Friday, June 23, 2017

Iranians Parade Missiles, Shout 'Death To Israel' In Annual Rally, Abbas Enraged By Kushner Meeting, 'A Big Coup' Underway In The U.S.

Iranians parade missiles, shout 'death to Israel' in annual rally

Iran held major anti-Israel rallies across the country Friday, with protesters chanting “Death to Israel” and condemning the occupation of Palestinian land.

Marchers in Tehran headed from various points of the city toward the Friday prayer ceremony at Tehran University. Similar demonstrations are underway in other cities and towns in Iran, according to state media.

“Death to the House of Saud and Daesh,” demonstrators chanted, using another name for the Islamic State. “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, “Death to the UK.”
This year’s commemoration comes amid an intensifying battle for influence in the region between Shiite Iran and its Sunni arch rival Saudi Arabia who have had no diplomatic relations since January last year.
State media put the number of participants at over 1 million.
Parliament speaker Ali Larijani was set to address the crowds before midday prayers. President Hassan Rouhani also joined the march through the capital.
The anti-Israel rallies are an annual event marking Al-Quds Day, a historic Arabic name for Jerusalem. Iran says it’s an occasion to express support for the Palestinians and emphasize the importance of Jerusalem for Muslims.
Iran doesn’t recognize Israel and staunchly backs terror groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
In comments ahead of the rallies, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the rallies were meant to “fight arrogance and global hegemons” likely hinting at recent tensions with Sunni Gulf states.
“Defending Palestine today is defending a reality much greater than the issue of Palestine,” he said, according to the semi-official Tasnim News site.

A meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and senior White House official Jared Kushner reportedly left the Palestinian leader fuming and refusing to agree to watered-down Israeli demands that Ramallah cut off payments for some convicted terrorists and their families.

According to Palestinian sources quoted in Hebrew and Arabic media, Abbas and his advisers accused the US of taking Israel’s side and refused to agree to a demand to stop paying salaries to several hundred prisoners serving time for the most serious crimes.

Kushner, who is US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, met with Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, along with Trump’s international negotiator Jason Greenblatt.

Kushner began his meeting with Abbas by stating all the Israeli concerns, including stopping the payments, according to Hebrew media reports, angering Abbas.
“The American delegation accepted Israel’s position with regard to paying salaries to prisoners,” a source told Ynet, “and described it as a means of inciting terror, demanding it be stopped.”
According to reports, the Americans watered down their demand about payments to prisoners. Originally the US wanted all payments halted, but now they only want the Palestinians to stop paying salaries to some 600 prisoners serving life sentences who are responsible for the deaths of Israelis, Israel Radio reported.

On Thursday Abbas defended payments to Palestinian prisoners, including convicted terrorists, as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks.

Palestinian sources said the US officials had also taken the Israeli stance regarding incitement.
“They sounded like Netanyahu’s advisers and not as honest mediators,” a source told Haaretz.

So let’s start with an obvious point about the whole Russia fiasco…
Namely, there is no “there, there.” First off, the president has the power to declassify secret documents at will. But in this instance he could also do that without compromising intelligence community (IC) “sources and methods” in the slightest.

RussiaGate is a witch hunt like few others in American political history. Yet as the mainstream cameras and microphones were thrust at one Congressional Republican after another following the Donald’s outburst quoted above, there was nary an echo of agreement.

Mueller is a card-carrying member of the Deep State who was there at the founding of today’s surveillance monster as FBI Director following 9/11. Since the whole $75 billion apparatus that eventually emerged was based on an exaggerated threat of global Islamic terrorism, Russia had to be demonized into order to keep the game going — a transition that Mueller fully subscribed to.

So he will “find” extensive Russian interference in the 2016 election and bring the hammer down on the Donald for seeking to prevent it from coming to light. The clock is now ticking. And his investigatory team is being packed with prosecutorial killers with proven records of thuggery. They’re determined to find crimes that create fame and fortune for prosecutors — even if the crime itself never happened.
For example, Mueller’s #1 hire was the despicable Andrew Weissmann. This character had led the fraud section of the department’s Criminal Division and served as general counsel to the F.B.I. when Mueller was its director. And more importantly, Weissmann was the driving force behind the Enron task force — the most egregious exercise in prosecutorial abuse and thuggery in 100 years.

So there should be no doubt. A Great Big Coup is on the way.

But here’s the irony of the matter: Exactly four years ago in June 2013 no one was seriously demonizing Putin or Russia. In fact, the slicksters of CNN were still snickering about Mitt Romney’s silly claim during the 2012 election campaign that Russia was the greatest security threat facing America.

But then came the Syrian jihadist false flag chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013 and the U.S. intelligence community’s flagrant lie that it had proof the villain was Bashar Assad.

To the contrary, it subsequently became evident that the primitive rockets that had carried the deadly sarin gas, which killed upwards of 1500 innocent civilians, could not have been fired from regime held territory. The rockets examined by UN investigators had a range of only a few kilometers, not the 15-20 kilometers from the nearest Syrian base.
In any event, President Obama chose to ignore his own red line and called off the bombers. That in turn paved the way for Vladimir Putin to persuade Assad to give up all of his chemical weapons — a commitment he fully complied with over the course of the next year.
Needless to say, in the eyes of the neocon War Party, this constructive act of international statesmanship by Putin was the unforgivable sin. It thwarted the next target on their regime change agenda — removal of the Assad government in Syria as a step toward an ultimate attack on its ally, the Shiite regime of Iran.

