søndag 20. august 2017

USA trener nazi-bataljon i Ukraina

Fra den danske avisa Arbejderen:
En af de største militære enheder i Ukraines Nationalgarde er den nazistiske Azov-bataljon. 300 instruktører fra USA træner Nationalgarden.

Militære rådgivere fra USA træner ukrainske nazister i at benytte våben og andet militært udstyr. Allerede i 2015 tilbød USA at træne Ukraines Nationalgarde.
Azov-bataljonen bruker klassiske nazisymboler
En af de største bataljoner I Nationalgarden er den nazistiske Azov med 1000 mand.
Vi undersøger ikke ukrainske rekrutter for deres ideologi. Nynazister kan også være med i den amerikanske hær. Yaryna Ferentsevych, USA’s ambassade i Ukraine
300 instruktører fra USA’s hærs 173. AirTransport Division er løbende ankommet fra NATO-basen Vicenza i Italien og træner nu officielt Nationalgarden, skriver dagbladet International Business Times.

Avisen citerer oberst Steve Warren fra USA’s forvarsministerium for, at træningen foregår på en base i Yavoriv i det vestlige Ukraine nær den polske grænse.

Siden 2015 har regeringen i Ukraine indrulleret flere en 20 frivillige korps i landets hær – de fleste har rod i Maidan-pladsens selvforsvarsgrupper i 2014, og protesterne endte i et statskup, som fjernede præsidenten Janukovitj.

Azov-bataljonen blev en selvstændig del af Nationalgarden samme år og er i dag omdannet til en regulær militær enhed med regiments-rang og ansvar for “særlige operationer”.

Azov-bataljonen

Azov er decideret nazistisk og optræder med nazistiske symboler, indrømmer en tidligere fransk faldskærmssoldat, der koordinerer gruppens udenlandske krigere, i en samtale med netstedet eurasianet.org.

Også det britiske dagblad The Telegraph har mødt Azov-bataljonen i Ukraine. Bataljonen anvender det nazistiske Wolfsangel-symbol på dets gule flag. “Dets medlemmer er åbenlyst tilhænger af hvidt overherredømme og er alle anti-semitter”, skriver avisen.

Selv afviser Azov på sin hjemmeside, at det anvender hagekors. “Det er et ukrainsk symbol, anvendt af kosakker og har rod i landets militærhistorie”, står der.

– Personligt er jeg en nazist. Jeg hader ikke andre nationaliteter, men mener, at hver nation skal have sit eget land, siger den anonyme, 23-årige ukrainer “Phantom” til The Telegraph.

Azov-bataljonens kommandant indtil 2016, Andriy Biletsky, afviser, at alle i bataljonen er nazister, men, at det vigtigste er at være en “god kæmper”.

Han er leder af den politiske gruppe Social National Assembly og har tidligere skrevet, at “vores nationers historiske mission er at lede den hvide race i verden i et endeligt korstog for overlevelse.”
I dag er Andriy Biletsky også leder af Azov-bataljonens nye politiske gren, Nacional-Niy-Korpus og medlem af Ukraines parlament Verkhovna Rada.

Tortur-rapport fra OSCE

OSCE – Organisationen for Sikkerhed og Samarbejde i Europa – udgav i 2016 en rystende rapport om volden i Ukraine: “War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture and inhumane treatment”, april 2016.

I rapporten fortæller ukraineren Robert Aniskin fra Mariupol , at han blev slået over hele kroppen af medlemmer af Azov-bataljonen med riffelkolber, fik elektrochok og blev næsten kvalt, da hans torturbødler trak en plasticpose over hans hovedet.

En anden, Yuriy Slusat fra Druzhkovkar, fotæller at han blev slået, mens en pistol blev affyret tæt på hans øre, og torturbødler truede med at voldtage ham, skyde ham i fødderne og torturere hans kone og døtre.

Defensiv træning?

Ifølge en artikel offentliggjort i netavisen Daily Beast sidste år talte sergent Ivan Kharkiv fra Azov-bataljonen åbent om “de amerikanske instruktørers, ingeniørers, lægers og frivilliges træning”.
Yaryna Ferentsevych, pressekonsulent for USA’s ambassade i Ukraine, udtaler, at “så vidt vi ved” træner USA ingen medlemmer af Azov.

– At nogle er smuttet med i gelederne er umuligt at sige. Vi screener og undersøger udelukkende rekrutter for deres eventuelle krænkelser af menneskerettighederne, ikke for ideologi. Nynazister kan også være med i den amerikanske hær, siger hun til The Daily Beats.

Pentagon-talsmanden Steve Warren nægter at tale om Azov-bataljonen som nazistisk.
– Træningen af Nationalgarden omfatter alene defensive og civil-militære operationer som desarmering af sprængstof, medicinsk hjælp, evakuering, men også, hvordan man bevæger sig i terrænet som en lille militær enhed, siger han til International Business Times,
Han afviser, at  USA blander sig i et andet lands forhold og destabiliserer Ukraine og forholdet til Rusland.

– Jeg vil sige, at det er Rusland, der destabiliserer Ukraine. De fortsætter med at levere våben til separatister i det østlige Ukraine. De fortsætter med at sende russiske styrker ind i Ukraine.
I 2016 vedtog Kongressen i USA gennem loven “Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative”, at afsætte 250 millioner dollars til at yde bistand til militær uddannelse, ikke-dødeligt militærudstyr, logistikstøtte og forsyninger til Ukraines nationale sikkerhedsstyrker.

Den 8. september 2016 blev den tidligere øverstkommanderende for hærledelsen U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), John Abizaid, udpeget til miliærrådgiver for Ukraines hær.
Hans officielle mission er at bringe militæret “i overensstemmelse med vestlige principper og standarder, ifølge washingtonexaminer.com.

Ud over Azov-bataljonen er der mindst 13 andre specialstyrker i den ukrainske Nationalgarde, herunder grupperne Alfa, Bars, Donbass, Hepard, Kobra, Lavanda, Omeha, Skat, Skorpion, Tin, Tyhr, Veha og Yahuar.

