Lawlessness / Ruined – part 66

“UK Abuse of Assange Continues: Blocking Spanish Investigation, Caving to US Demands” by Nina Cross (21st Century Wire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

By now, it has been well-documented how the UK police, prosecuting services, courts and prisons have squandered untold public resources on one individual who had skipped a police bail order seven years ago. Search a little deeper and we see countless precedents have been set in the wake of a hunting expedition that is now slowly killing a journalist who exposed the crimes of powerful states. The abuse of power continues, with the recent attempt to block a Spanish judge from interviewing Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, which clearly demonstrates that the United Kingdom Central Authority (UKCA) is continuing the state’s assault on Assange as he fights extradition to the United States for exposing its war crimes.

According to the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais, the UKCA has provisionally denied a request by a Spanish judge to question Assange about allegations that the Spanish security firm Undercover Global S.L spied on him while he was in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Judge Jose de la Mata has asked to interview Assange via video link and has issued a European Investigation Order (EIO). The case concerns the role of David Morales, director of the security firm, accused of passing surveillance material, including surveillance of Assange’s confidential meetings with his lawyers, directly to the CIA…

Such a violation of Assange’s rights should be enough to end the US extradition attempt. The refusal by the UK to comply in what should be a standard procedure can therefore be viewed as an attempt to protect the ability of the US to extradite him. The dismissal by magistrate Vanessa Baraitser of Summers’ plea to allow more time to prepare for Assange’s February extradition hearing, given the significance of the Spanish case, is a further demonstration that the UK has a predetermined set agenda…

In contrast to its historical collaboration with the SPA, the UK authorities have so far blocked a request from Spain for Assange’s participation in a case that is undoubtedly crucial to his current US extradition fight. In other words, where Assange is concerned the UK authorities are applying procedures arbitrarily and exceptionally, all the while protecting US ability to extradite him, while closing down avenues to justice supposedly protected by human rights and UK law.

It is essential to recognise that inside Belmarsh prison Assange is being denied the very basic rights he is due under international law and UK legislation for prisoners; effectively denied access to justice.

Julian Assange

“Collapse of Swedish “sexual misconduct” frame-up exposes political conspiracy against Assange” by Oscar Grenfell (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Swedish prosecutors announced yesterday that, after almost 10 years, they were finally abandoning a “preliminary investigation” into allegations of “sexual misconduct” against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Sweden’s deputy chief prosecutor, Eva-Marie Persson, told a press conference that there was “insufficient evidence” to proceed.

The ignominious collapse of the investigation—which, over the course of a decade, was dropped three times and never passed beyond the “preliminary” stage — brands it as a state frame-up and dirty tricks operation. It demonstrates that Assange has been the victim of an unprecedented international political conspiracy, spearheaded by the US, and aided and abetted by its allies, including Sweden, Britain and Australia…

After 10 years of sordid machinations and flagrant violations of international and domestic law, the Swedish investigation lies in tatters, while Assange is held in a maximum-security British prison awaiting proceedings for his extradition to the US, where he faces a sentence of up to 175 years imprisonment for exposing war crimes and global diplomatic conspiracies.

All the smears — endlessly trumpeted by the corporate press as proof that Assange was a “sex offender” or even a “rapist” — stand exposed as lies and fabrications, concocted to victimise, besmirch and persecute a courageous journalist and publisher.

The complete discrediting of the Swedish investigation, which played such a linchpin role in the US-led vendetta, exposes the utterly lawless character of the entire operation against Assange.

Crater left by the destruction of the al-Sawarka house on Nov. 14, 2019 in Gaza. Eight members of the family were killed. Photo by Ashraf Amra

“Sawarka relatives relate hellish destruction of family of 8 in what Israelis call a ‘mistake’” by Ahmad Kabariti (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Abdullah al-Sawarka sounded unconcerned about the Israeli military’s admission of “surprise” and a “mistake” over the killings of his relatives Thursday. The military has said it was “unaware” that his cousin’s Rasmi Sawarka’s two tin shack houses were inhabited when a warplane bombed the dwellings and buried eight family members under the rubble at dawn on Thursday in the Deir al-Balah refugee camp on the central Gaza Strip.

