They want war

Disclaimer: In order to safe your time and avoid being upset, please be aware, that this text is written by an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, and anti-globalist, who is also highly skeptical and critical of Western media, and who is an ardent supporter and to some extent even an admirer of Vladimir Putin and Dr. Bashar al-Assad.

Proceed at your own risk.

The last Islamic militants have been evacuated from Douma, a town 10 km northeast of Damascus, and the whole Eastern Ghouta rebel enclave has been recaptured and cleansed of terrorist gangs. This is the greatest victory for the Syrian Army since eastern Aleppo, and it was achieved faster and with less pain and sacrifice than anybody expected.

Yet, facing a crushing and humiliating defeat, the Islamists tried to at least hurt the Syrian state as much as possible by staging a nerve gas attack which gave Western neocolonial powers a pretext to send 104 cruise missiles into Syria. 59 of them were Raytheon’s Tomahawk missiles, a fact that caused the companies stock to surge 2,5 percent, thereby adding more than one billion US$ to the defense contractor’s market capitalization. War is good for business.
The cruise missile strikes in the night of April 14 came just hours before a FFM (Fact Finding Mission) team of experts from the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) arrived in Damascus to commence its work.

Why were they even sent there, as the Western powers have already decided, that the Syrian army used nerve gas against civilians in Douma? Can their findings have any real consequences, if military action has already taken place?

Kenneth Ward, the US envoy to the OPCW said on Monday, April 16, that Russia may have tampered with the site of the alleged chemical weapons, urging the body to condemn the continuing use of banned chemical weapons. The British delegation complained in a tweet, that “Russia and Syria have not yet allowed access to Douma.”

AFP wrote: The team will also have to deal with the risk that evidence may have been removed from the site, which lies in an area that has been controlled by Russian military police and Syrian forces over the past week.

That possibility always has to be taken into account, and investigators will look for evidence that shows whether the incident site has been tampered with,” Ralf Trapp, a consultant and member of a previous OPCW mission to Syria, told AFP.

For Western officials and media, Russian military police, which patrols in Douma now, is far less credible than the militants of Jaish al-Islam. The possibility of evidence tampering was never considered when evidence was provided by Islamic radicals.
The evidence

Graphic pictures and videos were uploaded, the White Helmets and SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society) reported the attack, CNN and BBC conducted interviews with evacuated family member of Jaish al-Islam, US officials stated that blood and urine samples smuggled out of Douma to Jordan showed chlorine and another unspecified nerve agent.

The BBC aired an interview with a girl seen in the Douma hospital videos. The girl says all the right things but she looks healthy and not traumatized. On CNN the interviewed persons never saw an attack, they just heard someone yelling “chemical.”

Someone yelled chemical” Umm Nour recalls. “I felt my throat close, my body go limp as if I had just had everything sucked out of me.” Such symptoms do not fit with any military grade poisonous gas and seem kind of mild, they are certainly not symptoms of chlorine poisoning and rather reminiscent of simple panic.

Two medics from the Douma hospital recounted their first hand view about the videos. According to the medics, a group of unknown people broke into the hospital, started screaming about a chemical attack, causing panic, and then sprayed people with a fire hose. They stated, that their patients didn’t show signs of chemical poisoning, but rather of smoke inhalation.

The Washington Post acknowledged that 13 medical workers, including nine doctors, have appeared on Syrian government television to explain that the patients were suffering from asthma, not the effects of a poison gas, but dismissed these statements as “coerced.”

It is impossible to determine the location of the pictures and videos which show dead bodies. They could also have been made in Idlib province, or in any other opposition-controlled areas. The technical video and photos analysis indicates that this part of the documentation was prepared well in advance since in most files the metadata is either missing or changed intentionally.

It’s also worth noting that White Helmets members didn’t use protective gear. Victims and first responders alike didn’t show any typical symptoms of chlorine poisoning like strong cough and skin blisters or burns.

There is also the strange fact, that the face and body shape of a victim in Douma appears to be the same as in videos from Aleppo (alleged gas attacks on April 28, 2016 and September 26, 2016).

The question is open, where the bodies of the by White Helmets and SAMS reported 50 victims are? Will they be available for investigation?

Media strike against “Assad apologists

After too many people started asking questions and posting defiant and nasty statements in comment sections, mass media organizations launched a campaign against “Assad apologists,” spearheaded by The Times, which writes:

Senior British academics are spreading pro-Assad disinformation and conspiracy theories promoted by Russia, The Times can reveal.

They are founders of a self-styled Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (SPM) and hold posts at universities including Edinburgh, Sheffield and Leicester.

Members of the group, which includes four professors, have been spreading the slur, repeated by the Russian ambassador to Britain yesterday, that the White Helmets civilian volunteer force has fabricated video evidence of attacks by President Assad, who is backed by the Kremlin.

