can start using that money to really go after the enforcement of the larger dealers. So I think that's a step in the right direction.
DESVARIEUX: Neill, I see you nodding your head, but--.
FRANKLIN: I'm nodding my head about the money that we're currently spending, you know, with criminalization. And, you know, the time and energy that our police department is wasting on this.
I might disagree a little bit with that, what--the savings going back into law enforcement, you know, to work on other, you know, drug dealers and whatever. I think, personally, I would like to see that money go to education and treatment and go into our school systems. And I know you won't mind [incompr.] maybe part of it can go there because he's a teacher, he's an educator. So I think that we need to continue to pull the police out of the drug-management business and put more of our resources into health and education.
And I think that the police should focus more, use the time that they're going to have now, to focus more on violent crime, to focus more on robberies and rapes and crimes against our children, domestic violence. We know we have a problem in Baltimore with both domestic violence investigations and rape investigations, and I think we could focus more on that.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. So--. Oh, sure. Please.
MITCHELL: Real quick, on the fine piece before we leave that, the $100, $250, and the $500. That money also is going to be going toward drug education and drug treatment. So, you know, that money is not just going into the general fund just to sit in the general fund, but it is supposed to go toward drug treatment.
DESVARIEUX: So we know where you two stand. But let's bring in the American public's opinion. So there was a recent New York Times-CBS poll that found that the majority of Americans actually support legalization. So, Keiffer, shouldn't the legislation that's put in place be reflective of that? Shouldn't we be pushing for legalization, then?
MITCHELL: Oh, I am one of the minority. I should be counted as a minority in that New York Times-CBS poll. I am not there yet as it relates to legalization. I still believe that marijuana is a gateway drug. I would like to see more studies about the legalization of marijuana.
So far, right now Colorado and Washington are legalized. I think it's still too early to find out what are not just the whole ramifications of that, but also, you know, what are the unintended consequences of legalization that they are seeing in Washington and Colorado, and also remind people that it wasn't their legislators that voted for it; it was a referendum by the public at the polls. So, you know, those are the things that took place as it relates to legalization.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Neill, what's your take on that?
MITCHELL: Well, obviously, the polling that we're talking about continues to move in the direction of more support nationally from our citizens, more support for legalization. Every year, the percentages go up.
I think I have an advantage over most people in looking at this because I've been in law enforcement for a number of years, worked, you know, on the front lines of the war on drugs. But that's not where it ends. I've also been on [incompr.] I've also cochaired committees dealing with--from a health perspective, dealing with treatment and education in Harford County. I did that for a number of years. I've traveled around the country. I've traveled around the globe. I've got this--I've had the opportunity to literally see this from a mountaintop perspective, you know, looking down around the entire landscape on this drug-management issue. And so I see it differently.
I see that the current illicit marketplace is the gateway. It is the environment that is the gateway, not a particular substance or drug, but the environment that we have of drug dealers acting on our corners hiring kids to sell drugs, marijuana and other drugs, recruiting them from our schools, bringing them out onto the street corners, to sell drugs in schools to other children. We've created an environment with policies of prohibition that puts more drugs into the hands of our young people than any other scheme we could possibly imagine. This is the worst. And we realized that back during the times of alcohol prohibition. That's why alcohol prohibition only lasted 13 years instead of four decades.
DESVARIEUX: So you obviously don't agree with that, Keiffer.
MITCHELL: Well, like I say, it's still too soon. I mean, we're dealing with marijuana, but you also--.
And I agree that the war on drugs has not worked and the amount of resources we have. You know, there's no question about that. I also believe that the war on drugs has created this racial disparity in terms of who gets locked up and who doesn't and where the enforcement is taking place.
But on the other hand, I also believe that, you know, with marijuana, in terms of what I've read and what I've learned, is that marijuana is a gateway drug. And then where do we stop, in terms of the legalization? You know, you have heroin. [incompr.] a district in West Baltimore where I come into contact with heroin addicts all the time. You can just go a few blocks over here to Lexington Market, in that area, and look at the number of methadone clinics that are in that area and look at the number of people who are hanging around getting their methadone for the day but who are out there, who still want that hit or something like that.
I think there needs to be a combination: instead of just the enforcement, the educational piece, you start off young, you get into the schools.
