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Syria/Russia News - Oct 2, 2015

 

Russian air strikes hit CIA-trained Free Syrian Army rebel faction, commander says - Yahoo Maktoob News


What Is The Free Syrian Army? Russia Targets CIA-Trained Rebels Opposed To Assad Regime - ibtimes.com


Geolocated Evidence points to Russian airstrikes on TOW-operating FSA affiliate (VIDEO) - Syria Direct


Russia warplanes target in Syria the Army of Conquest, an alliance that includes Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and CIA-trained FSA factions - VOA


A look at the Army of Conquest, a rebel alliance in Syria - New York Times


Russia admits ISIS is not only target in Syria, says it supports the Syrian armed forces in the struggle with extremist groups - Fiscal Times


Russia does not consider Free Syrian Army a terrorist group, Lavrov says - Reuters


VIDEO: Lavrov speaks at a news conference at the United Nations about Russian airstrikes (Full) - Bloomberg Business


Kremlin officials accuse U.S. of 'war of disinformation' on Syria airstrikes - LA Times


Vladimir Putin signs decree drafting 150,000 conscripts into the Russian military - Daily Mail Online


MAPS: Mapping the Battle for Syria: Russian Airstrikes Hit Rebel Areas - The New York Times


Al Qaeda brigade claims attack on Russian forces in Syria - The Long War Journal


Assad allies, including Iranians, prepare ground attack in Syria: sources - Reuters


Iraq would welcome Russian strikes against Islamic State in Iraq: Iraqi prime minister Abadi - Reuters


VIDEO: Prime Minister Abadi: Iraq welcomes Russia in Islamic State fight - PBS


Syrian Kurdish fighters welcome Russian strikes, demand weapons for anti-IS fight - Middle East Eye


PYD leader: Russia will stop Turkey from intervening in Syria - Al-Monitor

 

Foreign ministers of Russia and China discuss fight against Islamic State, crisis in Syria - TASS

 

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White House complains to Russians on their airstrikes as 'indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition' - ABC News


U.S. seen unlikely to defend Syrian rebels from Russian strikes - Reuters


Pentagon: US and Russia hold  'cordial and professional’ talks to clear up Syrian airspace, present proposals for minimizing risks - ABC


VIDEO: White House Briefing on Russian Airstrikes in Syria (Starts at 5:15 minute) - C-SPAN.org


VIDEO: Department Defense Briefing on Russian Airstrikes in Syria - C-SPAN.org


TRANSCRIPT: Department of Defense Press Briefing on Russian Airstrikes in Syria - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


VIDEO: Russian approach in Syria 'doomed to fail': Pentagon chief - YouTube


U.S. and Russia unlikely to share intelligence on Syria - airforcetimes.com


Pentagon Worried Iraq Will Share U.S. Intel with Russia - breitbart.com


Lack of targets, not Russians, seen affecting number of US airstrikes in Syria - Stripes


Members of Congress: Leave Syria’s Assad for later in face of Russian offensive, 'The key is to defeat ISIS' - The Washington Post


Republican-led Senate panel opens review of Syria intelligence - Business Insider


Syria conflict: Jabhat al-Nusra jihadists show off weapons allegedly seized from-US trained rebels - ibtimes.co.uk


Saudi Arabia demands Russia end Syria raids, criticises Iran - GulfNews.com


Erdoğan: Turkey will not allow ’fait accompli situations’ next to its borders, in an apparent reference to Russian air strikes in Syria - todayszaman.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Russia News - Sep 30, 2015


Pentagon readies talks with Russia on Syria military operations - Reuters


Pentagon: Russia 'ready' to launch airstrikes in Syria - CNNPolitics.com


U.S. stops sending new Syria recruits to troubled rebel training program, says it is not suspended but just put on ‘pause’ - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Pentagon Press Briefing on Syria - defense.gov


TRANSCRIPT: Pentagon Press Briefing on Syria - defense.gov


Dem senator calls on US to suspend Syrian rebel training program - TheHill


Military official: Untrained commander led U.S backed Syrian rebels that gave up equipment to Nusra Front - usatoday.com


Top NATO general: Russians starting to build air defense bubble over Syria, aiming to aid embattled Syrian President Assad - The Washington Post


Pentagon's top Russia official Evelyn Farkas resigns, she has been known to take a hard line on Russia - POLITICO


Obama's Islamic State War Czar John Allen Stepping Down - Bloomberg View


Congressional report: U.S. has 'failed' to stop flow of foreign fighters to ISIS - CNN


REPORT: Text of the Report by the Congressional Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel - homeland.house.gov

 

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Obama, Putin spar over Syria, clash over the central question of whether Syrian President Assad should retain power - Reuters


VIDEO: Obama UN General Assembly Full Speech - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama Speech to the United Nations General Assembly - whitehouse.gov


VIDEO (and transcript): Putin full speech at UN General Assembly - President of Russia


VIDEO: Lavrov's interview highlights: ’We cannot allow the state of Syria fail, alternative is ISIS caliphate' - YouTube


Lavrov rules out joint command with U.S. in Syria, however stresses that military operations must be coordinated - La Prensa


Russia is trying to coax the US into sharing intel with Iraq, Iran, and Syria in Baghdad - Business Insider


Russian military experts arrive in Iraq - Rudaw.net


Russia May Provide Reconnaissance Aircraft for Baghdad Info Center - Sputnik


Moscow hopes list of participants in the anti-ISIS coordination center in Baghdad to grow - TASS

 

Iraq defends intelligence sharing with Russia, Syria, Iran - AP


Russia establishes seaborne lifeline for Syrian allies - Reuters


VIDEO: Russian navy pours south through Bosphorus, possibly heading to Syria - LiveLeak.com


France opens war crimes inquiry against Assad regime: sources - Yahoo News


British PM Cameron: Putin Teaming Up with Assad to Defeat ISIS Is a 'Phony Solution’ (VIDEO) - Breitbart


Saudi Arabia says there is 'no future' for Assad in Syria, whether that exit is through politics or by force - The Guardian


Assad is root of Syria crisis, Qatar tells Putin - LiveLeak.com


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Time to stop bombing and make peace in Syria and Yemen


Explosion from Saudi airstrike on Sanaa, Yemen.


Letter to The Guardian signed by Mark Rylance, Charlotte Church, Len McCluskey, Caroline Lucas MP, Brian Eno, Mairead Maguire, Michael Rosen, Tariq Ali, Clive Lewis MP, many more.

We are gravely concerned at the possibility of a parliamentary decision to bomb Syria. David Cameron is planning such a vote in the House of Commons in the near future. He is doing so in the face of much evidence that such an action would exacerbate the situation it is supposed to solve. Already we have seen the killing of civilians and the exacerbation of a refugee crisis which is largely the product of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

The US and its allies have dropped 20,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria in the past year, with little effect. We fear that this latest extension of war will only worsen the threat of terrorism, as have the previous wars involving the British government. Cameron is cynically using the refugee crisis to urge more war. He should not be allowed to.

Mark Rylance
Charlotte Church
John Williams
Mairead Maguire Nobel peace laureate
Brian Eno
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union
Christine Shawcroft Labour NEC
Diane Abbott MP
Alice Mahon
Clive Lewis MP
Jenny Tonge
Caroline Lucas MP
Andrew Murray Chair, Stop the War Campaign
Lindsey German Convenor, STWC
Kate Hudson CND
Tariq Ali
John Pilger
Tim Lezard
David Edgar
Alan Gibbons
Andy de la Tour
Michael Rosen
Francesca Martinez
Eugene Skeef
Victoria Brittain
Anders Lustgarten
David Gentleman
David Swanson
Gerry Grehan Peace People Belfast

Syria/Russia News - Sep 28, 2015


Putin says seeking 'coordinated framework' to fight IS - Yahoo News


Putin: Overthrowing Assad will lead to failed state - Al Jazeera English


Putin: No Russian ground operations in Syria 'right now' - Yahoo News


Putin criticizes US support for Syrian rebels as not only illegal but counterproductive - US News


VIDEO (and transcript): 60 Minutes interviews Vladimir Putin - CBS News


Iraq Agrees to Share Intelligence on ISIS With Russia, Syria and Iran - The New York Times


Iran's Rouhani: Fighting radical militants like Islamic State in Syria is the top priority and if they are to be defeated then Assad government in Syria 'can't be weakened’  - Reuters


VIDEO: Iranian President Rouhani: Syria's al-Assad must remain to fight 'terrorists' - CNN.com


Pro-Hezbollah daily says party in Syria pact with Russia - NOW


Chinese troops to join Russian marines in Syria soon, says report - ibtimes.co.in


Abbas says agreement between Russia and US will help resolve Syria issue - TASS

 

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US, Russia mull joint coordination against IS, Kerry says 'the critical thing is that all of the efforts need to be coordinated' - aa.com


Background Briefing on Secretary Kerry's Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov - state.gov


U.S.-Russia coordination on Syria needed to avoid ‘incidents': NATO - Reuters


Shifting Direction, Kerry Aims to Include Iran in Efforts to End the Conflict in Syria - The New York Times


Germany calls for Syria transitional government, Merkel says Bashar al-Assad must be involved in Syria talks - Yahoo News


Hollande says France ready to discuss Syria with all powers but a solution must center around Syrian President Assad stepping down during a political transition - WSJ


