After reporter’s assassination, Saudis continue to kill children with US/UK-sold bombs

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched an attack on Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, to stamp out a Shiite insurgency (‘Houthis’) that threatened to advance Iranian influence in the strategic energy-rich region at the expense of Western-Saudi hegemony. The result has been a humanitarian catastrophe killing thousands and threatening millions with famine. Saudi warplanes have bombed countless civilian targets from factories and markets to hospitals and villages.

US Assistant Secretary John Kerry soon confirmed US support for the war, including “intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, and advisory and logistical support for strikes against Houthi targets”. Riyadh’s command and control centre includes both American and British military trainers/advisers with access to target lists, though they are said to not be directly involved in selecting targets.

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Catastrophe: Saudi-led war has killed thousands, threatens millions with famine

The UN soon reported 2300 civilian deaths due to airstrikes alone. The following month, Obama pushed for a series of arms deals with the Saudis worth $115b. Apparently, his previous $60b arms deal with the medieval monarchy, the biggest in US history with its 154 F-15s and Apaches, was insufficient in satisfying the Kingdom’s bloodlust. Ditto Britain’s delivery of 500lb Paveway IVs a couple months earlier…

Following the Saudi bombing of a wedding that killed nearly 50, a PR-conscious Washington was forced to back off from most of the proposal due to pressure from human rights groups. A billion-dollar deal, however, did go ahead. On his visit to the Great Democracy, the Four Seasons literally laid out a (blood?) red carpet for the King and his royal entourage.

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Deal in blood: Six months into Yemen slaughter, a billion dollar arms deal

Wsws.org comments on the tacit AQ-US alliance throughout this period and ongoing, a hardly surprising fact given Washington’s covert CIA activities in Libya and Syria:

…The only areas which have escaped coalition airstrikes are those parts of the country controlled by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has proven itself an effective ally of the US in the effort to defeat the Houthis. US drone strikes continue to target individual AQAP leaders, but their fighters have been free to move throughout the country unmolested.

As for Trump, he followed up his $15b arms sale last October with a $110b series of deals plus an optional $350b extra over the next ten years. This all seems to be hoopla, but Trump has made his point: he, like his ‘liberal’ predecessor, is proud to serve his country…by helping to kill children.

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“This is peanuts for you”: Prince Salman and President Trump

UK arms sales, meanwhile, have increased fivefold since the Saudi war began. In May, the Daily Telegraph cited Saudi military sources as saying that, of the 100 warplanes it is using round-the-clock, “about 50 percent are British-made Tornados and Eurofighters that have been sold to the Saudis over the past 30 years…”.

In defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2286, the British government is immunising the Saudis by allowing them to conduct their own war crimes investigations. On October 13, it disclosed that Saudi Arabia had used five different UK bombs and missiles in Yemen.

Since its creation by Britain, Saudi Arabia has functioned as the chief pillar of Western power in the strategic oil-rich Middle East. As such, merely “dropping the Saudis” is insufficient. All the Gulf dictators are brutal and repressive, and they all serve as “stabilizers” for foreign investments in the region. The broader necessity, in whose context a struggle against the Saudi monarchy resides, is to drop the Anglo capitalist-imperialist order.

Sources

Johnpilger.com

Chomsky.info

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-british-weapons-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-yemen-war-increase-500-civilians-war-crimes-export-a8042871.html

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Yemen is Becoming Another East Timor

Our silence is our shame

Last year, legendary reporter and documentarian John Pilger received the Order of Timor-Leste in recognition of his remarkable undercover reportage of the brutal Indonesian occupation of East Timor between 1975 and 1999. “In my experience”, he writes, “East Timor was the greatest crime of the late 20th century. I had much to do with Cambodia, yet not even Pol Pot put to death as many people – proportionally – as Suharto killed and starved in East Timor”.

After the invasion began following an explicit go-ahead from America’s Henry Kissinger, Australian ambassador Richard Wilcott secretly cabled that Indonesia’s atrocities must be publicly suppressed, and that the Department for Minerals had a far greater chance of acquiring the vast oil and gas riches lying beneath the Timorese seabed by “siding with Indonesia” than with “an independent East Timor”.

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Genocide: 0.2m East Timorese (a third of the population) perished

So ferocious was the slaughter that, within three years, Indonesia ran out of arms. The Carter Administration quickly shipped them $115m’s worth, predictably escalating the slaughter.