We've lost--. I am a Democrat, alright? I'm a big-time Democrat. But, you know, when Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan were talking about the war on drugs, they started going into the schools, giving kids the education, and you had the "just say no" type campaign. I still believe that you have to get and spend your resources and time in the schools to get them while they're young.
And also there are some other programs that are put in place in terms of jobs. You know, kids I talk to who are dealing drugs and that sort of nature, you know, they want jobs. But they're not--if they can make a lot of money standing on a street corner instead of flipping burgers somewhere, they're going to look at taking care of their families and making that money. But you have to get them other resources out there for that.
DESVARIEUX: So, Keiffer, if I'm understanding you correctly, do you think legalization would just lead to just more usage and therefore--?
MITCHELL: That's what I--I believe it would lead to--I think it would send a wrong message, and I do believe that it will lead to more usage.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Neill, do you have any--to counter that?
FRANKLIN: Well, we are really at the same place for the most part of this. Putting our resources into education and treatment first in front of law enforcement and criminalization, yeah, that's where we should be and that's where we're not at the moment.
The other side of that coin as it relates to those wonderful programs in our schools, you know, educating our kids, the other side of that coin is the family. You see, once the family unit is actually more effective in keeping kids away from using drugs and doing things that will harm them. There's more legal things out there that will harm our kids than those that are illegal.
But our policies of prohibition have destroyed, for instance, the black family, the mass incarceration and the disparity issues. You know, when you have so many--according to the NAACP, one in nine black children have a parent or parents in the criminal justice system. For white children it's one in 54. Okay?
Now, when you have families, when you send someone to prison, you send the entire family to prison. And we know when you send someone to prison they do not return to us a better person. For the most part, they're going to return to us and our communities in worse shape than what they were when they went in in how they treat people, because when you go in, you have 24 hours to decide whether you're going to be the prey or predator while you're in prison. Most people return to us as predators, because they are not correctional facilities. In addition to that, when they do return to us, very difficult to get a job because now they're strapped with a criminal record. Okay? That frustration, many of them can't even live with their families if their families are living in public housing, because they're a convicted drug felon. You know, that does nothing for our communities. That does nothing for the children who live in those households in working to keep them from using drugs or becoming involved in the drug trade.
I think it has to be some of both. I think it has to be, obviously, putting our money and resources into education and treatment. And then, on the other side of that coin, we have to eliminate the illicit trade. We have to take the money out of that business so people will feel comfortable working at and feel good about working at places like McDonald's and Walmart and some of the other places.
DESVARIEUX: And the way you take the money out is by legalizing it.
FRANKLIN: That's the only way to take the money out.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Alright. Let's move on a little bit. And I want to get your take on just why do we not know enough about--. I want to speak specifically about legalization in Colorado, 'cause I know you were there, Keiffer. Can you just describe a little bit about what you witnessed? And I'll get your response to--.
MITCHELL: Last year, I was there for a conference, and I walked around downtown Denver in the tourist area. And I guess they call it LoDo. And the smell of marijuana was inescapable. You could smell it as a tourist. Now, I don't know if they've done anything to rectify that or to, you know, curb it, but it jumped out at you. You know, it is one thing when it's cigarette smoke. You know, people know what cigarette smoke is. But when I was out there in the tourist area, it was out there. I don't think they're allowed to smoke in restaurants or bars and cafes at all. But you--you know, I saw people smoking marijuana sitting on a bench at a bus stop or walking down a street smoking.
And, you know, I grew up in an area where I don't do drugs, don't do it, and it was out there, and it made for an unpleasant experience for me as a tourist walking around Denver.
And this past November of last year, the mayor of Denver was in Washington, D.C., and I talked to him and I told him about my experience, and he said that, you know, when the referendum came to light and it was implemented, there were some unintended consequences that kind of left holes along what local jurisdictions can do in terms of a time and place about marijuana and where they can smoke it, and then the dealing. They still have to work out the kinks.
So, in other words, what I thought that he was saying was that it kind of put the cart before the horse, so to speak, to say this is what we need to do. So I think locally there needs to be some things put in place to allow--you know, if they were going to smoke marijuana, but, you know, not all of us need to be around it.
DESVARIEUX: Yeah, these are some legitimate concerns. You have people who are saying, you know, if you legalize it, then, you know, these unintended consequences are going to be arising.
Neill, how do you deal with that?
