tirsdag 27. juni 2017

CNN producer admits Russia narrative is ‘bullsh*t,’ just for ‘ratings’ (VIDEO)

A senior producer at CNN has described the intense speculation that Russia aided the Trump presidential campaign as “bullsh*t.” Filmed on a hidden camera, CNN producer John Bonifield admits the organization’s anti-Russia reporting is purely for ratings. 
 
“It’s mostly bullsh*t right now. Like, we don’t have any big giant proof,” Bonifield tells a reporter in secretly-filmed footage released by conservative activist James O’Keefe via Project Veritas.

O’Keefe formed Veritas in 2010 claiming its mission is to "investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud and other misconduct." It has since been sued for its information-gathering methods, primarily targeting liberal organizations, and presenting its findings in a misleading, highly edited format.

In this latest Veritas sting, Bonifield, Supervising Producer at CNN Health, makes the admissions to an unidentified journalist, who is heard in a brief edit of clips asking about the Russian narrative in CNN’s reporting.

“So why is CNN constantly like, ‘Russia this, Russia that?’” the journalist asks, to which Bonifield responds, “Because it’s ratings.”

“Our CIA is doing shit all the time, we’re out there trying to manipulate governments,” Bonifield says.

“I think the President is probably right to say, like, look, you are witch-hunting me,” Bonifield admits.

CNN's Russia tactic has paid off, Bonifield admits: “Our ratings are incredible right now.”

Bonifield explains how far CNN pushed the Russia line, describing a meeting in which reporters were told by the CEO to stop covering climate accords, urging instead “Let’s get back to Russia.”
“It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss…All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business,” Bonifield says in the video.

Bonifield does not mention CNN’s current CEO Jeff Zucker by name in the video, which O’Keefe says was filmed in Atlanta in a video monologue.

RT has reached out to CNN for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

Three CNN journalists resigned this week following the retraction of a story published on their website which investigated a "Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

CNN claims the initial publication of the article, which contained only one source for the claim, was due to a “breakdown in editorial workflow.”

O’Keefe’s record as a highly controversial conservative activist goes back almost a decade. He previously had a deal to publish his sting videos on a Breitbart site, biggovernment.com.

In May 2015, the Trump Foundation donated $10,000 to Project Veritas. Donald Trump later cited an O’Keefe video depicting democrats advocating incitement of violence at Trump rallies.

The Intercept reports O’Keefe is the subject of a million-dollar lawsuit that alleges he broke local and federal wiretapping laws in a sting operation on Democracy Partners, dubbed as “modern-day Watergate burglars.”

The lawsuit claims O’Keefe and his organization infiltrated a Democratic consulting firm under false pretenses, secretly recorded conversations and published heavily edited footage of the conversations.

O’Keefe claims the lawsuit is an intimidation tactic to impede Project Veritas’ “army of guerrilla journalists” and their pursuit of the truth.

Project Veritas released 119 hours of raw audio in February that O’Keefe claimed came from CNN.

Ongoing accusations that Russia assisted Trump’s campaign have plagued his presidency, with allegations that the hack of the Democratic National Committee which leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s team was ordered directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

No evidence has been produced to back up the claims, which Moscow has resolutely denied.
US-led coalition must stop ‘very dangerous game’ of sparing Al-Nusra in Syria – Lavrov
© Sergey PyatakovSputnik /  
Published time: 27 Jun 2017
Russian FM Sergey Lavrov has accused the US-led anti-terrorist coalition of being reluctant to bomb positions of the former Al-Nusra Front in Syria, and has urged them to ditch "double standards" for the sake of an “uncompromising” fight against terrorism. 
 
"There is a strong impression, based on our fight with terrorism in Syria, that the so-called Al-Nusra [Front], or whatever it is called now, is every time spared by the coalition forces headed by the United States and its allies," Lavrov said, speaking at a press conference in Moscow.

The foreign minister went on to say that "new evidence has emerged in the past few days" indicating that the US-led international forces continue "to take the heat off" the former Al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria.

Slamming what appears to be a reluctance by the coalition to target the terrorist group as "an extremely dangerous game," Lavrov called on the US-led forces to set aside "all double standards and any ulterior thoughts" in favor of an "uncompromising fight against terrorism."

In a recent phone conversation held between Lavrov and his US counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, at the latter’s initiative, the Russian official emphasized the importance of preventing provocations against the Syrian armed forces battling terrorists and urged the US to step up its fight against jihadists in Syria.

