In the 1980s, Kabul was “a cosmopolitan city. Artists and hippies flocked to the capital. Women studied agriculture, engineering and business at the city’s university. Afghan women held government jobs.” There were female members of parliament, and women drove cars, and travelled and went on dates, without needing to ask a male guardian for permission.
Month: October 2015
Russia is bombing “terrorists” in Syria, and the US is understandably peeved.
Anonymously, US officials accused Russia of deliberately targeting CIA-sponsored “moderate” rebels to shore-up the regime of Bashir al-Assad.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an organization shrouded in mystery. This may be due mainly to the fact that the majority of people don’t even know of its existence.
In 2010, WikiLeaks became a household name by releasing 251,287 classified State Department cables. Now, a new book collects in-depth analyses of what these cables tell us about the foreign policy of the United States, from authors including Truthout staff reporter Dahr Jamail and our regular contributors Gareth Porter, Robert Naiman, Phyllis Bennis and Stephen Zunes. “The essays that make up The WikiLeaks Files shed critical light on a once secret history,” says Edward Snowden.
Everyone knows what’s going on. Barack Obama is not going to initiate a confrontation with Russia to defend a fundamentally immoral CIA program that has gone south. He will, however, do what the US always does when dealing with an adversary that can actually defend itself. He’s going to hector, harass, threaten, demean, demonize, ridicule, and bully. He might launch another attack on the ruble, or fiddle with oil prices or impose more economic sanctions. But he’s not going to start a war with Russia, that’s just not going to happen.
“ ‘More than 120 members belonging to the elite regiment [British SAS] are currently in the war-torn country’ covertly ‘dressed in black and flying ISIS flags’ engaged in what is called Operation Shader – attacking Syrian targets on the pretext of combatting ISIS.”
The US are trying to salvage the remnants of their comic-book Syrian narrative, hiding behind the transparent diversionary claim the Russians are bombing “non-ISIS rebels”, hoping, forlornly no one will be smart enough to realise this essentially means “al Qaeda/al Nusra”, and amounts to an admission the US is working with the group they used to claim were the embodiment of evil.
While it is important to recognise the sources of bias, the repetition of anti-Syrian stories based on partisan sources cannot be a matter of simple bias. We know from independent evidence that earlier claims of massacres were fabricated by the sectarian groups, then backed by Washington. This has been documented with respect to mass killings at Houla, Aqrab, Daraya, and East Ghouta
So a Su-30 enters a few hundred meters into Turkish airspace for only two minutes over Hatay province, and returns to Syrian airspace after being warned by a couple of Turkish F-16s. Then all hell breaks loose as if this was the ultimate pretext for a NATO-Russia war. NATO, predictably, went out all rhetorical guns blazing. Russia is causing“extreme danger” and should immediately stop bombing those cute“moderate rebels” the coalition of the dodgy opportunists refuses to bomb.
The first bit of extreme silliness surfaced when Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the United States Central Command, told a Senate panel that only a very small number of Syrian fighters trained by the United States remained in the fight—perhaps as few as five. The tab for training and equipping them was $500 million. That’s $100 million per fighter, but that’s OK, because it’s all good as long as the military contractors are getting paid.
The Russian air-base at Latakia is perfectly situated for providing air cover or bombing terrorist targets across the country. The Russian airforce will also make every effort to cut off supply lines and escape routes so that as many jihadis as possible are liquidated within Syria’s borders. This is why ISIS positions along the main highway to Iraq were destroyed on Sunday. The jihadi thugs will be given every chance to die in battle as they wish, but getting out alive is not going to be so easy.
“For goose-steppers,” wrote the historian Norman Pollack, “substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while.”