“What investigation could raise the dead?” Abdullah, 45, asks, while standing distraught at the edge of a 50-foot-wide, 20-foot-deep crater where the tin shacks once stood. The “smell of the eight charred bodies” including five children is still stuck to our hands, he said.

The Sawarka family members were sleeping when the raid took place, two days after the military escalation started with Israel assassinating a senior Islamic Jihad commander and his wife on Tuesday. The eight family members were among 34 Palestinians killed by Israeli air raids over the Gaza Strip…

Abdullah collected a shred of a child’s clothing from the rubble. “As if this shabby house was the house of the head of a rocket launching unit. Rasmi! The chicken farmer! What a poor life you have suffered.” Abdullah lamented.

One neighbor told me that the rescue of the impoverished shepherd’s family amid the chaos was slowed by the terror that the house would be hit again…

The relatives who died in the attack have been identified by the Gaza Ministry of Health as Rasmi al-Sawarka, 45; Yusra al-Sawarka, 43; Mariam al-Sawarka, 45; Waseem al-Sawarka, 13; Muhannad al-Sawarka, 12; Moaz al-Sawarka, 7; and at least two other children whose names and ages were not specified…

“We just had lunch together yesterday, and all what remain of my brother and his children are the good memories,” [Umm] Motaz said, looking through a window into the intensive care ward. “We are like hostages waiting our turn to be killed at any moment, with no international accountability for the crime.”

“Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support” by Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton (The Grayzone)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

When Luis Fernando Camacho stormed into Bolivia’s abandoned presidential palace in the hours after President Evo Morales’s sudden November 10 resignation, he revealed to the world a side of the country that stood at stark odds with the plurinational spirit its deposed socialist and Indigenous leader had put forward.

With a Bible in one hand and a national flag in the other, Camacho bowed his head in prayer above the presidential seal, fulfilling his vow to purge his country’s Native heritage from government and “return God to the burned palace.”

“Pachamama will never return to the palace,” declared the pastor to his side, referring to the Andean Mother Earth spirit. “Bolivia belongs to Christ.”

Virtually unknown outside his country, where he had never won a democratic election, Camacho stepped into the void. He is a powerful multi-millionaire named in the Panama Papers, and an ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist groomed by a fascist paramilitary notorious for its racist violence, with a base in Bolivia’s wealthy separatist region of Santa Cruz.

Camacho hails from a family of corporate elites who have long profited from Bolivia’s plentiful natural gas reserves. And his family lost part of its wealth when Morales nationalized the country’s resources, in order to fund his vast social programs — which cut poverty by 42 percent and extreme poverty by 60 percent.

In the lead-up to the coup, Camacho met with leaders from right-wing governments in the region to discuss their plans to destabilize Morales. Two months before the putsch, he tweeted gratitude: “Thank you Colombia! Thank you Venezuela!” he exclaimed, tipping his hat to Juan Guaido’s coup operation. He also recognized the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, declaring, “Thank you Brazil!”

The sign reads: “RESIGN self-proclaimed President, Jeanine Añez.” Photo: Olivia Arigho-Stiles.

“Protestors Massacred in Post-Coup Bolivia” by Olivia Arigho-Stiles (CounterPunch)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Eight are dead and hundreds injured in a week of bloodshed after Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales was forced to resign from power last Sunday.

In this slim window of time, an interim unelected president has been installed, anti-coup protesters have been shot dead by the police and hundreds of foreign citizens have been expelled from the country, including over 700 Cuban doctors and Venezuelan diplomats. In total, 24 have died in a month of protest and turmoil.

