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Scientists Support Seymour Hersh

By , April 17, 2014 3:16 pm
Tom Stoddart Collection

On April 15, we wrote about the controversy sparked by Seymour Hersh’s latest article in the London Review of Books, The Red Line and the Rat Line. As in his earlier LRB article, Whose Sarin?, he maintains that the Obama administration knew that the extremist Islamist rebel group, al-Nusra, possessed chemical weapons capabilities and mounted the attack on Damascus suburb Ghouta which spurred President Obama to take the United States to the brink of mounting a massive attack on Syria. Of course, at the last minute he elected to seek the approval of Congress first and then Russian Prime Minister Putin saw Secretary of State John Kerry’s offer to refrain from attacking Syria if it liquidated its chemical weapons and raised it.

Compounding the controversy, Hersh also maintained that Turkey helped al-Nusra with the attack on Ghouta to implicate Syria in a false flag operation and lure the West into attacking Syria.

Much of the controversy over Hersh’s articles coalesced around Eliott Higgins, who maintains Brown Moses Blog and clings to the notion that the Syrian government was the guilty party in the chemical weapons attack. Though he’s self-taught, Higgins’s expertise on Syrian rockets and chemical weapons is highly regard. But, at Mint Press, Carmen Russell-Sluchansky talked to Professor in the Science, Technology, and Global Security Working Group at MIT Theodore Postol, as well as Richard Lloyd, an analyst at Tesla Laboratories and former UN weapons inspector. In December 2013, they took the U.S. Government to task for its willingness to act as if it were certain that the Syrian government was guilty of the attack.

“The thing I find extremely disturbing is that the Secretary of State and the White House were very specific,” Postol told MintPress. “They claimed that they had satellite positions of the launches of these rockets. That’s a pretty specific claim. I know the satellites they’re talking about and I also know they can’t tell what rockets are carrying a chemical warhead and what rockets are carrying explosive warheads.”

In addition to stating that the launch points looked like they weren’t in government-held territory

Both Postol and Lloyd are confounded by Higgins’ contention that these “volcano rockets” could have only come from the Syrian army.

“They are well within the manufacturable range by a modest machine shop,” Postol said. “The design is clever for what it’s designed to do, but once you have the design, you can make it pretty easily. … Lloyd points out that he has designed a course on the arms used in the Syrian conflict.

“I have a section all on the rebels,” he explained. “They have factories. A production line. They have just as much capability as anyone else in building these weapons.”

It’s nice to know Hersh has science on his side.

A rebuttal by Higgins can be found in his April 9 post The Knowledge Gap ― Seymour’s Hersh of Cards. (Agreed: lame pun.)

Foreign Policy In Focus

Alert: The reserve to support the value of the national currency

By , April 15, 2014 12:34 pm

http://theiraqijournal.com/alert-the-reserve-to-support-the-value-of-the-national-currency/

Please any Questions: send to breitlingcurrency@gmail.com I will get to your questions as soon as possible by personal e-mail, blog post or audio “If you Knew you could not fail, what would you try today?” Philippians 4:13

Civil War Unlikely as Kiev Junta Loses Support

By , April 15, 2014 3:53 am

Civil War Unlikely as Kiev Junta Loses Support
By: RIA Novosti. on: 15.04.2014 [01:29 ] (142 reads)

15:59 14/04/2014

MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Civil war in Ukraine is unlikely as Kiev’s junta is quickly losing support, according to Jon Hellevig, co-author of the book “Putin’s New Russia.”

“I don’t think there will be any civil war,” Hellevig, a managing partner at the Moscow-based Awara Group, told RIA Novosti.

“The Russian people of eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine will take over their local governments soon, without large-scale conflict,” said Hellevig, a longtime observer of Russia’s development.

Pro-federalization protesters in Ukraine’s eastern city of Slaviansk ignored a Monday deadline by the central regime to lay down arms. On Sunday, Ukrainian security troops launched a so-called “anti-terror operation” to end the federalist rallies.