Cameron says Assad should face criminal trial, while keeping open the possibility the Syrian president could temporarily remain in power during a political transition - Bloomberg


Austrian minister says Assad should take part in talks on Syrian settlement - TASS


Australia set to abandon opposition to Assad as part of Syria settlement - The Guardian


Erdoğan denies change in Syria policy, says Assad not part of solution - todayszaman.com


Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim warns of ‘disaster’ if Assad government falls - Kurdpress News Aganecy

 

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UN ambassador Samantha Power defends arming Syrian rebels - TheHill


VIDEO: Interview with Samantha Power on Putin and Syria - ABC News


U.S.-trained fighters who defected to an al Qaeda affiliate shows just how confused Washington really is - The Daily Beast


US-backed rebels handed over equipment to al Qaeda in Syria, Pentagon Confirms - The Long War Journal


U.S. Central Command: Reports of New Syrian Force Equipment Being Provided to Al Nusra Front - CENTCOM


Thousands of Foreigners Enter Syria to Join ISIS Despite Global Efforts - The New York Times


France carries out its first air strikes against ISIS in Syria destroying an Islamic State camp - Daily Mail Online


Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain: planners to financiers, cadres to foot soldiers, ideologists to cheerleaders - The Independent


Turkey major conduit for Syrian 'blood antiquities' - Al-Monitor


The Syrian refugee crisis, explained in one map - Vox

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Syria/Russia News - Sep 22, 2015


Russia Deploys Ground-Attack Aircraft to Syrian Base, 28 Combat Planes and 20 Helicopters - The New York Times


These are the 28 jets Russia now has in Syria - The Washington Post


Russia starts Syria drone surveillance missions: U.S. officials - Reuters


Russia to deploy 2,000 in Syria air base mission’s ‘first phase’ - FT.com


Russia to Start Bombing in Syria asap: US official - The Daily Beast


Anticipation of a Russian Strike on ISIS in Syria: Novaya Gazeta - interpretermag.com


Russia, Iran Seen Coordinating in Syria - WSJ


Russia ready to consider Syria’s request to send troops if Damascus asks for it: Kremlin - TASS


Israel and Russia to Coordinate Military Action in Syria: Benjamin Netanyahu - NBC News


Russian defense, Pentagon chiefs agree to restore military contacts, discuss Syria - RT


Russian Official: 'Without Cooperation With Moscow, US Is Only a Second Fiddle in Syria’ - Sputnik


Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia: military source - Yahoo News


Syrian army bombards ISIS positions in Palmyra, Raqqa, Idlib - The Guardian


Why Russia is expanding its Syrian naval base: seeks to help the Syrian government but also to increase its presence in the Mediterranean - The Moscow Times


Rebels depict Russia as a new occupier, say Syria could be the next Afghanistan - Business Insider

 

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Activists report 75 U.S.-trained rebels return to Syria - AP


US-backed Syrian rebels arrested and later released by another group, The Times report - Middle East Eye


Was Syrian train-and-equip effort always a ‘mission impossible'? General acknowledges the $500 million program is in tatters - defensenews.com


US-backed leader of Syrian rebel group quits and lists 6 problems with the training program - Business Insider


This is the ISIS intel the U.S. military dumbed down, reports overstated the damage that U.S. strikes had on specific ISIS targets - The Daily Beast


Senseless slaughter, corruption and broken promises of money and glory: Landmark report reveals why growing numbers of foreign fighters are defecting from ISIS - Daily Mail Online

 

REPORT: Victims, Perpetrators, Assets: The Narratives of Islamic State Defectors - International Center for the Study of Radicalisation


Interview on ISIS defectors with Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation - VOX


Islamic State defectors: Three case studies - BBC News


Syrian rebels say they’ve helped hundreds defect from Islamic State - SanLuisObispo.com


IS executes 10 people accused of being gay in Syria - The Times of Israel


US pledges another $419M to Syrian refugees, Kerry: US to accept 85,000 refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017 - TheHill


Plan to admit more refugees faces stiff opposition in U.S. Congress, many worry that Islamist fighters posing as refugees might sneak into the country - Daily Mail Online


Syrian Kurdish leaders planning to capture last border crossing with Turkey held by ISIS - The Independent


Centcom Spokesman: Syrian Kurd Fighters Disrupt ISIL Movement - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


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Syria/Russia News - Sep 16, 2015

 

White House on Russia: Continuing to support Assad is destabilizing and counterproductive  (VIDEO) - Washington Examiner


State Dept.: We are working hard on achieving a political transition away from Assad who is to blame for ISIS - RT


VIDEO: State Dept. spokesman Kirby Press Briefing, Questions on Syria start at minute 1:04 - YouTube


Pentagon has no plans to deconflict airspace with Russia in Syria, despite signs Moscow is establishing a forward air base - TheHill


U.S. defense chief has no plans to talk to Russia counterpart, Pentagon says - Jamestown Sun


Russia’s Assertive Moves Weigh on Pentagon Plans for 2017 Budget - Bloomberg Business


VIDEO: U.S. ambassador Samantha Power: Russia and Iran should be blamed for supporting a regime that is fueling the rise of terrorism - CNN


Analysis: The Russian involvement in Syria could work in favor of U.S. national interests by fighting Islamic terrorists and restoring stability, a prerequisite for a political settlement - Consortiumnews


UN: Peace in Syria only after we combat terror and protect state institutions so as the country doesn’t follow the Libya and Iraqi scenarios - middleeastmonitor.com


26 armed rebel factions issue a statement rejecting U.N. special envoy plan to end Syria conflict - alaraby.co.uk


Barrel Bombs and Artillery Take Heavy Toll on Vital Rebel Offensive in Syria's South - VICE News

 

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Putin defends military aid to Syria to fight 'terrorist aggression', says migrant crisis in Europe would be far worse without it - New York Times


ISIS 'has designs on' Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem and is a danger to Europe, Vladimir Putin warns - The Independent


VIDEO (English subtitles): Speach of Vladimir Putin on Syria (it starts at minute 2:40) - YouTube


Kremlin: Talks between US And Russia ‘indispensable’ to solve Syria crisis, Obama and Putin might meet at the UN General Assembly - Sputnik


Russia Is Setting Up A Forward Air Operating Base in Syria, Pentagon Confirms - Defense One


Russia 'Closing Gap' Between US with Newer Air Defenses, General Says - Military.com


Russia military reportedly deploying to Hama - NOW


Senior Iranian general said to make second Moscow trip - The Times of Israel


'If you are worried about refugees, stop supporting terrorists’: Assad interview - RT News

 

Cold War weaponry and modern military hardware: Inside the ISIS arsenal - Fox News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

What if Americans Had Known in 2013 that U.S. rejected Syria Deal in 2012?

In the United States it is considered fashionable to maintain a steadfast ignorance of rejected peace offers, and to believe that all the wars launched by the U.S. government are matters of "last resort." Our schools still don't teach that Spain wanted the matter of the Maine to go to international arbitration, that Japan wanted peace before Hiroshima, that the Soviet Union proposed peace negotiations before the Korean War, or that the U.S. sabotaged peace proposals for Vietnam from the Vietnamese, the Soviets, and the French. When a Spanish newspaper reported that Saddam Hussein had offered to leave Iraq before the 2003 invasion, U.S. media took little interest. When British media reported that the Taliban was willing to have Osama bin Laden put on trial before the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, U.S. journalists yawned. Iran's 2003 offer to negotiate ending its nuclear energy program wasn't mentioned much during this year's debate over an agreement with Iran -- which was itself nearly rejected as an impediment to war.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari, who had been involved in negotiations in 2012, said that in 2012 Russia had proposed a process of peace settlement between the Syrian government and its opponents that would have included President Bashar al-Assad stepping down. But, according to Ahtisaari, the United States was so confident that Assad would soon be violently overthrown that it rejected the proposal.

The catastrophic Syrian civil war since 2012 has followed U.S. adherence to actual U.S. policy in which peaceful compromise is usually the last resort. Does the U.S. government believe violence tends to produce better results? The record shows otherwise. More likely it believes that violence will lead to greater U.S.-control, while satisfying the war industry. The record on the first part of that is mixed at best.

Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000 Wesley Clark claims that in 2001, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld put out a memo proposing to take over seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. The basic outline of this plan was confirmed by none other than former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who in 2010 pinned it on former Vice President Dick Cheney:

"Cheney wanted forcible 'regime change' in all Middle Eastern countries that he considered hostile to U.S. interests, according to Blair. 'He would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it — Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.,' Blair wrote. 'In other words, he [Cheney] thought the world had to be made anew, and that after 11 September, it had to be done by force and with urgency. So he was for hard, hard power. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.'"

U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks trace U.S. efforts in Syria to undermine the government back to at least 2006. In 2013, the White House went public with plans to lob some unspecified number of missiles into Syria, which was in the midst of a horrible civil war already fueled in part by U.S. arms and training camps, as well as by wealthy U.S. allies in the region and fighters emerging from other U.S.-created disasters in the region.

The excuse for the missiles was an alleged killing of civilians, including children, with chemical weapons -- a crime that President Barack Obama claimed to have certain proof had been committed by the Syrian government. Watch the videos of the dead children, the President said, and support that horror or support my missile strikes. Those were the only choices, supposedly. It wasn't a soft sell, but it wasn't a powerful or successful one either.