Moscow has been increasingly critical of Washington’s conduct in Syria since the US bombed the Shayrat Air Base in response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria's Idlib province. During talks between Lavrov and Tillerson in Moscow, the Russian foreign minister said that they had agreed that an "highly provocative" incident similar to the US airstrike "should not happen again."

However, on June 18, a Syrian Su-22 warplane was shot down over Raqqa province in an attack by the US-led coalition. The incident was labelled by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov as "an act of aggression" and "actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting."

While Washington argued it had downed the jet because it was dropping bombs on the US-allied militia fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Damascus dismissed the allegations, saying that the plane was in effect in the middle of an operation against the IS militants.

Last week, Lavrov said that Moscow had not yet received from Washington a "detailed explanation" on why it targeted the Syrian military jet.
President Bashar al-Assad driving his car after nearly 7 years of war
Hala M Yuseffe sitt bilde. 
Hala M Yuseffe
Via Syrian Arab Army. Standing guard at a checkpoint and look who showed up Commander in Chief of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, President Bashar al-Assad driving his car after nearly 7 years of war. There is mutual trust, if he didn't feel safe amongst his own people he wouldn't do it. 

"You can't be safe behind bodyguards or bulletproof cars, you can only be safe in a safe country" 

And Syria is on its way back to being one of the safest countries in the world, just as it was before the Western attempts to destabilize it.
#Syria #WeloveAssad #SAA #Assad #USA #military
 
 
 















Oppgjør med den herskende klassen
 
Kari Jaquesson intervjues av syriske medier under besøk i Homs.
 
 
Et glimrende oppgjør med: “Den herskende klassen”, av Kari Angelique Jaquesson. 
 
Jeg vil fremheve hvem den klassen er i Norge. Det er milliardærene, som ledelsen i Ap og Høyre gjør seg til politiske lakeier for, og som norsk presse og media står i givakt for. Det er ikke minst den klassen av politikere som er mer opptatt av sin egen maktposisjon, enn av politikk som tjener land og folk. Få også med dere referansen til krigen i Syria av Pulitzer Prisvinner Seymour Hersh, som Kari Angelique Jaquesson gir. 
 
Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh


mandag 26. juni 2017

Ukrainian army violates ceasefire 9 times over 24 hours – DPR Operations Command

June 26, 2017
Donetsk, June 26 – DAN. Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire nine times over the past 24 hours, DPR Operations Command said.

“Over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire nine times firing at five DPR townships areas,” a DPR Operations Command representative said.

The enemy used mortars, infantry fighting vehicle cannons, armored personnel carriers heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and small arms.

Townships administrations reported no shelling.

“It is calm here for two days, we are counting the days on our fingers,” Aleksandrovka administration head Konstantin Chalyi told DAN.

A “harvest ceasefire” aimed at facilitating the harvesting in Donbass came into force on June 24, as it had been agreed by the Contact Group members in Minsk.*ot

The Real Axis of Evil Is American-Led

What the UK, US, Saudi and Israeli governments have done in the Middle East is the true definition of terrorism

Saudi storm-troopers
Saudi storm-troopers

Salah Chaaban 
The ongoing conflict in Yemen has resulted in the deaths of over 10,000 civilians, according the United Nations. Meanwhile, more than 10 million Yemenis are on the verge of starvation. 
The conflict is now in its third year, yet it still receives almost no coverage from media outlets across the globe.

A military campaign was launched against Houthi rebels in 2015, with the support of nine Middle Eastern and African nations, as well as backing from the United States. The conflict has recently seen the use of naval blockades on Yemeni ports to stop alleged weapon smuggling to Houthi rebels, but this has meant huge shortages of food across the country, which is contributing to the high fatality rate within the Arab nation. 

Yemenis not killed by Saudi bombs, face starvation and disease

 Just recently the World Health Organization reported of a cholera outbreak, which has already resulted in more than 1310 deaths since late April and the number is expected to continue rising to around 300,000 cases within six months due to high amount of the population being displaced, little international support/aid, naval blockades and unsanitary living conditions.

The Saudi government was supporting the Hadi government in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia will continue fighting this war to ensure a strong Shia presence does not emerge within the war-stricken nation. The Saudi government claims it wants peace in the region yet it always seems to play a prominent role in igniting and escalating regional conflicts, Syria being one such example.
 The Saudi monarchs fear the rise of Iranian influence on both a regional and international scale, and will stop at nothing to stop the Iranians, whether it means bombing innocent people in Yemen, or supporting armed groups in Syria. The Saudi government alongside reckless US foreign policy in the Middle East has contributed to the destabilization of the region.

