WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Feb 08 09:09

Russia to US: Destroy Tomahawk launchpads & attack drones to return to INF compliance

The US was in breach of the INF treaty for years, the Russia’s defense ministry told the summoned US diplomat, calling on the US to destroy cruise missile launchpads, target-missiles and attack drones to return to INF compliance.
The Ministry of Defense (MOD) summoned the US military attaché in Moscow on Wednesday to hand him the treaty-related memo.

The Russian side suggested that the Americans “return to strict compliance” with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty before it expires in six months.

Feb 08 08:50

Future German Leader Calls for EU Army to Avoid Being ‘Plaything’ of U.S., China, Russia

The woman largely expected to take over as chancellor of Germany has echoed calls by her mentor Angela Merkel and French ally Emmanuel Macron for a “European army” to avoid becoming a “plaything” of Russia, China, and the United States on the global stage.

Dr Merkel’s successor as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (also referred to as AKK) made the comments on Tuesday during a speech in the EU capital Brussels where she outlined her party’s campaign themes ahead of May’s European Parliament elections.

Stressing the idea of the “Europe of security,” Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer said Brussels must push forward with a common defence policy, which “must someday also include a European army.”

Feb 07 18:30

Russia Summons US Diplomat Over INF: "Destroy Tomahawk Launch Pads And Attack Drones"

Russia has again slammed the United States for being in breach of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) after the US announced last Friday that it's suspending all obligations under the treaty in 180 days, during which time Moscow till has a chance to return to compliance. But this week in an apparent continuing tit-for-tat blame game, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) summoned the US military attaché in Moscow to issue its own ultimatum.

The MoD reportedly told the US diplomatic representative that the US is in breach, and that it could return to compliance through elimination of its cruise missile launchpads and attack drones — the latter which the Russians said fit the definition of a “land-based cruise missile” under a different form, in accord with the Reagan-era deal.

The message was delivered on Wednesday via a treaty-related memo, the contents of which were first reported by RT as follows:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope the Russian government is not holding its collective breath, that the US leadership will allow that to happen; but the US trashing this agreement, by leaving it, will lead to a huge arms race, by countries other than those which currently have this kind of weapons technology.

Feb 07 16:47

VENEZUELA - U.S. AID GAMBIT FAILS - WAR PLANS LACK SUPPORT

The opposition in Venezuela will probably use access to that 'frozen' money to buy weapons and to create an army of mercenaries to fight a 'civil' war against the government and its followers. Like in Syria U.S. special forces or some CIA 'contractors' will be eager to help. The supply line for such a war would most likely run through Colombia. If, like 2011 in Syria, a war on the ground is planned it will likely begin in the cities near that border.

The U.S. is using the pretext of 'delivering humanitarian aid' from Columbia to Venezuela to undermine the government and to establish a supply line for further operations. It is another attempt to pull the military onto the coup plotter's side:

[I]f the trucks do get across, the opposition can present itself as an answer to Venezuela’s chronic suffering, while Mr. Maduro will appear to have lost control of the country’s borders. That could accelerate defections from the ruling party and the military.

Feb 07 15:59

World War 3 WARNING: Russia, US and France launch nuclear-capable missiles HOURS APART

RUSSIA, the United States and France have test-launched nuclear-capable missiles within hours of one another as fears rise of a return to a Cold War-era arms race amid the abandonment of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

Feb 07 14:20

Pompeo Claims Hezbollah "Active In Venezuela" To Justify Possible US Intervention

Two weeks ago, when remarking sarcastically about the upcoming "requirement" for a US military presence in or around Venezuela where the situation is increasingly looking like a replay of events in Syria pitting the US and "western powers" on one side and Russia and China (and Turkey) on the other, we said that it's only a matter of time before ISIS made a dramatic appearance in Latin America.

zerohedge
@zerohedge
Time for ISIS to make a dramatic appearance in Latin America

We thought we were joking.

It turns out the joke was on us, because - in an apparent failure to come up with an even remotely original narrative for another imminent American intervention - US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday night that, drumroll, "Hezbollah has active cells in Venezuela." Well, we were wrong about ISIS at least.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Forgive me, but has Pompeo had any physical, or mental, impairment, which could cause him to make a statement like this?!? White house, what the hell is this guy trying to do?!?

I hope to God (and I am NOT kidding on this) that the White House did overnights on this, found it pulled horrifically for the Administration, and thought the better of this.

Unfortunately, just because a strategy would be the most him-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing an Administration could do, is no guarantee it will not do it.

So..... drumroll, please:?!? Watch for a Hezbollah cell in Venezuela allegedly do something awful, to which which the US must, on the most humanitarian of grounds they can conjure, fix by invading the country.

If this is how those in the bowels of power in CD are thinking of regime changing Venezuela, this government, and the world, are all in trouble, and big time.

And why do I say this?!?

Because of the following development:

Russia has embedded 440 Spetznaz Special Forces in Venezuela late January.

Feb 07 12:12

Leaked Wikileaks Doc Reveals US Military Use of IMF, World Bank as “Unconventional” Weapons

This “U.S. coup manual,” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, serves as a reminder that the so-called “independence” of such financial institutions as The World Bank and IMF is an illusion and that they are among the many “financial weapons” regularly used by the U.S. government to bend countries to its will.

Feb 07 11:43

Ret. Gen. Dennis Laich to Newsmax TV: Should Women Register For Draft?

The government might have to consider requiring women to register for the selective service when they turn 18 — just as men do — in the name of equality, retired Army Major Gen. Dennis Laich told Newsmax TV.

Laich spoke with John Bachman on Newsmax Now about a government project he's working on that looks at the future of the U.S. military and its force of volunteers.

"If women are not required to register, then men will say well wait a minute, in the interest of equality, why should we? And if that happens and it's a successful argument, we'll see selective service go by the boards. Or at least run the risk of it," Laich said.

"And if that happens, we will impair national security because never in the history of our nation have we had a mass mobilization without conscription."

Feb 07 11:33

MOSCOW REVEALS: US Plans To Deploy NUCLEAR Weapons In Europe By 2020 Aimed At Russia

The United States plans to begin deploying modified nuclear weapons in Europe in the first half of 2020, said Anatoly Sidorov, UNTSC chief of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

“The US intentions are to further exacerbate the international situation is demonstrated by its advanced aviation nuclear weapons mass production program, approved at the end of 2018,” Sidorov told a news conference.

He added that “the deployment of these weapons at Belgian, Dutch, German, Italian and Turkish air bases, where about 200 previous generation unmanned aerial bombs are stored, is expected to begin in the first half of 2020.”

Feb 07 11:11

THE US SYRIA WITHDRAWAL AND THE MYTH OF THE ISLAMIC STATE'S "RETURN"

At face value - the notion that the US occupation of Syria is key to preventing the return of the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS) to Syrian territory is unconvincing.

Regions west of the Euphrates River where ISIS had previously thrived have since been permanently taken back by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian and Iranian allies - quite obviously without any support from the United States - and in fact - despite Washington's best efforts to hamper Damascus' security operations.

Damascus and its Russian and Iranian allies have demonstrated that ISIS can be permanently defeated. With ISIS supply lines running out of NATO-territory in Turkey and from across the Jordanian and Iraqi border cut off - Syrian forces have managed to sustainably suppress the terrorist organization's efforts to reestablish itself west of the Euphrates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is no real justification for the US military to be in Syria, no matter how much the talking heads at the DOD and Whitehouse embrace that view; it is simply another "jumping off point" for more US military mischief and destabilization, in the Middle East.

Feb 07 10:47

Can Donald Trump win arms race 2.0?

Those who have not had a chance to experience all the "beauty" of the arms race of the 1960s and the 1970s are incredibly "lucky" today, as they can now understand what it feels like to live within a 4-10 minute flight of a cruise missile to Moscow.

Feb 07 09:59

VENEZUELA SEIZES ‘US WEAPONS SHIPMENT’ AS TRUMP VOWS TO SUPPORT ‘NOBLE QUEST FOR FREEDOM’

Donald Trump has expressed full support for the Venezuelan opposition to oust President Nicolas Maduro from power, just as the country’s authorities announced they’d seized a cache of weapons, allegedly delivered from the US.
The US-made weapons were discovered at the storage yard of Arturo Michelena International Airport in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The stash included at least 19 rifles and 118 magazines, high-caliber ammunition, as well as 90 radios and six mobile phones – and was likely sent from Miami, Florida on Sunday, authorities believe. An investigation to determine the intended recipient of the shipment has been launched.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder: is this the "humanitarian aid" President Trump was contemplating sending?!? Because from where I sit, this... is the polar opposite of humanitarian aid!!!.

Feb 06 20:39

IS THIS THE MOST BLATANT US COUP EVER?

The Venezuela coup currently being orchestrated by the US is so utterly blatant, even by American standards, that large numbers of people are seeing right through it. This is not a black-and-white issue. Yes, extreme socialism can lead to instability and disaster; yes, Maduro is not the greatest leader; and yes, the people of Venezuela are suffering under massive hyperinflation. However, by far and away the largest factor affecting Venezuela now is not Maduro or socialism by rather US foreign intervention.

Feb 06 13:36

US Navy Removes Unreliable Anti-Torpedo Defense Systems From Supercarriers

After more than five years' worth of testing, the US Navy parted ways with the Anti-Torpedo Torpedo Defense System (ATTDS) in September 2018 over its poor performance, a Tuesday report released by the Pentagon's Office of the Director of Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) revealed.

The ATTDS systems is composed of two parts: the Torpedo Warning System (TWS) and Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo system (CAT).