The "proof" of responsibility for that use of chemical weapons fell apart, and public opposition to what we later learned would have been a massive bombing campaign succeeded. Public opposition succeeded without knowing about the rejected proposal for peace of 2012. But it succeeded without follow-through. No new effort was made for peace, and the U.S. went right ahead inching its way into the war with trainers and weapons and drones.

In January 2015, a scholarly study found that the U.S. public believes that whenever the U.S. government proposes a war, it has already exhausted all other possibilities. When a sample group was asked if they supported a particular war, and a second group was asked if they supported that particular war after being told that all alternatives were no good, and a third group was asked if they supported that war even though there were good alternatives, the first two groups registered the same level of support, while support for war dropped off significantly in the third group. This led the researchers to the conclusion that if alternatives are not mentioned, people don't assume they exist — rather, people assume they've already been tried. So, if you mention that there is a serious alternative, the game is up. You'll have to get your war on later.

Based on the record of past wars, engaged in and avoided, as it dribbles out in the years that follow, the general assumption should always be that peace has been carefully avoided at every turn.

Focus: Syria/Russia - Sep 12, 2015


Russia calls on for military-to-military cooperation with the United States on Syria to avert 'unintended incidents' - reuters.com


VIDEO: FM Lavrov says Russia seeks coordination with US over Syria to avoid 'incidents' - YouTube


Pentagon: Neither U.S. nor coalition forces have contacted Russian forces in Syria to prevent any miscalculation or miscommunication - Stripes


Russia calls on world to back Syrian military, calling it the 'most powerful ground force' in the fight against the Islamic State - Washington Times


Russian build-up in Syria part of secret deal with Iran’s Quds Force leader: intel sources - Fox News


1000 Iranian Marines Join Russian Troops in Jablah Base to Fight Syrian Rebels, Says Report - ibtimes.co.in


Russia intensifies naval exercises off Syrian coast: sources - Reuters


Russia is sending advanced air defenses to Syria - Business Insider


Russia running Damascus International Airport: pro-opposition report - NOW


VIDEO: Russian troops live-fire training in Syria - The Washington Post


Berlin says would welcome Russian role in fight against IS - Reuters


Syria, Egypt agree on restoring ties: report - THE DAILY STAR

 

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Obama: Russia's support for Assad 'a big mistake' - TheHill


VIDEO: Obama Comments On Russian Military In Syria - CBS News


U.S. scrambling for a plan, options are to confront Russia inside Syria or cooperate with it on the fight against the Islamic State - Bloomberg


The Pentagon's Syria debacle, top brass debate how to rescue costly effort to raise rebel army to fight Islamic State - POLITICO


Critics: No way U.S. can meet Syria training goals - Washington Examiner


Syrian rebel training program costs millions and counting - DoD Buzz


Pentagon now training fourth class of Syrian rebels - TheHill


Western states train Kurdish force battling ISIS in Syria - THE DAILY STAR


Lawmakers welcome whistleblowers as DoD probes cooked intel on ISIS and Qaeda, Altered reports allegedly portrayed the terror groups weaker than they are - defensenews.com


Exclusive: 50 spies say ISIS intelligence was cooked - The Daily Beast


US spy chief’s ‘highly unusual’ reported contact with military official raises concerns over rosy portrayals of the war against the Islamic State - rawstory.com


VIDEO: White House spokesman Earnest can't say the U.S. is winning the war against Islamic State - YouTube


President Obama directs administration to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year - The Washington Post


U.S. charities urge Obama to let in more Syrians, ask churches to help - The Washington Post

 

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US official: 'IS making and using chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria’ (VIDEO) - BBC News


Islamic State Ordnance Shows Traces of Chemical Agents, U.S. Says - The New York Times


VIDEO: Islamic State using 'chemical weapons' as wounded soldiers reveal painful skin burns in graphic footage - Mirror Online


UN Security Council OKs Syria chemical probe - ledgergazette.com


Syrian air base falls to rebels, troops exit: state TV - Reuters


Islamic State seizes last Syrian oilfield under government control, monitor says - Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Al Qaeda calls Islamic State illegitimate but suggests cooperation - Reuters


Kurds say Syrian opposition supports Islamic State - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Former Sex Slave Says Kayla Mueller Was Killed By ISIS, Not An Airstrike - huffingtonpost.com


The women taking on ISIS: on the ground with Iraq's Yazidi female fighters - The Guardian


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Migrant Crisis & Syria War Fueled By Competing Gas Pipelines

Don’t let anyone fool you: Sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.
Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Greece has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration flow of people heading into the European Union. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Refugees and migrants wait to cross the border from the northern Greek
village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Monday,
Sept. 7, 2015. Greece has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration
flow of people heading into the European Union.
(AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

MINNEAPOLIS — Images of Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy who washed up dead on Mediterranean shores in his family’s attempt to flee war-torn Syria, have grabbed the attention of people around the world, sparking outrage about the true costs of war.

The heart-wrenching refugee crisis unfolding across the Middle East and at European borders has ignited a much needed conversation on the ongoing strife and instability that’s driving people from their homes in countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq. It’s brought international attention to the inhumane treatment these refugees are receiving if — and it is a major “if” — they arrive at Europe’s door.

In Syria, for example, foreign powers have sunk the nation into a nightmare combination of civil war, foreign invasion and terrorism. Syrians are in the impossible position of having to choose between living in a warzone, being targeted by groups like ISIS and the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown, or faring dangerous waters with minimal safety equipment only to be denied food, water and safety by European governments if they reach shore.

An American In Syria

An American in Syria
By John Mesler, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

In 1955 Alcoa was the first big sponsor to drop the Edward R. Murrow Show. Alcoa didn't just make aluminum cans. They made parts for our military fighter jets. Murrow spoke out against the communism fear mongering tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy and eventually more corporations dropped his show. Now those companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, GE, and Honeywell, to name just a few, own the mainstream media TV and papers and decide what "news" we, the American public get to hear. By 1961 we were warned by President Eisenhower about the Military Industrial Complex but not enough of us were paying attention. The truth does eventually get out, however. As I write this piece, recently retired Lt. General Flynn (who also served as chief of the Department Intelligence Agency), admitted that the US has been supporting al-Qaeda with money and weaponry. Isn't that the same group we held responsible for attacking us on 9/11 in the first place?

Syria/Turkey News - Aug 12, 2015


U.S. denies reaching agreement with Turkey on Syria 'safe zone' - Reuters


VIDEO: US denies any Pact with Turkey on Safe Zone in Syria - YouTube


Turkey PM: Syria no-fly zone needed - BBC News


VIDEO: Turkey PM Ahmet Davutoglu pledges Syria 'safe zone' - BBC News


Ankara says Turkish, US forces to hit ISIL, Kurdish militants if entered ’safe zone’ - todayszaman.com


State Dept: US will not allow Turkey to attack PYD in Syria - Rudaw


U.S. Shelves Its $500M Syrian Rebel Army - The Daily Beast


Islamic State attacks Syrian rebels near Turkish border in an area where Turkey and the United States aim to create an area free of the jihadist group - Reuters


Al-Qaida affiliate ceases fighting ISIS in parts of Syria, orders fighters to stand down in parts of the country where Turkey intends to create a 'safe zone’ - The Guardian


Ahrar al-Sham announces support for ISIS-free Syria zone - Middle East Online


Ahrar al-Sham’s Political Office has posted an English version of its statement on Turkey’s “safe zone” in N Syria - Charles Lister on Twitter


Turkmen fighters arrive in Syria to launch the first phase of a joint U.S.-Turkish initiative to establish an Islamic State-free zone - IBTimes


Syrian Rebels Are Using Turkish Lira In ISIS-Free Zone - vocativ.com


New Coalition Airstrikes Destroy ISIL Infrastructure in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov


Source on ground, who listened in to Nusra walkie talkie, tells me Nusra said 50 fighters dead after coalition strikes. 20 injured - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


As Rifts Open Up in Syria’s al-Qaeda Franchise, Secrets Spill Out - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


ISIS Takes Aim at Its Toughest Foes in Southern Syria- The Daily Beast


Two days ceasefire agreed between Syrian army and rebels in three Syrian towns - sources - Reuters

 

Saudi Arabia rejects Russian calls to work with Assad against IS - Yahoo News


VIDEO (English): Lavrov and Saudi's al-Jubeir disagree about Syria and Assad - YouTube


Proposed UN Statement Would Back Preparatory Talks on Syria - ABC News

 

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Turkey's strikes on Kurds could drag US into new front, Pentagon sources fear - Fox News


Report claims Turkey gave US only 10 minutes warning before strikes on PKK - Middle East Eye


PKK should bury arms, ceasefire not enough: Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: Erdoğan: PKK should bury arms, ceasefire not enough, airstrikes will continue until 'not one terrorist is left' - YouTube


PKK claims responsibility for Monday's suicide bombing and a subsequent armed attack on a police station - Anadolu Agency


Swaggering Gunmen on Camera as PKK Targets Turkish Towns - Bloomberg Business


Turkish warplanes strike PKK targets in southeast - US News


Erdoğan seeks damages from HDP leader Demirtaş - .todayszaman.com


HDP deputy claims Turkey handed over YPG fighters to al-Nusra-allied group - hurriyetdailynews.com


Diplomatic crisis between Ankara, Tehran as FM's visit delayed - Cihan Politics News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

SYRIA After the Iran-U.S. Sanctions Agreement: What’s Ahead – Diplomacy or Military Escalation?