In 1989, Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans sipped champagne with his Indonesian counterpart after signing a piratical “treaty” – illegal under international law – to effectively steal the aforementioned resources of the Timorese Sea. “This is a uniquely historical moment”, Evans declares giddily to the cameras, expecting “zillions” in profits.

Two years later, mourners were brutally gunned down by Indonesian troops at Santa Cruz cemetery. Evans dismissed the massacre, exposed to the world by reporter Max Stahl’s secret footage, as a mere “aberration”. “The world is a pretty unfair place”, he pragmatized, “riddled with examples of acquisition by force”.

If you think THAT statement was callous, consider more recently discovered records in the Australian archives quoted by Pilger:

In their own handwriting, senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs mock reports of the rape, torture and execution of East Timorese by Indonesian troops. In scribbled annotations on a memorandum that refers to atrocities in a concentration camp, one diplomat wrote: “sounds like fun”. Another wrote: “sounds like the population are in raptures.”

…another diplomat sneered: “If ‘the enemy was impotent’, as stated, how come they are daily raping the captured population? Or is the former a result of the latter?” The documents, says Sarah Niner (of Monash University, Melbourne), are “vivid evidence of the lack of empathy and…that this culture of cover-up is closely tied to the DFA’s need to recognise Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor so as to commence negotiations over the petroleum in the East Timor Sea.”

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Yemen

The episode of East Timor is the West’s eternal shame. Yet a similar episode has been unfolding over the past three years. And, although the Internet has certainly made people a lot less ignorant of the Yemen case than they were of East Timor (which literally received zero coverage for years), there is still general unawareness of our governments’ arming of the ongoing slaughter in Yemen.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched an attack on Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, to stamp out a Shiite insurgency (‘Houthis’) that threatened to advance Iranian influence in the strategic energy-rich region at the expense of Western-Saudi hegemony. The result has been a humanitarian catastrophe killing thousands and threatening millions with famine. Saudi warplanes have bombed countless civilian targets from factories and markets to hospitals and villages.

US Assistant Secretary John Kerry soon confirmed US support for the war, including “intelligence sharing, targeting assistance, and advisory and logistical support for strikes against Houthi targets”. Riyadh’s command and control centre includes both American and British military trainers/advisers with access to target lists, though they are said to not be directly involved in selecting targets.

yemen1.jpg
Catastrophe: Saudi-led war has killed thousands, threatens millions with famine

The UN soon reported 2300 civilian deaths due to airstrikes alone. The following month, Obama pushed for a series of arms deals with the Saudis worth $115b. Apparently, his previous $60b arms deal with the medieval monarchy, the biggest in US history with its 154 F-15s and Apaches, was insufficient in satisfying the Kingdom’s bloodlust. Ditto Britain’s delivery of 500lb Paveway IVs a couple months earlier…

Following the Saudi bombing of a wedding that killed nearly 50, a PR-conscious Washington was forced to back off from most of the proposal due to pressure from human rights groups. A billion-dollar deal, however, did go ahead. On his visit to the Great Democracy, the Four Seasons literally laid out a (blood?) red carpet for the King and his royal entourage.

saudi.jpg
Deal in blood: Six months into Yemen slaughter, a billion dollar arms deal

Wsws.org comments on the tacit AQ-US alliance throughout this period and ongoing, a hardly surprising fact given Washington’s covert CIA activities in Libya and Syria:

…The only areas which have escaped coalition airstrikes are those parts of the country controlled by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has proven itself an effective ally of the US in the effort to defeat the Houthis. US drone strikes continue to target individual AQAP leaders, but their fighters have been free to move throughout the country unmolested.

As for Trump, he followed up his $15b arms sale last October with a $110b series of deals plus an optional $350b extra over the next ten years. This all seems to be hoopla, but Trump has made his point: he, like his ‘liberal’ predecessor, is proud to serve his country…by helping to kill children.

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“This is peanuts for you”: Prince Salman and President Trump

UK arms sales, meanwhile, have increased fivefold since the Saudi war began. In May, the Daily Telegraph cited Saudi military sources as saying that, of the 100 warplanes it is using round-the-clock, “about 50 percent are British-made Tornados and Eurofighters that have been sold to the Saudis over the past 30 years…”.

In defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2286, the British government is immunising the Saudis by allowing them to conduct their own war crimes investigations. On October 13, it disclosed that Saudi Arabia had used five different UK bombs and missiles in Yemen.

