WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Jul 17 11:32

What’s Behind the Pentagon’s Push to Build New Bases in Iraq and Syria?

The White House, responding to pressure from the Pentagon, is asking Congress to grant permission for the construction of more “temporary” US military bases in Iraq and Syria.

In what is seen as a deepening of the Pentagon’s commitment to waging war in the devastated region, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has convinced the administration of President Donald Trump to seek permission from Congress to expand military operations into Iraq and Syria, even as Daesh is being destroyed and Mosul has been retaken.

The new “temporary facilities” will increase the likelihood of a longer, more expensive and ultimately more deadly war in a region that is suffering the most dire human rights crisis since the end of World War II.

Jul 17 11:27

Pyongyang Observed to Be Ramping Up Nuclear Weapons Fuel Processing

Pyongyang has stepped up its manufacture of nuclear weapons fuel, according to a US group’s interpretation of recent satellite surveillance data.

According to satellite imagery recorded between September 2106 and June 2017, North Korea has stepped up its production of weapons-grade plutonium at a faster rate than previously asserted by military experts.

Recorded over an eight-month period, the new surveillance data reveals increased thermal activity around the primary nuclear plant of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the radiochemical laboratory at the Yongbyon nuclear facility — an indicator, according to an American university center's project exclusively concerned with Pyongyang, of increased nuclear weapon production.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF, in fact, this report is true, it is very troubling, indeed.

And here is the organisation which put out this information, according to Wikipedia:

"38 North is a website devoted to analysis about North Korea; it is a program of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and is managed by former U.S. Department of State official Joel S. Wit and USKI Assistant Director Jenny Town.[1] Notable contributors include nuclear scientist Sigfried Hecker,[2] former Associated Press Pyongyang Bureau Chief Jean H. Lee,[3] cybersecurity expert James Andrew Lewis,[4] and North Korea Tech founder Martyn Williams.[5]"

This group is pretty darned sober-sided, and has come up with some significant evaluations of what is going on with North Korea's weapons programs before; I seriously doubt that the intel represented is wrong.

The big question is, just how are the US and China going to respond to this information, and will they be working cooperatively, or in direct opposition to each other, in how they try to handle this most recent revelation?!?

Jul 17 10:55

Officials Still Working on New Strategy for Afghanistan: Mattis

The Pentagon's top leader says officials are still mulling the proper strategy in Afghanistan to avoid rash decisions that could hurt the United States and its allies in the long run.

"Welcome to strategy," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday. He had stopped in to speak with Pentagon reporters before a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to further discuss options in Syria.

Mattis said he's listening to all options and wrapping everything "under a regional context."

"This is hard, and there's a reason we got into some wars in our nation's history and didn't know how to end them. This is hard work and, if anyone else says otherwise, [he] is either somebody who didn't have to deal with it or deal with the consequences of the decisions of it," he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sec-Def Mattis, a word please; continuing to throw more troops at Afghanistan has not worked for the last 16 years. And as a military person, you appreciate the notion that doing something precisely the same way, over and over, yet expecting a different outcome, is a classic definition of insanity.

And sir, I do have a suggestion here; evacuate US and NATO troops as quickly as safely as possible, then negotiate with whatever government is left standing in Kabul for the pipeline and mineral rights in the country.

I understand that you do know that it was the reality that that pipeline rights price the Taliban set was viewed by President Bush as "too high", and that...is the real reason the US military went into Afghanistan in the first place, right?!?

From Afghanistan to Iraq; connecting the dots with oil.

Jul 17 10:40

A MERCENARY-LED SURGE WON’T SOLVE AFGHANISTAN

Private military contractors have spotted an opportunity as America’s longest war grinds on. Here’s a crazy idea floating around Washington these days, outlandish even by today’s outlandish standards: The United States should hire a mercenary army to “fix” Afghanistan, a country where we’ve been at war since 2001, spending billions along the way. The big idea here is that they could extricate U.S. soldiers from this quagmire, and somehow solve it

Jul 17 10:37

Royal Marine Annual Arctic Warfare Exercises Scrapped Due To Lack Of Cash

Royal Marine Commandos will be denied the opportunity to run an annual exercise in Norway to practice their Arctic warfare specialism due to a lack of cash.

The financial issues mean that the 2018 exercise will not be run. The warfighting training usually takes place each year for up to 700 marines to sharpen their skills in sub-zero conditions.

Jul 17 10:32

House NDAA Amendments Would Limit US Participation in Yemen War

The House version of the nearly $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes multiple amendments aimed at limiting US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen, explicitly forbidding the deployment of ground troops there, or spending any money on military operations outside the scope of the 2001 AUMF.

The Nolan Amendment prohibits the deployment of troops to participate in any way in the war, which is seen not only as restricting ground troops being sent to Yemen to fight on the side of the Saudis, but also appears aimed at limiting mid-air refueling operations for Saudi warplanes.

The Lieu Amendment requires a report from the State Department and the Pentagon on whether or not the Saudis are complying with the US-provided “No Strike List” for Yemen, as well as their improvement of targeting capabilities to avoid hitting civilians.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a betting person, I would not bet that these amendments will survive the compromise process in the Senate, and that... is a damned shame.

The US government and military are colluding with Saudi Arabia in their war crimes against the Yemeni people.

Innocent children and non-combatants are getting killed and maimed for life every day; the Saudi military, with US assistance, has blocked the Yemeni ports, meaning no food is getting in, hence massive deaths from malnutrition in Yemeni's children; depleted uranium has been documented to have been used in civilian areas, insuring a massive uptick in cancers; still births, and horrific birth deformities; and now, cholera has taken hold, infecting over 300,000 people as I type this.

As a Christian witness, who believes in telling the truth as I see it, I am profoundly morally uncomfortable, being a citizen of a country committing war crimes against some of the most poverty-stricken people on this planet.

Jul 17 10:22

US Building a Third Military Airport in Syrian Kurdistan

Amid growing focus on the US quietly establishing military bases across the Middle East and Northern Africa, reports out of the autonomous Syrian Kurdistan region of Rojava say that US workers have begun construction on a new military airbase in Tel Baidar, 40 km west of Hasakeh.

Though the US doesn’t publicly affirm these bases exist, this would be the third fully-working military airbase in Rojava,as the US had previously built bases in Kobane and Rumailan. The bases are largely being used to fly gear to the Kurdish forces, but also could support some smaller military planes.

Legally speaking, that might be an issue, as the White House has been openly trying to get Congress to grant President Trump unilateral authority to establish bases in both Iraq and Syria, but all signs point to them having already been establishing such bases since the last few months of Obama’s term.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is happening in Syria, on the part of the US government, is immoral, illegal, and just plane wrong.

Snipping off bits of sovereign nations, in order to "redraw their maps", is something alleged democracies are not supposed to do.

Jul 17 09:48

TRIPOLI: MAJOR BATTLE FOR CONTROL OF LIBYA’S CAPITAL MAY BE ON THE HORIZON

As chaos reigns in Libya, with competing authorities continuing to vie for power, the battle for Tripoli appears to have begun anew.

Clashes broke out earlier this week, in the east of the capital city, between forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and those loyal to the National Guard of the Salvation Government (SG).

The capital is an important target for warring sides in the region, offering control over strategic assets such as the Libyan Central Bank, the air and sea ports in the city, as well as all other institutions.

The Garabulli region, where the clashes took place, is considered a strategic gateway into the city, and fighting there may have been intended to be the start of a wider battle.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This bloody chaos was visited upon Libya, courtesy of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who advocated for the ouster of Gaddafi because he was going to introduce the currency of a Libyan gold dinar, which would have been a mortal threat to the completely gold-unsupported US dollar.

Jul 17 09:35

THE US DEEP STATE: SABOTAGING PUTIN-TRUMP CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IN SYRIA

The meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Hamburg injects new hope into the complicated relationship between the United States and Russia. Only time can confirm whether there is any basis for this hope.

In their first meeting, within less than two hours, Putin and Trump came to an agreement on potentially the most volatile situation in the region, saving hundreds of civilian lives in the process. The agreement on Syria now has to run the gauntlet of the deep state and all the other interests arrayed against Trump. Just four days following a similar agreement reached in 2016 between Obama and Putin, everything was upended by the US Air Force bombing and killing nearly a hundred soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army in Deir ez-Zor, shredding the ceasefire agreement that had just been reached.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Putin and Trump agreed upon here makes every bit of logical sense; which is why both Israel and the American Deep State are adamantly opposed to it, because it diminishes war as any kind of solution to regime change Damascus, and makes it more dicey for Israel to nibble off any more bits of Syrian territory than it already has with its illegal occupation of the Golan Heights.

Jul 17 08:53

ISRAEL REJECTS US, RUSSIA SYRIAN CEASEFIRE DEAL – PRESENTS LIST OF DEMANDS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government opposes the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week.

Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Officials also say that during the US-Russia negotiations which led to the deal, Netanyahu presented the two sides with a “list of demands,” mostly insisting that Shi’ite forces couldn’t be allowed in southern Syria at all and that Iran could not be allowed to “consolidate” its position in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, a word please: neither you, nor your government, are in any kind if legitimate position to make these "demands" on Russia, the Syrian Government, Iran, or the United States.

I would like to politely remind you that Russia (and some elements of Iranian forces) are in Syria at that government's invitation; Israel was not invited at all to be here.

And BTW, sir, none of these demands legitimizes your illegal occupation of Syria's Golan Heights; not now, and not ever!!

Jul 17 08:44

TURKEY BEGINS BOMBING US-BACKED YPG POSITIONS IN SYRIA

It started two weeks ago, when Turkey warned publicly it was preparing for military intervention in Syria, while accusing the US of creating a "terrorist army" (it wasn't referring to ISIS, but US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia YPG). As a reminder, YPG forms a major part of the U.S.-backed campaign to capture Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa, and whose forces are seen as a terrorist organization by Turkey. The group currently controls a pocket of territory in Afrin, about 200 km (125 miles) west of Raqqa.

Tensions between Turkish forces and the YPG have been mounting in the Afrin region in recent weeks: Turkey's military, which launched an incursion last August into part of northern Syria which lies between Afrin and a larger Kurdish-controlled area further east, has said that it has returned fire against members of YPG militia near Afrin several times in the last few weeks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder; with Russia doing everything it can to protect Syria's territorial integrity, how, and when, they are going to get Turkey to stop this, if they can?!?

Jul 17 08:26

America’s War Against International Civil Society Is Permanent

This week, ISIL lost its medieval caliphate in Mosul. The fringe terrorist organization is also fast losing the remaining places it has occupied in Syria. It will soon be relegated to the ash heap of history. But it may not matter much if the US Empire of Bases decides to stay and entertain supposedly to fight terrorism.

Jul 17 07:53

ISRAEL REJECTS US, RUSSIA SYRIAN CEASEFIRE DEAL – PRESENTS LIST OF DEMANDS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear today that he and his government opposes the ongoing ceasefire in Southern Syria, a deal negotiated between the United States and Russia, and which has continued to hold throughout the past week. Netanyahu made the comments during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, declaring himself totally opposed to the ceasefire. Israeli officials revealed that the objections are primarily related to Iran still having forces inside Syria supporting the Assad government.

Jul 17 07:48

This jet fighter is a disaster, but Congress keeps buying it

Jul 17 07:42

Return of Pentagon Mercenaries Worries US Active Duty Military

During the time that U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster are reviewing the U.S. military policy in Afghanistan, The New York Times ran a story on July 10, 2017 that exposed a threat that will upend U.S. defense strategy and return it to a bitter past. The Times story was centered around the following paragraph:

«Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations».

Jul 17 07:24

CONGRESS TRYING TO SNEAK THROUGH MAJOR GIVEAWAY TO DEFENSE CONTRACTORS

CONGRESS IS ON THE BRINK of a major giveaway to defense contractors, tucking language into a must-pass piece of legislation that would broadly expand their ability to gouge the federal government on sole-source contracts.

The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, is practically the only bill Congress passes on time every year. The last 50 NDAA’s, which authorize funds and set policy for the Department of Defense, have reached the president’s desk without a holdup. Education, healthcare, and jobs can wait, but supporting the troops — actually, supporting the defense contractors who make the weapons — must never face a delay. The bill even goes through a regular process, with dozens of amendments and bipartisan votes. It’s like nothing else in Washington.

Jul 17 07:22

Space Cadets and Sex Changes: Our “Defense” Budget Is a Bad Joke

The United States spends more on the military than the top eight countries combined – but that’s still not enough for our military-industrial-congressional complex. They want yet more tax dollars shoveled into that bottomless maw, and it looks like they’re going to get it.

Jul 16 08:49

U.S. Peace Delegation Heads to Seongju, South Korea

A U.S. peace delegation will travel to South Korea from July 23 to 28 to stand with the South Korean people fighting against the U.S. THAAD deployment and build solidarity with the peace movement there. The peace delegation will include Jill Stein of the Green Party (2016 U.S. presidential candidate), Reece Chenault of U.S. Labor Against War, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, Juyeon Rhee of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific (STIK) and Will Griffin of Veterans For Peace.

The solidarity delegation is sponsored by STIK and the Channing and Popai Liem Education Foundation (CPLEF) and follows a national speaking tour sponsored by the two organizations in April when Won Buddhist Reverend Sounghey Kim toured the U.S. to speak about the anti-THAAD fight in South Korea.

The delegation aims to bring attention to U.S. militarism in the Asia Pacific region, according to Griffin:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wish these people safe travels, and decent press coverage from the independent media on their way.