The Sun chimed in:

Members of a self-styled Working Group on Syria, Propaganda, and Media (SPM) allegedly shared posts claiming that the White Helmets civilian volunteer force fabricated evidence of chemical attacks by Russia-backed dictator Bashir Al-Assad. And: PROFESSORS at some of Britain’s most prestigious universities have helped spread pro-Assad Kremlin conspiracy theories…

The Turkish Anadoly Agency writes:

Tim Hayward, a SPM member who is a professor at the University of Edinburgh, took to Twitter where he retweeted a statement claiming: “#WhiteHelmets & terrorist factions staged false flag events & kidnapped, drugged children to use as props in events, kids were buried w/out parents present.”

Hayward also runs a blog in which he has published articles that claim the attacks are routinely staged by the opposition supported by the West.

The report also mentions another SPM academic Tara McCormack, who is a lecturer at Leicester University. She claimed on her Twitter account that it is “an established fact a) the White Helmets are basically Al Q[aeda]”.

The Violations Documentation Centre (VDC), a research group based in Syria that documents violations of international law, believes that Bashar al-Assad regime forces are responsible for the chemical attack on April 7 that killed over 75 people and injured hundreds more.

“The Violations Documentation Center (VDC) suspects that this attack was deliberated to inflict as much possible damage on civilians. The Syrian government effectively made it very difficult for the resident population to reach ambulances and rescue teams, forced residents to seek shelter from heavy barrel bomb attacks, and then carried out airstrikes suspected to have contained poisonous gas,” the organization said in a report released after the attack.

Judge yourself:

Robert Fisk of the Independent, who is in Syria and, after interviewing Dr. Assim Rahaibani from the Douma hospital, came to the conclusion, that there was no nerve gas attack, is another Assad apologist. Dr. Rahaibani says, that the people shown in videos were suffering from hypoxia — not gas poisoning.

Pearson Sharp, a reporter from the conservative US news channel OAN (One American News) comes to the same conclusion.
On a side note: The use of says versus claims is now depending on the source. As far as mass media is concerned, Western officials never claim something, they say it, or more commonly it just is. On the other hand “the Syrian regime claims…,” “the Russian military claims….

Coalition strike US version

The USA was not consulting or warning Russia about the specific targets.

Three targets were hit by 105 cruise missiles:

Barzah R&D center: 76 missiles (57 US tomahawks, 19 US JASSM launched by US B-1B bombers from the skies above US occupied al-Tanf).Him Shinshar chemical weapons storage facility: 22 missiles (9 US, 8 UK Storm Shadows, 3 French naval cruise missiles, 2 French SCALP).Him Shinshar CW bunker: 7 missiles (probably French SCALP)
None missed according to the US. If that is true and no decoy missiles were involved, it is a complete overkill for the targeted structures. Barzah is a reasonably sized building, but 76 missiles seems implausible, they would have atomized the whole area. These cruise missiles are not firecrackers, they carry 460 kilogram warheads.

There is relatively close footage of the strikes on Barzah, but it shows jus 4 explosions. There is no footage from the other sites, but 22 cruise missiles on a relatively small bunker and 7 on what by the looks of it constitutes nothing more than a couple of sheds seems equally implausible.

Coalition strike Syria version

With the help of Russian radar tracking and warning, 71 of 103 incoming cruise missiles were intercepted by Syrian Pantsir AA Systems. Russian SAMs were not involved because the strike did not target Russian areas of operation.

Details about intercepted missiles: 12 (from 12) over Dumayr airbase, 12 (from 12) over Shayrat airbase, 18 (from 18) over Marj Ruhayyil airbase, 4 (from 4) over Damascus airport, 13 (from 16) over airbase in Homs (Qusayr), 5 (from 9) over Mezzeh airbase.

SOHR (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), which supports the Islamist insurgents, also claims that at least 65 US missiles were intercepted.
Until now only few pictures of intercepted missile wreckages have been published, which fuels suspicion that the Syrian and Russian claims are at least exaggerated.

Syrian officials say, that the two research facilities at Jarmana and Barzeh have often come under attack by Israel and as a result have been evacuated and all equipment removed several years ago. The OPCW visited both sites in November 2017 and conducted a very thorough examination to confirm the sites were complying with chemical weapons decommissioning.

Neither Syria nor Russia has much interest to publicize their possible success. It’s more clever, to let the White House, the Pentagon, Theresa May, and Emmanuel Macron brag about the strike, thereby saving face and satisfying media blood lust.
Syria’s UNSC representative Bashar Ja’afari wondered why, if the USA, UK, and France knew the location of chemical weapons production facilities, “they had not shared this information beforehand with OPCW or its fact-finding mission.”

Russia is the target

The use of false flag attacks doesn’t represent a new US tactic, is has been used in nearly every military intervention starting with the sinking of the USS Maine in Cuba to the Gulf of Tonkin incident (USS Maddox incident) to Iraq’s WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). It is a very effective tactic and as long as it works, the White Helmets and SAMS will keep the fake nerve gas stunts coming to keep the US attacks going.

France warns of more strikes in Syria. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian: “More strikes to come if ‘red line’ is crossed again.” This is an invitation for all jihadist groups to claim chemical attacks, as it apparently does not require actual proof to get air support from Western nations.