The slaughter in East Timor stopped only when public awareness peaked after two decades of ignorance. Had people known of it from the start, the Western aid that sustained the genocide could not have gone on for 25 years. The longer we remain in the dark about Yemen, the likelier that country will be completely destroyed, like Iraq and nearly Syria. Our silence is our shame.

Sources

Johnpilger.com

Chomsky.info

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-british-weapons-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-yemen-war-increase-500-civilians-war-crimes-export-a8042871.html

How the West and Saudi Arabia Cultivated Islamist Terror

Of the estimated $50b Riyadh has spent exporting its extremist Wahabi brand of Islam around the world, 15-20% has been diverted to Al Qaeda and other terror groups[Source]. A leaked 2009 cable signed by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton identified Saudi Arabia as their top financial source, criticising its “limited action” against wealthy private donors.

In an email leaked in 2016, her election campaign organiser went further, accusing the Saudi and Qatari governments directly of having funded and logistically supported ISIS, the Iraq War’s ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’. Indeed, following the terror group’s capture of Mosul (Iraq) in June 2014, ex Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told US Secretary of State John Kerry: “Daesh (ISIS) is our response to your support for the Da’wa (Shia government in Iraq)”.

Before its official ban on ISIS, Riyadh pummelled billions to Syrian rebels with the full knowledge of US and British officials[1]. General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, has described the Saudi-Qatari “wahabbisation of Sunni Islam” (Patrick Cockburn) as a “time bomb…that must stop.

Britain armed and funded Saudi Arabia’s founder Ibn Saud during WWI and, under a signed treaty in 1915, recognised his rule of Nejd. In his work “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam”, which documents the West’s utilisation of Islamist forces as a counterweight to secular/left nationalism in the Muslim world, British historian Mark Curtis writes:

Ibn Saud established ‘Saudi’ Arabia in an orgy of murder. In his exposé of the corruption of the Saudi ruling family, Said Aburish describes Ibn Saud as ‘a lecher and a bloodthirsty autocrat … whose savagery wreaked havoc across Arabia’, terrorising and mercilessly slaughtering his enemies. The conquest of Arabia cost the lives of around 400,000 people, since Saud’s forces did not take prisoners; over a million people fled to neighbouring countries. Numerous rebellions against the House of Saud subsequently took place, each put down in ‘mass killings of mostly innocent victims, including women and children’. By the mid-1920s most of Arabia had been subdued, 40,000 people had been publicly executed and some 350,000 had had limbs amputated; the territory was divided into districts under the control of Saud’s relatives, a situation which largely prevails today.

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In 1921, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill described Ibn Saud’s Wahabi followers to the House of Commons[2]:

They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets. It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette…the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been, and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and to the whole institution of the pilgrimage, in which our Indian fellow-subjects are so deeply concerned.

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Despite this, he went on to provide a cynical defence for Britain’s continued support for Ibn Saud[2]:

The Emir Bin Saud has shown himself capable of leading and, within considerable limits, of controlling these formidable sectaries. He has always shown himself well disposed towards Great Britain and has long been in intimate relations with Sir Percy Cox. Under the advice of Sir Percy Cox, and of my counsellors here at home, we have arranged to continue the subsidy which Bin Saud has hitherto received from the British Government of £60,000 a year, together with a lump sum of £20,000.

…deprived of these funds, he would soon lose control of the nomadic and predatory tribes which are brought under what is after all a restraining influence…we desire to live on friendly and amicable terms with this potentate and not to be disturbed by him, particularly at a time when we are seeking to withdraw so large a proportion of our garrison from the country.

“…my admiration for him was deep”, Churchill later wrote, “because of his unfailing loyalty to us”. With help from the RAF and troops despatched from Iraq, Ibn Saud put down an internal anti-British rebellion in 1929[3].

One of Britain’s own diplomats Jonathon Allen told the UN Security Council that “the conflict creates ungoverned spaces in which terrorists can operate, poses security threats to countries in the region and international shipping, and fuels regional tensions”.

None of this seems to deter ongoing UK policy: it, after all, knowingly risked the blowback that materialised in Manchester last year by backing Al Qaeda-linked forces in Libya and Syria this past decade for the sake of regime changes in those countries. In this, they were following Washington’s lead, just as they did in 1980s Soviet-occupied Afghanistan when the CIA and MI6’s Operation Cyclone – the longest covert op since WWII – armed, trained and funded today’s generation of terrorists, including Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Along with Pakistan’s then Islamist dictator Zia ul-Haq, Saudi Arabia was the financial conduit for Cyclone and, according to a classified section of the 9/11 Commission report, the September 11 2001 attacks. This role has been revitalised in Libya and Syria, contributing to the destruction of both nations, a European refugee crisis and a spawn of terror attacks in Europe.

