Syria: Growing Opposition to Imperial Wars

Opposition to US Strikes in Syria Grows 

by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch


April 18, 2017

Beirut - As the US Tomahawk missiles were raining on Syria, the entire Middle East was shaken to its core. Here, even the name itself – Syria – triggers extremely complex and often contradictory sets of emotions.

To some, Syria is synonymous with pride and a determined struggle against Western imperialism, while others see it as an uncomfortable reminder of how low their own rulers and societies have managed to sink, serving foreign interests and various neo-colonialist designs.

Many people are hiding their heads in the sand, obediently repeating the official Western narrative, while others are gradually resorting to the alternative sources of information that are coming from outlets such as RT Arabic, Al-Mayadeen and Press TV.

 Survivors of the bus bombing of al-Foua and Kfraya refugees

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Russia-gate Disappears with Hopes of US-Russia Detente

What Russia-gate Has Wrought

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News


April 16, 2017

Democrats, liberals and some progressives might be feeling a little perplexed over what has happened to Russia-gate, the story that pounded Donald Trump every day since his election last November – until April 4, that is.

On April 4, Trump fully capitulated to the neoconservative bash-Russia narrative amid dubious claims about a chemical attack in Syria.

On April 6, Trump fired off 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase; he also restored the neocon demand for “regime change” in Syria; and he alleged that Russia was possibly complicit in the supposed chemical attack.


Green Party leader Jill Stein and retired Lt. General 
Michael Flynn attending a dinner marking the RT 
network’s tenth anniversary in Moscow, December 2015, 
sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Since Trump took those actions – in accordance with the neocon desires for more “regime change” in the Middle East and a costly New Cold War with Russia – Russia-gate has almost vanished from the news.


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Watching Jordan: Cruise Attack Prelude to Proxy Ground War?

Syria: Watching the Jordanian Border

by Tony Cartalucci - NEO


April 14, 2017

While focus regarding the Syrian conflict has shifted almost exclusively to recent US cruise missile strikes, what the strikes are designed to lay the groundwork for holds much larger implications. Particular attention should be focused on US forces operating both within Syrian territory and along Syria’s borders. Normalizing the use of stand-off weapons like cruise missiles makes it easier and more likely that similar attacks will unfold in the near future – particularly if Syria and its allies fail to demonstrate a significant deterrence against future attacks.

The use of stand-off weapons by the United States and the routine use of airstrikes by US allies including Israel within Syrian territory will likely open the door to wider and more direct military intervention against the Syrian government.

Punitive strikes will shift incrementally to a concerted effort to dismantle Syria’s fighting capacity, inviting either US proxies to overthrow the Syrian government, or for US forces to do so directly – or likely a combination of both.

Preparing for just such an escalation are not only US forces continuously expanding the scale and scope of their presence in eastern Syria and NATO-member Turkey’s forces in northern Syria, but also a US-led proxy army being staged in and operated from, for years now, in Jordan.

 

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Cruise Missile Diplomacy: Syria Strike Has Little to Do with 'Gas Attack' or Assad

Cruise Missile Attacks: A New Step in Washington’s Long Class War on Syria

by Stephen Gowans  - What's Left


April 8, 2017

Washington has added a new dimension to its long war on Syria: direct military intervention.

Since the mid 1950s, the United States has tried to purge Damascus of an Arab nationalist leadership which has zealously guarded Syria’s freedom from US domination and follows an Arab socialist development path which is at odds with the global free enterprise project advanced by Washington on behalf of its Wall Street patron.

Until now, Washington has refrained from directly attacking Syrian forces, though it has intervened manu militari in Syria to hold the Islamic State in check so that the militant group remains strong enough to weaken Syrian forces but not so strong that it captures the Syrian state. [1]

This limited Islamic State-directed US intervention in Syria has involved both airstrikes and an estimated 1,000 boots on the ground. [2]

However, the principal modus operandi of Washington’s long war on Syria has been war waged through proxies, both Israel, which annexed Syria’s Golan Heights and has carried out innumerable small-scale attacks since, and Islamist guerrillas, who, from the 1960s, have waged a jihad against what they view as Syria’s heretical government. [3]


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Tea and Mortar Shells: Easter in War-Besieged Syria

DAMASCUS: Easter Week in a City Under Fire

by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire 


April 14, 2017 

 

Though old as history itself, thou art fresh as the breath of spring, blooming as thine own rose bud, and fragrant as thine own orange flower, Damascus, pearl of the East.”
                                                                                           -
Mark Twain “The Innocents Abroad”  

 
DAMASCUSThe first thing you notice while driving over Mount Lebanon is how close Beirut and Damascus are, and yet their respective situations could not be further apart.