Demonstrations in support of the formation of a Ukrainian federation have been flaring up across the region since last month. On Saturday, the unrest spilled over to several other cities, including Mariupol, Yenakiyevo and Kramatorsk.

“I think that events in eastern parts of Ukraine are unfolding very fast and positively now,” Hellevig said. “We have seen that there is genuine disgust among the population towards the junta and the people have also organized armed self-defense units. The events of yesterday show that the junta does not have armed power to put down the resistance.”

The botched attempt to storm Slaviansk on Sunday is further proof of the central authorities’ lack of support, as was the disobedience of the Alpha special forces unit that was ordered to storm occupied buildings in Donetsk, Hellevig said.

“Reports on the ground today support the notion that the operation is not going well,” Hellevig said, commenting on the use of military force by Ukraine’s acting President Turchinov to quell the protests.

“The junta is desperate. They are losing support fast. In this situation, they tried to save themselves by trying to make themselves stronger than they really are,” Hellevig said.

Anatoly Karlin, who runs the blog Da Russophile, however, said that if Kiev tries to wipe out the “terrorists,” which is one possible scenario, it will “totally alienate eastern populations that are already very unhappy,” Karlin told RIA Novosti.

“Given the mass defections to the separatist cause amongst the eastern siloviki, and the fact that Kiev can only truly rely upon Western Ukrainian units, the chances of success are low. If it were to pursue this route, it may well truly get a civil war on its hands,” Karlin said.

Another scenario, according to Karlin, would be Kiev agreeing to expanded regional autonomy for the country. “Any help or coordination that Russia provides to the separatist militias in Donbas and other cities in the east isn’t a prelude to unification, as in Crimea, but is meant to exert pressure on Kiev to agree to wide-ranging federalization,” Karlin told RIA Novosti.

“Ukraine was ‘lost’ to the Eurasian Union when the Maidan overthrew Yanukovych in their coup. The plan now is to win at least half of it back,” he said.

Assessing the recent protests in the country, Hellevig said there is an option of federalization of Ukraine with increased autonomy for eastern and southern regions.

“I think, and indeed, hope for another solution, which would entail that these Russian-populated regions would form their own federal country independent from Western Ukrainians. This new federal country (Lugansk, Kharkov, Donetsk, Kherson, Dnepropetrovks, Zaparozhye and Odessa) could then become a member of the Union State of Belarus and Russia,” Hellevig told RIA Novosti.

The operation in Slaviansk came in defiance of warnings by Moscow and international experts that a violent crackdown on the demonstrators – who are seeking increased local autonomy – risked escalating the crisis and plunging the country into civil war.

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140414/189217415/ANALYSIS-Civil-War-Unlikely-as-Kiev-Junta-Loses-Support.html

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Civil War Unlikely as Kiev Junta Loses Support

By , April 14, 2014 7:43 pm

Civil War Unlikely as Kiev Junta Loses Support
By: RIA Novosti. on: 15.04.2014 [01:29 ] (17 reads)

15:59 14/04/2014

MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – Civil war in Ukraine is unlikely as Kiev’s junta is quickly losing support, according to Jon Hellevig, co-author of the book “Putin’s New Russia.”

“I don’t think there will be any civil war,” Hellevig, a managing partner at the Moscow-based Awara Group, told RIA Novosti.

“The Russian people of eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine will take over their local governments soon, without large-scale conflict,” said Hellevig, a longtime observer of Russia’s development.

Pro-federalization protesters in Ukraine’s eastern city of Slaviansk ignored a Monday deadline by the central regime to lay down arms. On Sunday, Ukrainian security troops launched a so-called “anti-terror operation” to end the federalist rallies.

Demonstrations in support of the formation of a Ukrainian federation have been flaring up across the region since last month. On Saturday, the unrest spilled over to several other cities, including Mariupol, Yenakiyevo and Kramatorsk.

