Statement by Journalist Support Committee The Journalists Support Committee in Yemen, with deep regret, continues to pursue the media blackout imposed by the coalition governments upon Yemen. The coalition has prevented foreign journalists from entering Yemeni grounds, therefore, preventing media coverage of the dire and dangerous conditions in Yemen. The committee notes that the Yemeni authorities -who are led by the internationally recognized president- and the Saudis have consistently restricted journalists from entering Yemen, with excuses that do not match with human rights laws and other international treaties, charters, and conventions or with the preamble of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Committee draws attention to the coalition preventing cargo planes carrying aid and belonging to the United Nations from reaching Yemen in September because the plane had journalists on board. Ahmad Ibn Al-Aswad, the spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen said: ‘The coalition reckons that it is not possible to assure the safety of the journalists in areas controlled by the rebels’ he then advised them to board commercial flights instead.
There’s something deeply wrong at Creech Air Force Base, the notorious home of America’s drone program, where pilots remotely order US Reaper and Predator drones to unleash destructive missile strikes on unsuspecting villagers in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other war zones. Less than a week after the Department of Homeland Security advised all federal agencies using anti-virus software created by Kaspersky Labs to remove the programs from their systems immediately, Ars Technica reports that two weeks ago the Defense Information Systems Agency detected mysterious spyware embedded in the drone ‘cockpits’ – the control stations that pilots use to control the deadly machines.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.
In the coming days, president Trump is expected to announce that he will decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal, a step that potentially could cause the historic Obama-era accord to unravel. Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions. Realizing the dire threat that such a move presents for its economy – not to mention Iranian oil exports – Iran has escalated the rhetoric, and overnight it warned the United States that U. S. regional military bases “would be at risk” if further sanctions were passed or if the US designated its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist group. On Friday the Financial Times reported that Donald Trump is expected to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, as part of a new hardline strategy against the Islamic republic. Mr Trump is expected to announce new measures against Iran, including the prospect of additional targeted sanctions, the designation of the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation and the adoption of a tougher stance on Iranian proxies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, according to a person briefed on the matter. ‘It’s an integrated Iran strategy focused on neutralising and rolling back Iran’s malign activities regionally and globally,’ the person said. Iran was not happy: “The Americans should know that the Trump government’s stupid behavior with the nuclear deal will be used by the Islamic Republic as an opportunity to move ahead with its missile, regional and conventional defense program,” Guards’ commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, quoted by Reuters. He then explicitly threatened US presence in the region, warning that ‘if America’s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran’s missiles.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.
An unidentified group of assailants attacked and killed soldiers from both the US and Niger in an ambush near the Niger-Mali border on Wednesday, according to CNN and local French-language media. Three green berets were killed in the incident, the first US casualties in a mission to assist local troops against Al Qaeda’s African branch, and five soldiers from Niger were also killed. Specifically, the attack occurred in Niger about 120 miles from Niger’s capital Niamay in an area where militants have conducted cross-boarder raids, the New York Times reported. Two other green berets were wounded. The US has maintained a small military presence in the northwest African country with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle two terrorist groups: the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram – which is based in neighboring Nigeria – and al Qaeda’s North African branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group has maintained a presence in the Mali-Niger border area, despite a multi-year French-led military counterterrorism effort, Operation Barkhane, which began in 2014. “We can confirm reports that a joint US and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for Africa Command, which oversees US troops in the region, told CNN. “We are working to confirm details on the incident and will have more information as soon as we can confirm facts on the ground,” Falvo added. CNN reports that the US military has largely played a supporting role in the battle against the regional Al Qaeda branch, providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to support French and local forces. France has a presence of thousads of troops in the area, who are leading a coalition including forces from Germany, Mali, Niger and other countries in the region. The US is also building a drone base near Agadez in Niger to help bolster its counterterrorism efforts, just like it did in South Yemen, the reputed home of Al Qaeda.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.