The TWS includes a towed sensor that trails the ship in order to detect any incoming threats. In the event that it detects a projectile, it will classify it and provide targeting information for CAT, which will in turn use its "hard-kill" interceptor to neutralize the threat.

Feb 06 11:00

Watch Congressional Members Get Confronted On US-Led Regime Change Efforts In Venezuela

Is Congress attempting to keep a check on the executive's foreign policy adventurism especially as we inch closer toward yet another unnecessary military intervention, this time in Venezuela? Or perhaps the better question is, when has it ever?

Journalist Max Blumenthal recently went to Capitol Hill to find out with camera in tow. And like with Libya, Syria, or Ukraine before, it appears the greater the hawkishness, the greater the ignorance. Blumenthal confronted Congressional members who admitted to US "meddling" in the Latin American country, but who can't figure out if it's "good meddling or not" — as one befuddled and confused lawmaker responded.

Feb 06 10:56

‘Nothing to see here’? Black helicopters swarm Los Angeles in surprise urban warfare drill (VIDEOS)

Dozens of Black Hawk helicopters descended on downtown Los Angeles Monday night while residents reported explosions and scrambled to find out if they were looking at a military invasion or a film shoot.

The sinister flock of military birds hovered and zoomed through the high-rise canyons of downtown, accompanied by strange explosions and military maneuvers – and zero explanation from the authorities as to what was going on for what must have seemed like hours.

Feb 06 09:58

Boom: Los Angeles Residents Startled by US Military Exercises Downtown (VIDEOS)

Folks in downtown Los Angeles, California, had their Monday evening rattled by some US Army urban warfare training exercises being carried out downtown. Residents posted recordings of close-in military maneuvers above the streets and reported loud booms.

Angelenos are having a rough week: first one of their professional football teams, the Rams, lost the Super Bowl, and now the US military has decided to use the center of their city as an urban playground for weapons of war.

Feb 06 09:49

QATAR TAKES DELIVERY OF FIRST FRENCH-BUILT RAFALE JET FIGHTER

The hand-over ceremony on Wednesday in Merignac, in southwestern France, where the planes are built, was attended by Qatar Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah and Dassault Aviation chief Eric Trappier.

Qatar ordered 24 of the fighters in 2015, adding 12 more last year. It also has an option to buy 36 more.

The twin-engine fighter has been in service with the French Air Force since 2004. France has also sold Mirage F1, Alpha Jets and Mirage 2000 fighters to Qatar.

After failing to sell the Rafale abroad for several years, France finally won a contract from Egypt in 2015 for 24 jets, followed by the sale to Qatar.

In September 2016, India also agreed to buy 36 of the fighters.

Qatar has upped its defence spending after being diplomatically isolated by its Gulf neighbours.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Qatari leadership knows what is coming, and wants to be as prepared as possible for a new, and violent, conflict in the Middle East, and perhaps, beyond.

And it was interesting in Pompeo's statement about the Anti-Iran Consortium; he never once mentioned the names of the members of this group, ao one has to wonder, besides Saudi Arabia and Israel, who has actually signed off on the agenda here?!?

Feb 06 09:45

US "Regime Changes" - The Historical Record

As the US strives to overthrow the democratic and independent Venezuelan government, the historical record regarding the short, middle and long-term consequences are mixed.

We will proceed to examine the consequences and impact of US intervention in Venezuela over the past half century.

We will then turn to examine the success and failure of US ‘regime changes’ throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Feb 06 09:02

Mount Olympus Drills 'Latest Sign' of US Military Expansion in Greece – Report

Last year, Washington and Athens agreed to deploy US drones to the Larissa Air Force base in Greece. The allies are currently considering deploying US F-35 fighter jets to a base in the Greek city of Volos.

Washington and Athens conducting a joint live-fire exercise at the foot of Mount Olympus in January is "the latest sign" of the US military expanding its presence in Greece, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.

The newspaper cited Greek Brigadier General Georgios Fasoulos, who observed the exercises, as saying that the Athens-Washington alliance equally meets the interests of both sides.

Feb 06 08:33

THE REAL “VIETNAM SYNDROME” – AMERICA’S MORAL AMNESIA

The Right Wing thinks America got “soft” as the result of the Vietnam war. They called it the “Vietnam Syndrome.” Americans just didn’t support the Pentagon any more.

Reagan and Bush set out to correct it with invasions of Grenada, Panama and Iraq.

Clinton kept it going with non-stops attacks on Iraqi infrastructure and “humanitarian intervention” in the Balkans (and the Left cheered.)

And now we’re back at it around the world – with no end it sight.

Feb 06 08:26

Senate Warmongers Oppose Trump's Recall of Troops From Afghanistan & Syria

The warmongers in the US Senate will never have enough of Afghanistan and Syria and other wars in the Middle East. After President Donald Trump called for an end to "endless wars," the US Senate voted to keep troops in Syria and Afghanistan.

The US Senate voted 70-26 in favor of keeping US forces in both countries.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he still believes ISIS and al Qaeda are still significant threats and that “a precipitous withdrawal” may only bolster their efforts.

Feb 05 15:32

Suicides among active-duty soldiers are up about 20 percent

The Army reported an uptick in active-duty suicides in 2018, according to service statistics, though deaths by suicide were slightly down in the total force.

Out of 300 total reports, 138 came from the active-duty side ? 22 more than in 2017, Defense Department statistics show.

“Like the rest of America, the Army continues to grapple with the loss of too many of our people to suicide," Army spokeswoman Col. Kathleen Turner told Army Times in a statement Friday. “The loss of any soldier or Army family member to suicide is a tragedy.”

The most recent DoD quarterly suicide report goes back to 2012, showing a six-year high of 325 total suicides in the Army. That number dropped to 300 in 2013 and then to a low of 245 in 2014, before ramping back up to 279 in both 2015 and 2016, then jumping again to 303 in 2017.

Feb 05 15:30

The Marine Corps’ new CH-53K is a mess. This is why its operational date could face delays.

The Corps took delivery of its first CH-53 King Stallion in May 2018, but since then the heavy-lift helicopter has faced a series of mechanical issues that are impacting its expected operational date.

A Defense Department report said the CH-53K’s initial operational capability milestone, originally set for December 2019, would likely be pushed back, and that the aircraft’s initial operational test and evaluation will not kickoff until 2021 to correct multiple “design deficiencies” found during testing.

However, the Corps still expects that its most powerful heavy-lift helicopter will make its first planned operational deployment, which slated sometime in 2023–2024, according to Marine spokesman Capt. Christopher Harrison.

Feb 05 15:09

Russia orders its rocket scientists to create land-based hypersonic missiles by 2020 after US backs out of Cold War treaty

Russia is set to build a new range of land-based cruise and hypersonic missiles after Washington tore up a 1987 nuclear treaty.

Vladimir Putin has ordered a ground-launched version of the Kalibr cruise missile to be built by 2020, adapting a weapon currently launched from warships and submarines.

Moscow will also ask its rocket scientists to develop a new hypersonic intermediate-range ballistic missile, amid growing fears of a new arms race with the United States.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a betting woman, I would be willing to bet that the Russian weapons makers will deliver for Putin very much before his deadline.

But what are the US's weapons makers promising our President and the Pentagon that they will be delivering, to counter this?!?

Feb 05 14:49

Iran warns Israel of a "firm response" if it continues attacking targets in Syria - Fars news

The secretary of Iran's National Security Council warned Israel on Tuesday of a firm and "deterrent" response if it continued attacking targets in Syria.

"If these actions continue, we will activate some calculated measures as a deterrent and as a firm and appropriate response to teach a lesson to the criminal and lying rulers of Israel," Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. (Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, it appears that what Syria's Secretary of Iranian National Security has done, has been to nearly guarantee another Israeli bombing raid against Syria.

Feb 05 13:54

Russia blames NATO for dismantling INF due to plans to deploy launchers to PolandMore:http://tass.com/politics/1043106

Moscow is urging NATO to avoid turning Europe into an arena of confrontation, which would certainly happen if US launchers were stationed in Poland.

NATO shoulders direct responsibility for the undoing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty given its plans to deploy US missile defense systems to member states, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

"Unfortunately, Alliance member states have demonstrated that they are not ready for a substantive dialogue on the Mk-41 missile launchers, which are deployed to Romania and are planned to be deployed to Poland next year in breach of the INF Treaty," the statement reads. "These systems are part of NATO’s missile defenses so the Alliance is directly responsible for the destruction of the Treaty," the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Although the time frame would be in 2020 for such weapons to be placed in Poland at the moment, Russia may well feel forced to place their version
of the Mk-41 missile launchers in Kaliningrad soon, which is just 128 miles from the Polish border.

There have been reports of Russian military improvements done there last year, as this story from October, 2018, indicates:

Russian SRBM, air force and nuclear build-up in Kaliningrad, can facilitate a maneuver and transfer of the forces from Kaliningrad and to Poland and the neighboring countries.

Although this work appears to be pretty standard, in terms of facilities refurbishments, note the tone of terror in that list line, when they use the phrase "can facilitate a maneuver and transfer of the forces from Kaliningrad and to Poland and the neighboring countries.", as though this is absolutely a war preparation?!?

Feb 05 13:38

While Homeless Freeze in US, Senate Focuses on Keeping Troops Abroad

Friday is Loud & Clear's weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the polar vortex's effect on the homeless and all people (while some fearmonger about Russia instead); the candidates for the 2020 presidential race including recently declared Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard, who will declare tomorrow; and a new court decision about Julian Assange.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced this morning that the United States would withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a major arms control treaty with Russia, ending a cornerstone Cold War agreement by claiming that Russia has already violated it. The withdrawal takes effect in six months, and threatens to set off a global arms race. Greg Mello, the Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group, joins the show.