On Friday 15 November, eight cocaleros (coca growers) were massacred by state security forces as they protested against the new government in Sacaba, Cochabamba. Footage has emerged of bullets being fired by police from helicopters and police firing teargas into a fleeing crowd. A protestor at the scene said. “We ask for justice and that this self-proclaimed president leave. When there was comrade Evo [Morales], there was not a single person dead”…

In an extraordinary break with human rights protocol, the government has granted the military immunity from prosecution if they use force in ‘legitimate defense’, in a decree leaked on social media by the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights (CIDH)…

The refrain of anti-Morales protests last month was that under Morales had exceeded his term limits and was a dictator. As the words dictadura (dictatorship) newly graffitied outside the Mercado Lanza building in La Paz attest, now it appears they actually have one.

Not a single State-directed death under Morales, said the protester. And that’s how the monsters, who don’t help their case by blasphemy – inherent in the fact of their being Christian fascists – gain and keep power. They strategically break the rules (democracy for example, not to mention all that Christ taught) that all agree to. The sheep actually believe in and want social order and peace and security for all and so they don’t imitate the monsters in order to deal with them. But, I think, putting down monsters who are murdering you is not the same as being monsters who survive by sinning, by stealing the means of survival (‘riches for the strongest’) from others. And I don’t get how Morales (and Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva before him) could have been so blasé about the coup forming in front of his eyes over a period of years. See my blog post titled “Evo Morales: How could you fail to defend yourself and your people from the coming coup?!!!”

NSDAP means National Socialist German Workers’ Party or the Nazi Party

“Reclaiming Your Inner Fascist” by C.J. Hopkins (Dissident Voice)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

OK, we need to talk about fascism. Not just any kind of fascism. A particularly insidious kind of fascism. No, not the fascism of the early 20th Century. Not Mussolini’s National Fascist Party. Not Hitler’s NSDAP. Not Francoist fascism or any other kind of organized fascist movement or party. Not even the dreaded Tiki-torch Nazis.

It’s the other kind of fascism we need to talk about. The kind that doesn’t come goose-stepping up the street waving big neo-Nazi flags. The kind we don’t recognize when we’re looking right at it.

It’s like that joke about the fish and the water … we don’t recognize it because we’re swimming in it. We’re surrounded by it. We are inseparable from it. From the moment we are born, we breathe it in.

We are taught it by our parents, who were taught it by their parents. We are taught it again by our teachers in school. It is reinforced on a daily basis at work, in conversations with friends, in our families and our romantic relationships. We imbibe it in books, movies, TV shows, advertisements, pop songs, the nightly news, in our cars, at the mall, the stadium, the opera … everywhere, because it is literally everywhere.

It doesn’t look like fascism to us. Fascism only looks like fascism when you’re standing outside of it, or looking back at it. When you are in it, fascism just looks like “normality,” like “reality,” like “just the way it is.”

We (i.e., Americans, Brits, Europeans, and other citizens of the global capitalist empire) get up in the morning, go to work, shop, pay the interest on our debts, and otherwise obey the laws and conform to the mores of a system of power that has murdered countless millions of people in pursuit of global-hegemonic dominance. It has perpetrated numerous wars of aggression. Its military occupies most of the planet. Its Intelligence agencies (i.e., secret police) operate a worldwide surveillance apparatus that can identify, target, and eliminate anyone, anywhere, often by remote control. Its propaganda network never sleeps, nor is there any real way to escape its constant emotional and ideological conditioning.

C.J. Hopkins goes awry when he insists that we all possess an inner fascist. I can agree that we all possess imperfection, which allows for all kinds of folly (serious, like fascism, and not so serious). We all make mistakes. I can agree that adults don’t like to ‘be told’. I’m an adult (63 years of age) and I don’t like to be told. (If you’re conscious of that weakness, then you can choose to try to compensate for it. If you do, then you’ll reflect on that fact when analyzing a situation and when drawing conclusions.) But don’t endorse fascism by calling yourself a fascist and by insisting that we all possess an inner fascist. Ironically, C.J. Hopkins insists that ‘insisting’ is what reveals this inner fascist. In any case, ‘insisting’ isn’t exactly the same as crossing the line. I have to insist on that. But if you disagree with me, that’s fine. It’s a free universe.