Kommentar:
Det er bare to år siden et enstemmig Kongress i USA la ned forbud mot å trene det de uttrykkelig kalte “den nazistiske Azov-bataljonen”

mandag 14. august 2017

CIA: Undermining and Nazifying Ukraine Since 1953

The recent declassification of over 3800 documents by the Central Intelligence Agency provides detailed proof that since 1953 the CIA operated two major programs intent on not only destabilizing Ukraine but Nazifying it with followers of the World War II Ukrainian Nazi leader Stepan Bandera.
JPEG - 59.4 kb 
 
 
The CIA programs spanned some four decades. Starting as a paramilitary operation that provided funding and equipment for such anti-Soviet Ukrainian resistance groups as the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (UHVR); its affiliates, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), all Nazi Banderists. The CIA also provided support to a relatively anti-Bandera faction of the UHVR, the ZP-UHVR, a foreign-based virtual branch of the CIA and British MI-6 intelligence services. The early CIA operation to destabilize Ukraine, using exile Ukrainian agents in the West who were infiltrated into Soviet Ukraine, was codenamed Project AERODYNAMIC.

A formerly TOP SECRET CIA document dated July 13, 1953, provides a description of AERODYNAMIC: «The purpose of Project AERODYNAMIC is to provide for the exploitation and expansion of the anti-Soviet Ukrainian resistance for cold war and hot war purposes. Such groups as the Ukrainian Supreme Council of Liberation (UHVR) and its Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN), the Foreign Representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Council of Liberation (ZPUHVR) in Western Europe and the United States, and other organizations such as the OUN/B will be utilized». The CIA admitted in a 1970 formerly SECRET document that it had been in contact with the ZPUHVR since 1950.

The OUN-B was the Bandera faction of the OUN and its neo-Nazi sympathizers are today found embedded in the Ukrainian national government in Kiev and in regional and municipal governments throughout the country.

AERODYNAMIC placed field agents inside Soviet Ukraine who, in turn, established contact with Ukrainian Resistance Movement, particularly SB (intelligence service) agents of the OUN who were already operating inside Ukraine. The CIA arranged for airdrops of communications equipment and other supplies, presumably including arms and ammunition, to the «secret» CIA army in Ukraine. Most of the CIA’s Ukrainian agents received training in West Germany from the US Army’s Foreign Intelligence Political and Psychological (FI-PP) branch. Communications between the CIA agents in Ukraine and their Western handlers were conducted by two-way walkie-talkie (WT), shortwave via international postal channels, and clandestine airborne and overland couriers.

Agents airdropped into Ukraine carried a kit that contained, among other items, a pen gun with tear gas, an arctic sleeping bag, a camp axe, a trenching tool, a pocket knife, a chocolate wafer, a Minox camera and a 35 mm Leica camera, film, a Soviet toiletry kit, a Soviet cap and jacket, a .22 caliber pistol and bullets, and rubber «contraceptives» for ‘waterproofing film’. Other agents were issued radio sets, hand generators, nickel-cadmium batteries, and homing beacons.

An affiliated project under AERODYNAMIC was codenamed CAPACHO.

CIA documents show that AERODYNAMIC continued in operation through the Richard Nixon administration into 1970.

The program took on more of a psychological warfare operation veneer than a real-life facsimile of a John Le Carré «behind the Iron Curtain» spy novel. The CIA set up a propaganda company in Manhattan that catered to printing and publishing anti-Soviet ZPUHVR literature that would be smuggled into Ukraine. The new battleground would not be swampy retreats near Odessa and cold deserted warehouses in Kiev but at the center of the world of publishing and the broadcast media.
The CIA front company was Prolog Research and Publishing Associates, Inc., which later became known simply as Prolog. The CIA codename for Prolog was AETENURE. The group published the Ukrainian language «Prolog» magazine. The CIA referred to Prolog as a «non-profit, tax exempt cover company for the ZP/UHVR’s activities». The «legal entity» used by the CIA to fund Prolog remains classified information. However, the SECRET CIA document does state that the funds for Prolog were passed to the New York office «via Denver and Los Angeles and receipts are furnished Prolog showing fund origin to backstop questioning by New York fiscal authorities».

As for the Munich office of Prolog, the CIA document states that funding for it comes from an account separate from that of Prolog in New York from a cooperating bank, which also remains classified. In 1967, the CIA merged the activities of Prolog Munich and the Munich office of the Ukrainian exiled nationalist «Suchasnist» journal. The Munich office also supported the «Ukrainische Gesellschaft fur Auslandstudien». The CIA documents also indicate that US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents may have interfered with AERODYNAMIC agents in New York. A 1967 CIA directive advised all ZPUHVR agents in the United States to either report their contacts with United Nations mission diplomats and UN employees from the USSR and the Ukrainian SSR to the FBI or their own CIA project case officer. CIA agents in charge of AERODYNAMIC in New York and Munich were codenamed AECASSOWARY agents. Apparently not all that taken with the brevity of MI-6’s famed agent «007», one CIA agent in Munich was codenamed AECASSOWARY/6 and the senior agent in New York was AECASSOWARY/2.

AECASSOWARY agents took part in and ran other AERODYNAMIC teams that infiltrated the Vienna World Youth Conference in 1959. The Vienna infiltration operation, where contact with made with young Ukrainians, was codenamed LCOUTBOUND by the CIA.

In 1968, the CIA ordered Prolog Research and Publishing Associates, Inc. terminated and replaced by Prolog Research Corporation, «a profit-making, commercial enterprise ostensibly serving contracts for unspecified users as private individuals and institutions».