Feb 05 13:32

Lavrov insists terrorists must be prevented from re-grouping as war against IS continues

The fight against the Islamic State terror group (IS, outlawed in Russia) is not over yet, there is a need to prevent terrorist units from coming together, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University on Monday.

"All who are dealing with the issue admit that it is former officers of Saddam Hussein’s army, dismissed from their positions, that are behind all IS operations that prove to be successful. It does not mean that the fight against the IS is over. As they say, the backbone is broken but some units still remain active and there is a need to prevent them from coming together and eliminate them," Lavrov noted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lavrov is both a gentleman, and truly an "adult in the room" regarding geopolitics.

I hope that he gets absolutely universal support from countries from around the world on this issue.

Feb 05 13:28

Putin taunts Trump: 400 Russian military contractors sent to Venezuela in support of Maduro

Russia has repeatedly opposed U.S. suggestions of foreign intervention to install opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, and supported Mr. Maduro’s calls for mediation on the crisis.

The arrival of 400 Russian military contractors after Mr. Trump’s Jan. 23 recognition of Mr. Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, triggered speculation that Moscow was reinforcing Mr. Maduro’s personal security or even preparing his evacuation.

But with Mr. Maduro defying calls to step down, the Russian mission may be more extensive than reported, said John Marulanda, a U.S.-trained intelligence officer and adviser to conservative Colombian President Ivan Duque, an opponent of Mr. Maduro. Mr. Marulanda said the recent Russian arrivals are special forces — Spetsnaz — who are being embedded among Venezuela’s elite military units to better resist any U.S. intervention or internal coup against Mr. Maduro.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These Spetsnaz are the best of the best soldiers Russia has to offer; think of them as Russia's Special Forces on steroids, both physically, and intellectually.

I would like to hope (and pray) that the US government's response here will not be an attempted military solution to cause Maduro's downfall; if so, the US may well be looking at another Viet Nam with which to deal.

I want to see the people of Venezuela create their own destiny, and not have that imposed upon them, by an outside National entity which wants to replace Maduro with a US-centric government; expropriate resources to which it has no moral right; and insure that those resources are sold to US-centric countries only in US dollars.

Feb 05 13:14

Army keeps doors of hell closed to eliminate new IS branch

From the Kalashnikov and FN to RBG, thermal rockets and Kornet missiles that caused the death of dozens of Egyptian security men in Sinai over the years .All of this comes from one point: Al Jaghbub oasis.

The Quiet city

Al Jaghbub oasis is located in south eastern Libya and is characterised by lakes which add an aesthetic dimension to it with the water in the middle of the desert. It is also a religious and tourist hub. It was established in 1851 as a religious centre with a long history of spreading Islam. Many Libyan Mujaheden came from it, including Ahmed Al Sharif and Omar Al Mukhtar.

Since its establishment, it has been a centre for the reform movement by Sheikh Mohamed bun Ali Al Senousi.

Feb 05 12:52

CLINCEVIC: God forbid that Poseidon ever gets used!

Russia will not necessarily respond in a reciprocal way in case of deploying weapons to space in other countries, because it can destroy these facilities in case of threats from the Earth, said a member of the Committee on Defense and Security of the Council of the Federation, Franc Klincevic.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier stated that Moscow's response to the US decision to leave the Mediation and Short Range Agreement would be reciprocal - Russia will suspend participation in the Agreement and begin research and development work on new rocket systems. He also asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense to inform him about how the potential threat could be neutralized in connection with the plans of some countries to place weapons in the cosmos.

Feb 05 12:42

INF IS DEAD. EUROPE IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO NUCLEAR WAR

For more than 30 years, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has been one of the cornerstones of the international security system. This ended on February 2, 2019 when the US officially suspended its participation in the Treaty. Washington said that it will fully terminate the treaty in 6 months if Russia does not comply with its ultimatum – the “verifiable” destruction of what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as “INF-violating missiles, their launchers and associated equipment”. US President Donald Trump said in an official statement that the US “will move forward with developing” its “own military response options” and will work with NATO members and other allies “to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.” By this statement, Trump in fact announced that the US is restoring production and deployment of INF-banned weapons.

Feb 05 11:55

UH OH – PLEASE TELL ME THAT THE U.S. IS NOT ABOUT TO GO TO WAR WITH VENEZUELA…

The U.S. was the first major power to recognize Juan Guaido as the “legitimate” president of Venezuela, and now the UKand most other European nations have also backed Guaido.

But Russia and China continue to back Maduro, and so that sets up a very interesting situation.

Will the western powers go ahead with their plans for regime change even though the international community is divided?

In particular, Russia has a very strong incentive to keep Maduro in power. The following comes from Zero Hedge…

“Russia is now so deeply invested in the Maduro regime that the only realistic option is to double down,” writes senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center Alexander Gabuev.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is a grave potential for a proxy war here, with Russia and China on Venezuela's side, and the US, (and potentially, Europe, and Israel on the other).

I hope that the resolution of this crisis will be as bloodless as possible; however, unfortunately, just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government could possibly do, is no guarantee that it will not do it.

And here is a companion piece, also from blacklistednews.com, which provides some insight into the current situation in Venezuela: These are the US companies backing the Venezuelan Coup

Feb 05 11:29

The 13th Amendment ( Doesn’t apply to American slave armies. And things are about to get worse.)

Governments that force their citizens to take up arms against the citizens of other countries do so for one reason: they are engaging in unjust and immoral wars. Waging war in the actual defense of ones country, home, property, and family does not require conscription. If a foreign army landed on the east or west coast of the United States, the government wouldn’t have to conscript a single American to repel a threat or invasion. Americans would flock to the coasts, and use their own guns and ammo. -- Conscription and national service are things that all patriotic Americans should abhor because, as former congressman Ron Paul has well said: “A government that is willing to enslave some of its people can never be trusted to protect the liberties of its own citizens.”

Feb 05 11:22

TRUMP: ‘WE HAVE TO PROTECT ISRAEL,’ SHIFTING AGAIN ON SYRIA WITHDRAWAL

ASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump indicated this weekend that some US troops in Syria would remain there “to protect Israel,” in an apparent shift from his earlier insistence on an absolute withdrawal.

In an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News, Trump was pressed to identify precisely how much of America’s force presence there would be coming home – and how quickly.

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump indicated this weekend that some US troops in Syria would remain there “to protect Israel,” in an apparent shift from his earlier insistence on an absolute withdrawal.

In an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News, Trump was pressed to identify precisely how much of America’s force presence there would be coming home – and how quickly.

“We’re going to be there and we’re going to be staying. We have to protect Israel,” he replied. “We have to protect other things that we have. But we’re – yeah, they’ll be coming back in a matter of time.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The logical question which should have been asked by this alleged CBS reporter, and of course was not is, with all the money and equipment with which the US has gifted Israel, why in the name of heaven does Israel need protecting at all, more than what the US has already given, and committed to give to Israel?!?

Apparently,"amazingly intellectually lazy and woefully uninformed " is the new "standard" for reporting at CBS. Because had she actually bothered to do her homework, she would have understood the following:

US Defense Budget Prioritizes Securing Israel over Deterring IranThis article goes on to state the following:

"Securing Israel. The FY 2019 budget codifies the 10-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that the Obama Administration signed with the Israeli government in September 2016. This MOU offered “the single largest pledge of military assistance in US history”—$38 billion over a decade. The language included in FY 2019 is unprecedented in its scope and content, lavishing US support on one single ally. The decision to help Israel with unmanned aerial systems came after Iran, Hezbollah, and IS flew drones in Syria during the past few years. This US support comes as the Israeli government seems increasingly concerned about the backlash of US-Iranian tensions and the potential for a growing number of heavy rockets and long-range missiles launched toward Israel. The FY 2019 budget urges the Trump Administration to begin talks with the Israeli government to determine “the quantity and type of precision guided munitions in the event of a sustained armed confrontation” with Hezbollah and Hamas."

Please let that number sink in : $38 billion dollars over ten years. means that Israel will be receiving $3,800,000,000 per year over 10 years.

So if, in fact, Israel is being provided getting nearly 4 billion dollars per year for the next decade, courtesy of the highly generous US taxpayers, (who, of course, had utterly no say in this matter), then why is this nuclear-armed, self-proclaimed theocracy, pathologically incapable of defending itself against Syria, or, in fact, Iran?!?

And forgive me, President Trump, but is it not totally illegal for the US government to give any aid or military assistance to Israel because it refuses to have its nuclear sites inspected, and to join the NNPT, as Iran has done, because such aid is in flagrant violation of both the Mann Act, and the Symington Amendment?!?

just doing a little "reality check" here, sir.

Sorry, Mr. President, with these statements regarding the the reasons for the US military staying in Syria, you just threw logic right smack on its head, and it is suffering from a severe concussion.

The US presence at al-Tanf in Eastern Syria, has utterly nothing to do with "defending Israel", but everything to do with having a military "beach head" for a potential invasion of Iran.

The maps tell the story:

Map of the Middle East

Al Tanf: why it matters

This is also the reason why US troops will not be leaving Iraq any time soon, either, even though the Iraqi government has asked it to leave, and so far, nicely.

And Mr. President, you would do well to remember the most powerful politically man in Iraq right now, but who holds no office: Muqtada Al Sadr.

If you do not remember his influence on the timing of the first US military withdrawal from Iraq, you might want to have one of your researchers take a look.