FRANKLIN: And I agree. And that not only will change; it is changing there, because, first of all, this is something new. for most people. Okay? And, you know, a lot of that is just celebration. You know, oh, wow, we have the freedom to do what we want to do. But that is changing as the local jurisdictions put, you know, policies in place, you know, so the people will be writing people tickets. You're smoking on a park bench? Here's your $50 ticket or whatever that fine is going to be. But I think it goes even beyond that. It goes to the place of what we did with tobacco products.
So it's a social thing. You know, it's people--also people at the bus stop bench saying, you know, hey, put out the joint until you get home, okay? You know, I don't want to smell it. I understand, you know, it's legal now, but no. You know. And that's what we've done with tobacco products. You know, people actually feel like outcasts who smoke tobacco products today. And it will be the same socially. We will apply that pressure to people who are smoking marijuana so you won't have that environment. You know, like, today, when you go outside and you're out and about, I very seldom smell cigarette smoke. I can't remember the last time I had. This is new with marijuana, and it'll change, just like we've done with tobacco.
And, also, with tobacco what we've done over the past couple of decades, the most--one of the most, if not the most addictive drugs known to man, nicotine, reduced consumption by about 40 percent. We've sent no one to prison. We don't have any shoot-outs in our streets. And our kids aren't coming out of school to sell it on street corners, because it's regulated and controlled. But social pressure and regulations in place locally have reduced our tobacco consumption.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Neill Franklin, executive director of LEAP, and Keiffer Jackson Mitchell, thank you both for joining us.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
FRANKLIN: Thanks.
DESVARIEUX: And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter @therealnews, and you can send me comments, questions @Jessica_Reports.
Thank you so much for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

Israel/Palestine

"Currency" in Arms Trade Image

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"Currency" in Arms Trade
Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
Rwanda and Uganda agree to take African refugees as part of arms deal after Israel denied their asylum claims and imprisoned them
Precis
The latest development in the story of Israel's scandalous treatment of African Asylum seekers was revealed last week. After denying to even examine most of the refugees' asylum claims, deporting, and imprisoning those who stayed, Israeli authorities are now coercing them to sign on to so-called "voluntary" return as part of Israel's arms and trade deals with several sub-saharan African nations. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky speaks to activist Tamar Aviyah, attorney Assaf Vitzan, and S. an Eritrean refugee who made his way to Israel after years in Sudanese refugee camps, only to agree to "voluntarily" leave to Uganda to avoid Israel's massive desert prisons for asylum seekers.
Transcript
Israel Uses Refugees as LIA TARACHANSKY, TRNN PRODUCER: The latest development in the story of Israel's scandalous treatment of African asylum-seekers was revealed last week. After denying to even examine most of the refugees' asylum claims, deporting and imprisoning those who stayed, Israeli authorities are now coercing them to sign on to so-called voluntary return as part of Israel's arms and trade deal with several African nations.
Assaf Vitzan is an Israeli lawyer who works with asylum-seekers, trying to prevent their indefinite imprisonment and deportation.
~~~
ASSAF VITZAN, ATTORNEY, HOTLINE FOR REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Today we're talking about roughly 50,000, 90 percent of whom are from Eritrea and Sudan, mostly from Eritrea. Abroad, their asylum claims a recognized that about 80 percent; in Israel, zero percent or almost zero percent. No one's coming in anymore. An impressive fence was built along the southern border, and almost no new refugees are coming in. We're talking zero to 10 a month. Only a few months ago, the Supreme Court canceled the anti-infiltration law amendment, so the government simply passed an even worse law.
INTERVIEWER (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): What legal avenues are open for refugees to fight for their rights in Israel?
VITZAN: Look, their asylum claims aren't even looked at, and when they are, they're refused. No Sudanese had their refugee status recognized. Two Eritreans out of 10,000 had their refugee status recognized. The situation is really terrible.
~~~
MUSA, REFUGEE FROM SUDAN: My name is Musa /kiso/. I come from Sudan, Darfur.
We want for Israeli government to cancel the new infiltration law. We wants the international government and the UN to stand with us and put pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies, because since we come here, the Israeli government is changing its policies towards the refugees community here in Israel by passing a new amendment in 10 December, where it is allowing to send 1000s of the refugees to detention center.
TARACHANSKY: Even the UN body responsible for refugees, which has proven to be politically impotent, took a stand. Before quitting his position as head of the UNHCR offices in Israel, William /təl/ finally agreed to speak out, saying, "As UN High Commissioner, we have access to the prison, and we heard what the state offered them. Agreement to return under an ultimatum of jail ... can't be considered voluntary by any criterion. It is explicitly not voluntary return."