“Syria: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Accused of Evidence-Tampering by Its Own Inspectors” by Jonathan Steele (Axis of Logic via Information Clearing House & CounterPunch)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

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Claims that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons are almost as old as the Syrian civil war itself. They have produced strong reactions, and none more so than in the case of the alleged attack in April last year on the opposition-controlled area of Douma near Damascus in which 43 people are said to have been killed by chlorine gas. The United States, Britain and France responded by launching airstrikes on targets in the Syrian capital.

Were the strikes justified? An inspector from the eight-member team sent to Douma has just come forward with disturbing allegations about the international watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was tasked with obtaining and examining evidence.

Involved in collecting samples as well as drafting the OPCW’s interim report, he claims his evidence was suppressed and a new report was written by senior managers with assertions that contradicted his findings.

The inspector went public with his allegations at a recent all-day briefing in Brussels for people from several countries working in disarmament, international law, military operations, medicine and intelligence. They included Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on Palestine and Major-General John Holmes, a distinguished former commander of Britain’s special forces. The session was organised by the Courage Foundation, a New York-based fund which supports whistle-blowers. I attended as an independent reporter.

The whistle-blower gave us his name but prefers to go under the pseudonym Alex out of concern, he says, for his safety.

He is the second member of the Douma Fact-Finding Mission to have alleged that scientific evidence was suppressed.
= ======

In a world where justice didn’t just happen infrequently, now and then and here and there, the fraudsters in the OPCW would be identified and charged with murder. Of course, the war-making State thinks that they are just fine people.

From Axis of Logic:
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David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, leaves after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
= ==
David is on the left in the above photo.

“US, EU gave over $20 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since 2014” by Patrick Martin (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Testimony by two high-ranking US national security officials, on the final day of the public hearings on the impeachment of President Trump, has shed new light on the central issue in the impeachment crisis: the enormous and protracted effort by American and European imperialism to use Ukraine as a base of operations against Russia…

The key passage in Holmes’ testimony came in response to a question about the comparative scale of US and European security and economic assistance to Ukraine, and the significance of the $391 million in military aid Trump held back for 55 days. Holmes explained that this was only a fraction of the $1.5 billion in US military aid to Ukraine since 2014. He continued:

The United States has provided combined civilian and military assistance to Ukraine since 2014 of about $3 billion plus … three $1 billion loan guarantees—those get paid back, largely… The Europeans, at the level of the European Union plus the member states combined since 2014, my understanding have provided a combined $12 billion to Ukraine.

This would bring to $18 billion the combined imperialist backing for Ukraine since the ultra-right CIA-backed coup in 2014 (absurdly dubbed the “Revolution of Dignity” in official parlance). Other reports suggest that Holmes somewhat underestimated the EU contribution.

According to Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the EU and its members states and related financial institutions have provided over 15 billion euros, or about $16.4 billion since 2014. An EU spokesperson told the press that this total “covers grants and loans from different sources/instruments within the EU budget and European Financial institutions.”

The $16.4 billion from the EU, combined with the $6 billion in loans and grants from Washington, would bring the combined total to some $22.4 billion over the past five years, for an annual average of nearly $4.5 billion—comparable to the US annual aid to Israel or Afghanistan…

What are the imperialist powers—the United States, Germany, France, Britain, etc.—getting for their money? Ukraine is being transformed into a front-line state against Russia, the spearhead of plans for an eventual NATO war against that country, for which advance forces have already been stationed in the Baltic states and Poland…

It is this massive imperialist military build-up that underlies the political crisis in Washington that has produced the impeachment inquiry…

They are responding because Trump’s actions in withholding military aid disrupted one of the most critical ongoing imperialist operations…

Every member of the House Intelligence Committee bows down before this political objective. Republican members sought to defend Trump by pointing to his greater willingness to send “lethal aid” to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, although he insisted on selling them to the Ukrainians for a profit.