So it did not take long for the Deep State to retaliate. While Putin was basking in the glory of the 2014 winter Olympics at Sochi, the entire apparatus of Imperial Washington — the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, the State Department and a long string of Washington funded NGOs — was on the ground in Kiev assisting the putsch that overthrew Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President and Russian ally.

From there, the Ukrainian civil war and partition of Crimea inexorably followed, as did the escalating campaign against Russia and its leader.
So as it turned out, the War Party could not have planned a better outcome — especially after Russia moved to protect its legitimate interests in its own backyard resulting from the Washington-instigated civil war in Ukraine. That included protecting its 200-year old naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea.
The War Party simply characterized these actions falsely as acts of aggression against Russia’s European neighbors.
There is nothing like a demonized enemy to keep the $700 billion national security budget flowing and the hideous Warfare State opulence of the Imperial City intact. So why not throw in an allegedly “stolen” U.S. election to garnish the case?
In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City.

It’s time to have a sane discussion regarding what is going on in Syria. Things have escalated exponentially over the past month or so, and they continue to escalate. The U.S. just shot down yet another Iranian-made drone within Syrian territory on Tuesday, even as authorities insist they “do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS.”
Col. Ryan Dillon, chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, seemed to indicate that the coalition would avoid escalating the conflict following Russia’s warning that it will now treat American aircraft as potential targets. Hestated:

“As a result of recent encounters involving pro-Syrian regime and Russian forces, we have taken prudent measures to reposition aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIS forces while ensuring the safety of our aircrews given known threats in the battlespace.”

The U.S. needs a strong ISIS presence in Deir ez-Zor to justify an offensive to retake the city, especially considering the fact that Syrian government troops are already present there. This is why the U.S. deliveredairstrikes to stop government forces from repelling ISIS fighters in an air raid in September of last year that reportedly lasted well over an hour and killed over 60 government troops.
Deir ez-Zor is immensely important because it is home to Syria’s largest oil fields. As Quartz explains, according to Landis, America’s strategy is “for the Kurdish forces to take Deir al-Zour, the major regional city and the hub for its oil fields. That way, the Kurds would be able to afford to buy airplanes from the US, rather than require Washington to give them for free.

As Iranian-backed militiamen — supported by Iranian-made drones — amass upon a U.S. training base in al-Tanf, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Syrian government and its allies will not want to cede strategic territory to the U.S. without a fight. At the very least, Iran intends to encircle al-Tanf and cut the U.S. off from the rest of Syria, rendering the base useless for America’s goals in the country.

However, Deir ez-Zor is where things could potentially get more heated than they already are between the U.S. and the pro-Assad alliance in al-Tanf and Raqqa.

Russia, a staunch ally of Iran and Syria, is already bombing the areas around Deir ez-Zor in full preparation for this battle. According to the Independent, Russia just claimed it killed around 180 ISIS militants and two prominent commanders, Abu Omar al-Belijiki and Abu Yassin al-Masri, very close to ISIS’ stronghold in Deir ez-Zor.

Iran launched a mid-range ballistic missile attack on a position in Deir ez-Zor over the weekend, as well. According to Military Times, Iranian officials said the purpose of the strike was to send a message to the United States and Saudi Arabia and have warned of more strikes to come, with former Guard chief Gen. Mohsen Rezai — an Iranian politician — stating “[t]he bigger slap is yet to come.
Landis believes these recent escalations only mark a “gnashing of teeth and growling” between the Russians and the Americans and that both powers are merely working out where the new boundaries will fall between American-backed forces and Syrian government forces.

But there is a crucial difference between the Russian-led campaigns and the American-led campaigns within SyriaRussia was invited by the Syrian government and is not clearly not attempting to invade Syria in the traditional sense of the word, as they are relying on local troops to retake the territory that still belongs to the Syrian government. In contrast, the United States has invaded Syrian territory without authorization from Congress or the international community and has partnered with incredibly controversial militias on the ground to claim Syrian territory, further partitioning the country and over-complicating an already convoluted battle arena.

And what will happen if Syria decides that the oil-hub area of Deir ez-Zor is too important to allow the U.S.-backed forces to take it away from them? The fact that Russia and Iran are already bombing this area speaks volumes as to its strategic value, and it seems increasingly unlikely that the pro-Assad alliance will give up the location freely.

Further, having complete control of Deir ez-Zor without opening up the al-Tanf border to Syrian government control would make the liberation of Deir ez-Zor almost meaningless to Syria and its allies, as Deir ez-Zor would be cut off from the rest of Syria. The two offensives go hand in hand, and this is exactly why we see the war escalating rapidly on these two fronts.
Not to mention, Syrian Member of Parliament Ammar al-Asad reportedly just told Russian state-owned Sputnik that the Syrian army will respond to America’s provocative actions by conducting “massive strikes” on positions held by American-backed militants.

An optimist would view the recent developments in the humanitarian disaster that is the so-called Syrian revolution with the hope that the U.S., Iran, and Russia are merely muscle-flexing inside Syria in an attempt to control as much of the country as realistically possible following the downfall of ISIS – and will eventually settle amicably on a drawing of Syria’s new boundaries.
pessimist might not be so hopeful, as Iran and China held naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz just days after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted the U.S. is officially targeting Iran for a regime change operation.

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