Tamar Aviyah is a long-term activist who worked tirelessly with African refugees and was one of the few Israelis to help in the recent protest and strike against the government's policies.
TAMAR AVIYAH, ACTIVIST ASSISTING REFUGEES IN ISRAEL: One of the main tools that the government is using also to induce the panic within the community and to make life just impossible to survive is to close down refugee businesses. This is sometimes with and sometimes without any relation to the legality or validity of their visas.
The immigration police started making mass arrests on the street. This, you know, spread a lot of panic in the street. They were just making arbitrary arrest, no matter what kind of paper you had. And there were a lot of rumors going on.
The next week, the Ministry of Interior offices, where the asylum-seekers come to renew their temporary visa--this is usually 30-day visa, sometimes two months, sometimes three months--these offices started closing, stopped giving service, sometimes open, sometimes not open.
But the great success of the government strategy is massive voluntary return.
TARACHANSKY: According to UNHCR statistics, more than 80 percent of refugees remain in the region of the countries they flee. While the Israeli right wing portrays the refugees as a serious demographic threat, they make up less than 0.4 percent of the population under Israel's control. In a comparison, the city of London has five times the number of asylum seekers of Israel.
~~~
TARACHANSKY: Why is Israel against resettling these refugees to other countries if it wants to get rid of them?
AVIYAH: Well, Israel wants to get rid of refugees, but it doesn't want refugees to get a good solution, because then that would give African refugees an incentive to come to Israel as a stepping stone on the way to a European or Canadian or American country or any other country where their human rights would be respected as refugees.
TARACHANSKY: Because of the security situation in Eritrea and (north) Sudan, Israel cannot legally deport the refugees there. It's therefore encouraging them to leave on their own, either to Sudan or other African states. Speculations began this summer when, after a long campaign of persuasion, Israeli representatives tried to secure the destination, offering various sub-Saharan states arms and trade deals. Last week, it was finally revealed that the refugees are being sent to Rwanda and Uganda, and potentially also to Kenya.
PRESENTER, NTV KENYA (VOICEOVER): Uganda will also allow migrants to use its territory as a transit point to return to their home countries or go elsewhere. In return for the favor, Uganda has been promised to be furnished with an undisclosed sum of money and military equipment.
TARACHANSKY: This effort predates even the previous governments of current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2008, then prime minister Ehud Olmert offered to pay various African nations $1,000-$1,500 per refugee. The Israeli financial daily globes reported in tooth June 2008 that the decision was made to try and sell the refugees to African countries. Following the decision, the Foreign Ministry turned to every African nation with which Israel has diplomatic relations, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, the Ivory Coast, and Benin, and offered to pay for taking in the thousands of refugees who came to Israel.
While during Olmert's leadership the African states refused, Netanyahu made them a better offer. In 2009, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited several African states, including Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, with an entourage of arms dealers. While no deal was signed on the trip, his deputy, Danny Ayalon, continued the visits. Then, in 2012, Netanyahu appointed a special envoy, former Mossad agent Hagai Hadas, who was a key negotiator in the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hadas made a number of undisclosed trips, this time offering $8,000 per refugee and a trade package including agricultural training, technology, and arms.
When the Israeli daily Haaretz succeeded in lifting a gag order on the deal in August last year, it was revealed that the country to which the government intends to ship the asylum-seekers was indeed Uganda. This week, Haaretz revealed some refugees are also finding themselves in Rwanda.
AVIYAH: They're a currency, one of many currencies in Israel's economic interest in arms trade in Africa, and also its colonial interests.
VITZAN: These agreements were never brought to light. We have no idea what rights returnees get. We have reports of people who found themselves in Uganda and Rwanda and didn't get any papers, visas, no status, and their asylum claim wasn't looked at, and they became stateless. The situation is very serious.
TARACHANSKY: S is an Eritrean refugee who made his way to Israel from years in Sudanese refugee camps. Following the coerced effort to get him to leave the country, he decided to sign the agreement and go. For fear of imprisonment were he to find himself back in Eritrea, he refused to be filmed.
~~~
S (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We thought we were human beings, but when we came to Israel, we found out we're worthless. Us black people are not human beings here. That's all I can say. So I'd rather go to Uganda. At least they're black too.
