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Russia Now Runs the Peace Process to End Syria’s War (I)

horiz-black-wideDispatches from Eric Zuesse
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Part One of Three Parts / A crosspost with Strategic Culture

[su_panel background=”#FFFFFF” color=”#020109″ border=”8px solid #cccccc” shadow=”7px 0px 1px #eeeeee” radius=”11″]Immediately prior to the resumption of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva on February 23rd, here’s a status-report on what has been achieved in these talks so far. (PRELIMINARY NOTE: Many allegations in this report are contrary to what has been reported by virtually all Western press agencies, and so the documentation behind any such allegation here can immediately be accessed by the reader, simply by clicking onto its link, wherein the untrustworthiness of the Western press can be verified on the given matter, and the facts that haven’t been reported by the mainstream media are verified.)[/su_panel]

THE BACKGROUND PRIOR TO RUSSIA TAKING OVER

Russia took over the Syrian peace negotiations after U.S. President Barack Obama sabotaged them, by bombing the Syrian government’s army at Der Zor (or Deir Ezzor) in Syria on 17 September 2016 (which was a direct violation of the September 9th ceasefire agreement). This sabotage terminated his own Secretary of State John Kerry’s longstanding efforts to get the U.S. government to agree to remove Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups from the negotiations, and to abandon Al Qaeda in Syria. Obama insisted that, during the peace negotiations, the ceasefire would continue to allow bombing of ISIS in Syria, but not allow any bombing of Al Qaeda in Syria. The September 9th ceasefire agreement allowed continued bombing of Al Qaeda in Syria, but did not allow continued bombing of Syria’s army — such as occurred on September 17th. The U.S. and Russia had both signed that deal. Obama’s prompt violation of the agreement terminated any remaining trust that the leaders of Syria and of Russia had in Obama. It thus terminated America’s ability to continue participating in the Syrian peace-process. Kerry’s years-long peace-negotiations suddenly turned to dust. 

Al Qaeda in Syria went under the name of «Al Nusra», and had long been America’s main fighting-force in Syria to overthrow and replace Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. They were, furthermore, leading all of the jihadist groups there, who likewise were aiming to overthrow and replace Syria’s President — which was Obama’s main objective

As Bill Roggio documented as early as 11 December 2012:

«The Al Nusrah Front has by far taken the lead among the jihadist groups in executing suicide and other complex attacks against the Syrian military. The terror group is known to conduct joint operations with other Syrian jihadist organizations».

Furthermore, when the Obama regime formally declared — on that very same day, December 11th — that Nusra is a «terrorist» organization, Roggio reported the next day, that:

«The head of the Syrian National Coalition, which was recognized yesterday by the United States as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, is urging the US to drop its designation of the Al Nusrah Front as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. … And lest we think he is alone, 29 Syrian opposition groups have signed a petition that not only condemns the US’s designation, but says ‘we are all Al Nusrah.’»

Obama knew that Nusra was his only hope for overthrowing Assad; and, so, he quietly decided to back them.

Al Qaeda in Syria has been absolutely central to America’s war-effort in Syria — it has provided not only America’s proxy ‘boots on the ground’ (which Obama backed up with American air power) but the leadership of America’s other proxy ‘boots on the ground’ in that war. (Since they were mere proxies, instead of actual U.S. troops, they also had the advantage for Obama, of the press not blaming the U.S. for their terror-acts. By quietly arming the jihadists, their mass-murders wouldn’t be blamed on Obama — especially because Obama himself condemned Nusra as being a «terrorist» organization. For American ‘news’ media, this put the necessary verbal distance between himself and what Nusra and the other jihadists did — which he quietly backed.)

Obama was so determined to oust Assad from Syria’s Presidency, that Obama in 2014 ordered Syria’s U.S. Embassy closed, and all of Syria’s diplomats to leave the U.S. America’s last Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, had already been withdrawn more than two years prior, during February 2012. Obama was personally committed to Assad’s overthrow even before being re-elected in 2012.

Obama’s only remaining communication with Assad after forcing out his diplomats was military: invading Syria (via air-attacks and via arming the tens of thousands of jihadists that were imported into Syria through Turkey and financed by the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia, and by the Thanis who own Qatar — this was a cooperative, multi-national, effort). 

But his invasions of Syria were limited. He refused to go so far as hard-liners in his Administration, such as Hillary Clinton, were urging: America’s establishing a «no-fly zone» or «safe havens» in Syria, euphemisms for places in Syria where the U.S. would shoot down any Syrian or Russian warplanes — euphemisms for U.S. war against both Syria and Russia, over sovereign Syrian territory: a full-fledged invasion and war between the U.S. and not only Syria, but also against nuclear-armed Russia (which Syria’s government had invited into Syria, to help defend against the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-Turkish invasion of Syria; the U.S. was an invader, but Russia was not). On the U.S. hardliners’ plan, of all-out invasion, Russia might thus be forced to respond with its nuclear weapons in order to avoid defeat in that traditional-armed conflict. Obama never went so far as Hillary Clinton and many others in his Administration constantly urged: escalation toward nuclear war. He limited his aggression, so as to avoid World War III.