Russia has not responded and kept quiet, which has avoided a dangerous escalation that could easily have lead to World War III and nuclear armageddon. This levelheadedness on the other hand encourages the USA and NATO to bomb Syria again and again after every fabricated claim.

In response to the Western air strikes, the Russian MoD (Ministry of Defense) announced that it is considering to outfit Syria and other regional players (Lebanon) with S-300 and S-400 air defense systems. At the moment Lebanon is forming a Russian branch of the army, trained and equipped by Russia, just like a part of it is now trained and equipped by the French, the USA, and the UK. Lebanon is very secretive about this development, because all Western funding might be cut if the project proceeds openly.

Russia can send the air defense systems instantly, it has more than 2,000 launchers and just needs to redeploy their own S-300 or S-400. This would make Israel very angry, but Russia is in no way dependent on Israel, the only military deal with Israel are Forpost drones and it wouldn’t be much of a tragedy if that would be canceled.

There are many signs that Israel looks for confrontation and such an attitude will inevitably lead to a showdown between Russia and Israel. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote: “Putin’s bluff is finally being called and Russia is running out of options in Syria.”
The USA announced further sanctions against Russia, though President Donald Trump at the moment refuses to approve them. Sanctions are counterproductive and only help Russia to protect or develop its local industry. Russia is among the worlds leading producers of agricultural commodities — Russians will not starve. They will also not freeze, there is enough oil and gas for heating.

Russia needs no trade with the West, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Chinas new Silk Road provide enough opportunities for economic development.

Counter-sanctions against the USA are discussed and they could be painful. Russia still exports rare earth metals to the US, among them titanium, which is necessary for Boeing aircrafts. Titanium aircraft parts are sold to Airbus and Boing. Russia may also stop the supply of RD-180 engines used by NASA and the Pentagon.

Western companies and financial institutions could be banned from participating in Russian privatization deals. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, UBS, Citigroup, and several other foreign banks are still allowed to do business in Russia.

Russia may also prohibit the import of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol from the USA.

Western goals and strategies

The USA is not prepared to allow the Syrian government, and its allies Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, a victory just yet. There are strong indications that the US foreign policy establishment favors a protracted war in Syria and it is well within US capabilities to keep the fires of war burning in the Levant for some time to come.
The US military revealed in a new report that some 5,500 contractors are helping to fight IS (Islamic State) in Iraq and Syria. This comes on top of between 2,000 and 4,000 regular soldiers in Syria and 9,000 in Iraq.

On Syrian soil there are 22 US bases and outposts in the Kurdish areas, in the oil fields east of the Euphrates River, and at al-Tanf on the Jordanian border. French and British forces are also there, though the exact numbers are not known.

These occupation forces cannot be chased out easily, they are shielded by hundreds of Western bombers which will rain down “fire and fury,” as it happened already at the Euphrates River, costing the lives of up to 200 Russian PMC Wagner contractors.

Yet, the victory in Eastern Ghouta has freed so many Syrian troops that the recapture of the remaining Islamist strongholds of Idlib and Daraa should be possible. Some smaller pockets will be cleared swiftly either by reconciliation agreements (practically surrender) or by overwhelming military force. 

The Islamists in Dumair just accepted a deal to be bused into Idlib and the rest of the eastern Qalamoun pocket is negotiating. IS in Yarmouk camp will be a tough and bloody battle because they have nowhere to go and will fight to the death, but they don’t possess heavy weapons and are completely cut off from any supply source. The Rastan pocket is isolated and small, it can be overrun in a week.
While Daraa is supported by Israel, which constantly shells Syrian positions, Idlib is only partly protected by Turkey. The Islamists of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham are fair game and it is rumored, that Turkey will not respond, if Jisr al-Shughur is attacked.

France has already warned that a new humanitarian disaster is looming in Idlib, and the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, that two million people are at risk, including hundreds of thousands of Syrians who fled from previously rebel-held areas now controlled by the government.

Why is Syria in the crosshairs of Western neocolonial powers?

First, there is the war for water. Turkey needs the water of the Euphrates River (Southeastern Anatolia Project) and Israel needs the water rich Golan Heights plus the Litani river area in southern Lebanon.

Additional motives, as seen and explained from an anti imperialist viewpoint:

Apart from Syria’s irritating the USA and Israel by allying with Iran, backing Hezbollah, and providing material assistance to Palestinian national liberation movements, the country exhibits a tendency shared by all US regime change targets: a predilection for independent, self-directed, economic development. This is expressed in state-ownership of important industries, subsidies to domestic firms, controls on foreign investment, and subsidization of basic commodities. These measures restrict the profit-making opportunities of US corporations, banks and investors, and since it is their principals who hold sway in Washington, US foreign policy is accordingly shaped to serve their interests.

The US State Department complains that Syria has “failed to join an increasingly interconnected global economy,” which is to say, has failed to turn over its state-owned enterprises to private investors, among them Wall Street financial interests. The State Department is aggrieved that “ideological reasons” continue to prevent the Assad government from liberalizing Syria’s economy. As a result of the Baathists’ ideological fixation on socialism, “privatization of government enterprises is still not widespread.” The economy “remains highly controlled by the government.”

The Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation are equally displeased. “Hafez al-Assad’s son Bashar, who succeeded him in 2000, has failed to deliver on promises to reform Syria’s socialist economy.”

The glory of Assad

While US and European decision makers and the media demonize Syria’s President Dr. Bashar al-Assad, his prestige in the Arab world and beyond that in most nations which are not US allies has surged. He is seen as the Nasser of today, as the brave leader who stands up to Western colonial powers.
Gamal Abdel Nasser’s son, Abdul Hakim Abdel Nasser sent a highly symbolic message to President Assad, which most likely reflects the mood of the population (the so called “Arab street”), and surely the mood of the secular leadership:

Excellency President Bashar al-Assad – President of the Syrian Arab Republic!

The people of Syria have chosen you, the brotherly fighter, and the brave Syrian Arab army under your leadership to be the protective shield for our Arab nation against the despotic colonial powers that want to harm us, just as this was the mission of Egypt, which repelled the brutal tripartite aggression in the battle of Suez 1956.

Syria, then as now its sister, announced that Damascus was with Cairo, and the battle of Suez became the graveyard of the colonial era with its ugly old face. The war in Syria, as the late leader Gamal Abdel Nasser already promised it, has to be the graveyard of colonialism in its new face, where it is trying through the collaboration with traitors, to impose his will on us. Now as then, in the spirit of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Cairo is with Damascus, and any aggression against sisterly Syria is also an aggression against Egypt and the entire Arab nation. Syria will be again a graveyard for the invaders.

These days have proven that traitors, acting as colonial agents, are the most dangerous weapons of our enemies, and through them they try to succeed in what they failed in the fifties and sixties of the last century. They used our truly tolerant religion to strike Arab nationalism, the vessel in which all religious and sectarian differences were defused, to spread ignorance and poverty among our innocent citizens, to broadcast destructive ideas and transform groups of our youth into a satanic movement that calls for backwardness and rivalry between sects and minorities. No one benefits from these movements except our enemies, foremost among them our Zionist enemy, the patron of these brutal forces directed against our Arabism.

Excellency President Bashar al-Assad!

This despicable attack against the Syrian people and its brave army under your leadership is an attack of the desperate and the failed, which, after a fierce and failed war against Syria’s unity and Arabism for more than seven years, proves that it cannot destroy the unity of Syria and its Arabism. We will soon celebrate, as the triumph of Arab Syria is on the horizon.

I also want to thank the courageous leadership of Russia and the Russian people, your support now and through the difficult days and situations of the 1950s and 1960s has proven, that you are the friends of our people and our Arabism, that you believe in the freedom of our people and their struggle against imperialism in all its forms.

Finally, I would like to assure you, that your steadfastness and victory is a victory for all of us against the aggression of our enemies and against the traitors who are their servants.

To the near inevitable victory, God willing.

Abdelhakim Gamal Abdel Nasser

Further reading:


Age of deception

Age of deception is a nice headline, but we don’t live in an especially deceptive time, because deception, trickery, pretense, disguise is and always was a part of life. Most species, plants and animals alike, use it and most would not survive without it. 

Humans use it to mislead their enemies and gain competitive advantages. Politicians lie and smear their opponents to get elected, advertising and product placement in movies or TV shows make us buy overpriced and unnecessary products. Political leaders in collusion with generals and weapons producers try to incite disgust and hatred against other ethnicities, races, and nations to start costly and risky wars. 

The educated and tech-savvy populations of industrial countries should be able to see through the lies and deceptions, and yet, they fall again and again for the most crude and primitive fabrications and pranks.

Why is that? 

Two possible explanations:

a.) As the virtual reality of TV, social media, and various internet echo chambers increasingly replaces real life, people experience the world through the displays of smartphones, computers, and TV. They are overwhelmed by the “information overkill,” bombarded non-stop with information from around the world with no time left to overthink and critically evaluate incoming news.

b.) People are “dumbed down,” because an abundance of inconsistencies, fallacies, and delusions in movies, TV shows, advertising, and video games has made them tolerant and uncritical. Dedicated mainstream media users have switched off common sense long ago.
The newest ploy to save Islamic terrorists in Syria is a prime example for this.

Jaysh al-Islam (army of Islam) plus the support groups White Helmets and SAMS (Syrian American Medical Society) reported a chemical weapons attack in Douma near Damascus, said to have taken place late Saturday, April 7. 42 people are claimed to have been killed.

The reports are unverified and unconfirmed, which is even acknowledged by Western media. If an attack indeed happened, it is not clear who did it.

The photos and videos, which form the body of (unverified) evidence, were produced by two groups which have an interest in fabricating atrocities to draw the USA more deeply into the Syrian conflict. Both groups, the White Helmets and SAMS, are funded by governments which openly seek regime change in Syria and look for a humanitarian pretext to justify their intervention in the country. The Western-funded White Helmets and SAMS are allied with jihadists and are active only in Islamist-controlled areas. The video clips and images prove nothing, since they could have been manufactured at any time and edited to serve their propaganda purpose.

