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ALEPPO: The Terrorist Cheerleaders Promoted as “Activists” by Corporate Media

SOTT.Net

January 4, 2017

by Paul Mansfield

 

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Lina Shamy Twitter page.

The “activists” were out in full force during the last days of the final liberation of Aleppo, decrying what they saw as the fall of the city and transmitting their “last” messages as they awaited death or abduction by the “evil Assad regime” forces. They made quite an impact in social media and some were picked up for 15 minutes of fame in the regime-change-shilling Western media. Meanwhile foreign independent and Syrian journalists continue to present a narrative which is anathema to the mainstream, hence their exclusion from any coverage.

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Lina Shamy has been a real hit on regime-change-cheerleading media such as Al Jazeera. She solemnly tells us people are living through an Assad genocide, many having lain under the rubble of bombed Aleppo buildings, with what she calls the civil defence, or more accurately, the ‘White Helmets’, unable to rescue them. Incidentally, the White Helmets are not the real Syrian Civil Defence. They have been set up as a shadow state institution, colonizing and subverting the provision of emergency response in this war-torn country.

There is a real Syrian Civil Defence, naturally enough performing under the mandate of the legitimate, internationally recognised Syrian government. It comes as no surprise then that it is the certified civil fire and rescue organisation according to the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO). Shamy is quite careless with her interpretation of who the civil defence is, and the carelessness doesn’t end there.

Shamy, interviewed on Al Jazeera, said she had to flee her house in Aleppo with nothing but her clothes. Yet those hanging on her every video report will be pleased to know she still managed to bring her electronic devices, so she can continue to tell the world about the genocide being committed by the regime. How fortuitous is that.

Shamy is one of the sources of the accusations that Syrian soldiers and militias walked the streets of Aleppo, executing entire families and burning 60 people to death hiding in a basement. She claimed if the Syrian soldiers think there is the remotest connection to the rebel groups they will execute civilians. She is a rather vague source however, not having witnessed any of this herself.

She is in actual fact a secondary source, recounting what “activists” have said about alleged atrocities. Once the reality behind the horrific headlines is unpacked however, the credibility of the accusations starts to crumble away. It is difficult to know if the allegations are true or if they are plucked from thin air. Thankfully she can rely on propagandist bullhorns such as Al Jazeera to promote her claims.

Shamy is famous, along with other activists, for posting her “last video.” It all seems very well coordinated in a chaotic war environment. If it was conceived and coordinated from public relations operatives from abroad we could understand how slick and attention grabbing the “last this, last that” theme is. But I am sure we are not as cynical as to believe we are being duped, are we?

If Shamy’s allegations of widespread executions are true, we may be entitled to question how she, as an activist in the so-called firing line, managed to leave Aleppo unscathed. Her fans must be grateful that she is now in Idlib, tweeting that the “flag of the revolution is fluttering high. ” Undoubtedly she is honing her media performances to tell us of future Assad “atrocities” in Idlib.

Bilal Abdul Kareem is another ‘activist’ who has been advocating for direct western intervention in Syria since at least 2013, while simultaneously opposing attacking Islamist groups. In other words, wage war on the people of Syria and give ISIS and Al-Nusra a free pass. This scenario could only lead to another Libya, with ISIS and al-Qaeda struggling for control of the country and its gas and oil reserves. Speaking to Channel 4 News just after the Ghouta chemical attack on 21 August 2013 Kareem said, “There needs to be more dialog with these Islamic fighters because what they’re fighting for and what the west actually wants, really isn’t so incompatible. And I’ve said this before.” When asked about why radical Islamists should be supported he responded with the glib, “I don’t think there’s anything radical about wanting to save lives.”

He said the west would find a ‘compatible partner” in the Islamist fighters.

Kareem, in an interview in 2015, gave a platform for former Al-Nusra spokesman Abu Firas to justify the forceful imposition of an Islamic state on secular Syria and the bloodshed necessary to achieve this goal. He also interviewed Abdullah Muhaysini, the Saudi Jihadist ideologue who says all able-bodied Sunni Muslims are obliged to travel to Syria to wage Jihad. He says Syrians today are standing strong against the Shia coming at them from more than ten countries, obliging Sunni from abroad to fight for their Sunni brothers.

Apparently he’s fine with the idea of Muslims killing Muslims. He calls the Alawites enemies who also must be wiped out. Muhaysini claims to be an independent sharia scholar, but is believed to be a senior Al-Nusra (now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham) leader. He was added to the US government’s list of designated terrorists in November 2016.

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Terrorist supporter and darling of Western media, Bilal Abdul Kareem

Kareem also got on the “last video” bandwagon saying, “This might be close to, if not the last communication.” He clearly saw this as the fall, not the liberation of Aleppo, and was determined to spread a gloomy perspective that has not been shared by thousands of Syrians relieved and thankful to be liberated in East Aleppo.

Political analyst Andrew Korybko points out how this “shadowy figure” who has been “actively spinning the Orwellian narrative that the ‘rebellious locals’ are under ‘deadly oppression’ by the SAA” has been touted and feted by the mainstream media as an “independent journalist” who can provide reliable, on-the-ground information. With his Islamist leanings, it is more accurate to say Kareem is “infamously contributing to the epidemic of fake news,” while fakerstan media such as CNN and Al Jazeera are infamously promoting the cause of violent jihadism in Syria.

In contrast, Korybko points out that the work of the outstanding independent journalist, Vanessa Beeley, who has been on the ground in Aleppo conducting interviews, taking videos, providing photographic evidence of the large scale humanitarian operation and the feelings of relief and joy among liberated Syrians, is ignored by the western mainstream media. When you actually give the people of Syria an unfiltered voice not shaped and redefined through the ministry of truth you become persona non grata in fakerstan medialand.

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Bana Alabed. (Photo: Twitter

Bana Alabed, the seven-year-old girl who has become a Twitter sensation and until recently lived in East Aleppo, always seemed to be able to tweet in Wifi-less Aleppo. But if you have an account you could tweet from anywhere. Bana accumulated followers at a staggering pace at the same time the Syrian army and its allies were repelling counteroffensives by the opposition and preparing for the final push to liberate Aleppo.

Her tweets were faithfully retweeted by the Syrian opposition and figures from the mainstream Western media, and she even gained a fan in J. K. Rowling, who sent a Harry Potter book – in English of course – to the little girl who can only recite rote-learned short sentences in English. Whoever is writing the tweets, it is clearly not Bana (it’s probably her mother, who can be seen whispering answers to her in post-liberation interviews).

This child is clearly a prop being used to cynically manipulate us to believe in Russian and Syrian war crimes and that the “civilised” world must urgently intervene to stop the murderous rampage.

Bana constantly tweeted about her house being bombed, of the terror she and the family feel, that the Syrian army will target them because of the tweeting, that death could be imminent, of nearby bombings killing numerous civilians, and appealed for help to western leaders including Barack Obama to rescue them from the clearly evil regime deliberately targeting her and other innocent children.

There is an overwhelming and pervasive emotional tugging at the heart strings here, with the dual message that the “regime” is bombing and killing civilians and, you, the western public must demand your leaders intervene to save them. The no-fly zone is already pre-destined as the form of intervention, so this is what “Bana” is really asking for.

Very sophisticated for a 7-year-old girl.

In reality this is an extremely cynical use of an innocent child to promote a now failed regime change project. A project that has cost thousands of lives, forced people to flee their homes, and in some cases their country, has left Syria in ruins and a people heartbroken. Heartbroken; but resilient, brave, and determined to defeat the NATO/GCC backed terrorists and rebuild Syria.

Bana was recently photographed with Recep Erdogan. So after all the tweets fearing death at the hands of the Syrian Army, she, along with her family (not to mention thousands of terrorist fighters) were safely evacuated. She may be disappointed if she thinks Erdogan is going to be Al-Nusra’s saviour, as he seems to have joined the Russia/Syria/Iran alliance which has taken upon itself the task of resolving the Syrian war.

There were others posting similar “last tweets”, “last videos”, goodbyes, etc. who, if they really were in East Aleppo, had a genuine fear for their lives in a war zone. However what is objectionable is the attribution of blame solely to Syrian and Russian forces and the lack of acknowledgement of the atrocities carried out by the opposition, whom it must be remembered held government controlled areas of Aleppo under siege for over three years. One such person was Abdulkafi Alhamdo, a teacher and activist who in one of the worst pieces of acting you will see, complete with regular sighs for dramatic effect, claimed Russia and Syria did not want to see them leave alive, they wanted them dead and that he expected coming massacres.

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Abdulkafi Alhamdo together with fellow Twitter star Bana Alabed.

It is a very small leap of faith for those who accept this at face value to believe the massacres did happen as reported.

Article after article in the Western mainstream media condemns Russia and Syria for alleged war crimes spun by the above mentioned activists. Kirill Koktysh, Russian political scientist, associate professor of International Politics at Moscow-based MGIMO University, speaking to Sputnik News summed up the value for Washington in this misleading narrative:

Commenting on a recent article in the US media decrying once again Syria and Russia for their “atrocities” in Aleppo, with, of course, no proof whatsoever of the “crimes against humanity” proffered other than some jihadist propaganda, a Russian political scientist explained to Sputnik that Washington relies on articles like this to “save its face.”

The singular theme of these testimonies (in contrast to testimonies of reporters like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett) is how unconvincing they are. They feared for their lives in East Aleppo, and if it was because of Russia bombs or the Syrian army, then blaming Russia or Syria is myopic in the extreme. The Syrian army, aided by Russia, literally liberated East Aleppo from years of occupation by Western-sponsored terror groups.

Not once did they deliberately attack civilians. Why would they? On the other hand, the brutalisation of civilians in the four years of terrorist group rule was intentional and designed to strike fear in the hearts of people, to ensure they were too scared to rise up or resist. The murder of 27 East Aleppo civilians who had the temerity to protest their captivity was intentional. The torture, execution and dismemberment of civilians found in mass graves was intentional, gruesome and sadistic, as too was the execution by terrorists of 100 soldiers in defiance of the withdrawal agreement. Syria News reported on the discovery of a mass grave of civilians shown on Syria TV:

“Syrian TV showed another horrible massacre in the eastern part of Aleppo, the part which was controlled by the “rebels.” The recent report was of a mass grave of 23 victims in al Kallas district, which was a terrorist headquarter. It was found after those terrorists were transported to Idlib. The video shows the bodies of mostly massacred women and children, shot at close range. Many of the victims also had their legs and hands amputated.

This is what the West-backed “moderate monsters” left behind. What’s more, they were planning to use those victims to attribute their crimes to our government, as they are used to doing. This propaganda is always being supported by mainstream media like CNN, the English speaking Qatari Al-Jazeera etc.”

The terrorists seem to have little time for any notion of international or humanitarian law, something unlikely to be reflected on by US/NATO/ Gulf States, even as they squirm with embarrassment at these gruesome revelations. The irony of the squawking hysteria by western leaders and fakerstan media of unproven Russian/Syrian/Iranian atrocities compared to the firm evidence of these horrific executions is quite prophetic.

We are constantly assailed with the truism that Russian media is state controlled, and therefore is nothing more than state propaganda. The mention of RT comes with the mandatory adjunct of “Kremlin controlled.” And, as Russia is the root of all evil, and is to blame for everything, obviously its media can be nothing more than a pack of lying newshounds.

On the subject of the war in Syria, or the war on Syria, depending on where you stand, those who dissent from the regime change party line are dismissed as Russian trolls, Kremlin puppets, or Putin’s useful idiots. This includes well respected and credentialed journalists, activists and even ordinary people expressing their views via social media. We have all been willingly or unwillingly duped to follow the Kremlin line, to our eternal condemnation and to the never ending suffering of Syrians at the hands of the barbaric dictator Bashar Al-Assad and the Russian bully boy, Vladimir Putin.

So while Western governments would have us believe that Russian media lies all the time, somehow this total control of media output does not apply to the Western mainstream media or our politicians when it comes to their reports from the ground in “rebel” held areas of Syria, most notably in Aleppo.

The terrorists – let’s be frank here, that is what they are – who controlled Aleppo are not exactly shining examples of press freedom or independent reporting. If they were included in the World Press Freedom Index, they would languish at rock bottom.

Take Lina Shamy for example who filmed with terrorists walking along in the background carrying their guns. That’s real independent media right there. She no doubt had the freedom to walk alongside armed terrorists and brazenly report a narrative not approved by their leadership.

Or consider Bilal Abdul Kareem (mentioned above) interview of a spokesman for John Kerry’s favorite terrorist group ‘al-Nusra’. Kareem is a long-time confidante and proxy spokesperson for the terrorists. He even interviewed a terrorist supposedly evacuating Aleppo with an explosive vest. How far would Kareem be able to go if he departed from the Nusra line? Are we ever likely to hear those in fakerstan media call him a “Nusra troll,” or will he remain a respected “independent journalist.”

The icing on the cake when it comes to disseminating propaganda though has to be The White Helmets. Formed in 2013 by former British special forces soldier, John Le Mesurier, it was a UK Foreign Office/ State Department operation from the very beginning. There was no agonizingly-slow growth of a grass roots movement struggling to even stump up the cash for office pens here. It is a slick intelligence operation pivotal to the psyops war which has been funded to the tune of $100 million and counting. It has now been funded by many countries all keen to show they are committed to the Atlanticists and the dictators in the Gulf States.

The ‘White Helmets’ as humanitarian outfit is the stuff of Hollywood. The aura surrounding them is that of adored movie stars. They have been pumped up with claims of having rescued over 78,000 people in Syria, been nominated for the Nobel peace prize, complete with an intense lobbying effort, which if successful would have been the biggest insult to peace since Barack Obama’s shameful award. The White Helmets have stained democracy by being feted at the French parliament, been gushingly praised by the sycophantic Boris Johnson, applauded without due scrutiny by the western media, been the subject of a slick documentary which continues the theme of carefully crafted public relations serving the purposes of further demonizing Bashar al-Assad, deflecting criticism from the sponsorship of terrorism by NATO/Gulf States and helped build the case for direct intervention by openly calling for a no fly zone. To top it all off, we now have literally one of the biggest names in Hollywood, George Clooney planning a film on the White Helmets, thus elevating them to the status of some sort of Hollywood deity.

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Image by Cory Morningstar of Wrong Kind of Green

The synopsis of The White Helmets documentary on the IMDB website propagates the myth of the heroic first responders:

“As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble.”

This synopsis of the movie reinforces the idea of the fearless volunteers risking life and limb to rescue their fellow Syrians, while, without directly naming them, demonizing the governments of Bashar al-Assad and Russia, as they of course are the ones delivering the airstrikes. No mention here of the alternative view that the White Helmets stage manage their “rescues” are affiliated with terrorist groups, or that Russia and Syria are targeting terrorist groups and not civilians.

Clooney appears to have missed the fact that the White Helmets have been caught out time and again posing with terrorist groups, brandishing guns, accompanying terrorist groups as they abduct and kill Syrian soldiers and calling Syrian soldiers “Shabiha” whose dead bodies are to be thrown in the trash.There is an abundance of video and photo evidence out there in social media, easy to track down if you are inclined to do so. So-called diligent corporate media journalists could not fail to uncover this material, yet they see nothing, report nothing.

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White Helmets stand on the bodies of Syrian Arab Army soldiers and flick the victory sign.

On the contrary, the fakerstan media has made it their duty to target and vilify alternative media journalists who are prepared to look beyond the hype and glamour to uncover the murky underbelly of the White Helmets beast.

Eva Bartlett, who gave a monumental performance at a recent United Nations panel discussion on Syria, finds herself being set up to be discredited, vilified, humiliated, and ultimately silenced. First she was questioned as to whether she was at the panel on the behest of the Syrian government. No, she was there as an independent journalist of high repute, which she has been for a very long time.

Vanessa Beeley is routinely accused of being a “paid propagandist” a “shill for Assad.” Baseless claims are made that she is only allowed in Aleppo because the Syrian government like what she has got to say. Beeley, like other western journalists who have been able to freely travel into Aleppo, is protected by the Syrian Army in war zones, which is exactly what you would expect. Their opinions make no difference to the Syrian Army who have a duty to protect all those under their care.

The real problem is that Beeley is providing an abundance of evidence of the liberation of Aleppo and how happy people are that they have finally been liberated. This is what the media and so called activists can’t stand, that she is letting the people speak for themselves, and their message is:

“We are free, we are liberated, and we hated the terrorists who controlled East Aleppo.”

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Liberation of East Aleppo: Hanano (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

Beeley has told of how, among all the people she spoke to in East Aleppo, not one knew who the White Helmets were. When pressed they would say:

” Ah yes, the Nusra Front civil defence that only worked with the terrorists and did not help civilians“.

Beeley spoke to people who said the Al-Nusra dominated groups ruled through “fear, torture, humiliation, starvation and brutality.” She mixed with groups of children able to finally raise a smile. She gathered the testimonies of residents who recounted the living hell they had experienced. Beeley says:

“The testimonies we filmed testified to starvation, wholesale deprivation of humanitarian aid, summary executions, torture and the use of civilians as human shields.”

Beeley has been in Aleppo where the warehouses full of humanitarian aid denied to civilians by the terrorist groups were revealed. She was there when the horrifying report broke of the discovery of mass graves of civilians, with many women and children shot at close range. She was also there when the discovery was made of the 100 Syrian soldiers executed by the terrorists prior to being given safe passage to Idlib where they can resume hostilities and possibly perpetrate future atrocities on civilians and government fighters.

The stories of Syrian army and militia massacres were nowhere to be seen. Nor were the accusations that Assad is entirely to blame for their suffering. Beeley also was there as the peaceful evacuation took place, contrary to reports which claimed otherwise, including the claims that hundreds of men went missing from East Aleppo.

This reporting is consistent with what the Bolivian actress and filmmaker Carla Ortiz found. Telesur reports on her time spent in Syria and the film she is about to release titled “Voice of Syria,” in which “she documents the peaceful evacuation process from Eastern Aleppo, effectively debunking mainstream media narratives claiming the opposite.”

During a recent interview with Fox 11 News, Ortiz said:

“I was right there in six different front lines, and I talked to the people when they were getting in the buses…at the shelters, and actually the evacuation wasn’t burning, there was not mass shooting anywhere on the streets.”

So the caravan of media and activist propaganda rolls on. Their next stop is Idlib; the last remaining stronghold of the non ISIS dominated terrorist factions. Undoubtedly it is all going to be barrel bombs, White Helmet heroics, deliberate bombing of schools and hospitals, and valiant resistance from “rebel” groups.

That the presence of a hard line, mass murdering group such as Al-Nusra (Jabhat Fatah al-Sham) is hidden beneath the moderate rebel tag is an absolute scandal and will continue to obfuscate the truth of the dirty US/NATO/Gulf State/Israel war on Syria.

Enough of CIA’s ‘Enough Project’ in Africa! [Avaaz, International Crisis Group, Center for American Progress]

Libya360 | Internationalist News Agency

Cross-posted from TeleSUR

October 7, 2016

By Thomas C. Mountain

The “Enough Project” claims it’s mission is to prevent genocide in Africa, but has been conspicuously silent when it comes to the genocidal famine in Somalia.

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WKOG editor: As people finally become aware of Avaaz – as a key instrument of empire – watch for the Enough Project which could, if embraced by the public, become the new NGO assigned to create acquiescence for the destabilization of targeted countries. The Enough Project was co-founded by the Center for American Progress (see below) and the International Crisis Group in 2007. Key partners include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam and UNHCR. Enough is a project of the New Venture Fund, and is based in Washington, DC. Its co-founders are John Prendergast (former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council) and Gayle Smith (current administrator of the United States Agency for International Development).


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“ENOUGH operates under the umbrella of the Democratic Party’s corporate funded propaganda and influence peddling operation, The Center for American Progress (CAP).” Former Democratic congressman and Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello served as President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and as a Counselor for Policy at Center for American Progress until July of 2015 when he was appointed Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes and the Congo-Kinshasa by the White House.

“The Enough Project focuses on Africa” – Sudan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, northern Uganda, and the Horn of Africa.

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The Enough Project has worked hand-in-hand with Avaaz in the past.

Perriello and Avaaz co-founder Ricken Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004. “DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Avaaz co-founder Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.”Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organization’s funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with the exception of one located in London, England, all of the entities involved are American and based on U.S. soil.

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Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose – to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism.

 

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Enough of the CIA’s “Enough Project” in Africa!http://s2.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20110730&t=2&i=469259260&w=580&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=2011-07-30T121232Z_01_BTRE76T0XWX00_RTROPTP_0_SOMALIA-FAMINE

EP, as it is known, was founded by senior U.S. Intel “spook” Gayle Smith, former Senior Director of the National Security Council under President Obama and now head of the USAID/CIA.

Today EP is headed by Ms. Smith’s protégé John Prendergast whose history as head of EP is one of subterfuge and lies in service to Pax Americana.

EP claims it’s mission is to prevent genocide in Africa, as in the name “Enough Project”, yet has been conspicuously silent when it comes to the genocidal famine in Somalia during the Great Horn of Africa Drought in 2011-12 where 250,000 Somali children starved to death.

Recently George Clooney was enjoying 15 minutes of fame as a humanitarian claiming to have exposed massive corruption in South Sudan when he should have been warning the world of the U.N.’s next genocide in Somalia as in 300,000 starving children. Soon the genocide in Somalia will hit its peak with hundreds, up to 1,000 children a day dying from hunger with only a deafening silence emanating from the CIA’s Enough Project.

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EP, with support from its big brother the Center for American Progress, only once in its history raised a real genocide, that back in 2007-8 when Gayle Smith was out to political pasture, she being a rabid democrat during the Bush Jr. years in office. Then she was part of the Democrat “opposition” to the Bush regime and oh so briefly raised the food and medical aid blockade in the Ogaden in Ethiopia, where the only instance of both the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders being expelled from a famine stricken region has been allowed.

Once Ms. Smith jumped on the Obama For President bandwagon, no further mention of the genocide in the Ogaden was heard.

http://i1.wp.com/richardfalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/somalia-famine-2011.jpg?resize=250%2C250 Today EP is proving its loyalty to Pax Americana by playing huckster for regime change in South Sudan, as in denying China access to African oil via the invasion of “peacekeepers” in the name of Responsibility To Protect of Libyan infamy. The USA has abandoned former “rebel leader” Riek Machar in favor of direct military intervention by the U.N. and the USA’s gendarme in Africa, the African Union.

The Chinese have started to expand their oil production so expect to hear louder cries of outrage from the likes of EP about various crimes and even “genocide” in South Sudan followed by demands for more foreign military intervention in the country.

With all their lies and subterfuge, don’t you think that we here in Africa have had enough of the CIA’s Enough Project?

 

 

[Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea living and reporting from here since 2006.]

 

Further reading:

Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part IV

US Behind Massacres in Beni, Congo

http://www.anngarrison.com/audio/creating-south-sudan-george-clooney-john-prendergast-and-george-w-bush

 

 

Why Is Environmental Damage Of War Considered A Taboo Subject?

Activist Post

September 22, 2016

By Diane Mantzaris

 

“What the imperialist warlords don’t understand is that no one nation or elite class can survive the climate catastrophe without saving the planet as a whole, given the multitude of interconnectedness of the earth’s eco- and geophysical/chemical/climate systems. In fact, allowing massive suffering in ‘unimportant’ regions will logically lead to further decimation of ecosystems and the transfer of their biomass carbon into the atmosphere, as people will be driven to seeking out the last of water and sustenance amid crop failures, droughts and wildfires… We are literally one people, sharing one fate. Human rights is not only a moral issue, it has very sound physical and existential basis.” – Maggie Zhou [Source]

 

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While Australia’s so called progressive left has been hollering about the environmental damage caused to our planet and lamenting the impact of climate change, they still find it “too difficult” to make a call for an end to Australia’s participation in the US/allied dirty war on Syria.

This resistance to speak out occurs even after the RAAF bombing massacre of a few days ago.

Those who remain silent continue to use the excuse of war complexities and “regime change” propaganda in the disinformation spread that travels from the US/UK to Australia – the disinformation shoved under our noses every day.

At least Ann Wright of Consortium News has the courage to ask these questions. As Wright reports in her article, “Greenwashing Wars And The U.S. Military,

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has come in for criticism due to its lack of attention to the detrimental effects of wars and military operations on nature. Considering the degree of harm to the environment coming from these human activities, one would think that the organization might have set aside some time at its World Conservation Congress this past week in Hawaii to specifically address these concerns.

Yet, of the more than 1,300 workshops crammed into the six-day marathon environmental meeting in Honolulu, followed by four days of discussion about internal resolutions, nothing specifically addressed the destruction of the environment by military operations and wars.

At a presentation at the USA Pavilion during the conference, senior representatives of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy regaled the IUCN audience of conservationists with tales about caring for the environment, including protecting endangered species, on hundreds of U.S. military bases in the United States.The heavy funding the IUCN gets from governments is undoubtedly the rationale for not addressing this “elephant in the room” at a conference for the protection of the endangered planet – a tragic commentary on a powerful organization that should acknowledge all anti-environmental pressures.The presenters did not mention what is done on the over 800 U.S. military bases outside of the United States. In the one-hour military style briefing, the speakers failed to mention the incredible amounts of fossil fuels used by military aircraft, ships and land vehicles that leave mammoth carbon footprints around the world. Also not mentioned were wars that kill humans, animals and plants; military exercise bombing of entire islands and large swaths of land; and the harmful effects of the burn pits which have incinerated the debris of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.Each military service representative focused on the need for training areas to prepare the U.S. military to “keep peace in the world.” Of course, no mention was made of “keeping the peace” through wars of choice that have killed hundreds of thousands of persons, animals and plants, and the bombing of the cultural heritage in many areas around the world including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

Such terrible human suffering and genocide is inflicted upon Syrians by an Australia purporting to be at war with ISIS.

I can only respond in this manner: I swear most people do not have a pulse.

Did it ever occur to you that war, climate change and the refugee crisis are linked?

It is thus very highly ironic that it is too taboo to discuss the ongoing displacement of people caused by war while being so concerned about refugees at the same time.

And yes it was the Australian Greens (Christine Milne) that pushed through cruel sanctions on Syria during Labour’s term in Australia: the same party purporting to care for refugees and the environment today.

Apparently it is also taboo to discuss the massive environmental devastation caused by war and imperialism.

 

[Diane Mantzaris is an Australian artist known for her pioneering application of digital imaging to printmaking and for her unconventional approach to image making, which is often both personal and political in content. Mantzaris pioneered the use of computers as a printmaking and art-making tool in the early to mid-1980s, exhibiting widely, nationally and throughout Asia in touring exhibitions, to considerable acclaim. Her practice now crosses into several fields associated with the visual arts, printmaking, drawing, photography, sculpture, performance and public art. She is represented in most state and public collections throughout Australia and significant private collections throughout Asia and Europe. She was was drawn into action over Syria while watching the events unfold with colleagues in Aleppo.]

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Diane Mantzaris ©
‘Garden of Eve: the Ages of Inhumanity’ 2012 
206cm (Height) x 120cm (Width) 
C-Type Photograph

Standing with Syria

Black Agenda Report

September 13, 2016

There is only one question now: when will America tell its minions to stop fighting?

American and NATO aggressions must be opposed wherever they surface in the world. That statement ought to be the starting point for anyone calling themselves left, progressive, or anti-war. Of course the aggressors always use a ruse to diminish resistance to their wars of terror. In Syria and elsewhere they claim to support freedom fighters, the moderate opposition and any other designation that helps hide imperialist intervention. They label their target as a tyrant, a butcher, or a modern day Hitler who commits unspeakable acts against his own populace. The need to silence opposition is obvious and creating the image of a monster is the most reliable means of securing that result.

The anti-war movement thus finds itself confused and rendered immobile by this predictable propaganda. It is all too easily manipulated into being at best ineffectual and at worst supporters of American state sponsored terror.

For five years the United States, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar and Turkey have given arms and money to terrorist groups in an effort to topple Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Some of those bad actors felt flush with success after overthrowing and killing Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. They had high hopes of picking off another secular Arab government. Fortunately, Assad was hard to defeat and the barbarians cannot storm the gates. Most importantly, Russia stopped giving lip service to Assad and finally provided military support to the Syrian government in 2015.

American presidents, beginning with Jimmy Carter, have all used jihadists at opportune moments when they want regime change.”

The United States government is responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The so-called barrel bomb doesn’t kill more people than conventional weapons provided by the United States and its puppets. There would not be bombs of any kind, sieges, starving children, or refugees if the Obama administration had not given the green light to the rogues gallery.

Whatever their political beliefs or feelings about Assad, Syrians did not ask the United States to turn their country into a ruin. They don’t want ISIS to behead children, as they infamously did on camera. American presidents, beginning with Jimmy Carter, have all used jihadists at opportune moments when they want regime change. The name of the country under attack changes but the story ends with massive human suffering.

Instead of siding unequivocally with America’s victims some in the anti-war movement instead live in greater fear of being labeled “pro Assad.” Assad didn’t invade Iraq and kill one million people. George W. Bush did that. Assad did not give support to jihadists to destroy Libya, kill 50,000 people, ignite a race war and create another refugee crisis. Barack Obama did that. The list of human rights abuses carried out by the American government is a long one indeed. There is torture in the United States prison system, the largest in the world. American police are given tacit permission to kill three people every day. Yet the fear of being thought of as an Assad supporter is so powerful that it silences people and organizations who should be in the forefront of confronting their country domestically and internationally.

Of course American propaganda is ratcheted up at the very moment that sides must be chosen. Any discussion or debate regarding Syria’s political system was rendered moot as soon as the United States targeted that country for destruction. There is only one question now: when will America tell its minions to stop fighting?

The fear of being thought of as an Assad supporter is so powerful that it silences people and organizations who should be in the forefront of confronting their country domestically and internationally.

Obama didn’t start a proxy war with an expectation of losing, and Hillary Clinton makes clear her allegiance to regime change. The United States will only leave if Syria and its allies gain enough ground to force a retreat. They will call defeat something else at a negotiating table but Assad must win in order for justice and reconciliation to begin.

Focusing on Assad’s government and treatment of his people may seem like a reasonable thing to do. Most people who call themselves anti-war are serious in their concern for humanity. But the most basic human right, the right to survive, was taken from 400,000 people because the American president decided to add one more notch on his gun. Whether intended or not, criticism of the victimized government makes the case for further aggression.

The al-Nusra Front may change its name in a public relations effort, but it is still al Qaeda and still an ally of the United States. The unpredictable Donald Trump may not be able to explain that he spoke the truth when he accused Obama and Clinton of being ISIS supporters, but the anti-war movement should be able to explain without any problem. Cessations of hostilities are a sham meant to protect American assets whenever Assad is winning. If concern for the wellbeing of Syrians is a paramount concern, then the American anti-war movement must be united in condemning their own government without reservation or hesitation.

 

[Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as athttp://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.]

EU To Burundi: Regime Change Trumps

Oriental Review

March 30, 2016

By Andrew Korybko

EU To Burundi: Regime Change Trumps Anti-Terror Help

The EU has stepped up its behind-the-scenes role in organizing regime change in Burundi by taking the dramatic step to cut most of its funding for the country’s anti-terror contingent in Somalia, this according to the latest exclusive report from Reuters. Burundi provides nearly a quarter of the 22,000 African Union (AU) troops stationed in the country and is the largest international contributor. Correspondingly, while there’s no official data about the number of AU soldiers who have been killed during the nearly decade-long African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), reliable estimates and official UN data from 2013 indicate that Burundi has borne the brunt of the roughly 3,000 fatalities that are thought to have occurred.

Given Burundi’s dedicated commitment to fighting terrorism in Somalia and the blood that its military has already shed in furtherance of this goal, it’s all the more surprising that the EU would risk undermining its anti-terror effectiveness, especially when Burundi is essentially carrying out its task as a paid surrogate for Western troops themselves. Revealingly, Brussels’ decision adds proof to the convincing allegations that the EU elite are more influenced by US-whispered geo-economic imperatives in overthrowing the leader of a geopolitical pivotal and mineral-rich state than pragmatically assisting its forces in the shared struggle against global terrorism.

Black-On-Black Terrorism

Probably the most immediate reason why the EU elite don’t appreciate Burundi’s anti-terror commitment in Somalia is because Al Shabaab, the primary target of this indefinite mission, only operates in Africa and targets black victims. It’s not that the group is doing this out of any purposeful intent, but simply that its area of operations around the Horn of Africa puts it within range of mostly black targets. In an ironic rebuff to their ideology but in accordance with their unsurprising and typical double standards, the Cultural Marxist EU elite don’t see any pressing need to halt black-on-black terrorism so long as it’s contained to Africa and doesn’t target European-based Africans. Al Shabaab has yet to expand its zone of attack to anywhere directly relevant to conventional EU interests, preferring instead to kill Ethiopians, Kenyans and even fellow Somalians in its crazed pursuit of an irredentist and ethnic Somali-dominated “Islamic State” in East Africa.

Members of Somalia's hardline Islamist rebel group al Shabaab. Photo: The Daily Nation

Members of Somalia’s hardline Islamist rebel group al Shabaab. Photo: The Daily Nation

It’s true that there exist certain grievances that the regional Somali community definitely has towards their respective governments no matter which country they presently reside in, and there was a failed Cold War-era effort at reviving the “Greater/Natural Somalia” that was divided by European and what was perceived to be African (Ethiopian) imperialism, but Al Shabaab has expertly manipulated these preexisting sentiments and historical memory and intertwined it with the violent doctrine of extreme Islam in order to manufacture a semi-appealing terrorist group that masquerades as a pseudo-“resistance” organization. Furthermore, there have been strong suspicions in the West that Qatar is one of the terrorist group’s sponsors, and while no smoking gun has emerged, such a truth would believably mesh with the emirate’s already proven modus operandi in the Mideast.

In contrast to Saudi Arabia’s terrorists, Qatar’s have largely refrained from attacking Western targets, possibly owing to a tacit agreement that they have with the latter’s governments to provide soft support (media sympathy, “refugee” status, etc.) for Doha’s patronized Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated elements in exchange for much-needed and competitively priced energy contracts. Both sides are presently upholding this deal, with the EU continuing to purchase Qatari energy resources while Emir Thani holds off the terrorist hordes from attacking European targets (at least for now), and with Al Shabaab likely part of this arrangement, Brussels sees no urgent need to substantially support outsourced anti-terror activities against a regional African group that only targets local black victims. For this self-interested and ideological inconsistent reason, the “bleeding heart” Cultural Marxists of the EU are eagerly willing to sacrifice the effectiveness of a solid and tested anti-terrorist force in Somalia solely as a means of encouraging regime change in Burundi.

The Geopolitical Hinge

The average observer might be dumbfounded with disbelief that the EU would knowingly hamper anti-terror operations in Somalia in order to pile up regime change pressure on a geographically tiny and landlocked Central African state, but the unspoken geopolitical reality behind all of this is that Burundi is actually quite important in a regional strategic sense. It’s far from being a pivot, but because it plays an integral influencing role on the nearby pivots themselves, it can more accurately be described by the author’s own neologism as being a “geopolitical hinge”. Its strategic disposition one way or the other can impact on regional affairs but not necessarily change them owing to the country’s comparatively lesser influence on its neighborhood, but it nevertheless fulfills an important role in the larger East African paradigm of power. All economic considerations aside about the lust that Western companies have for displacing their expected Russian and Chinese rivals in the country’s largely untapped mineral sector, Burundi occupies an ideal geographic space in one of the most dynamic and gradually focused-on areas of the continent. To place the country into a grander context, East Africa is on the cusp of undergoing New Silk Road-affiliated transnational integrational projects that could dramatically elevate its regional partners’ multipolar status in the emerging world order.

Un-burundiThat said, Burundi is the weak link in this emerging construction due to the potential that its domestic identity-differences, legally subdued but still socially present, could be manipulated from abroad to engineer a disruptive Hybrid War that sabotages an important spoke of the African Silk Road network. To get into the details, Burundi abuts regional giant Tanzania, whose population is expected by the UN to surge to epic and powerful proportions by mid-century to 137 million, making it the fourth-fastest-growing country in the world. Relatedly, while this could potentially be a demographic curse, it could also be an economic blessing, and it’s for this reason why China and other countries have a deep-seated interest in getting involved in the country’s economy now while it’s still relatively early on to do so. However, a prompted Hybrid War in Burundi would inevitably lead to overspill effect across the Tanzanian border, not only in terms of “Weapons of Mass Migration”, but also in armed non-state actors traversing its territory and embedding themselves along the Central Corridor railroad line that’s expect to form a crucial part of the East African Railway Master Plan, itself the New Silk Road infrastructural backbone of the formative East African Federation.

Additionally, any humanitarian/militant crisis in Burundi could easily draw in Rwanda, which is already conspiring against Bujumbura as it is (and even worse, exploiting refugees to do so), and this could offset one of the most economically promising countries on the continent. One should bear in mind, however, that this is mostly a macroeconomic and statistical illusion largely facilitated by Rwanda’s developing hub status and its key role in laundering the eastern Congolese minerals that its affiliated rebel forces have pillaged (despite it being ‘officially’ illegal to do so). Even so, Rwanda does have a lot of minerals in its own right and is the world’s largest exporter of coltan, for example, but the US likely takes issue with the fact that it’s selling some of them to China and diversifying its overall economic relations with Washington’s prime global economic rival. Rwanda’s role vis-à-vis China is increasingly taken on a very strategic nature owing to the importance that its own and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) (illegally transited) minerals have to China’s (overseas) scientific-technological manufacturing base. As much as Paul Kagame has wantonly behaved as an untouchable American proxy since he came to power on the heels of the country’s externally instigated genocide, that does appear to be changing, as Washington signaled its “disappointment” at his ambitions to run for a third term next year, indicating that it now potentially sees him and his county as dispensable scraps of geopolitical “scorched earth” material in the larger New Cold War that it’s fighting against China’s New Silk Road vision in Africa.

To summarize Burundi’s geopolitical hinge relevance in East and Central African affairs, not only could a Hybrid War in the tiny country offset Tanzania and the East African Federation’s broad New Silk Road integrational connective projects, but it could also return the neighboring mineral-rich country of Rwanda to being an unapproachable battlefield that scares away and obstructs all possible Chinese strategic investments there. Tangentially, but no less importantly, Burundi’s location next to the extraordinarily mineral-rich areas of the eastern DRC also means that both its possible Hybrid War problems or the influence of any ‘Western/foreign protector’ can extend into one of the most prized natural resource regions in the entire world, either indefinitely offsetting its export capability (both legal and illegal via Rwanda) or redirecting its market destinations more firmly to the West at the expense of East Asia. Undoubtedly then, after considering these geopolitical and geo-economic imperatives, tiny Burundi begins to take on an outsized significance in the global calculations of the New Cold War.

Rekindling The Hybrid War Conflict

Imbued with a relevant understanding of Burundi’s grandiose geostrategic and geo-economic pivot importance to New Cold War affairs and fresh with knowledge about how the EU (under likely American orders) has betrayed Burundi’s brave anti-terrorist sacrifices in Somalia, it’s now time to investigate the connection between these two seemingly disparate topics and unveil that larger goal that’s being pursued. As is already widely known, the US and its allies have been pushing for a regime change against the democratically elected and legitimate Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, wanting to replace him with a pliant politician that would open the country up to full Western ‘investment’ at Russia and China’s strategic multipolar expense. The ‘normative’ cover for doing so was to allege that the President was constitutionally barred from running for a third term, but the country’s highest court ruled that he can do so on the technicality that his first term was an appointment and not an actual election.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang and the First Vice President of Burundi laid the foundation for the primary school to be built with China's assistance, January 2008

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang and the First Vice President of Burundi laid the foundation for the primary school to be built with China’s assistance, January 2008

No matter the nitty gritty details of the state’s sovereign affairs, it’s evident that foreign powers were involving themselves in this process as a means of acquiring future long-term influence inside what they presumed would quickly become a post-Nkurunziza Burundi. A low-intensity Hybrid War was launched against the country on the grounds that the President’s campaign and eventual election to a third term was unconstitutional, and the UN estimated that a comparatively small figure of 474 people have been killed there since the manufactured turmoil broke out on command in April 2015. While the global body quite rightly recognizes that the conflict could spill over Burundi’s borders and become the spark for a larger regional conflagration (in line with the author’s above-mentioned assessment about the US’ scorched earth Hybrid War tactics in East and Central Africa against China), it’s quite telling that, respectfully speaking, not even half a thousand people have died in a political crisis that captivated the attention of most of the world’s leading international news outlets for almost the past year. This attests not only to the exaggerated importance that the Western media gave to this crisis, but also to the patriotism of the country’s civilian population and the majority of its military leaders, not counting of course the conspirators of the failed May 2015 coup.

Although the attempt at a traditional regime change ploy miserably failed, the fact that it came the closest out of all of the ones that were tried (Color Revolution and Unconventional War included) indicated to the West that this is the method which must be most heavily invested in for possible future success. Returning to the beginning of the article where Reuters’ exclusive report was cited about the EU cutting off funding for the Burundian anti-terrorist forces in Somalia, it must be qualified that this doesn’t translate to the full suspension of funds, but to a significant enough percentage that it will negatively impact not only on the government itself (which takes a 20% cut), but most relevantly on the soldiers themselves who have come to depend on this added income. The goal is to turn the rank-and-file soldiers against the government by essentially blackmailing them into supporting another military coup sometime in the future, but unlike its failed predecessor, any forthcoming one might have a larger supportive cadre of conspirators to draw from and might end up splitting the military forces along ethnic lines. Whether it succeeds or not in overthrowing the government at that point isn’t actually all that vital so long as it can add fuel to the Hybrid War flames of identity violence that the West has been trying to fan for almost a year now.

Concluding Thoughts

It shouldn’t be forgotten that if the US can’t successfully co-opt or change a targeted government, then it will instinctively resort to geopolitical ‘scorched earth’ tactics in taking down the country and the rest of the region that are expected to otherwise play very constructive roles in China’s New Silk Road global multipolar paradigm. Burundi, with its small size and relatively godforsaken geographic location, surprisingly plays a very significant role in affecting the geopolitics of East and Central Africa, especially when this its geo-economic relevance is factored into the overall strategic equation. The West is very cognizant of the Hybrid War vulnerabilities that plague the country, particularly the recent and very bloody Hutu-Tutsi civil war, and it’s adroitly manipulating these factors in order to add increasingly intense pressure on the government.

Thankfully, the people are well informed of the external threat against their country and understand the nefarious plot that’s been deployed against them to return Burundi to ethnic-based civil war, hence why the Hybrid War plan has dismally failed to reach its full and genocidal hoped-for potential that would have then triggered a “humanitarian intervention” by the African Union, the East African Federation, the UN, and/or a unilateral “coalition of the willing” from the West. In light of this ‘inconvenient’ reality, the West now appears to be investing heavily in winning the ‘hearts and minds’ (and pocketbooks) of the rank-and-file soldiers of the Burundian military, obviously in anticipation of a forthcoming military coup redux that represents the best possible chances at overthrowing the government or sparking a renewed civil war.

There’s a possibility that a separate foreign patron (perhaps China) could step in to fill the financial void left by the EU’s withdraw of monetary commitment to the Burundian anti-terrorist forces in Somalia, but if even if this doesn’t eventuate, the proven patriotism of the country’s military and the astuteness of its officer corps should be enough to repel the forthcoming conspiracy against it and ensure that it fails just as badly as its forerunner did. Nevertheless, depending on how the forecasted situation develops, it frighteningly might be destabilizing enough that it exacerbates Burundi’s internal identity-based divisions and noticeably pushes it closer to the brink of Hybrid War, possibly even involving a more robust Rwandan role. The next few months will be decisive, and any major national commemoration or foreign presidential trip might be chosen as the date for launching the latest coup attempt bringing Burundi back to its days of civil war and dysfunction.

 

[Andrew Korybko is the American political commentator currently working for the Sputnik agency. He is the post-graduate of the MGIMO University and author of the monograph “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change” (2015).]