And you might want to look at a companion piece. also from blacklistednews.com, and based on the above referenced interview:

Trump kneels - again - before AIPAC

Feb 05 11:11

Uh Oh – Please Tell Me That The U.S. Is Not About To Go To War With Venezuela…

Because going to war with Venezuela is one of the stupidest ideas that I have heard in a very long time, and President Trump must not do it.

Feb 05 10:29

Russia’s top diplomat indicates US deploying missile launchers to Japan violates INF

The placement of US missile shield launchers in Japan violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"As for the INF Treaty and the Kuril Islands, there is a certain link here, since the placement of the US global missile shield launchers on Japan’s soil is among the problems that exist in our relationship with our Japanese neighbors in the sphere of security," Lavrov said in his speech at the Russian-Tajik Slavic University.

Feb 05 10:27

CNN ADMITS: SAUDI ARABIA SUPPLIES WEAPONS TO AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN

The Saudi-led coalition provided US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked fighters, Salafi militias and other factions taking part in the intervention in Yemen, in violation with their agreements with the US, according to a CNN investigation.

The weapons have also made their way into the hands of Iranian-backed rebels battling the coalition for control of the country, exposing some of America’s sensitive military technology to Tehran and potentially endangering the lives of US troops in other conflict zones,” CNN reported.

According to the investigation, Saudi Arabia and the UAE used the US-made weapons to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape.

However, by handing off the military equipment to third parties, the Saudi-led coalition is in breach of its agreements with the US, according to the US Department of Defense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That old statement "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", only goes so far, and apparently, no one from the Pentagon was looking at these deals when they went down.

But what amazes me, was that it was a CNN team doing the reporting; one has to wonder if this lone story was a bid for sympathy, in light of the reality that they lost their "credibility battle" years ago.

Feb 05 10:06

TALIBAN LAUNCH DEADLY ATTACKS AS THEY ATTEND AFGHAN PEACE TALKS

The Taliban has killed at least 47 people in separate attacks in Afghanistan, despite the beginning of peace talks with Afghan officials in Moscow.

The armed group launched a pre-dawn attack on an army base in northern Kunduz on Tuesday, killing 26 members of the security forces, Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, head of the provincial council said.

There were at least 23 soldiers and three members of the local police force among those slain.

According to Ayubi, 12 troops were wounded in the Taliban onslaught, which lasted for over two hours until reinforcements arrived at the besieged base and the attackers were repelled.

"Day by day, the security situation is getting worse in and around Kunduz city," said Ayubi, adding there are fears the city could again fall into the hands of the Taliban as it did briefly on two occasions in recent years - in September 2015 and in October 2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder, logically: were these actually Taliban, if what they are looking for in Moscow is peace?!?

Or were they forces determined to attempt to insure that US and NATO troops stay?!?!

Peace talks and simultaneous attacks?!?

Forgive me, but this just doesn't make sense.

Feb 05 05:58

FIRM FOUNDED BY EX-BLACKWATER BOSS TO OPERATE IN CHINA’S XINJIANG PROVINCE

A security firm founded by Erik Prince, the former boss of the private military company Blackwater, has announced a deal with the Chinese state to operate a training facility in China’s largely Muslim Xinjiang province. In the months following the United States invasion of Iraq, Blackwater was hired by the Department of State to provide diplomatic security at several locations throughout the Middle Eastern country.

Feb 04 18:53

This Russian Oil Giant Is Driving Putin Toward Showdown With Trump In Venezuela

in 2017 Caracas awarded licenses to Russian oil giant Rosneft for the development of two offshore gas fields, via Reuters.

In total Caracas owes Rosneft $3 billion, according to Gabuev, which could lead to "a new sort of proxy conflict in America’s backyard," which is at once economic, political, and could increasingly turn to proxy military intervention. Indeed the Kremlin has already accused the US of "meddling" in the affairs of a sovereign country in order to foster a "slow motion coup".

"Any solution to the internal political crisis in Venezuela is possible only by Venezuelans themselves," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. "Imposing any solutions or efforts aimed at legitimizing the attempt of usurping power is, in our view, just direct and indirect meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs," Peskov said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is beginning to look more ominous by the moment; Putin and Rosneft are going do everything within their power - short of a proxy war, if possible - to protect their interests, and the return of the money loaned.

But looking at this huge number, my sense is that if "soft diplomacy" will not work against Trump, the Russians may well believe that a war may well be their only option.

Feb 04 13:17

Russia’s Poseidon underwater drone can hit at least 200km/h – reports

Poseidon, Russia’s brand new underwater drone, will be able to travel at a whopping speed of up to 200km/h (125mph) and dive as deep as 1km to pierce any defenses, reports say.

The unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) “could penetrate any submarine warfare countermeasures and other enemy defense systems due to a fully autonomous control system,” a source within the military revealed to the TASS news agency.

It also shed some more light on the secretive weapon, many features of which are classified.

Feb 04 11:44

US Revives Cold War "Arms Race" With Russia And China After Abandoning INF Treaty

As we previewed below, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty immediately, prompting threats of a Russian "response" from Moscow.

According to RT, Pompeo said the US could return to compliance with the treaty if Moscow meets Washington's demands within the next 180 days. To convince the US to back down, Washington has insisted that Russia cease development of a new cruise missile. Moscow has repeatedly denied claims that it's in violation of the treaty.

The withdrawal, which has been expected for months, will formally take place on Saturday.

Feb 04 11:40

Quitting INF: US Likely to Develop New Missiles to Counter China – Scholar

The US’ seeming unwillingness to turn a sympathetic ear to Russia's reasoning with regard to the 1987 INF Treaty could be not connected with Moscow's alleged violations of the pact, scholars told Sputnik, commenting on the Russian Ministry of Defence's presentation of the 9M729 missile, which was snubbed by NATO officials.

The primary motivation behind Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is that China is not a participant of the pact, says Rajeswari Pillai, senior fellow? and head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative? Observer Research Foundation.

Speaking to Sputnik, Pillai pointed out that both Russia and the US have repeatedly accused each other of violating the treaty. However, "the real problem with the INF is not so much about the violations by Russia and the US, but that China is outside the treaty", he suggested.

Feb 04 11:15

ELECTION WILL NOT STOP US FROM BOMBING GAZA AND IRAN, INSISTS NETANYAHU

Israel’s Prime Minister said on Sunday that the General Election campaign would not stop his government from bombing the Gaza Strip or Iran, Anadolu has reported. The election is due to be held in April.

“If calm is not maintained in Gaza, Israel will not hesitate to move against it even during the election period,” Benjamin Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting. “I [also] have a message to the tyrants in Tehran: Israel will continue moving overtly to protect its future.”

The Israeli occupation authorities continue to fear any Palestinian retaliation for the Israel Defence Forces’ ongoing aggression and killing of unarmed demonstrators taking part in the Great March of Return protests along the nominal border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's translate that" Netanyahuese" from that 2nd paragraph, and the sentence " Israel will continue moving overtly to protect its future.”

What Netanyahu really means here, is "We will bomb the crap out of your country, with the help of our American and Saudi "friends" leaving hundreds dead and dying, regime change the country, and never let you have a say as to how you want that country run, because the West will "impose" a governmental structure for you which suits their needs, both economically, and geopolitically.

Remember that 'Shah guy' the West imposed on Iran after deposing its legitimately elected President, Mohammad Mosaddegh?!? It will be something like that, only... worse!"

You're welcome, Mr. Prime Minister; thanks for letting me clear that one up for you!!

Feb 04 11:00

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: WASHINGTON RESURRECTED THE ARMS RACE

The meetings in Beijing during January 30-31 between Washington, Russia, China, France and the UK apparently failed to preserve the commitment to prohibit intermediate range nuclear weapons. Washington stuck to its determination to withdraw from the historic agreement of Reagan and Gorbachev to destroy all land-based intermediate range nuclear missiles. This US withdrawal from a nuclear weapons reduction agreement follows the George W. Bush/Cheney regime’s withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Indeed, since the Clinton regime, every US president has produced worsening trust between the two major nuclear powers.

No good can come of this as Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the Beijing meeting.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

By doing this, President Trump has decided to define himself, geopolitically, as some sort of unspeakable hybrid between Darth Vader and Lord Voldemort, where "bad" competes with "worse than bad", on a moment by moment basis.

Now, what to name this evil entity; Darth Trumper? Lord Trumpdemort? Well let's try Lord Darth Trumpdemort (LDT, for short, and that should make him happy; after all, one of his BFFS in the Middle East, is known by his tag of 3 initials MBS, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman).

But all kidding aside, if there was ever a time when this country absolutely, and desperately, needed a Department of Peace, which would be tasked with providing alternatives to get, or create the outcome, the US government wants to see, without resorting to war, that time is now.

And yes, I know that with weaponry, the US has a great deal of "catching up" to do with both the Russians and Chinese.

But that having been said, what I am hearing is that sweet sound of a collective financial orgasm coming from every CEO of every weapons manufacturer in this country.

Congrats, guys, you must be feeling pretty special right now; you have subsumed this President into your "War-o-Rama Killing Machine", which will make the possibility of some kind of a just and lasting peace, nearly impossible.

And were I a betting woman, one of those ramp-ups to a coming world war, will most probably be some kind of "false flag" on American assets somewhere around the world, to be used as the justification for the resurrection of the draft in this country; that's right, you read that correctly.

So I must ask this question; will walking away from this treaty, as LDT has done, mean that having the ability to murder even more people in the space of one minute, actually make this country more safe?!?

Unfortunately, the short answer here, is "HELL, no!"

What prevents wars, is both enlightened foreign and domestic policies, and unfortunately, right at this moment in history, the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika has neither.