“I think that events in eastern parts of Ukraine are unfolding very fast and positively now,” Hellevig said. “We have seen that there is genuine disgust among the population towards the junta and the people have also organized armed self-defense units. The events of yesterday show that the junta does not have armed power to put down the resistance.”

The botched attempt to storm Slaviansk on Sunday is further proof of the central authorities’ lack of support, as was the disobedience of the Alpha special forces unit that was ordered to storm occupied buildings in Donetsk, Hellevig said.

“Reports on the ground today support the notion that the operation is not going well,” Hellevig said, commenting on the use of military force by Ukraine’s acting President Turchinov to quell the protests.

“The junta is desperate. They are losing support fast. In this situation, they tried to save themselves by trying to make themselves stronger than they really are,” Hellevig said.

Anatoly Karlin, who runs the blog Da Russophile, however, said that if Kiev tries to wipe out the “terrorists,” which is one possible scenario, it will “totally alienate eastern populations that are already very unhappy,” Karlin told RIA Novosti.

“Given the mass defections to the separatist cause amongst the eastern siloviki, and the fact that Kiev can only truly rely upon Western Ukrainian units, the chances of success are low. If it were to pursue this route, it may well truly get a civil war on its hands,” Karlin said.

Another scenario, according to Karlin, would be Kiev agreeing to expanded regional autonomy for the country. “Any help or coordination that Russia provides to the separatist militias in Donbas and other cities in the east isn’t a prelude to unification, as in Crimea, but is meant to exert pressure on Kiev to agree to wide-ranging federalization,” Karlin told RIA Novosti.

“Ukraine was ‘lost’ to the Eurasian Union when the Maidan overthrew Yanukovych in their coup. The plan now is to win at least half of it back,” he said.

Assessing the recent protests in the country, Hellevig said there is an option of federalization of Ukraine with increased autonomy for eastern and southern regions.

“I think, and indeed, hope for another solution, which would entail that these Russian-populated regions would form their own federal country independent from Western Ukrainians. This new federal country (Lugansk, Kharkov, Donetsk, Kherson, Dnepropetrovks, Zaparozhye and Odessa) could then become a member of the Union State of Belarus and Russia,” Hellevig told RIA Novosti.

The operation in Slaviansk came in defiance of warnings by Moscow and international experts that a violent crackdown on the demonstrators – who are seeking increased local autonomy – risked escalating the crisis and plunging the country into civil war.

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140414/189217415/ANALYSIS-Civil-War-Unlikely-as-Kiev-Junta-Loses-Support.html

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Syrians abroad affirm support to Homeland

By , April 5, 2014 3:19 pm

Syrians abroad affirm support to Homeland
By: SANA on: 05.04.2014 [17:22 ] (65 reads)

Apr 05, 2014

Syrian communities in Austria and USA expressed support to homeland in the face of the global conspiracy against it.

Members of the Syrian Community in Austria held a concert and a charity festivity in Vienna in which they reviewed the events in Syria and the dimensions of the global conspiracy targeting Syria’s steadfastness.

Participants expressed support and solidarity with the Syrian army in its war against terrorism. They called on the international community to confront terrorism, warning it against the risks of the global terrorism.

A film showing Syria’s economic prosperity and development in various tourist and cultural domains on the one hand and the destruction and sabotage caused by the armed terrorist takfiri groups on the other was screened during the festivity.

In the same context, Syrian-American Forum in Boston, USA, in cooperation with the Armenian-American National Community, staged a stand in protest against the Turkish government’s flagrant interference in Syria’s internal affairs through its continued support to the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

The participants raised the Syrian flag and chanted slogans condemning the Turkish interference in Syria.

They expressed the support of the Syrian community at the USA to the homeland, its people and army, voicing commitment to the national principles.

Syrians in Jordan reject Erdogan’s support to terrorists

Members of the Syrian community in Jordan on Friday staged a sit-in in front of the Turkish Embassy in Amman to express their rejection of the Turkish aggression against Syria.