Jul 16 08:46

The Suffering of Children in Mosul Revealed as Daesh Is Snuffed Out

Children “lived in the dark like rats” while Daesh ruled in Mosul, an aid worker claims. Many of them had hidden from the terrorists and the ensuing war to retake the city. Consequently, they are suffering from rickets, a lack of Vitamin D and are very thin.

Experts believe these children will suffer long term psychological trauma not only from the battles that raged in the city but the day-to-day cruelty they witnessed at the hands of Daesh. The charity Save the Children surveyed 65 kids and found that they were enduring what professionals call “toxic stress”. A staggering 90% had lost close family members and the majority had nightmares whether asleep or awake

“I dream of a woman with blood all over her face,” murmured one girl aged about 10 or 11.

Another girl of the same age said:

“I have bad dreams of dead bodies.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

War is hell on adults, but is an even worse hell for children affected by it.

Jul 16 08:27

There's a Special Place in Hell for People Screaming for Confrontation With Russia

"Is Russia an enemy of the United States?" NBC's Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, "Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug."

Jul 16 08:14

House passes $696.5B defense policy bill

The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a wide-ranging, $696.5 billion defense policy bill that goes far above President Trump’s budget request.

Lawmakers voted 344-81 on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which broadly lays out policy and spending rules for the Pentagon and the military branches.

The bill would authorize $621.5 billion for the Pentagon's base budget and Energy Department nuclear programs and $75 billion for war funding, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. In addition, the bill takes $10 billion in OCO dollars to pay for base budget needs.

Only eight Republicans voted against the legislation, which passes Trump’s defense request of $603 billion. Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), John Duncan (Tenn.), Tom Garret (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Andy Harris (Md.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Tom McClintock (Calif.) were the Republicans voting no.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would suggest that Congress will most probably repeal the BCA.

Jul 16 08:12

“We Should Be Bombing Russia Massively”

So says Paul Begala, the former highly-paid professional liar and excuse maker for Bill Clinton the serial rapist/sexual assaulter. “We” should be bombing Russia, says the unhinged CNN commentator, because Donald Trump, Jr. took a meeting with a Russian woman who does not speak English but wanted to talk about allowing Americans to adopt Russian babies. The entire Deep State establishment has gone insane with diseased brains.

Jul 16 08:07

Soldier Accused of Pledging Support to ISIS Believed Conspiracy Theories

A U.S. soldier accused of wanting to commit a mass shooting after pledging loyalty to the Islamic State group believed the moon landing was faked, questioned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and thought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job coordinated by the U.S. government, according to a former Army bunkmate.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was ordered held without bail in federal court in Honolulu Thursday after a brief detention hearing. Kang's court-appointed attorney Birney Bervar did not contest his client's detention but said after the hearing that he will ask for a mental health evaluation.

A "turning point" for Kang's mental state seems to be a 2011 deployment, Bervar said: "He's a decorated American soldier for 10 years, goes to Afghanistan and comes back and things start going off the rails."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Kang appears to be "another notch on the belt" of undercover agents who "groomed" him to turn on his country,then arrested him immediately.

I would tend to believe that ultimately, because this kid was turned and groomed to do what he did, this case will get thrown out of court, as so many cases like it before have been thrown out of court.

The way the story is written is also a cloddish attempt to "poison the well" against independent media.

And please remember, folks; it was the corporate media which assured you the Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, to lie you into supporting a war against Iraq for US control of its oil fields, and to insure that Iraq's oil was only was only sold in US dollars.

Jul 16 07:39

LEAKED DOCUMENTS 'REVEAL SAUDI AND EMIRATI CROWN PRINCES' SUPPORT FOR AL-QAEDA AND IS IN YEMEN'

The nine-page document was published by Egyptian newspaper al-Badil in April - before the outlet was banned by Cairo - accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi's Mohammed bin Zayed of providing aid to the two extremists.

The communique - sent to Qatar's foreign minister on October 26, 2016 - outlines the minutes of communications between Qatar's ambassador to Washington and the US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The New Arab could not independently verify the authenticity of the documents.

"The Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence reported that the information available to them indicated that Prince Mohammad bin Salman has been in constant communication with the figures listed in the report," the leaked notes read.

"The prince has managed, according to the Under Secretary, to assemble out of some groups loyal to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP] a force against the Houthis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF, in fact, these reports are true, I find myself...totally unsurprised; this is absolutely typical behaviour for both Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi.

Jul 16 07:23

Brzezinski Wanted NATO to Become the “Hub of a Globe-Spanning Web” of Security Pacts

The end of May marked the death of a man who had been at the center of global affairs for decades. Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in Warsaw in the 1920s, was one of the most influential foreign policy advisers in the US, who also played a pivotal role in the drive towards further global integration.

Jul 15 15:59

Russian AK-47 Gun Maker Turns to Future of Autonomous Weapons

By Nicholas West

The Kalashnikov AK-47 is certainly one of the most iconic automatic weapons ever devised. Today, nearly 70 years after its debut, worldwide demand continues to rise so rapidly that the company announced earlier in the year that they were hiring 1,700 employees to meet projected sales.

While the AK-47 is known for its bare-bones utility, Kalashnikov is clearly seeing the present trend in warfare that is leading to a future where an increasing number of robots will share the battlefield with humans, and will be empowered with a rising degree of autonomy via artificial intelligence...

Jul 15 09:55

Trump’s Yemen Policy Is Immoral and Counterproductive

Slaughter of the Houthis, indiscriminate bombing, famine, cholera — as recompense to the Saudis for the Iran deal? In his final year in office, President Obama’s foreign policy featured the bombing of seven Islamic countries by the U.S. military. Despite fears (and hopes) that President Trump would withdraw America from the world stage and institute a fortress-America foreign policy, the new guard has put Obama’s foreign policy on autopilot. The most significant adjustment Trump made was to give more discretion to his generals. The rate of bombing has increased in all seven nations.

Nowhere is this policy more craven and disastrous than in Yemen, where the U.S. has backed Saudi Arabia’s crusade to re-install Sunni general Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in power.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a Christian witness to this US-enabled carnage and genocide, I am profoundly unhappy at being a citizen of a country which is absolutely, and unquestionably, colluding with the Saudi Government and Military in war crimes in Yemen.

If both Mike and I were much younger, and had anything approximating some tangible assets, we would migrate to somewhere relatively civilized, where collusion in war crimes just wasn't something the government of that country did; unfortunately, we are too old - and broke - to be able to accomplish that at this point in our lives.

The Saudis are assassinating and maiming Yemeni infants and children with wild abandon.

Images: children killed and maimed for life from Saudi bombings

Because the Saudis, enabled by the US military, have blockaded Yemen's ports, so no food can get in, Yemeni children are dying by the scores from complications of malnutrition.

Images: Yemeni children dying from malnutrition, due to Saudi blockades of Yemeni ports

Oh, and did I mention that the Saudi military is using depleted uranium munitions in Yemen?!?

Images: Saudi military using depleted uranium weapons in Yemen

This, of course, is creating precisely the same kind of cancers, stillbirths, and massive birth defects, as it did in Fallujah, Iraq.

Image: severe birth defects in Yemeni infant, because of Saudi Arabia using depleted uranium weapons in Yemen. Image courtesy of Ruptly

And now, as one might imagine would take place, cholera has firmly taken hold in Yemen, with over 300,000 cases, and the disease spreading almost exponentially through the population.

Images: Yemenis suffering one of the worst cholera outbreaks in history

We cannot know the degree to which the Saudis may have weaponised this disease; but it is pretty easy to introduce it into water resources where local people gather water, and then will get deathly ill from contamination.

And Trump's new BFF is Saudi Prince Salman?!? A man who kills and maims Yemeni children with indiscriminate attacks?!? A man who orders Yemeni ports blocked, so the children of Yemen are dying of malnutrition?!?

Mr. President, I understand the the arms sales to Saudi Arabia are good for the American military complex; but sir, this move was at a steep cost to your and this country's soul and integrity, when you know, with an absolute certainty, that these munitions will be used to assassinate more Yemeni infants, children, women, and the medically fragile elderly?!?

Oh, yes; he did give a 66 million dollar donation to the UN to fight the cholera epidemic, to "appear to have done something the slightest bit humanitarian" in a country where his military are slaughtering Yemeni people by the hundreds as I type this:

Saudi Prince Salman donates 66 million dollars to the UN to fight the cholera epidemic

But the Prince is cynically aware that the UN, and its agencies, move more slowly than do frozen molasses in January; by the time UN aid actually gets to Yemen (if it can get there at all) it will be far too little, and far too late to curtail the outbreak.

If he had really wanted aid to get there more quickly, he would have approached either Doctors without Borders, or the International Committee of the Red Crescent (the Middle East's equivalent the American Red Cross), and guaranteed them safe passage into Yemen.

And President Trump, a final work here; your hated and loathing of Iran is completely misplaced, and has no basis in reality. Iran does not pose a threat to the United States; they just want to continue living their lives, unimpeded by the dictates of other countries.

For Rex Tillerson to make public statements to the effect that the goal of the US foreign policy in Iran is to create "regime change" in Tehran, is utterly morally irresponsible.

Iran has, and continues, to live up to its responsibilities as a signator to the P5+1 treaty.

And Mr. President, if you have not seen the following documentary, this has to be on your "must see" list, and soon, please:

Don't Tell Mother I'm In Iran

Jul 15 09:01

US Cannot Prove ISIS Chief Is Dead: Mattis

***
"If we knew we would tell you . Right now , I can't confirm., or deny it," Mattis said . "Our approach is we assume he's alive , until proven otherwise , and right now , I can't prove it otherwise." )

Jul 15 08:34

Ukraine In NATO? America Should Reject A Bad Idea That Only Grows Worse With Age

The government of Ukraine reaffirmed its desire to join NATO. The alliance said the door is open for Kiev. It’s an idea that only grows worse with age.

It’s easy to understand why a majority of Ukrainians want NATO’s protection. They really want America’s protection. And who wouldn’t like the global superpower to take over one’s defense? Their country established its first contact with the alliance in 1991 when Ukraine joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Since then Kiev has received aid and support while contributing troops to some allied operations.

And given the fact that the U.S. would do most of the heavy lifting in any conflict with nuclear-armed Russia, the critical question for Washington is whether adding a new member would increase Americans’ security.

Jul 15 08:29

North Korean Leadership May Be Ruthless and Reckless, But They Are Not Crazy

Despite the rhetoric from the Trump administration about military confrontation with North Korea, the common theme of many U.S. experts on North Korea is that the US presidential administration MUST conduct a dialogue with North Korea – and quickly! Military confrontation is NOT an option according to the experts.

And most importantly, the new President of South Korea Moon Jae-in was elected in May 2017 on a pledge to engage in talks with North Korea and pursue diplomacy to finally officially end the Korean conflict. Nearly 80 percent of South Koreans support a resumption of long-suspended inter-Korean dialogue, according to a survey by a presidential advisory panel showed in late June.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These officials absolutely have the right idea; but President Trump's Secretary of State Tillerson has expressed an absolute, iron-clad dismissal of talks with North Korea unless they stand down from their nuclear weapons program, which is only apt to happen when pigs learn they can fly.

This gives the US absolutely nothing with which to negotiate.

Libya's Qaddafi did not have a nuclear deterrent; he was assassinated, and the country thrown into utter chaos; the North Koreans have taken away from this that the survival of their country desperately depends on them having a credible nuclear deterrent, in order to prevent "regime change" here; and they are correct in their assessment.

I would like to hope that because of these officials' experience, this letter will hold some sway over President Trump; the possible consequences of a war on the Korean peninsula could be absolutely devastating. And I must admit; living on a first strike target, should China get into the fray, doesn't make me a bit happy.

Jul 15 08:21

European Parliament Votes to Allow EU Aid to Be Spent on Third World Militaries

The European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee narrowly backed the legality of a draft plan to allow EU "peace-building" aid to be spent on developing the military of countries such as Somalia and Mali. The move follows years of pressure from France and Germany on to spend more EU money on missions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jul 15 08:01

Trump Wants Authority to Build New Bases in Iraq, Syria

The White House has issued a statement this week calling on Congress to grant President Trump unilateral legal authority to open new military bases in both Iraq and Syria, as well as to renovate existing facilities. Officials say the bases would be purely temporary in nature.

What “temporary” actually means however is unclear, particularly in Iraq where the Pentagon has been very public about the idea that they intend to keep US ground troops in Iraq more or less forever. Those bases, then, are going to be open-ended facilities for an open-ended mission.

The White House says that the current lack of unilateral authority is limiting “maneuverability” as they continue their military buildup in the region, Though the statement was initially aimed at getting the authority included in the NDAA, it does not appear that the House version made any such revisions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: even though Iraq and Syria are allegedly "sovereign nations", that's not going to stop the US government from permanently garrisoning these places in these countries, in preparation for more perpetual war.

Jul 15 07:47

Pentagon Studies Weapons That Can Read Users’ Mind

The troops of tomorrow may be able to pull the trigger using only their minds. As artificially intelligent drones, hacking, jamming, and missiles accelerate the pace of combat, some of the military’s leading scientists are studying how mere humans can keep up with the incredible speed of cyber warfare, missiles and other threats.

Jul 15 07:19

HUMAN GUINEA PIGS: CONGRESS SLAMS DOOR ON PENTAGON BIOCHEMICAL WEAPONS TESTING DECLASSIFICATION

In the 1960's and 1970's the US government tested chemical and biological weapons on US troops in still little known secret programs called Projects 112 and SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense). The Vietnam era tests involved some 6,000 military personnel being subject to experiments involving deadly nerve agents like sarin and VX, as well as biological agents like E. Coli, all of which can result in quick death or potential lifelong debilitating health issues such as long-term central nervous system failure. A fatal dose of VX nerve agent, for example, can kill in minutes, but it is unknown if the program resulted in deaths because documents remain classified as "Top Secret" even 50 years later.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF know someone who is thinking about joining the US military (other than at officer level), please show them this article, to document how completely expendable the US military members are to their superiors, when they have been experimented upon, and have no recourse to the right treatment, because what was done to them was classified.