Via U-Stream, Conference Call, Youtube and in person

TUES. Aug 11 @ 7:30pm EST Sharp

 

In Person at: Solidarity Center

Please arrive no later than 7pm at:

147 West 24th St, 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10011

(Between 6th & 7th Ave – Free parking available on street after 7pm, F, M, E  #1 subway or NJ PATH train to 23 St)

 

Or join us via

Conference Call Audio at 712-432-6100, Access code: 41853116 #

 

Or watch live U-stream http://www.ustream.tv/channel/IACenter

Questions for Panelists can be sent via the U-stream link

 

Or watch on Youtube by Tues 11pm at: IACenter.org

 

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1478757319111083/

 

Pease link to this program and help spread the word

 

Speakers include:

Dr. Ghias Moussa – Syrian American Forum

Ramsey Clark – former U.S. Attorney General & human rights attorney,

Margaret Kimberly – Black Agenda Report

Larry Hamm – Peoples Organization for Progress

Joe Lombardo – United National Antiwar Coalition

Sara Flounders – International Action Center

 

With discussion and video comments from

Dr. Cynthia McKinney, David Swanson, Caleb Maupin, Eva Bartlett, Kazem Azin … and others

 

An ALERT on Dangerous U.S. War Moves – U.S. bombing to support “moderate rebels” new inspections for chemical weapons, “Safe Zone” on Turkish border, new U.S. bases in Turkey… 

 

Organized by International Action Center – IACenter.org

With participants from: Syrian American Forum, Black Agenda Report, CPR Metro Radio, Go Pro Radio, International League of Peoples Struggles, Peoples Organization for Progress, SI Solidarity Iran, Syria Solidarity Movement, United National Antiwar Coalition, World Beyond War,

Turkey News - Aug 10, 2015


Kurdish rebels attack police, military in Turkey, policeman killed - Reuters


Report: 7 hurt in bomb attack at Istanbul police station - The Sun Herald


VIDEO: 5 police, 2 civilians injured in blast at Istanbul police station, protest against PKK ensues - YouTube


Anti-goverment protests in Cizre turn violent after three people killed and seven wounded in clashes between Turkey police and PKK - Aganecy


VIDEO: Pro-Kurdish protesters clash with Turkey police in Cizre (Part 1) - YouTube


VIDEO: Kurds clash with Turkey police in Cizre (Part 2) - YouTube


Nearly 400 Kurdish rebels killed in 2 weeks of Turkey airstrikes: report - Yahoo News


Turkish authorities launch probe into video of handcuffed Kurdish villagers lying face down - todayszaman.com


VIDEO (English Subs): Turkish police chief shouts Kurdish villagers handcuffed and lying face down - YouTube


Thousands attend demonstration in Istanbul calling on peace between Turkey and PKK - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: Thousands gather in Istanbul to protest against the Turkish government's intensified military offensive on PKK targets (Part 1) - Reuters


VIDEO: Istanbul peace protest calls for end of hostilities with PKK (Part 2) - video.news.com.au


Thousands of Kurds in Germany march against Turkish air strikes - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Kurds in France and Germany protest Turkish military actions - YouTube


Brussels rally calls on US, Europe to help stop Turkish attacks - Rudaw


German FM: End of Turkey’s peace process would be fatal - todayszaman.com


Europe 'rejects' extradition of nearly 650 PKK and leftish suspects - middleeastmonitor.com


Turkey's pursuit of Kurdish rebels threatens to further destabilize the region - The Washington Post


Minister: Turkey will not give Syrian refugees right to work - todayszaman.com


Turkey faces credit downgrade risk by year end - todayszaman.com

 

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Pro-Kurdish party leader Demirtas urges the PKK to 'remove its finger from the trigger' and the government to launch peace talks - Yahoo News


Demirtaş visits family of slain soldier, calls for peace - todayszaman.com


HDP says negotiations for settlement should be with Öcalan-led delegation - todayszaman.com


Öcalan demands PKK and Turkey to stop the fighting, return to the table of negotiations - ARA News


Peshmerga chief urges PKK to leave Iraq’s Kurdish region - Anadolu Agency


VIDEO: Rifts among Kurdish parties over KRG call on PKK to leave Iraq's Kurdistan - YouTube


VIDEO: PKK leader: Turkey is protecting IS by attacking Kurds - BBC News


Ambulances ferry ISIL terrorists between Turkey and Syria, CHP report says - todayszaman.com


Kurdish Forces Discover Network of Tunnels Connecting Towns on Opposite Sides of the Syrian-Turkish Border - BasNews


Turkey intentionally late in action against ISIL recruiters: Report - hurriyetdailynews.com


YPG accuses Turkey of handing over six Kurdish fighters to Nusra Front, facing the risk of execution - ARA News


Another Jabhat al-Nusra judicial document for execution of individuals for fornication and homosexuality - Aymenn J Al-Tamimi on Twitter


US deploys six F-16 jets with 300 personnel to Turkey for IS fight - Yahoo News


Russia's Lavrov says U.S. must work with Assad to fight Islamic State - Yahoo News


Islamic State kills 37 rival insurgents in Syria's Aleppo province: monitor - Reuters


ISIS battles Syria rebels for key supply lifeline near Turkey border crossing: activists - THE DAILY STAR


Islamic State is led by more than 100 of Saddam's former officers - AP


Terra Incognita: Are Saddam-era soldiers secretly behind the rise of Islamic State? No. - Jerusalem Post


REPORT: A Snapshot of the Islamic State's Official Media Output - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


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Syria/Turkey News - Aug 8, 2015


Attack on Syrian rebels raises questions about how a small ragtag group of U.S.-trained forces was sent into battle - AP


Pentagon says Syrian training program no longer seen as major way to fight Islamic State, praises Syrian Kurdish forces - Miami Herald


CENTCOM insists it’s in regular contact with US-trained Syrian rebels despite reports that it had lost track of many of the fighters - U.S. Stripes


VIDEO: US-trained Syria troops 'not supported', senior rebel says the US failed to protect Division 30 when it came under attack by Nusra - BBC


US-trained Syrian rebels refuse to fight Nusra Front after kidnappings, also opposes American air strikes carried out against the al-Qaida-linked fighters - The Guardian


Arab media are laughing at the Pentagon, see US-trained anti-Islamist force as only fit to ‘play paintball’ - Jerusalem Post


Nusra militants evacuate headquarters near Aleppo to avoid U.S.-led strikes - ARA News


The Nusra Front’s internal purges, two top leaders arguing for total war against the Islamic State dumped - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


VIDEO: Pushing Back the Islamic State: The Kurdish Battle for Rojava - VICE News


As Iran Rises in the Mideast, Kurds Benefit in Iraq and Syria - breitbart.com


Syria says fight against Islamic State must include Damascus - Daily Mail Online


Assad must leave or forced to: Saudi FM - KUNA

 

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Obama To Turks: Don't Use The War On ISIS To Bomb The Kurds - huffingtonpost.com


US defends itself, claims agreement with Turkey not a betrayal of Kurds - bgnnews.com


PKK calls on US to be part of the peace process by bringing Turkish and Kurdish sides around a negotiation table - hurriyetdailynews.com


Kurdish leader Demirtas seeks EU help in peace talks with Turkey - Al Bawaba


Five killed as PKK continues its attacks in Turkey - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: Kurds clash with Turkish police in two southeastern towns - YouTube


'There Will Be a Civil War in Turkey': Welcome to Cizre, the 'Center of Kurdish Resistance' - VICE News


PKK guerrillas: We will stay in Iraq until war is finished - Rudaw


Arab league condemns Turkey’s PKK operations - todayszaman.com


Medvedev says legitimacy of Turkey’s air strikes in Iraq ’doubtful’ - todayszaman.com


Academics call on government to restore peace in Turkey - todayszaman.com

 

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U.S. Central Command: One year in, officials assess anti-ISIL progress - centcom.mil


Pentagon on the year long anti-ISIL campaign: "the true situation shows a waning insurgency, losing ground on nearly every front" - defense.gov


Dozens of Syrian Christians missing and believed to be captives of the Islamic State after it seizes town - The New York Times


Islamic State executed 2,000 Iraqis in Mosul region since takeover: Iraq defense minister - Yahoo News


Kurdish official says ISIS executed 19 girls for refusing to have sex with fighters - Daily Mail Online


Artificial intelligence decodes Islamic State strategy, Roadside bombs more likely after air campaigns (VIDEO) - BBC News


REPORT: Mining for Causal Relationships: A Data-Driven Study of the Islamic State - arxiv.org


What it takes to join the Islamic State, a prospective jihadist is subjected to information based on books, publications and fatwas, accompanied by military training - Al-Monitor


If You Retweet an ISIS Message, You’re Being Recorded by the F.B.I. - huffingtonpost.com


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Syria/Turkey News - Aug 5, 2015


Al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front hunting down U.S.-trained Syrian rebels, more believed captured: source - Reuters


U.S.-trained Syria rebel believed killed in fighting with Nusra Front: sources - Reuters


U.S backed Division 30 losses: July 30 - 8 captured. July 31 - 5 killed, 18 wounded, 20 captured. August 3 - 5 captured - Charles Lister on Twitter