Similarly, at the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night, every Democratic candidate endorsed the impeachment narrative, in which Trump is to be removed, not for his real crimes against immigrants and democratic rights, or his efforts to build a racist and fascist movement, but because he has come into conflict with powerful elements of the national-security apparatus.

According to Alexander Mercouris, who knows a thing or two, the aid that Trump’s government held back (unbeknownst to the Ukraine government; so much for quid pro quo in that instance) isn’t actually aid. It was a straight up business deal involving the sale of Javelin missiles. In the grand scheme of things (lots of aid and support that has done absolutely nothing to help the average Ukrainian), it’s piddly, as this report makes clear. The Ukrainian government never even noticed it. So, Patrick’s narrative is weak in some respects. But it’s far from wrong.

“Trump overrides Navy’s bid to evict war criminal from SEALS” by Bill Van Auken (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

President Donald Trump intervened via Twitter early Thursday to preempt an administrative hearing called to rule on kicking Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was courtmartialed for war crimes, out of the US Navy’s elite SEAL special operations unit…

Trump’s tweet marks the fourth time that he has intervened in the Navy’s criminal and disciplinary proceedings against Gallagher, who was accused by fellow SEALs of deliberately shooting civilians as a sniper in Mosul and using a hunting knife to stab to death a wounded teenage fighter as he was being treated by a US medic. He was also accused of issuing death threats against those who had given evidence against him, calling them “traitors.” This led to his pre-court martial confinement in the Navy brig to prevent witness intimidation, or worse.

Last March, however, the US president ordered the Navy to release Gallagher from the Miramar brig in San Diego before his court martial. In August, he ordered prosecutors stripped of citations they had received after Gallagher’s trial. And last Friday, Trump overruled the military jury’s decision to demote the SEAL by one pay grade…

Gallagher’s crimes were only a drop in the bucket in terms of the mass slaughter carried out by the US military against the population of Mosul, once Iraq’s second city. According to the estimates of Iraqi Kurdish intelligence, as many as 40,000 civilians were massacred in unrelenting airstrikes and artillery bombardments, which reduced Mosul to rubble.

Together with the reversal of Gallagher’s demotion, Trump granted pardons to two Army soldiers convicted and jailed for war crimes in Afghanistan: Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who summarily executed an alleged Taliban bomb maker, and Lt. Clint Lorance, who ordered soldiers under his command to open fire on three unarmed men, killing two of them.

Trump’s tweet that it’s time to “get back to business” is not only a blanket endorsement of these actions, but also a signal that all US military personnel may act with impunity in carrying out crimes, no matter how vicious, in countries subjected to American imperialist intervention…

Trump’s intervention in the war crimes cases, however, has provoked anger within the military brass. Criminality within the special operations forces, with cases involving murder of fellow soldiers, rape and drug trafficking, has become an increasing concern. Senior officers also see the defense of the kind of heinous crimes carried out by Gallagher as detrimental to both US overseas operations and military discipline.

For Trump, pardoning war crimes serves as a means of solidifying support within his extreme right-wing base, while simultaneously cultivating a fascistic layer within the military itself, with demagogic rhetoric identifying himself with the “warfighters”—and war criminals—in opposition to the Pentagon brass…

In response to Trump’s pardoning of US military personnel convicted of war crimes, the United Nations issued a restrained statement calling it a “disturbing signal” with global impact.

“These three cases involve serious violations of international humanitarian law, both proven and alleged, including the shooting of a group of civilians and execution of a captured member of an armed group,” UN rights office spokesperson Rupert Colville said, adding that such pardons were unprecedented in the US “since the Vietnam war.”

“Old People Can Start Infusing Children’s Blood Again” by Tyler Durden (ZeroHedge)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Less than a year after the FDA warned old people against infusing the blood of young people, Stanford graduate Jesse Karmazin says his company, Ambrosia, is back in business despite the agency issuing a ‘buyer beware,’ according to OneZero…

“We’re a company interested in making you young again,” he said at a 2017 conference. The company says that “experiments in mice called parabiosis provided the inspiration to deliver treatments with young plasma.”