It was rudderless, until the Neocons got LDT completely absorbed in its philosophies and to sign off on its action plan, with a huge "To Do" list, including Iran; Africa; and whatever other country on the planet has incredible natural resources, like Venezuela, which, of course, needs a "humanitarian intervention" to make sure that its government is US-centric; that those resources will only be harvested by companies that are US centric, and that those resources ... are only sold in the American collar.

Lather; rinse; repeat. How in the name of heaven, can I make this more clear to you?!?

And the most frightening, depressing, and crazy-making aspect to all of this is, that even if the American people stood up to LDT, and said, "You're Fired!", please trust me when I say that there is already another LDT in waiting, created by the the military industrial complex and the Deep State, ready to step in to continue the agenda toward a world war.

Americans are still suffering under the delusion that when it comes to national, Presidential elections, they have a choice, when the real "choices" are those vetted and approved by the military-industrial complex; the American Deep State, and the most powerful of corporations, both here, and internationally.

Feb 04 10:45

Russian MoD Shows PHOTO of US Plant Set to Produce Missiles Banned Under INF

Following the US' move to suspend its obligations under INF treaty, the Russian Defence Ministry on Saturday said that Washington started preparations for the production of medium- and short-range missiles prohibited under the INF deal two years before accusing Moscow of violating the accord.

The Russian Defence Ministry has released satellite images of Raytheon Corporation’s plant, saying the facility has been prepared for the production of missiles prohibited under the INF deal.

The picture, dated back to 3 December 2018, shows the factory measuring 4150×2300 metres. According to the ministry of defence, the complex contains three acting production units and one that is still under construction, as well as a test area, electric station, and semi-underground storage facilities.

Feb 04 10:35

In Tit-For-Tat, Russia Suspends INF Treaty; Putin Slams US "Demolishing" Global Security

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) has effectively collapsed following the US announcing Friday that it's suspending all obligations under the treaty. Predictably Moscow's response has been swift, with President Vladimir Putin saying in a meeting with his foreign and defense ministers that Russia will now pursue missile development previously banned under its terms.

Putin said "ours will be a mirror response" in a tit-for-tat move that the Russian president ultimately blames on Washington's years-long "systematic" undermining of the agreement.

“Our US partners say that they are ceasing their participation in the treaty, and we are doing the same,” the Russian president said. “They say that they are doing research and testing [on new weapons] and we will do the same thing.”

Feb 04 10:23

After killing INF US has ‘free hand’ to reassert ‘supremacy in the world’ with ‘new arms race’

The collapse of the INF Treaty, conceded by the Kremlin on Saturday, is the result of decades-long “strategic destabilization of the nuclear balance” by the US, which wants a new international order, and perhaps a fresh arms race.
On Friday, Washington said it was suspending its participation in the 1987 agreement for 180 days, for alleged non-compliance by the other signatory, Moscow. The next morning, Vladimir Putin, flanked by two senior ministers, bemoaned that Russia “could not save” the milestone Cold War arms restriction agreement, despite generous offers to up its transparency.

According to Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann, a geopolitics analyst from Paris 8 University, this is the exact outcome Washington wanted, which already decided “beforehand to get out of the treaty” regardless of concessions.

Feb 04 10:10

Conflict Is Inevitable

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been absolutely apoplectic this past week watching the United States orchestrate a coup in Venezuela. It has been truly horrifying to watch these things play out in real time. How bold and brazen these thugs have become! They are doing this right out in the open, they hardly even try to hide it.

Sure, they try to whitewash it with their typical propaganda. They obfuscate key facts. They paint Maduro as a criminal. They pass around cheap slogans. Where once we heard, “You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists”, now it’s, “either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem”. It’s disgusting.

Feb 04 09:43

World War 3 Rehearsal – The Third World Fire Pending

The article highlights that the US Missile Defense Agency has been practicing shooting down a land-based medium-range ballistic missile, just as Washington prepares for its withdrawal from the cornerstone INF nuclear non-proliferation agreement.

Less than a week after President Donald Trump announced his plans to withdraw the US from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the US Navy has conducted a successful test of its Aegis Combat System by firing and intercepting a “medium-range ballistic missile,” which is technically banned by the INF treaty.

Feb 04 09:41

Erik Prince Denies Knowledge Of Blackwater-Type Training Base In China

A Hong Kong-Based training company launched by Blackwater founder Erik Prince is reportedly building a training center in the controversial Western Chinese region of Xinjiang according to Reuters, citing a company statement from Prince's Frontier Services Group (FSG).

While the exact details of the $600,000 (4 million yuan) project weren't disclosed, a state media report said that the facility will be able to train 8,000 people a year.

Despite being the founder, Executive Director and Deputy Chairman of FSG, Prince says he had "no knowledge or involvement" in the preliminary memorandum for the base, according to Reuters.

Feb 04 09:28

BRITAIN’S SECRET PROPAGANDA “INTEGRITY INITIATIVE” TARGETS RUSSIA

In a desperate attempt to cover its tracks, the propaganda network linked to Britain’s security services, the Integrity Initiative (II), has wiped its website and locked its Twitter account “pending an investigation into the theft of data.”

The decision was taken shortly after the Anonymous hacking group released new II documents targeting Russia as supposedly the greatest threat to world peace, based on claims that it is the country most likely to use nuclear weapons.

The documents reveal yet more of the disinformation campaign used to justify NATO preparations for war with Russia, including the use of nuclear weapons.

Minutes from a joint workshop of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS), which runs the II, and the US government-funded Center for Naval Analyses discuss what would happen if the “West” intervened to “push back” a Russian advance in the case of a localized conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would call this "the Duplicity Initiative"; why would Russia lob off a nuclear bomb against first strike target, understanding absolutely the consequences of such a move?!?

It is highly more likely that NATO and the West were exploring "false flag" scenarios, to blame on Russia, and then, head straight into a war against it.

I would strongly caution both President Grump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, that neither country should even be entertaining such thoughts at the moment, because neither country has the weaponry; the money; the troop strength; or the manufacturing which would create a positive outcome in a war against Russia right now.

And until THAT is remedied and sorted by both countries, I would like to hope that more peace-centric leaders come to power in both countries, and that they will openly commit to a strategy of "engage, don't enrage", as a way of tampering down geopolitical tensions.

Feb 04 09:28

How Star Wars Came to Alaska

The Kodiak Launch Complex was marketed to Alaskans as one of the nation’s first commercial space ports. Many promises were made to lure public support: High-paying, year-round jobs. Better roads. A fancy cultural center. New schools with real astronauts helping out in the classrooms. Peace and prosperity.

The whole multibillion-dollar project, located on Narrow Cape, a remote tip of Kodiak Island 250 miles west of Anchorage, was supposed to be run by a state-chartered outfit called the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation. In 1996, the state and the feds turned over 3,500 acres of public land for the project, which would house two launching pads, a space vehicle assembly plant, a radar station, a command center and other support facilities. Its backers claimed that a new age of commercial space traffic was dawning, and that Kodiak Island was one of the world’s best locations for “launching telecommunications, remote sensing, and space science payloads” into orbit.

Feb 04 08:43

SAUDI CROWN PRINCE CALLS BILLIONAIRE SHAKEDOWN IN RIYADH’S RITZ-CARLTON A LUCRATIVE SUCCESS

A total of about $107 billion has been recovered as a result of the detention of scores of Saudi royals and businessmen in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in 2017, according to the kingdom’s anti-corruption commission.

It said the assets collected from the 87 detainees came in a mix of cash, real estate, companies, and securities. The commission, which was headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), referred more than 60 people to prosecution, saying that 56 of them had “other criminal cases against them.” Eight other people “refused to settle despite the existence of evidence against them, and they were referred to the public prosecutor.”

MBS, who called the anti-corruption campaign a “shock therapy,” has declared it a lucrative success. He told Bloomberg earlier that $35 billion had been collected from the prisoners.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Anti-corruption," MY ASTROLABE!!!!!

Let's call it by its real name: submitting to pure and utter robbery, or spend time in one of Saudi Arabia's jails, very probably, for some crime they most probably did not commit, and to be sentenced to be tortured, or executed by a Kangaroo court which only exists to insure they invoke precisely the outcome the Prince wants to see.

Oh, Yeah, baby... That's justice, Prince Bin Salman style!!

It is profoundly unsettling to me, that President Trump's BFFs in the Middle East, are the Butcher of Yemen, Prince Bin Salman, and Israel's Prime Minister, the Butcher of Gaza.

I think, at some deep and profound level, Trump is actually envious that both men can pretty much do what they want, in their respective countries (and beyond) with impunity, including war crimes, as neither country has a written Constitution, nor are signatories to the ICC.

Feb 04 08:38

Intel Chiefs Use ‘Global Threat’ Report To Uphold US War Machine

The corporate media’s reporting on the testimonies of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the directors of CIA, NSA and FBI on their annual assessment of “worldwide threats” emphasized the fact that they contradicted President Donald Trump’s views on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Trump foolishly criticized the intelligence chiefs as “naïve” for refusing to support his unfounded accusation that Iran is systematically cheating on the nuclear deal. His remarks buttressed the media narrative of a struggle between an objective intelligence apparatus and a patently dishonest president who may even have colluded with Russia.

But the media’s emphasis on this narrative has obscured a more important story: The intelligence chiefs used the annual presentation of their “global threat assessment” to protect key policies and programs that provide their massive organizations with enormous power and budgetary resources.

Feb 04 08:37

Trump Backtracks on Syria, Afghan Withdrawals, Facing Growing Senate Pressure

Having drifted back and forth a few times on the US withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, President Trump seemed solid on leaving last week, but facing growing opposition from the Senate now shows signs of backtracking once again.