The shakeup of Prolog was reported by the CIA to have arisen from operation MHDOWEL. There is not much known about MHDOWEL other than it involved the blowing of the CIA cover of a non-profit foundation. The following is from a memo to file, dated January 31, 1969, from CIA assistant general counsel John Greany, «Concerns a meeting of Greaney, counsel Lawrence Houston and Rocca about a ‘confrontation’ with NY FBI office on January 17, 1969. They discussed two individuals whose names were redacted. One was said to be a staff agent of the CIA since 8/28/61 who had been assigned in 1964 to write a monograph, which had been funded by a grant from a foundation whose cover was blown in MHDOWEL (I suspect that is code for US Press). One of the individuals [name redacted] had been requested for use with Project DTPILLAR in November 1953 to Feb. 1955 and later in March 1964 for WUBRINY. When the Domestic Operations Division advised Security that this person would not be used in WUBRINY, Rocca commented that ‘there are some rather ominous allegations against members of the firm of [redacted],’ indicating one member of that firm was a ‘card-carrying member of the Communist Party.’ The memo went on to say that 
 Rocca was investigating the use of the individual in Project DTPILLAR concerning whether that person had mentioned activities in Geneva in March 1966 in connection with Herbert Itkin». Raymond Rocca was the deputy chief of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Division. Itkin was an undercover agent for the FBI and CIA who allegedly infiltrated the Mafia and was given a new identity in California as «Herbert Atkin» in 1972.

In 1969, AERODYNAMIC began advancing the cause of the Crimean Tatars. In 1959, owing to Canada’s large Ukrainian population, Canada’s intelligence service began a program similar to AERODYNAMIC codenamed «REDSKIN».

As international air travel increased, so did the number of visitors to the West from Soviet Ukraine. These travelers were of primary interest to AERODYNAMIC. Travelers were asked by CIA agents to clandestinely carry Prolog materials, all censored by the Soviet government, back to Ukraine for distribution. Later, AERODYNAMIC agents began approaching Ukrainian visitors to eastern European countries, particularly Soviet Ukrainian visitors to Czechoslovakia during the «Prague Spring» of 1968. The Ukrainian CIA agents had the same request to carry back subversive literature to Ukraine.

AERODYNAMIC continued into the 1980s as operation QRDYNAMIC, which was assigned to the CIA’s Political and Psychological Staff’s Soviet East Europe Covert Action Program. Prolog saw its operations expanded from New York and Munich to London, Paris, and Tokyo. QRDYNAMIC began linking up with operations financed by hedge fund tycoon George Soros, particularly the Helsinki Watch Group’s operatives in Kiev and Moscow. Distribution of underground material expanded from journals and pamphlets to audio cassette tapes, self-inking stamps with anti-Soviet messages, stickers, and T-shirts.

QRDYNAMIC expanded its operations into China, obviously from the Tokyo office, and Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Soviet Central Asia, the Soviet Pacific Maritime region, and among Ukrainian-Canadians. QRDYNAMIC also paid journalist agents-of-influence for their articles. These journalists were located in Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, and Austria.

But at the outset of glasnost and perestroika in the mid-1980s, things began to look bleak for QRDYNAMIC. The high cost of rent in Manhattan had it looking for cheaper quarters in New Jersey.
Assistant Secretary of State for European/Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, the baked goods-bearing «Maiden of Maidan,» told the US Congress that the United States spent $5 billion to wrest control of Ukraine from the Russian sphere since the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the recent disclosures from the CIA it appears that the price tag to the American tax payers of such foreign shenanigans was much higher.
Wayne Madsen 
 
 
Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist.  

søndag 13. august 2017


CONFIRMED: Turkey to end support for anti-government terrorists in Syria

The move is a diplomatic victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a big snub to the United States.
In a seismic shift in the alignment in the Syria conflict, Turkey has confirmed it is ending support to anti-government forces in Syria. Additionally, the umbrella political group National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is to have its recognition from Ankara withdrawn.
This represents Turkey’s position on Syria going full circle since Ankara entered the conflict in the year 2012.

Prior to 2012, Turkey and Syria enjoyed normal relations. As part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pivot to the Arab world, a policy some had called neo-Ottomanism, Ankara increasingly saw itself as a key king-maker in Arab affairs, in spite of the fact that few Arab countries sought Turkey’s alliance with the exception of Qatar. In this sense, Turkey’s move to support 
anti-government forces in Syria was more about opportunism than ideology. Although Erdogan had since his early political career advocated for what many call a Muslim Brotherhood style of Islamist politics, this had never previously prohibited him from having normal relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prior to 2011.


Put another way, Turkey wanted to join the winning side and until Russia’s intervention in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, many speculated that various anti-government forces which were heavily backed by Barack Obama’s government, would win.

Russia’s intervention combined with the incredible endurance and steadfast patriotism of the Syrian Arab Army has changed this and now both conventional wisdom and battlefield intelligence would point to a victory for the legitimate forces in Syria.

In this sense, Turkey’s exit from its political and apparently military support for anti-government forces in Syria is motivated by pragmatism just as sure as Turkey’s initial entrance into the conflict was motivated by opportunism.

Beyond this however, there are several other motivating factors.

Ever since Donald Trump took office, the United States began gradually pulling its support away from jihadist fighters in Syria while throwing the weight of US military and political power behind the Kurds who have also historically been supported by Israel.

This development his infuriated Erdogan as it would have done with any Turkish leader whether Kemalist or Islamist. While Turkey has expressed its frustrations at the US over the Kudish issue, the US seems to be complete ignoring Turkey and doing precisely the opposite of that which would make its NATO ‘ally’ contented. Turkey has stated that it will not tolerate a Kurdish state on its borders and the US has done precious little to assure Ankara that such a state will not foment.

With the possibility of increased Kurdish autonomy in Syria now increasingly probable and with the prospect of a Kurdish state in either Syria or Iraq more likely than at any time since the end of the Second World War, Turkey has reason to fear that an incredibly hostile force which has been heavily armed by the United States may spring up on its doorstep and more importantly, the doorstep of Turkey’s Kurdish regions which are a hotbed of the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party), a group Turkey labels as a terrorist group.

Secondly, in ending support for anti-government forces in Syria, Turkey is also easing latent tensions in the last remaining Middle Eastern conflict Ankara has had with Moscow. While Russia and Turkey have cooperated economically in spite of being on different sides of the Syrian conflict and while Turkey continues to participate in the Astana Peace Process with Syria’s partners Russia and Iran, Turkey was always viewed with suspicion by many throughout the process because of Ankara’s position in respect of anti-government forces.