The US government's involvement in Middle Eastern affairs and regional politics is not only illegal but criminal; the Americans have killed millions in Iraq, Syria, and Libya—and are responsible for the many other innocent civilian deaths in countries such as Yemen and occupied Palestine, with its continued support of the Saudi and Zionist regimes. The West has attempted to cover up their crimes in Yemen, while their arms industries continue to flourish and profit due to the high demand from the Saudis and other Gulf nations.

If the West truly cared for innocent people and cared for world peace they would condemn such acts and criminalize them. But when the West and its allies act it is always justified, yet when Russia, Iran and China act in a manner that safeguards their independence and sovereignty, they are criticized and sanctioned.

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The real face of terror



  Since the war started the UK government has approved the sale of nearly £3.3 billion worth of arms, which the Saudis have used against their southern neighbor. Yet the British government hypocritically claims it is trying to prevent civilian casualties. What the UK, US, Saudi and Israeli governments have done in the Middle East is the true definition of terrorism.
3_0.png
Saudi war crimes: made possible by western arms sales
The reality of the conflict is not Sunni vs Shia as the Saudis would have you believe, but instead it is a desperate attempt by the Saudis to prevent Iranian influence in the region; this is something which suits the interest of the West and so they continue to ignore the slaughter and instead focus on their "anti-terror" campaign in Syria; of course, the reality is that it is the Syrian Arab Army, and its Russian and Iranian allies, who are doing most of the fighting. 

If you want to see what a real anti-terror campaign looks like, look no further than the Syria-Russia-Iran coalition. 

Reuters (finally) realize there are Nazis in Ukraine


Please note flags of the Azov Battalion, centre, NATO left, and Nazi, right. None of these people existed until Wednesday.
by Kit
Two days ago Reuters published this report, headlined “How Trump can show he’s tough on anti-Semitism”. I’m not sure why Trump – who has never been called an anti-Semite before, never publicly criticised Israel and whose daughter and son-in-law are both Jewish – suddenly needs to show he’s “tough” on anti-Semitism, but apparently he does.

How is Mr Trump going to achieve this? He’s going to denounce Ukraine…because the government is endorsing fascism.

For the sake of brevity I will present a bullet point list of the Ukrainian issues that so trouble the article’s author, Josh Cohen:
  • “…local authorities [in Kiev] recently voted to rename a major street after a former Nazi collaborator and anti-Semite named Roman Shukhevych.”
  • “In 2015, Ukraine passed a law honoring the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its military wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, (OUN-UPA)”
  • “Numerous Holocaust memorial sites – including Babi Yar, where over 33,000 Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis – have been vandalized or desecrated by anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas.”
  • “…the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM) is drafting a law to posthumously exonerate OUN-UPA members convicted of murdering Polish and Jewish civilians during and after the war.”
  • “The elevation of OUN-UPA has been accompanied by a growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine.”
  • “A retired general affiliated with Ukraine’s security services called for the destruction of the country’s Jews;”
  • “…a Ukrainian official called Ukraine’s SS Galizien division – created with the support of Heinrich Himmler – “heroes””
These statements will no doubt shock people who only ever read the mainstream media during the right-wing coup and beginning of the subsequent civil war in Ukraine. During that period the MSM was devoting a large part of its resources to dispelling the “myth” that Ukraine was full of Nazis, deriding the notion as “Russian propaganda”, and dismissing those that said it as “Putinbots”.
Indeed, the below-the-line suppression of discussion on this topic is the main reason this website even exists.

In the Atlantic, in 2014, Ukrainian Nazis were dismissed as a “phantom menace”. Luke Harding wrote a (brilliantly argued) column in the Guardian saying that “there weren’t any Nazis in Ukraine because one of the Maidan protesters was Jewish.” Politico magazine mocked “Putin’s Imaginary Nazis”, whilst US News warned against Russia’s “Neo-Nazi Propaganda”. The Guardian simply headlined: “Don’t believe the Russian propaganda about Ukraine’s ‘fascist’ protesters!
There never were Nazis in Ukraine.

Except now there are.

(This textbook example of double-think is never addressed in the article, which can’t even fully accept the truth itself, referring to the “brave guerilla war” fought by the fascist UON after WW2, with no reference to the CIA funding they received, or the war crimes they carried out.)