Trump’s recent musings about ending the US military occupation of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates River, including the country’s richest oil fields, was met by fierce Pentagon and CIA opposition. Fabricating an atrocity would pressure Trump to maintain the US occupation indefinitely and possibly escalate US military intervention in Syria.

Trump, naive and uneducated, reacted on Twitter:

Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!

A year ago Trump authorized the launch of Tomahawk missiles to hit the Shayrat Airbase in Syria, in response to an alleged sarin attack on the village of Khan Sheikhun.
A chemical attack by the Syrian government would be self-defeating and is therefore highly unlikely. The Syrian Arab Army is on the cusp of an inevitable victory in Eastern Ghouta. Why would it cancel its gains by handing the USA a pretext to continue its military intervention in Syria, especially in the aftermath of Trump signaling his intention to withdraw US troops?

Beside that, it is difficult to see any military benefit of deploying chemical weapons. The Syrian military has more powerful means than chemical agents, whose effects are unpredictable and typically small scale.

Russia has warned since two weeks of an impending “false flag” chemical weapons attack. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, that Russian experts have found no trace of a chemical attack and members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent didn’t find anything either.

The academic Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media is researching continuously:

On the alleged chemical attack of 7 April 2018 in Douma, running updates (with analysis of graphic images)

I forced myself to look at the graphic images and they make no sense, they are not logical. Everything looks staged, faked. A chlorine canister said to have pierced a hole into the ceiling lays in a room with everything else intact. Some pictures are of people who seem to have been dead for a long time. The white foam (saliva) from the mouth of some corpses would in reality have evaporated after minutes. This is done unprofessional and sloppy, but it doesn’t have to be sophisticated, as the pictures and videos only provide the cue for Western media to start a propaganda campaign based on the relentless repetition of a few catch phrases, which are:

Animal (butcher) Assad, R2P (responsibility to protect), humanitarian intervention.

No collection of evidence, no forensic research, no witness reports from all sides, no trial, no jury are needed. The self-appointed policemen of the word are the jury, the judges, and the executioners as well. They have made their instant judgement and they intend to enforce the punishment.

Who can stop them?

According to the latest reports, several Israeli missiles struck the Tiyas airbase, known as T4, near the city of Homs in the early hours of Monday. The missiles flew through Lebanese air space. Iranian drones were hosted in the base. The drones stationed there were hit and a maintenance hub was destroyed/damaged. 

A correspondent for the Russian Federal News Agency, working on the scene, sent exclusive footage about the consequences of the missile attack on the T-4 airbase and reported additional details of the incident:

The T-4 airbase, located in the eastern province of Homs, simultaneously houses Syrian, Iranian, and Russian forces. Tonight, around 3:30 local time, the facility was hit by two Israeli F-15 multirole fighters, flying in Lebanese airspace. 

The Israeli strike targeted exclusively Iranian forces, which are located in the western part of the airbase. The damage is insignificant, the Syrian air fleet and the runway were not affected. At the moment, despite increased combat readiness, everything is working normally.

The western part of the air base was reached by only three of the eight Israeli-launched missiles, five were destroyed by the Syrian air defense. As a result of the missile attack, two Iranian servicemen were killed, and another seven were injured.



Links April 2018

The weather is still nasty and the news are a mixed bag. Warmonger John Bolton is Trump’s new security adviser, but the Islamists in eastern Ghouta near Damascus are surrendering (Jaish al-Islam, the last holdouts, will be evacuated to the Turkish border town Jarabulus). This will be a big victory for the Syrian army, one wonders, what the USA will do next to keep the war going. Saudi Arabia intends to buy 6,600 more TOWs (anti-tank missiles) from Raytheon, enough to wipe out all Syrian tanks.

Donald Trump is allegedly considering to pull US troops out from Syria, but it would be surprising if he is allowed to do that.

Feline news:

https://www.inverse.com/article/42180-why-do-cats-knock-everything-over-science-explains My cat companions don’t knock over anything. They also don’t sharpen their claws on the furniture, after I told them that I don’t like it.

Environmental news:

About inappropriate terminology: “climate change” should replaced with the better fitting words “climate crisis” or climate catastrophe.

According to a new sea and aerial survey, the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” between Hawaii and California is at least 4 times as big as scientists thought. In an area three times the size of France, 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing 80,000 tons have been accumulated by global ocean currents. Plastic pollution, which can poison ocean life, is growing exponentially, as new land-based studies project, that humans are increasing the rate at which they dump plastic into the ocean.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/debilitating-disease-leaving-australians-allergic-to-chemicals/9546422 As we are increasingly exposed to chemicals and plastics, debilitating multiple chemical sensitivity is on the rise.
https://phys.org/news/2018-03-bottled-brands-contaminated-plastic-particles.html There’s no escape from plastic.
https://metamag.org/2018/03/15/chemical-industry-says-attempt-to-clean-up-toxic-textiles-is-abuse-of-industry-regulations/ Formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene.
http://www.mcgilltribune.com/sci-tech/how-many-people-is-too-many-people200318/ A well meant article with one crucial flaw: The author writes that we have to avoid reaching the Earth’s carrying capacity for human beings, but the carrying capacity has already been surpassed, resulting in the large scale contamination of the biosphere and the collapse of ecosystems.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/19/overpopulation-cities-environment-developing-world-racist-paul-ehrlich Consumption is as important as population.
https://apnews.com/e0ceae76d5894734b0041210a902218d Hurricane Harvey’s toxic impact.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180322150906-xv3f0/ Famine.
Bird populations collapse, because insects they feed on have disappeared.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hedgehogs-a24-trap-lethal-goodnature-uk-declining-population-a8268991.html Lets kill hedgehogs.