INTERVIEWER (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): But you know that many who sign to go to Uganda, and when they land they find themselves in Sudan? [sic]
S: They leave us without a choice. We have no choice. Here, the people, the government, the laws, it's really not the same Israel is what we came. They call us "nigers" and a "cancer". If I had a citizenship to anywhere--but I have no citizenship.
INTERVIEWER: What would happen if you return to Eritrea?
S: I fled the mandatory [18-year-long] army service. They'll either put in jail for life or kill me.
~~~
AVIYAH: We know that when the flight goes down, their names are called out by the Khartoum police. So they are expected by the Khartoum police. Everything they have on them is confiscated. Okay? They're taken into interrogation, sometimes for a day, sometimes for several days or a week.
And from there, there are two options. Either they are released under limiting conditions and they may not leave Khartoum, so their movement is limited. And they have a police file, sometimes their whole family has a police file. They have to report to the police either daily or once a week. Many of them are put under pressure to become informers for the police because they're in a vulnerable position. All of them, all of the passports are stamped with "cancel", so they can't use their passport anymore--they will not be able to leave Sudan with the passport. These are the ones that are released. And then there are the ones that are probably in jail.
TARACHANSKY: Since the interview, the Organization of Sudanese Refugees in Israel recorded 13 deaths of returnees who were tortured, when nearly 1,000 remain in jail in Khartoum. According to international standards and law, if refugees decide to voluntarily return to their countries of origin, the host country--in this case, Israel--ought to provide them with comprehensive legal and return counseling, information, sufficient time to prepare, reintegration support, assist in their ability to find housing, employment, health care, and education, monitor their return, and so on. Instead, the returnees report that once they've landed, often not knowing to which country that there are even being sent to, they have no contact with any official representatives from Israel or the country to which they were sent after their arrival, and no one assists them or deals with their needs.
The government's response was that all actions are taken in accordance with international law.
For The Real News, I'm Lia Tarachansky in Tel Aviv.
End
Palestinian refugees die Image

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Palestinian refugees die
Starving in Syria: Palestinian refugees die in rebel-held camps
Published on Feb 1, 2014
An estimated 18 thousand people, including many women and children, remain trapped in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus. It's been cut-off by Syrian rebels for more than a year now. Hundreds of relief parcels have managed to reach the camp for the first time in several months but that's too late for at least 85 people who have died there since the middle of last year from illness and starvation. RT's Maria Finoshina took a trip to this rebel enclave.
H Crisis in Gaza. Image

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H Crisis in Gaza.
Eva Bartlett: An Eyewitnesses Account About How Israel Has Constructed a Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
Published on Jan 9, 2014
The following is a December 7, 2013 interview with Eva Bartlett conducted by Mike McCormick on the radio show Mind Over Matters (KEXP 90.3 FM, Seattle).
In the interview Bartlett gives an eyewitness account about the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, the Israeli wars on the Palestinians and how the Israeli government has deliberately created a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
For audio listening, here is a direct link from Mind Over Matters:

Economy

Margret Thatcher? Image

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Margret Thatcher?
Keiser Report: Margret Thatcher? Anti-Christ! (E591)
Published on Apr 22, 2014
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the rentier rising from the dead, generation debt and harvesting the young with student debt. In the second half, Max interviews Ross Ashcroft about the housing super bubble in London and what it means to the rest of the economy to have a rentier class in charge.
Chained US Dream Image

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Chained US Dream
Keiser Report: Chained American Dream (E590)
Published on Apr 17, 2014
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the American Dream as being chained to the booth in the waffle house as cogs in the wheels generating income for Wall Street sharpies and the poverty of this century in which the beggar is a reminder of nothing. In the second half, Max interviews Alasdair Macleod of Goldmoney.com about the geopolitical situation in Ukraine and its impact on gold and the dollar as the reserve currency. They also talk about the true size of China's gold reserves.
Bliss of Ignorance Image

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Bliss of Ignorance
Keiser Report: Bliss of Ignorance (E588)
Published on Apr 15, 2014
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss how ignorance could, indeed, be bliss for all of us if the ignorant would just STFU. From geopolitics to cryptocurrencies, those who know least are the most likely to seek the use of force. In the second half, Max interviews crypto whale, Karl Gray, about the future of crypto and his plans to crowdfund the $300 million Statue of Responsibility, a companion to the Statue of Liberty to be built off the West coast of America.