That said, while plasma can help blood to clot or to manage excessive bleeding during surgeries, experts say there is no basis for using it to slow or reverse aging-related diseases as Karmazin has claimed.

“There is no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent these conditions, and there are risks associated with the use of any plasma product,” read a February statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Peter Marks, who leads the agency’s biologics center.

“The reported uses of these products should not be assumed to be safe or effective,” the said. “We strongly discourage consumers from pursuing this therapy outside of clinical trials under appropriate institutional review board and regulatory oversight.”

“The the apostles and the elders, together with the whole congregation, decided to send chosen men from among them to Antioch, along with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas who was called Barsabbas and Silas, who were leading men among the brothers. They wrote this and sent it through them: “The apostles and the elders, your brothers, to those brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia who are from the nations: Greetings! Since we have heard that some went out from among us and caused you trouble with what they have said, trying to subvert you, although we did not give them any instructions, we have come to a unanimous decision to choose men to send to you together with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have given up their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are therefore sending Judas and Silas, so that they may report the same things by word of mouth. For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!” (Acts 15:22-29)

I question the genuineness of Paul and I wouldn’t have told those Christian ambassadors’ audiences, in effect, that prosperity was guaranteed by not engaging in the behaviors that they had prohibited. Other than that, If you call yourself Christian, then you have to heed what the Christian textbook lays out as the duties and obligations of a Christian. At least, You can’t argue that avoiding attempting to gain life from the use of blood is not Christian, right or wrong. Abstaining from blood is Christian. Anyone can call himself or herself Christian, but they either are or are not. The Christian’s textbook can’t be ignored in making that determination. That doesn’t mean that we can’t question what we honestly have concerns about or don’t believe.

American military convoy stops near the town of Tel Tamr, north Syria, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Kurdish-led fighters and Turkish-backed forces clashed sporadically Sunday in northeastern Syria amid efforts to work out a Kurdish evacuation from a besieged border town, the first pull-back under the terms of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)

“Former British Ambassador to Syria: UK Complicit in Trump’s Syria Oil Grab” by Peter Ford (Mint Press News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The cat is out of the bag. The UK is potentially complicit in a war crime. With typical insouciance the U.S. military dropped this bombshell by tweet and apparently without realizing the implications for U.S. partners:

We are repositioning @CJTFOIR forces to Deir ez Zor #Syria to continue partnering w/ #SDF to defeat ISIS remnants, protect critical infrastructure, & deny ISIS access to revenue sources. Mechanized forces provide infantry, maneuver, and firepower.

OIR is Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the name behind which the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS cloaks its military activities. (Think NATO wearing a thobe.) CJTFOIR is the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve.

If, as per the spokesman’s statement, the forces being redeployed to Syria’s oil-producing areas are Inherent Resolve forces, it follows that those troops are doing so in the name and under the aegis of the Coalition. Simple. Ah yes, but awkward for the British government to admit – awkward for practical, political and legal reasons…

In practice, if this is a Joint Task Force Operation as we are told by the U.S. spokesman, it would be next to impossible for the deployment in Deir Ez Zor province to be taking place without some input from the senior UK officers embedded with the U.S. military in the Coalition Joint Task Force headquarters (the Deputy Commander is a British general) and active in carrying out Operation Inherent Resolve.

Politically this matters because hitherto all the opprobrium leveled at President Trump for allegedly ‘looting’ Syria’s oil has spared other participants in Inherent Resolve, including the UK, France, and Germany. How awkward it might be for Boris Johnson, facing an election, to find himself tarred with yet another Trump brush to put alongside Trump’s alleged grab for the UK National Health Service.

Legally this matters because if Trump puts into practice his promise to seize Syrian oil production, that will constitute, according to authoritative legal experts, a violation of international law against ‘pillaging’ enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention and thus constitute a war crime. Any party complicit in pillaging, and that would surely include other parties in the Joint Task Force, even if only headquarters staff and not boots on the ground, could also be culpable. The British government might find itself challenged in a UK court even if no international court could be found willing to act.