Economic news:

http://michael-hudson.com/2018/03/a-travesty-of-protectionism/ Trump’s imperial trade wars will hurt the USA most and will make steel and aluminum more costly. Everything one could wish from an environmental point of view. Using aluminum for one-way food packaging is an environmental crime.
http://www.businessinsider.de/trump-trade-war-brings-economy-endgame-sooner-than-expected-albert-edwards-2018-3?r=US&IR=T The next crash may come sooner that expected. Good so!
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Germanys-Pivot-From-Russian-Gas-Will-Be-Costly.html Germany tries to replace Russian gas.

Media and technology news:

About inappropriate terminology: “mainstream media”  should be replaced with the better fitting words “corporate media” or “imperialist media” or “The Ministry of Truth.”
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zmwaee/there-are-no-guardrails-on-our-privacy-dystopia If you feel, that technology invades and controls your life, just don’t use it!
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176400/ About NY-Times biased and misleading reporting.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/22/russ-m22.html Google teams up with corporate media.
http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/is-facebook-listening-through-your-smartphone-microphone-whistleblower-says-yes/ Delate Facebook.
https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/18/03/22/2333203/worlds-largest-animal-study-on-cell-tower-radiation-confirms-cancer-link Just get used to it.
https://qz.com/1241867/cell-phone-radiation-can-cause-cancer-in-rats-according-to-the-final-results-of-a-us-government-study/ The two main arguments against a possible cancer risk of cell phones are: Cell phone radiation is non-ionizing (cannot remove electrons of protein molecules in DNA) and is of low intensity.
a.) Ionization increases with frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum. X-ray and gamma ray are high frequency and highly ionizing, UV light is less frequency and less ionizing, radio signals have much lower frequency and also much lover risk of ionizing, but to say they are completely unable to ionize is wrong.
b.) The intensity of a cell phone signal, which has to reach a cell phone tower a few kilometers away, has to be quite high, especially as the intensity decreases with the square root of the distance (inverse square law).

Imperial madness news:

More than 26,000 children and teens have been killed in gun violence since 1999 and 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine.

John R. Bolton, the second-most dangerous US politician? Bolton, the next national security adviser, is likely to reinforce Mr. Trump’s instincts to dump the Iran nuclear deal and to confront North Korea, raising fears of instability. Tong Zhao, a nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing: “People are trying to avoid appearing terrified, but people are deeply concerned.”

John Bolton’s view’s about Iran: 

End all landing and docking rights for Iranian aircraft and ships at key allied ports.
End all visas for Iranians, including so called “scholarly,” student, sports, or other exchanges.
Demand payment with a set deadline on outstanding US federal-court judgments against Iran for terrorism, including 9/11.
Announce US support for the democratic Iranian opposition.
Expedite delivery of bunker-buster bombs.
Announce US support for Kurdish national aspirations, including Kurds in Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
Provide assistance to Balochis, Khuzestan Arabs, Kurds, and others — also to internal resistance among labor unions, students, and women’s groups.
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/fracking-health-risk-asthma-birth-defects-cancer-w517809 Being a fossil fuel super power comes at a cost (except for the wealthy).
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/15/privatized-rivers-us-public-lands-waterways Everything will be privatized.
https://williamblum.org/aer/read/156 Anti-Empire Report 156. Despite his failing health William Blum keeps going. Please support him if you can. 

Imperial conquest news:

John Chuckman

“Never Forget, 50 Years Ago the US Slaughtered 500 Unarmed Men, Women, & Children in My Lai, Vietnam.”

It is important to realize that it was only one of a number of massacres, some small, some large. The others weren’t witnessed and photographed.

There were also many individual atrocities. I once met a US deserter in Toronto who had raped and then blasted with his rifle a Vietnamese girl. My understanding then was that kind of savagery was not unusual among young conscripts far from home and unhappy about being there, ignorant young men from far away, holding absolute power over the people they likely blamed for making them be in such a “hellhole.”

More importantly, the fact is that the entire war was an atrocity.

The USA killed about 3 million Vietnamese and did so in their own land, a place America had no business even being. It used all kinds of pretenses and lies to put itself there.

America left the place a horror of bomb craters and death, with vast deposits of Agent Orange and other poisons left to kill and maim for decades to come. So, too, countless land mines left to blow off peasants’ legs when they tried reclaiming their farms.

