Trump’s First One Hundred Days Of War Crimes

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By Charles Pierson for Counter Punch. President Donald J. Trump closed out his first hundred days in office on April 29. Not marked by any notable achievements, Trump’s first hundred days did yield an impressive and ever-lengthening list of scandals. And war crimes. During his short time in office, Trump has racked up an impressive list of war crimes. Congratulations, Mr. President! Where to begin? Nine days after Trump’s Inauguration, US Navy SEALs together with elite troops from the United Arab Emirates descended on the village of Yaklaa in the Yemeni governorate of Bayda. At the time, the White House said that the mission’s objective was to enter a compound controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and gather intelligence by grabbing computers and cell phones. It was not until a week later that US military officials stated that the prime objective of the raid was to capture or kill AQAP emir Qassim al-Rimi.

Will Trump Agree To the Pentagon's Permanent War

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By Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye. The two top national security officials in the Trump administration – Secretary of Defence James Mattis and national security adviser HR McMaster – are trying to secure long-term US ground and air combat roles in the three long-running wars in the greater Middle East – Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Proposals for each of the three countries are still being developed, and there is no consensus, even between Mattis and McMaster, on the details of the plans. They will be submitted to Trump separately, with the plan for Afghanistan coming sometime before a NATO summit in Brussels on 25 May. But if this power play succeeds in one or more of the three, it could guarantee the extension of permanent US ground combat in the greater Middle East for many years to come – and would represent a culmination of the “generational war” first announced by the George W Bush administration.

The Never Ending US Wars

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By Tom Engelhardt for Tom’s Dispatch. Here’s a footnote to America’s present wars that’s worth pondering for a few moments. The U.S. Air Force is running out of ordinary bombs, smart bombs, and in some cases missiles. No kidding. The air war over Syria and Iraq that began in August 2014 and is now two-and-a-half years old has eaten through America’s supply of bombs. The usual crew of weapons makers evidently can’t produce such munitions fast enough to keep up, so the U.S. military is, for instance, cutting into its stockpiles of smart bombs in Asia to send some to the Middle East and Africa simply to keep pace with demand — and, according to recent reports, it may nonetheless be failing to do so. Consider this a longer term problem since, in the era of Donald Trump, the generals are increasingly running their own wars, which, if the daily drumbeat of news about them is accurate, are only ramping up further. Everywhere you look, from Yemen to Iraq, Syria to Somalia, the American military is growing more assertive as civilian casualties rise and constraints of any sort, whether on special operations raids, drone strikes, or the use of the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal, fall away.

How Anand Gopal Directed People To Join ISIS And Shills For “Regime Change” In Syria

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By Staff of Moon of Alabama – In his recent interview with Democracy Now Gopal makes several assertions that are completely contradicted by the public and historic record and are thus evidently lies: ANAND GOPAL: Well, I think it’s important to understand that there’s no regime change policy from the United States toward Syria. And there never has been a regime change policy. The Obama administration said, innumerous times, Assad must go. The U.S. demanding that a head of a foreign state “must go” is not “regime change”? Actively supporting a violent insurgency against the government of a state with the aim of changing that government is not “regime change” policy? Giving billions of dollars and tens of thousands tons of weapons to sectarian brutes who strive to overthrow a government is not a “regime change” policy? In fact the U.S. conducted “regime change” operations in Syria in 1947, 1956, 1957, in the 1970s, 1986, 1991 and again since 2006.

Interview With Max Blumenthal: The Left’s Failure To Confront Root Of Syrian Conflict

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By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – Hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola welcomed Max Blumenthal, journalist, senior editor of AlterNet’s Grayzone Project, and author of The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza. Blumenthal has appeared on the show before, but this time he was our guest because multiple listeners requested an episode featuring him. His interview is more than one hour. During the show, Blumenthal addresses the root causes of the Syrian conflict as well as the failure of the left, particularly in the United States, to oppose U.S. military intervention and confront what is destroying a country. “You might not be a leftist if you defend Wahhabism while constantly attacking the left,” Blumenthal states. “You might not be a leftist if you are an apologist for any of these rebel groups or if you are edging toward calling for the replacement of a post-colonial state with a Sunni Islamist theocracy that requires NATO or U.S. military intervention. There’s just nothing leftist about that, and none of this is possible without U.S. intervention.” He confronts the position of much of the International Socialist Organization and journalist Anand Gopal’s recent comments on “Democracy Now!” arguing Syrian President Bashar al Assad created ISIS.