On this, Josef Mengele would have been proud!!

Jul 14 17:07

Russian Weapons Maker To Build AI-Directed Guns

Kalashnikov’s upcoming product shows how the US and Russia are on wildly different paths to autonomy.

The maker of the famous AK-47 rifle is building “a range of products based on neural networks,” including a “fully automated combat module” that can identify and shoot at its targets. That’s what Kalashnikov spokeswoman Sofiya Ivanova told TASS, a Russian government information agency last week. It’s the latest illustration of how the U.S. and Russia differ as they develop artificial intelligence and robotics for warfare.

Jul 14 17:06

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare

As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much U.S. taxpayer money to pour into space warfare, explains Jonathan Marshall. By Jonathan Marshall There’s a civil war being fought on our nation’s soil, right in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the United States in space.

Jul 14 12:57

Saudi Arabia: What’s Really Behind Trump’s Hypocrisy?

It is curious then that President Trump’s first trip abroad was to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the sociocultural source code of the very extremism infecting both the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as the wider, global extremism it inspires and fuels everywhere from Southeast Asia, western China and even in the streets of North America and Europe.

While the US postures to the world as engaged in a global war on terrorism, it is clear that those nations in the Middle East cooperating closest with Washington are in fact those also perpetuating this seemingly endless war. Why?

It turns out that perpetual war is a lucrative affair in both terms of acquiring wealth and power. It is this equation of wealth and power that takes precedence, even at the expense of narrative continuity and political legitimacy.

Dollars, Oil and Arms

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Perpetual wars are great for business, if you are part of the military industrial complex, but very lousy for the troops risking their very lives to fight them.

Patriotism cannot just be killing on command; it has to be more than this, by getting the Federal government to become infinitely more accountable for their actions and decisions than they are now to We the People.

And we know precisely where a lot of these munitions are headed; they will be part of the US government-enabled Saudi genocide in Yemen.

When I was a kid in school, even in college, I never imagined that I would be a citizen of a country participating in war crimes, which is precisely what the Saudis are doing in Yemen.

Infants, children, women, and the medically fragile elderly are being slaughtered and maimed for life; the Saudi military have been using DU weapons, which are causing massive cancers, still births, and horrific physical and mental deformities in Yemen's children; with US help, all Yemeni ports are blockaded, so infants and children are dying of complications of malnutrition; and now, cholera has taken a firm hold in Yemen, with over 300,000 stricken with the disease.

I love my country; but as a Christian pacifist activist, I must peacefully, calmly,and logically protest, and witness to, these activities on the part of my government.

We urgently need a national discussion on this, and demand from our Congressional representatives why in the name of Heaven is Yemen considered any kind of a "threat" to the US and/or Saudi Arabia?!? There is an article on this from last year, indicating that the real reason Yemen became a threat to Saudi Arabia was that, with rebel Houthi leaders there, there might be a huge Shia "awakening", with some assistance from Shia Iran, which would have negative implications for the Sunni, Wahabbi Saudi state. Why Saudi Arabia is hammering Yemen

Jul 14 12:31

US Relocating ISIS Terrorists

In war theaters where ISIS operates, America supports the scourge it pretends to oppose, along with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.

An often used tactic involves relocating ISIS fighters from one area to another – last year from Mosul to Syria, currently from Raqqa to elsewhere in the country.

According to Fars News,

“US-led forces have several times transferred the ISIL leaders from Iraq and Syria to other regions by heliborne operations.”

“Local sources reported on Wednesday that three military helicopters of the US-led coalition carried out another heliborne operation in Eastern Homs, carrying a number of ISIL terrorists on board.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why am I not surprised at these revelations?!?

The hypocrisy here is nothing short of amazing and completely appalling.

Jul 14 12:17

U.S. Bases Strategically Placed to Prevent Syrian Military From Advancing; Outlining Borders of Kurdistan

Despite the spits and spurts of World War Three, it seems the United States (at least part of the establishment) and Russia are beginning to move toward a cooling of their approaches to the Syrian crisis. While we have seen this many times in the past – the apparent mutual understanding of Russia and the U.S. – we have been consistently been rattled by an abrupt push by the United States toward a greater involvement in Syria and a push that could very well be the catalyst for a third world war.

While there obviously remains the possibility that the United States will once again lash out like a dying lunatic empire, risking the lives of everyone on earth, we might also ask whether or not the U.S. has had a change in strategy or even perhaps whether or not the American “Plan B” is coming to fruition.

U.S. Bases In Syria Set The Borders For A Federalized Country

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This balkanisation of Syria is an illegal and immoral act on the part of the American government, to make it more "pliable" to Western demands.

But there is a question of just how long Russia, which has been invited by the Syrian government to get rid of the jihadis, will put up with it. The question is: just how far they are willing to go to get these American encampments out of Syria?!? And that is where things could get... nasty very quickly.

Jul 14 12:11

Ukraine De Facto Turns Into a NATO Military Platform, Sharpened for Use Against Russia

These days the airport of Odessa turned into a natural NATO airfield that only just manages to receive and send military aircraft with staff and military equipment. The Odessa “patriotic” Dumskaya.Net publication, literally choking with delight at such proximity to NATO “saviors”, regularly publishes photo reports on these take-offs and landings, from which it is possible to have a certain notion of the plans of the alliance’s command. Thus, just in a week in Odessa the arrival of the following military plans of the alliance was recorded.

But, perhaps, the most interesting visitor was the latest American distant anti-submarine Poseidon R-8 plane, which in general arrived in Ukraine for the first time.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This NATO upgrade of the former Soviet military airbase in Artsyz does not bode well for peace on this planet at all.

Jul 14 12:03

Reckless US Policy Toward North Korea

Decades of US hostility toward the DPRK created heightened tensions, threatening possible conflict on the Korean peninsula - an unthinkable prospect pitting two nuclear powers against each other if launched.

Pyongyang, China, Russia, and South Korea want issues resolved diplomatically. Washington needs enemies to justify its unjustifiable imperial agenda, North Korea a longstanding one - because of its sovereign independence, not for any threat it poses.

It never attacked another country throughout its entire post-WW II history. It threatens none now, except in retaliation if attacked, its right under international law.

China is displeased with Trump administration pressure to ally with its unacceptable strategy - economic and financial strangulation to bring the DPRK to its knees, a lunatic scheme Beijing rejects, an unworkable one if implemented.

The only way to resolve Korean peninsula issues is the diplomatic road Washington won’t take. That’s the key issue, no other.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US refuses to offer any starting stance for a negotiation, like a suggestion about creating a peace treaty to replace the existing armistice in exchange for North Korea's stopping its nuclear program. In fact, Rex Tillerson has very publicly stated that there will be no negotiation until the DPRK.

Rex Tillerson Rejects Talks With North Korea on Nuclear Program

North Korea cannot be brought to the table, if the US gives it nothing with which to actually negotiate, and this is precisely the situation in which the US government has placed itself, and that ... is really unfortunate.

Jul 14 11:50

Ignore the Haters. Russia Is Not Our Enemy.

Those hoping for an early end to the Trump administration received a gift this week as Donald Trump Jr. disclosed an exchange with a Russian lawyer. The Russian hacking story now promises to dominate headlines for the remainder of Trump's presidency, however long it lasts.

For the duration, talking heads will be telling us that Russia is an adversary and a hostile threat. But regardless of whether the president was involved, Russia hating, while great for the military-industrial complex, is inimical to world peace and broader American prosperity.

The intelligence and military leakers and Trump's political enemies believe friendly relations with Vladimir Putin's government are dangerous. But since Russia can annihilate our country, the greater danger is not engaging with Putin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a number of areas in which the US and Russia should be collaborating, such as anti-terrorism work; science; and medical research.

But I cannot believe, for one second, that Russia is the US government's biggest problem. And utterly no proof has been presented that Russia attempted to turn the election in Trump's favor.

We have innumerable problems at home that need to be fixed; we have wars which show no sign of getting won, which should be wound down; our health care is in shambles; and a bankrupt Federal Government, combined with bankrupt states, like Illinois, which may well be just the start of that unwinding.

Jobs have been offshored/outsourced to the point that the middle class is fading; and the general quality of what passes for "education" is just absolutely deplorable.

And no, Russia is not the source of these woes; it is because of lousy decisions by Federal and state leadership, only interested in lining their own pockets, while their "alleged constituents" are forced to live with the consequences of these bad decisions...like the people in Flint, Michigan, who, years after the contamination was known to exist, still do not have clean drinking water!

Jul 14 11:22

Begala: We Should ‘Debate Whether We Should Blow Up’ Russia

Long-time Clinton family ally Paul Begala on Wednesday evening seemingly suggested President Trump should consider bombing Russia in response to the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election. Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the former adviser to Bill Clinton lamented how Trump supporters don’t seem particularly outraged about Russia’s meddling in American affairs. “We were and are under attack by a hostile foreign power,” he said, “and... we should be debating how many sanctions we should place on Russia or whether we should blow up the KGB, GSU, or GRU [Russia’s foreign intelligence agency].” He continued: “If I was Trump, I would be mad because it has tainted his victory.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. Begala, forgive me, but I must ask; have you gone absolutely foaming at the mouth, mad-dog insane, to suggest such a thing?!?

And sir, did you not get the memo the the "Big Lie" went out with the whoopie cushion, and the dribble glass?!?

As to the evidence, the Democrats not only have not presented a shred of evidence that this happened, but they also will not allow top US investigators into their private servers; so what's up here?!?

Jul 14 10:43

US Commander Predicts Weeks More Of Fighting In “Liberated” Mosul

Gun battles continued to rage and air strikes sent plumes of smoke rising over Iraq’s devastated second largest city Wednesday, more than 36 hours after the country’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, proclaimed victory in the nine-month US-backed siege of Mosul.

Jul 14 09:17

Don’t Be Fooled, There Is No ‘Diplomacy’ With North Korea

China and South Korea both favor the diplomatic approach, and both have been pushing the Trump Administration to consider serious proposals for a broad deal. While there are several variations, at the core of the proposal involves North Korea totally freezing both their nuclear and missile programs, the U.S. halting wargames, and reducing the American military footprint on the Korean Peninsula.

It’s not a bad deal, and gives the U.S. what it wants. That South Korea is backing the deal is particularly significant, showing that they’re willing to give up the annual war exercise, and see some of the U.S. troops withdraw from their territory, in return for these concessions. The White House is not only sour on the specifics of the idea, but is rejecting such proposals out of hand, insisting they don’t want to make any deals that involve lifting any economic or military pressure on North Korea.

Jul 14 09:12

Lawmakers: Pentagon Can Keep Secret Chemical Weapons Tests on US Troops

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the Pentagon conducted multiple secret tests of chemical and biological weapons, deliberately exposing some 6,000 US troops to nerve gases and various bacterial toxins, to “develop a response plan” in case US troops were ever attacked by chemical weapons. You know, attacked with chemical weapons by someone other than the Pentagon.

The first information about the tests emerged as early as 2000, and veterans groups have been demanding more information, insisting that many of the exposed veterans are suffering adverse effects from their exposure, and need to know more to seek better treatment. The problem is, the details are all classified.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you know of any kids thinking about enlisting for the military, please show them this article; to the Pentagon, its troops are simply disposable, once they have finished their missions, and may well rot in a chemically induced hell for the rest of their lives, when they have been the subjects of experiments like this.

And please don't tell me that, in some way or another, such "tests" are not performed currently.

Jul 14 09:08

US to Send Ground Troops to Kosovo to Join NATO Operation

The Pentagon has announced today that a unit of about 500 US ground troops, National Guardsmen, are to be deployed to the Kosovo region to join a NATO “peacekeeping” operation (KFOR) that has proven the longest in the alliance’s history.

The operation is the remnant of the 1999 NATO attack on Serbia, which ended with NATO announcing that Kosovo, which had been part of Serbia since the Middle Ages, would secede from Serbia. The ethnic Albanian population approved of this. The Serbian population in North Kosovo continues to oppose it.

18 years in, Kosovo still lacks recognition from a number of states, particularly Serbia, and the intense ethnic division between Albanians and Serbs remains as big a problem as ever. NATO’s effort has been to just keep throwing more troops at the situation, and hope that somewhere along the line the situation will resolve itself and victory can be claimed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wouldn't hold my breath here, wait for a "peaceful resolution" of the situation; the NATO troops are here to prevent the reigniting of a civil war , but that is just about all they can do.

Jul 14 09:08

Say What?! Tailwind to Blame for ‘Uncontained,’ Costly F-35 Engine Fire

A fresh investigation has concluded that gusts of wind may have been the most important factor in causing an F-35A Joint Strike Fighter’s engine to fail and catch fire during training on September 23, 2016.

The catastrophic and costly engine breakdown occurred after wind “forced hot air into the inlet of the Integrated Power Pack,” a part of the jet’s internal power and cooling system.

Jul 14 09:06

The true scale of damage to doomed USS Fitzgerald is revealed: New photos show the hole beneath the waterline that was punched by cargo ship in crash that killed seven sailors

Startling new photographs have been released showing previously unseen damage to the USS Fitzgerald.

The destroyer collided with a cargo ship off Japan's Izu Peninsula on June 17, causing the death of seven sailors.

The new pictures, which were released by the Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, were taken while the ship was docked and sailors were inspecting the damage. For the first time, damage down to the hull below the waterline is clearly visible.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Delicate things, these DDGs!