And the secret bombings and incursions into Cambodia – all totally illegal – destabilized a neutral government, allowing monsters to come to power, monsters who killed another million people while the United States watched and picked its collective nose.

So-called “heroes” of the war, men like John McCain, represented nothing so much as America’s desperate wish for something worthy or heroic to be discovered out of the dark horrors for which they were responsible.

America’s government, too, encouraged the thought of there being something positive or worthy. After all, it had been utterly humiliated in being defeated by a nation of peasants, after using every form of destruction they could think of, short of nuclear weapons, which indeed had been seriously considered.

McCain was a war criminal, shot down while bombing civilians in Hanoi. The rich creep never even properly thanked the humble Vietnamese man who saved his life. He had landed in water and would have drowned.

His fellow prisoners also said he received special treatment, and some say he cooperated with his captors. The Vietnamese knew perfectly well who this life-long spoiled brat was, the son and grandson of American Admirals.

His entire life story is one of a fairly shabby man with an ugly temper, never very able in anything he tried, who bullied everyone to make his way up under the influence and reputations of his father and grandfather. Later, of course, his status as “hero” catapulted him into politics, a field in which he frequently disgraced himself.

America’s Vietnam War was a true modern holocaust, killing about 4 million people in total including what happened in Cambodia. Many died horribly with new American weapons and ghastly practices such as large-scale use of napalm and carpet bombing.

There were also horrors like the CIA’s Operation Phoenix which murdered somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 peasants in an effort to destroy social cohesiveness in the country. Night-crawling special forces went out to villages in the dark, under CIA guidance, and literally used large knives to cut the throats of residents such as mayors or other officials.

My Lai was terrible, but it was only the tiniest part of this deliberately created hell.

None of it served any good purpose. It just reflected immense US arrogance and the brutality born of immense power. Its only purpose was to hold America’s artificially created foothold in Asia, South Vietnam, a place itself run by ugly dictators.

US presidents lied countless times about what they were doing, and what they were doing was indistinguishable from some of the work of the Nazis themselves.

You see, there is nothing in slogans about democracy or freedom that saves a people from sinking into the most depraved behavior, and that is the real lesson of the Vietnam War, but it is ignored to this day.

On a related note:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mossad-assassinations-israel-foreign-operations-arafat-book-shin-bet-ronan-bergman-interviews-a8181391.html A book has just been published about Israel’s 2,700 assassinations, and some of the assassins telling their stories. Political assassination literally has been a significant industry in modern Israel, a business much like the 1930s mafia murders-for-hire out of Detroit by the Purple Gang or Murder Inc.
https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/03/yemen-us-weapons-saudi-arabia-uae.html The is the greatest humanitarian catastrophe today, yet the USA sold weapons worth more than 650 million US$ to Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the Yemen war expanded in2017.
http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/sergei-skripal-theres-more-to-this-story-than-meets-the-eye/ War preparations.
https://petras.lahaine.org/why-the-uk-the-eu-and/ Cold War II. A useful compilations of facts about the Western campaign against Russia.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/21/it-is-us/ A poetic version of Cold War II.

John Chuckman

The recent set of behaviors by the US government is almost beyond belief.

It’s an astoundingly dangerous set of stunts, much like holding massive mock air raids over crowded cities using real bombers loaded with real bombs.

And to what purpose?

Just to discredit Russia? To prepare the ground, so to speak, for some new aggression against Russia, creating a cloud of hysteria and confusion for the general public just before some real fireworks go off? This is quite possible, and of course, immensely dangerous. I have little doubt Russian authorities regard this as a real possibility.

The fact is that the United States today, in international affairs, is not being led by completely rational people. And, most certainly, not people with much in the way of human values and respect for others. They demonstrated that amply over the last decade and a half by blowing up and burning through huge portions of the Middle East.

“To hell with all the people killed and the immense numbers made homeless and the destruction of comparatively well-run and peaceful states” is basically what America’s long violent march tells the world, and it’s hardly reassuring when new threats are offered, as they are being offered now.

America is led in these matters by unaccountable people with unknown goals and using deadly means.

America’s Deep State now not only makes democratic government inside America pretty well meaningless, a simulacrum of representative government, it threatens much of the world with completely unfounded fears to get its way. Bullying on a global scale.

And no one in what is still quaintly called “Western civilization” raises a voice against such dangerous insanity because they are themselves all threatened and intimidated. There would be enough decent people, but it’s a matter of inability to do anything about it. Passivity in the face of truly MAD terror.

All of the West has utterly buckled to America’s new hyper-aggressiveness. There isn’t a voice to be heard in Europe about anything important, except, “yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full,” as the American establishment tears up and burns much of the planet.

As for Americans, they have no real choices in politics. It’s a pathetic stage play of democracy. No matter who you vote for, the Washington establishment wins. Kerry vs. Bush? Romney vs. Obama? Clinton vs. Trump? Maybe Biden vs. Trump?

There isn’t a major influential figure in America who stands for anything different than what we see.