Saudi women being allowed to drive is a smokescreen – Salafi-jihadism is alive and well inside the Kingdom. What’s more, another coup may be along shortly… *** Suddenly, the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadism is being hailed by the West as a model of progress – because Saudi women will finally be allowed to drive. Only next year. Only some women. And still subject to many restrictions. What’s certain is that the timing of the announcement – which comes after years of liberal American pressure – was calculated with precision, arriving only a few days before House of Saud capo King Salman drops in for a chat at Trump’s White House. The soft power move was coordinated by the 32-year-old Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, the Destroyer of Yemen; the king merely added his signature.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 30, 2017.
Professor David Ray Griffin is a tenacious person. He has written a number of carefully researched books that demonstrate the extraordinary shortcomings in the official account of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the subsequent anthrax attack. He has provided the mountains of evidence completely ignored by the US government’s account and the presstitute media. In his recently published latest book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World , Professor Griffin demonstrates how 9/11 was used by the Zionist Neoconservatives, the Cheney/Bush regime, and the military/security complex with the complicity of Congress and the US media to create Islamophobia among the American public in order to launch wars of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and provinces of Pakistan with Iran in the crosshairs. These wars are based on lies and fabricated ‘evidence,’ on determination to control pipelines and oil flows, on maximizing profits for the military/security corporations in which Cheney has a personal interest, and on extending neoconservative hegemony over the world. One consequence has been the destruction of US constitutional protections that protect liberty and violations of US and international law such as the laws against torture.
I listened to part of Trump’s UN speech this morning. I was so embarrassed for him and for my country that I had to turn it off. I wonder if whoever wrote the deplorable speech intended to embarrass Trump and inadvertently embarrassed America as well, or whether the speechwriter(s) is so imbued with the neoconservative arrogance and hubris of our time that the speechwriter was simply blind to the extraordinary contradictions that stood out like sore thumbs all through the speech. I am not going to describe all of them, just a couple of examples. Trump went on at great length about how America respects the sovereignty of every country and the people’s will of every country, and how the US, despite its overwhelming military power, never tries to impose its will on any country. What was the administration thinking, or can it think? What about Yugoslavia/Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Crimea, Ukraine, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, just to mention countries in the 21st century that have been subjected to US military attacks, government overthrows, and removals of political leaders who did not conform to US interests?
In recent years, I’ve increasingly suspected that when it comes to foreign policy, the realists offer some of the most sane observations. These suspicions were confirmed earlier this year when after the election of Donald Trump, John Mearsheimer, one of modern realism’s current standard bearers, wrote in The National Interest that Trump should “adopt a realist foreign policy” and outlines a far better foreign policy agenda that what we’ve seen coming from Washington. And what is this realist foreign policy? For Mearsheimer, some main tenets include: Accepting that the US attempt at nation building in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen “has been an abject failure.” “Washington [should] respect the sovereignty of other states even when it disagrees with their internal policies.” “Spreading democracy, especially by force, almost always fails.”
Two of America’s most populous states, Texas and Florida, are in hurricane ruins, and Washington is fomenting more wars. The US national debt is now over $20 trillion, and Washington is fomenting more wars. The entire world is helping Washington foment wars – including two targeted countries themselves – Russia and China – both of which are helping Washington foment more wars. Believe it or not, both Russia and China voted with Washington on the UN Security Council to impose more and harsher sanctions on North Korea, a country guilty of nothing but a desire to have the means to protect itself from the US and not become yet another Washington victim like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Serbia, and Ukraine overthrown in a US coup and now poverty-stricken. I once thought that Russia and China were checks on Washington’s unilateralism, but apparently not. Both governments have been knuckled under by Washington and both voted to punish North Korea for striving to be sufficiently armed to protect its sovereignty from Washington.