Up until the agreement between Russia and the U.S. dated September 9th of 2016, Kerry, in his efforts to achieve a negotiated end to the Syrian war, hadn’t been able to get Obama to agree to allow continued bombing of Al Nusra (by Russian and Syrian forces — U.S. forces were protecting Al Nusra) during the peace talks, but the September 9th U.S.-Russian agreement finally did allow it. Kerry played down the agreement’s allowing Al Qaeda («Nusrah») to be bombed, and said:

«Now, I want to be clear about one thing particularly on this, because I’ve seen reporting that somehow suggests otherwise: Going after Nusrah is not a concession to anybody. It is profoundly in the interests of the United States to target al-Qaida – to target al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, which is Nusrah»

That had indeed been his personal position on the matter, but, until September 9th, it was not the U.S. position on it: Obama had blocked it. Allowing the continued bombing (by Russia and by Syria) of «Nusrah» was the real breakthrough in the September 9th agreement, the element that Obama had always previously refused to accept.

Of course, the September 9th agreement prohibited any bombing of the Syrian government’s forces.

Suddenly, the U.S. government seemed finally to be committing itself against the international Saudi jihadist networks. Russia’s Sputnik News headlined on 12 September 2016, «Saudi-Backed Syrian Rebel Faction Ahrar al-Sham Rejects US-Russia Ceasefire Deal», and reported that:

«Ahrar Al-Sham, the Saudi-backed militant organization, announced that it will reject the ceasefire which is to enter into force on Monday, September 12. The militant group, which has evaded being labeled a terrorist organization thanks to US veto in the UN Security council, announced that it will not comply with the ceasefire negotiated by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov».

Everyone thought that Obama had now become serious about ending America’s reliance upon jihadists as foot-soldiers in its until-then-permanent war against Russia. 

However, The New York Times gave Obama on Tuesday September 13th a fall-guy to take the heat for the soon-to-come violation of Obama’s new international agreement. The headline was «Details of Syria Pact Widen Rift Between John Kerry and Pentagon», and the report made clear that Obama’s Secretary of ‘Defense’, Ashton Carter, and others at the Pentagon, were passionately opposed to the deal:

«On Tuesday at the Pentagon, officials would not even agree that if a cessation of violence in Syria held for seven days — the initial part of the deal — the Defense Department would put in place its part of the agreement on the eighth day… In private, he [Kerry] has conceded to aides and friends that he believes it will not work. But he has said he is determined to try, so that he and Mr. Obama do not leave office having failed to alleviate a civil war that has taken roughly half a million lives… At a time when the United States and Russia are at their most combative posture since the end of the Cold War, the American military is suddenly being told that it may, in a week, have to start sharing intelligence with one of its biggest adversaries to jointly target Islamic State and Nusra Front forces in Syria… But to Mr. Kerry’s inner team of advisers, the Pentagon approach was reflexive Cold War-era thinking».

Then, Obama’s bombing of Syria’s army at Der Zor on September 17th ended the September 9th agreement. His deception-tactic soon became clear. That bombing in blatant violation of the new agreement could not have been authorized by anyone below the Commander-in-Chief himself — or, if it had been, that person would promptly have been fired by the Commander-in-Chief. No one was fired.

Both Russia and Syria excluded the United States from any further participation in the peace-talks process. 

From that moment on, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin, and Syria’s leader Assad, knew that America’s leader Obama was entirely untrustworthy — not someone suitable to negotiate with. They knew that Obama would (and, there, did) even help ISIS take over Der Zor in order to bring about the overthrow of Assad. It wasn’t just Nusra that Obama was continuing to support — it now was even ISIS; anything to replace Assad

Al Qaeda is funded by the aristocracies of the Arabic oil kingdoms, and is funded, above all, by the royal family of America’s chief ally in the Middle East, the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia. The Saud family insisted, and Obama accepted, that jihadists — who would be selected by the Sauds — control the negotiating team representing ‘the rebels’ at the negotiations. It would be basically the Sauds negotiating against Assad, to discuss the arrangements for a new government to replace Assad’s government, and to establish Sharia law in Syria (which is the most-secular nation in the Middle East). Syria under the Assads has been and is, the only secular nation in the Middle East, and the Sauds’ aim has always been to replace it with a fundamentalist-Sunni government, like theirs in Saudi Arabia (or like that of the Thani family who own Qatar, or any of the other Arabic royal families). The U.S. government has backed the Saud family, in this goal.



About the author

EricZuesseInvestigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.



