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Destroying Syria: A Joint Criminal Enterprise

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Everyone claims to want to end the war in Syria and restore peace to the Middle East. 

Well, almost everyone.

 “This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York told the New York Times in June 2013. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here.” 


 Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, stressed the same points in August 2016:
The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction… Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys… Moreover, instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change… The American administration does not appear capable of recognizing the fact that IS can be a useful tool in undermining Tehran’s ambitious plan for domination of the Middle East.
Okay, not exactly everyone.
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VP Debate: Hawk Versus Hawk

Anyone hoping for a sign of change in US foreign policy was surely disappointed by last night's vice presidential candidate debate. Both Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence made their foreign agenda clear: war. From a no fly zone in Syria to punishing "aggressive" Russia, the only disagreement was how on who could be the most warlike. In today's Liberty Report we look at the vice presidency as an institution. It is more important than the "bucket of warm spit" as claimed by former US Vice President John Nance Garner. Eight US presidents have died in office, their vice presidents taking over for them. Significant figures like Theodore Roosevelt, LBJ, Harry Truman. What does it say that the two major party vice presidential candidates are so alike?
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CNN Celebrates Iraqi Housewife Who Beheaded and Then Cooked the Skulls of ISIS fighters

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When Islamic State beheads someone it is terrorism. When an Iraqi housewife beheads an ISIS fighter and cooks his skull, it is freedom. That is the CNN doctrine.

CNN reports the story of 39-year-old Wahida Mohamed aka Um Hanadi, an Iraqi woman who supposedly leads a tribal militia force of around 70 men south of Mosul. She and her band allegedly helped “government forces” drive Islamic State out of a small town.

“I began fighting the terrorists in 2004, working with Iraqi security forces and the coalition,” she told CNN. CNN cites no other source other than Um Hanadi herself and Facebook in its coverage.

As a result, Um Hanadi said, she attracted the wrath of what eventually became al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which later morphed into ISIS. “I received threats from the top leadership of ISIS, including from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself,” she says. “I’m at the top of their most wanted list, even more than the [Iraqi] Prime Minister.”

Um Hanadi stated al Qaeda/AQI/ISIS planted car bombs outside her home in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014.
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Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria

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On September 30, demonstrators gathered in city squares across the West for a "weekend of action” to “stop the bombs” raining down from Syrian government and Russian warplanes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Thousands joined the protests, holding signs that read "Topple Assad" and declaring, "Enough With Assad." Few participants likely knew that the actions were organized under the auspices of an opposition-funded public relations company called the Syria Campaign. 

By partnering with local groups like the Syrian civil defense workers popularly known as the White Helmets, and through a vast network of connections in media and centers of political influence, The Syria Campaign has played a crucial role in disseminating images and stories of the horrors visited this month on eastern Aleppo. The group is able to operate within the halls of power in Washington and has the power to mobilize thousands of demonstrators into the streets. Despite its outsized role in shaping how the West sees Syria’s civil war, which is now in its sixth year and entering one of its grisliest phases, this outfit remains virtually unknown to the general public.

The Syria Campaign presents itself as an impartial, non-political voice for ordinary Syrian citizens that is dedicated to civilian protection. “We see ourselves as a solidarity organization,” The Syria Campaign strategy director James Sadri told me. “We’re not being paid by anybody to pursue a particular line. We feel like we’ve done a really good job about finding out who the frontline activists, doctors, humanitarians are and trying to get their word out to the international community.”
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Iraq Will Use Sept 11 Bill To Sue US Government For 2003 Invasion, Demand Compensation

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As reported on Saturday, a September 11 widow was the first American to take advantage of the recently passed Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism (JASTA), aka the "Sept.11" bill courtesy of Congress which for the first time in Obama's tenure overrode his veto, by suing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Stephanie Ross DeSimone alleged the kingdom provided material support to al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden leading to the death of her husband, Navy Commander Patrick Dunn, who was killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2009, when Stephanie was two months pregnant at the time with the couple's daughter. Her suit is also filed on behalf of the couple’s daughter. She sued for wrongful death and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

As we said last week, we expect many more such lawsuits to be filed in the coming days now that the "seal has been broken", forcing the Kingdom to defend itself in a court of law, perhaps leading to ever growing displeasure by Riyadh with the US administration, and potentially leading to punitive measures such as selling of US-denominated securities.

