Qatar Seen Rejecting List of Severe Demands to End Gulf Crisis

Qatar’s foreign minister on June 19 said his country wouldn’t bargain away what it sees as its sovereign rights and called on the Saudi alliance to conduct negotiations in a ‘civilized way,’ after first lifting the blockade. He said Qataris were united behind their emir, and called Al-Jazeera and foreign policy as internal affairs not open to negotiation.
The boycotting nations demanded that Qatar stop all funding for individuals, groups or organizations that have been designated as terrorists by Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt, Bahrain, the U.S. and other countries, and hand over any individuals wanted in these countries.
Qatar gas wealth enabled it to develop foreign policies that came to irritate its neighbors. It backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and armed factions opposed by the U.A.E. or Saudi Arabia in Libya and Syria. Gas also paid for Al-Jazeera, which at various times has embarrassed or angered most Middle Eastern governments.
The channel has supported dissidents against Arab dictators. Over the years, it enraged Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian leaders who have often stopped its transmissions and kicked out its staff.
‘Qatar may not fully comply with the list, but it has to take these demands into consideration and finally make a move toward reviewing its foreign policy and the editorial line of the main media outlet, Al-Jazeera,’ Nader said.

This post was published at bloomberg

The latest escalation in Syria – what is really going on? (UPDATED) — The Saker

By now most of you have heard the latest bad news of out Syria: on June 18 a US F/A-18E Super Hornet (1999) used a AIM-120 AMRAAM (1991) to shoot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 (1970). Two days later, June 20th, a US F-15E Strike Eagle shot down an Iranian IRGC Shahed 129 drone. The excuse used each time was that there was a threat to U.S. and U.S. supported forces. The reality is, of course, that the U.S. are simply trying to stop the advance of the Syrian army. This was thus a typical American ‘show of force’. Except that, of course, shooting a 47 year old Soviet era Su-22 fighter-bomber is hardly an impressive feat. Neither is shooting a unmanned drone. There is a pattern here, however, and that pattern is that all U.S. actions so far have been solely for show: the basically failed bombing of the Syria military airbase, the bombing of the Syrian army column, the shooting down of the Syrian fighter-bomber and of the Iranian drone – all these actions have no real military value. They do, however, have a provocative value as each time all the eyes turn to Russia to see if the Russians will respond or not.

This post was published at The Saker

White House Accuses Syria Of Planning Another Chemical Attack, Warns “Will Pay Heavy Price”

Less than three months after the US launched 49 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in early April, allegedly in retaliation for a chemical attack conducted by Assad forces, in an ominous statement issued with no supporting evidence or further explanation, on Monday night the White House warned that the U. S. has ‘identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime’ in Syria and warned that Assad would ‘pay a heavy price’ if one took place.
Such an attack ‘would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children,’ White House (outgoing) spokesman Sean Spicer added, noting the activity is ‘similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack.’
‘As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price,’ the White House added on Monday night.
According to AP, a non-governmental source with close ties to the White House said the administration had received intelligence that the Syrians were mixing precursor chemicals for a possible sarin gas attack in either the east of south of the country, where government troops and their proxies have faced recent setbacks.
Further quoted by AP, several State Department officials typically involved in coordinating such announcements said they were caught completely off guard by the warning, which didn’t appear to be discussed in advance with other national security agencies, perhaps an indication of just how powerful the Deep State has become under Trump. Typically, the State Department, the Pentagon and U. S. intelligence agencies would all be consulted before the White House issued a declaration sure to ricochet across foreign capitals.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 27, 2017.