Jul 14 09:03

U.S. DOUBLED FUEL SUPPORT FOR SAUDI BOMBING CAMPAIGN IN YEMEN AFTER DEADLY STRIKE ON FUNERAL

Last October, an airstrike in Yemen by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition hit a funeral, killing more than 130 people and drawing global condemnation. Yet in the months following that strike, the United States doubled the amount of fuel it provided to coalition jets, according to figures obtained from the U.S. military. The numbers underline the fact that U.S. support for the campaign has continued and even increased despite growing attention to civilian casualties and alleged war crimes by the coalition.

But the House of Representatives just passed over the chance to vote on legislation that would have tracked the fuel the Pentagon gives to the Saudi coalition and prohibited refueling of coalition aircraft unless the Pentagon could assure Congress that subsequent missions wouldn’t hit civilians or targets contained on no-strike lists.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To be a citizen of a country which enables Saudi war crimes in Yemen is just repulsive to me.

And here is what these bombings accomplish; the assassination of infants; children; and the elderly physically infirm. Warning: the following image is very graphic; but as a Christian witness to this genocide, I feel compelled to share this with our readers:

Images: Yemeni children killed and maimed for life from Saudi bombings

This, folks, is what is being done in Yemen, with your tax dollars and in your name.

We urgently need to be having a national dialogue on how enabling this Saudi genocide in Yemen is "protecting" us, and our quality of life here in the US.
And the short answer is, it isn't; not one bit.

Jul 14 08:40

Once Aimed at Pakistan, Indian Nuclear Program Sets Missile Sights on China

Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris belong to a select group of experts keen on writing and researching all things nuclear. Norris is currently a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington while Kristensen directs the Nuclear Information Project at FAS. The pair have co-authored the Nuclear Notebook since 1987, “widely regarded as the most accurate source of information on nuclear weapons and weapons facilities available to the public,” according to publisher Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Next-generation ballistic missiles can be placed in central and southern India and reach nearly every region in China, the researchers said in their 2017 report on Indian nuclear forces published this month.

The duo estimate plutonium production in India allows for the creation of 150 to 200 warheads. So far, they believe between 120 and 130 nukes have been completed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Considering recent border skirmishes between India and China, this is a very worrisome turn of events; I would like to hope that the Indian government sees its nuclear weapons as a deterrent, but not first-strike weapons, but right now, that is impossible to discern, effectively.

Jul 14 08:17

NEOCONS GET IN HERE: TUCKER CARLSON JUST HUMILIATED MAX BOOT ON NATIONAL TV

Over the past 30 years, the neocons have presided over the worst foreign policies in American history -- pursuing their Trotskyite schemes of war that have accelerated to an ebb tide that peaked during Bush the Idiot's reign.

Men like Max Boot, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, and many others, have attached themselves to the republican party like a cancerous tumor -- transforming it from a checkered pants, cigar smoked room, boys club into a satanic cult out for the blood of the indigenous.

At the root of the neocon "plan", being disciples of Trotsky, is the destruction of "Mother Russia." It's in their blood -- because they're still mad at Stalin. This has been a constant since the 50's. It was only after the Berlin Wall fell and there was a detente between the United States and Russia in the 90s did these revolutionaries affix themselves to the GOP with real energy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I just listened to this, and it is priceless.

Tucker just handed this guy his hat, and I deeply appreciate how he handled the interview.

Jul 14 08:14

STAR WARS 2.0: Washington’s Battle to Fund Space Warfare

In 1983, US President Ronald Reagan launched the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a space-based anti-missile system which came to be known as “Star Wars.” At the time, SDI was meant to give the US a nuclear first-strike against advantage against its geopolitical rival the Soviet Union by using various weaponized technologies including lasers, to intercept Soviet ICBM missiles in space. In the end, the program proved to be too costly, too complicated for a practical role out, and ineffective against non-space faring weapons like cruise missiles, submarine based missile batteries and long range bombers.

Now in 2017, as the Cold War is being re-heated again, the West is potentially looking at the complete militarization of outer space. This time the US nemesis is both Russia and China. But what really driving this new ‘space race’ agenda?

Jul 14 08:05

U.S. BOMBS WITH WHITE PHOSPHOROUS WHILE BLAMING ASSAD FOR USING ‘SARIN’

On June 14th, Human Rights Watch headlined “Danger From US White Phosphorous”, and linked to far more evidence of America’s firebombings in Syria and Iraq, than had ever been presented regarding the alleged-by-America April 4th sarin gas event that allegedly resulted in Syria from one of Assad’s bombs on that day having hit a ‘rebel’ warehouse that might have had sarin in it — a mistake if it had even happened as America charged it happened. America then on April 7th missile-bombed in ‘retaliation’ one of Assad’s military airports, a supposed ‘punishment’, which was praised by U.S. ’news’media for that additional U.S. invasion of Syria’s sovereign territory, where the U.S. is an occupier and an enemy-invader instead of any legal participant in the war there. (Russia and Syria urged an independent investigation to determine what had actually happened on April 4th; it was “blocked by Western delegations without any explanations.”)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a Christian pacifist activist, I am appalled that I am a citizen of a country which so frequently indulges in war crimes with such impunity.

IF, in fact, this is what is truly the meaning of "American exceptionalism", which appears to be "assassinate at will to support specific geopolitical agendas", I want none of it, thank you very much!!

Jul 13 20:43

Navy Introduces Toxins To Drinking Water, Then Expands Operations

Washington State’s Whidbey Island already has problems with inadequate water supplies. Located in Puget Sound, the residents have to face a long, dry summer with no aquifer replenishment and ongoing threats of saltwater intrusion.

Jul 13 14:40

Ignoring The Human Disaster In Yemen

It is hard to imagine that along with the catastrophe that has been inflicted on Syria for the past six years, another calamity is unfolding in Yemen of damning proportions while the whole world looks on with indifference.

Jul 13 13:10

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it. George Orwell

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
George Orwell

All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.
George Orwell ......

Jul 13 08:29

Nation "Too Broke" for Universal Healthcare to Spend $406 Billion More on F-35

There always another $27 billion or lying around, it seems, when Lockheed Martin needs more money for expensive weapons system

Jul 13 07:42

UK army recruitment bid targeting working-class youth: Report

The British army’s new flashy recruitment campaign is specifically aimed at luring in young people from working class families despite claiming to target people from all socio-economic backgrounds, a report has revealed.

Dubbed “This Is Belonging,” the campaign is seeking to appeal to a key audience of 16- to 24-year-old “C2DEs” – the marketing term used to describe the lowest three social and economic groups within the British society, The Guardian reported Sunday, citing one of the campaign’s briefing papers.

Under “target audience,” officials pinpoint in the brief that they are looking for people within the ages of “16-24, primarily C2DE. Mean household income 10K. High index for social, mobile, cinema. Not heavy TV viewers. Interested in sports and spending time with friends.”

Jul 13 05:27

US to Spend $406 Billion on F-35 Jet Program

The Most Expensive Weapons Program Is Getting More Costly

The cost of the F-35 jet program , already the most expensive weapons program ever is estimated to climb to US$406.5 billion , dispite Trump's assurances to fix "out of control" expenditures

>>>

Jul 12 21:56

Stop WWIII! They Shot Their Wad; We Now are in Negative Nothing Burger Time to Counterattack July 12, 2017

The latest hot dummy bombshell directed at the U.S. population about President Trump concerns— hold your breath—the fact that Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met for 20 minutes soon after Trump won the Republican nomination with a Russian lawyer who, it was claimed, would offer damning information on Hillary Clinton's illicit Russian contacts.

Jul 12 17:56

Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

The UK is buying 138 F-35s in total, the majority of which will be F-35Bs. Nobody can be sure about this, however, because the Ministry of Defence hasn’t ruled out an F-35A purchase as well. Early production F-35Bs cost around $122m each, according to Lockheed Martin’s own estimates. With F-35As coming in at $94.6m each, that price is now in the region of $101.2m per jet.

As we reported in May, the MoD has signed contracts to buy a total of 27 F-35Bs until the year 2023, which is when Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-35, appears to be going into full scale production. This appears to be a decision made in the hope of taking advantage of economies of scale once the design is frozen and mass production kicks in. With the US scaling back, however, and causing its own prices to rise, there is little doubt foreign customers will also be hit with price rises in turn – including the UK.

Jul 12 15:07

US Forces Could Have Killed Kim Jong-un on July 4 But Didn’t Take the Shot

This is helpful.

The US military generally knows when North Korean missile tests will occur, but of course hasn’t launched a pre-emptive strike to stop one. But it’s “unusual” that the US would allow it to leak that Kim could have been eliminated and wasn’t, Baker explained.

The consultant believes it’s possible Washington allowed the information to leak to show that it doesn’t want to kill Kim at any chance it gets, in hopes that even an olive branch that small could persuade North Korea to slow the pace of its ballistic missile and nuclear program development.

Jul 12 10:59

US Approves $3.9 Billion Patriot Missile System For Romania; Putin: "We Will Be Forced To Respond"

On Tuesday the State Department approved the sale of $3.9 billion in patriot missile systems to NATO-member Romania after prior Russia warnings that such actions could be met with severe reprisals.

Jul 12 10:56

Video: Challenging the U.S: China Makes First Step in Shifting Naval Balance of Power in Pacific

The Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) launched the first Type 055 Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) on June 28th, 2017. The vessel represents a major technological step forward for China’s navy. The Type 055 meets and likely exceeds the capabilities of the U.S. Arleigh Burke Class DDG, the Japanese Atago Class DDG, and just about any other DDG in service in the world today.

Jul 12 10:15

Back To Benghazi – Are More US Troops The Answer?, Asks Ron Paul

The Obama Administration’s lies (crafted mostly by Hillary Clinton) to “justify” a US attack on Libya were grotesque and the “liberation” of that country created a living hell on earth for the very citizens we were supposed to be saving. After six years of chaos and a 2012 attack on a US installation in Benghazi, the Trump Administration is reportedly preparing a policy shift on Libya that will bring permanently-stationed US troops into the country. How does yet another overseas US military mission square with President Trump’s campaign promise to put America first?

Jul 12 09:48

No One Would Buy My Photos, So Here They Are For Free: Mosul 2017

My name is Kainoa Little, and I am a Shoreline, Washington-based conflict photographer. I was in Mosul in April and May 2017, documenting Iraqi forces as they fought Islamic State militants to liberate the city.

I tried and failed to find newspapers and wire services who would purchase my photos. But the soldiers had fed me and given me a seat in their Humvees, and the refugees had tolerated my presence on some of the worst days of their lives. They very rightly expected that I would tell their story.

The worst uncertainty for me as a freelancer in conflict isn’t that I won’t be able to pay my rent; it’s that no one will see the story, and then I will have failed to give a voice to the voiceless. So I have tried to share them where I can, and hopefully people can imagine some of the human tragedy and triumph playing out in Mosul.

Jul 12 09:46

UN: Yemen unlikely to get cholera vaccine as first planned

U.N. officials said Tuesday that plans to ship as many as 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to Yemen are likely to be shelved over security, access and logistical challenges, even as the deadly caseload continues to balloon in parts of the war-torn country.

The U.N. aid coordination agency said Yemen's suspected cholera caseload has surged past 313,000 and caused over 1,700 deaths, making it the world's largest outbreak. War has crippled Yemen's health system, depleted access to safe drinking water and put millions on the brink of famine.

Citing such complexities, spokesman Christian Lindmeier of the World Health Organization said that shipping vaccines "has to make sense," and that they could be re-routed to places that "might need them more urgently," such as some African countries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How "convenient" for the Saudis, that no cholera vaccine will get to Yemen, in spite of over 300,000 cases!

I have to wonder if this was what Saudi's Prince Salman "bought" with his 66 million dollar contribution last month to UN agencies, understanding, very clearly, that there was no way for this vaccine to get delivered, due to the fighting here.

Saudi Prince Salman contributes $66 million for anti-cholera campaign in Yemen

Jul 12 09:26

Trump Is on Course to Get a Hot War Going with North Korea; An underinformed president faces an overhyped threat. What could go wrong?

“It won’t happen,” President-elect Trump tweeted January 2 about North Korea’s plans to develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States.

WORLD
Trump Is on Course to Get a Hot War Going with North Korea
An underinformed president faces an overhyped threat. What could go wrong?
By Jefferson Morley / AlterNet July 5, 2017, 10:35 AM GMT
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269 COMMENTS

Photo Credit: CNN

“It won’t happen,” President-elect Trump tweeted January 2 about North Korea’s plans to develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States.

Six months later, “it” just came a lot closer to happening.

On July 4, North Korea successfully test launched a ballistic missile theoretically capable of hitting Alaska and Hawaii. The country's leader, Kim Jong-un, said the missile test was intended to “slap the American bastards in their face.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What should happen here, is encouraging China, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea back to the negotiating table, to hammer out a real peace deal for North Korea with which to replace the armistice, and disable sanctions, in exchange for North Korea stopping its nuclear weapons program.

Of course, that...would be logical.

Jul 12 09:06

US May Go it Alone Against DPRK as Beijing Tires of Shouldering Responsibility

China announced Tuesday that it has grown weary of the US placing undue pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea, saying that all nations involved should do their part to counter Pyongyang’s ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile activity, and calling for an end to the "China responsibility theory."

Jul 12 09:05

US Awards $27Mln to Support Surveillance Air Control Tracking System

A US technology firm won more than $27 million contract for technical and engineering services to install equipment for the Fleet Area Air Control Tracking System, the Department of Defense said in a press release.

