Sunday 25th of September 2016

Recent Comments

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2016-09-19 06:21

Yesterday, the USA committed what is – essentially – an act of war against the legitimate government of Syria. The official position is that, due to a breakdown in communication (or possibly bad intelligence), the US Air Force – with Australian support – bombed SAA men and vehicles resulting in the deaths of at least 60 Syrian soldiers.

The Russian’s are, understandably, incensed. Accusing the Americans of “assisting ISIS” and describing it as an “intentional provocation”, all of which ties into a speech Putin gave yesterday, in which he questioned American commitment to the deal.

But why did this attack happen? Assuming it wasn’t just straight incompetence, which is always a possibility when dealing with an American military far more concerned with being expensive than efficient, what was the motivation? Why has the Obama administration worked for weeks to get this deal together, only for the USAF to bomb Syrian soldiers days into the ceasefire? Why has Kerry spent hours carefully negotiating with Sergei Lavrov, only for Samantha Power to immediately launch into abusive and hysterical language the moment any even minor conflict occurs?

The only logical position to take is that, for some reason, some parts of the American political or military establishment are trying to scupper the ceasefire before it can take hold. To smother peace in its cradle.

This is just the latest in a long line of evidence that suggests, tempting and easy as it is to see American power as monolithic, there are factions at work within the heart of the Empire. It has been suggested, many times, that any cracks in Washington run along party political or institutional lines. Democrats vs. Republicans. The FBI vs. the CIA. It has been mooted that Edward Snowden is a CIA agent out to discredit the NSA. I doubt any breaks run along such neatly defined borders. But we can say there are at least two different groups, with different agendas, ideologies and even realities. For now we shall call them the Realists, and the Lunatics.

The Realists are largely Old School diplomats, or veterans of the Cold War. Think Henry Kissinger, who loudly and publicly decried the US’s approach in Ukraine, and even attacked the government’s motives in the news (Kissinger has been a proponent of increased Russian-American cooperation since heading the Track II program). Think Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was one of the few voices of reason on Syria during Obama’s “red line” nonsense. John Kerry, likewise, obviously comes from this same school. Not decent or moral people by any means, but diplomats and pragmatists. Disdaining violence and chaos, not out of empathy, but as waste of time and resources that reflects badly on their skill as politicians. They deal in realpolitik, and can be counted on to always serve their own best interest and at least having some semblance of a notion of veridical reality.

The Lunatics are comparatively new on this stage, spiritual successors to the old-guard Neo-cons, they have been weened on stories of American exceptionalism and see themselves as morally, intellectually and emotionally superior. They believe they can simply create reality through their words, and cannot be shaken from this belief no matter how much the world refuses to shape itself around their certitudes. Look at Samantha Power. Or Victoria Nuland. Or Robert Kagan. They are dangerous because, no matter what, they believe in the moral rectitude of their actions. They cannot see their actions from an outside perspective, or appreciate the position of their supposed “adversary”. They are dangerous because they refuse to deal with the real world. They are black and white creatures in a grey universe.

Watch the following video.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/09/18/syria-bombing-exposes-cracks-in-american-facade/

 

 

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2016-09-19 01:50
The Russian FM spokeswoman invited the US ambassador to the UN to visit Syria and see firsthand what “embarrassed” means. This comes after the UN ambassador lashed out at Moscow for hinting the US supports IS after coalition airstrikes hit the Syrian Army. 

During a speech at an emergency UN Security Council meeting called by Russia to discuss the deadly airstrikes delivered by the US-led coalition, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that Moscow’s representative should be “embarrassed” for her words suggesting that the strike indicated that Washington is defending Islamic State (IS, former ISIS, ISIL) terrorists.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the strike near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor that killed 62 Syrian soldiers bordered between “gross negligence” and “direct assistance” to IS.

 

read more: https://www.rt.com/news/359753-zakharova-power-russia-syria/

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2016-09-18 17:11

Russia accused the US of bombing Syrian army positions on Saturday and warned the incident put a “very big question mark” over the future of a precarious ceasefire agreed by Washington and Moscow last week.

The US acknowledged that an intended air strike against Isis positions could have hit Syrian soldiers in error and said it would carry out an investigation. 

But the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, described Russia’s call for an emergency closed-door security council meeting over the incident a “stunt” that was “uniquely cynical and hypocritical” as Russia had for years blocked UN punitive measures against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for the barrel bombing of civilian populations in rebel-held cities.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/18/us-accuses-russia-of-grandstanding-over-deadly-syria-air-strikes

 

Not even a OOOPS from the Yankees... Not even a "sorry"... But a blaming the Russians for whatever... The Guardian is also a disgace for reporting the event this way...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2016-09-18 16:21

Australian aircraft were involved in a US-led coalition operation which killed dozens of Syrian soldiers who were apparently mistaken for Islamic State fighters, the Defence Department has confirmed.