Previously talking up how the wars in Afghanistan and Syria can’t last forever, Trump is now saying he wants a “smaller number” of troops to stay in Afghanistan, despite the Taliban already making it clear that was a non-starter for the peace deal.

In Syria, Trump is now focused on the idea that the pullout can only happen after assuring that “Israel is protected,” which is as close to a recipe for permanent warfare as one can get. Israeli officials have made clear they want the war to be about Iran, not ISIS.

And that seems to be he case in Iraq, as well, where President Trump is now saying US troops will remain, seemingly forever, to “watch Iran,” and make sure they don’t “do nuclear weapons or other things.”

Feb 04 08:37

Trump: US Troops Must Stay in Iraq to ‘Watch Iran’

During a Sunday interview with CBS, President Trump insisted that the US has an “incredible base” in Iraq after years of wars, and “might as well keep it.” He suggested there troops would be staying more or less forever.

His justification for this, beyond “might as well,” was that it’s right next to Iran. Trump claimed Iran is the cause of “every single” major difficulty in the Middle East, and keeping US troops in Iraq would allow them to “watch” Iran.

“We’re going to keep watching and if there’s trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we’re going to know it before they do,” Trump insisted. It’s not clear how that would work, particularly with respect to knowing “before they do.”

Trump went on to say he has no intention to use US troops in Iraq to strike Iran, and that “all I want to do is be able to watch.” The US has, of course, threatened to attack Iran several times, but Iraq has ruled out letting the US use their territory to do so.

Feb 04 08:14

TICK TOCK: US Is Losing Military Supremacy Over Russia And China

US Senate Armed Services Committee chief Jim Inhore says Washington is losing its military superiority over rivals and now needs significant investments to catch up.

In his article published in the Tulsa World newspaper, the senator notes that the US has lost an advantage in both conventional and advanced weapons, including artificial intelligence, hypersonic weapons and even the use of “directed energy” technology.

Inhore points out that the US “won two world wars” because of its military superiority, adding that the Pentagon had as many aircraft at the end of the Cold War as Russia and China combined. However, in the last ten years military supremacy has degraded.

Feb 04 08:07

Spy Chiefs Want Infinity War. Trump Counters: Bomb Iran!

To manifest his opposition to President Donald Trump’s decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, and half of the 14,000 in Afghanistan, Gen. James Mattis went public and resigned as secretary of defense.

Now Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, in public testimony to Congress, has contradicted Trump about the threats that face the nation.

Feb 04 08:06

War Is Coming Back To The Balkans, But Why Do The West Blame Russia?

The United States signals the likelihood of a military conflict in the Balkans starting this year and accuses Russia of being ready to use ethnic dissent to prevent the absorption of Serbia and the Bosnian Serb Republic by NATO.

In the report by the US National Intelligence on potential threats to global security in 2019, in addition to Venezuela, Ukraine, Mexico, the Middle East and other sensitive global issues, the Western Balkans are also mentioned as a source of potential threat.

“The Western Balkans almost certainly will remain at some risk of low-level violence and possibly open military conflict throughout 2019. Russia will seek to exploit ethnic tensions and high levels of corruption to hinder the ability of countries in this region to move toward the EU and NATO,” the document says.

Feb 03 20:59

U.S. Southern Command In Colombia Along The Border, Venezuela Military Moves, U.S. Pulls Out Of INF Treaty; Russia Threatens U.S; China Calls For Calm.

By Aaron Kesel

According to a State Department source, corroborated by a video news report, U.S. troops are already along Colombia’s border. This comes as Venezuela has reportedly moved military armaments and ammunition to Colombia’s border as well. Meanwhile, Russia has threatened the U.S. amid announcing its withdrawal from the Cold War Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, following suit by suspending the agreement.

Although it’s not 5,000 troops along the border, a State Department source has stated to this reporter that U.S. troops are already in Colombia, specifically the U.S. Southern Command, along the border. The source further added that the U.S., specifically the Pentagon, was propagandizing the 5,000 troops on National Security Advisor John Bolton’s notepad to hide a bigger troop count of sending a whopping 30,000 troops to Colombia if a military invasion is deemed necessary...

Feb 03 16:16

Revealed: How Afghanistan’s bloodiest summer is STILL claiming lives of British troops 10 years on as veterans are killing themselves in alarming numbers with the suicide rate in one army company a shocking 200 TIMES the average

The suicide rate for the men of C Company who were in Sangin in July 2009, approximately 80 soldiers in total, is more than 200 times higher than the average rate for men in the UK – 15.5 per 100,000 – which stands at its lowest level since records began.

At least three other servicemen who were with 2 Rifles in 2009 have also been found dead in the UK, as have two other young soldiers who served with 2 Rifles on its next Afghan tour. Others in the unit have carried out non-fatal self-harm.

The most recent veteran to die was father-of-two Corporal Jonny Cole, who made a number of suicide attempts before succeeding.

Feb 03 12:11

MICHAEL BURLEIGH: The real reason Trump's ripped up the nuclear treaty that's kept us safe since the 1980s? Fear of China

This is not the first time President Trump has torn up an international agreement.

But his decision to withdraw from the long-standing Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia is a milestone – and a disturbing one. After all, this is the treaty that helped bring the Cold War to a close.

It was signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to ban a dangerous new generation of intermediate and short-range weapons with a range of between 300 and 3,400 miles.

Launched from trucks on either side of the Iron Curtain, these weapons were hard for the enemy to find and destroy. More to the point, they introduced the terrifying idea of 'small' and more frequent nuclear conflicts.

Feb 03 09:23

Donald Trump: ‘We’ve Got to Get Out of These Endless Wars’

Huh! Except for Venezuela.

President Donald Trump detailed his position Sunday on withdrawing troops United States from Afghanistan and Syria.
“We’ve been there for 19 years, almost, we are fighting very well. We’re fighting harder than ever before. I think they’re tired and, I think everybody’s tired,” Trump said. “We got to get out of these endless wars and bring our folks back home.”

Feb 03 09:07

Trump confirms use of US military in Venezuela among ‘options’ on table

The option of sending the US military to Venezuela is on the table, while talking to President Nicolas Maduro is not, President Donald Trump said in an interview on Sunday.
While talking to CBS' Face the Nation, Trump would not expand on the prospects of military involvement in the crisis in the Latin America country besides replying that "it's an option."

Feb 02 10:59

Chinese Missiles Are Behind US Pullout From INF - Russian Ex-Security Official

The real reason for the US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) is China deploying 1,000 medium and short-range missiles preventing a US presence in neighbouring seas, former Russian Security Council Secretary Andrey Kokoshin told Sputnik in an interview Friday.

"Evidently, the main target of the United States in connection with their withdrawal from this treaty is China. China, according to US estimates, set up a system of medium and short-range missiles of more than a thousand units aimed at the waters of the South China Sea and the East China Sea. It does not allow the United States to enter these waters with impunity using aircraft-carrier strike groups… Accordingly, the Chinese army set up a significant group of high-precision weapons, primarily ballistic missiles, which are capable of hitting US aircraft carriers and US military bases in the region", Kokoshin said.

Feb 02 10:57

Pompeo’s statement confirms US decided to quit INF long ago, says legislator

The statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said Washington was suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and would withdraw from it in six months was no sensation. He only conveyed a decision that had been made a long time ago, Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Friday.

US suspends INF Treaty obligations — Pompeo
"Unfortunately, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement didn't stir up any sensation. The US confirmed its intention to put the final nail into the coffin of another important arms control pillar," Kosachev told reporters. "We can only say that Pompeo voiced that decision, which had been made a long time ago, before putting forward an ultimatum to Russia, so no action whatsoever by Moscow could have influenced that."

Feb 02 10:56

Russia vows response to US’ withdrawal from INF Treaty — diplomat

Moscow reserves the right to take measures to respond to Washington’s suspension of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) from February 2, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Feb 02 10:55

‘The War Party': US Senate Blurs Partisan Lines in Unified Vote Against Trump

The US Senate Democrats and Republicans' vote against withdrawing troops from Syria and drawing down the American hold on Afghanistan is evidence that there's really only one political party, and that's the war party, anti-war activist and journalist Cindy Sheehan told Sputnik.

Feb 02 10:53

Trump to Call for Ending US Foreign Wars During SOTU Address - Sr. WH Official

President Donald Trump will reaffirm his intention to end US involvement in foreign military conflicts when he delivers his State of the Union (SOTU) address next week, a senior administration told reporters.

"In terms of protecting America’s national security, the president will update Congress on his diplomatic and military efforts around the world and reaffirm his determination to protect American interest and bring to an end our endless foreign wars," the official said on Friday.

Trump in a statement earlier in the day said the United States will soon have destroyed "100 percent" of the Islamic State terrorist group's (IS, banned in Russia) so-called caliphate and it was time to start bringing US troops home from Syria. Meanwhile, a State Department envoy has been engaged in talks with the Taliban over the possibility of a US withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan.

Feb 02 09:50

Saturday, February  2, 2019 Spotlight: Yemeni warring sides prepare for fresh escalation of fighting in Hodeidah

Yemen's warring factions began preparations for a fresh escalation of fighting raging over the control of the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, ignoring efforts aimed at cessation of hostilities.

The calls for an escalation in fighting between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and Yemeni government forces added angers to the agreement reached under the auspices of the United Nations in Sweden in December last year.

Senior leaders of the Houthi group based in Sanaa vowed to intensify military battles against the Saudi-led coalition and its local allies just in case the implementation of Sweden agreement failed.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi highest revolutionary committee, said in a statement posted in Twitter that capturing the strategic port city of Hodeidah will not be easy for the Saudi-backed government forces.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Look for a bloodbath here, particularly if US military is assisting the Saudis, as they have been doing throughout this military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen.