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Sergey Lavrov Blasts America’s Imperial Agenda

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STEPHEN LENDMAN

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H e’s a world-class diplomat, a model foreign minister, working tirelessly for world peace and stability – shaming his US counterparts, supporting endless wars on humanity. Last week, he repeated what he said many times before. Sovereign independence is inviolable. No nation has the right to interfere in the affairs of others. “(I)nternal reforms should be carried out in a peaceful, evolutionary way…(P)eople should determine their destiny on their own.” [/su_panel]


 Supporters of “messianically imposing their own ultra-liberal values, changing sovereign countries’ political systems, among them through ideologically motivated operations to topple undesirable regimes,” reflect longstanding US-led Western policy. It’s responsible for mass slaughter, vast destruction, chaos and appalling human misery wherever it shows up – indefensible, untenable, its days numbered or we’re all doomed.
..
“The failure of such attempts is obvious, but they will be dealing with the aftermath for a very long time,” Lavrov explained. The so-called Arab Spring is a vivid example. We supported the commitment of people in the Middle East and North Africa to a better life, sustainable prosperity and necessary reforms…It was obvious to us though that these issues should have been tackled by relying on national accord.”
 ..
Instead, US-led Western intervention created “chaos and anarchy,” dark forces taking full advantage. Imperial madness raped and destroyed one country after another, causing millions of casualties and the severest refugee crisis since WW II, victims blamed for their own misery. Lavrov is heavily involved in trying to end six years of US war on Syria, impossible under Obama, hoping Trump favors conflict resolution, not continuing it for regime change – serious about combating terrorism, not supporting it like the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama.
 ..
Lavrov looks forward to working with his US counterpart. Cooperating with America in combating terrorism “is a top priority for Russia,” he said.
 ..
All parties interested in resolving Syria’s conflict should be invited to Geneva on the basis of Syrians alone deciding the nation’s policies, not foreign powers or groups, Lavrov stressed. Dialogue is just beginning. Things have a long way to go to restore peace and stability to the war-torn country. Achieving it will benefit the entire region – accept for Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other rogue states wanting continued turmoil.
 ..
If Trump wants conflict resolution in Syria, it’ll happen. Otherwise, it’s back to square one.

NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • CONTINUE THE DEBATE ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE. CLICK HERE. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.13.00 AM

STEPHEN LENDMAN lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."  ( http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html ) Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com



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ISIS in US-Russia Crosshairs



Dispatches from Deena Stryker


[su_panel background=”#FFFFFF” color=”#020109″ border=”8px solid #cccccc” shadow=”7px 0px 1px #eeeeee” radius=”11″] A week after being inaugurated, Donald Trump, intent on making good on one of his key campaign promises, issued a ban on citizens of seven Middle Eastern countries entering the US, causing chaos in airports worldwide, and demonstrations by those who didn’t vote for him.  Opposition runs the gamut from ‘this is not my America”, to “you got the timing wrong” and “you left out Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies who actually fund Islamic terrorism”, but it’s certain that haste is making Donald Trump look like a waster.  His saving grace is to have agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to join forces to defeat ISIS across the globe. (Little publicized in the US is the fact that pro-Russian Chechens are already leading the charge in Syria.) [/su_panel]

While the West is told that the Chechen War incarnates Russia’s relationship with Islam, the fact is that together with its Eastern Orthodox Church — it has for centuries co-existed with Islam, which explains how there can be a pro-Russian government in Chechnya, whose Islamists fought two wars, first against Yeltsin’s Russian Federation, December 1994 to August 1996 then from 1999, when Vladimir Putin was Prime Minister, to 2009, following Putin’s second term when he traded places with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.  Not only did Putin win the peace with the Chechens, he has adopted policies vis-a-vis his country’s Islamic neighbors that are very different from those the US implemented in its attempt to dominate the Middle East. Following the conflict, they have had little in common with those implemented by the United States after the Civil War, when ‘reconstruction’ was a myth that led to officially sanctioned segregation and a struggle for equality that is yet to be won. Russia contributed generously to Chechen reconstruction, favoring a modernization that supports tradition, refusing to throw the historical, as well as the socialist baby, out with the bathwater.  And this has been Putin’s successful policy with the majority Muslim nations — known as the Stans — across Russia’s southern border.  Recently, the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, came to international attention as host of the first successful talks between the Syrian opposition and the Assad government, January 23 and 24, 2017.

While President Trump and President Putin have just agreed to coordinate their military interventions to defeat ISIS, it is a mistake to imagine that the Judeo-Christian world will win the war against ISIS merely by taking back the ‘Caliphate’s real estate, for crowd attacks that kill dozens of innocents can go on indefinitely: there will never be a lack of rudimentary ammunition or of willing ‘martyrs’.

Communicating in headlines, though largely ignorant, politicians fail to explain why: every country where Islam is the dominant religion, diverse though their individual histories may be, is involved in a transformation similar to that which began for Christianity in the sixteenth century. Not unlike the effect of modernity on Muslims today, over a millennia and a half of ‘progress’, Catholicism’s earnest beginnings degenerated into a lewd traffic of favors. Martin Luther, a German priest, publicly ‘protested’ this state of affairs and set about ‘reforming’ the religion of Christ. Over time, his initiative lead from absolutism to democracy, and the separation of Church and State. But also, the primacy of external freedom, or freedom to act. Islamists are trying to put morality back into politics by promoting internal freedom, wherein lie moral certainties and religion.

Luther’s act of defiance morphed into a hundred year war between European Catholics and Protestants, but it had few repercussions on the outside world. Islam today spans the globe, and although its reformation has been under way for much of the last century, as testified by numerous writers, including Alastair Crooke and Tariq Ramadan, it’s partly the ethical degradation of the Judeo-Christian world — to use Vladimir Putin’s phrase — that has provoked its violent turn.