Key points:

  • Dozens of Syrian soldiers dead in US-led strike
  • Defence Department says Australian jets were involved but would never intentionally target Syrian military
  • UN Security Council holds emergency meeting at Russia's request, US criticises "grandstanding"

 

Between 62 and 83 Syrian soldiers who had been fighting IS militants were reportedly killed in the air strikes around the Deir al-Zor military airport in Syria's east.

"Australian aircraft were among a number of international aircraft taking part in this Coalition operation," the Defence Department said in a statement.

"Australia would never intentionally target a known Syrian military unit or actively support Daesh (IS). Defence offers its condolences to the families of any Syrian personnel killed or wounded in this incident."

The Russian military earlier said two F-16 and two A-10 jets that flew into Syrian airspace from neighbouring Iraq carried out the actual attack. Neither type is listed as being in operation with the RAAF.

The strikes came less than a week into a fragile ceasefire aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria's five-year civil war, as Russia accused what it termed "moderate rebels" of causing the truce to fail.

'Russia needs to stop cheap point-scoring': US

The US military and Australia's Defence Department said the attack was called off after Russia informed the coalition that Syrian military personnel and vehicles may have been hit.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in an emailed statement that Russian officials did not voice concerns earlier on Saturday when informed that coalition aircraft would be operating in the strike area.

The 15-member United Nations Security Council met after Russia demanded an emergency session to discuss the incident and accused the US-led coalition of jeopardising the Syria deal and helping Islamic State.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, chastised Russia for the move.

"Russia really needs to stop the cheap point-scoring and the grandstanding and the stunts and focus on what matters, which is implementation of something we negotiated in good faith with them," Ms Power said.

When asked if the incident spelled the end of the Syria deal between Moscow and Washington, Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said: "This is a very big question mark."

"I would be very interested to see how Washington is going to react. If what Ambassador Power has done today is any indication of their possible reaction then we are in serious trouble," Mr Churkin said.

Russia says attack helped Islamic State

Russia said the attacks, which allowed Islamic State fighters to briefly overrun a Syrian army position near Deir al-Zor, were evidence that the US was helping the jihadist militants.

"We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world —that the White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

"Warplanes from the international anti-jihadist coalition carried out four air strikes today against Syrian forces surrounded by IS in the Deir Ezzor air base," a Russian army statement said.

"Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and a hundred others were injured in these strikes.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group gave a toll of 83 soldiers killed, and said the strikes were US-led coalition raids.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-18/australian-jets-involved-in-botched-air-strike-on-syrian-army/7855610

 

RIDICULOUS.... TIME FOR THE AUSSIES TO BAIL OUT OF THIS AMERICAN CREATED SHIT... "Mistakes" of this calibre cannot happen without some head rolling, including the Australian Minister for defence. The Russians are correct. 

SEE TOON AT TOP

See also: blind ...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-09-17 15:19

Jesus chose the company of men for a particular reason... 

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-09-10 19:10

In their struggle to understand the Trump phenomenon, establishment pundits, political scientists and millions of flabbergasted American voters have settled on a long list of sober-sounding socioeconomic explanations: Deindustrialization. Anomie. Racial animosity. The rising up of a dislocated America.

Perhaps. Surely, Donald J. Trump is where he is because of a new force in American politics, one very different from the old politics as usual. But the difference is not just socioeconomic. It’s much deeper than that. Mr. Trump has survived disasters that would have sunk an establishment politician because he and his supporters have a fundamentally different worldview. Mr. Trump isn’t just the first reality-TV candidate; he is the first candidate to embrace a slice of the country that sees everything, even the fate of the nation, through the logic of cutthroat American capitalism.

The world that Mr. Trump inhabits is today’s Other America, the seamy, blustering, hustling and huckstering underside of our fabled brightness and optimism. For those who can afford to idealize politics, it may seem alien. But for many people, it is everyday life.

The political and business worlds have always overlapped. But we used to — and the establishment still does — expect politicians to adhere to a minimal level of honesty and consistency. We judge business tycoons differently; within the confines of the law, more or less, we expect them to lie and cheat their way to the top, and we assess them solely on how quickly and efficiently they get there. The reputation of Ulysses S. Grant was tarnished by the mere association with the unseemly practices that earned his Gilded Age counterparts in the business world everlasting glory.

Perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone with the plutocrat’s professional ethics made that leap into presidential politics. But the rest of the country had to catch up. We lauded robber barons like John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould for their business success, but no one suggested for a second that they were statesman material. Now, in an era when the market reaches deep into our private lives and even high school students are expected to be experts in self-marketing, the door is finally open. Enter Donald Trump.

read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/10/opinion/campaign-stops/the-selling-of-donald-j-trump.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-09-10 18:22

 

In his memoirs published in 1989, Andrei Gromyko, who was Soviet Foreign Minister from the mid-1950s when he succeeded Molotov, to 1985, recounts an episode from his long career that has received scant attention in the West. It concerns the Soviet response to the establishment of NATO. It is worth quoting in full:

“In 1955 a meeting of the heads of government of the USSR, USA, Britain and France took place in Geneva. Sharp exchanges occurred revealing serious differences between the former allies. Eisenhower, Eden and Edgar Faure fiercely argued that NATO was a force for peace, especially in Europe, whereas in fact their plan was aimed at swallowing up East Germany into West Germany, and whitewashing the remilitarisation of West Germany in peace-loving propaganda.

In an effort to deprive the three Western powers of their notion that the Soviet Union was not doing its part in consolidating peace, the Soviet delegation, consisting of Khrushchev, Bulganin, Molotov, Marshal Zhukov and myself, announced that the Soviet Union was willing to join NATO.  We argued that, since NATO was dedicated to the cause of peace, it could not but agree to include the USSR.   It is hard to describe the effect this announcement had on the Western delegations when it was made by Bulganin, as President of the Council of Ministers. They were so stunned that for several minutes none of them said a word. Eisenhower’s usual vote-winning smile vanished from his face. He leaned over for a private consultation with Dulles; but we were not given a reply to our proposal.

After the meeting, Dulles caught up with me in the corridor and asked, ‘Was the Soviet Union really being serious?’ I replied, ‘The Soviet Union does not make unserious proposals, especially at such an important forum as this.’

Dulles was about to add something, when Eisenhower came up. Now a smile did appear on his face, as he said: ‘We must tell you Mr. Gromyko, that the Soviet proposal will be carefully examined by us, as it is a very serious matter.’  At later meetings of the four powers, however, it was evident the Western delegations did not wish to discuss our proposal further and they simply steered clear of it, giving mysterious, oracular smiles whenever it was mentioned. The fact is NATO simply did not know how to deal with it and so they simply hushed it up. Often I have mentioned our proposal to US officials of later generations and very few of them have ever heard of it.”

READ MORE:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-1949-the-origin-of-an-offensive-expansionist-imperialist-military-alliance/5413844

 

Gus: NATO has always been an OFFENSIVE outfit.

 

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-09-10 15:13

John Stiles believes his father's brain was damaged by heading the football.

"Football (is) the only sport where a violent collision with another object is a daily occurrence and is part of the training," he said.

"It just seems to me to be too much of a coincidence."

Modern footballs are lighter and highly water resistant, unlike the heavy leather balls used in the past.

Players from the Sixties describe heading a heavy, waterlogged ball as like head butting a brick.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-08/dementia-the-deadly-legacy-of-england's-world-cup-triumph/7826618

 

In this line of comments, I think I have mentioned somewhere the frozen leather heavy football we played soccer with in the 1950s. One header still rings in my head...

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-09-10 13:29

In North Dakota, Governor Jack Dalrymple has activated the National Guard ahead of Friday’s ruling on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit against the U.S. government over the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. The move comes as U.S. District Judge James Boasberg is set to rule today on an injunction in the lawsuit, which is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to issue permits for the pipeline, arguing it violates the National Historic Preservation Act. Thousands of people representing more than 100 Native American tribes have traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to resist the pipeline’s construction. On Saturday, September 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company unleashed dogs and pepper spray on Native Americans as they attempted to stop the company from destroying a sacred tribal burial site. The bulldozers and company security guards were forced to retreat. On Thursday, Governor Jack Dalrymple said the National Guard will be deployed Friday to a checkpoint along Highway 1806.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple: "I have also placed additional guardsmen on standby alert, in the event they are needed to assist with response efforts. The Guard members will provide valuable personnel, resources and equipment necessary to support local, tribal and state officials. Public safety has always been and continues to be paramount."

 

http://www.democracynow.org/topics/natural_gas_and_oil

by Gus Leonisky on Sat, 2016-09-10 13:26

Wells Fargo Fined $185 Million for Creating Phony Accounts and Credit Cards


SEPTEMBER 09, 2016
HEADLINES


 

Wells Fargo will pay $185 million in fines after it was caught illegally manipulating customers’ bank accounts in order to rack up fees and other charges. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found Wells Fargo employees secretly opened phony bank accounts and issued credit cards to customers who did not want them. These practices led to overdraft charges, late fees and other penalties. The bank has fired at least 5,300 employees involved in the illegal activity.