Feb 02 09:45

Elliott Abrams: A Human Rights Horror Show in Three Acts

Last Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Elliott Abrams would once again be returning to government, this time as President Donald Trump’s special envoy to help “fully restore democracy and prosperity” to Venezuela. Abrams, 71, is best known for abetting dictators and genocide in Latin America and for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Ronald Reagan administration, as well as for his ardent support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and for green-lighting a failed coup in Venezuela while serving in the George W. Bush administration. He is as reviled by countless Latin Americans as he is revered among neocons who pine for a more muscular US role in the hemisphere and beyond. What follows is an overview of the human rights horror show that has been Abrams’ government career, which now spans three presidential administrations over four decades.

Feb 02 09:41

Washington Resurrected the Arms Race

The meetings in Beijing during January 30-31 between Washington, Russia, China, France and the UK apparently failed to preserve the commitment to prohibit intermediate range nuclear weapons. Washington stuck to its determination to withdraw from the historic agreement of Reagan and Gorbachev to destroy all land-based intermediate range nuclear missiles. This US withdrawal from a nuclear weapons reduction agreement follows the George W. Bush/Cheney regime’s withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Indeed, since the Clinton regime, every US president has produced worsening trust between the two major nuclear powers.

No good can come of this as Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said at the Beijing meeting.

Feb 02 08:26

US Revives Cold War "Arms Race" With Russia And China After Abandoning INF Treaty

Update: As we previewed below, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty immediately, prompting threats of a Russian "response" from Moscow.

According to RT, Pompeo said the US could return to compliance with the treaty if Moscow meets Washington's demands within the next 180 days. To convince the US to back down, Washington has insisted that Russia cease development of a new cruise missile. Moscow has repeatedly denied claims that it's in violation of the treaty.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This may well not turn out as those in the Bowels of Power in DC believe.

And why the 180 day deadline?!? That's a good 6 months out.

One has to wonder just what "death ray" the US government believes it's going to be able to add to its arsenal by that point in time, which would cause Russia and China to "blink" on the issue!?!

Feb 02 07:03

The Ruling Class & An Undeclared Civil War

There is at present an undeclared and non-violent civil war being waged in this country. The underlying factor of any civil war is an elite ruling class desperate to maintain power at odds with a majority of a population seeking change. Also prevalent in most civil upheavals is the unleashing, by those determined to retain power, of the radicalized and ultimately uncontrollable dogs of war who more often than not devour their sponsors. Both elements are currently in play.

While the ruling class publicly obsesses over Donald Trump and denigrates the vast majority of the population, they have planted the seeds, by their actions, for a takeover of the country by a radical element that will turn on them as they are presently doing within the Democratic Party.

Feb 01 13:19

Russian Pilot Releases New Footage Of Aggressive Maneuver Against US F-15 Jet

On Monday Russia’s Defense Ministry published video showing a dangerous aerial encounter between US and Russian aircraft that took place in the skies above the Baltic Sea. The incident involved a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet intercepting a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft after — as Russian statements claimed — the US Air Force spy plane was picked up on radar rapidly approaching approaching the Russian maritime border in the Baltic Sea.

But more video has surfaced late this week showing spectacular footage in what a appears to be a separate and previously unknown incident, also over the Baltic Sea. It was put online by a purported retired Russian pilot and appears to be a separate video taken from a Russian fighter jet on an unknown date. The new video shows a Russian Air Force Su-27 Flanker aggressively banking into a U.S. Air Force F-15.

Feb 01 12:55

Bad aim & short life: New Pentagon report reveals MORE problems with trillion-dollar F-35 jet

Adding to the pile of flaws and setbacks plaguing the F-35 joint strike fighter, a new report by the Pentagon reveals that jet's life span is nearly four times shorter than expected and the accuracy of its guns is "unacceptable."

The number of F-35s ready to fly remained "flat" for past three years and there was "no improving trend" in 2018, Robert Behler, the director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) at the Pentagon, wrote in this week's report.

In fact, the average availability rate of F-35 jets didn't hit the "target value of 60 percent," which is also "well below [the] planned 80 percent" needed for efficient testing and pilot training, according to the military's assessment.

Feb 01 12:40

U.S. Push to Oust Venezuela’s Maduro Marks First Shot in Plan to Reshape Latin America

The Trump administration’s attempt to force out the president of Venezuela marked the opening of a new strategy to exert greater U.S. influence over Latin America, according to administration officials.

In sight isn’t just Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, but also Cuba, an antagonist that has dominated American attention in the region for more than 50 years, as well as recent inroads made by Russia, China and Iran.

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday greeted Carlos Alfredo Vecchio, right, who was named a diplomatic representative to the U.S. by Juan Guaidó, who has claimed Venezuela’s presidency.Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg News

While Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have long drawn Washington’s condemnation, the Trump administration is stocked with officials who have long believed Cuba to be the more serious national-security threat. They cite Cuba’s intelligence operations in the U.S., and its efforts to spread anti-American views in other Latin American countries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is apparent that those people surrounding President Trump, who see no problems "regime changing" both Cuba and Venezuela, have their heads collectively so far up another, very dark orifice, that they are seeing the world, not with a 21st century vision which has learned the hard lessons of history, but through a very myopic, antique dystopian, 20th century vision, which utterly refuses to learn the hard lessons from world history.

So what we have here, is not a case of "shrunken heads", which are terrifying, but shrunken brains, which are even more terrifying to me.

These "shrunken brains" as we can see very clearly, create the kind of blind jingoistic rage we hear emanating from their "The US does no harm, and has every right to rule the world." message.

This has been coupled with both extreme SMD (selective memory disorder), on the part of these people, and intense demonization of both Venezuela and Cuba.

But what is missing, in these plans, is any true grasp of the situation at hand.

Would such a series of actions, sort of eating up Central and South America, much like Pacman, and turning these country's leadership to the US government's liking, have possibly worked in the 20th century, say in 1919?!?

The answer is, an unqualified "perhaps"; but can this be made to work in the 21st century?!? I fear, absoflippinglutely NOT.

This is absolute, utter desperation on the cusp of madness, and may well result in Russia and China coming to the aid of both countries, and beyond, perhaps even militarily.

It may well cause all the governments of South and Central America to become a very unified force against the United States, and create robust, economic and defense ties with larger countries when it is to their benefit.

Mr. President, a word, please: those answers and actions which might have been brought into play a century ago, cannot work at this moment, in the
21st century. As our President and Commander in Chief, you need to understand that.

I am very politely suggesting that you change tack here, before what these people are plotting results in yet another unmitigated disaster in Central and South America; Think about what we can do as a nation to "engage rather than enrage."

You may be close to "bearing fruit" with North Korea; I know that only time will tell here,

But those people who supported you in your 2016 campaign, absolutely did not intend for your foreign policy to bring us nearer to the abyss of a world war.

Feb 01 10:56

Senate Vote Opposes Ending US Wars in Syria, Afghanistan: Non-binding vote declares withdrawing troops a serious risk

In a surprising vote Thursday, the Senate voted 68-23 to pass a resolution from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressing opposition to President Trump’s plan to withdraw US troops from Syria, and expressing opposition to any theoretical pullout from Afghanistan that might result from a negotiated deal to end that war.

The non-binding resolution was passed with overwhelming support from the Republican majority, setting them squarely against parts of President Trump’s foreign policy. A number of Democrats who voted against it expressed concern that it was tantamount to a vote advocating a state of permanent war.

Which it realistically is. The 2001 authorization for the Afghan War was built around 9/11 and the defeat of al-Qaeda. Neither are hugely relevant issues in 2019 Afghanistan, and a peace treaty being negotiated centers heavily around the Taliban promising to keep al-Qaeda and ISIS out of the country in the future.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I have stipulated many times before on this blog, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government and military can do, is no bet they won't do it.

Staying on in Syria, and continuing the occupation of Afghanistan, are both exceptionally bad choices

Staying in Syria means more than a measure of concern about the US and Russia getting into a military engagement here, as the US presence was neither asked for nor recognised by the Syrian government.

The Iranians are here, but in very small numbers, and have been working with the government to get rid of the US/Western-backed, trained, and funded jihadists.

So at the end of the day, Syrians should be able to make their own self-determination about who stays in power as Syria's government, or who does not.

Feb 01 10:42

Moscow: Russian Hypersonic Weapons Eliminate Threat From US Exit From INF Treaty

On 4 December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Russia two months to "return to compliance" with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or Washington would leave the accord on February 2.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated Friday that Russia's military capabilities guarantee the country's security irrespective of the US moves on the INF Treaty.

"I think this [US withdrawing from the INF] is an inevitable prospect, and there will be no deviations from the path stated by President Trump and his national security assistant John Bolton when he was in Moscow. This game is played, the Americans will eventually reject the contract", he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Leaving this treaty, as the US government has done, will generate an intense weapons race between the US, Russia, China, and other assorted nations, and private entities from around the world.

I am reminded of a line from one of Tom Leher's comedy bits, more profoundly real than he could have known over his lifetime, called "Who's Next"?!?, about just this sort of thing happening:

Who's Next?!? a satirical lyric about countries vying for better WMDs

Feb 01 10:35

CHALLENGING THE LIBERAL CASE FOR TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S COUP IN VENEZUELA

In an analysis published by POLITICO Magazine, Frida Ghitis, a contributing columnist for CNN.com and the Washington Post, defended Democrats who support President Donald Trump’s policy of intervention in Venezuela.To the extent that Ghitis’ arguments represent the best case that Democrats and the wider liberal establishment can make for backing a coup attempt in Venezuela, the case she put forward is worth challenging thoroughly.