Three years later the fascism that it is being nurtured in Ukraine is acknowledged as a political reality. Why? Because of the violence being visited on the people of East Ukraine? No. Because of the terrorist attacks carried out against the people of Crimea? No. But because it is a handy political angle to attack a president who must be undermined at every turn in the news cycle.

Interestingly, Obama was never called on to “denounce” Ukraine’s fascists, despite his strong support for the government of Poroshenko, whose cabinet was full of fringe politicians from far right parties that got less than 2% of the vote. John McCain, who has had many pleasant photo-ops with far-right figures in Ukraine, has never been publicly called out in the media. John Kerry and Victoria “fuck the EU” Nuland, who had actual, hands-on control of the formation of Ukraine’s new government, have never been questioned on their non-denunciation of anti-Semitism.

It seems the Nazis of Ukraine pop into and out of existence depending on political convenience.

US to Russia: How Dare You Place an Aid Center So Close to Our Occupation Troops in Serbia!

NATO finds itself threatened by a Russian humanitarian center in Serbia
Russia is threatening the US again. What is it doing this time? It has set up a humanitarian center too close to US troops. Specifically the US troops occupying Serbia's Kosovo.

Fri, Jun 23, 2017
Speaking to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a US State Department official in charge of relations with countries in the Balkans, Hoyt Bryan Yee, lamented:
"I am concerned by this so-called humanitarian center, not so much for what it is now, but what it might become, if it receives what Russia has been asking from Serbia, which is some kind of special status, a protected diplomatic status or other immunity. We don't believe that Russia has good intentions, from our standpoint, in our contacts, which is, trying to help the Balkans move closer to its goal of integration with Europe. We believe Russia's trying to prevent that path, progress on that path." 
"The creation of some kind of center in Nis, very close to the border with Kosovo, where we still have over 600 US troops, there's a large, over 4,000, NATO-led peacekeeping force, would not be a positive development, especially if individuals, or the facility itself, had special immunity," Yee said. 
"It's important - we've shared this with the government of Serbia - that Serbia be in full control of its territory and facilities on its territory. If it allows Russia to create some kind of special center for espionage or other nefarious activities, it will lose control over a part of its territory," said the US State Department officials.

Please take a deep breath and appreciate the full deliciousness of what Yee is saying here. 

First of all, the US claims Serbia should be in full control of its own territory.
 This would be the same US which plotted, encouraged and facilitated the quasi-independence of Serbia's US/Albanian-controlled Kosovo? The same US which is still occupying Kosovo precisely to guarantee that Serbia may not restore control over all of its territory?

If the US is so concerned that Serbia should be in control of its territory it can start implementing UNSC Resolution 1244 and allow the return of Serbian police to its Kosovo province. As for facilities on its territory that Serbia should be in control of, how about "Camp Bondsteel", one of the largest US bases in Europe?

Next, the Russian humanitarian center in Niš is a worrying development because it is too close to US soldiers?

Oh, no. How can 4,000 NATO troops possibly deal with a Russian humanitarian center in their back yard? Setting up a humanitarian center 80 kilometers from NATO troops occupying a foreign country—clearly Russian aggression has no bounds.

For context, understand that the US has been pressuring Belgrade to have the Russian aid center closed ever since it was set up in 2012. So instead of Serbia demanding that US occupying troops leave its territory, you have the US demanding that Russian aid workers leave Serbia.
 The Russians invested in the aid center to try and win hearts and minds in the Balkans. It has been a staging point from which they have helped in a number of floods and forest fires which struck Serbia and nearby countries.

Given the increased US attempts to have it closed, however, the Russians have become spooked that some of Serbia's many pro-western activists and politicians might frame their personnel as criminals or spies, and have recently asked to be given diplomatic status and corresponding immunity.
58504905c36188023e8b46cb.jpg
Russians in Niš
 
Americans in Kosovo

søndag 25. juni 2017

British Army Helping Ukraine Kill Civilians in Donbass

Everyone who follows the situation in Ukraine objectively knows exactly what’s happening. Ukrainian forces, comprised of radicals, and extremists, are shelling civilian areas of Donbass, causing mass civilian death, because Donbass didn’t accept the illegitimate regime imposed on Ukraine after Euromaidan

I cover that as a journalist, and I speak here as a proud Briton. What a shock to see our country not only support this, but trumpet it – 



In the first case, I feel for the civilians of Donbass who are still under daily shelling by Ukrainian forces – trained by British. In the second, I feel for my countrymen, normal British soldiers, forced to take part in something that will bring them shame for the rest of their lives.