Report: Syrian Government Not Responsible for Alleged Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack

Early on the morning of April 7, American warships stationed in the Mediterranean Sea fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime. But in a report published on Sunday at the German newspaper Die Welt, veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh throws cold water on the claim of Syrian culpability, exposing yet another instance of military action based on flawed – or in this case, entirely nonexistent – intelligence.
Russian Intelligence and the April 4 Strike
On April 4 at about 6:55 a.m., Syrian time, the Syrian government carried out an airstrike on a two-story cinder block building determined by Russian intelligence to be a rebel command center, where commanders of the Syrian opposition’s most radical Islamist factions frequently met. The strike killed up to four jihadist leaders, according to an intelligence estimate.
Hersh sets the scene:
The Syrian target at Khan Sheikhoun […] was depicted as a two-story cinder-block building in the northern part of town. Russian intelligence, which is shared when necessary with Syria and the U. S. as part of their joint fight against jihadist groups, had established that a high-level meeting of jihadist leaders was to take place in the building, including representatives of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida-affiliated group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 26, 2017.

Medieval Times in the Modern Middle East

If geopolitics studies how nations behave, then the nation is singularly important. Nation-states are the defining feature of the modern political era. They give people a collective identity and a pride of place… even when their borders are artificially drawn, as they were in the Middle East.
Constantly in conflict with the notion of nationalism, especially in such a volatile region, are transnational issues. These are issues like religion and ethnicity that cannot be contained by a country’s borders. Arab nation-states are now failing in the Middle East, and though their failure is primarily due to their governments’ inability to create viable political economies, transnational issues – especially the competition between the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam, as well as the struggle within the Sunni Arab realm – are expediting the process.
The Failure of Pan-Arabism
Transnational issues have long bedeviled the countries of the modern Middle East. Major Arab states like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq began to flirt with pan-Arabism – a secular, left-leaning ideology that sought political unity of the Arab world – not long after they were founded. It threatened entrenched powers, particularly Arab monarchies like Saudi Arabia. But for an ideal that promoted unity, pan-Arabism was a notably fractured movement, with claims of leadership coming from the Baath party in Syria and Iraq to Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. Whichever form it took, it advocated a kind of nationalism that defied the logic of the nation-state.
Pan-Arab nationalism failed because it couldn’t replace traditional nationalism and because it advocated something that had never existed in history. But the countries that rejected it never really developed into viable political entities. Autocracies and artificial, state-sponsored secularism kept them fragile, held together mostly by the coercion of state security forces.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JUNE 26, 2017.

Seymour Hersh Reports How Trump Bombed Syria on Completely False Pretenses

Part of Trump’s appeal to many of his voters was, at least ostensibly, the idea that he would employ a less hawkish/neocon foreign policy than his opponent Hillary ‘We Came, We Saw, He Died’ Clinton. While it’s still too early to decisively say that Trump will usher in yet another foreign policy disaster for these United States and the world, it’s certainly not looking good.
The lobbing of tomahawk missiles into Syrian based on the fairytale that Assad launched a chemical weapons attack was the first sign that Trump is easily manipulated and impulsive. In fact, the episode bothered me so much I wrote a post detailing the dire ramifications titled, Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U. S. Empire. I suggest taking a read if you missed it the first time, it’s my most popular post of the year.
While that was bad enough, Trump’s cozying up to the barbaric, terrorist-supporitng leaders of Saudi Arabia has been by far the most concerning aspect of his foreign policy (if you can call it that) so far. This policy has become even more dangerous now that the 30-year old princeling who is leading the Saudis’ increasingly aggressive stance in the region has been named crown prince. It appears Trump is willing to let the Saudis do whatever they want in the region, which is guaranteed to have disastrous implications for America and the Middle East.
I wrote two important articles on this topic, which I have linked to below.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Jun 26, 2017.

SCOTUS “Mostly” Reinstates Trump Travel Ban; Schedules October Hearing

Update:
It appears that Trump has been handed a ‘partial’ victory on his travel ban by the Supreme Court. While SCOTUS revived a “narrowed” ban, they found that it can not be applied to people with a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
SUPREME COURT TEMPORARILY NARROWS TRAVEL BAN SUPREME COURT LIFTS MOST OF INJUNCTION THAT BLOCKED TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN ON SIX MUSLIM-MAJORITY NATIONS COURT SAYS BAN CAN APPLY TO PEOPLE WITHOUT U. S. RELATIONSHIP U. S. SUPREME COURT AGREES TO HEAR TRUMP APPEALS OF RULINGS BLOCKING TRAVEL BAN ON SIX MUSLIM-MAJORITY NATIONS The ban will exclude people visiting a close family member, students who have been admitted to a university or workers who have accepted an employment offer, the court said. But the court said people can’t avoid the travel ban by entering into a relationship solely to enter the U. S.
The policy will suspend entry into the U. S. by people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of 90 days and it will take effect in 72 hours.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have let the entire ban take effect immediately.
THOMAS, ALITO, GORSUCH ISSUE PARTIAL DISSENT ON TRAVEL BAN

