Trump Greenlights Arms Sales To Saudis Frozen Under Obama

The US State Department under Donald Trump announced last week that they will green-light the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that were previously frozen in the final months of the Obama administration.
The State Department announced the resumption of the sale of arms last week, that will primarily be used by Saudi Arabia to fight their ongoing war in Yemen. The problem is that the announcement did not include any conditions that would require the Saudis to improve the standards used in this war that have already led to a host of war crimes and human rights violations.
This move comes at a time where Trump is stepping up operations by US forces in Yemen, fighting the al Qaeda branch; al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP however, has not been the primary target of the Saudis who are currently engaged in fighting with the Houthis allied with the segments of the Yemeni army who have rejected the Saudi backed government that was installed before the war.
Saudi Arabia has already been accused of committing war crimes in their attacks on Yemen by the United Nations, in a campaign that has been facilitated by the US since its inception. Obama previously supplied the Saudis with weapons for this military venture but even after his mostly symbolic halt of arms shipments, US planes were still refueling Saudi bombers and US intelligence was providing targets to the Saudi Air Force.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 13, 2017.

Philippines’ Duterte Rails Against “Son Of A Bitch” American “Monkeys” After Arms Shipment Halted

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who promised last week to stop cursing after a personal chat with god, once again slammed the United States on Wednesday for halting the planned sale of 26,000 rifles to his country, calling those behind the decision “fools” and “monkeys” and indicating he might turn to Russia and China instead. Duterte’s tirades against the US have become a virtiually daily event, and on Wednesday he said that he once believed in Washington, but had since lost respect for what is the Philippines’ biggest ally, Reuters reported.
Which is why the US decision to halt an arms shipment to Duterte should probably not come as a major shock: the State Department halted the sale of the assault rifles to the Philippine police after U. S. Senator Ben Cardin said he would oppose it, Senate aides told Reuters on Monday. Aides said Cardin, the top Democrat on the U. S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was reluctant for the United States to provide the weapons given concern about human rights violations in the Philippines during Duterte’s bloody, four-month-old war on drugs.
The news prompted the following outburst: “Look at these monkeys, the 26,000 firearms we wanted to buy, they don’t want to sell,” Duterte said during a televised speech. “Son of a bitch, we have many home-made guns here. These American fools.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 2, 2016.

TURKEY: A Failed Coup, the Return of a Dictator and Civil Unrest

Early in the morning of July 16, as the world woke up to news of an ongoing coup d’tat in Turkey, by a group that identified itself as ‘Peace in the Country Council,’ it was soon clear that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoan would beat back the attempted takeover, which lacked support of the top military brass. As early at 7 a.m. IST, it was clear the regime had carried the day.
The coup could to be the handiwork of anti-ISIS soldiers as the regime’s support to the ultra-radical Islamic State and its excessive violence against Kurdish rebels even while peace negotiations were going on with Abdullah calan at Imrali Island, has been the subject of considerable resentment within the ranks of the military. Serving officers have at times spoken their mind on the subject, albeit on condition of anonymity.
However, the Turkish media’s sharp criticism of the Erdogan regime’s support to rebels fighting for regime change in Syria, including a daring (and embarrassing) expose of arms shipments for the rebels, couldn’t have been possible without military inputs. In retrospect, the coup was likely a response to military exasperation with Erdogan’s policies.
Erdoan himself blamed the followers of US-based scholar Fethullah Glen for the attempt. While this has yet to be confirmed, it is interesting that the Canada-based politician and Islamic scholar, Tahir-ul Qadri, who launched a futile ‘Pakistan Spring’ against the Nawaz Sharif government in January 2013, has significant connections to Glen. Both governments being targeted (Turkey, Pakistan) are popularly elected.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JULY 16, 2016.

State Department Intentionally Deleted Parts of Press Briefing to Mislead the Press Over the Iran Nuclear Deal

The State Department blew everyone away after admitting that an official intentionally deleted several minutes of video footage from a 2013 press briefing to mislead the press over the Iranian nuclear deal. We are risking the lives of our children with wars that are manufactured for political gain.
In school, we were taught that the Germans ruthlessly sunk a passenger ship, the Lusitania, to justify World War I. The problem was that the US was secretly putting arms shipments in passenger boats to get them to Europe. So they lied about that as well. However, Germany actually took out an advertisement in the New York Times to warn people not to travel on the Lusitania, but that was omitted from history books.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 10, 2016.