They also denounced the polices of the Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan in support of terrorists, particularly in their attacks against Lattakia northern countryside, saying that these groups have committed a new massacre against the Armenians in the area of Kassab.

The participants, holding posters of President Bashar al-Assad and waving Syrian flags, denounced the crimes committed by the Turkish government and its partners, stressing their country’s willingness to confront international terrorism and voicing their support to the Syrian leadership and army.

h ttp://sana.sy/eng/21/2014/04/05/537167.htm

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Syrians abroad affirm support to Homeland

By , April 5, 2014 12:35 pm

Syrians abroad affirm support to Homeland
By: SANA on: 05.04.2014 [17:22 ] (43 reads)

Apr 05, 2014

Syrian communities in Austria and USA expressed support to homeland in the face of the global conspiracy against it.

Members of the Syrian Community in Austria held a concert and a charity festivity in Vienna in which they reviewed the events in Syria and the dimensions of the global conspiracy targeting Syria’s steadfastness.

Participants expressed support and solidarity with the Syrian army in its war against terrorism. They called on the international community to confront terrorism, warning it against the risks of the global terrorism.

A film showing Syria’s economic prosperity and development in various tourist and cultural domains on the one hand and the destruction and sabotage caused by the armed terrorist takfiri groups on the other was screened during the festivity.

In the same context, Syrian-American Forum in Boston, USA, in cooperation with the Armenian-American National Community, staged a stand in protest against the Turkish government’s flagrant interference in Syria’s internal affairs through its continued support to the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

The participants raised the Syrian flag and chanted slogans condemning the Turkish interference in Syria.

They expressed the support of the Syrian community at the USA to the homeland, its people and army, voicing commitment to the national principles.

Syrians in Jordan reject Erdogan’s support to terrorists

Members of the Syrian community in Jordan on Friday staged a sit-in in front of the Turkish Embassy in Amman to express their rejection of the Turkish aggression against Syria.

They also denounced the polices of the Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan in support of terrorists, particularly in their attacks against Lattakia northern countryside, saying that these groups have committed a new massacre against the Armenians in the area of Kassab.

The participants, holding posters of President Bashar al-Assad and waving Syrian flags, denounced the crimes committed by the Turkish government and its partners, stressing their country’s willingness to confront international terrorism and voicing their support to the Syrian leadership and army.

h ttp://sana.sy/eng/21/2014/04/05/537167.htm

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Great Article: CBI announces delivery of 90 tons of gold to support IQD

By , April 5, 2014 1:44 am

http://theiraqijournal.com/cbi-announces-delivery-of-90-tons-of-gold-to-support-iqd-2/

Please any Questions: send to breitlingcurrency@gmail.com I will get to your questions as soon as possible by personal e-mail, blog post or audio “If you Knew you could not fail, what would you try today?” Philippians 4:13

U.S. Finalizing Plan to Boost Support for Syrian Rebels

By , April 4, 2014 7:24 pm

U.S. Finalizing Plan to Boost Support for Syrian Rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The U.S. government is finalizing a plan to increase training and small-arms shipments for Syrian rebels, two U.S. security sources said on Friday, as Syrian government troops gain momentum following the collapse of U.S.-backed peace talks.

The United States would increase assistance and send the shipments to moderate rebel factions mostly based in Jordan, along Syria’s southern border, the officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.

The additional supplies are likely to be modest and will not include surface-to-air missiles, the officials said, raising questions over the impact in a civil war that has killed an estimated 136,000 people, produced nine million refugees and threatens to destabilize the region.

Rebels have urged the Obama administration to provide advanced weapons including surface-to-air missiles and exert greater military pressure on Russia-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has intensified bombings of rebel neighborhoods in recent month.

But the United States fears supplies of advanced weapons to pro-Western rebels could be diverted to Islamic militant groups, who could use them to attack allied, Israeli or civilian aircraft, the U.S. officials said, explaining why the surface-to-air missiles won’t be included in the assistance.