A disgrace for our armed forces, a disgrace for our country.
Posted on

„We got a fuckin‘ problem“


Trump with his aides at Mar-a-Lago
Trump with his aides at Mar-a-Lago
Quelle: picture alliance/ASSOCIATED PRESS/AP Content
Von Seymour M. Hersh | | Lesedauer: 4 Minuten 
Intelligence officials doubted the alleged Sarin gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun. WELT AM SONNTAG presents a chat protocol of a security advisor and an active American soldier on duty at a key base in the region. 
 
This conversation was provided to Seymour Hersh. It is betweeen a security adviser and an active US American soldier on duty on a key operational base about the events in Khan Sheikhoun. We have made abbreviations: American soldier (AS) and Security Advisor (SA). WELT AM SONNTAG is aware of the location of the deployment. For security reasons, certain details of military operations have been omitted.

 

April 6, 2017

American Soldier: We got a fuckin‘ problem

Security-Adviser: What happened? Is it the Trump ignoring the Intel and going to try to hit the Syrians? And that we’re pissing on the Russians?

AS: This is bad...Things are spooling up.

SA: You may not have seen trumps press conference yesterday. He's bought into the media story without asking to see the Intel.  We are likely to get our asses kicked by the Russians.  Fucking dangerous.  Where are the godamn adults? The failure of the chain of command to tell the President the truth, whether he wants to hear it or not, will go down in history as one of our worst moments.

AS: I don't know. None of this makes any sense. We KNOW that there was no chemical attack. The Syrians struck a weapons cache (a legitimate military target) and there was collateral damage. That's it. They did not conduct any sort of a chemical attack.

AS: And now we’re shoving a shit load of TLAMs (tomahawks) up their ass.

SA: There has been a hidden agenda all along. This is about trying to ultimately go after Iran. What the people around Trump do not understand is that the Russians are not a paper tiger and that they have more robust military capability than we do.

AS:  I don't know what the Russians are going to do. They might hang back and let the Syrians defend their own borders, or they might provide some sort of tepid support, or they might blow us the fuck out of the airspace and back into Iraq. I honestly don't know what to expect right now. I feel like anything is possible.  The russian air defense system is capable of taking out our TLAMs.  this is a big fucking deal...we are still all systems go...

SA:  You are so right. Russia is not going to take this lying down

SA: Who is pushing this? Is it coming from Votel (General Joseph L. Votel, Commander of United States Central Command, editor‘s note) ?                  

AS: I don't know. It's from someone big though. . . . This is a big fucking deal.                       

AS: It has to be POTUS.       

AS:  They [the russians] are weighing their options.  Indications are they are going to be passive supporters of syria and not engage their systems unless their own assets are threatened..in other words, the sky is fucking blue.'                   

 

April 7, 2017

SA: What are the Russians doing or saying  Am I correct that we did little real damage to Russia or Syria?                        

AS: We didn't hit a damn thing, thankfully. They retrograded all their aircraft and personnel. We basically gave them a very expensive fireworks display.                       

AS: They knew where ships were and watched the entire strike from launch to end game.                       

AS: The Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real Intel and know the truth about the weapons depot strike.                       

AS: They are correct.                       

AS: I guess it really didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump. Fuck.                       

AS: No one is talking about the entire reason we're in Iraq and Syria in the first place. That mission is fucked now.

SA: Are any of your colleagues pissed or is everyone going along with it and saying this is OK                       

AS: It's a mad house. . . .Hell we even told the Russians an hour before impact                       

SA: But they clearly knew it was coming                       

AS: Oh of course                       

AS: Now Fox is saying we chose to hit the Syrian airfield because it is where the chemical attacks were launched from. Wow. Can't make this shit up.                       

SA: They are. I mean, making it up                       

AS: It's so fuckin evil                       

SA: Amen!!!       

April 8, 2017

AS: Russians are being extremely reasonable.  Despite what the news is reporting they are still trying to deconflict and coordinate the air campaign.

SA: I don't think the russia yet understands how crazy Trump is over this.  And i don't think we appreciate how much damage the Russians can do to us.

AS: They're showing amazing restraint and been unbelievably calm.  They seem mostly interested in de-escalating everything.  They don't want to lose our support in the help with destroying Isis.

SA: But I get the get the feeling are simply trying this approach for as long as they feel it might work.  If we keep pushing this current aggressive stance they're going to hit back.'