It would appear that this is no longer the case as Turkey is now, at least from a legal and technical point of view, de-facto recognising the Syrian government as the only legitimate political force in Syria.

In the longer term, this will help Turkey in its pivot away from the US and EU and towards Russia and Russia’s regional partner Iran. President Erdogan has in recent months been cultivating increasingly good relations with Iran and as Iran is, like Turkey, on China’s economically crucial One Belt–One Road. In this sense, Turkey would need to have cooperated with Iran sooner or later and for the sake of good will in the service of pragmatism, Turkey has decided to do it sooner.

The message to Russia and Iran also sends a strong message to the United States. Turkey now has increasingly little in common with America in spite of maintaining the second largest army in NATO. Turkey is conducing commerce with Russia more vigorously than with any western state, Turkey is buying missile defence systems from Russia and not NATO and Turkey has strongly condemned the latest round of anti-Russian sanctions from the west in a statement filled with words designed to show solidarity with Moscow’s position. Turkey’s position on the Qatar-crisis further puts Ankara in a position which is slightly closer to Iran and much further from that of the United States as President Trump has openly taken the Saudi position in spite of official US neutrality on the matter.

Turkey has in this sense, turned 180 degrees since 2015 when Turkish forces shot down a Russian jet over the Syria-Turkey border. The situation may well have led to a 21st century Russo-Turkish war, but due to President Vladimir Putin’s supreme patience, Turkey and Russia reconciled their relations which continue to grow. Some may point to the 2015 shooting down of the Russian fighter jet and the political fallout resulting from the event as a sign of Turkey’s unreliability as a Russian partner. There may be some truth to this. However, what seems more important is that while Turkey’s aggressive stance towards Russia in 2015 was born out of ambition and supreme arrogance, today’s revised Turkish position is born out of not only pragmatism but the long, some would say very long term needs of the Turkish state.

Finally, some are speculating that Turkey’s move to withdraw support for Syria’s anti-government forces is designed to pave the way for eventual reconciliation with the Syrian government. The Syrian government and moreover many Syrian civilians will not be quick to forgive Turkey for a role in the Syrian conflict viewed as destructive. Because it is now a certainty that the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party will remain in power in Damascus, Turkey will likely eventually have to engage in a thaw with the Syrian government simply because Syria is a neighbour to Turkey, but this road may be long.

In this respect, a lot depends on the Kurds. Once the last vestiges of terrorist fighters are defeated in Syria, whether the Kurds take a cooperative political approach or a hostile approach to the Syrian government will be a key factor in determining Syria-Turkish relations. Should the Kurds grow increasingly hostile to the Syrian government, Damascus may forge some sort of unspoken pact with Turkey to contain what would be a mutual enemy.

Overall though, the move from Turkey is more geo-strategic than it is regionally motivated. The clear winner in this is President Putin. His style of diplomacy which has been patient with Turkey’s frivolity in Syria for years seems to have finally paid off. Turkey is now closer to leaving NATO than one could have ever imagined. In many ways, Turkey has already left NATO in all but name. Russia’s historic nemesis is no longer a problem for Russia, but it may become a big problem for the United States.

Adam Garrie

Donald Trump considers war on Venezuela

Donald Trump has specifically ruled in a military action against the oil rich nation.
Donald Trump has stated that he is considering military action against Venezuela. The oil rich South American country has just sworn in its new Constituent Assembly which President Nicholas Maduro’s supporters control after July’s election for the new chamber.

The United States continues to fund the right wing opposition who are opposed to Maduro’s reforms.
Today, when asked about his plans for Venezuela, Donald Trump responded in the following way,
“We have many options for Venezuela… the people are suffering and they’re dying.We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary”.
The realistic prospect is that a US led war on Venezuela is highly more likely than one of North Korea. As I wrote recently in The Duran,
“From a propaganda angle, a so-called regime change war on Venezuela would be far less impactful than one on North Korea. Fewer Americans see Venezuela as a cartoon villain vis-a-vis North Korea and furthermore, much of the US based Latin American community would resent a war against a smaller Latin American country, especially a war waged by Donald Trump who has terrible PR among Latin Americans.
From a military point of view as well as a political perspective, it would however be a safe option. Venezuela’s armed forces cannot complete with those of the US and since Russia closed its base in Cuba in the year 2002, Latin America is from a military point of view, an American peninsula, even though politically the United States has lost tremendous amounts of clout over the last decades as many far-right dictatorships across Latin America have fallen to democratic socialist governments.
While Russia and China would likely condemn such a war, they would not participate in the conflict as they might do in Korea”.
Adam Garrie

onsdag 9. august 2017

The Only Thing That Can Save Trump’s Presidency Now Is War on North Korea

Americans have a long-standing tradition of cheering on their presidents when these are bombing exotic countries


 Joey Clark
With his poll numbers sinking, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation ramping up, and a stalled domestic legislative agenda, President Donald J. Trump may have only one way to save his presidency — war with North Korea.

A man who wanted a military parade at his inauguration, Donald Trump had this to say in the face of North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons:
North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening … and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
Despite the fact that North Korea has not attacked the United States and has only threatened to do so as a defensive measure in the face of U.S. threats to destroy the hermit kingdom, it seems Donald Trump is considering a preemptive strike against the communist nation.

Despite Trump’s supposed ‘realist’ foreign policy promises during the campaign, he has already learned that when a U.S. president bombs a supposed adversary, presidential standing tends to go up. He learned this after bombing Syria after an alleged gas attack, which garnered praise even from some of Trump’s most dogged detractors. As Fareed Zakaria, for example, said the day after the Tomahawks flew into Syria, “Donald Trump became president of the United States last night.
Assad wasn’t even threatening the American people in this episode. Can you imagine the praise Trump would receive from the mainstream press if he were to actually unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” against a nation that has been locked in a cold war with the U.S. since the 1950s? 
Do you think any sitting Democrats or Republicans would really speak up against a president who ‘saved’ the West coast from a potential North Korean nuclear missile? 
Do you think the American people will be outraged at all at the massive death toll or the geopolitical ramifications of war on the Korean peninsula regarding China and Russia?