“For the Eleventh Straight Year, United States Votes “No” to UN Anti-Nazi Resolution” by Carla Stea (Global Research)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

It would appear ironic that most of the co-sponsors of Draft Resolution A/C.3/74/L.62: “Combating Glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and Other Practices that Contribute to Fuelling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” are nations currently under sanction by the United States, and some by the United Nations Security Council: Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Syrian Arab Republic, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and others, not under sanction, including Israel. This resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation.

The Soviet Union, of which Russia was the largest nation, suffered approximately 30 million deaths as a result of Nazism during World War II, and, of course, the entire country was destroyed. Highly placed diplomatic sources involved in the discussions which led to this eleventh UN Resolution, confirmed that resistance to this resolution was very strong by the delegations of Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland, all of whom ultimately abstained. The abstention by the entire European Union is particularly bizarre, considering that theirs was the territory most barbarically subjugated by the Nazis, and whose occupied countries suffered heinous cruelties under nazi occupation.

Lithuania, of course, would oppose this resolution, as that country recently hosted secret CIA prisons which tortured political prisoners who had been “disappeared,” under “Rendition” to Lithuania’s willing hospitality. And, most notoriously, and disgracefully, Lithuania has for a shameful decade persecuted the brilliant politician, Algirdas Palescis (image on the right), who founded the organization, “Lithuania Without Nazism.” Lithuania persists in this vicious persecution of Mr. Paleckis, despite letters to the Lithuanian President and Minister of Justice written by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kasinich and other eminent persons, in defense of the heroic Palescis’ right to freedom of expression. During my own visit to Vilnius, to attend one of the many court trials to which Mr. Palescis was subjected, he took me on a tour of Vilnius, and told me (a fact corroborated by numerous undisputed and impeccable sources), that prior to World War II there had been 200,000 Jews living in Lithuania. 195,000 Jews were murdered during the war by Lithuanian Nazis.

photo by Reuters

“Israel kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, another targeted in Damascus” by ? (Reuters? SABC News?)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Israel killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a rare targeted strike in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, while militants responded by firing rockets at Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv.

In the most serious escalation in months, an Israeli missile attack also targeted the home of an Islamic Jihad official in Damascus, killing two people including one of his sons, Syrian state media said.

Islamic Jihad said the target was the home of political leader Akram Al-Ajouri…

The slaying of Baha Abu Al-Atta in his Gaza home looked likely to pose a new challenge for Gaza’s ruling Hamas faction, which has mostly tried to maintain a truce with Israel since a 2014 war.

“Bogdasarov: A Russian response to a new US attack on Syria should include sinking the warships” by Tom Winter (RuEconomics via Fort Russ News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Russia must respond to US strikes against Syria by destroying not only missiles, but also the ships that launch them. This was stated by political scientist Semyon Bagdasarov.

According to the expert, the Americans want to organize a provocation with chemical weapons in Syria in order to justify a missile attack on government forces, since this is the only way to stop the Syrian army, which has almost freed the country from US-funded militants. The connection between the impending provocation and Washington can easily be traced from the concentration of serious military forces (destroyers, bombers and missiles) in the immediate vicinity of Syria.

Bagdasarov is convinced that it is time for Russia to move from indignation and exhibiting fragments of American made missiles to real action. The political scientist recalled that the key goal of the US sanctions is the destruction of the Russian Federation as a state, and Moscow should call things by their own names.

“How should we respond? We need to destroy the carriers and shoot down the missiles.” “We’ve already shot down rockets, but the carriers?” The destroyer has come up to the Mediterranean Sea, and we have enough anti-ship missiles there, I suspect there are “Bastions.” And if it does not get sunk, (US) impunity will continue,” Bagdasarov said.

Semyon is both right and wrong. Destroying the carriers that fire the missiles probably won’t stop the bloodthirsty, insane Americans and Israelis. But it is the right thing to do. It is right to murder the murderer who is trying to kill you. Here’s what is also right: This is a no-win situation that only Jehovah God can correct.


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