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.

Episode #191 – SUNDAY WIRE: ‘The Big Pinch’ with Daniel Faraci, Emma, Basil Valentine

Episode #191 of SUNDAY WIRE SHOW resumes this June 25th, 2017 as guest host Patrick Henningsen brings you this week’s LIVE broadcast on the Alternate Current Radio Network…
LISTEN LIVE ON THIS PAGE AT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES:
5pm-8pm UK Time | 12pm-3pm ET (US) | 9am-12am PT (US)

This week we deliver another LIVE broadcast, this time from Britain’s former naval stronghold in Plymouth, as SUNDAY WIRE host Patrick Henningsen breaks down the biggest stories in the west and internationally, including a follow-up on the recent disaster in West London where we’ll speak to local resident Emma about the Grenfell Tower fire – the social and political fallout as well as questions about how many residents actually died in the fatal blaze. In the second hour, we’ll connect with geopolitical analyst Daniel Faraci from Grassroots Political Consulting in Washington DC to discuss how the recent fracture between Qatar and Turkey (and Iran) on one side – and the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the rest of Gulf, on the other. What will this mean for the region for Syria and for Yemen? In the final hour, we’ll try to connect with political pundit Basil Valentine to discuss the Queen’s top priority as Britain’s monarch; not government or Parliament – but horses, as well as a report from Glastonbury festival and the Corbynmania going on there. We’ll also get Basil’s thoughts on the Grenfell situation and how its thwarted the Tory plans to consolidate power.
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Strap yourselves in and lower the blast shield – this is your brave new world…
*NOTE: THIS EPISODE MAY CONTAIN STRONG LANGUAGE AND MATURE THEMES*
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

This post was published at Spreaker on JUNE 25, 2017.

Did You Feel It, Something Has Changed – Episode 1315b

The following video was published by X22Report on Jun 25, 2017
CNN puts out fake news then deletes it because they had nothing backing the story. Nicaragua, Cuba and other nations are backing Venezuela. Iraq troops free more civilians in Mosul. US is now being blamed for torturing civilians in Yemen. Qatar sends a message and moves closer to Russia. US deep state is now in the process of breaking Syria apart, the Russian’s realize this is the plan. The Pentagon says it would work with Assad and Iran to fight terrorism in Syria. The deep state has one more trick up their sleeve, the big event. There are reports that Obama had cyber bombs inserted into Russian infrastructure.

SYRIA: Vanessa Beeley on RT Covering Latest White Helmet Participation in US Extremist Atrocities

21st Century Wire says…
‘This obeisance to the United States and its collaborators as a benign force ‘bringing good’ runs deep in western establishment journalism. It ensures that the present-day catastrophe in Syria is blamed exclusively on Bashar al-Assad, whom the West and Israel have long conspired to overthrow, not for any humanitarian concerns, but to consolidate Israel’s aggressive power in the region. The jihadist forces unleashed and armed by the US, Britain, France, Turkey and their ‘coalition’ proxies serve this end. It is they who dispense the propaganda and videos that becomes news in the US and Europe, and provide access to journalists and guarantee a one-sided ‘coverage’ of Syria.’ ~ John Pilger

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 25, 2017.