No, I suspect that though some Americans will be horrified, most will cheer any such actions by the sitting president. I suspect even those who are now advocating a policy of mutually assured destruction in regards to North Korea’s nuclear arsenal would not dare criticize the president for such ‘decisive’ action.

Remember, folks, war is the health of the state. It is also the health of presidents and their popularity in the present and future. Remember that war-time presidents are usually ranked as some of the greatest in American history — Lincoln, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson come to mind

I only hope millions of North Koreans, who are hostages and slaves of their own government, do not die for over perceived threats to the American people. And good lord, let us hope millions do not die for the sake of Trump’s own poll numbers and place in history. It is terrible even to think of it, but that is the world we have inherited — one that allows an American president to promise “fire and fury” as the crowds cheer out of fear or pride, a world that tempts dictators to think pursuing that same ability to inflict fire and fury will bring them security.

The issue of North Korean nukes has long been argued, but there is an even older argument: Should these weapons have been created in the first place?

Indeed, Mr. Oppenheimer, in the name of peace and security, the ‘great’ nations of the world have “become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Source: AntiMedia

Scandinavia - NATO's North Flank Against Russia

Russian military experts are taking very seriously NATO's military build up in the northern Europe, describing Norway as "Alliance's backyard to fortify the northern flank against Russia". Comments of the military and political experts were published on Sputnik News.

A recent report posted on the Norwegian website Steigan.no soundned the alarm over the militarization of Scandinavian Peninsula, reflecting fears that Norway, in particular, is turning from a peaceful region into a military foothold of NATO, which can't but cause concern for Russia.
Sputnik Radio discussed the issue with Russian military and political expert, retired colonel and columnist Viktor Baranets, who explained why Russia should closely monitor Norway's military plans.
"It could not but cause Russia's concerns as Norway is Russia's actual neighbor, where NATO has recently been fundamentally increasing its military buildup: they have an American command there, US marines, and radio detection and ranging equipment which is located in full view of Russia's naval base, as well as other NATO military facilities. Norway should be viewed as NATO's backyard, positioned to fortify the north flank of the Alliance. From an amicable neighbor it has virtually turned into a bear with American fangs," Baranets said.
The expert however noted that even though this is hardly seen as friendly by Russia, it hasn't caused any panic either, only certain adjustments to the plans of combat deployment of Russian troops.
Scandinavia is progressing by leaps and bounds to undermine the security in Europe
Defense and diplomatic analyst Alex Gorka wrote an article on the silent, "gradual but steady militarization of Scandinavia." 
"The theme does not hit headlines and it is not the focus of public discourse, but one step is taken after another to turn the region into a springboard for the staging of offensive actions against Russia," the author said.
He referred to Orland air base in southern Norway, which is "being expanded to become Norway’s main air force base, hosting US-made F-35 Lightnings – the stealth aircraft set to become the backbone of Norwegian air power." Norway has purchased 56 of these aircraft, he said. "The F-35 is an offensive, not defensive, weapon. The nuclear capable platforms can strike deep into Russia’s territory," the author noted.

Among other facilities located in Norway is Vaernes base, which hosts 330 US Marines. In May, the base hosted the biennial NATO military exercise "Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017", which involved over 100 planes from 12 nations. It was the first time a US strategic bomber (B-52H) took part in the training event.
"The choice of the base was carefully calculated to keep the planes away from the reach of Russian Iskander missiles (500 kilometers) but no location in Norway is beyond the operational range of Kalibr ship-based sea-to-shore missiles and aircraft armed with long-range air-to-surface missiles," the author noted.
In June, Norway’s government announced that the decision was taken to extend the rotational US Marine Corps force stationed at Vaernes through 2018. "The move contradicts the tried-and-true Norwegian policy of not deploying foreign military bases in the country in times of peace," he said.
Besides, the country is "to contribute to the NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) system by integrating its Globus II/III radar on Vardoya Island, located near the Russian border, just a few kilometers from the home base of strategic submarines and 5 Aegis-equipped Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates."

The radar construction is underway. The Vardoya radar can distinguish real warheads from dummies. Another radar located in Svalbard (the Arctic) can also be used by the US military for missile defense purposes, Alex Gorka noted.

The country’s ground forces are stationed in Lithuania as part of a NATO multinational force under German command. Also in June, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway agreed in principle to create a trilateral coalition built around the P-8 maritime aircraft to include joint operations in the North Atlantic near the Russian Northern Fleet bases.

Norway's neighbors Sweden and Finland have also been upgrading their military and have been taking part in large-scale military drills with the involvement of NATO forces.
"All these facts and events summed together demonstrate that the militarization of Scandinavia is progressing by leaps and bounds to undermine the security in Europe. No hue and cry is raised in the Russian media but the developments are closely watched by Moscow," the author said.
All the above can't but cause grave concerns, however Moscow "has never rejected the idea of launching talks to address the problem."
"…nothing is done to ease the tensions in Europe and the Scandinavian Peninsula in particular. Meanwhile, the situation is aggravating misunderstandings and whipping up tensions," Alex Gorka concluded.
DONi News Agency

Polls: US Is ‘the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today’

 Polls: US Is ‘the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today’

Eric ZUESSE | 07.08.2017
It has happened again: yet another international poll finds that the US is viewed by peoples around the world to be the biggest threat to world peace.

But, to start, let’s summarize the first-ever poll that had been done on this, back in 2013, which was the only prior poll on this entire issue, and it was the best-performed such poll: «An end-of-the-year WIN/Gallup International survey found that people in 65 countries believe the United States is the greatest threat to world peace», as the N.Y. Post reported on 5 January 2014. 