Israeli warplanes bomb Syrian forces while Al-Qaeda blitzes their positions

Leith Fadel
BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – Minutes ago, Israeli warplanes targeted the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions in the Golan Heights, inflicting heavy damage on the government defenses near Ba’ath City.
According to a military source in the Golan Heights, the Israeli Air Force destroyed one tank and one shilka after claiming the Syrian military fired a mortar shell into the occupied areas. 

The source told Al-Masdar that the Syrian military did not fire any mortar shells or rockets towards the occupied areas of the Golan Heights, adding that it is an excuse the Israeli forces constantly use to justify their attacks.

Following the bombing, the Al-Qaeda linked “Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham” militants stormed the Syrian Army’s positions, where they are currently engaged in a fierce battle to take control of this region.

The Final Straw: Germany Mulling Over Sanctions… This Time Against the US

German Chancellor and chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats, CDU, Angela Merkel, points with her fingers during a visit to the convention venue prior to the 27. party convention in Cologne, Germany, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. 
© AP Photo/ Martin Meissner

It appears that the US-EU "geopolitical marriage" is bursting at the seams due to the irresponsible foreign strategy of the US political elite, Russian economist Ivan Danilov wrote for RIA Novosti, revealing what could become the final straw for the long-lasting trans-Atlantic union.


It seems that the geopolitical divorce between the US and the EU may take place sooner than anyone expected, Ivan Danilov, a Russian economist and author of the popular blog Crimson Alter, notes in his op-ed for RIA Novosti.
 In his earlier articles Danilov called attention to the growing dissatisfaction with Washington among European leaders, highlighting that the US-EU "marriage" had begun to crack.
However, there is a factor that could accelerate the process, the economist pointed out.

"When the US senators voted for a new package of sanctions against Russia, they were solving domestic political issues, and also tried to limit the freedom of foreign policy maneuver for President Donald Trump. They couldn't imagine that their actions would not only cause a sharp diplomatic reaction from the leading EU countries, but would also lead to the emergence of the issue of retaliatory sanctions against the United States of America in the European media," Danilov wrote.

Indeed, the recent package of anti-Russian measures which is meant to be codified into law has caused a storm of criticism from US allies in Europe.

The problem is that the new bill is targeting Russia's energy sector, most notably the Nord Stream 2 project which is intended to carry cheap natural gas from Russia to Europe. Furthermore, Germany's Wintershall and Uniper, Austria's OMV, Anglo-Dutch Shell and France's Engie are directly involved in the project.
 In a joint statement, Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern slammed the decision by the US Senate to impose new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged interference in the US presidential election as well as the ongoing situations in Ukraine and Syria.

"Threatening German, Austrian and other European enterprises with penalties on the US market only because they take part in the gas supply projects such as the Nord Stream 2 together with Russia or finance them, is adding an absolutely new and highly negative aspect in relations between the US and Europe," the joint statement reads.

For his part, the leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, lambasted US senators' move and called upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel to oppose it.

"We have seen that the US is pursuing a course in energy policy that is dangerous and is directed against Germany," Schulz told the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI).

ETERNO shop of the Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant
© Sputnik/ Sergey Guneev
ETERNO shop of the Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant
 
"We have the right to defend the industrial interests of the Federal Republic of Germany and Europe," Schulz stressed.

It cannot be excluded that the EU resistance may translate into concrete action, Danilov noted.
 
The economist referred to the article by Stuart Elliott of S&P Global Platts who emphasized that the reaction to sanctions from Germany and Austria was "as fierce as it was immediate" and that "there has even been talk already in Berlin of reciprocal sanctions against the US."
 What Elliott was writing about isn't just a rumor given the fact that earlier, on June 16, German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries told Reuters that Berlin would mull over counter-measures if US President Trump signs the anti-Russian sanctions bill.

"If he does, we'll have to consider what we are going to do against it," Zypries said.
However, it's not just obstacles in the way of receiving cheap Russian gas which have sparked Berlin and Vienna's concerns.

"There is no reason to believe that Gazprom would stop work to build the pipeline, even if sanctions block the five European companies from investing further in the project," Elliott remarked.
Germany and Austria suspect that Senate's anti-Russian bill is an attempt to "occupy" the European energy market on the part of US corporations.