China

China/Russia

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China/Russia 'Deal
Escobar on China/Russia 'Deal of the decade' & Europe's secret US deal blues
Published on Apr 15, 2014
While the West weighs up putting more spanners in the works with sanctions, Russia and China are getting on with business. The two are looking at a deal that could see gas pumped into the world's most-populated nation for the next 3 decades. Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT that Beijing's stance on the global political arena is bearing fruit.
China Navy drills Image

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China Navy drills
China Navy drills: Jets live fire at targets in East China Sea
Published on Apr 3, 2014
China's East China Sea Fleet launched a live-fire air drill recently, aimed at improving the overall combating capability of the naval air force. The naval aircraft has been an important air force guarding the southeast coast of China for more than half a century
China

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China's New March
CrossTalk: China's New March
Published on Dec 6, 2013
Is the battle of 'overflights' the opening salvo of the growing competition for the Pacific pitting China against the US? Is the American pivot to Asia merely militarizing the region? Can Washington accept that China will eventually become the regional hegemon? And what would an American-Chinese compromise look like? CrossTalking with John Feffer and Martin McCauley.

Afghanistan

50%+ Afgh kids starving Image

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50%+ Afgh kids starving
Children of War: 50%+ Afghan kids starving
Published on Apr 21, 2014
Afghanistan's former foreign minister currently leads the race to become the next president. The vote count should be completed by Thursday, but early results show the front-runner is around 6 per cent short of the required 50 per cent to secure victory. That means a run-off is likely - and more political instability. That heralds grim prospects for the country's most vulnerable - children - who are already enduring poverty, poor health and malnutrition. RT's Lucy Kafanov reports.
Afghan Pres Elections Image

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Afghan Pres Elections
Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly and IPS Fellow Phyllis Bennis discuss Afghanistan's presidential election in light of corporations profiting from war and unrepresented groups remaining on the margins -
Bio
Phyllis Bennis is a Fellow and the Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC. She is the author of Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer, Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis , Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer and Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer.
Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist, pacifist, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She currently acts as the co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Non-Violence. As a war tax refuser, Kelly has refused to pay all forms of federal income tax since 1990. She spent 9 months in maximum security prison for planting corn on a nuclear missile silo and has more recently been arrested at U.S. military bases in New York and Nevada for protesting drone warfare. During each of 14 trips to Afghanistan, Kelly, as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. Kelly returned to the U.S. in March of 2014 after having spent most of the winter in Kabul.
Transcript
Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
On Saturday, an estimated 60 percent of Afghanistan's 12 million eligible voters cast their vote to elect Afghanistan's next president. Although results are still coming in, a runoff is likely to occur between two presidential frontrunners, former World Bank executive Ashraf Ghani and former Afghan minister of foreign affairs Abdullah Abdullah. The very next day, President Obama applauded the elections.
Now joining us to discuss what this election means for everyday people in Afghanistan are our two guests. Kathy Kelly is an American peace activist, pacifist, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She currently acts as cocoordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence and recently returned from Afghanistan, where she spent most of her winter.
And also joining us is Phyllis Bennis. She's a fellow and the director of New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. She's also the author of many books, including Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.
Thank you for joining us, both of you.
PHYLLIS BENNIS, FELLOW, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: Good to be with you.
KATHY KELLY, COCOORDINATOR, VOICES FOR CREATIVE NONVIOLENCE: Thank you, Jessica.
DESVARIEUX: So, Kathy, let's start off with you. You traveled to Afghanistan 14 times as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul. What are they saying about this election, the people on the ground?
KELLY: Well, my young friends in Kabul have said that it's a sad day when the pinnacle for evaluating success or failure in Afghanistan rests on something that happens for one day once every four years. And the tickets of people running as candidates included a warlord on just about every ticket. And, certainly, Ashraf Ghani is running with General Dostum, a very menacing, fearful warlord with a history of horrific massacres.
And the cares and concerns of very ordinary Afghans have been so underrepresented and shut out--I mean, you've got a million children suffering from severe, acute malnourishment, one out of every 11 women dying in childbirth. So how are those concerns going to be represented when the elites who are surrounded by heavily armed militias have maintained such control over Afghanistan? And I include the United States in that category of elites surrounded by heavily armed militias.
DESVARIEUX: Phyllis, both of the presidential frontrunners, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, they have said that they will sign the bilateral security agreement. First of all, what's in the agreement? And why has the current president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, refused to sign it?