On 30 December 2013, the BBC had reported of that poll: «This year, first [meaning here, ‘for’] the first time, Win/Gallup agreed to include three questions submitted by listeners to [BBC’s] Radio 4's Today programme». And, one of those three listener-asked questions was phrased there by the BBC, as having been «Which country is the biggest threat to peace?» The way that WIN/Gallup International itself had actually asked this open-ended question, to 67,806 respondents from 65 countries, was: «Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?» #1, 24% of respondents, worldwide, volunteered that the US was «the greatest threat». #2 (the second-most-frequently volunteered ‘greatest threat’) was Pakistan, volunteered by 8%. #3 was China, with 6%. #s 4-7 were a four-way tie, at 5% each, for: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and North Korea. #s 8-10 were a three-way tie, at 4% each, for: India, Iraq, and Japan. #11 was Syria, with 3%. #12 was Russia, with 2%. #s 13-20 were a seven-way tie, at 1% each, for: Australia, Germany, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, and UK.

The way that W/G itself had phrased this matter, in their highly uninformative press release for their year-end survey (which included but barely mentioned this finding, in it — as though this particular finding in their annual year-end poll, hardly even deserved to be mentioned), was: «The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat». That’s all there was of it — W/G never devoted a press-release to the stunning subject of this particular finding, and they even buried this finding when mentioning it in their year-end press-release.

I had hoped that they would repeat this excellent global survey question every year (so that a trendline could be shown, in the global answers over time), but the question was unfortunately never repeated.

However, now, on August 1st of 2017, Pew Research Center has issued results of their polling of 30 nations in which they had surveyed, first in 2013, and then again in 2017, posing a less-clear but similar question (vague perhaps because they were fearing a similar type of finding — embarrassing to their own country, the US), in which respondents had been asked «Do you think that the United States’ power and influence is a major threat, a minor threat, or not a threat to (survey country)?» and which also asked this same question but regarding «China,» and then again but regarding «Russia,» as a possible threat instead of «United States». (This wasn’t an open-ended question; only those three nations were named as possible responses.)

On page 3 of their 32-page pdf is shown that the «major threat» category was selected by 35% of respondents worldwide for «US power and influence», 31% worldwide selected that for «Russia’s power and influence,» and also 31% worldwide said it for «China’s power and influence». However, on pages 23 and 24 of the pdf is shown the 30 countries that had been surveyed in this poll, in both 2013 and 2017, and most of these 30 nations were US allies; only Venezuela clearly was not. 

None of the 30 countries was an ally of either Russia or China (the other two countries offered as possibly being «a major threat»). And, yet, nonetheless, more respondents among the 30 sampled countries saw the US as «a major threat», than saw either Russia or China that way.

Furthermore, the trend, in those 30 countries, throughout that four-year period, was generally in the direction of an increase in fear of the US — increase in fear of the country that had been overwhelmingly cited in 2013 by people in 65 countries in WIN/Gallup’s poll, as constituting, in 2013, «the greatest threat to peace in the world today».

Consequently: though WIN/Gallup never repeated its question, the evidence in this newly released poll, from Pew, clearly suggests that the percentage of people in the 65 nations that WIN/Gallup had polled in 2013 who saw the US as being «the greatest threat to peace in the world today» would be even higher today than it was in 2013, when 24% of respondents worldwide volunteered the US as being the world’s most frightening country.

Perhaps people around the world are noticing that, at least since 2001, the US is wrecking one country after another: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Which is next? Maybe Iran? Maybe Russia? Maybe Venezuela? Who knows?

And this country has just increased its ‘defense’ spending, which already is three times China’s, and nine times higher than Russia’s. Do the owners of America’s military-industrial complex own the US government, and own the US ‘news’media, to permit this rabid military to control the government’s budget, in a ‘democracy’?

Deadly Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk: 2 AFU soldiers died, 5 wounded as their weapon exploded

The Ukrainian army has suffered heavy losses from its own shelling of the Donetsk territory.
“Over the past 24 hours, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) committed 48 ceasefire violations. Artillery, mortars, IFVs, armored vehicles, grenade launchers and small arms were applied by Ukrainian punishers,” said the DPR Operational Command early on Wednesday.
Ukraine keeps shelling the DPR territory with heavy caliber weapons every day. On Tuesday, Ukrainian aggression caused casualties also to their own soldiers.
Two Ukrainian military were killed and five injured when a gun exploded near the settlement of Maryinka in the Ukraine-controlled Donetsk region, the press center of the Kiev army operation in Donbass headquarters said on Tuesday.
"One of the weapons failed to function and exploded. Two Ukrainian military were killed and five were wounded in the result," a report said.
DONi News Agency 

onsdag 2. august 2017

Zakharchenko about US arms to Ukraine: "Will not help, rather hurt them"

The Head of the Donetsk People's Republic has commented on the Pentagon plan and US State Department’s wish to supply weapons to Ukraine.
"The proposal to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons can be viewed from different angles. From the military point of view, this step will not help Ukraine - it will rather hurt. We have already witnessed both the misuse of foreign military equipment and the facts of its sale, including even to us. Well, that we do not mind," said the Head of State.
However, from such "help" of the United States, in the opinion of the Head, still will be consequences.
"Such a step on the part of the United States can bring much more serious consequences in the political arena. The provision of lethal weapons by the US to the Ukrainian side will be perceived by Kiev as encouragement to aggression. And this is despite the fact that Kiev has been preparing for the resumption of full-scale military hostilities against us. And only its Western curators hold Kiev back.
While holding back. The situation is aggravated by the fact that Kiev simply didn’t and doesn’t have a peace plan to get out of the crisis. Kiev doesn’t even think about peace. On our proposals for a peaceful way out of the crisis, Kiev responds by building up aggressive rhetoric and aggravation on the front line.
The only plan that wanders in the Ukrainian nationalists’ inflamed heads is the "reintegration of Donbass", which is equal, without a gap, to the genocide against the Donbass people. After all, in this "reintegration" plan there is not a word about dialogue or consideration of the interests of those who stated their own position in 2014 that doesn’t coincide with the plans of the Maidan,” stated Alexander Zakharchenko.
Source: Official web-site of the DPR Head Alexander Zakharchenko
Official translation by DONi News Agency