The fires which began with the 9/11 attacks were never extinguished. They continue to burn fiercely from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria to Yemen to North Africa, as the region and its regimes came unglued in the wake of George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’. The 16th anniversary of 9/11 was marked in America with the usual somber memorials and directives to ‘never forget’. But this definitive 9/11 slogan always takes me back to the overwhelming tide of pro-war fervor that swept the US and stifled any deeper reflection or debate in the years after September 11, 2001. Sadly, I was part of that fervor – and this too I will never forget. The militarism of my youth I joined the US Marine Corps as an idealistic 18-year-old in 2000, with a firm resolve – as I enthusiastically told my military recruiter shortly before leaving for boot camp – to ‘fight evil in the world’. This resolve was rooted more deeply in my veins after the 9/11 attacks. As a relatively new Marine, I had temporarily worked at the Pentagon while attached to a headquarters computer programming unit in the two months just prior to that tragic day, and was fortunate not to be there when it was attacked.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 12, 2017.
The Saudi-led coalition against Yemen carried out yet another massacre last night when warplanes targeted a residential neighborhood with four air strikes. 30 civilians were either killed or wounded in the attack’ – ‘mostly women and children. According to YemenExtra’s local sources, the attack targeted three buildings Sana’a’s Atan neighborhood. So far, fourteen people have been killed and at least 16 more injured. The number is expected to rise as rescue teams and security staff dig through the rubble. Yemen is in a chronic state of mourning due to the Saudi-led terrorism. Last night’s massacre comes just 48 hours after another violent attack. On Wednesday, coalition planes targeted a hotel near Sana’a. Killing nearly 50 civilians and injuring almost 20 more.
A leaked United Nations report finds that Saudi Arabia has massacred thousands of children in Yemen since the start of its air campaign in the impoverished country and now the Saudis are using their vast wealth and influence to suppress the document’s findings in order to stay off of a UN blacklist identifying nations which violate child rights. On Wednesday Foreign Policy published a bombshell report, based on its possession of a leaked 41-page draft UN document, which found Saudi Arabia and its partner coalition allies in Yemen (among them the United States) of being guilty of horrific war crimes, including the bombing of dozens of schools, hospitals, and civilian infrastructure. Foreign Policy reports: ‘The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation’ of children’s rights in Yemen, according to the 41-page draft report obtained by Foreign Policy. The chief author of the confidential draft report, Virginia Gamba, the U. N. chief’s special representative for children abused in war time, informed top U. N. officials Monday, that she intends to recommend the Saudi-led coalition be added to a list a countries and entities that kill and maim children, according to a well-placed source. The UN report further identifies that air attacks “were the cause of over half of all child casualties, with at least 349 children killed and 333 children injured’ during a designated time period recently studied. While it is unclear what specific window of time the UN assessed for these figures, the AP (also in possession of the leaked document) reports further of the secret U. N. findings that, “the U. N. verified a total of 1,953 youngsters killed and injured in Yemen in 2015 – a six-fold increase compared with 2014” – with the majority of these deaths being the result of Saudi and coalition air power. Also according to the AP: It said nearly three-quarters of attacks on schools and hospitals – 38 of 52 – were also carried out by the coalition.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.
Following an air strike in Yemen that killed at least 12 civilians, a senior United Nations official has condemned Saudi Arabia’s actions, asserting the Kingdom has shown a complete disregard for human life. According to Reuters, three women and six children from the same family were killed in their sleep during the dawn air strike conducted the Saudi-led coalition. Medical officials noted that the youngest of the children was just two years old. Ten others were wounded, according to the U. K.’s humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick. In an official statement, McGoldrick said he was ‘deeply concerned’ about the Saudi-led action, also accusing Saudi Arabia of violating international law: ‘While these new incidents are still being investigated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, they are an example of the brutality in which the conflict is being conducted. All parties to the conflict continue to show a disregard for the protection of civilians and the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants in the conduct of hostilities. As I have said before, even wars have rules and such rules must be respected.’ [emphasis added]
America has been a discouraging landscape ever since the neoconservatives took over US foreign policy during the Clinton regime and started the two decades of war crimes that define 21st century America and ever since US corporations betrayed the US work force by moving American jobs to Asia. The outlook became darker when the Obama regime resurrected the Russian Threat and elevated the prospect of military conflict between the nuclear powers. As Europe is caught in the middle, in normal circumstances European countries would have insisted that Washington cease the gratuitous provocations of Russia. But normal circumstances have not existed. Since the end of WW2, European countries have been vassals without independent economic and foreign policies. Europe hosts US military bases that threaten Russia. Europe has backed Washington’s wars of aggression against Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Washington’s air attacks on provinces of Pakistan, and Washington’s use of Saudi Arabia to fight its proxy war against Yemen.