Jul 12 08:35

Yemen cholera cases pass 300,000 as outbreak spirals - ICRC

A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen is thought to have infected 300,000 people in the past 10 weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

The situation has continued to "spiral out of control", with about 7,000 new cases every day, the ICRC warned.

More than 1,700 associated deaths have been reported, according to the UN.
Yemen's health, water and sanitation systems are collapsing after two years of conflict between pro-government forces and the rebel Houthi movement.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms but, in severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Saudi and US leadership and military must be DELIGHTED with this current turn of events; fewer people to have to kill outright with bombs and bullets; just a couple of bulldozers for mass graves will be needed, as the epidemic continues to take hold here in Yemen.

And what really happened to that 66 million dollar donation last month to the UN from Saudi Prince Salman, allegedly, to ease the plight of this epidemic in a country with which Saudi Arabia is at war?!?

Prince Salman donates $66 million dollars to aid anti-cholera campaign in Yemen

Prince Salman very cynically understands that the UN, and its agencies move more slowly than do molasses in a cold January. IF he had really wanted something done quickly enough to stay the spread of this disease, this contribution should have gone to the ICRC (The International Committee of the Red Crescent, the Middle Eastern equivalent to America's Red Cross), or Doctors without Borders; both these organisations understand how to get medical boots on the ground, and quickly.

By the time the money is watered down at the UN, and bureaucratically disbursed, it will have been far too little, and far too late, but he will appear to have "done something" while the situation on the ground in Yemen simply translates into more bombings of innocent civilians; more malnutrition leading to death of Yemen's kids, due to the port blockades in Yemen; and more birth defects, stillbirths, and cancers from the Saudi use of DU in Yemen.

And one last question; I have to wonder if cholera has been deliberately placed in Yemen's drinking water, to hasten the rapidity of the spread of the epidemic?!?

Jul 12 08:08

TWO ISRAELI COMPANIES: SPYING ON THE WORLD

In 2008, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Bamford as his latest book, The Shadow Factory, was being released.

Bamford explained that, in the 1990s, everything changed for NSA. Previously, they’d been able to intercept electronic communications by using big dishes to capture what was coming down to Earth from telecom satellites.

But with the shift to fiber-optic cables, NSA was shut out. So they devised new methods.

For example, they set up a secret spy room at an AT&T office in San Francisco. NSA installed new equipment that enabled them to tap into the fiber-optic cables and suck up all traffic.

How Bamford describes this, in 2008, tells you exactly where the PRISM program came from:

“NSA began making these agreements with AT&T and other companies, and that in order to get access to the actual cables, they had to build these secret rooms in these buildings.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a couple of problems with all of this data-mining and sharing by US intelligent agencies.

First, the bad guys already have a "Rolls Royce" standard of encryption that the NSA cannot, generally break.

And secondly, with all the data being collected, those gatherers of this intel are simply drowning in it; there's just too much.

Jul 12 08:01

A BAD BLUEPRINT: INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COOPTING PRIVATE ENTERPRISE

Earlier this week, The New York Times published a story on how top Trump administration officials have asked Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, and billionaire Stephen Feinberg, who owns military contractor DynCorp, to come up with alternative plans on how to proceed in Afghanistan.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the two men, who have made untold sums of money off the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, came up with a plan to rely on private contractors instead of the US military. This story may sound familiar and it usually doesn’t end well.

Last month — after The Wall Street Journal fired Jay Solomon, its chief foreign affairs correspondent, for failure to disclose shady business deals with one of his sources — we published a book excerpt that revealed some juicy details about that source, Farhad Azima, and his unsavory colleagues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is only one intelligent answer to that belching cesspool which is Afghanistan, 16 years on: have NATO and US troops leave as quickly as is safe, then negotiate with whatever government is left standing in Kabul for rights to the oil pipelines (which is why Bush sent our troops there n the first place); the mineral rights, and rights to the opium, which funds "off the shelf" operations over which Congress has utterly no oversight.

And, BTW, here are some images of American troops guarding those opium poppy fields in Afghanistan:

US occupation leads to all time high heroin production

Video: US troops assisting in harvesting opium in Afghanistan.

US turns a blind eye to opium in Afghan town

The US government has have spent far too much blood and money in a country with the international reputation as being "the graveyard for empires"; time to go.

Jul 12 07:33

Trump’s son-in-law tried to get $500mn loan from Qatar

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has “tried and failed” to get a $500 million loan from a key member of the Qatari royal family before pushing the president to toe hard line against the Persian Gulf nation, reports say.

Jul 12 05:18

Who Is The Real Enemy?

***
And even given that I would have to qualify the nature of the threats . Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather then enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war , even though Washington is doing it's best to turn them hostile >>>

Jul 11 14:37

Ken O'Keefe - US Military Fighting For Israel - Israel, not Iran, is the Threat!

Ken O'Keefe is re-releasing his epic expose of the Israeli/Jewish lies about Iran that are being employed just as the "WMD's in Iraq" lie was used to send American sons and daughters off to die for Israel in the invasion/occupation of Iraq. With Syria not all going to plan, the ultimate target of Iran and the World War III agenda looks to be in overdrive with President Trump continuing the sickening and sychonpantic role of Jewish US Presidents as Jewish whipping boys. How many more American sons and daughters will be sacrificed for Israel before genuine American patriots stand up and refuse orders and arrest the traitors in Congress? These questions and points and more are made in this, part 1 of a 2 part program that tells the truth about the what and why regarding Iran. If people want more such videos/commentary from Ken O'Keefe then visit https://www.patreon.com/kok and invest in Ken O'Keefe's work.

Jul 11 14:32

“Ain’t No Such Thing As A Just War”: Ben Salmon, WWI Resister

Several days a week, Laurie Hasbrook arrives at the Voices office here in Chicago. She often takes off her bicycle helmet, unpins her pant leg, settles into an office chair and then leans back to give us an update on family and neighborhood news. Laurie’s two youngest sons are teenagers, and because they are black teenagers in Chicago they are at risk of being assaulted and killed simply for being young black men. Laurie has deep empathy for families trapped in war zones. She also firmly believes in silencing all guns.

Jul 11 11:53

US Deploys Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Baltics for First Time

Lithuania’s Defense Ministry has made a surprise announcement today that the United States has deployed an unspecified number of Patriot missile batteries into Lithuania, nominally for a military drill that is ongoing for the next two weeks.

This marks the first time such advanced US anti-aircraft weapons have been deployed into one of the Baltic states, and the deployment is expected to last beyond the current exercise, with Lithuanian officials saying it proves the US military commitment to them.

Lithuanian officials have the impression the missiles would be there at least through Russia’s own military exercises in the region in September, which are expected to be held near the NATO border regions, and which Lithuanian officials have been hyping as a “threat.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

WHAT Russian threat is there to Lithuania, or Poland, please?!?

In a word, non-existent.

However, what we are seeing is a string of NATO detachments, encircling Russia; toward what final end, perhaps, a NATO war against Russia?!?

Jul 11 11:48

Diplomats: US drafts new sanctions resolution against NKorea

The United States has circulated a draft resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea following its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, two U.N. diplomats said Monday.

The proposed resolution has been circulated to North Korea's closest ally and main trading partner, China, as well as the three other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Russia, Britain and France, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private.

The spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said he had "no comment" on the report.

North Korea's successful test launch of an ICBM last week was a milestone in its long-term effort to build a missile with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States. President Donald Trump searched for consensus with Asian allies Saturday on how to counter what he called the "menace" of North Korea

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And when Security Council members Russia and China veto this, what then?!?!?

Jul 11 11:42

'But sir, it’s an American ship.' 'Never mind, hit her!' When Israel attacked USS Liberty

'The Americans have findings that show our pilots were aware the ship was American,' a newly published document by the State Archives says.

Israel apologized and paid compensation to the victims’ families. Israeli and American commissions of inquiry found that the attack was a mistake. But naturally, as often happens in such events, to this day there are some who believe Israel attacked the ship with malicious intent.

A conspiracy? Healthy suspicion? Call it what you will. A new book published in May in the United States (its authors include several survivors of the attack) promises that “the truth is being told as never before and the real story revealed.” The 302 pages of “Remember the Liberty!: Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas” include quite a number of documents, testimonies, arguments and information that were gathered in the subsequent 50 years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The attack on the USS Liberty, by the Israeli military was absolutely no mistake, and from what I have read by experts on the matter, the proposal that President Lyndon Johnson may well have been behind the attack, in order to get the US to join the 6 Day War, could potentially be feasible.

And please remember: when the survivors were awarded their medals in a closed, private ceremony, and not by President Johnson, but by the Secretary of the Navy at the Washington Navy Yard.

Remembering the USS Liberty

Jul 11 11:30

UK High Court Refuses to Block Saudi Arms Sales

The British High Court today handed down a pair of judgement on the lawsuit by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which was seeking to stop continued British arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The open judgement was that the sales can continue without restrictions.

The lawsuit was based on UK and EU law both forbidding arms exports when there is a “clear risk” the arms would be used to break international humanitarian law, and the widespread war crimes the Saudis are committing in the course of the Yemen War.

The judge in the ruling claimed the UK government necessarily has better information on the Saudi war crimes than CAAT would, though specifics are only in a secret “closed judgement” offered for “national security reasons.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is one of the most morally horrific, yet perfectly predictable, rulings to come from the British High Court in decades; I am quite certain that executives in Britain's defence industry are heaving a collective sigh of relief that the ruling went this way, and that these merchants of death can continue selling their wares to Saudi Arabia with no legal constraints.

The US and UK are now deep partners in Saudi war crimes in Yemen; and forgive me, but being a citizen of a country deliberately involved in the commission of war crimes makes me grieve over the complete and utter absence of any kind of moral compass by the US government.

The images I am about to share with you are very graphic, but this is precisely what Saudi Arabia is doing with those bombs which have been sold to them by the US and the UK.

The Saudi bombing is killing and maiming Yemeni children for life:

Images: Yemeni children, murdered and maimed for life courtesy of US-enabled Saudi bombing runs.

Because of US-enabled port closures in Yemen, Yemeni children are dying of complications of malnutrition:

Images: Yemeni children dying from complications of malnutrition

And when you have malnutrition, you are almost certain to see disease take hold, as it has been with epidemic of cholera in Yemen:

1,310 Yemeni dead from cholera: UN's World Health Organization also warns that as many as 300,000 people could be infected by the end of August.

The Saudi military is using depleted uranium weapons in Yemen, which have caused a massive spike in cancers; still births; and massive birth defects in Yemeni children. Courtesy of Ruptly, we have the following horrific image:

Massive deformations in a Yemeni infant exposed to depleted uranium

There may worse forms of child abuse than poisoning a child in the womb, but I am having a very hard time thinking what they are right now.

All of these horrific outcomes in Yemen are totally predictable; and yet, the Royal House of Saud, the Saudi Government, and the US government and its military are perfectly morally comfortable with what they are doing here.

I, for one, as an American citizens, am absolutely not at all morally comfortable with the tragedy which Yemen has become, and will continue to be a Christian witness to this behaviour for as long as I have breath.

Jul 11 11:04

Titanic blitz offensive by pro-Syria forces sees 3,000 km2 liberated in just 12 hours: Map update

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:55 P.M.) – No less than twelve hours ago the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allied pro-government militias, after weeks of military build-up, undertook a titanic trans-provincial offensive in the western Syrian Badia. Since then the SAA and its allies have liberated twenty key sites represented by towns and hilltops over a breathtaking area of 3000 kilometers squared (km2). The entire strategic operation is aimed at expelling US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) mercenaries which operate in the eastern regions of As-Suwayda and Rif Dimashq Governonates.

This offensive launched by pro-government forces today represents the second phase of Operation Big Dawn.

Jul 11 10:57

US Looks to Dramatically Escalate Involvement in Libya: Permanent US Military Presence Considered

US officials familiar with the situation say that the Trump Administration is likely to announce a dramatic “ramping up” of US involvement in Libya, appointing a new US ambassador, and setting up a permanent US military presence in the nation.

While the military operation appears primarily aimed at supporting the “unity government” in Tripoli, officials suggest it might also see some US troops deployed to war-torn Benghazi, currently under the control of a rival faction, with an eye toward eventually uniting the country under unity government rule.

The US officials say that the administration is happy with their increased involvement in Somalia, and is looking to replicate that sudden escalation in Libya, trying to carve out a permanent US presence in the country, and ensure that whoever ends up in power becomes a US client.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

All we need to do to figure out why the US government is looking for a permanent presence in Libya and Somalia, is to look at the following:

Libya natural resources

Natural Resources: Somalia

This is all about controlling Libya's and Somalia's oil and mineral resources, making sure that they are only sold to specific countries, and not to others, and only sold in US dollars.

Jul 11 09:11

WHITE HOUSE HIRES BILLIONAIRE WAR PROFITEERS TO AID IN WAR PLANNING

Blackwater founder Erik Prince and billionaire Stephen Feinberg reportedly "recruited" for war planning.

Jul 11 08:41

'Strategic Message' for Beijing: US Leads Massive Navy Drills With India, Japan

The US Nimitz Carrier Strike Group arrived in India for war games with the Japanese and Indian navies known as Malabar 2017, the US Navy announced Monday.

Jul 11 08:39

WATCH: F-35 Gets ‘Real Lucky,’ Lands on US Aircraft Carrier Without Crashing

“We got real lucky that night,” a US colonel said regarding a joint strike fighter pilot’s ability to overcome a display malfunction while trying to land a fifth-generation F-35 in the dark.

Jul 11 08:12

16 dead as US military plane crashes in Mississippi

Sixteen US servicemen have died after the military plane carrying them went down in rural Mississippi, police say.