Let’s Call Western Media Coverage Of Syria By Its Real Name: Propaganda

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By Michael Howard for Paste Magazine – In his essential study of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, University of Kent Professor Richard Sakwa writes that, somewhere down the road, Western media’s reductive, ideological coverage of the conflict “will undoubtedly become the subject of many an intriguing academic study.” That’s if the human race isn’t wiped out by environmental catastrophe or nuclear holocaust first—far from a sure thing, especially with the Trump regime running amok, lobbing cruise missiles and sending armadas (or not) and dropping MOABs, and all of it to quell suspicions that the president’s undersized hands might reflect a certain priapic compactness. But while, as Sakwa says, the reportage of Ukraine’s civil war by our renowned newspapers has been abysmal and embarrassing, it doesn’t hold a candle to that of Syria, where any pretense of real journalism was done away with long ago. Syria is proof of how low mainstream Western media are prepared to sink in the service of state power; it’s where journalistic standards, like global jihadists, go to die. Rank propaganda is the order of the day. Honest observers are appalled.

What Was The Trigger For Violence In Syria?

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By Kim Petersen for Dissident Voices – If the base upon which an edifice is arranged is defective, then the edifice will topple when the base crumples. In the case of the violence raging in Syria, western governments inimical to the Syrian government have blamed the violence, through their monopoly media organs, on the Syrian government security apparatus using lethal force to put down unarmed domestic protestors. If this depiction is false, if it is disinformation, then the subsequent killing and the millions of refugees displaced by the violence is a monstrous crime — a crime for which western governments and their media bear criminal culpability. Given the lethality of the crimes being perpetrated against Syria, it is a must that people of conscience scrutinize monopoly media skeptically (or better still abandon it. Other than being aware of the lies, why willingly subject oneself to disinformation?).1 One must also be aware of imperialist reverberations within purportedly independent media. I wrote of one example of this recently concerning the “independent” Democracy Now!

“If You Take East-Syria, I’ll Take That Yemeni Port”

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By Moon Of Alabama for Information Clearing House – Will the U.S. leave Syria if doing so prevents a Russian fleet in Yemen? The question seems weird but if Russia succeeds with its negotiations in Yemen it will soon have to be asked. A U.S. neoconservative outlet recently published an interesting but mostly unsourced bit about Yemen: Russia is mediating negotiations for a political solution to the Yemen conflict outside of UN channels as a means to secure naval bases in Yemen. Russia is pursuing political negotiations with the UAE and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh by beginning to discuss the future consensus Yemeni government. Saleh’s support for the Houthis is critical for the al Houthi-Saleh bloc to retain its influence across northern and central Yemen. The UAE may see this settlement as a way to halt the expansion of Iran’s influence in Yemen and to limit bearing further costs associated with the Yemeni war. Saleh previously expressed willingness to grant Russia military basing rights in Yemen. This basing would allow Russia to project power into one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the Bab al Mandab strait, a global maritime chokepoint.

A Critique Of ‘False And Misleading’ White House Claims About Syria’s Use Of Lethal Gas

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By Theodore A. Postol for Information Clearing House – “Truth Dig”- This is my third report assessing the White House intelligence Report (WHR) of April 11. My first report was titled “A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report Issued on April 11, 2017 About the Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria,” and my second report was an addendum to the first report. This report provides unambiguous evidence that the White House Intelligence Report contains false and misleading claims that could not possibly have been accepted in any professional review by impartial intelligence experts. The WHR was produced by the National Security Council under the oversight of national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The evidence presented herein is from two selected videos that are part of a larger cache of videos that are available on YouTube. These videos were uploaded to YouTube by the SMART News Agency between April 5 and April 7. Analysis of the videos shows that all the scenes taken at the site the WHR claims was the location of a sarin release indicate significant tampering with the site.

‘On Contact With Chris Hedges’: Putting The War In Syria In Full Context

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By Kasia Anderson for Truth Dig – It’s been more than a week since the Trump administration abruptly switched out of “America first” mode and into intervention mode by dropping 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airfield. As Chris Hedges and Alternet journalists Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton argue in this episode of “On Contact With Chris Hedges,” the American public has been lacking something very important before—and after—that strike. Simply put, that would be context. More specifically, it comes down to crucial questions that are not being addressed publicly by members of the U.S. government or the mainstream media. Take these questions, for example: What’s the relationship between the regime change in Libya, encouraged and enabled by the Obama administration in 2011, and the ongoing refugee crisis? Or between that crisis and Brexit? Who are the White Helmets? How are all these questions related to the current conflict in Syria, and the role of the U.S. in that conflict? What role do Iran and Saudi Arabia, in addition to Russia, play in Washington’s stance toward Syrian President Bashar Assad?