"Germany and Austria went one step further, too — accusing the US of looking to promote the role of US LNG in Europe at the expense of Russian gas," the S&P Global Platts writer underscored, adding that the US apparently wants to kill two birds with one stone by exerting sanctions on Nord Stream 2: to "punish" Moscow and promote US LNG supplies in Europe, "which would have the knock-on effect of supporting domestic US gas industry."

In this context, Danilov wrote, it is most likely that potential anti-American sanctions would be aimed not at inflicting any economic damage on the US but at sabotaging Washington's attempts to seize the European energy market.

"A ban on the import of American LNG into the EU countries could have become a very effective tool to prevent America's attempts to influence the European market," Danilov assumed adding that this measure could potentially attract wide public support.

"Obviously, this ban would not comply with WTO rules, but possible US sanctions against European gas companies are also a gross violation of [WTO] regulations," the Russian economist stressed. According to Danilov, the much-discussed US bill may become the final straw that will break the US-EU "geopolitical marriage."

"This is the first time when anti-American sanctions are being discussed in the European information filed while European diplomats and officials are fiercely criticizing their US partners, which have become accustomed to Europe's submissiveness," the economist wrote.

It appears that the US political elite have completely forgotten that the interest of its European partners should be taken into account, Danilov concluded.

Syrian Kurds will be the biggest losers: America and Russia on the verge of the abyss in Syria



By Elijah J. Magnier: @EjmAlrai

The battle between the US’s allies and Russia’s allies is escalating in the North-East of Syria, posing a real danger that the superpowers may slide into a direct confrontation to protect their interests. But Washington will not prevail at the end of the day in Syria and its allies – led by Syria’s Kurds under the flag of the “SDF” (Syrian Democratic Forces) – will pay the heaviest price.

It is clear that Washington hawks believe that they can provoke or belittle Moscow in Syria: the US bombed the Syrian military airport of Shyay’rat where Russian forces were stationed with other Syrian units. Moreover Washington jets bombed on three consecutive occasions Russia’s allies close to the Syrian-Iraqi border crossing in Al-Tanf. And last but not least, in recent days, the US Air Force shot down an Iranian drone and Syrian Su-22 jet whose bombing objectives were the “Islamic State” (ISIS) terrorist group area, while US backed Kurdish forces were advancing on the city limit of of Rusafa in rural Raqqah.

All these hostile US military actions have been carried out unlawfully on Syrian territory and against the Syrian army not against terrorist groups. The US have no legal jurisdiction or international mandate or consensus to attack the Syrian Army on its own soil, particularly when the US aim, in fact, is to support the partition of an independent country rather than to fight terrorism. It is simply related to Washington’s influence and control over that part of Syrian territory needed in north-east Syria for occupation without any legitimate international support and to establish military airports and a base in Bilad al-Sham.

Obviously, Washington pays little attention to Moscow’s possible reaction to US military action against Russian allies in Syria as they advance to reclaim the Syrian territory. But Russia is responding by bombing Washington’s allies in Syria. It is not unlikely that US jets may accidently bomb Russian forces embedded with Syrian groups and Russian jets may bomb US Special Forces embedded with their Kurdish proxies operating in the north of Syria. This is when the situation may get out of control and the prestige of superpower countries may be dented creating an unwanted but almost inevitable reaction; this would drive the Middle East into another destructive dimension that may affect the World.

Russia’s main ally in Syria, Iran, is raising the level of tension in relation to US forces in Bilad al-Sham:

-It has injected thousands of fresh troops to recover the 55.000 sq km Syrian Badiya (Steppe) and managed to defeat the US proxies (Usud al-Sharqiyah) and ISIS in the semi-desert of south-eastern Syria: to date over 25,000 sq.km have been recovered from Suwaida province to the south of al-Tanaf borders.

-Iran pushed forces above the Tanaf (where US forces are established) to close the northeast path to Deir al-Zour, establishing a new demarcation line, and isolating the US in al-Tanaf.

-Iran coordinated with Iraq the advance of the Iraqi security forces on the al-Tanaf from the Iraqi side to block the US forces. Iraqi troops are moving north from al-Tanaf towards al-Qaem to meet the Syrian army and its allies along the borderline.