There were 16 people on board the Marine Corps KC-130 when it crashed Monday afternoon in a soybean field in Leflore County, leaving a debris field five miles in radius.

"A USMC KC-130 mishap occurred the evening of July 10. Further information will be released as available,” the US Marine Corps Twitter account said immediately after the incident.

Jul 10 10:09

Pentagon Gives Lockheed Billions to Keep Working on F-35s

The Defense Department has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $4.49 billion undefinitized contract action to continue production on the latest batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as it continues to negotiate a firm price for the fifth-generation jets.

The UCA — a type of contract in which bottom-line terms or prices have not been agreed upon before performance is begun — stipulates a max price of $5.6 billion for Lockheed to continue working on the Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP, lot 11 jets, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Lockheed is “expending money to keep the production line going,” JPO spokesman Joe DellaVedova told Military.com via telephone on Friday. So “we want to pay them for the work they they’re doing [to] obligate funds for the Lot 11 aircraft.”

The prices for individual jets are still being determined, according to the office.

Jul 10 09:56

Pentagon Gives Lockheed Billions to Keep Working on F-35s

The Defense Department has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $4.49 billion undefinitized contract action to continue production on the latest batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as it continues to negotiate a firm price for the fifth-generation jets.

The UCA — a type of contract in which bottom-line terms or prices have not been agreed upon before performance is begun — stipulates a max price of $5.6 billion for Lockheed to continue working on the Low Rate Initial Production, or LRIP, lot 11 jets, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Lockheed is “expending money to keep the production line going,” JPO spokesman Joe Della Vedova told Military.com via telephone on Friday. So “we want to pay them for the work they they’re doing [to] obligate funds for the Lot 11 aircraft.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The question someone needs to ask the Pentagon brass, is why they insist on spending good money after bad?!?

The F-35 has been a major debacle from its inception, and throwing more money on it will not cure its existing problems, which are horrific.

Jul 10 09:35

South Syria Ceasefire Takes Effect, Is Holding

US and Russian officials both heralded the official start of the new ceasefire in southern Syria, which they agreed upon Friday, with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster saying the deal is an important “anti-terrorism” move, and Russian President Vladimir Putin saying it signals a more pragmatic US position on Syria.

From the US position, the goal is to prevent further defeats of rebels in southern Syria, and to prevent the Syrian government from connecting a land route to neighboring Iraq, a policy seen as particularly important to both Israel and Jordan.

With Syria having a narrow de facto link to Iraq already, however, the Russian government sees the move primarily as aimed at preventing the US from carrying out any more attacks against Syrian government forces and their allies, something the US has almost exclusively done in the new ceasefire zone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me slightly hopeful on this.

Jul 10 09:30

MEDIA SILENT AS US ALLY SAUDI ARABIA MASSACRES ITS OWN PEOPLE

For the past 60 days, Saudi Arabia imposed a devastating siege on the Shiite town of Awamiya. And of course, mainstream western media remains silent.

These photos aren’t from Yemen, they’re from the Saudi Arabian eastern town of Awamiya. Where Saudi forces are waging war against an oppressed shia minority. Saudi Arabia adheres to the extreme fundamentalist and intolerant sect of Wahhabism. Making it the country’s religious majority. This ideology is also enforced through state tactics. Which make it illegal to publicly carry out any religious practice or teaching that conflicts with Wahhabism. Even other Muslims (especially Shiites) are considered infidels by the Saudi government. And thus, all religious minorities in Saudi Arabia remain an extremely oppressed group; often lacking the same health care, public services, and wages granted to their Wahhabi counterparts; if not facing death.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And the Saudi monarchy has just become President Trump's "newest best friends"?!?

Folks, looking at the way the House of Saud and its government treats its citizens for religious differences, this is more than a little scary here!!

Jul 10 09:23

European Muslim Imams Begin Peace Tour to Terrorism-Hit Cities

Muslim imams are marching and praying against terrorism in Europe, condemning extremism committed in the name of religion.

Bringing a message of peace, some 60 Muslim imams based in several countries in Europe have embarked on a bus tour throughout the continent, visiting cities that have been affected by terrorist attacks.

In condemning extremist violence and armed religious fundamentalism, the imams seek to share their message of a peaceful Islam, according to Deutsche Welle.

The bus tour, called the "March of Muslims against Terrorism" commenced in Paris on Saturday with prayers at a site on the Champs-Elysees where a policeman was killed earlier this year by an Islamist militant.

Seeking to change the hearts and minds of young Muslim men and women in Europe who may be headed along a path of violence, the imams are condemning the use of religious beliefs to justify violent actions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Without knowing them, I think I already like these guys, and what they are trying to accomplish! :-)

Jul 10 09:16

European Muslim Imams Begin Peace Tour to Terrorism-Hit Cities

Muslim imams are marching and praying against terrorism in Europe, condemning extremism committed in the name of religion.

Bringing a message of peace, some 60 Muslim imams based in several countries in Europe have embarked on a bus tour throughout the continent, visiting cities that have been affected by terrorist attacks.

Counter demonstrators opposing a group who gathered nearby to protest against Islamic-law yell out Saturday, June 10, 2017, in New York.
© AP PHOTO/ CRAIG RUTTLE
Anti-Islam Marches in US Fail to Draw Participants (PHOTOS)
In condemning extremist violence and armed religious fundamentalism, the imams seek to share their message of a peaceful Islam, according to Deutsche Welle.

The bus tour, called the "March of Muslims against Terrorism" commenced in Paris on Saturday with prayers at a site on the Champs-Elysees where a policeman was killed earlier this year by an Islamist militant.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good on these guys!!

Jul 10 02:50

Scott Adams: North Korea is an Information Problem Disguised as a Military Problem

In the year 2017, most of our national problems are information problems. And by that I mean having the right information would allow us to solve most problems.

Consider the nuclear threat from North Korea. That’s an information problem disguised as a military problem.

I hope that statement seems wrong to you, so you will be extra-impressed when I change your mind in the next hundred seconds.

Jul 08 16:04

The US State of War – July 2017

This is the state of war in The United States in July 2017

The US bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria is now the heaviest since the bombings of Vietnam , Cambodia , and Laos in the 1960s & 70s>>>

Jul 08 11:15

Two B-1B Bombers Hold Live-Fire Drills Over Korean Peninsula, Show Off US "Attack Capabilities"

The US sent two B-1B Lancer strategic bombers from Guam's Andersen Air Force Base base to the Korean Peninsula, to practice “attack capabilities” with South Korean jet fighters and hold live-fire drills on Saturday, Yonhap News reported, the latest show of force by the US military after North Korea’s first-ever ICBM test launch on July 4. The pair of US bombers flew conducted a simulated destruction of an enemy ballistic missile launcher and underground facilities, the South's air force said, sending a strong hint to its northern neighbor.

The joint exercise included US F-16 fighters jets as well as fighter planes from the South Korean and Japanese air forces, and came a day after Trump said in Warsaw on Thursday that he was considering “some pretty severe things” in response to North Korea’s latest actions

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Such drills are only going to make Kim Jung Un more defiant about developing his nuclear capabilities as a defensive weapon.

But in order to negotiate, the US, China, South Korea, and Japan need something with which to negotiate.

South Korea's President Moon has stated that he is ready to meet Kim Jung-un any time, any place; I think an honest, frank, meeting between these two leaders would be a great start toward ratcheting down tensions here.

The best chance to get Kim Jung Un to negotiate would be to propose a real peace treaty, with which to replace the armistice, ensure peaceful trade, and remove the sanctions in return for North Korea's dropping its nuclear weapons program.

If there is a will, there is a way; unfortunately, Rex Tillerson has stated that the US government will not negotiate with North Korea until it destroys its nuclear weapons program.

Tillerson rejects talks with North Korea

That is not going to happen, in terms of North Korea stopping its nuclear weapons program before negotiating, which leaves the US position completely rigid and inflexible.

But a war on the Korean peninsula would be devastating, with vast numbers of innocent civilians killed or wounded outright, and may well involve China on North Korea's side.

Jul 08 10:56

Putin’s Assessment of Trump at the G-20 Will Determine Our Future

The backdrops to the Putin/Trump meeting are the aspirations of Israel and the neoconservatives. It is these aspirations that drive US foreign policy.

What is Syria about? Why is Washington so focused on overthrowing the elected president of Syria? What explains the sudden 21st century appearance of “the Muslim threat”? How is Washington’s preoccupation with “the Muslim threat” consistent with Washington’s wars against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad, leaders who suppressed jihadism? What explains the sudden appearance of “the Russian threat” which has been hyped into dangerous Russophobia without any basis in fact?

The Muslim threat, the Russian threat, and the lies used to destroy Iraq, Libya, and parts of Syria are all orchestrations to serve Israeli and neoconservative aspirations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope and pray that when each man took the measure of the other, that each respected the substance they saw in the other, and will both signal a willingness to work together for peace and justice; if not, Paul Craig Robert's last statement in the above article may, unfortunately, prove prophetic.

Jul 08 10:42

Scott Adams: International Relations in a Time of Nukes and Plenty

In olden days, if a neighboring kingdom was prosperous and capable, it was a risk to your security. A rich neighbor can assemble powerful armies to capture your resources and enslave your people. In those primitive times, any powerful empire was a real enemy, and you had to treat them as such.

Fast-forward to 2017, and some of those old rules have changed. A rich country with nuclear weapons won’t attack a weak country with nuclear weapons. Economics and national defense are somewhat disconnected in modern times. Nukes changed everything.

Jul 08 10:25

South Korean President Seeks Diplomatic Relations with DPRK

President Moon Jae-in urges improved ties with Pyongyang over confrontation.

Earlier he said

“I’m pro-US, but now South Korea should adopt diplomacy in which it can discuss a US request and say no to the Americans.”

He wants his government taking the lead on policies affecting the peninsula, mostly concerned about preventing war, devastating for Seoul and Pyongyang if launched.

On Thursday, ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, he expressed willingness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “any time, any place” – despite the DPRK’s nuclear program and July 4 ballistic missile test.

He proposed both North and South resumption of family reunions and mutual cooperation on the 2018 winter Olympic games – to be held in Pyeonchang, South Korea.

He supports responsible diplomacy and dialogue over confrontation to resolve differences between both sides.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This man has a very matter of fact, escalation-reducing formula for calming the tensions between North and South Korea; the fact that the direction in which he is moving is definitely not to the American Deep State's liking, makes me wonder just how much longer he will be allowed to continue as President of South Korea.

Jul 08 10:21

U.S. plans to test THAAD missile defenses as North Korea tensions mount

The United States plans to carry out a new test of its THAAD missile defense system against an intermediate-range ballistic missile in the coming days, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, as tensions with North Korea climb.

Despite being planned months ago, the U.S. missile defense test will gain significance in the wake of North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4 that has heightened concerns about the threat from Pyongyang.

The test will be the first of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to defend against a simulated attack by an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), one of the officials said. The THAAD interceptors will be fired from Alaska.

Jul 08 10:02

US Plans New THAAD Missile Defense Test Amid North Korea Tensions

Following the successful North Korean ICBM test earlier in the week, the US has announced its intention to carry out a new test of their THAAD missile defense system, an attempt to shoot down an IRBM simulating an attack around the THAADs in Alaska.

The US is eager to make a show of being able to intercept North Korean missiles, but such tests are risky, as the missile defense systems are in practice pretty unreliable, and even in the optimum conditions provided by the tests, often fail, which would be a particularly public embarrassment.

The US has a number of THAADs deployed in Alaska, and two set up in South Korea. North Korea’s ICBM has a theoretical range to Alaska, based on estimates from the test. The Pentagon has repeatedly played up their ability to shoot down an attacking North Korean missile.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Defense Secretary Mattis, a word, please; nothing would be more completely embarrassing right now to the US than a failed THAAD test; until this equipment becomes more robust and reliable, I would politely suggest that you may want to hold off on ordering such a test for awhile.

Jul 08 09:54

Tillerson: Not Many North Korea Options If Pressure Fails

In comments that appeared to contradict yesterday’s by Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that the US has few “good options” remaining with respect to North Korea if repeated threats and sanctions don’t work.

That’s because President Trump and other top officials have repeatedly insisted that diplomacy is a “failed” option of past administrations, and despite talking up their “many options,” these appear to all begin and end with some sort of military attack, starting a huge war.

Tillerson’s comments provide additional insight into the US “strategy,” such as it is, revealing that they expect that carefully timed and escalated threats and sanctions will at some point lead to North Korea just unilaterally giving up everything they want.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What global leaders, particularly Russia, China, South Korea and Japan need to do, is to get Kim Jung Un to the negotiating table and offer him something tangible, like a peace treaty to replace the existing armistice, with iron clad guarantees for trade, and the lifting of sanctions in return for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Of course, that... would be logical.

Jul 08 09:48

Pentagon Falsely Claims Only 603 Civilians Killed in ISIS War Airstrikes

The Pentagon’s latest massive undercount of the civilian death toll in coalition airstrikes against Iraq and Syria has shown a significant spike in the death toll, putting the latest official count at 603 civilians between the start of the air war and the end of May.

The figure is rising a lot faster than it used to, growing by scores months now instead of by single digit numbers, reflective of the general trend of soaring death tolls as US strikes concentrate on densely populated civilian targets.

They’re still wrong, however, and wrong in a big way. The official 603 killed is less than one seventh the figure by the Air Wars NGO, which put the civilian deaths through the same period at 4,354. This is because incidents with hundreds killed are often revised downward by the Pentagon to just a handful, and smaller incidents, where only a dozen or so are killed, tend to be ignored altogether.