NJ Against US War On Syria And In The Middle East

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By Staff of NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East and Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War – The event attracted several non-traditional protesters in addition to the “usual suspects” – those of us that have been protesting war for years. This is a very significant matter because it demonstrates that a more organized approach to mass organizing can result in a massive anti-war uprising which is the only way forward toward the world’s survival. There was a student from a Jersey City college that has only been in the US for 3 months. A college roommate of mine joined us – after I invited his participation just this morning. Several other first time participants were on board and there was a decent number of youth in the ranks. Plus my younger son was out to his first ever protest! As usual, there was a range of diverse and on point presentations from participants, we had an open mic format for that. We were also pleasantly entertained by one of New Brunswick’s finest veteran activists Albert Valeri who accompanied his mostly a capella performance of a song in support of the NO DAPL movement with occasional pulls on his harmonica.

A Multi-level Analysis Of US Cruise Missile Attack On Syria

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By The Saker. I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that Assad or anybody else in the Syrian government really ordered a chemical weapons attack on anybody. To believe that it would require you to find the following sequence logical: first, Assad pretty much wins the war against Daesh which is in full retreat. Then, the US declares that overthrowing Assad is not a priority anymore (up to here this is all factual and true). Then, Assad decides to use weapons he does not have. He decides to bomb a location with no military value, but with lots of kids and cameras. Then, when the Russians demand a full investigation, the Americans strike as fast as they can before this idea gets any support. And now the Americans are probing a possible Russian role in this so-called attack. Frankly, if you believe any of that, you should immediately stop reading and go back to watching TV.

Trump Betrays His Non-Interventionist Base

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By Greg Johnson for Counter-Currents. Donald Trump’s dizzying about-face on Syria has won the temporary applause of his enemies, but he has forever lost the respect of his most ardent supporters on the Alt Right, the people who actually believe in and defend his nationalist-populist message, including his America First foreign policy. I thought Trump’s willingness to fight a two-front war against the Democrats and his own party was sufficient proof that he was sincere about his America First foreign policy. But he ditched it at its first real test. I no longer trust Donald Trump. But it is worse than that. I no longer like or respect Trump either. Trump didn’t just betray us. He betrayed us over something utterly stupid. We’ve seen this all before.

Newsletter: Dangerous War In Korea Brewing

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. North Korea, which has borders with Russia and China, is in Trump’s cross hairs and a US military attack risks a larger war. The US public is being given partial and inaccurate information and is largely uninformed about the country. The rhetoric from the Trump administration threatening a military attack on North Korea comes at the end of a massive military exercise that included mock nuclear attacks by the United States and a mock assassination of the North Korean leader. The United States claims the exercises are because North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, but North Korea has offered to stop building such weapons if the United States stops their military exercises that regularly practice attacking their country. President Trump has refused, as did President Obama before him. In fact, both presidents have escalated their military exercises on North Korea. This is a time for a renewed and independent peace movement. The movement must understand the US has a bi-partisan problem of two parties controlled by Wall Street and war.

New Revelations Belie Trump Claims On Syria Chemical Attack

President Donald Trump leaves after making a statement about the American attack on an air base in Syria, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, April 6, 2017. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

By Gareth Porter for Truthout – Two unnamed senior Trump administration officials briefing journalists Tuesday asserted that a Syrian regime airstrike in the city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 had deliberately killed dozens of civilians with sarin gas. The Trump administration officials dismissed the Russian claim that the Syrian airstrike had targeted a munitions warehouse controlled by Islamic extremists as an afterthought to cover up the Syrian government’s culpability for the chemical attack. Moreover, the Trump officials claimed that US intelligence had located the site where the Syrian regime had dropped the chemical weapon. However, two new revelations contradict the Trump administration’s line on the April 4 attack. A former US official knowledgeable about the episode told Truthout that the Russians had actually informed their US counterparts in Syria of the Syrian military’s plan to strike the warehouse in Khan Sheikhoun 24 hours before the strike. And a leading analyst on military technology, Dr. Theodore Postol of MIT, has concluded that the alleged device for a sarin attack could not have been delivered from the air but only from the ground…