Friday, September 16, 2016

Fierce Shelling, Clashes Near Damascus, Demonizing Russia To Set The Stage For War, Iran Dissidents Discuss 'Nuke Deal'

Fierce shelling, clashes reported in east Damascus

Fierce fighting and clashes between regime forces and rebels rocked the eastern edge of Syria’s capital on Friday, an AFP correspondent and military source said, despite a fragile truce across the country.

The Syrian army is blocking an attack by armed groups that tried to enter the capital’s east via Jobar… leading to intense clashes and rocket fire,” a military source told AFP.

A barrage of rocket fire and shelling could be heard coming from the Jobar district, a rebel-held eastern suburb of Damascus.
The district has been a battleground for more than two years and nearly all of its pre-war population has fled.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group also reported the clashes and said more than 21 shells and rockets hit parts of Jobar.
Two shells also hit the Bab al-Sharqi neighborhood of Damascus but did not result in any casualties, the Observatory said.
Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based monitor, said both Islamist faction Faylaq al-Sham and the Fateh al-Sham Front — formerly Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate — were present in Jobar.
He did not have immediate information on casualties.
Under the truce deal negotiated by Moscow and Washington, which came into force on Monday evening, fighting is to halt across the country except in areas where jihadists are present.
Observers have noted that the deal will be particularly difficult to implement in areas where Fateh al-Sham has formed strong alliances with local rebels.

Former U.S. diplomat James Jatras warns that Hillary Clinton will start numerous “regional wars” if she elected, including a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia, China or both.
“Hillary has never met a war she does not like. She is a true believer in the idea that the US can, as this vanguard of all progressive humanity, use military force to transform the world. We are looking at numerous regional wars and very possible at nuclear war with Russia or China, or both,” Jatras told Sputnik Radio.
Jatras, who worked for 18 years as a foreign policy advisor to Senate lawmakers, said that Hillary is the candidate of “endless war” and has surrounded herself with like-minded hawks.

“Look at the people surrounding her: Mike Morell, acting former director of the CIA who wants to assassinate Russians in Syria; you have Michele Flournoy, (the former Defense Department official) who wants to start bombing in Syria as soon as Hillary takes office, when she becomes secretary of defense,” he said.
Jatras remarked that Hillary was the hand-picked candidate for the “deep state,” but the oligarchy had planned to have her run against Jeb Bush so that Americans were stuck with “Tweedledee – Tweedledum” choices like we usually get.”
According to Jatras, having succeeded in sinking the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the elite were shocked that another insurgent candidate – Donald Trump – was able to become the Republican nominee.
As we reported earlier this month, during a speech, Hillary openly threatened to use military power against Russia if Moscow is merely suspected of being involved in hacking or cyberattacks.

The Washington Post, the newspaper upon which the U.S. government relies to castigate «conspiracy theories», has advanced one of its own.
The Post, which has a full-time reporter assigned to disparagingly report on «conspiracy theories» - the paper calls them «ideological movements» - is proffering its own kooky conspiracy theory. The theory is that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was poisoned in a plot orchestrated by Russian President Vladimir Putin acting in cahoots with Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump. The Post’s story follows Mrs. Clinton’s collapse during a September 11 memorial service at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York. The validation by the Post of such a libelous and unsourced story dangerously worsens already-frayed ties between Washington and Moscow. 
The Post story also cites previous unfounded charges that President Putin ordered the assassination, by radiation poisoning, of exiled former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. After the Post article was published, other pro-Clinton websites added to the conspiracy theory laundry list the alleged poisoning in 2004 of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko. In a September 29, 2009, interview by this author with RT, it was suggested that the allegations surrounding Yushchenko’s poisoning may have been a fabrication by Kiev in an attempt to blame Russia. The video interview has since been removed from YouTube.

The aim of the neoconservative war hawks who are embedded in Clinton's campaign, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency-linked Post, is clear. President Putin is being set up by the neocons as the next Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, and Bashar al Assad. Meanwhile, Trump is being portrayed as a modern-day Alger Hiss who owes ultimate loyalty to the Kremlin. It should be pointed out that Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post, has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide cloud computing services for the CIA. The deal makes The Washington Post, via interlocking close corporate links, a de facto CIA contractor.