Jul 08 09:44

White House Caps Increase of US Troops to Afghanistan

Since President Trump handed off the decision on the Afghan War’s escalation to Defense Secretary James Marris, we’ve heard several wildly different figures from different sources, with some reports suggesting that an escalation of 3,000 to 5,000 was too small, and that Mattis might ultimately go much, much bigger.

In reality, however, officials now say that Mattis’ autonomy on the matter has its limits, and those limits are 3,900 more US ground troops. A classified memo is said to be in place which would oblige Mattis to get White House authorization if his escalation is to be any larger than that.

The Pentagon has declined to comment on the matter, noting the memo is classified, but some administration officials are said to have been surprise that any restrictions at all were placed on Mattis for deciding on troop levels in Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One of the classic definitions of insanity is doing precisely the same thing, in exactly the same manner, yet expecting a different outcome; this is what is happening in the US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

There is utterly zero military metric by which the occupation, now in its 16th year, can be judged "a success". We have had military surges and drawdowns, but that has not affected the reality on the ground that the Taliban control even more territory than they have before.

And I have to wonder if President Trump has given Mattis "limited authority" on the troop strength in Afghanistan to be able to blame him when the coming "surge" winds up having absolutely zero effect on the situation on the ground here. Because were I a betting person, I would almost be willing to bet that the coming surge will not be enough to really make a difference.

What should the US and NATO do in Afghanistan, then?!? Were I President Trump and the NATO Commander-General Stoltenberg, I would have troops exit Afghanistan as quickly as safely possible, then negotiate with whatever government was left in Kabul for the pipeline and mineral rights.

After all, it was the cost of the pipeline rights which caused President Bush to have the US military invade Afghanistan in the first place.

Why did the US go to war in Afghanistan?!?

Jul 08 09:06

RUSSIA SAYS ISIS PLANNING TO GAS SYRIAN CIVILIANS, FRAME ASSAD, TO JUSTIFY US INVASION

Moscow, Russia – On Thursday, during a weekly press briefing by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained that their intelligence has revealed active terrorist plots to stage chemical attacks in Syria in order to justify and precipitate U.S. strikes and increased intervention in the Syrian civil war.

The information exposes ongoing plans by Syrian terrorist groups to stage chemical weapons attacks, to be blamed on the Assad government, in an effort to justify U.S. attacks against Syrian government forces.

“According to information available [to us], Syrian terrorist groups plan staged provocative actions with the use of chemical poison gases to justify US strikes against the positions of the Syrian government forces,” Zakharova said at a weekly press briefing.

The intelligence reveals that ISIS has deployed laboratories and equipment for manufacturing chemical weapons from its capital of Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor, according to Zakharova.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... was before Russia's President Putin and the US's President Trump met for two hours yesterday. I think the current situation in Syria - and elsewhere - will be a great deal more calm because of this meeting.

Jul 08 08:57

Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade…if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it.

Jul 08 04:13

One Step Closer to WW3: US And Turkey's 60+ Year Alliance Coming To An End

Relations between the United States and Turkey have reached a critical crossroad for the first time since World War Two. These two nations cutting ties comes at a time when many nations are rapidly militarizing and ready to make significant moves on the world stage. If the US – Turkey alliance is officially severed, it would make another country in a long list of countries that are now acting against US authority.

Jul 07 15:54

Lavrov gives Moscow's version of Trump-Putin talks

These guys can't even agree to what they said or agreed to.

While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emerged from the sit-down between President Trump and Vladimir Putin claiming the U.S. president confronted the Russian leader on election meddling, it didn't take long for Tillerson's counterpart to provide Moscow's version of events.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday that Trump had actually “accepted” Putin’s assurances that Moscow was not behind the meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump administration officials quickly pushed back, telling reporters at the G-20 summit in Germany that Lavrov's account was not accurate.

Jul 07 14:17

Pentagon Reaffirms ‘Strategic Security Partnership’ & Mutual Interests With ‘Terrorist Funder’ Qatar

Washington still sees Qatar as a reliable and strategic partner in the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition, despite the ongoing blockade of the Gulf state by four Arab countries which have promised to intensify its sanctions regime over Doha’s alleged support of terrorism.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis discussed the “deepening” of the “strategic security partnership” between Washington and Doha with Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid al-Attiyah, the Pentagon announced.

Jul 07 13:54

Tony Blair Failed To ‘Be Straight’ With The Public About Iraq Invasion – Chilcot

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair failed to “be straight” with the public about his decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Sir John Chilcot said, exactly one year since he published his damning report into Britain’s role in the conflict.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the 12-volume report was published, Chilcot said Blair’s testimony to the inquiry was “emotionally truthful,” but the Labour leader had failed to act on the basis of facts.

Jul 07 10:43

New Army Training Tells Female Soldiers To ‘Accept’ Naked Men In Their Showers

I recently received a copy of the new “Tier Three Transgender Training” materials—a PowerPoint and accompanying lesson plan excerpted below, with full documents at these links—that the Army is now using in mandatory training for all soldiers. The active-duty officer who sent the materials completed the training with 40 other soldiers last week instead of conducting their morning physical training as usual.

Jul 07 10:26

US & Russia agree ceasefire in southwest Syria - Lavrov

This source I trust. US unnamed officials.....NO!

The US and Russia have agreed on a ceasefire in southwest Syria, set to take effect on July 9 at noon Damascus time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced.

Jul 07 10:12

Donate to Yousef in Palestine

Hello, My name is Yousef Al Qarra, I’m a 17 year old Palestinian living in Gaza. I recently graduated from high school. I created this fundraising campaign to raise Pakcoin donations for food for my family. We are a family of nine people; including my mother, father, two sisters, four brothers and myself.

The economic situation in Gaza is very bad. My father suffers from chronic back pain from a work injury he had a few years ago. As for my brothers and me it’s extremely difficult for us to find work here and the ongoing economic blockade by the Israelis makes surviving here even worse...

Jul 07 10:04

Moral Injury Of War: The Invisible Wound Of Empire

With the failure of the Democratic establishment, the crisis of liberal democracy is now seized by a new rise of power. The US empire with Trump as commander-in-chief has renewed its vow toward colonial domination. With nationalism and militarism in full swing, Trump’s America aims to radically alter the future of this country. His campaign slogan “make America great again” was a kind of historical revisionism, ignoring the deep oppression and inequality that runs beneath this nation’s history.

Jul 06 16:33

Moral Injury Of War: The Invisible Wound Of Empire

With the failure of the Democratic establishment, the crisis of liberal democracy is now seized by a new rise of power. The US empire with Trump as commander-in-chief has renewed its vow toward colonial domination. With nationalism and militarism in full swing, Trump’s America aims to radically alter the future of this country.

Jul 06 14:36

Will Tony Blair Be Prosecuted

Tony Blair must be prosecuted over the “unnecessary” and “unlawful” Iraq War, a court has heard.

General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat alleges Mr Blair, then UK prime minister, committed “the crime of aggression” by invading Iraq in 2003.

Jul 06 13:42

Did John Wayne die of cancer caused by a radioactive movie set?

I'm horrified to have to report this, John, but your girlfriend's claim is only slightly exaggerated. Of the 220 persons who worked on The Conqueror on location in Utah in 1955, 91 had contracted cancer as of the early 1980s and 46 died of it, including stars John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorehead, and director Dick Powell. Experts say under ordinary circumstances only 30 people out of a group of that size should have gotten cancer. The cause? No one can say for sure, but many attribute the cancers to radioactive fallout from U.S. atom bomb tests in nearby Nevada. The whole ghastly story is told in The Hollywood Hall of Shame by Harry and Michael Medved. But let's start at the beginning.

Jul 06 09:28

The Twilight Of Unipolar American Power

In 1962 the former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson quipped that: "Britain had lost an Empire and yet to find a role". Well, perhaps the same can now tentatively be said of the United States in these early, but profoundly debilitating days, of the Trump administration and its chaotic, incoherent foreign policy. The Trump administration's approach to traditional American allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia has been belligerent, nonsensical and highly neurotic. American foreign policy is a complete mess and the only people and country this is inflicting real damage on is the United States.

Jul 06 08:50

The Mindless Hawkish Response to North Korea’s Missile Test

The WSJ editors assert that “three U.S. administrations have tried diplomacy and failed,” but that misrepresents the consistency of the U.S. effort and it misleads their audience about how things have turned out this way. Diplomacy with North Korea did have some success in limiting their nuclear program over twenty years ago, but the Bush administration’s attempt to force even bigger concessions through increased pressure backfired spectacularly and led to North Korea’s withdrawal from the NPT and their first nuclear weapons test. Since then, the U.S. has been trying to contain the fallout from that bit of short-sighted hard-line posturing. Pursuing an even more aggressive policy now isn’t going to succeed, and it might very well plunge the Koreas and the U.S. into a major war that would be a disaster for all involved.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only reasonable thing here is negotiation; but the US must present something to negotiate with.

I have long suggested a real peace deal for North Korea, replacing the armistice, where free trade, and the lifting of sanctions would be honored in exchange for North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Of course, that...would be logical.

And unfortunately, the US government's relationship with logic, in its foreign policy of the last 20 - odd years has not been that intense.

Jul 06 08:42

Even a US ‘Surgical Strike’ Against North Korea Could Lead to Full-Scale War

Even administration officials readily admit that a full-scale war with North Korea is “a war we don’t want.” After almost 70 years of armistice, North Korea has retaliatory capabilities that would devastate South Korea, killing millions, and the large US military contingent in South Korea would be sitting ducks.

At the same time, the Trump Administration is eager to play up their readiness for war, and belief that they have myriad military options, which is raising concerns about the possibility of a limited engagement, or some sort of surgical strike.

Experts, however, seem virtually unanimous in their opinion that a limited military exchange wouldn’t be limited for long, with North Korean retaliation likely in the case of any attack, with the situation progressively escalating into the full-scale war.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only good option, even though it might be limited in scope, is that of negotiation, in order to ratchet tensions down; unfortunately, President Trump does not really understand how to do this here, so what we are seeing is bluster and threat, which can, potentially have some very real, and negative, consequences.

All it will take to get a regional war going, is a stupid miscalculation, or mis-reading of information on either side, and we are off and running, potentially toward a nuclear war.

Jul 06 07:56

SYRIAN KURDS EXPECT WAR WITH TURKEY ‘WITHIN DAYS’

Citing a continued military buildup along their frontier in northern Syria, the Kurdish YPG’s leadership says they believe an attack by Turkey, leading to open warfare, is imminent, and will likely begin “within days.”

Turkey and the YPG are hostile toward one another, with Turkey repeatedly declaring the Kurds “terrorists,” and attacking Kurdish targets in Afrin District. YPG commanders have openly talked about invading Turkish-held parts of Syria and “liberating” them into the Kurdish autonomous region of Rojave.

Turkish Deputy PM Numaan Kurtulmus denied that Turkey was “declaring war” against the YPG, but did insist that they are “making preparations” to protect Turkish independence from the “threat” posed by the continued existence of the YPG on their border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The main flaw in US war planning here, was the "illusion" that the US could, in any way, control the Kurd's desire for a real homeland, carving up bits of Syria to obtain it, and that Turkey would allow that to happen.

Unfortunately, this is followed up by a very troubling article out of blacklistednews.com:

Turkey warns it is ready for a Military Intervention in Syria

Jul 06 07:55

Trump backs NATO defense pact, criticizes Russia

U.S. President Donald Trump affirmed America’s commitment to NATO’s mutual defense pact on a visit to Poland on Wednesday and called on Russia to end “destabilizing activities” and “support for hostile regimes.”

“The United States has demonstrated not merely with words but with its actions that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment,” Trump said in a speech in Warsaw, near a monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, when Poles fought for two months against overwhelming German forces during World War II.

On his last trip to Europe, in May, Trump did not state his commitment to the mutual defense clause, causing disquiet among U.S. allies — particularly as the president was highly critical of NATO during his election campaign.

Trump later said in Washington that the U.S. stood by the clause, which states that an attack on one NATO member is considered an attack on all of them. But his remarks in Warsaw were the first time he had done so on European soil.

Jul 06 07:34

Fox Host Says Kim Jong-Un Needs To Be Killed Or Overthrown

Jesse Watters, co-host of the Fox News show “The Five,” believes America’s options for North Korea are dwindling, suggesting an assassination of dictator Kim Jong-un or an overthrow of the government.

Jul 06 07:25

Tony Blair 'not straight' with UK over Iraq, says Chilcot

Tony Blair was not "straight with the nation" about his decisions in the run up to the Iraq War, the chairman of the inquiry into the war has told the BBC.

Speaking for the first time since publishing his report a year ago, Sir John Chilcot discussed why he thinks the former PM made those decisions.

He said the evidence Mr Blair gave the inquiry was "emotionally truthful" but he relied on beliefs rather than facts.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said "all these issues" had been dealt with.

Jul 06 06:23

SAS SOLDIERS 'SUSPECTED' OF EXECUTING UNARMED AFGHANS AND COVERING UP POTENTIAL WAR CRIMES

Special forces soldiers allegedly murdered civilians and planted guns on their bodies

Jul 05 15:35

US warns China on trade with NKorea if it wants US trade

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned China on Wednesday that it risks its massive trade with the United States if its business with North Korea violates U.N. sanctions.

In a hard-hitting speech at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council following Pyongyang's successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, she said that "the world has become a more dangerous place" and China has a key role in promoting peace and "preventing a catastrophe."
Haley said the United States doesn't seek conflict — "in fact we seek to avoid it." But she said the launch of an ICBM "is a clear and sharp military escalation" and the U.S. is prepared to use its "considerable military forces" to defend itself and its allies "if we must."