GRENFELL TOWER: Boris Johnson Gives Millions to Fake White Helmets in Syria, Makes Savage Cuts to London Fire Service

Vanessa Beeley says…
An appalling crime was committed by a member of the UK, US, EU and Gulf state multi-million-funded White Helmets on the 21st June 2017, one week after the Grenfell Tower tragedy shocked London to the core. The White Helmet operative in question was filmed climbing over the dismembered corpses of murdered Syrian Arab Army soldiers while the severed head of one of the soldiers was held aloft as a gruesome trophy by the extremist fighters responsible for their deaths.
The White Helmet operative has been ‘sacked’ according to the statement released by the organisation. He has been ‘sacked’ for breaching the White Helmet ‘code of ethics’. So these days, participating in the murder of prisoners of war, the mutilation of their bodies and the dumping of those bodies into a waste tip is a ‘sackable offence’? Dont we all feel so reassured that terrorist acts that violate every, single Geneva convention on the treatment of POWs and constitue supreme crimes against humanity, are a ‘sackable’ offence. Dont we all feel relieved that this White Helmet’s wrist has been slapped and his T Shirt taken away from him? If we have a single human bone in our body, no we dont!

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 24, 2017.

The World Is Going Down With Trump

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On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia.
One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government.
Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to seperate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on June 23, 2017.

SYRIA: Faced With Massive US Escalation, How Would Russia Respond?

In the past week, the situation in Syria has not only continued to become increasingly dangerous, but thanks to the US and its allies on the ground in Syria, the threat of all-out war is actually accelerating towards us.
Just one week ago, 21WIRE warned that the presence of American and British troops on Syrian territory near al-Tanf was extremely dangerous, and that the actions they were taking against Syrian and pro-Syrian forces – which they laughably call ‘defensive’ – were highly provocative, including moving in HIMARS rocket systems with a range of up to 300km.
Since then, the situation has taken a very serious turn for the worse. Not only did an American fighter jet shoot down a Syrian plane in Raqqa province – the first time such an event has happened during the conflict – but Iran also made its presence felt by firing missiles into Deir Az Zor province in Syria, in retaliation against ISIS for terrorist attacks carried out in Tehran.
Moreover, Iranian drones are being shot down, Russia is taking less of a diplomatic stance and more of a war footing, and the US is digging in its heels.
It would appear that the US is being deliberately provacative, hoping that the Syrian (or worse, Russian) government will respond and give the Pentagon the excuse it is looking for to escalate the war even further. The cards that Russia and Syria (and Iran) decide to play from here on will be of the utmost importance in deciding how this conflict progresses.
More on this story from The Unz Review…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 23, 2017.

Syrian White Helmets Volunteer Caught on Video Dumping Mutilated Corpses

A volunteer with the Syrian Civil Defense, more commonly known as the White Helmets, has been dismissed after he was depicted in a video dumping the bodies of mutilated Syrian soldiers alongside rebel fighters.
‘On 20 June 2017, a volunteer of SCD in Daraa Governorate was witnessed participating in an activity that violated the organisational principles and vision of SCD,’ the Syria Civil Defense said in an official statement.
‘Having conducted its investigation of the incident, SCD management has concluded that the volunteer concerned was acting independently, and not in his capacity as a member of SCD. Nonetheless, the volunteer’s behaviour constitutes a gross breach of SCD’s Code of Conduct and as a result the volunteer has been dismissed.’
Based on the footage, it isn’t clear if the White Helmets volunteer participated in the mutilation of any corpses, but the haphazard handling of the bodies, as well as the fact that they’re being tossed into an open trash heap, suggests some level of complicity in what was happening.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on June 23, 2017.

VICTORIOUS SYRIA: The New Dawn of Resistance Against Imperialism

As on a calm, still morning, the landscape of Syria is gradually emerging from the shadow. Everywhere, the advances of the Syrian Arab Army have reconquered thousands of square kilometres of territory in East Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. The army is on the verge of retaking full control of the Syria-Jordan and Syria-Iraq borders, traditional rat runs for the foreign mercenaries intent on destroying the cradle of civilisation for a fistful of petrodollars.
Restoring the sovereignty of the Syrian state on its national soil, this courageous army of conscripts, inflict shame upon all those who dreamed of destroying this recalcitrant state, upon all those who wanted to dismember Syria because it dared to foil their neocolonialist plot.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 23, 2017.