Last month, the war on Syria entered its sixth year.

However, thirty years ago, Lebanon was where Syria finds itself today – embroiled in a painful and protracted not-so-civil ‘civil war,’ with numerous regional and global powers angling for influence, each pressing for their own agenda.

Entering the Syrian capital on the Damascus Road
(Photo: Patrick Henningsen)

There’s a noticeable difference once you pass from Lebanon into Syria – the highway is paved and smooth, concrete bollards are neatly arranged, and there are no manhole ditches to avoid in the middle of the road. Images of Bashar and his father Hafiz are prominently displayed along the Damascus Road.

As one would expect in a country at war, checkpoints are numerous and security is extremely tight along the rural highways, as well as in the city. Still, life goes on in the capital. Couples are walking, mothers are shopping, children playing and the restaurants are serving.

 

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Wikileak Attack: Are You Now DemocracyNow! (Or Have You Ever Been) Progressive?

Journalistic Integrity: Allan Nairn vs. Julian Assange

by Andrew Stewart - CounterPunch


April 13, 2017

I’ve been really upset since the inauguration and trying to cope with the emotions I am encountering daily. It is pretty obvious that a successful meme has been implanted in the progressive mindset that will have as much impact as the claim Ralph Nader gave the 2000 election to Bush.

By this I mean that people are extremely pissed off at me for having backed the Green Party and Jill Stein and seem to say with almost a psychic vitriol that it is somehow my fault that Trump got elected. Didn’t you throw your vote away on the Greens? Didn’t you say awful things about Hillary?

This was carried to the extreme degree by Allan Nairn on Democracy Now on April 10, 2017 with a piece headlined Did WikiLeaks Inform Voters or Aid Trump’s Right-Wing Revolution?

 

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Praising Canada's "Sepoys"

New trend of praising Indigenous soldiers at Vimy Ridge ironic tribute to Canada's colonial past

by Yves Engler - Rabble.ca


April 13, 2017

In recent days, the Canadian Forces, banks, politicians, sports TV networks, private foundations, the news media, etc. have all promoted the idea that the centennial of Canadian troops capturing some high ground in France during a minor battle in the First World War somehow represented the "birth" of Canada.

Amidst an orgy of martial patriotism that is finally over, there was a sad irony.

The notion that the battle of Vimy Ridge “created our country” is bizarre enough but the celebration of First Nations participation in this episode of Canadian imperialism pushed the exercise into the realm of the absurd.

 

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The Olympic Radiance at Fukushima

Fukushima’s Upcoming Olympics

by Robert Hunziker - Pacific Free Press


April 12, 2017

Los Angeles - Japan will hold soccer and baseball events in Fukushima Prefecture for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is not a spoof.

Effective March 2017, the Japan Football Association displaces Tokyo Electric Power Company’s emergency operations center at J-Village, the national soccer training center before the nuclear meltdown occurred.

To naysayers that say this is a joke, the answer is ‘no this is not a joke’. It is absolutely true Olympic events will be held in Fukushima Prefecture, thereby casting aside any and all concerns about the ongoing nuclear meltdown; after all that’s history. Or, is it?

 

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Putin's Stalin Gambit

Rue, Ruse, or Rule: President Putin's Options Facing the US Military Junta

by John Helmer - Dances with Bears


April 12, 2017

Moscow - How to rule a country which is a target of war by the mad figurehead of a military junta in another country?

This is not a historical question about Joseph Stalin’s options in August 1939, before he and Adolph Hitler decided on the time-buying ruse known as the German–Soviet Non-aggression Pact. Nor is this a current question about Bashar al-Assad and Syria, nor about Kim Jong-un and North Korea.

It’s the question President Vladimir Putin is obliged to ask about Russia’s options facing a US regime in which, as the Kremlin now acknowledges, a military junta has installed itself behind President Donald Trump.

 

“We have seen this all before”, Putin declared yesterday.