"But we prefer not to go in that direction," she said. "We have other methods of addressing those who threaten us, and of addressing those who supply the threats. We have great capabilities in the area of trade."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And if the US doesn't get the response to the new Security Council Resolution they want...then what?!?

Are we looking at a unilateral decap strike, just coming from the US military, or will they be looking at including troops from South Korea and Japan in such an action as well?!?

I have to tell you; so far, this week has been an utter ARMPIT for peace and social justice!!

Jul 05 15:23

Soldier Charged in Free-Fall Annihilation of US Army Humvees

A US Army sergeant has been charged for his involvement in the remarkable destruction of three combat vehicles that plunged to Earth last year during a parachute drop in Germany, a service spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Jul 05 14:52

Haley: US Will Use Military In North Korea "If It Must"

The war drums are beating louder, and as US Ambassador to the UN Nicky Haley said moments ago as she speaks live (webcast), the North Korea launch is clear, sharp military escalation and the US will use the full range of its capabilities in North Korea including military force, "if it must." Her key soundbites from Reuters and Bloomberg:

HALEY: PREPARED TO USE THE FULL RANGE OF ITS CAPABILITIES TO DETER NORTH KOREA, INCLUDING MILITARY FORCE "IF WE MUST"

HALEY: U.S. WON'T HAVE PATIENCE FOR WATERED DOWN UN RESOLUTION

She also said that an escalated response needed in wake of ICBM launch, and sent a clear warning to China over supporting N. Korea whose launch shows North Korea "does not want to be part of a peaceful world":

HALEY SAYS COUNTRIES ALLOWING TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA IN VIOLATION OF U.N. SANCTIONS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TRADE WITH U.S.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is getting about as serious as is a heart attack, and escalating rapidly.

IF the US uses force, outside the limits of whatever Security Council Resolution is created, stemming from this emergency meeting, we are potentially looking at war with China, and this would be horrific indeed.

President Trump and his advisors could step down the rhetoric, by offering a little bit with which to negotiate with North Korea, perhaps by not having as many joint drills with the South Korean military, or eliminating them completely.

But President Trump and Rex Tillerson will not agree to this.

What could be offered to North Korea would be getting South Korea, North Korea, the US, and China to the negotiating table to agree to a complete peace deal, normalizing trade, and dropping financial sanctions, with which to replace the armistice, with the quid pro quo being that North Korea stops its nuclear weapons development program, with inspections to verify compliance, as is happening with Iran.

Unfortunately, this... would be logical. I don't know what Ambassador Haley's rhetoric is signaling, but it does not appear to me to be a peaceful, rational way of dealing with the issue of North Korea's weapons development program.

Jul 05 14:32

What Does War Generate?

At an April, 2017 Symposium on Peace in Nashville, TN, Martha Hennessy spoke about central tenets of Maryhouse, a home of hospitality in New York City, where Martha often lives and works. Every day, the community there tries to abide by the counsels of Dorothy Day, Martha’s grandmother, who co-founded houses of hospitality and a vibrant movement in the 1930s.

Jul 05 13:21

Scott Adams: Solving the North Korea Situation

I have some spare time this morning so I thought I would solve the North Korean nuclear threat problem.

The current frame on how all sides are approaching the problem is a win-lose setup. Either North Korea wins – and develops nukes that can reach the mainland USA – or the United States wins, and North Korea abandons its nuclear plans, loses face, loses leverage, and loses security. Our current framing of the situation doesn’t have a path to success.

So how do you fix that situation?

Jul 05 09:33

Trump: Toward War in the Middle East

Now comes President Donald Trump. His policies for the Middle East are similar to those of the previous two administrations but on steroids. Trump has already escalated the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. When Trump sends his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to solve the seventy-year-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu cannot hide his happiness with the appointment. The Democrats and the media are too busy with election results, hacking, and the Russian probe to pay much attention to Middle East policy, with one exception – Israel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

However, this time, unlike the situation in Iraq, there is a 6,000 lb gorilla, snoozing on the Bosendorfer, regarding further American military misadventures in the Middle East; it goes by the name of Russia, and will, should Iran be attacked, to Iran's aid militarily.

IF, in fact, the US goes to war against Iran, to appease its Israeli handlers, look for the reinstitution of a draft, for both men and women; an horrific decline in the US economy; and the possibility that the US military may well not be able to emerge victorious from the conflict.

Jul 05 09:20

Mass Execution of Turkmen; 230 Killed in Iraq

On Tuesday, Iraqi Maj. Faris Aboud reported that a single field hospital servicing the Old City neighborhood in Mosul received 300 wounded during just one day recently. And, many of these wounded were newly orphaned children, who had lost entire families. However, the United Nations figures for the whole of Nineveh province, where Mosul is located, were 289 killed and 93 wounded during June. The large contrast between these figures highlights the problematic nature of quantifying the dead and injured in this conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This attempt at redrawing the map of the Middle East will only cause more chaos than already exists, if that is at all possible.

That Simpering Chimp, AKA, George Bush, should be cooling his heels in prison, facing a war crimes tribunal in the Hague, for the evil he has done to Iraq, and beyond.

Jul 05 08:56

Pentagon vows to protect US & allies after Pyongyang’s ‘escalatory ICBM test’

The Pentagon has vowed to defend the US and its allies against any possible North Korean threat after Washington confirmed Pyongyang’s claim that it has developed the technology to potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland.
The Pentagon has concluded that North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can potentially strike the United States. Initially, the US military had assessed the missile fired Tuesday morning to be of an intermediate-range category.

“We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from North Korea,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement. White also condemned Pyongyang’s "escalatory launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here is the problem: Russia and China have put forth a completely reasonable proposal Russia, China: N. Korea must freeze nuclear activities, US halt THAAD deployment, which the US government has utterly rejected out of hand.

Unless there is a little conciliation, on the part of the US government, there is zero incentive for North Korea to come to the negotiating tables, and hammer out a peace agreement, with no trade restrictions or sanctions against North Korea, in exchange for it abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

If negotiations prove impossible, according to the current administration's thinking, that leaves only one option; a military attack against North Korea, which would leave thousands of South Koreans dead and wounded, and most probably insure that China would come to the military aid of its client state, North Korea.

Jul 05 08:45

SAUDI ARABIA ‘TOP OF THE LIST’ OF FOREIGN FUNDING FOR BRITISH TERRORISTS – THINK TANK 

Britain’s major trade and security partner in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, is the main source of funding for Islamist extremism in the UK, a damning new report by the neo-conservative Henry Jackson Society (HJS) claims.

According to the HJS, money donated to terrorist organizations operating in Britain can be traced back to the Gulf states.

It says the Saudis’ 60-year commitment to the diffusion of Wahhabism, a hardline version of Islam, has led to the funding of British mosques and institutions linked to the wave of attacks in Europe over the last few years.

“There is a clear and growing link between foreign funding of Islamist extremism and the violent terrorism we have witnessed across the UK and Europe,” said the report’s author, Tom Wilson.

“The key now is to get ahead of the issue and find out the full extent of what has been going on. A public inquiry would go some way to informing the debate.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And one of the biggest areas of trade between the UK and Saudi Arabia has been in weapons.

Does UK’s lucrative arms trade come at the cost of political repression?

The UK has made 10 times more in arms sales to Saudi Arabia than it's given in aid to Yemen

UK activists demand end to Saudi Arabia, UAE arms sales

As long as the money is made, the UK's government, and the UK merchants of death, do not give a rat's anus as to how, or against whom, those weapons are used. Let's look at the genocide Saudi Arabia is inflicting in Yemen, shall we?!?

Saudi campaign has killed 1,400 Yemeni kids, UNICEF says (It is now July, 2017; we can be reasonably certain that the figure is considerably higher at this point).

And the domestic cost of violence and death is simply a small price to pay, according to the UK government, courtesy of radicalised youth who suddenly act out against their neighbors, or the general population as a whole.

Jul 05 08:41

Keep Prepping Because The Government’s Plan To Survive Nuclear War Doesn’t Include You

Needless to say, the United States has changed a lot since we officially declared our independence in 1776. What used to be a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people has become a nation of the government, by the government and for the government. The centralization of the federal bureaucracy and the accumulation of governmental power has created a significant divide between the people and the political elites in Washington D.C. These political elites seem to have developed a mentality that they deserve special privileges that the rest of the American people do not, such as the ability to keep classified information on a private server and not be prosecuted and exemptions from the Affordable Care Act.

But it’s not only political privileges that government officials enjoy; it turns out that they also have a plan in place to help them survive some kind of nuclear disaster, and that plan doesn’t include you.

Jul 05 07:35

US vows it will 'never accept a nuclear North Korea' after new missile test

They already have nukes Rex. Trump,dissing China by tweet isn't going over well either.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vowed Tuesday that the U.S. would "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea" while U.S. and South Korean forces held joint ballistic missile drills after the Communist nation successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Jul 04 14:38

Understanding Moral Injury In Hooper’s War

I’m lucky enough to have a friend with a boat. Sitting at the stern, I watch the boat create its wake, then as we speed away the wake fades just as quick. Thinking about the war doesn’t work that way. About the best I can hope for in real life is to be able to put what happened in a box. The box stays closed most of the time.

Jul 04 13:05

Poland Wants Trump Vow of Ongoing Protection From Russia

Officially, Poland is seeking protection from “Russian activities” for so long as Russia has activities. In practice, the government’s push for “assurances” from President Trump center on getting a commitment to keep US and NATO troops there permanently.

That’s been a priority for Polish governments since they joined NATO, with many envisioning a financial windfall from hosting foreign troops, and openly complaining when that didn’t immediately materialize after they joined.

Poland finally got some US and NATO troops in the past year, with the establishment of a “spearhead” force pointed at the Russian frontier, nominally to respond to any “threats” Russia might make. Polish officials clearly see the risk of losing the foreign deployments if calm is restored.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks to me as though the Polish government is attempting to make "financial hay" from a permanent US and NATO deployment; that is the real reason, while alleged "Russian aggression, coupled with a potential invasion, is the "good reason".

Jul 04 12:59

China Warns North Korea Tensions Could Get ‘Out of Control’

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi told the UN today about growing concerns that tensions between the US and North Korea could rapidly get “out of control,” with disastrous consequences for the entire region.

North Korea has tested a missile today, a move that led to an immediate condemnation from President Trump, raising more concern that his talk of dealing with them “rapidly,” and H.R. McMaster’s talk of all the US options involving attacking North Korea, a more imminent threat.

China has been trying to get the US to the negotiating table with North Korea for some time now,and both they and South Korea have delivered proposals where North Korea would end nuclear testing in return for the US ending wargames with South Korea and reduce its military presence along North Korea’s border.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is about to get... officially horrible.

President Trump has doubled down on not making any concessions to either China or North Korea, to get North Korea to the negotiating table, and this was a really unfortunate response to these proposals.

And YES, thank you very much, I am more than a little nervous about living on a first-strike target for either Russia or China!!

And the following story does not make me more serene and calm, either:

Trump Warns China He Is Willing to Pressure North Korea on His Own

Jul 04 12:49

Qatar Delivers Response to Saudi Demands

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has formally delivered the hand-written letter of response to Saudi Arabia’s list of 13 demands. The response was sent by way of Kuwait, which is trying to mediate the dispute, to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani
Though the exact text of the response has not been made public, it’s safe to say it’s a broad rejection of both the allegations contained within the demands, and the specific demands themselves, with Qatari officials saying they believe it was intended to be rejected all alone.

The response to the response is the big question now, as the four blockading countries are expected to get together to make some sort of new formal statement related to the ongoing defiance of the Qatari emirate. If history is any judge, this will be more accusations and even more demands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF the Qatari response is not to Saudi Arabia's liking, one has to wonder if things will get out of control, and if Saudi Arabia is actually planning a military strike against Qatar.

And if that happens, what are the standing orders for US commanders at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which is home to over 10,000 US service members?!?

Jul 04 12:23

Over 5,000 troops and around 100 aircraft involved in drills in Russia’s WestMore:http://tass.com/defense/954501

A massive command and staff exercise in aviation and troops management has begun in Russia’s Western Military District, the District’s press service said in a statement. The military drills involve more than 5,000 troops, as well as around 100 planes and helicopters.

"The drills particularly involve aviation, air defense units, missile forces and artillery, radar troops using electronic warfare, as well as special forces deployed to the Western Military District," the press service elaborated.

During the exercise, the troops are supposed to fight off a simulated enemy’s missile strikes and airstrikes. Combined units will escape the strikes, while aviation units and radar troops will eliminate various targets simulating cruise and ballistic missiles, combat and surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as warplanes and helicopters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It's no accident that these military drills are taking place in the Western part of Russia.

Take a look at the following map:

Map of Russia and Surrounding Countries

Notice that you have Ukraine on Russia's Western border, which it itching for a fight after Crimea held the referendum to petition the Russian Federation to allow it to be accepted as a member in 2014.

Notice that you have Estonia, which is hosting at least 800 British Troops to "deter Russia" (whatever the heck that means)

British Troops in Estonia to "Deter Russia"

Notice that you have NATO troops deployed to Poland this year:

NATO troops deployed to Poland to "deter Russia"

Notice that NATO has recently held massive military exercises in Eastern Europe:

Eurpean Troops Open Massive Navy, Baltic Sea Exercises

Notice that even little old Finland has upped its troop strength in response to "alleged Russian aggression."

Finland to ramp up troop levels amid heightened Russian tensions

Were I Russia's President Putin, looking at all of these elements, taken together, would I be having intense military drills in the western portion of my country?!?

You bet your sweet bippy, I would!!

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