The reaction – intensifying the very “war on ISIS” that ostensibly motivated said attacks to begin with – fits Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same over and over (bombing the terrorists, in the process spawning more of them), expecting different results.

1. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article31034067.html
2. https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1921/jun/14/middle-eastern-services
3. Mark Curtis, Secret Affairs

“Chemical attack” on Dhouma: Foam, Lies and Videotape

Last month, the Russian MoD warned of an imminent false flag chemical attack by Syrian rebels – complete with cameramen from the White Helmets, a propaganda agency (perhaps more so, judging by their AK-armed celebrations with al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra as seen on Youtube) founded by former MI5 agent James Le Mesurier and funded by the British Foreign Office, USAID and terrorist-funding Qatar – in order to induce Western intervention to rescue their cornered insurgency.

Without independent corroboration, these Russian claims were unverifiable. But then, on April 7 in Dhouma, an alleged chemical attack indeed occurred as forecast by Russia. The Russians then released a video interview with two doctors who work at the hospital where people were treated for the alleged attack, revealing how the White Helmets came in shouting about a gas attack and started dosing people with water.

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Lack of information about this anonymous pair and the lack of proof that that they worked at the hospital gave cause for scepticism. Could they not be Assad agents?

But on this score too the Russians proved reliable: a verified doctor at the hospital in question gave The Independent‘s Robert Fisk, Britain’s most esteemed Middle East correspondent and author of the highly recommended The Great War for Civilization: Conquest of the Middle East, described how a bunch of people came in shouting about a gas attack and brought in alleged victims that they hosed with water. The doctor did not witness the event but cited his colleagues, who said the victims in the video are suffering from hypoxia induced by a dust storm resulting from heavy wind and shelling.

Three more doctors independently confirmed this account, minus the hypoxia claim that is consistent with SOHR reports on April 8 of 21 civilian deaths resulting from a collapsed shelter, to OAN reporter Pearson Sharp, adding that they had cameramen filming it. 30-40 local residents randomly interviewed by Sharp all deny the chemical attack occurred, many of them saying it was staged by Jaish al-Islam, the terror group that was in control of Dhouma.

fisksharp2.png   The Independent’s Robert Fisk (left) and OAN’s Pearson Sharp (right) in Dhouma, Syria

As shown by analysis by blogger MoonofAlabama, in the later videos, some of the same bodies appearing in their earlier videos have been moved around and been added shaving cream for fake mouth foam. Seventeen witnesses have now confirmed the hoax at a Russian-sponsored conference predictably blacked out by the Western media. The UK is being distracted by the royal wedding.

Scott Ritter, who was UNSCOM’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, said in 1999 that “By 1998…the physical infrastructure (of Iraq’s WMDs) had been eliminated”, recently told Flashpoints radio’s Dennis Bernstein: “The totality of Syria’s chemical weapons program was eliminated (by the OPCW in 2016)”.

Ritter questioned why Syria, on the brink of victory, would launch a West-provoking attack on a site of “zero military value”. He doubted Syria’s role in prior alleged chemical attacks, branding the 2013 Ghouta attack a rebel false flag to provoke Western intervention. Dhouma too was “a staged event, an act of theater”. Had the missile-struck site really stored nerve agent, he added, its bombing would have caused “hundreds if not thousands of deaths”. Yet there were zero!

Washington meanwhile, ever keen to blame Moscow for everything under the sun, has insisted that any evidence may be tampered with by the pesky Russians. Contrary to Western propaganda, it was not Syria (who requested the OPCW investigation) and Russia but Trump’s airstrikes that has stalled the OPCW team’s investigation, having been launched as soon as they arrived.

The failed regime change operation in Syria since 2011, which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more displaced from their country, has been designed to replace Assad with a puppet wahabbi regime to isolate growing Iranian-Russian influence in the strategic oil-rich Middle East. To this end, any pretext will do, no matter how bogus.

The Skripal Narrative Continues to Implode

The full recovery of former MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, currently held by MI6 at an undisclosed location as it negotiates with the CIA to have them resettled to the US with brand new identities, has completely destroyed the British government’s claims that they were poisoned by a “military grade nerve agent” just last month, of which the alleged poison (Novichok) is said to be the most deadly ever developed.

The poison’s alleged application to Sergei Skripal’s front door handle was undiscovered for weeks and completely contradicts the lack of additives found in the substance analysed by the OPCW.