Feb 01 10:31

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S LOVE OF FOREIGN DICTATORSHIPS

Lest anyone be tempted to believe that President Trump and other U.S. interventionists are intervening in Venezuela because of some purported concern for the Venezuelan people, let’s examine just a few examples that will bring a dose of reality to the situation. This latest intervention is nothing more than another interventionist power play, one intended to replace one dictatorial regime with another.

Egypt comes to mind. It is ruled by one of the most brutal and tyrannical military dictatorships in the world. The U.S. government loves it, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for the Egyptian citizenry, who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Saudi Arabia also comes to mind. It too is a brutal and tyrannical dictatorship, also a murderous one. The U.S. government loves it too, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for Saudi citizens who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is never the people of a country the US regime changes who matter; it is always about the money and the resources.

Do you think for one moment, that the US is concerned about the people of Venezuela, rather than its proven oil reserves?!?

Of course, not!!

Feb 01 10:25

 YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE NY TIMES’ SUPPORT OF US-BACKED COUPS IN LATIN AMERICA

On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. The survey can be viewed here.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder just how many of the op-ed writers for the NY Times are invested in the military/industrial complex.

This pathetic attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected President of Venezuela, to date, has proven itself to be an epic fail, to date, with Venezuela's military still standing strong behind Maduro.

Unless and until that changes, Venezuela's "regime change" will just be another pipe-dream for the American Deep State, which will respond by sulking off into a corner, and nursing its geopolitical wounds; that is, of course, until it thinks it has the strength to fight another day, with another coup somewhere on the planet.

Feb 01 10:06

NUKES OF HAZARD Donald Trump could move nuclear missiles to Europe for first time in 30 years this weekend as US accuses Vladimir Putin of breaking Cold War pact

DONALD Trump could move nuclear missiles to Europe for the first time in 30 years this weekend after Washington accused Russia of breaking a Cold War pact.

The US has threatened to pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans long-range nukes and their deployment in Europe, after accusing Vladimir Putin of breaking the 1987 agreement.

Feb 01 10:06

Trump says NATO allies fully support US suspending obligations under INF

US President Donald Trump has confirmed Washington’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty with Russia, a centerpiece of nuclear arms control since the Cold War. He also said that NATO allies fully support his decision.

“Tomorrow, the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in six months,” Trump said in a written statement.

He accused Russia of non-compliance, and said the US would return to the agreement only if Moscow destroys what Washington considers to be “violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.”

Feb 01 10:04

REPORT: US INTERROGATORS WORKING AT UAE PRISONS

US interrogators are present in UAE prisons in Yemen, the Daily Beast has revealed today, providing shocking evidence that the American military is a witness to the torture of Yemenis.

In a series of interviews, two former detainees have testified to being interrogated by men with American accents, who looked on as they were beaten and electrocuted.

“They would strip me naked, they would beat me very harshly and slowly you start to understand the dynamics in the room. These are the two people, one of them is overseeing the whole interrogation and the other is doing the questioning and ordering the torture,” a Yemeni man identified only as Salvatore said, suggesting that the US was more that an unwilling observer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Under Gina Haspel's tutelage and leadership of the USA's CIA, it appears that US-sanctioned torture, and US participation in torture, is still alive and kicking (sometimes, literally), and well, at prisons around the world.

And forgive me, but wasn't this the same woman who pledged to the American Congress, and to the American people, that torture would not be used, under her watch as head of the CIA?!?

UNDER INTERROGATION, TORTURE QUEEN GINA HASPEL PROMISES TO STOP TORTURING
While Trump’s C.I.A. nominee pledged not to re-start the agency’s torture program, no amount of brutal questioning could get her to say the practice was immoral.

Of course, in retrospect, looking at the lady's dubious, and vilely dripping track record, before landing the "top dog" job at the CIA, it didn't take much intelligence to realize that this was simply another pack of lies she told, just to get that job.

Having chosen this woman as the head of the CIA, it is painfully clear that President Trump doesn't care at all about how things are done in this government; just that the US maintains its economic and weapons hegemony over all the other countries on earth, no matter what that might entail, including the use torture.

What he is pathologically unable to see, is that this vision is rapidly being disrupted by countries choosing not to use the dollar at all in their transactions with other countries, such as Iran and China, and working with local currencies only.

It is deeply disconcerting to me, that President Trump's two BFFs in the Middle East, are the Monster of Yemen, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince bin Salman, and Israel's Butcher of Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu.

However, I think I know why this has happened.

Both men have the supreme power over life and death in their respective countries, and can order hits on alleged enemies just as easily as you or I might order breakfast at a restaurant, and neither country actually has a legitimate Constitution which could, potentially, restrain them from putting other people in harm's way; in some ways, President Trump is a little jealous because of that.

And our weaponry?!? China and Russia are way ahead of the US in terms of working war weaponry that is both cost-effective, and elegantly designed, with which the US military cannot not even begin to compete at the moment.

Feb 01 09:47

Neocon Bolton is committed to punishing apostates who dare resist the writ of Washington

“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad,” are words delivered to us from history. When contemplating them today John Bolton springs to mind.
All joking aside, Trump’s national security adviser is to international diplomacy what the Hunchback of Notre Dame was to Pilates. Though reports that he is regularly driven to his office in Washington on the back of a cruise missile are yet to be confirmed, his near orgasmic exaltation of US hard power and military might suggest he would relish nothing more.

In other words, in John Bolton the world has itself an unrepentant and unreconstructed neocon. A fanatical warmonger who is now, to all intents, Donald Trump’s brain.

Afraid? You should be.

Feb 01 09:34

Russia threatens retaliation as US pulls out of nuclear arms treaty

Update: As we previewed below, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the US will withdraw from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty immediately, prompting threats of a Russian “response” from Moscow.

Feb 01 09:22

US ARMY SAYS AT LEAST 24 AL-SHABAB MEMBERS KILLED IN AIR STRIKE

The United States armed forces said it has killed 24 members of the al-Shabab armed group in an air strike carried out on Wednesday.

In a statement released on Thursday, the United States Africa Command said the strike took place on a camp near Shebeeley, Hiran region in central Somalia.

"Precision strikes are part of our strategy. Strikes continue to help our partners make progress in their fight against the transnational terrorists who oppose peace in Somalia and the region," Director of US Africa Command Major General Gregg Olson said in the statement.

According to the press release, "no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Somalia is blessed with an embarrassment of riches, in terms of natural resources, yet to be exploited; this is why we see the violence continuing to occur, because this is a struggle for the future of this county, and who will have the power to bring Somalia fully into the 21st century.

One expects such a statement, about no civilian casualties, at the end of a US military press briefing.

I do not believe that last piece of tripe, for one second.

This follows the usual script of attempted pacification of the citizens of this country; the expropriation of various resources to which the US government has utterly no moral right; US-friendly countries only being allowed to develop a marketplace here, the regime being changed,as to be as US centric as possible; and whatever resources a country has, being only sold in US dollars.

Feb 01 09:09

U.S. COURT FINDS SYRIA RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING AMERICAN JOURNALIST MARIE COLVIN

A FEDERAL JUDGE in Washington, D.C. has ordered the Syrian government to pay $302 million in damages for the murders of journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in a 2012 artillery strike. The decision, issued on Wednesday, marks the first time in the seven-year conflict that a court has declared Syrian forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for deliberately attacking civilians.

“A targeted murder of an American citizen, whose courageous work was not only important, but vital to our understanding of warzones and of wars generally, is outrageous, and therefore a punitive damages award that [multiplies] the impact on the responsible state is warranted,” wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That same bit in that last sentence, should hold just as true for US journalists and bloggers here at home, as it is for reporters abroad.

And she, and the photo journalist with her, had to know that they were operating in a war zone; made the choice to be there; and unfortunately, suffered the consequences.

But what I am seeing here is more demonization of Syria, whether or not this event actually happened, and regardless of whether it can be proven true. It may well be, but that is not the point.

I think that those in foggy bottom are waiting to see what the overnights looked like on this issue, in their quest to martial support for yet another Syrian engagement, even though that may mean fighting Russians on the ground, or in the air, neither choice being a wise one, right now.

We understand by now, that demonization, plus sanctions, are the tell-tale preludes to.... the US military's attempting to kick another country's military right in the proverbial shins.

This would be one of the most vulnerable of all moments to attempt to even be contemplating a US war with Russia on the ground in Syria, and I say this as someone who cares deeply about the current trajectory of the US's foreign and domestic policies.

And the reasons I am saying this are pretty self-evident; our military does not have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to ensure a positive outcome for a US war against Russia in Syria, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Jan 31 13:05

‘Poor and Unknown Reliability’: $13B USS Ford Struggled In Sea Trials - Report

An internal Pentagon report questioned the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford’s ability to quickly generate aircraft sorties, as data has surfaced suggesting there are reliability questions about some of the ship’s key naval aviation systems.

The USS Ford has already exceeded its budget by approximately 20 percent, to approximately $13 billion. The ship was intended to be ready to go in 2015, but delays have marred what seems like every step of development.

The USS Ford "will probably not achieve" the required sortie generation rate (SGR) of 160 sorties per day (12-hour fly day) with a surge capacity of 270 sorties per day (24-hour fly day), said Robert Behler, Defense Department director of operational testing, in a review of the aircraft carrier obtained by Bloomberg News.

The sortie generation rate is one of the main metrics used to measure any aircraft carrier. Nimitz-class ships have an SGR of 120, with a surge capacity of 240.

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