U.S backed Division 30: Yet another Pentagon's failure in Syria - The News Hub


U.S. drones flying out of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey defending Syrian rebels from Nusra Front - NBC News


Pentagon: US not at war with Assad, “The people we are training and equipping are pledged to fight ISIL and only ISIL - PressTV


A US warning that it would use its air power to defend Pentagon-trained rebels should they be attacked by Syrian troops was met with scepticism by officials in Damascus - AFP


US, Turkey agree to keep Syrian Kurds out of proposed border zone - WSJ


US support of Syrian Kurds ruffles Turkey's feathers - Al-Monitor


Syrian Kurds set terms for partnership with Assad, official of YPG group battling ISIL says they are willing to coordinate with anyone who is ready for democracy - Al Jazeera


Russia Seeks Coalition on Islamic State While It Backs Assad - Bloomberg Business


Russia not planning to send troops to fight ISIS in Syria: Putin’s spokesman - RT News


At least 11 IS militants killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on their headquarter in al- Mayadin - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


Jihadists in Syria honor Mullah Omar, praise Taliban’s radical state - The Long War Journal


Why haven’t Syrian banks collapsed under sanctions and war? - The Washington Post

 

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Report: Turkish Jets Attack PKK Targets in Southeast Turkey - ABC News


Three soldiers killed by PKK in southeast amid violence outbreak - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: Three killed by PKK mine in southeast Turkey: security sources - Reuters


PKK attacks Turkey's halted Shah Deniz gas pipeline - Yahoo News


EU, US call for Turkish restraint against Kurds, urge the PKK to renounce violence and re-engage in peace talks - VOA


CHP, HDP seek to reduce tension, call on PKK to stop violence - hurriyetdailynews.com


Demirtaş says PKK ready to return to negotiations, quoting a senior PKK figure - hurriyetdailynews.com


It’s never late to call for peace: Demirtaş - hurriyetdailynews.com


ISIL revealed to have conducted reconnaissance before Suruç bombing - todayszaman.com


ISIS fighters throw man from a building in Iraq for being gay (PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


Islamic State Circulates Sex Slave Price List - Bloomberg Business


Islamic State Yazidi Slaves: Thousands Remain In ISIS Captivity As Iraqi Kurdistan Marks One Year Since Sinjar Massacre - IBTIMES


Yazidis Demand UN Action Against ISIS on 1st anniversary of attack - breitbart.com


Islamic State launches Android app for news and recruitment - IBTimes


ISIS or Al Qaeda? American Officials Split Over Top Terror Threat - The New York Times


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Syria/Turkey News - Aug 2, 2015

 

US-backed rebel group flees north Syria HQ after clash with Nusra - THE DAILY STAR


Saga of U.S trained Syria rebels continues. Nusra attacks their HQ. 5 dead, 18 injured & 20 captured out of 60 - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria says it captured US-backed rebels - The Long War Journal


Nusra statement: About Division 30 and Assistance of the Coalition Airplanes With Bombing Nusra (English) - justpaste.it


VIDEO (Arabic): Nusra publishes video of abducted U.S trained Syrian rebels including an interview with one of them - YouTube


According to the New York Times U.S officials thought Nusra would welcome U.S trained rebels as an ally in its fight against Islamic State - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Syria's rebel fighters recruited to fight Isis, but captured and beaten by Jabhat al-Nusra for 'collaborating with crusaders' - The Independent


More on the relationship between U.S backed rebel group Division 30 and Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front - Juan Cole


According to local sources Turkey opens its border for Al Nusra - ANF


Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria flaunts U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles - Al Arabiya News


Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo, two were accused of adultery and the rest of collaboration with the Syrian government: monitor - Yahoo News

 

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Syrian Kurds Accuse Turkey Of Attacks, Ask U.S. For Explanation - huffingtonpost.com


Ascendant Kurds emerge from Syrian civil war as major power player - The Guardian


US commander Killea hails Kurdish group opposed by Turkey, 'YPG for the coalition against ISIL has been a very reliable partner' - Military.com


VIDEO: Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin J. Killea on the coalition against ISIL - dvidshub.net


YPG kills 25 IS militants and drags their bodies at the outskirts of the city of al- Hasakah - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


VIDEO: Hasakah : Syrian Army 104th Repulican Guards and Tribal Fighters capture the Central Prison from ISIS - LiveLeak.com


Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: activists - THE DAILY STAR


25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack - Al Arabiya News

 

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Turkey military presses ahead with strikes against PKK in northern Iraq, as many as 28 F-16 jets raid 65 PKK targets - todayszaman.com


Turkish Airstrikes Kill Nine Civilians in Kurdistan Region, Local villagers ask PKK to leave the area - BasNews


Witnesses tell the massacre in Zergêle village in Kandil caused by Turkey bombing (VIDEO) - ANF


PHOTOS: Photos of civilians killed by Turkish airforces in village near mountain Kandil - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Turkish F16 hit kurdish village killing civilians - LiveLeak.com


Turkey says ’saddened’ over reports of civilian deaths in air strikes, vows probe - todayszaman.com


Iraqi Kurdish regional government asks PKK to 'withdraw' to prevent civilian deaths amid Turkish airstrikes targeting the group - AP


KRG condemns PKK attack on Turkey's oil pipeline - middleeastmonitor.com


Sources: Turkey Military operations 'kill 260 PKK terrorists’ - Anadolu Agency


HDP leader Demirtas denies his brother injured in air strikes on PKK in northern Iraq - todayszaman.com


Turkey has not struck IS targets since 24 July, but strikes against PKK targets have continued every night since then - Alev Scott on Twitter


Turkey used 3 planes to strike IS targets in Syria on night of 23-24 July. The next night it used 75 planes to hit PKK targets in Iraq - Alev Scott on Twitter

 

Kurds Claim Turkish Airstrikes on PKK Destroyed Health Clinic in Iraqi Kurdistan - breitbart.com


2 Soldiers Dead, 24 Wounded in PKK Suicide Attack in Turkey: Officials - ABC News


PKK military wing HPG: At least 14 soldiers and 2 police officers killed in the past days - ANF


We are ready to sacrifice our sons, Davutoğlu says amidst terror attacks - todayszaman.com


Turkish prime minister Davutoglu op-ed : We will stop at nothing to defeat terrorism - The Washington Post


Police break up march in Turkey demanding PKK leader's freedom - Middle East Eye


HDP co-chairs file complaints against Erdogan, Davutoglu for swaying judiciary - todayszaman.com

 

HDP co-leader Yuksekdag faces propaganda investigation - Anadolu Agency


There are ‘preparations’ to close HDP, says co-leader Demirtaş - hurriyetdailynews.com


Are Turkish courts delaying trials of IS militants? - Al-Monitor


The one who got away: 40 Indian workers in Mosul were abducted and 39 killed by the Islamic State - Fountain Ink Series


US Report: ISIS Still Kidnapping and Selling Women - aina.org


al-Ḥayāt Media Center presents a new magazine issue from The Islamic State: “Istok #2″ - JIHADOLOGY


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Syria/Turkey News - July 31, 2015

 

U.S.-backed Syrian group says Nusra abducted its leader and members, a blow to U.S. efforts to train fighters to combat ISIS - Al Arabiya


US moves to quash reports on Syria trainees captured by al-Nusra - Middle East Eye


Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately - PJ Tatler


If u want to know more about U.S trained rebel group allegedly captured by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, read this - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Kidnapping of Pentagon-Trained Fighters in Syria Is New Hurdle for U.S. Effort - The New York Times


Pentagon price tag for Syrian rebels: $4 million each - POLITICO


Pentagon: Cost of War Against ISIS Already Exceeds $3 Billion - Breitbart


US, Turkey differ over how to fight IS from Incirlik air base, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bilgic: support for the YPG is not one of the elements of the agreement - Asharq Al-Awsat


Syrian Kurds fear their territorial gains are at risk after Turkish action - The National


Syria Kurds’ spending plans reflect ambition as the authorities provide services for a greater population due to the territorial gains - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time - Yahoo News


Turkey Seeks To Prevent Syria Kurds' Autonomy, Not Fight IS, Analysts Suggest - rferl.org


Turkish military builds 2.5 meter-high, rocket-proof wall on Syria border - Todays Zaman


POLL: Majority of Turks would prefer Kurds over ISIL controlling northern Syria - Todays Zaman


ICJ acknowledges request for inquiry into Syria-bound MİT trucks - Todays Zaman


Assyrian Christians Demand Turkey Stop Bombing YPG - Breitbart


Cairo slams Turkey’s proposed safe zone in Syria, defends territorial unity - bgnnews.com


Egypt accuses Turkey of working with the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula - Washington Times


Syria ‘doubts Turkey’s intentions in anti-ISIS effort’ - Al Arabiya News


———————————————————————————

Erdogan taking Turkey to war to avenge Kurdish territorial and political gains: leader of pro-Kurdish opposition Demirtas - Reuters


VIDEO: Kurd leader Demirtas attacks Turkey's 'safe zone' plan for Syria - BBC News


Demirtas: PKK withdrew from its separatist agenda 20 years ago, it is Erdogan’s fault that the PKK did not lay down their arms - Rudaw


Turkey prosecutors open probe into Kurdish leader Demirtas - France 24


Summary of proceedings prepared for Demirtas' immunity to be lifted - Todays Zaman