When, for the second year in a row, young Muslim immigrants used the New Year’s celebrations to sexually assault young women (whether to adopt that degradation or call attention to it), Europe’s leaders finally realized that by supporting US efforts to rule the world, they had contributed to the demise of their own. While sending fighter planes out from their front doors, they left their back doors open to their victims — and many others who simply want a better life. And even as politicians tell their voters they must get used to terrorism, peaceful, law-abiding Muslim immigrants are changing the population ratio in Europe.

As an end to the war against ISIS in Syria is in sight, the question is whether Donald Trump will take the time to learn the back-story to the Islamists’ agenda.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DEENA STRYKER, Senior Contributing Editor

Born in Philadelphia, Stryker spent most of her adolescent and adult years in Europe, resulting over time in several unique books, her latest being 

CUBA: Diary of a Revolution, Inside the Cuban Revolution with Fidel, Raul, Che, and Celia Sanchez

ALSO: Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring

America Revealed to a Honey-Colored World

A Taoist Politics: The Case For Sacredness

She began her journalistic career at the French News Agency in Rome, spent two years in Cuba finding out whether the Barbados were Communists before they made the revolution (‘Cuba 1964: When the Revolution was Young’). After spending half a decade in Eastern Europe, and a decade in the U.S., studying Global Survival and writing speeches in the Carter State Department, she wrote the only book that foresaw the fall of the Berlin Wall AND the dissolution of the Soviet Union (“Une autre Europe, un autre Monde’). Her memoir, ‘Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel’, tells it all. ‘A Taoist Politics: The Case for Sacredness’, which examines the similarities between ancient wisdom and modern science and what this implies for political activism; and ‘America Revealed to a Honey-Colored World” is a pamphlet about how the U.S. came down from the City on a Hill’. 



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uza2-zombienationWhat will it take to bring America to live according to its own propaganda?


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REMEMBER: ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL-QUOTES BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS.




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Al Qaeda Funded by Royal Sauds, U.S. Gov’t. Documents

horiz-black-wideDispatches from Eric Zuesse
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The chief source of funds to Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups is Saudi Arabia’s royal family. Documentation comes from testimony of the captured top Al Qaeda financial operative to a U.S. Court; and from testimony cited in the ‘missing 28 pages’ of the congressional investigation into 9/11; and from private communications of a U.S. Secretary of State.


These documents cover Al Qaeda’s finances, not only pre-9/11, but up through at least 2014, and they consistently indicate that — throughout at least this lengthy period — the royal Saud family provided the essential funds that enabled Al Qaeda’s global operations, including the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda isn’t merely an extension of the Sauds’ Sunni-fundamentalist Wahhabist-Salafist jihadist beliefs, but every one of Al Qaeda’s members also receives a “salary” and is therefore a mercenary who is fighting for a cause that he not only believes in, but also receives his livelihood from.  Unlike many court cases, where some of the reliable evidence conflicts with other of the reliable evidence, all of the reliable evidence in this case is consistent: that the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the Saud family, have been the indispensable financial backers for Al Qaeda, and that Al Qaeda could not have succeeded as it has, without this money.

Furthermore, during the 1990s when Saudi King Fahd was in such ill health that the Saud family and Wahhab clergy were considering which of the Saud Princes were worthy of being in contention to become appointed as Fahd’s replacement, they requested and received from Al Qaeda’s chief, Osama bin Laden, a letter which was entirely private but was generally assumed to be providing his advice on that matter. The key passage about it, from the U.S. courtroom testimony was:

Q Do you have any understanding why in that context Osama bin Laden would have been sending letters to both members of the royal family and the senior ulema [the religious scholars]?
 ..
A: My understanding from talking with people like Abu Basir al-Wahishi who become the — the head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, who I used to be close to, okay, or Halad or Shaykh Abu Hasan, Shayk Mujahideen, Shaykh Aman, and Shaykh Abul Sef — my understanding [was] that they — they want[ed] to know who they should support [to be the next King].
 ..
The following presentation of the evidence will start with the later period, and then will move backward in time, to the testimony from Al Qaeda’s financial chief (who just now was quoted) — the man who had collected all of the large cash donations to Al Qaeda until 9/11, and to his ultimate capture in the United States, on 16 August 2001, and prompt life-imprisonment, thus to hide him (and his testimony) from the American public, as much as possible, so that the Sauds’ role would not become known:

THE EVIDENCE

I:  17 August 2014.
,,,

As Liz Goodwin and Michael Isikoff noted on 11 October 2016 regarding a wikileak: 
 …
The Clinton email states: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” 
 …
NOTE IN CLARIFICATION: “ISIL” has been the U.S. government’s preferred term for ISIS. The Sauds prefer that it be called “Daesh.” Kamel Daoud headlined in The New York Times, on 20 November 2015, “Saudi Arabia, an ISIS that Has Made It”, and he said that ISIS isn’t actually much different from Saudi Arabia, and that, “The West’s denial regarding Saudi Arabia is striking.” He reminded Americans: “Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex.” All of that is true. Yet, Saudi Arabia, whose “government” (as Clinton noted) sponsors Al Qaeda, isn’t ‘an enemy’ of ‘the U.S.’; but, instead, is ‘a U.S. ally’ — and its enemies, Russia and Iran, are ‘America’s enemies’ — or so the American aristocracy says. (America’s aristocracy determines which countries are ‘our’ enemies and we’ll invade, such as when we invaded Iraq on 20 March 2003. Whether or not the American public should believe what the American aristocracy says is a different matter, but the American public did believe the American aristocracy and its agents, prior to invading Iraq at that time, so as to eliminate ‘Saddam’s WMD’ — but actually to eliminate Saddam Hussein himself.) 
 …
This email from Hillary Clinton, https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/7243, was sent by her on 17 August 2014. Consequently, even more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, ‘our’ ‘allies’ were still financing “ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.” And Hillary Clinton wasn’t saying this to the public; she was saying it privately, to a longtime friend — so the assertion wasn’t mere pretense from her. In fact, she was telling this to her soon-to-be Presidential campaign manager, John Podesta.
 …
Any reference to the Saudi government (such as Ms. Clinton mentioned there) is a reference to the Saudi royal family, the Sauds, who own the Saudi government — it’s their fiefdom. She was actually referring to the Sauds, and to their retainers (including the bin Ladens). She was referring to the royals, and the rest of their aristocracy.

II: 30 December 2009.

I reported on 17 February 2016 that: 
 …
On 30 December 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a cable (subsequently released to the public by wikileaks) to America’s Ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Pakistan, headlined, “Terrorist Finance: Action Request for Senior Level Engagement on Terrorism Finance.” 
 ..
It said:
 ..
“Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
 ..
She told those Ambassadors to make clear to each of the given nation’s aristocrats that, under the new U.S. President, Barack Obama, there would no longer be any allowance for continuation of their donations to Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups that attack the United States.
 ..
It opened, “This is an action request cable,” meaning that the operations of the local U.S. Embassy in the given nation would be monitored for compliance with the Secretary of State’s “request.”
..
Despite her assertion, there was no accountability, at all; yet she continued to complain in private about the Sauds’ financing of terrorist groups.
 ..
This was the situation in 2014 and in 2009, a decade and more after the 9/11 attacks. But those attacks in 2001 had actually been funded by the Royal Sauds. So, here was the situation prior to 9/11:

III: pre-9/11.


Osama bin Laden’s former bagman — the individual who prior to 9/11 had personally picked up each one of the million-dollar-plus donations (all in cash) for Al Qaeda (which financed the operation until the 9/11 attacks occurred) — said in a U.S. court hearing, “Without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing”. He also said that all Al Qaeda members were paid “salaries” from those donations — in other words, that this is why “you will have nothing” without their money: it’s a mercenary operation, albeit one that is rigorously based upon the Quran, utterly devout in the Sauds’ Wahhabist, fundamentalist Sunni, faith (which is called “Salafist” outside of Saudi Arabia; thus, ISIS, for example, is Salafist).

On 11 February 2015, I headlined “Al Qaeda’s Bookkeeper Spills The Beans”, which provided the most detailed and authoritative account ever of this huge cash operation pre-9/11, the account by the man who actually collected the money; and I reported there further, with links to the U.S. court-testimony documentation, that:
 ..
Zacarias Moussaoui was the bookkeeper and bagman (money-collector) for Al Qaeda, but the U.S. intelligence services have been keeping this fact secret as much as they can, because what he knows about the crucial financial backers of Al Qaeda can be very damaging to the U.S. aristocracy, which is heavily oil-based and closely allied with the Saudi royal family, which created Al Qaeda in order to please the Saudi clerics, who are Wahhabist Muslims who constantly threaten the royals with exposure of their economic and sexual corruption unless the royals finance the spread of the Wahhabist sect (such as by Al Qaeda), and thereby finance the spread of those clerics’ own international influence and power.
 ..
Or, so says the former bookkeeper of Al Qaeda, who was selected by Al Qaeda’s military chief, Abu Hafs (also known as “Mohammed Atef”), to serve Osama bin Laden in that capacity: Zacarias Moussaoui. This is his testimony, in brief.
..
Moussaoui swore to the court, that he collected multimillion-dollar cash donations to Al Qaeda from “Waleed — Waleed bin Talal, Prince — Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Prince — Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Prince Mohammed Al Faisal Al Saud” and other Saudi royals. Prince Bandar, also known as “Bandar Bush,” was the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. on 9/11, and was documented in ‘the missing 28 pages’ to have been paying at least two of the 9/11 hijackers. Bandar was crucial to the 9/11 operation; so, he and his entourage (who were helped by Bush and Cheney in this) escaped from the United States promptly after the 9/11 attacks. Bandar later organized Al Qaeda’s leadershipvia ‘Al Nusra’, or the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda — of the collective efforts by dozens of Arab-funded jihadist groups (including at least one sarin-gas attack), to overthrow and replace the existing government of Syria, since that government is allied with both Iran and Russia — both of which countries the Saud family hate.