However, in an unexpected twist, over the weekend following the passage of JASTA, it was citizens of Iraq who asked their parliament to demand compensation for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. As Al-Arabiya news channel reported on Saturday, an Iraqi group has requested parliament to prepare a lawsuit seeking compensation from the US for the invasion of Iraq.
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War Profits: PR Firm Gets $500 Million To Spin Iraq War

Thanks to a non-profit investigative journalism organization we now know that the Pentagon paid British PR firm more than half a billion dollars over five years to create false propaganda designed to push the US story line on the Iraq war. How much of it was aimed at the Iraqis and how much came back to propagandize us? We don't know. We do know that war brings fantastic profits to the well-connected. More on this blood money in today's Liberty Report...
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After Peres, Is Peace Possible in the Middle East?

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The death of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres last week marks the last of the Zionist “old guard” who successfully fought for a UN mandate to establish the state of Israel in what was formerly British Palestine. Much has been written about Peres since his death. He was a peacemaker. He was a warrior. He was brutal. He was complex. It is possible for all of them to be accurate at the same time.

Was Peres a warrior? That is without question. Israel was established in bloodshed and Peres played an important role in that fight. Also, the brutal Israeli attack on a Palestinian refugee camp at Qana in 1996 took place under Peres’s command. In that attack more than 100 women and children were killed.
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How Far Are We From War With Russia Over Syria?

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OK you Russians! No more gentle American diplomacy! No more Mr. Nice Guy! So thundered US Secretary of State John Kerry last week.

Right on cue, the usually overwrought US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, blasted the Russians as ‘barbaric’ for their bombing campaign in Syria. She made no mention of the US using B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers as well as killer drones in Afghanistan. The lapdog US and British media were quick to run anguished pictures of Syrian babies but we saw narry a picture of an injured Afghan child.

Noble Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama, ducked and left Washington’s growing anti-Russian jihad to his aides while he flew off to Israel for the state funeral of Shimon Peres, by now sainted by media as Israel’s ‘man of peace.’ In fact, Peres was the father of Israel’s nuclear weapons programs.

Under Peres’ auspices, Israel secretly offered nuclear warheads and then Jericho missiles to the embattled South African apartheid government. This was ironic because Israel has been insisting that Iran – which does not have nuclear weapons – will proliferate them around the globe.

Back in Washington, just about everyone is now ignoring lame duck Obama and doing their own thing. Recently, the Pentagon, which has no use for Obama, likely sabotaged joint US-Russians plan to end the bloody Syrian civil war by bombing a Syrian Army camp and killing close to 100 Syrian troops. ‘Ooops, sorry, a mistake’ explained the Pentagon.
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Pentagon Paid PR Firm $540 Million to Make Fake Terrorist Videos

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The Pentagon paid a UK PR firm half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq in a secret propaganda campaign exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

PR firm Bell Pottinger, known for its array of controversial clients including the Saudi government and Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s foundation, worked with the US military to create the propaganda in a secretive operation.

The firm reported to the CIA, the National Security Council and the Pentagon on the project with a mandate to portray Al-Qaeda in a negative light and track suspected sympathizers.

Both the White House and General David Petraeus, the former general who shared classified information with his mistress, signed off on the content produced by the agency.

The Bell Pottinger operation started soon after the US invasion of Iraq and was tasked with promoting the “democratic elections” for the administration before moving on to more lucrative psychological and information operations.
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Russia Warns US Military ‘Aggression’ In Syria Would Lead To ‘Terrible, Tectonic’ Consequences

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As the drums of war beat louder, following last week's ultimatum by John Kerry that the US is contemplating a direct military intervention in Syria, including potentially sending US troops on the ground in the war-torn country for the first time, on Saturday Russia warned the US against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East. The warning comes as government forces captured a hill on the edge of the northern city of Aleppo under the cover of airstrikes.

It has been one year since Russia became officially involved in the Syria conflict. The maps below show zones controlled by different forces before Russian intervention in September 2015 and the situation now.

The most obvious change is the collapse in territory controlled by ISIS, as well as the expansion of territories held by the Syrian regime, which is the biggest concern to the US, whose main directive in the Syrian conflict has been less to crush the Islamic State as to minimize the influence and territory of Assad's regime, replacing it with US-controlled "rebel" forces.

And with Russia - long an ally to Assad as the conflict is fundamentally about Gazprom's loss of influence over Europe should a Qatari natgas pipelines cross under Syria - having become the biggest hurdle to US strategy in Syria, there has been a notable shift in the US strategy, with western media slamming Russia's "barbarous airstrikes," focusing on recent bombing strikes of the rebel-held city of Aleppo, a repeat of US strategy from the summer of 2013 when a doctored "chemical attack" YouTube video was used to justify US presence in the local conflict.
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