Erdoğan hits out at the Kurds, says their representatives have links to terrorist groups and the peace process is impossible – POLITICO


VIDEO: Erdogan responds to accusations by the head of a pro-Kurdish party - YouTube


New wave of attacks in southeastern Turkey blamed on the PKK with at least 11 police and army members killed since last week - AFP


PM’s office: 1,302 detained in 39 provinces in terror raids across Turkey targeting ISIL, the PKK and illegal extreme leftist groups - Todays Zaman


CPJ calls on Turkey to restore access to banned websites - Todays Zaman


Turkey onslaught on Kurds fuels anger - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey’s Kurds condemn renewed fighting with PKK - France 24


In Iraq bastions, PKK braces for new war with Turkey - Yahoo News UK


Turkish Lira Declines as Soldier Deaths Spur Security Risk - Bloomberg Business


German defense minister cautions Turkey about attacks on PKK - Todays Zaman


Germany Wants to Withdraw Patriot Missiles From Turkey due to attacks carried out by the government forces against the Kurds - Sputnik International


Iraqi PM: Turkish Airstrikes on Kurds 'Dangerous Escalation and Violation of Sovereignty' - Breitbart


Turkey urged by Nato to show restraint as Erdogan says Kurdish peace process 'impossible' - Telegraph


UN calls on Turkey and PKK to find peaceful solution - Rudaw


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Turkey News - July 27, 2015


Turkish Jets Hit Kurdish Militant Camps Again, Security Sources Say - huffingtonpost.com


Kurdish Separatists End Cease-Fire After Turkish Airstrikes - VOA


Merkel urges Turkey to continue Kurdish peace process despite violence - DW.COM


EU’s Mogherini urges Turkey to keep Kurdish peace process alive - BasNews


Here's what the US has to say about Turkey and the PKK - Al Bawaba


NATO: North Atlantic Council to meet at Turkey's request - US News


Iraq’s Kurdistan slams Turkish airstrikes on PKK - Al Arabiya News


In a phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu Barzani urges Turkey to Stop Attacks on PKK - BasNews


Barzani's statement on Turkish airstrikes contradicts Davutoğlu's remarks - hurriyetdailynews.com


The Kurdistan Parliament condemns the Turkish air campaign targeting bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory - NRT English


HDP slams operations targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party: AKP is setting Turkey on fire - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Erdogan’s shift on Islamic State linked to Kurdish gains in Syria, implementing a safe-zone project controlled by Turkey-supported Syrian opposition forces - Al-Monitor


Le Monde publishes indictment claiming MİT involved in Paris murder of 3 PKK women - todayszaman.com


Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds - gatestoneinstitute.org


Report: Seized USB drives reveal Turkey’s links to ISIL - todayszaman.com


Report: Turkish President Erdogan's daughter heads ‘covert' medical facility for treating injured Isis fighters, These claims however could not be independently verified - IBTimes


ARCHIVE: Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List - huffingtonpost.com

 

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Turkey policeman killed during clashes with protesters in Istanbul district of Gazi - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey: Clashes erupt as activists protest Turkish airstrikes, dozens arrested - YouTube


Turkey bans 'peace march' on security concerns - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish police break up anti-IS march in Ankara - theSundaily


Protesters, police clash in eastern Turkey - The Journal of Turkish Weekly

 

Hundreds detained in operations across Turkey and North Kurdistan - ANF


Turkey blocks Kurdish websites as Twitter and Facebook slows down - hurriyetdailynews.com


People march from Ranya to Kandil to protest Turkish airstrikes - ANF


PHOTOS: Kurds are marching to Qandil to prevent Turkish attacks on PKK - International Brigades of Rojava


VIDEO: Hundreds of French Kurds stage demonstration in Paris against the attack by ISIL that killed 32 people, but also against the government’s bombing of PKK - euronews


Politicians, protesters in Germany condemn Turkey attacks on PKK - rudaw.net


Kurds and others protest against Turkey in Washington - rudaw.net


Jailed prosecutor says complacency towards Salafists made Suruç bombing possible - todayszaman.com

 

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ISIS on retreat as Syrian Kurdish forces make more territorial gains in - rudaw.net


Syrian army, Kurds advance against IS in Hasakeh - Yahoo News


Syrian Kurds: Turkish army tanks shelled our positions - International Brigades of Rojava


PYD Leader Muslim: Iraqi Kurdistan is Our Main Provider of Weapons - BasNews


KRG Releases Details of Weapons Sent to YPG in Rojava - BasNews


Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov


Syrian President Bashar Assad makes rare speech, vows to crush enemies - CBS News


VIDEO (English):  Assad's Damascus speech (Full) - Al Bawaba


Syria's Assad announces amnesty for draft dodgers -Syrian TV - Yahoo News

 

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Syria News - June 23, 2015


On the offensive Syrian Kurds push deeper into Islamic State territory, seize military base - Yahoo News


Kurds announce their forces gained five more villages from Islamic State militants near the towns of Tel Abyad and Suluk in Raqqa province - nrttv


Kurds find Islamic State tunnel near Turkish border - US News


Kurds find torture center, prison cells of ISIL in Tal Abyad - hurriyetdailynews.com


Free from ISIS, Kurdish refugees return from Turkey to their villages to rebuild (PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Thousands of refugees cross back into Syria from Turkey - Reuters


Kurdish leader Salih Muslim denies YPG committed ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Tel Abyad - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Is there 'systematic ethnic cleansing' by Kurds in north-east Syria? - Kobani Kurd


Analysis: Tel Abyad gives the Syrian Kurds control of  250-mile border with Turkey cutting off ISIS supply routes as well as uniting two of their three cantons - ROAR Magazine


After Tell Abyad, what's next for PYD? - Al-Monitor


YPG would not attack IS’s capital Raqqa: spokesman - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syrian Kurds' morale high but arms needed, YPJ commander - ANSAMed.it


Kurds seek Canadian military, financial support in fight against ISIL: ‘Time to see something concrete’ - National Post


Syrian Kurdish Leader Salih Muslim Allegedly Holds Secret Meeting With Iraqi PM Abadi - basnews.com


VIDEO: 'Revolution within revolution’: How and why Kurdish women are fighting ISIS (DOCUMENTARY) — RT News


Suicide attack hit Kurdish security center in Syria's Qamishli - ARA News


ISIS scrambles to bolster Raqqa defense - now.mmedia.me


Islamic State covers A-Raqqa city with surveillance cameras - Syria Direct


Syria: ISIS Beheads Leader of Al Qaeda Offshoot Nusra Front in Raqqa - IBTimes


VIDEO: ISIS behead in public al-Nusra Fighter - LiveLeak.com


ISIS fighters show off their hearty meal while those in Raqqa queue for food (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Syrian army advances west of ISIS-controlled Palmyra - THE DAILY STAR


ISIS militants plant mines and bombs in Palmyra: activists - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: ISIS militants lay explosives in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra - YouTube

 

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Tel Abyad battle could give blueprint for success against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, coordination between the coalition and Kurdish command - CNN


Coalition General Praises Kurdish Forces in Iraq and Syria - basnews.com


Pentagon: Military airstrikes hit ISIL in Syria and Iraq, Near Tal Abyad five airstrikes struck one large and four small ISIL units - Defense.gov


Turkey Warns US About Kurdish Advances in Syria - VOA


Main points of the document on Syrian Kurds, prepared by Turkey Foreign Ministry and obtained by daily Hürriyet - Hürriyet


US says Turkey main transit route for Syria-bound foreign fighters - todayszaman.com


Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection - Al-Monitor

 

VIDEO (English subtitles): Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection - YouTube


After Tal Abyad was recaptured by Kurdish forces former Islamic State recruits ask for amnesty in homelands - Rudaw


Pentagon pays Syrian rebels $400 per month to fight ISIS - usatoday.com


Syrian Opposition Fighters Withdraw from US 'Train and Equip' Program - syrianobserver.com


Here’s how badly the Pentagon effort to train Syrian rebels is lagging - The Washington Post


Military Council of the Free Syrian Army and Nusra Front form new coalition - Worldbulletin News


Syrian rebels split over coalition al-Qaeda links - Middle East Eye


Over 100 jihadist training camps identified in Iraq and Syria - The Long War Journal


Syria fuel shortages due to rebel infighting threaten lives: MSF - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian military and Druze allies join forces to fend off 'terrorists' - LA Times


Golan Druze attack Israeli army ambulance carrying wounded Syrian rebels - Yahoo News


ARCHIVE: Nusra Front Militants Kill Druze Villagers In Syria - Reuters


ISIL recruit allegedly planned U.S. assassinations - USA TODAY


European police team to take on ISIS social media propaganda - THE DAILY STAR


Twitter, YouTube analysis pinpoints ISIS strategy - THE DAILY STAR

 

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Turkey/Syria News - June 6, 2015


Parliamentary elections high stakes for Turkey...and Erdogan - Yahoo News


POLL: AKP expected to win 41% of the votes, CHP 27.8%, MHP 14.8% and HDP 12.6% - bianet.org


Pro-Kurdish HDP party may tip balance in Turkey polls - Yahoo News


Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: Two dead, over 100 injured after explosions at milestone rally of Turkey's Kurdish party - LiveLeak.com


Gay, Christian, minority election candidates show Turkey's changing face, the most diverse list comes from the Kurdish party - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Kurds, women, gays put faith in upstart Turkish party - BBC News