The Post's ridiculous article comes on the heels of it and several Democratic Party and Obama administration officials accusing Russian intelligence of being behind the computer hacking of Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and Hillary Clinton campaign computer systems. Russia has denied any such involvement. The Democratic National Committee, temporarily headed by Donna Brazile, a Clinton family political hack, claims it discovered Russian hackers after it conducted its own forensic examination. In reality, there are few, if any, computer technologists at the Democratic National Committee capable of making any such determination

The sum result of these outrageous accusations against Russia are designed to set the stage for a U.S.-Russia military confrontation during a Clinton presidency. 
The Post's «evidence» of a Putin-Trump poisoning plot is solely based on a Twitter message sent by Bennet Omalu, the Pittsburgh pathologist who discovered a number of cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CPE) brain injuries among National Football League players. After writing that he believes Mrs. Clinton may have been poisoned, Omalu suggested that Putin and Trump could be behind it.
Ironically, in less than a week, the Post went from charging anyone questioning Mrs. Clinton's health as a «conspiracy theorist» to pushing its own far-out conspiracy theory about a Kremlin-Trump plot to poison Clinton. Even the Post's Chris Cilizza, who had previously accused anyone suggesting that the Clinton campaign was covering up the candidate’s health as delving into conspiracies, issued a mea culpa after Clinton’s collapse at the 9/11 memorial service. Cilizza wrote that, «talk of Clinton's health [is] no longer just the stuff of conspiracy theorists».
The Post's suggestion that the President of the Russian Federation could be involved in a plot to poison the Democratic candidate for President of the United States is the ultimate in shoddy journalism. The only «poison» in the current presidential campaign is that being spread by the Clinton campaign and its allies like the Post that wish to turn the new Cold War, originally started by the Obama administration, into a Hot War under Clinton. The United States and the world can ill-afford a Clinton presidency that would base its foreign policy on kooky conspiracy theories.

Former US secretary of state and four-star general Colin Powell alleged that Israel possesses some 200 nuclear weapons, in an email apparently leaked by Russian hackers this week.

Discussing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to Congress about the dangers posed by the Iranian nuclear deal, in an email he sent to US Democratic party donor Jeffrey Leeds, Powell wrote that he doubted the Iranian regime would use an atomic bomb even if it could get one, since “the boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.”

The email was published by the LobeLog foreign policy website.
Israel maintains a policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, neither publicly confirming nor denying the existence of an atomic arsenal.
According to a 2014 report by the Federation of American Scientists, however, the Jewish state is believed to possess between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons, though that document’s authors estimated the figure was closer to 80.

Powell’s email, sent on March 3, 2015, more than doubled that approximation. As a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, his figure of 200 nuclear weapons would appear to carry more weight than the approximations of the “news media reports, think tanks, authors, and analysts” cited in the FAS report.

Despite the diversity of Iranian interlocutors, Kuperwasser said they were in unanimous agreement about what they perceived as the most salient and negative result of the Iran deal: its emboldening of their country’s theocratic regime.
“The attitude of Iranian dissidents towards JCPOA [the nuclear deal] is not always negative. Iranian dissidents are not made of one stripe. They are not against better conditions in Iran of course. But they are worried that the deal will strengthen the regime in the long run, enabling them to have a stronger grip over the people of Iran,” he told The Times of Israel.

He continued: “In a way, the radical group was using the pragmatic group, or more realistic elements in the group like Rouhani, in order to ease the economic pressure. And now it will be easier for them to put more pressure on the opposition and to make sure reform doesn’t happen.”
The large majority of dissidents who met with the Israeli scholars were also of the opinion that the Iranian regime would at some point breach the terms of the nuclear agreement — once it has reaped the economic and political benefits.

For the military intelligence veteran, the most enlightening aspect of the talks was how the dissidents described the Iranian regime’s embrace of Russia. He said the dissident described a deeply pro-Russia stance in the regime, “almost as their best friends.”

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