IV: other pre-9/11 evidence.


On 10 September 2016, I reported on ‘the missing 28 pages’, which were actually 29 pages, which were kept secret — they were expurgated actually, from the congressional study on the origin of the 9/11 attacks — and I noted then that:


what that document actually showed, and proved (and cited FBI investigators who could then have testified in public, if requested), was the opposite of unimportant: that the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud (who was known in Washington as “Bandar Bush,” because of his closeness to the Bush family), had secretly been paying the Saudi handlers of at least two of the 15 Saudis among the 19 9/11 hijackers, and that Bandar’s wife and other relatives were also paying those hijackers-to-be, and their families — thus enabling the future hijackers to obtain the necessary pilot-training etc., for the 9/11 attacks.
 ..
The reason why those 29 pages were hidden from the public for 13 years, and were misrepresented in the press as being insignificant when they finally were released, is that that portion of the 9/11 Commission’s report was the one which dealt with the financing behind the 9/11 attacks. In other words: it dealt with the high-level people who were really behind 9/11 — the people whom the U.S. aristocracy protected.
 ..

CONCLUSIONS


American citizens get the death penalty on far less, and far less-reliable, evidence than has already been published about Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, and even about a few other Sauds (and some key Americans, who also cooperated with him and them).
..

Why, then did U.S. President Barack Obama, though oath-bound to the U.S. Constitution and to the American people, veto a bill that Congress finally passed allowing the 9/11 families to sue the Saudi government — the Saudi royal family — for 9/11
 ..
Whom was Obama protecting, and why? Did anyone publicly ask this question of him? Why not?
 ..
A PERTINENT NOTE: This same person, Obama, who protected the Sauds (like Bush did), said as follows about the non-sectarian, separation-of-church-and-state committed, anti-jihadist, leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, whom the U.S. and Saudi governments backed Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups in Syria in order to overthrow: As the Wall Street Journal headlined on 19 November 2015, “Obama Says Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad Must Go”, and they reported Obama’s argument: “It is because it is unimaginable that you can stop the civil war here when the overwhelming majority of people in Syria consider him to be a brutal, murderous dictator. … He cannot regain legitimacy.” The slick liar Obama said that Al Qaeda in Syria and other such jihadists (whom he called ‘moderate rebels’) there should overthrow Assad (and would presumably be more ‘legitimate’ there) and that this would end the war there. But, in reality, even Western-sponsored polls consistently showed that Assad is the only person in Syria whom more than 50% of the Syrian people actually want to be their leader, and that the U.S. itself is loathed there because it is viewed by 82% of Syrians as being to blame for the tens of thousands of jihadists who have been imported into Syria (paid for by the Sauds and militarily trained by the Americans) causing immeasurable misery there for the Syrian people. The investigation by Mint Press News found that, “More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.” (This was consistent with what Moussaoui had said.)
 ..
Obama was (though never officially) a Saudi agent. Why are American Presidents impeached for extramarital sex but not for being traitors and for supporting America’s actual enemies, against the interests of the 9/11 victims and of the rest of the American people — as Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were? Is America’s government against the interests of the American people? If so, whom does it really represent? And why? And why are these facts (the evidence that’s avaliable at the links here) not being reported on television and in the newspapers, but only in online-news sites such as this? And why are not official lies called “lies” (except partisanly — by Democrats and Republicans only against each other — instead of by the mainstream press against both)?
 ..
And why is Zacarias Moussaoui still not allowed to speak, in public, to the American people, and to the global public?
 ..
Why is all of this crucially important news — now become history — still being hidden? Why are such crucial truths about 9/11 still news, even long after they have become (hidden from the general public as being) history?
 ..
Perhaps it’s because some of America’s ‘allies’ being America’s enemies is not merely history, it is even today’s reality. It’s not in the news — not being commonly reported as today’s reality. It’s still being hidden. Though the proofs for it are solid, and convicts receive the death penalty on far less — and less-solid — evidence, it is still being ignored.
 ..
PS: Saudi Arabia also produces more suicide-bombers than any other country. But, of course, given that nation’s aristocracy, and their clergy, that too makes sense. And 15 of the 19 9/11 jihadists were Saudi subjects (Saudi Arabia is a feudal kingdom, no democracy, so it has “subjects,” instead of “citizens”). And, on 27 January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump banned immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority nations, none of which had been involved in any terrorist attacks in the U.S., and none of which were allies of Saudi Arabia, which was overwhelmingly the chief source of Islamic terrorism both in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Trump-banned countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Basically, Trump chose the most-anti-Saudi of the Islamic-majority nations, and he ignored not only Saudi Arabia, but also the other main sources of jihadism against the U.S: Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Pakistan. Maybe Trump, too, is a Saudi agent.
 ..
There were 19 hijackers on 9/11: 15 Saudi, 2 UAE, 1 Egypt, and 1 Lebanon. Trump’s order ignored all four nations. His order focused more against the Shiite-led countries, Iran and Syria, whose leaderships the Saud family are (with U.S. government assistance) trying to overthrow and replace.