Zakharchenko promises to conquer Kiev

The Head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said that the DPR military are still going to seize Kiev. He said this in an interview with Zakhar Prilepin, writer and political instructor of one of the DPR units.
"People can say to me - you were going to seize Kiev, weren’t you? But I do not change my position - I'm going to seize it. I did not mention the date, did I?" Zakharchenko said.
He added that representatives of the Ukrainian forces are constantly threatening the republics of Donbass with their offensive.
"We have repeatedly heard statements from both our ardent opponents and our 'supporters' that we can be demolished in three days, four days, forty minutes... Yet they have been doing it for three years unsuccessfully," the Head of the DPR noted.
Zakharchenko has repeatedly announced large-scale offensive operations by DPR Armed Forces. On March 15, he stated that the state border of the Republic could soon pass through the Dniester River. According to him, the final borders of the DPR will be established when "we will decide that this is our land."
DONi News Agency

Russian PM Medvedev on New Sanctions: 'US Declares Full-Fledged Trade War'

 Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at Skolkovo Foundation Board of Trustees meeting
© Sputnik/ Alexander Astafyev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that the United States declared a full-fledged trade war by introducing new anti-Russia sanctions, adding that there is no chance that the relations between the two states will improve.
"The signing by the US President of a new sanctions law against Russia creates several consequences:  
firstly, the hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is dead.  

Secondly, US declared a fully-fledged trade war on Russia.  

Thirdly, the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence by humiliatingly transferring executive powers to the Congress, which changes the balance of power in US political circles," Medvedev wrote in his Facebook blog.

Medvedev predicted that the sanctions will be in force for decades to come, causing tensions between Moscow and Washington.

The prime minister stressed that Trump has been completely overplayed by the US establishment, predicting that the US president will be ousted.

President Donald Trump has signed a bill to slap new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea on Wednesday morning. He signed the bill on Wednesday morning, without holding an official signing ceremony as he has done with other major pieces of legislation, according to media reports.

The sanctions target Russia's defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries and restricts dealings with Russian banks and energy companies.
 The law also limits the US president's ability to ease any sanctions on Russia by requiring Congress' approval to lift any restrictions.

For instance, Trump would now need Congress' permission to reverse measures imposed by his predecessor Barack Obama. He would also need lawmakers' approval to return Russian diplomatic properties that were seized under the previous administration.

US President administration hails deal to export coal to Ukraine

The Washington Post reports, that Pennsylvania-based coal company has won a contract to supply coal to Ukraine’s state-owned power company in preparation for that country’s winter heating needs. Officials said "the deal would bolster a key U.S. ally often threatened by Russia".

The deal, potentially worth about $79 million, deal calls for Xcoal Energy and Resources to ship 700,000 tons of thermal coal to the Ukraine to heat homes and businesses. The first shipment is expected to leave the Port of Baltimore next month at a cost of $113 per metric ton.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said U.S. coal “will be a secure and reliable energy source” for Ukraine, which he said has been “reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now.”

The U.S. “can offer Ukraine an alternative, and today we are pleased to announce that we will,” Perry said, calling such deals “crucial to the path forward to achieve energy dominance” for the U.S.

President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the struggling coal industry and has cited increases in U.S. coal exports as evidence the strategy is working. The Energy Department said in July that coal exports have risen sharply in 2017 amid increased demand in Asia and Europe, but are still below capacity.

At the end of January, 2017, the Ukrainian nationalists blocked the coal supply from the DPR and LPR to Ukraine. The Ukrainian nationalist’s action was immediately called “The Donbass railway blockade” . The ATO ex-fighters’ demands were quite simple – no trade with the Republics.
"A lot of goods were exported from the Republics, over ten trains per day, and every train is their income," said Semen Semenchenko, the deputy of the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada. 
As a result the so-called patriotic action turned into the nationalists’ riot and fights with the local police representatives. The blockade also resulted in the Ukrainian energy security destabilisation. 

DONi News Agency
According to: The Washington Post, DONi News

tirsdag 1. august 2017

Some DPR 200 people perish in AFU bombardments since beginning of 2017

The Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People's Republic almost daily records violations by the Ukrainian side of the basic rights of the inhabitants of Donbass: the rights to life, personal security, and the inviolability of home.

As the press service of the Ombudsman informs, on July 21, as a result of hostilities near Debaltsevo, servicemen of the Republic of 1993, 1989 and 1979 years of birth were injured.

On July 24, as a result of fighting in the Novoazovskiy district, mine-blasting injuries, multiple shrapnel wounds were received by two servicemen of the Republic of 1961 and 1983 years of birth.

On July 25, as a result of an artillery shelling of the Petrovsky district of Donetsk, a 38-year-old civilian man received a mine-blast injury in the yard of his house, splinters of his back, buttocks, thighs, occipital region of his head. During the shelling, a teenager born in 2000 received a pinpoint bruised wound of the left parietal region.

On July 26, as a result of military operations in the village of Bezymenoye, the Novoazovsky district, a 33-year-old soldier of the Republic received a gunshot fracture of the upper third of his left thigh.

On July 27, as a result of the shelling of Krutaya Balka village, a shrapnel wound to the right lung, multiple shrapnel wounds to the torso and lower extremities, was received by a serviceman of the republic of 1985 year of birth.

Also, information was received about the mine and blast injury received by servicemen of the Republic, born in 1991, as a result of military operations in the area of the Avdeyevka industrial zone on July 12, 2017.

In total, from July 21 to July 27, in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic, 9 people were injured as a result of incessant artillery fire from Ukraine, including 1 civilian man, 7 servicemen of the Republic and 1 child under 18 years old. During this period, 7 people were killed, including 6 servicemen of the Republic and 1 unknown civilian man who died on July 21 as a result of shelling of the village of Vasilievka in the Yasinovatsky district by Ukrainian law enforcers.

From January 1 to July 27, 2017, 451 people were injured on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic, including 269 servicemen of the Republic and 182 civilians, including 10 children under the age of 18. 189 people died, including 165 servicemen of the Republic and 24 civilians, including a child.