 

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Stephen Gowans, Susanne Lawson, Christina Nikolic April 12th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com


April 12, 2017

The corporate and State news narrative on Donald Trump's cruise missile salvo remains unchanged nearly a week after the fact. This despite the logical inconsistency of an Assad government poison gas attack, ample reasons to doubt sources of the charge, and growing evidence from within intelligence ranks, and online news outlets questioning the facts as presented.

Regardless of what happened in Khan Shaykun on April 4th, it certainly isn't clear enough now to serve as the casus belli for those wanting a broader American involvement in the six years Syrian conflict.

Stephen Gowans is an Ottawa-based writer, political analyst, and author whose book, 'Washington's Long War on Syria' provides the much needed context behind what we see presented on our nightly newscasts here and his recent article, 'Cruise Missile Attacks: A New Step in Washington’s Long Class War on Syria' appears at his website, What's Left.

 

Listen. Hear.

Stephen Gowans in the first half.

And; after a century and a half of intensive logging, and massive increase in the human population, very little remains of Vancouver Island's primordial forests. While for years, First Nations and environmental groups have called for the end of both clearcut and old-growth logging, and many still do, now it's municipalities and loggers calling for an end to the practice where some First Nations and enviros are condoning it. Meanwhile, the last of the giant trees are daily being taken down and trucked out of Clayoquot Sound.

It harks back to a still raw rift in B.C.'s environmental movement, one my next guest characterizes succinctly, saying back then,

 

"Vancouver Island was the sacrifice zone, when the Great Bear Rainforest was established, a compromise made in the same way these groups (Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and others) sat down and gave away so much of Clayoquot."


Susanne Lawson is a long-time resident of the island’s wild west coast. The Wickaninnish Island-based artist, environmental activist, and former co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Network has been at the heart of the battles to save Meares Island and Clayoquot Sound from clear-cut logging, fish farming, and a mining industry determined to level mountains if needs be to get at the gold they believe lies beneath the forests of the international recognized UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Susanne reminds, the ecological threat posed by continuing to cut down what remains of the old-growth rainforest is greater than ever, saying, "This logging and removal of the blue print of the forest that was inherited by all should be considered a crime against the planet and future generations."

Susanne Lawson and threats old and new in and around Clayoquot in the second half.

And; passionate educator, horticultural innovator, and intrepid green business entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here with the Left Coast News and Events update at the bottom of the hour. But first, Steve Gowan and looking down the long length of Washington's war against Syria.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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America's Other Gulf War: Navy Havoc in Alaska

War in the Gulf (No, Not That Gulf!): The U.S. Navy's Anti-Environmental Broadside in the Gulf of Alaska
by Dahr Jamail - TomDispatch

April 9, 2017

 [This essay is a joint TomDispatch/Truthout report.]

 

It’s war in the Gulf and the U.S. Navy is on hand to protect us. No, not that Gulf! I’m talking about the Gulf of Alaska and it’s actually mock war -- if, that is, you don’t happen to be a fin whale or a wild salmon.

This May, the Navy will again sail its warships into the Gulf of Alaska. There, they will engage in military maneuvers and possibly drop bombs, launch torpedoes and missiles, and engage in activities that stand a significant chance of poisoning those once-pristine waters, while it prepares for future battles elsewhere on the planet.

Think of it as a war against wildlife, an assault on the environment and local coastal communities.

And call it irony or call it American life in 2017, but the U.S. military's Alaska Command has branded Emily Stolarcyk "a troublemaker" for insistently pointing this out. In a state where such a phrase is the equivalent of an obscenity, some have bluntly called her "anti-military." The office of Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski has termed her a "rabble-rouser," while a Kodiak Assembly member labeled some of what she’s been saying about the Navy "just silly."

 

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Will Don and Vlad Make It Up?

The Impending Clash Between the U.S. and Russia

by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch

April 7, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s missile attack on the Shayrat Airfield in Western Syria was a poorly planned display of imperial muscle-flexing that had the exact opposite effect of what was intended.

While the attack undoubtedly lifted the morale of the jihadists who have been rampaging across the country for the last six years, it had no military or strategic value at all. The damage to the airfield was very slight and there is no reason to believe it will impact the Syrian Army’s progress on the ground.

The attack did however kill four Syrian servicemen which means the US troops in Syria can no longer be considered part of an international coalition fighting terrorism.

The US is now a hostile force that represents an existential threat to the sovereign government. Is that the change that Trump wanted? As of Friday, Russia has frozen all military cooperation with the United States.

 

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