President Barack Obama has resisted becoming entangled in Syria’s complex, two-year civil war, but has faced criticism for failing to take a tougher stand given the immensity of the humanitarian crisis.

QUESTIONS OVER U.S. ROLE

Details of how much aid will flow to the screened rebel groups are the subject of continuing discussions. It’s also unclear, for instance, how much would be covert or whether there would be a U.S. military or special forces role.

U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have provided weaponry to various rebel factions during the conflict, including some Islamist groups now at odds with moderate rebels grouped under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army.

The assistance does not require additional funding from Congress, said the officials, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak with the media.

“Now we have to finalize the plans,” one official said.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment.

A former government official familiar with the plan said that training would be done in small tranches and that U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and France, are likely to participate.

The sources said that while the Obama administration accepts that the plan will not turn the tide of the conflict decisively against Assad, the U.S. assistance could improve the chances that if Assad is deposed the United States will have allies among successful revolutionary forces.

U.S. and European officials say the most powerful anti-Assad factions are militant groups such as the Al-Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, some of which either have links to Al Qaeda or are so extreme that even Al Qaeda has denounced them.

The more militant Islamist rebel factions already control swathes of territory in Syria’s northeast and along its border with Iraq, according to American officials.

Additional reporting by Warren Strobel.; Editing by Jason Szep and Martin Howell.

Assyrian International News Agency

U.S. Navy Sending Destroyer to Black Sea to Support Ukraine

By , April 3, 2014 3:27 am

U.S. Navy Sending Destroyer to Black Sea to Support Ukraine
By: nbcnews.com on: 03.04.2014 [08:08 ] (66 reads)


U.S. Navy Sending Destroyer to Black Sea to Support Ukraine

The U.S. Navy is sending a destroyer into the Black Sea in the coming days as a symbolic gesture of support for Ukraine and other allies in the region, according to two senior defense officials.

The USS Donald Cook, a guided missile destroyer based in Rota, Spain, and will travel to the Black Sea “in the next week or so,” according to one senior defense official.

The ship will take part in to-be-scheduled exercises with allies in the region — most likely pass exercises, where ships from different nations pass one another while at sea — and the Donald Cook will make several to-be-scheduled port calls.

GOGO LOBATO / AFP – Getty Images
The USS Donald Cook docks in the southern port of Rota on Feb. 11, 2014.
Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Steve Warren confirmed that a ship is heading to the Black Sea in the coming days to “reassure our allies of our commitment to the region.”

The last U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea was the USS Truxton. It departed on March 21.

There was no word on exactly when the Donald Cook will arrive or how long it will stay there.

Six countries border the Black Sea, including Ukraine and Russia and the Russian-annexed Crimea.

http://www.nbcnews.com/#/storyline/ukraine-crisis/u-s-navy-sending-destroyer-black-sea-support-ukraine-n69901

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State Dept Vows Support for ‘All Post-Soviet States’

By , March 29, 2014 10:46 pm

State Dept Vows Support for ‘All Post-Soviet States’
By: Jason Ditz on: 30.03.2014 [00:08 ] (65 reads)

March 28, 2014

Looking to further undercut Russia along its frontier to spite them over the Crimea dispute, the US State Department has pledged support for “all post-Soviet states” and are sending officials to Central Asia.

The announced visits come as analysts see Russia trying to improve ties with those same states, Krygyzstan, Kazakhstan, and others, with an eye toward bringing them into the Eurasian Union.

Russia has envisioned the Eurasian Economic Union as a regional bloc across eastern Europe and central Asia similar to the European Union. With the loss of Ukraine in a recent regime change, Russia needs to find partners in the east.

Though State Department officials talked up supporting the “territorial integrity” of the Central Asian nations, there is no indication that Russia has even nominal designs on the territory of any of those nations, beyond hoping to bring them into an economic union.

h ttp://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/28/state-dept-vows-support-for-all-post-soviet-states/

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