-Iran launched its “Zulfuqar” (Prophet Mohammed’s cousin, the fourth Caliph and first Shia Imam Ali Bin Abi Taleb’ sword) 700 km mid-range ballistic missiles against ISIS, but also to send multiple domestic (revenge for the double terrorist attack) and international messages to the US and its allies in the Middle East, just 24 hours after the US ban on the Iranian missile program. Tehran pays no attention to American decisions, telling Washington that its decision will not be taken into consideration; that Iran’s arm is long and can hit any target in the Middle East (Israel, Saudi Arabia, US military bases in the Middle East), and that Iran doesn’t feel concerned about all the conventional rules. It is capable of hitting any target whenever it wants and where it wants; Iran launched its missiles from Kurdistan-Iran, the same province from which the ISIS Iranian Kurds who launched their double terrorist attack this month against Iranian institutions.

Also Iran launched its missiles targeting ISIS in the city of Deir Al-Zour (besieged since 30 months with over 100,000 -150,000 civilians) and al-Mayadeen to emphasise the importance of Syria and the City of Deir Al-Zour (the US jets and its allies contributed in breaking the defence line of the Syrian army by striking last year their positions on the Tharda mountains overlooking Deir Al-Zour airport). That particular US bombing which lasted several hours, and killed over 100 soldiers and officer of the Syrian Army in Tharda gave ISIS the upper hand by allowing them to advance into the airport perimeter (the only air supply to the besieged city) and permitting the partition of the city in two parts by ISIS. Iran’s message is clear: it won’t allow the fall of Deir al-Zour and will do everything, with its allies, to break the siege in the coming months.

Following the escalation in Syria, Russia is sending more air defence missiles to Syria. Damascus will not hesitate to bomb US coalition jets, especially since Moscow maintain its forces on the ground and will be in charge of protecting them from any US reaction. Moscow has stopped cooperating with the US in Syria by temporarily suspending the deconfliction line (due to be re-established soon) and issued a clear warning that Russia will consider any target over flying west of the Euphrates river as hostile.

In the midst of all this, Iraqi forces are moving along the border with Syria, telling the US forces that it is cooperating with Damascus and is not concerned by any American project in the region. Baghdad will not accept the presence of any US forces on its territory after defeating ISIS. The US will maintain a training contract with the Iraqi government but will have no influence over the country’s decisions and relationship with its neighbours, including Syria and Iran.

All the forces on the ground – except the Kurds and some remnants of the Syrian opposition forces – will be working against the US forces in Syria, starting from ISIS (as insurgents after the war ends in Syria and Iraq), Al-Qaeda (vowed to hit the US anywhere in the World), Turkey (which refuses the US support for the Kurds autonomy in Syria), Damascus (will strike the Kurds after finishing off ISIS control of territory) and Syria’s allies (Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi militia in Syria) are waiting for the right opportunity to strike US forces along the lines of what Hezbollah did in Beirut (blowing up the Marines’ headquarters and the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon in the 80s). 
Therefore, the US has won many enemies and very few friends, who will find themselves on their own, because Washington will have no alternative but to abandon them sooner or later. It is well known that the US does not have friends; it has business partners and common interests. When the US interests will cease in Syria, the soldiers will have no alternative but to leave the country.

The secular Kurds of Syria have erred in adopting a new policy that was never adopted by the Kurds of Iraq. They declared hostility to Damascus and allied themselves with America and its allies in the region (Wahhabi Salafi Saudi Arabia). The Kurds took an anti-Iranian stance and accepted that their militants would become burning wood to recover the Arab-majority city of Raqqah, sustaining considerable casualties only to fulfil a US plan to establish military bases in north-eastern Syria. Kurds will be the future’s biggest losers: the forces of Damascus and their allies are recovering territories by the Kurds side and advancing in rural Raqqah to prevent the US proxies militants from expanding and occupying oil field west of the Euphrates River.

Kurds will become THE enemy following ISIS’s defeat. For the long years of the Syrian war, Kurds were silent allies and part of Syria. Damascus was ready to discuss a Kurdish Federation when the war ended, as long as it remains part of Syria. Today the Kurds have accepted to become the American proxy forces to fulfil a dream of a federation that was smashed first by Turkey (splitting Rojava in two when occupying the corridor from Jarablus to al-Bab), and today will be also attacked by Damascus.

Syria will never allow a Kurdish federation that offers protection to an occupying force, the US. In fact, the hostility towards Washington’s soldiers is unprecedented in the Levant and Mesopotamia, making of the Kurdish choice of alignment with the US (and Saudi Arabia) an incredibly suicidal naïve strategy. It It is clear, then, that the United States of America will only have enemies in the Levant and will end up losing its temporary Kurdish friends in the region. Russia only, and its allies, who work with determination, consistency and with considerable force in Syria, will prevail.