1 Journalist Dead, 3 More Arrested After Exposing Turkey Arming Syrian Extremists

Just over a week after Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief, Can Dndar, represented the Turkish daily news outlet in receiving a press freedom award, he and another top editor were arrested and jailed on charges of espionage. In question was a controversial article exposing arms shipments from Turkish intelligence to Syrian extremist rebels.
‘We have been arrested,’ tweeted Dndar on Thursday. ‘Don’t worry, these are medals of honor for us.’
He explained further: ‘We are accused of ‘spying.’ The president said ‘treason.’ We are not traitors, spy [sic], or heroes; we are journalists. What we have done here is an act of journalism,’ said Dndar before testifying on Thursday. ‘Of course, this prosecution will help enlighten how these incidents took place, rather than how we covered this story.’
Now a third Turkish journalist has been arrested, according to local reports. Ertu?rul zkk, a reporter for Turkish daily Hriyet, has been arrested for a slanderous criticism of who is presumed to be Erdo?an – even though the president wasn’t explicitly named anywhere in zkk’s article. As if more evidence of Turkey’s quashing free press and free speech were needed , zkk potentially faces five years and four months in prison for expressing this opinion.
Dndar and Ankara correspondent, Erdem Gl, if found guilty on charges of spying, as well as aiding a terrorist organization, could spend the rest of their lives in a Turkish prison – for doing their job. There is a painfully ironic undercurrent in the charges considering the subject of the article is the Erdo?an administration’s complicity in arming Syrian extremists (read: terrorists).
Erdo?an himself sued Dndar and accused Cumhuriyet of releasing false information and spying when the story first exploded, stating at the time the journalist responsible would ‘pay a heavy price,’ as the Wall Street Journal reported.
Despite Cunhuriyet’s recent honor from Reporters Sans Frontires (RSF, or Reporters Without Borders), under the paranoid, watchful eye of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, journalists – and dissenters – have faced sweeping general censorship. Dndar and Gl might be the most prominent recent examples of Erdo?an’s attempt to keep ‘state secrets’ concealed from public scrutiny, but they’re not the first journalists to poke this particular sore spot.
In fact, the last time a reporter tried to expose Turkey’s complicity in arming Syrian extremists, she met an untimely and as-yet unexplained death under seriously suspicious circumstances that remain inscrutable to this day – even to her own family.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/29/2015.

Turkey Arrests Journalists Who Exposed Erdogan’s Weapons Smuggling To Extremist Syrian Rebels

One of Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s key contentions in the ongoing diplomatic spat with Russia is that everything that Russia has accused Turkey of doing, from funding the Islamic State’s oil purchases, to providing weapons for Syrian “rebels” intent on eradicating the Assad regime, is unfounded slander without a shred of evidence.
Here is the problem: evidence does exist, as we showed two days ago, when we presented the role Erdogan’s son Bilal has played in ISIS oil transit, and not only that but also proof that Turkey has been smuggling weapons to Syria as the editor and a reporter from Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper showed some time ago.
And in order to eradicate the evidence against him, yesterday Erdogan did what every dictator does when feeling threatened: he had the editor and his reported detained, jailed and accused of espionage precisely over the controversial story about an alleged arms shipment from Turkish intelligence to Syrian rebels.
The two Cumhuriyet journalists were accused of ‘political or military spying’ by reporting ‘classified information’ and ‘deliberately aiding a terrorist organization.”
In fact, Erdogan personally sued Dundar and is requesting that he be given a life sentence, an aggravated life sentence and an additional 42-year term in prison on charges related to a variety of crimes, ranging from espionage to attempting to topple the government and exposing secret information.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/27/2015.

On the Heels of Jade Helm, the Planned Russian Invasion of the US Is Revealed

Since I first published photos of closed strip malls installing guard towers and new malls building the same, I have been inundated with photos and stories of the same occurrence from all across North America and the UK.
The news on the Marana mall even becomes more ominous as portrayed in the following email.
No developer in his right mind would be building malls today. Retail is dead. Malls are dead. Here is a list of national store closings. Marana has a population of 34,000. Who would shop there? This is another ruse.
Also, since I’ve driven this route on I-10 often, this is close to the Pinal Airpark Airport and Marana Army Airfield.
Note the Evergreen jets, known for flying aerosol missions. And these interesting facts:

… During the Vietnam War, the airfield was dominated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and used as one of the Agency’s primary facilities for global covert air operations. A number of CIA false ‘front’ aviation companies operated there, including Intermountain Airlines. ‘Air America’ had its roots at Marana.
For what it’s worth, when the excrement hits the fan, the naysayers will be shocked they didn’t smell it coming. And they still won’t be able to connect the dots because of their absolute convictions.
Look at this as setting the stage for a big disastrous finale, whatever it may be, and many things at once, I suspect. And, like the ‘mall being constructed for all you savvy, voracious shoppers,’ it will be scripted to shift blame elsewhere.
This is the part where the movie has begun to go live. Our reality is about to be blindsided.
Julie is correct as Marana became the headquarters of all Central Intelligence Agency air operations during the Vietnam War years, when it was the primary facility of Intermountain Airlines, a wholly owned CIA ‘front’ company which was used to supply covert operations in Southeast Asia & elsewhere.
The ‘elsewhere’ was the use of Intermountain Air, Fulton Skyhook and Marana served as the principal continental United States maintenance base for Southeast Asia CIA operations including Air America and Continental Air Services. You remember Air America don’t you? Iran Contra? CIA drug dealing? Illegal arms shipments in violation of the law? Because of the geographic location, it is pretty clear that the CIA has its dirty little hands all over this operation in Marana.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on 02 Jul, 2015.

John Batchelor Interviews Stephen F. Cohen on the Ukraine/Russia embroglio

We are at a critical stage with the Ukrainian Civil War and how Europe handles its growing rift against the of the United States will determine outcomes. Things are "swirling" as Cohen puts it….Cohen states that Europe wants an end to the conflict and has largely split away from Washington's aggressive stance.  There are some pressing questions however – especially around Washington designs to arm Kiev with "defensive weapons".
The Kiev military is basically defeated and the Ukrainian state is more or less failed. Who would the US arm, the Azov Battalion (fascist)? This was understandably not really answered. How could Europe be open to that? It would not, with the exception of a minority of countries – Poland and the Baltic States.
Cohen now recognizes that there is a neoconservative clique entrenched in the White House that may be deciding on the showdown with Russia. This so-called war party in Washington believes that arming Kiev (?) at a cost of 1 billion dollars in weapons per year per year is a solution.  "This is crazy says Cohen!". The war party (neocons) are former military, retired NATO personal, and ex ambassadors that have been pushing this "containment policy of competing countries" since the mid 1990s – are responsible for this crisis. It is their political moment as well. Is Obama fully complicit? This is unknown but his last phone call to Putin is clearly a threat. Obama warned that "Russia involvement in Ukraine will be expensive for Russia", and Putin obviously takes this as a threat, says Cohen. However, it is unclear what this means. More sanctions, arms shipments to Kiev, boots on the ground, NATO involvement?
Cohen states that one thing is clear: the leaders of Europe have broken with Washington- except for the Baltic states. But Cohen also warns that this doesn't mean they can necessarily act politically independently.  NATO is controlled by Washington and Europe owes most of its security to NATO which is mostly financially supported by the USA. . Will Europe gain its own foreign policy? Cohen believes that this is the "existential" moment for Europe as well as for Russia. He is unsure what Washington thinks at all. But its reckless actions have, over time, been making Europe more anti-American, especially with the younger populations. Similarly, this is a measured conclusion by thinking Russians. 
Russia sees NATO as "Pac Man".  The Washington war party does not recognize Russia's self determinism.  "Something has gone VERY wrong in the USA", says Cohen. The great error here for the USA is not seeing the world thru Russian eyes". This process has been recognized in the past as vital to dealing with the old Soviet Union. As far as Cohen is concerned, this is no longer the case and is a very dangerous neglect by the White House. Russia and Ukraine are virtually joined in history, culture and spirit  and through marriage and families. Russia will not tolerate direct U.S. subjugation in Ukraine. As of now Washington gets the blame for ruining Ukraine and Washington seems to be oblivious of the consequences of its policies against Russia or in considering what it is doing in Ukraine by any humanitarian measure.

This post was published at John Batchelor Show

What Really Happened in Benghazi?

Why are officials in high places, from the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David Petraeus to the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (and now the current Secretary of State, John Kerry) either refusing to testify, or being blocked from testifying in a congressional hearing aimed at finding out what really happened on September 11, 2012, when 4 US diplomats, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed during the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya? CBS news provides a comprehensive timeline of the events, as they unfolded and the US responses as officially reported. However, mounting evidence shows there’s much more at stake here, and those at the top have strong motives to keep it covered up. As CNBC reports in the clip below, “Benghazi is about the NSC directing an operation …. that takes arms and men and puts them into Syria in the guise of the Free Syrian Army.”

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