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Finian Cunningham

Washington's 'Plan B' in Syria: Renewed Military Intervention to Oust Assad?

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US top diplomat John Kerry appeared to offer cooperation during lengthy talks in Moscow this week with President Vladimir Putin. Kerry said that US policy was not trying to isolate Russia, neither was it seeking regime change in Syria.

Rhetoric aside, Kerry’s expressions of goodwill simply do not cut it.

During a walkabout in Moscow, the US Secretary of State chanced on a little Christmas shopping, with Kerry buying a Babushka stacking doll among other souvenirs. The iconic Russian doll containing six shelled figurines could serve as a metaphor for Washington’s elusive rhetoric.

Following his three-hour discussion with Putin, Kerry said: “While we don’t see eye to eye on every aspect of Syria, we see Syria fundamentally similarly.”

US government-owned media outlet Voice of America added: “He [Kerry] said the US and Russia identify the same challenges and dangers, and want the same outcomes [in Syria].”

That, to put it bluntly, is simply not true. Washington and Moscow do not see Syria fundamentally similarly nor want the same outcomes.
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Western Complicity in Yemen Genocide Met With Media Silence

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In the latest atrocity in Yemen, Saudi warplanes bombed a residential area, killing at least 65 people. Most of the victims are reported to be civilians from the Salah district of Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city.

The apparent war crime committed has tragically become an almost daily occurrence during five months of relentless aerial bombardment of Yemen by a Western-backed coalition of foreign powers.

In recent days, there were similar air strikes on civilian centers in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida and the northern province of Saada. In the Hodeida strike, which killed several dock workers, the British charity Save the Children said it believed the attack was a deliberate bid by the Saudis to sabotage aid supplies to the civilian population.

Surely, this should be front page news, with CNN, the BBC and France 24, among other big Western media outlets, splashing it as their top story. The onus is on them because their governments are implicated in grave crimes. However, there has been no news coverage of the tragic events. Aside from some brief, vague reports of a generalized humanitarian crisis, there has been a wall of silence as to how the Western-backed Saudi-led coalition is pulverizing Yemeni civilians and creating the crisis. That suggests a deliberate blackout by Western media.
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US-backed Criminal Slaughter in Yemen Revealed

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Former UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has given an undiplomatic assessment of the crisis in that country, in which he rhetorically explodes Saudi myths “justifying” the US-backed aerial bombing campaign. The Moroccan diplomat told media at the weekend that the ongoing conflict was a direct result of Houthi rebels having been excluded from the political process last year. 

Furthermore, Benomar went on to say unequivocally that during his tenure as UN envoy in Yemen he saw no evidence of Iranian involvement stirring the country’s strife. 

That testimony debunks the Western media-contrived whitewash of the continuing Saudi slaughter in Yemen – a slaughter that is being aided and abetted, politically and militarily, by Washington. 

Benomar resigned from his diplomatic post last week after three years of being charged with facilitating political talks between Yemeni rebels and the US, Saudi-backed regime of now-ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Benomar’s task had always been a futile one because the foreign sponsors of the Hadi regime were never interested in a genuine transition to a more democratic, representative government in the Arab Peninsula country.
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Western-Backed Kiev Regime Burying the Truth About Its Atrocities?

Mass Graves

The grim discovery of mass graves in southeastern Ukraine this week implicates the Kiev regime in further war crimes. At least three such burial sites have been uncovered in recent days since the withdrawal of Kiev’s military forces from the areas under its control, as part of a belated ceasefire deal.

Meanwhile, Kiev President Petro Poroshenko declared that “the worst of the violence is over” in Ukraine, with the latest ceasefire, he says, holding and Kiev’s forces withdrawing as latterly agreed. In the same speech, Poroshenko claimed that his country is on schedule to gain full membership of the European Union by the year 2020. Perhaps, Kiev’s EU ambitions are concentrating its efforts to end the violence – violence, it has to be said, that Kiev largely instigated in April this year.

But as peace makes a tentative return in eastern Ukraine, the restored calm is giving rise to some eerie discoveries of possible war crimes – the latest being the unearthing of mass graves in territory that was, up to a few days ago, under the control of Kiev’s military forces for the past several months.

Kiev’s military spokesmen have denied accusations from local people in the Donbass regions that its forces are responsible for the alleged atrocities. If that’s the case, then the Western-backed regime must heed Russian government demands to facilitate an immediate international crime investigation.
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Western Doublethink on Blind Path to War

Nato Summit

In October 1962, the United States threatened to go to war with Russia over the Cuban missile crisis. That high-stakes drama came about after Washington learned that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had overseen the installation of ballistic missiles on the Caribbean island, some 90 miles from the US mainland. Never mind that the nascent military alliance between Moscow and the socialist government of Fidel Castro was a inviolable matter between two sovereign states – Washington was apoplectic that Soviet missiles were permitted anywhere near its territory. The then US President John F Kennedy was impelled to go to war over the issue, even if that meant igniting an all-out thermonuclear conflagration. 

In the end, the standoff was resolved, in part through a mutual personal understanding between Kennedy and Khrushchev that such a catastrophic war had to be avoided at all costs. The Soviet Union eventually withdrew its missiles after receiving a guarantee from the White House that there would no follow-up US invasion of Cuba, as in the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs assault of April 1961. In addition, Kennedy gave a commitment to reciprocate US missile withdrawal from Turkey’s territory bordering with the former Soviet Union. 

Now fast-forward 52 years. The US-led NATO alliance this week announced that it intends consolidating its military presence in Eastern Europe, the Black Sea and the Baltic states. Ahead of a NATO summit in Wales, NATO secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called for the setting up of “reactive battalions” along Russia’s border. The contingency would include the eventual placement of ballistic missiles and it builds on recent dispatches of NATO warships and fighter aircraft in the region.
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