Let us note that since the beginning of the armed conflict in the DPR, 4478 people have died, including 605 women and 3873 men, including 75 children under the age of 18.

DONi News Agency

Media Routinely Repeats Pentagon Kill Estimates That Defy Reality

The glaring disconnects between the official estimates of ISIS fighters killed, total contingent size and civilian casualties cries out for much greater skepticism and due diligence among the corporate media. 
 


One of the hoariest methods of modern war propaganda remains the official body count. Government or military officials decisively touting large numbers of enemies killed has long been a surefire way to get credulous or friendly press coverage, despite the fact that the figures cited are routinely presented with no evidence to back them up or context about how they are counting this “enemy.”

This dubious practice of body count reporting reached its peak during the Vietnam War, when the US government relied upon this fabulism as a consistent tactic to prop up a failing war effort, as FAIR’s Jeff Cohen recounted:


Any alert journalist should have known the official count was grossly inflated, in large part by adding in dead civilians—yet Walter Cronkite and the other network anchors dutifully read it straight faced week after week.

As a result of widespread criticism in the post-Vietnam era, the Pentagon, and other US officials, curtailed this practice during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran who was US Defense Secretary from 2013–15, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer back in December: “My policy has always been, don’t release that kind of thing.… I mean, come on, did we learn anything from Vietnam?” he asked. “Body counts make no sense.”

Nevertheless, in the past few years, official body count estimates have made a notable comeback, as US military and administration officials have tried to talk up the US coalition’s war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The transparent absurdity and contradictory nature of these claims hasn’t stopped corporate media from repeatedly citing these figures in headlines and news stories with little or no pushback.

Fox News
Fox News (12/8/16) reports mass killing is “breaking the back of ISIS.”

For example, last August, the US commander of the Syrian-Iraq war garnered a flurry of favorable coverage of the war when he announced that the coalition had killed 45,000 ISIS militants in the past two years (NBC News, CBS News, Fox News. By December, the official ISIS body count number, according to an anonymous “senior US official,” had risen to 50,000 and led headlines on cable news (Fox NewsCNN).

Reading through that media coverage, though, one finds little skepticism about the figures or historical context about how these killed in action numbers line up with the official estimates of ISIS’s overall size, which have stayed stubbornly consistent year after year (Fox News). In fact, the official estimated size of ISIS in 2015 and 2016 averaged 25,000 fighters, which means the US coalition had supposedly wiped out the equivalent of its entire force over both years without making a dent in its overall size.

Foreign Policy also took the time to comb through the body count and force-size numbers to highlight how the chronology of estimates made little sense as well:

If the Obama administration’s latest estimates are accurate, that would mean there was a zero percent increase in the number of Islamic State fighters killed in the first four months of [2016], followed by a remarkable 80 percent during the past four months.

Even more remarkably, only one week after the anonymous 50,000 body count number was reported in December, the UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, standing alongside US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, publicly halved it. At a joint press briefing, Fallon said 25,000 ISIS militants had been killed by coalition forces, yet almost no newspapers or TV news networks (save CNN) covered this glaring discrepancy.

Under the Trump administration, the public use of ISIS body counts has by no means diminished. In February, Gen. Tony Thomas, the commander of US Special Operations Command, told a public symposium that 60,000 ISIS fighters had been killed. 
Thomas added this disingenuous qualifier to his evidence-free number: “I’m not that into morbid body count, but that matters.” 

Unsurprisingly, Fox News gobbled up his figure happily and with little skepticism. CNN did at least point out the previously huge disconnect between US and UK body count numbers in its reporting, saying it “underscores the challenge of assessing enemy casualties,” but its headline was a clear public relations win for the war: “US Special Ops Chief: More Than 60,000 ISIS Fighters Killed.”

Last Friday, Thomas claimed yet another ISIS body count number at the Aspen Security Forum—this time citing up to 70,000 militants killed during the war, or, put another way, another full ISIS army’s size from last August. Again, Fox News ran this number with no pushback, as part of a report that also uncritically repeated his accusation that the New York Times published a leak that let ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi slip away. (After the Times pointed out the factual problems with Thomas’s claim, the Fox Newsstory has since added an “update.”)

This 70,000 estimate is not new. The Pentagon started to provide this new total of ISIS “militants” killed in Syria and Iraq to the press as far back as April (LA Times, a mere nine weeks after Thomas’s 60,000 estimate. While it’s true the operational tempo of coalition air attacks has increased significantly since Trump became president, it’s notable that, up through this spring, US officials also estimated coalition warplanes had only killed between 230 to 350 civilians in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
Comparing estimates of civilian deaths most likely caused by American-led coalition airstrikes
Airwars (top) vs. Pentagon estimates of Syrian/Iraqi civilians killed in coalition airstrikes (graphic: New York Times5/25/17)

Research from the non-profit group Airwars, which uses both media and on-the-ground reports, suggests the US government’s civilian casualty total is as absurdly low as its ISIS KIA claims appear absurdly high. Airwars’ count of the US coalition civilian casualties as of March was roughly 3,100, or more than eight times higher than what the Pentagon claimed (New York Times). (As of today, Airwars’ minimum estimate of Syrian/Iraq civilian casualties stands at 4,544 killed.) Is the coalition miscounting dead civilians as part of its ISIS KIA total? It seems highly likely, but it’s impossible to tell, of course, because these official body count estimates lack all transparency.

All these glaring disconnects between the official estimates of ISIS fighters killed, total contingent size and civilian casualties cries out for much greater skepticism and due diligence among the corporate media. As our not too distant past has clearly shown, enemy body counts are a handy, hard-to-resist tool that administrations of both parties often use for war propaganda to promote the idea we are “winning” and to stave off dissent about why we’re fighting in the first place.

Any reputable news organization need only consider this history and the obvious, current contradictions from “US officials” to realize that body counts should never be reported uncritically without context and third-party, expert commentary. As our nation spirals toward the end of a second decade of uninterrupted war with US troops killing and dying in yet another Middle Eastern country, the press owes the American public nothing less.