Big Money buying national politics plus uncontrolled lobbyists plus a cancerous Pentagon and CIA pretty well assure the results we see. Those are the rotten building materials for today’s godawful Washington establishment.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m watching one of those magnificent old Greek tragedies in which, no matter how hard he struggles, the protagonist goes down to his fate.

One more point:

To what extent is Trump – or indeed any US President – actually in charge of his own office? At least as far as world affairs and war and killing and threats go?

There was every indication before the election that Trump had some welcome contrarian views in important matters.

He openly asked why Israel couldn’t pay for its own defense? He openly asked why the United States didn’t develop better relations with Russia? He openly asked why the United States was in Syria, why not leave it to Russia to end that terrorism?

These and other exciting prospects about crucial matters have simply disappeared.

We do not see the same Trump, a man who for me had at least some promise, always ignoring his dumber ideas like building the wall with Mexico which had a high probability of never happening.

I am reminded of his predecessor, a man supposedly from the other end of the political spectrum and a man the whole world once regarded as promising change after eight agonizing years of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld’s bloody horror.

That man, Obama, ended by being a colossal disappointment, just providing for the most part in world affairs a continuation of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld. Here was a man who bombed human beings every day of his term in the White House despite his early promise.

Obama even put the United States into the extrajudicial killing business on a grand scale, something Trump has extended, happily handing over to the psychopaths at CIA the role of judging who dies in addition to acting as executioner.

Further, I refer to the Bush administration as Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld for a very good reason. Bush pretty much proved that the United States does not really need a president except for the formal signing of legal documents placed before him and making speeches. That pathetically ignorant man decided nothing. The grimacing eminences grises, standing behind him, very much did.

So, all the recent history of US Presidents tends to confirm strongly the unpleasant idea that America really is run by a Deep State, that the role of Presidents is pretty much symbolic, at least when it comes to all of America’s deadly activity in the world.

The Deep State apparently is largely indifferent to internal social issues, so the American people get to enjoy an illusion that they actually have some choice in their politics with debates over those.

However, if we accept the truth of this, it has huge implications for diplomacy and world affairs. Summits between well-intentioned leaders, for example, can settle nothing where the US is involved. Appeals to reason and the principles of the rule of law also are meaningless because the audience which must be addressed cannot be addressed.

Here, too, for that last point, we do tend to see confirmation in matters such as the Skripal Affair and various American behaviors in Syria. No logic or evidence is deemed necessary. No one you can address is accountable. Trump appears for all the world a kind of ventriloquist’s dummy sitting at his desk.

Statistical comparison USA – Russia:

US Defense Budget – 700 billion US$
US National Debt: 21,041,399,045,500 US$
Interest per Year 189,306,690,094 US$
Interest per Second 6,003 US$
Debt per Citizen 64,872 US$
Debt as percentage of GDP 109.32 percent
GDP 19,248,300,000,000 US$
Population 324,352,551

Russian Defense Budget – 47 billion US$
Russia National Debt: 197,906,347,208 US$
Interest per Year 12,805,556,000 US$
Interest per Second 406 US$
Debt per Citizen 1,353 US$
Debt as percentage of GDP 19.65 percent
GDP 1,007,000,000,000 US$
Population 146,300,000

Armageddon news:


Uncategorized news:

http://www.greattransition.org/publication/farewell-to-development Alternative models in the Global South. No individualism, competition, industrialism, market primacy.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/13/the-classist-racist-history-of-jaywalking/ Cars rule by brute force — pedestrians or cyclists who are in the way are just run over with impunity. You think this is cynical? I knew a physician, the only one in his little town and very well respected. He was a  fitness enthusiast and cycled every day in early morning 30 kilometers. On one of this bicycle rides he was killed by a reckless driver, who got away with a three-month suspended sentence. After a public uproar the judge justified the leniency with the argument, that “one should not destroy somebodies life just because of a driving error.”

News from cat land:

My Rosmarin all died in the “Beast from the East” cold snap and the cold weather could last beyond Easter. Siberian air is said to be responsible, no wonder, that the European Union wants to go to war against Russia. Yet, while the Cold War getting hot surely would cause some heat temporarily, a nuclear winter would leave us longing for the good times when temperatures were still around freezing.

Gardening season is nevertheless starting in earnest and blog posts will be rare throughout spring and summer.

Lucia, my little cat angel, is making not much progress with weight loss. I serve her only food which she profoundly dislikes, but I have no control about how many mice from the garden and the forest she consumes.

Every time I go to the kitchen she runs to the food cups and she looks at me so pleadingly, that it makes my heart bleed and gives me nightmares. All the hardship and suffering of the worlds felines is reflected in the wide open eyes of my cat angel. I often wake up sweating, trembling, and deeply disturbed by vivid dreams about starving cats. 

I now avoid going into the kitchen, so at least one person (I) looses weight. Unfortunately that doesn’t solve Lucia’s weight problem.

One could rightfully call her a “barrel cat,” but that would be disrespectful and the term corresponds too closely with the barrel bombs Bashar al-Assad allegedly uses to butcher Syria’s children.

I will have to make many long walks in the forest with her, which means, that there will be even less new blog posts. Life will have to go on (or end) without my comments.