In a letter to the Sunday Times in the wake of the attack, Salisbury hospital medical consultant Dr Stephen Davies wrote that none of the three patients (i.e. the Skripals and PC Bailey) showed symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.

More Novichok poppycock

As reporter Gareth Porter reasons, London’s failure to explain its withholding of intelligence on Russia’s decade-long “novichok program”, e.g. on the grounds that such would endanger the presumed Russian insider source, suggests the confinement of said intelligence to Boris Johnson’s limited imagination. Ditto Britain’s failure to call a challenge inspection which, notes Porter, Russia would have had no choice but to comply with.

No wonder, then, that UK national security adviser Mark Sedwell’s letter to NATO concedes the lack of evidence for the secret program which, we are to believe, managed to dodge a comprehensive OPCW inspection regime that last year certified the 100% destruction of Russia’s entire chemical weapons stockpile: a fact repeated incessantly by that veritable fourth estate called the British media.

Meanwhile, Spiez’s failure to clarify their position in response to Russian claims that they identified it as BZ, merely tweeting their “confidence” in Porton Down’s conclusion that it was Novichok (“Novichok…or a closely related agent” (i.e. any nerve agent), to be precise), suggests conflicting results between the two labs.

Consortium News‘ James O’Neill argues that the “almost complete absence of impurities” (OPCW report) means th&e samples obtained and analysed by the OPCW team were planted hours beforehand by the UK government just hours before the team’s arrival three weeks after the attack, since even VX has a durability of only 2-3 days. Just picture May creeping about like Dr. Frankenstein with her bumbling assistant Boris, helping her plant the evidence in the dead of night.

Now May is screaming, “They’re alive!!!”. One wonders for how long while in MI6 custody…

Syrian Missile Crisis: Will the Donald kill us all?

If this is really the end, the responsibility will go to Donald Trump and his European poodles beginning with Theresa “novichok” May, as well their accomplices.

This Western missile barrage (which Syria and Russia claim to have 70% intercepted, preventing any casualties minus three injured) follows a tweet by Trump goading Russia into acting on its threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, announcing that American missiles were already on their way following fake news of a chemical attack by Syria’s Assad regime.

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The White Helmets, a veritable Western proxy funded by Washington and London, has planted fake video and photographic evidence amounting to child snuff porn. On the verge of victory against the collapsing Western-backed jihadist insurgency, Damascus had no motive to conduct such an act.

What a US-Russia war would look like

Evil: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima (pictured) and Nagasaki marked the first military use of nuclear weapons

Trump’s predecessor Obama began this failed four-year regime change operation, responsible for hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced. Yet the worse may yet come as the horrors of Syria threaten to go global. Literally.

Let’s clarify what we are talking about here. It is the literal prospect of planetary annihilation. This is no joke.

Historically, the threat of nuclear apocalypse was most pronounced during the Cold War. During that period, it was an uncontroversial consensus that the combined mega-tonnage of US and Soviet nukes would potentially wipe out humanity multiple times over.

This prospect, and the possibility of it manifesting by accident rather than crude design (why, after all, would any power want to blow itself up?), was most pronounced during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What we face right now is a Syrian Missile Crisis. And this time, it’s not the young, intelligent Kennedy in the White House Situation Room: it’s Donald fucking Trump.

The Geopolitics of Insanity

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If Trump backs down because of Russia’s threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, it will be huge geopolitical gain for Moscow. It would demonstrate to the world that America is no longer the dominant superpower in strict political/economic terms.

If, on the other hand, Putin backs down under the same threat of world war three, he will lose the prestige so crucial to his alpha ego. It would also mean ceding all foreign influence in the Middle East to Western imperialism: without Assad, Russia and Iran are isolated from the strategic energy-rich region: hence Western attempts to salvage its dominance over Middle East oil by enactingl, under the false guise of “humanitarian intervention”, regime change in both countries.

We thus find ourselves at a crossroad of reckless brinksmanship unseen since the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which neither Trump and Putin appear likely to back down. As Noam Chomsky has said, we escaped war in 1962 only because of the wisdom of a Soviet captain – Visal Arkhipov – who chose not to fire his nuclear torpedo in response to US warning depth charges…but we cannot rely on common sense every time humanity comes to the brink of annihilation.

The American masses must rise up and overthrow the capitalist system of war and profit for the 1%: their continued existence and that of the rest of the world may very well depend upon it.