About the author

EricZuesseInvestigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Eric Zuesse, supplemented from original post at strategic-culture.org



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NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS




With President Trump at the helm, Japan feeling adrift at sea


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ANDRE VLTCHEK


Japan mourns your departure, Barack Obama! You were a predictable ruler, and a genuinely traditional imperialist. You spoke so well, and tormented all those unruly colonies with admirable zeal and effectiveness!

What is coming is untested and therefore frightening. Obedient and disciplined Japan historically detests unpredictability.

It doesn’t mind prostituting itself, but only if it brings significant tangible benefits and as long as strict protocol and decorum are fully respected. The future scenario could be frightening: Who knows, that new chap across the ocean could soon ruin all the etiquette; calling whores and profiteers by their real names.

The Japanese government and big business are now shaking in dread, day and night. What changes are coming? How to please the new foul-speaking lord?

Ten billion dollars will be spent – or should we say ‘invested’ – in the United States by car giant Toyota to appease the new Emperor. Why not, every penny of it is worth it! The Emperor has to be kept happy. Japan is ready to arm itself to the teeth, provoking both North Korea but especially China? Yes and yes again, as long as the global ‘balance of power’ so greatly in favor of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan for decades, remains intact.

‘America & Japan are imperialist countries guided by special interests’

The conservative Prime Minister of the country, Shinzo Abe, doesn’t want any ‘dangerous’ developments, any deviations. As far as he is concerned, things are just fine as they were. Not perfect, but fine. Japan has been exactly where it should be: on its back, aging, but still desirable, eating mountains of caviar and oysters.

Things are, however, ‘developing,’ rapidly and some would say, irreversibly. New US President Donald Trump, is clearly allergic to China as well as to several other Asian countries. He is preaching protectionism and an extreme form of nationalism, something that used to be synonymous with Japan’s trade and business practices of the past.

Somehow, this does not appear to be in Japan’s favor. Japan was allowed to be protectionist, in exchange for its unconditional political obedience. It thought that it was awarded almost exclusive privileges.

Now paradoxically, Japan is trying to save the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation free trade agreement, which Donald Trump is nuking. Japan’s parliament even ratified the pact at the end of 2016. Foreign Policy Magazine (FPM) said in its report published in January 2017: “Abe Wants to Be the Last Free Trade Samurai.”


Japan’s business class, slaves to order and predictability, are panicked by Trump’s legendary capricious ways.

In fact, Shinzo Abe is desperately trying to preserve Japan’s prominent position, at least in Asia, and mainly against China, which is intensively negotiating its own economic partnership agreement with several Asian countries called the ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’ (RCEP). Mr. Abe is also trying to push through his brutal neo-liberal reforms that are encountering resistance from the Japanese public.

FPM wrote: “TPP gives the government the handy excuse it now needs to take unpopular reform measures meant to give a new push to the Abenomics program. Blaming outsiders for such ‘un-Japanese’ actions is a popular political maneuver that even gets a special name ‘gaiatsu’.”

Japan’s desperate desire to remain the regional superpower is pushing it even closer toward the West, and particularly the United States. Since WWII, the country has been wholly dependent on Washington (and its market fundamentalist dogmas), to such an extent that it almost entirely abandoned its own global vision and foreign policy.

In the meantime, Japan is trying even further to penetrate and subjugate various Southeast Asian countries, literally wrestling them away from the increasing influence of China and Russia. It is a very complex, often bizarre game, as Abe’s government is habitually acting by inertia, doing what was expected of it by the earlier US administrations, not necessarily by the upcoming one.

Once totally under Western control, the Southeast Asian monolith is beginning to crack: the Philippines under President Duterte and Vietnam after some fundamental leadership changes in early 2016 are moving closer toward China and away from Washington’s orbit. Even Thailand, one of the most dependable Cold War allies of the West is quickly discovering the many advantages that come from a stronger relationship with Beijing.

In Asia, resistance against Western imperialism is on the rise, and Japan is in a panic. It collaborated for so long that it lost all memories of acting independently. In exchange for betraying Asia, it used to reap significant benefits; the gap between its astronomical standards of living and those in the rest of Asia used to be exorbitant, but now, the Human Development Index (HDI) rates such countries as South Korea, even higher. Socialist and fiercely independent China is catching up, not only economically but also regarding science, technology, and standards of living.

The essential question is never openly asked, but is creeping into the subconscious thoughts of many Japanese people: ‘Was it really worth it to collaborate so shamelessly with the West, and for so long?’


The Japanese, with their de facto prized “special relationship” with the US are the Brits of Southeast Asia.


The more confusing and unsettling the answers, the more aggressive the behavior of many ordinary Japanese citizens: racism toward the Chinese and Koreans is on the increase. Often it is propelled by a frustration that accompanies defeat; sometimes it comes from shame.

The present is intertwined with history and its interpretation.

China’s Nanking was particularly brutalized, with untold numbers killed, raped and displaced, usually in the most barbaric manner imaginable.

In Nagasaki, I discussed once again the complex intricacies related to Japan’s past, with the legendary Australian historian Geoff Gunn.

Japan never really took full responsibility for the tremendous pain it caused several Asian countries, but particularly China, where around 35 million people vanished during the brutal, genocidal occupation.