BENNIS: The bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and the Afghan government is designed to maintain U.S. military presence at a somewhat smaller scale than it currently is for an indefinite period into the future.
The reason, I think, that President Karzai has refused to sign it has to do with internal politics. He's trying to position himself as the defender of Afghan sovereignty against U.S. pressure.
The reality is there's a single issue that's at stake here, and that is whether or not U.S. troops left in Afghanistan after the end of this year would have immunity from being held accountable for war crimes they might commit. This was the exact same issue that led to a decision to withdraw all troops out of Iraq in 2011, something that the Obama administration did not want to do. They wanted to leave, again, a group--somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 U.S. troops behind, but they wouldn't do it if they could not be guaranteed that they would have immunity for war crimes that they know they will commit. You know, it's one of these things: why don't they just make sure they don't commit any crimes? Then they wouldn't have to worry about immunity. So far the Afghan position is they will also not sign on to immunity for U.S. troops after the end of the year. The question now is whether the winner of this election, probably in a runoff situation, will sign on to it at a later time.
DESVARIEUX: Let's switch gears a little bit and discuss money. And if you follow the money, the U.S. government has spent about $750 billion in Afghanistan.
I want to turn to you, Kathy, and talk to you about where the money's going. Now, where could the money be going if it wanted to really be in the interests of the Afghan people?
KELLY: Well, for instance, the United States has, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan report, spent what is now approaching $100 billion on non-military aid in Afghanistan. Of that sum, only $3 billion ever went to humanitarian aid.
The other $97 billion is distributed over counternarcotics--while 92 percent of the world's opium is coming from Afghanistan. It doesn't seem like that counternarcotics money was so well spent. You've got drones flying over doing oversight constantly. Don't they happen to notice the movement of truckloads of opium going across the country every single day? But money was also spent on oversight and on governance. Well, Transparency International says Afghanistan is the most corrupt government in the world. So these are really crucial questions to ask.
And meanwhile, Anatol Lieven in The New York Review of Books says that the United States has been subsidizing the Taliban, because the United States has paid a toll for every truck, and all of the supplies coming into the United States bases and supporting also the military contractors are delivered by truck. And so the money that gets paid to the people who run those roadways, who are warlords and drug lords, and many of them Taliban, both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, has subsidized the Taliban.
And then the United States people are supposed to believe that we're protecting women and children. Well, we should be, and reparations should be paid for the suffering caused.
DESVARIEUX: Phyllis, you heard Kathy mention the issue of corruption. What's your take?
BENNIS: Well, you know, there's no question that Afghanistan remains one of the most corrupt countries around. Transparency International lists it as one of the worst, in terms of doing business in Afghanistan. And that is important.
But I think we also have to keep in mind the far bigger levels of corruption that are endemic in the U.S. process of going to war in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq. You know, we know that the CEOs of defense contractors made more money than almost any other CEOs at various periods in the war.
There's a direct link if we look at the question of cronyism. President George [W.] Bush's uncle, William H. T. Bush, was a director of one of the war manufacturing companies, Engineered Support Systems, internationally, who cleared $2.7 million in cash and stock a few years ago in the context of the extra money that that company was making for supplying the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq.
So, you know, the question of corruption is something that we have exported to Iraq, as we have exported violence and sectarianism.
The democracy that the U.S. likes to trumpet we have brought or we have allowed to thrive in Afghanistan is thoroughly based on political parties that are sectarian in nature. Each of the parties is led by someone representing one ethnic group. The big victory is that this time around they've each chosen a vice presidential candidate from a different group to try and reach out broadly. But the idea that there could be a president who represents Afghanistan and not who represents a particular ethnic or tribal group is simply not on the U.S. agenda. And that's one of the big problems of what our definitions have been for what we call democracy in the context of these wars.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Kathy Kelly and Phyllis Bennis, thank you both for joining us.
KELLY: Thank you, Jessica.
BENNIS: Thank you.
DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End
US Afghan legacy Image

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US Afghan legacy
US Afghan legacy: Terrorism, corruption & record drug traffic
Published on Apr 5, 2014
With Taliban stepping up attacks & Washington winding down mission in Afghanistan, it's feared violence may be spiraling out of control. Despite that, US & NATO commanders say Taliban no longer threat to stability. Believing their mission has been successful, as RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports