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How did al-Qaeda know in advance about the Syrian air strike?

There is an anomaly among the evidence that the Syrian chemical weapons attack at Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on April 4, 2017 was a “false flag” operation, designed to provoke a US attack on Syria. The evidence is otherwise quite strong, as put forth by former Pentagon consultant and MIT professor Theodore Postol in his three part analysis of the declassified White House Report on the Syrian chemical weapons attack of April 4, 2017. Postol’s analysis has been widely cited as disproving the White House contention that the Syrian Air Force bombed the “rebel” controlled village with …

Theresa May’s Snap General Election: The Mother of All U-Turns

Theresa May ruled out an early snap general election on the Andrew Marr show on 4 September 2016 on the grounds that the country needed stability.I think the next election will be in 2020, she said. Fast-forward to 18 April 2017, explaining her decision to hold a general election on 8 June 2017, she said:

Since I became Prime Minister I have said there should be no election until 2020 but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the

U.S. and Turkey Have Long been Aware of ISIS’ Chemical Weapons

Recently, Syria and Iraq have witnessed increased chemical weapon usage. In Khan Sheikhoun, a performance was staged to accuse the Syrian government while in Iraq’s Mosul, the situation is quite contrary – the besieged ISIS militants used chemical agents chlorine and mustard gas against the Iraqi troops.

The first reports of ISIS developing chemical weapons appeared in November, 2015. Then, the AP, basing on the information of the U.S. and Iraqi intelligences, stated that the terrorists were actively developing chemical agents with the assistance of highly qualified specialists from Iraq, Syria and other Middle East states.

As known, …

President Trump’s Disappearance

In my long experience in Washington, vice presidents did not make major foreign policy announcements or threaten other countries with war. Not even Dick Cheney stole this role from the weak president George W. Bush.

But yesterday the world witnessed VP Pence threaten North Korea with war. “The sword stands ready,” said Pence as if he is the commander in chief.

Perhaps he is.

Where is Trump? As far as I can tell from the numerous emails I receive from him, he is at work marketing his presidency. Once Trump won the election, I began receiving endless offers to purchase Trump baseball caps, …

Trump: In North Korea You will be Murdering Human Beings

When I think about North Korea, what first comes to my mind is a mist over the calm and majestic surface of the Taedong River near Pyongyang. Next I always recall two lovers, locked in a tender and almost desperate embrace, sitting side by side on the shore. I saw them every day, while taking brisk walks at dawn. Now I don’t know for sure whether they were real or just a product of my fantasy; a sad and gentle reminder of all that has been already lost, as well as of all that should have happened but never really …

When Daesh is Defeated: Who Will Fill the Intellectual Vacuum in the Arab World?

Back in the Middle East for a few months, I find myself astounded by the absence of the strong voices of Arab intellectuals.

The region that has given rise to the likes of Michel Aflaq, George Habash, Rached al-Ghannouchi, Edward Said and numerous others has marginalized its intellectuals.

Arab visionaries have either been coopted by the exuberant funds allocated to sectarian propaganda, been silenced by fear of retribution, or are simply unable to articulate a collective vision that transcends their sects, religions or whatever political tribe they belong to.

This void created by the absence of Arab intellectuals (reduced to talking heads with …

An End to UN Occupation of Haiti, but Abuses Remain

Last week the UN Security Council finally voted to end its military occupation of Haiti. Instigated by the US, France and Canada, it has been responsible for countless abuses during the past 13 years.

At the same time as the Security Council voted to draw down its military force (a police contingent will remain), the Associated Press published an in-depth investigation confirming widespread sexual abuse by UN troops in Haiti. The foreign soldiers had sex with minors, sodomized boys and raped young girls. An internal UN report uncovered by AP implicated 134 Sri Lankan troops in a sex ring that …

Karmic Disaster: The Debt Comes Due

Hindu scriptures teach that anyone who kills or causes harm to other sentient beings is in for a big dose of Bad Karma as a result. The shit can hit the fan in this lifetime or in some future reincarnation, but it will happen. Not that I personally subscribe to Hinduism or any other religion, but I do believe that there’s a large dose of merit in their world view. A lot can be said for lifestyles which involve veganism and peaceful coexistence with our fellow beings. Stray from the path, commit the crime, and you’ll eventually do the time. …

Nuking The West Coast: BBC News Massively Hypes North Korean “Threat” To The United States

One of the longstanding functions of the ‘mainstream’ media is to channel government ideology about who are ‘the Good Guys’ – that’s ‘us’ and our allies – and who are the ‘Bad Guys’ – ‘Putin’s Russia’, ‘Saddam’s Iraq’, ‘Chavez’s Venezuela’, ‘Gaddafi’s Libya’ (until rehabilitated for a while by Blair) and North Korea.

Of course, ‘we’ often help ‘Bad Guys’ into power, even give them poison gas, sell them arms, and support them through thick and thin. But let’s put all that to one side.

Consider a recent …

“Making America Great Again” by Reducing the World to Ashes?

In the event of a nuclear war, there will be no chances, there will be no survivors – all will be obliterated… nuclear devastation is not science fiction – it is a matter of fact. The world now stands on the brink of the final abyss. Let us all resolve to take all possible practical steps to ensure that we do not, through our own folly, go over the edge.

— Former First Sea Lord, Louis Mountbatten (1900-1979) Strasbourg, 11 May 1979

As US threats ratchet up towards North Korea, the latest hinging on the accusation that the country attempted a further …

Serving the Rich, Elite and Criminally Insane Capitalists: The Unsilencing of Intellect

Riffing with Intellectual Harbinger of the Anti-Bourgeoise, John Steppling

One of the toughest things I’ve been facing is the bald-faced collective delusion of fellow Americans. From the rank and file social worker, to even the people I serve – homeless, street people, addicted, just out of prison – to the creeps at the top, like my own Oregon’s Phil Knight, Nike guy, all the way through to the politicians, bureaucrats, and those vaunted intellectuals. These delusions center around capitalism, the buy-sell world of service economies, deep into the transnational crap that is the under girder of America’s engines of the rich. Off-shoring, outsourcing, sweat-shopping, disruptive economies bigger in scope …

Israel’s Festivities will Highlight 50 Years of Shame

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of what it calls the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” – or what the rest of us describe as the birth of the occupation.

The center piece event will take place in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The West Bank settlement “bloc” enjoys wide support in Israel, not least because it was established long ago by the supposedly left-wing Labour Party, now heading the opposition.

The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the …

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a Match Made in Heaven (or in Washington)

Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Israeli PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu
If we were to believe all the propaganda we would think (the occupation state of) Israel and (the medieval kingdom of) Saudi Arabia were mortal foes. On one hand we have an entity that describes itself as a blooming democracy, an oasis of civilisation amongst barbaric foes, and on the other a royal family that presents itself as the natural leader of the Arabs. Given that there is no greater cause in the Middle East than that of …

Attack Against Syria and the Region Speaking Up

Destroyed Aleppo (Photo by Yayoi Segi)
Beirut — As the US Tomahawk missiles were raining on Syria, the entire Middle East was shaken to its core. Here, even the name itself – Syria – triggers extremely complex and often contradictory sets of emotions. To some, Syria is synonymous with pride and a determined struggle against Western imperialism, while others see it as an uncomfortable reminder of how low their own rulers and societies have managed to sink, serving foreign interests and various neo-colonialist designs.

Many people are hiding their heads …

The Costa Rica Lesson

I recently returned from a holiday in Costa Rica, a country I’d wanted to visit for some years. I bought two T-shirts there. One has an image of an automatic rifle with a flower sticking out its barrel and the words “NO ARMY” written across it in the colour of blood. The other T-shirt has an image of an artillery piece, with the words “No army since 1948” on it.

Just after Costa Rica had its revolution in 1948, one of the first things its new visionary leader Jose Figueres Ferrer did was scrap its army. Contrary to what one might …

Resistance in the 21st Century and the Futility of Reforming the Fundamentally Vicious

Out of necessity, organized resistance to the Trump administration’s authoritarian and hyper-violent policy agenda is growing rapidly, both domestically and internationally. Within this context, it is important for those of us who engage in individual and collective acts of resistance – based on our varying proximities to power structures – to consider what and how we resist by taking into account larger structural considerations.

A Brief History of Resistance in the United States

The political, economic and cultural foundations of the United States have consistently proven over time to have a unique ability to legally pacify, repress, vanquish, enslave, murder and inflict …

The Mother of All Bombs Goes to Afghanistan

These are the times where magnitude and size matters. Bombs in number with much heft and presence are being sought to root out those non-state jihadists of the Prophet, destructively maiming and killing all before them in the name of the next heavily drawn out cause.

On Friday, United States armed forces busied themselves with dropping such a weapon of truly lethal size against a country that has had more bombs directed at it than worthy industrial incentives in half a century.

It seemed to rival the announcement of a birth, and it was, in fact, sanctified as the “Mother of All …

New Facts of the White Helmets’ Stage in Khan Shaykhun

On April 13, The Syrian Observer published an article related to the fact that the chemical attack in Khan Shayhun was staged by the White Helmets.

Tuesday, April 4, the White Helmets activists reported the chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun of Idlib province. The national coalition of the Syrian opposition and revolutionary forces was the first to report 80 dead and 200 injured.

In fact, this chemical attack was a premeditated false flag operation aimed to blame the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians.

A lot of high-ranking opposition journalists took part in this bloodcurdling staging …

We Need Better and More Diverse Coverage on Syria

Open Letter to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!

Dear Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

We are a group of military veterans who are hoping NOT to be blown off the face of this planet in a nuclear exchange precipitated by events in Syria.

The U.S. is close to confronting nuclear-armed Russia over Syria.  This situation was triggered by the recent Assad-Did-It-Again story, “gassing his own people,” that we first heard in 2013.  Once again evidence was lacking, and worse, there was a total lack of interest in finding evidence, or in asking the obvious questions of motive, cui bono?

As former military persons, we see no military advantage or rationale for …

US airstrike on Daesh Poison Gas Depot leaves Many Civilians Dead

Reports coming out of Syria suggest that hundreds of people, including civilians, have lost their lives after an airstrike by the US-led coalition hit poison gas supplies belonging to Daesh terrorists.

The General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that the airstrike had taken place in the eastern village of Hatla, near the city of Dayr al-Zawr, at around 5:30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT) the previous day.

The statement, published by Syria’s official news agency, SANA, added that a cloud of thick white smoke covered the area after the strike, before it …