Meet The Transgender Woman Who Wants To Represent Turkey's LGBT Community This Election - .huffingtonpost.com


Turkish elections: Turkey's Kurd-hating Grey Wolves spreading neo-nazi poison across Europe — www.ibtimes.co.uk


Turkey′s election system the ′most unfair′ in the world - DW.DE


Analysis: Is Turkey’s election campaigning fair and balanced? - middleeasteye.net


Erdogan: "There is a trash called The New York Times in the US" - The Counter Jihad Report


VIDEO (Turkish): Erdogan slams New York Times -- again - rudaw.net


New York Times responds to Erdoğan with Twitter riddle: "Which leader has a 1,150-room palace more than 30x the size of the White House?" - todayszaman.com


Turkey lavish presidential palace nicknamed ‘illegal’ because built on a recreational farming area, Worker tells of lengthy security checks - todayszaman.com


Nervous Turkish markets await knife-edge election outcome - Yahoo Maktoob News


Why Investors Are Calling This the Most Important Turkish Election in Forever - Bloomberg Business


Erdogan Setback Seen Benefiting Turkish Companies Like Koza Gold - Bloomberg Business

 

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Report: Turkey’s MIT spy agency transported ISIL fighters to Syria, facilitating the jihadist group's defeat of the FSA - todayszaman.com


Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists - todayszaman.com


VIDEO: Violent confrontation between gendarmes and MIT intel operatives who were transporting illegal arms to Syria jihadists - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Video showing weapons carried by MIT intel operatives to Syria jihadists - YouTube


CHP Hatay official: Transfer of arms to Syrian jihadists continues, weapons loaded here and sent to the other side of the border - todayszaman.com


Syrian Turkmens challenge claims that MIT weapons were destined for their community, say received no aid from Ankara - todayszaman.com


HSYK allows prosecution of prosecutors, military commanders who stopped MIT trucks carrying weapons to Syria - todayszaman.com


Erdoğan seeks aggravated life sentence for Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief for publishing video of MIT arms transferred to Syria - todayszaman.com


VIDEO (English Subs): Erdoğan vows to punish journalist behind Syria trucks video: He will pay a heavy price - todayszaman.com


Cumhuriyet journalists challenge Erdoğan's threats - Cihan News


400 intellectuals show support for daily Cumhuriyet, journalist - hurriyetdailynews.com


Journalist Baransu faces 52 years in jail for coverage of MGK report - todayszaman.com


Journalist Mumcu faces 5 years in jail for insulting Erdoğan - todayszaman.com


US spokesperson expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey, Along with journalists, Armenians and gays Erdoğan has also singled out the New York Times, CNN and the BBC - hurriyetdailynews.com


VIDEO: US spokesperson Marie Harf expresses ‘concern’ on press freedom in Turkey - YouTube


Committee to Protect Journalists: “We call on [Erdogan] to stop bullying journalists and news outlets just because he doesn't like what they report" - Committee to Protect Journalists


Amnesty International official: Human rights situation in Turkey could not be worse - todayszaman.com


Human rights Watch and International Press Institute react against the series of attacks by Erdoğan and his supporters against media critical of the government - todayszaman.com


Ankara denies 'Saudi-backed Turkish spies in Yemen' allegations - Anadolu Agency


The Turkey-Qatar Military Cooperation Agreement, What are Turkish troops going to do in Qatar? - Al-Monitor


Towards-a-Turkish-Saudi-alliance - Al-Ahram Weekly

 

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Can We Try Some Honesty on Memorial Day?

How to Honor Memorial Day

Editor Note: Of all the world’s holidays commemorating wars, Memorial Day should be one of sober reflection on war’s horrible costs, surely not a moment to glorify warfare or lust for more wars. But many pols and pundits can’t resist the opportunity, as discussed below.

By Ray McGovern

How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like “the fallen” and expose the lies about what a great idea it was to start those wars and then to “surge” tens of thousands of more troops into those fools’ errands.

On the U.S. Killing of Two Children in Syria

The U.S. military admitted on Thursday to killing two girls in Syria.

If a target of U.S. aggression can be alleged to have killed children, especially with the wrong kind of weapon, that is used as grounds for war. War is supposed to be the cure for that.

This was the case in 2013 with the White House's false claims to knowledge that the Syrian government had killed children with chemical weapons. President Obama told us to watch videos of dead children and either support a bombing campaign against Syria or support killing children.

But that's a Catch-22, because it's telling you to either support killing children or support killing children.

In recent days I've been watching videos of children killed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia with U.S. missiles and support. Missiles are in fact not any more precise in their actual use than chemical weapons, not any less deadly, not any less guilty of killing children, including the hundreds of children the U.S. has killed with missiles from drones in just a few countries it doesn't even admit to being at war with.

The Pentagon doesn't admit to any of this; it sometimes admits to isolated incidents that have been widely reported.

But imagine if missiles were considered the wrong kind of weapon, and imagine if the Syrian government and its friends were considered "the international community" -- one could imagine the international community demanding the humanitarian bombing of Washington, D.C., as revenge for the brutal murder of two little girls by U.S. missile in Syria.

We in the United States view the domestic bombing of 4 little black girls in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 as barbaric, and we view racism as something we've overcome, but imagine if the little girls whom President Obama murdered in Syria in November had been white, Christian, English-speaking Americans. One cannot in that situation suppose the response would have been the same.

It is not possible to avoid civilian casualties in war. They are the majority of the casualties -- of the dead, of the injured, of those rendered homeless, and of the traumatized -- in virtually every war of the past half century. Often they are an enormous majority. The idea that war can be a tool to remedy something worse than war, or that genocide is truly distinct from war is not supported by facts.

The Pentagon admitting to killing civilians is rare but not unprecedented. In fact it is a small nod in the direction of a policy that President Obama created and then quickly abandoned under which he claimed that all such casualties would be reported.

Does it matter? Will people care?

For that, I think there has to be video, it has to be widely shown and the killings morally condemned, and people have to find their way to the media outlets willing to show it and condemn it.

That is, if we're talking about people in the United States.

Of course the people of Western Asia will protest the United States all the more fervently whether the general public in the United States knows what its government is doing or not.

Syria News - May 5, 2015


Nusra-led militants pound Hezbollah, Syria army posts near Lebanon border - THE DAILY STAR


Hezbollah and Syrian army determined to cut off access of ISIS and Nusra Front to any towns near the border - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese Army Mobilizing to Avert Threats by Jihadists in Syria's Qalamoun - Naharnet


Lebanon Speaker Berri backs Qalamoun fight to oust jihadists - THE DAILY STAR


Sources: al-Nusra evacuates its positions in Qalamoun hills that are difficult to defend to avoid paying a high price - Al-Monitor


Nusra to use anti-tank weapons in Qalamoun battle - Islam Times


PHOTO: Jabhat al-Nusra is giving training in the use of 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missiles in the Qalamoun - Charles Lister on Twitter


'We’ll Die Before They Make Us Leave': Lebanese Christians Are Ready to Face the Islamic State on Syria's Border - VICE News


Specter of assassinations by jihadist groups revived in Lebanon - THE DAILY STAR


Relatives visit Lebanese captive on Arsal outskirts, one of 25 Lebanese servicemen being held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS since August - THE DAILY STAR


Qatar about to seal deal with Nusra to release Lebanese security officers in exchange for prisoners in Roumieh - An-Nahar


ISIS returns bodies of Lebanon soldier, civilian - THE DAILY STAR


Lebanese General Security arrests Tripoli's ISIS emir - THE DAILY STAR


How Al Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Jabhat al Nusra Is Trying To Take Northern Lebanon - ibtimes.com


Syria army launches offensive on rebel attacks in regime bastion Latakia - Middle East Online


Pro-Assad forces strive for control of Southern Syria - ARA News


Assad army tightens siege of rebel bastion Goutha near Damascus - ZAMAN ALWSL


Syria: Assad regime accused of chlorine gas attack in Idib - ibtimes.co.uk


Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front claimes responsibility for a suicide attack in Damascus - Yahoo News


Inside Aleppo: Syrian activists reveal kidnap and torture at hands of al-Nusra extremists - The Independent


VIDEO: Activists Reveal Torture At The Hands of Al-Nusra - LiveLeak.com


Syria moves to stabilize its ailing currency - The Salt Lake Tribune

 

---------------------------------------------------

De Mistura to kick off separate talks with rival Syria sides - THE DAILY STAR


Iran will take part in new Syria consultations, UN says - Fox News


US not opposed to Iranian participation in Syria talks, supports a political solution - middleeastmonitor.com


EU's Mogherini sees 'major role' for Iran in Syria talks - Yahoo News


Syrian Opposition Coalition: Participation in the Geneva Talks to Consider How To Get Rid of Assad - etilaf.org


Report: Iran Spends $35 Billion a Year to Prop Up Assad - Arutz Sheva


Syria's defense minister in Iran to step up fight against 'terrorists' - THE DAILY STAR


Iran to launch maritime shipping line with Syria - ARA News


CIA-Backed Rebels Fight Alongside al-Qaeda Wing in Northern Syria - Reuters


VIDEO: ICP Asks Syrian Coalition's Khoja of FSA Working With Nusra, He Says “Tactical Alliance" - YouTube


Army of Conquest backed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Coalition comprises mostly Islamist groups, the most prominent being Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham - AFP


VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Hit Syrian Army Vehicle With TOW ATGM In Idlib - YouTube


The U.S. $500-million program to train anti-Islamic State fighters appears stalled - LA Times


VIDEO: Activists: 52 killed civilians in U.S.-led airstrike in Syria - YouTube


Pentagon: US Military Says Coalition Airstrikes Killed ISIS Fighters, Not Syrian Civilians - breitbart.com


Syrian Archbishop: Obama Must Stop ISIS' Slaughter of Christians (VIDEO) - Newsmax


Syria accuses Turkey of providing supporting fire and logistical help enabling "terrorist groups" to capture the Syrian city of Idlib - Reuters


Turkey May Have Found Syrian Horse To Back In Ahrar al Sham, But US Disagrees - ibtimes.com


Turkistan Islamic Party had significant role in recent Idlib offensive - The Long War Journal


Turkey Opposition Puts $16B Price Tag on Neighborhood Wars - VOA


Turkish military puts brakes on a Syrian intervention - Al-Monitor


Fertilizer, Also Suited for Bombs, Flows to ISIS Territory From Turkey - NYTimes.com


Syria crisis: Spooked by rebel gains, Jordan doubles down vs. Islamic State - CSMonitor.com


Palestinian Delegation to Meet With Syrian Government in Damascus - syrianobserver.com


The Defenders of Yarmouk, Pro-Assad Palestinian militias are fighting a grinding battle to the death against the Islamic State - Foreign Policy

 

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The Neocons and the Kremlin

Neocon 'Chaos Promotion' in the Mideast



Editor Notoe:  After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, America’s neocons thought no country could stand up to the high-tech U.S. military, and they realized the Soviet Union was no longer around to limit U.S. actions. So, the “regime change” strategy was born – and many have died, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Former Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia “won’t stop us.”

Credit where credit's due...but only where it's due: How Can Obama Claim the Alternative to a Nuclear Deal with Iran is War?

By Dave Lindorff


A kudo to President Obama. But just one.

If he manages to pull off an agreement with Iran on limiting that country's nuclear fuel enrichment program in the fact of determined resistance from Republicans, Neocons, the Israel Lobby and the warmongers in both the GOP and his own Democratic Party, he will have finally earned at least some small portion of the gold in his Nobel Peace medallion.

How Did Syria Get Here?

Wars may be how Americans learn geography, but do they always learn the history of how the geography was shaped by wars? I've just read Syria: A History of the Last Hundred Years by John McHugo. It's very heavy on the wars, which is always a problem with how we tell history, since it convinces people that war is normal. But it also makes clear that war wasn't always normal in Syria.

Syria-mapSyria was shaped by and remains to this day outraged by the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement (in which Britain and France divided up things that didn't belong to either of them), the 1917 Balfour Declaration (in which Britain promised Zionists land it didn't own known as Palestine or Southern Syria), and the 1920 San Remo Conference at which Britain, France, Italy, and Japan used rather arbitrary lines to create the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon, the British Mandate of Palestine (including Jordan), and the British Mandate of Iraq.

Between 1918 and 1920, Syria attempted to set up a constitutional monarchy; and McHugo considers that effort to be the closest Syria has come to self-determination. Of course, that was ended by the San Remo Conference at which a bunch of foreigners sat in a villa in Italy and decided that France must save Syria from the Syrians.

So 1920 to 1946 was a period of French misrule and oppression and brutal violence. The French strategy of divide and rule resulted in the separation of Lebanon. The French interests, as McHugo tells it, seem to have been profits and special benefits for Christians. The French legal obligation for the "mandate" was to help Syria reach the point of being able to rule itself. But, of course, the French had very little interest in letting the Syrians rule themselves, the Syrians could hardly have ruled themselves worse than the French did, and the entire pretense was without any legal controls on or supervision of the French. So, the Syrian protests appealed to the Rights of Man but were met with violence. The protests included Muslims and Christians and Jews, but the French remained to protect minorities or at least to pretend to protect them while encouraging sectarian division.

On April 8, 1925, Lord Balfour visited Damascus where 10,000 protesters greeted him shouting "Down with the Balfour agreement!" The French had to escort him out of town. In the mid 1920s the French killed 6,000 rebel fighters and destroyed the homes of 100,000 people. In the 1930s the Syrians created protests, strikes, and boycotts of French-owned businesses. In 1936 four protesters were killed, and 20,000 people attended their funeral before launching a general strike. And still the French, like the British in India and the rest of their empire, remained.

Toward the end of World War II, France proposed to "end" their occupation of Syria without ending it, something like the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan that has "ended" while it continues. In Lebanon, the French arrested the president and prime minister but were forced to free them after strikes and demonstrations in both Lebanon and Syria. The protests in Syria grew. France shelled Damascus killing possibly 400. The British came in. But in 1946 the French and the British left Syria, a nation where the people refused to cooperate with foreign rule.

Bad times, rather than good, lay ahead. The British and the future-Israelis stole Palestine, and a flood of refugees headed for Syria and Lebanon in 1947-1949, from which they have yet to return. And the (first?) Cold War began. In 1949, with Syria the only nation not to have signed an armistice with Israel and refusing to allow a Saudi oil pipeline to cross its land, a military coup was executed in Syria with CIA involvement -- predating 1953 Iran and 1954 Guatemala.

But the United States and Syria could not form an alliance because the United States was allied with Israel and opposed to rights for Palestinians. Syria got its first Soviet weapons in 1955. And the U.S. and Britain began a long-term and ongoing project of drawing up and revising plans to attack Syria. In 1967 Israel attacked and stole the Golan Heights which it has occupied illegally ever since. In 1973 Syria and Egypt attacked Israel but failed to take back the Golan Heights. Syria's interests in negotiations for many years to come would focus on the return of Palestinians to their land and the return of the Golan Heights to Syria. U.S. interests in peace negotiations during the Cold War were not in peace and stability but in winning nations to its side against the Soviet Union. The mid-1970s civil war in Lebanon added to Syria's problems. Peace talks for Syria effectively ended with the 1996 election of Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel.

From 1970 to 2000 Syria was ruled by Hafez al-Assad, from 2000 to the present by his son Bashar al-Assad. Syria supported the U.S. in Gulf War I. But in 2003 the U.S. proposed to attack Iraq and declared that all nations must be "with us or against us?" Syria could not declare itself "with the United States" while the suffering of Palestinians was on TV every night in Syria and the United States was not with Syria. In fact, the Pentagon in 2001 had Syria on a list of seven countries it planned to "take out."

The chaos, violence, destitution, sectarian division, rage, and weaponry that flooded the region with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 impacted Syria and of course led to the creation of groups like ISIS. The Arab Spring in Syria turned violent. Sectarian rivalries, the growing demand for water and resources, the arms and fighters supplied by regional and global rivalries brought Syria into a living hell. Over 200,000 have died, over 3 million have left the country, six and a half million are internally displaced, 4.6 million are living where fighting is ongoing. If this were a natural disaster, a focus on humanitarian aid would gain some interest, and at the very least the U.S. government would not be focused on adding more wind or waves. But this is not a natural disaster. It is, among other things, a proxy war in a region heavily armed by the United States, with Russia on the side of the Syrian government.

In 2013 public pressure helped prevent a massive U.S. bombing campaign on Syria, but the weapons and trainers kept flowing and no real alternative was pursued. In 2013 Israel gave a company a license to explore for gas and oil on the Golan Heights. By 2014 Western "experts" were talking about the war needing to "run its course," while the U.S. attacked certain Syrian rebels while arming others who sometimes surrendered the weapons to those the U.S. was attacking and who were also being funded by wealthy Gulf U.S. allies and fueled by fighters created out of the infernos the United States had brought to Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc., and who were also being attacked by Iran which the United States also opposes. By 2015, "experts" were talking about "partitioning" Syria, which brings us full circle.

Drawing lines on a map can teach you geography. It cannot cause people to lose attachments to people and places they love and live with. Arming and attacking regions of the globe can sell weapons and candidates. It cannot bring peace or stability. Blaming ancient hatreds and religions can win applause and provide a sense of superiority. It cannot explain the mass slaughter, the division, and the devastation that are in large part imported to a region cursed with natural resources desired by and vicinity to crusaders whose new holy grail is the so-called responsibility to protect but who'd rather not mention who they actually feel responsible to and what they're actually protecting.

Civilization and barbarism: It Takes a Life Cult to Beat a Death Cult

By John Grant


We have to address the political grievances terrorists exploit.
                                                                          -- Barack Obama
 

No more AUMFs! No more ‘unitary executives’!: We’re Already Losing Our Democracy and All Our Freedoms to the 2001 AUMF

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Critics of President Obama’s proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force AUMF) against ISIS have been focused upon its deliberately obfuscatory and ambiguous language, which they rightly note would make it essentially a carte blanche from Congress allowing the president to go to war almost anywhere some would-be terrorist or terrorist copycat could be found who claims affinity with ISIS.

Speaking Events

2016

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 19, Sarasota, FL, 7:00 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota, FL

May 20, Jacksonville, FL, 7:00 p.m., Florida Christian Center Auditorium, 1115 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205, (904) 381-4800.

May 21, Gainesville, FL
7:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida
4225 NW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 377-1669
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May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
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May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
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May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
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June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.


Other Events Here.

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