It is also silent about its role during the Korean War, and the crimes committed by its corporations in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

However, it portrays itself as a victim, because of the atomic bombs that destroyed two of its cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki – at the end of WWII, and because of the annexation of several of its islands by the Soviet Union.


Japan never really took full responsibility for the tremendous pain it caused several Asian countries, but particularly China, where around 35 million people vanished during the brutal, genocidal occupation. It is also silent about its role during the Korean War, and the crimes committed by its corporations in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. Incidentally, the American nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities by the US Air Force (or the fire bombing of Tokyo) was not meant to be a ‘punishment’ for the monstrous crimes Japan committed in China or Korea. It was simply a thinly disguised experiment on human beings, as well as an aggressive message and warning to the Soviet Union.


Of course, the nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities by the US Air Force (or the fire bombing of Tokyo) was not meant to be a ‘punishment’ for the monstrous crimes Japan committed in China or Korea. It was simply a thinly disguised experiment on human beings, as well as an aggressive message and warning to the Soviet Union.

In Japan, everything is taken out of historical context. Collective memory is hazy. The occupation of several Asian and South Pacific countries, the alliance with the European fascist powers, WWII itself, the US occupation and consequent collaboration, Japan’s profiteering during the Korean War, as well as the constant siding with the imperialist policies of the West: it all has been covered by a comforting and softening duvet; by cozy make-believe pseudo-reality.

Obama adding to the fog of history by hypocritically visiting Hiroshima. There is rarely any honorable diplomacy, less so in the age of raging Western imperialism.

While the horrendous US military and air force bases located in Okinawa and Honshu have been intimidating both China and North Korea, Japan has been distributing, hypocritically, all over the world its multi-lingual columns with “May Peace Prevail On Earth” signs, trying to feel good, and congratulating itself for its “peaceful constitution” (composed by the US after the War).

In 2016, Shinzo Abe’s close ally, Barack Obama visited the Peace Park in Hiroshima City. He did not apologize to the victims of the nuclear blast. Instead, he posed with two traditional Japanese paper cranes, the local symbols of peace, and he spoke about the suffering of people during the wars. He wrote a message to promote the abolition of nuclear weapons, and then signed the book, putting the paper crane next to his signature.

How touching!

Servile Japanese media dutifully covered the event. Nobody died from laughter; nobody got sick publicly while recalling countless wars, deadly covert operations, and coups as well as targeted killings that took place while Mr. Obama was the boss of his aggressive Empire.

Shinzo Abe doing his hypocritical jig at Pearl Harbor. The world is drowning in empty symbolism.

A few months later, Mr. Abe visited Pearl Harbor. Like his US counterpart did in Hiroshima, he spoke about the suffering of the US servicemen based in Hawaii during the Japanese attack. He did not apologize, but he turned sentimental, even poetic.

In the end, almost everyone felt well, at least those living in Japan and the West. Others do not matter too much, anyway!

Now the old script is quickly becoming obsolete. The new director is facing the stage, shouting at the actors, hitting seats with his cane, insulting proteges of his predecessors.

Japan is terrified. It likes continuity and certainty. It plays by the rules, the older the better.

This is not looking good. It may not end well, not well at all.

China and Russia are rising, indignant and finally united. Several Asian countries are switching sides. The president of the Philippines is calling Western leaders ‘sons-of-whores’. India, now the most populous country on Earth, has gritted its teeth and ‘just in case’ got itself one more chair, now sitting on two.

At least some in Japan are now (secretly and quietly) suspecting that all along they were betting on the totally wrong horse.

How can a samurai break all his allegiances without losing face? How can he save his ass, when his armor begins to burn? It is not easy; the etiquette of honor is extremely strict, even if honor consists, if stripped of its decorative layer, of brainlessness and sleaze.

One possible and very traditional escape is a ritual suicide. It seems that Japan’s leadership is committing exactly that: it is raising the banner abandoned on the battlefield by the previous warlord, it is trying to gather some scattered allies, and then lead them to the futile battle against the mightiest creature on Earth – the Dragon, and by association, against the dragon’s friend and comrade – the Bear.

It is all beginning to look like a kitschy martial art movie, or like a desperate set of irrational moves performed by a gambler before he reaches utter bankruptcy.

All this could be, however, extremely deceiving, as Mr. Abe is actually not a fool. He is playing a very high game, and he may still have some chances of winning: if the new lord, Mr. Trump, decides to exceed all previous rulers by brutality and aggressiveness, and re-hire the old and well-tested samurai, Japan, for a deadly onslaught against humanity.

It is worth remembering that throughout Japan’s history, not all samurais were fighting for honor. Most of them were for hire.



NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP CLICK HERE

 

ANDRE VLTCHEK, Special Roaming Correspondent; Senior Associate, Russia Desk

China art district

Andre Vltchek in the Beijing Art District with the dragons.

Born in St. Petersburg, Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”.  Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter. Reach him at andre.vltchek@greanvillepost.com. His work on TGP can be found here.

 


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uza2-zombienationWhat will it take to bring America to live according to its own propaganda?


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