Caught On Video: Russian Ships, Sub Fire Cruise Missiles At ISIS Targets In Syria

A little more than a week after launching the strike that reportedly killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, Russian navy ships and a submarine launched six cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria’s Hama province, destroying an ISIS command center and ammunition depot, according to Russia Today. The missiles were launched from the eastern Mediterranean by Russian Navy frigates the Admiral Essen and the Admiral Grigorovich, the Defense Ministry said.
The cruise missile strike follows a similar attack by Russian forces on May 31, when a nearly identical arrangement of Russian warships and a submarine also struck ISIS targets near Palmyra.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 23, 2017.

Tales of the New Cold War: U.S. leaning Syria…Europe leaning Moscow — John Batchelor interviews Stephen F. Cohen

Batchelor and Cohen take a reprieve (perhaps welcomed) from the Washington/Trump civil war and shift their attention to troop movements in the Baltic States (NATO) as Canada sends in a rotation contingent, a Ukraine that continues to fester quietly with Poroshenko’s visit to Washington, and more serious, the U.S. shooting down of the Su 22 Syrian jet and an Iranian drone in Syria. The overview is that under Trump, there is no change in the NATO stance in Europe, but vastly deteriorating conditions in Syria even as ISIS is clearly defeated there. The new problems evolving in Syria are about potential problems between the numerous allies on opposite sides that represent a poisonous mix of conflicting agendas over and above what is represented by ISIS. Both pundits are in agreement over this assessment. Cohen begins with his interpretation of the American shoot down of the Syrian jet and quite simply labels it as illegal and an act of war against a sovereign state. But he also notes that the Russians did something interesting. They did not react for two days and then on Monday came out with a statement that Russia would target (radar paint) any non-legitimate aircraft in the region, and should it prove hostile or in non-compliance to orders to leave it would be shot down. The ‘deconfliction’ agreement has therefore died. For Cohen this is yet another incidence of sabotage by the Pentagon/CIA to prevent Trump and Putin negotiating. Cohen assumes this is correct by ‘the pattern of events’ shown for decades between Russia and the USA during cold war events . For this writer we are very close to Russia declaring a ‘no fly zone’ in Syria, and it is very clear that some Americans were caught with surprise and fear at this reaction. The other pattern is that the Russian reaction to these transgressions has always been a degradation of cooperation in Syria. Whether Trump can function with this kind of interference by his opposition without that opposition starting a shooting war is a very real worry. More about this later.
The discussion then shifts to Europe and the Ukrainian Crisis. Batchelor maintains that European leadership, the new leaders in the U.K. France, and Germany’s Merkel are two weak to carry on effectively with the Minsk2 Agreement. Enter US Sec. State Tillerson, who advocates dissolving the agreement and having the combatants negotiate a solution for themselves. Cohen then brings up the new American sanctions and discusses how destructively stupid they are. Three European foreign ministers have now threatened to put sanctions on the U.S. if these new U.S. sanctions were passed into law. This is an amazing development and shows the real direction of Europe and Russia – and Washington. Cohen elaborately details these political changes with European leaders.

This post was published at Audioboom

NORTH KOREA: Trump’s Recklessness Could Trigger All-Out Conflict on Korean Peninsula

21st Century Wire says…
Washington’s muscle flexing seems to have taken on a life of its own as the shadow of US neocolonialism falls over much of the world with increasing intensity. In Syria, the US is lashing out, lawlessly, at the bastion of resistance that has been denying its objectives for almost seven years. Now, the US secretary of State, Rex Tillerson has declared that China should ‘exert much greater economic and diplomatic pressure’ on North Korea to step away from its nuclear and missile programmes.
Footage of a reported, massive ‘live fire’ drill conducted by the North Koreans in April 2017 gives some indication of what the US might face if this ‘escalation’ is magnified beyond recall, by the usual suspects at Fox News and CNN…

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 22, 2017.