For the past few days, news outlets have been reporting on the Trump Administration and CIA’s announcement to end the controversial covert program to arm and train ‘moderate rebels’ fighting to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad. While many who want peace in Syria see this move as a step in the right direction, others still doubt that the underlying goal of ousting Assad has been abandoned completely. The decision may serve a number of purposes, but the long-term goals of the US and its close coalition allies do not change easily, and removing President Assad from power has a centerpiece their regional restructuring plan for a very long time. Does the announcement really mean that Trump is going to leave Assad alone? Is the US turning a corner in Syria and finally learning from the mistakes it made in Iraq and Libya? Is it really a concession to Russia? Is Trump finally actualizing his campaign rhetoric that seemed to reject America’s foreign wars? Not likely. Of course, it’s possible that Trump is at odds with other factions in the US government’s military and foreign policy establishment, possibly because he recognizes the danger of arming terrorists and the political damage this might do to his own reputation as a leader who is ‘tough on terror.’ Such a belief however, might be extremely generous to Trump, especially considering how under his authority the US military has dangerously escalated several wars, not just in Syria, but also in Yemen, and probably soon in Afghanistan. A more likely explanation is that the Trump administration and a complicit mainstream media are trying to manage public perceptions regarding six years of troublesome US involvement in Syria. In a bait-and-switch type PR deception, Washington might be attempting to generate the perception of de-escalation – even as the US increases its presence in Syria.
21st Century Wire says…. ‘This barbaric nation [Saudi Arabia] should not be getting our weapons, I am embarrassed that people are out here making money and making a buck, while 17 million are living on a starvation diet.’ ~ Senator Rand Paul ‘The United States has no business supporting a war that has only served to embolden our terrorist enemies, exacerbate a humanitarian crisis, and incite fear and anger among the Yemeni people toward the United States,’ ~ Senator Chris Murphy Yemen is a catastrophe we should all be taking personally. For two years and four months, the Saudi coalition, supported and armed by the UK, US and EU has been pounding 27 million Yemenis with all manner of heavyweight military hardware, including cluster bombs that have been illegally deployed against predominantly civilian targets.
Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, A new report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government’s central institution for monitoring and preventing diseases, confirms an across-the-board increase in disease since 2015, when Germany took in an unprecedented number of migrants. Some doctors say the actual number of cases of tuberculosis is far higher than the official figures suggest and have accused the RKI of downplaying the threat in an effort to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments. “Around 700,000 to 800,000 applications for asylum were submitted and 300,000 refugees have disappeared. Have they been checked? Do they come from the high-risk countries?” – Carsten Boos, orthopedic surgeon, interview with Focus magazine. A failed asylum seeker from Yemen who was given sanctuary at a church in northern Germany to prevent him from being deported has potentially infected more than 50 German children with a highly contagious strain of tuberculosis. The man, who was sheltered at a church in Bnsdorf between January and May 2017, was in frequent contact with the children, some as young as three, who were attending a day care center at the facility. He was admitted to a hospital in Rendsburg in June and subsequently diagnosed with tuberculosis – a disease which only recently has reentered the German consciousness.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 18, 2017.
Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad. While flags fly and hearts beat in joy for the liberation of Mosul, one stands in awe to the magnitude of destruction inflicted by the American warplanes on one of the oldest and richest cities in history and its unique cultural and architectural heritage. One question springs to mind: Who is this invisible hidden force that follows one systematic method, which is the destruction of Arab historical monuments, laboratories, museums, universities, libraries, schools, research centers, bridges, temples, mosques, government buildings and other authentic landmarks in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq? These are the forces that seek to destroy the ruins of Queen Zenobia, Haroun al-Rashid Palace and Qasr al-Banat, which is the first women’s hospital in history, the Bosra theatre, the Hadaba minaret, the ruins of Babylon, Nimrod and Nineveh, the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, and the unique mosaic museum in Ma’arat al-Nu’man. The list goes on and on, and we haven’t even began to list of the unique historic sites in Yemen that were destroyed. Is it mere coincidence that drives these terrorist forces alongside the bombing of US coalition planes, with the regimes of Wahhabism, which pay billions of dollars to support these groups?
With President Donald Trump safely out of the country, joining French President Emmanuel Macron at a Bastille Day parade in Paris, A federal judge in Hawaii has ordered a temporary loosening of the Trump administration’s travel ban after finding that the administration’s strict interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision isn’t justified. The ruling was issued by US District Judge Derrick Watson – a longtime Obama ally and the same judge who blocked the second ‘watered down’ Trump travel ban back in March. The Wall Street Journal described Watson’s decision as ‘a fresh legal blow for the president just two weeks after a Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to implement its travel ban against refugees and foreign nationals from six countries who have no connection to the US.’ Trump’s March 6 executive order banned travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as all refugees for 120 days. The Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that a ‘narrower’ version of the Trump travel ban could take effect, but that anyone from the six countries with a “bona fide relationship” to a US person or entity could not be barred. The Supreme Court has promised to issue a final ruling on the ban in October. The Trump administration then limited a ‘bona fide’ relationship to spouses, parents, children, fiancs and siblings, barring grandparents and other family members – a measure that Trump said was necessary to prevent attacks.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.
Qatar has been known for years as a small peninsula nation that punches far above its weight. Its immense oil wealth and enormous influence, through its English- and Arabic-language Al Jazeera channels, have given it diplomatic clout across the Arab world. Its soft power has been felt in negotiations in Darfur, Tripoli, Sanaa and elsewhere. Everywhere it has been either admired or envied. Now Qatar is on its back feet, fighting off criticism from all sides. Qatar’s candidate to run UNESCO is now almost certain to lose; a few months earlier, he was the frontrunner. Activists are pressing FIFA to bar Qatar from hosting the World Cup. Pressure is mounting to close the U. S. air base in Qatar; U. S. Air Force general Charles Wald, who opened the base in 2001, is now, in retirement, publicly calling for its closure. A coalition of thirty-four thousand predominantly African American churches protested Qatar in Washington, DC, on June 28, citing Qatar’s persecution of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities. (Qatar bans crosses on the outside of churches and bars public prayer by Christians, even though there may be more Christians in the country than the three hundred thousand native Qataris.) The protest, outside Qatar’s embassy at Twenty-Fifth and M Streets, is the first-ever public demonstration against Qatar in Washington. It won’t be the last. Even more dramatically, Qatar’s neighbors and allies have turned against it. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed their air and sea ports to Qatar’s planes and ships. The Arab-language media is full of venom directed at Qatar. Now it is either pitied or feared. What happened? Qatar was found to be funding the enemies of America and its Arab allies. Washington policymakers are concerned that Qatar has funded, according to the U. S. State department, Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria as well as elements of ISIS – the very groups America is bombing in its campaign to liberate northern Iraq. It also supports Hamas, which both the United States and EU have designated as a terrorist organization. Bahrain believes that Qatar is supporting armed opposition groups against its royal family. The Saudis fault Qatar’s financial support to the Yemen-based Houthi rebels (opposed to the Saudi regime) as well as Qatar’s backing for violent opposition groups in the Saudi province of Al Qatif, which is mostly Shia.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2017.