By Russia Today: Train Syrian Rebels in Afghanistan to Use Chemical Weapons:

Russian Foreign Minister There are reports that some third countries are training Syrian rebels to use chemical weapons in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said. The intention is to pull the skill to use in a new false flag actions in Syria , he explained. The suspected training happened in Afghan territories not under control of the government in Kabul, Lavrov said. "Some reports indicate that Al-Qaeda-linked radical Al-Nusra Front is planning to smuggle toxic compounds and relevant specialists into Iraqi territory to stage terroist attacks there this time," Lavrov said. The Russian minister, who spoke after meeting his Kuwaiti counterpart Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al Sabah, warned against any possible provocations in Syria related to the ongoing process of its chemical weapons disarmament. "We are standing for conducting the work in a precise manner in accordance with the roadmap and without any hindrances. We warn against any possible provocation, Lavcrov said. Al Nusra Front is considered one of the most combat-worthy parts of the militants fighting fighting against Damascus. It has said that it takes orders from an Al-Qaeda branch operating in Iraq. Many countries, including the United States, list the group as a terrorist organization over several high-profile bombings it organized in Syria. The use of chemical weapons in August near Damascus triggered a serious international crisis. The US threatened to use military force against the government of President Bashar Assad, which it blamed for the attack. The tension was defused after a Russian brokered deal to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. Damascus insists that the August incident and several previous cases of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria were provocations by opposing forces. Russia shares this view. Earlier Russian diplomatic sources said the August sarin gas attack was a special operation of Saudi Arabian intelligence conducted with the help of a radical Islamist militant group operating bear Damascus.The group called Liwa Al-Islam is headed by the son of a Saudi cleric.

By Russia Today: Foreigners Train Syrian Rebels in Afghanistan to Use Chemical Weapons, Russian Foreign Minister.

By the Guardian: How the World Health Organization

covered up Iraq's nuclear nightmare! Ex-Un, Who officials reveal political interference to suppress scientific evidence of postwar environmental health catastrophe. Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a long awaited document summarizing the findings of an in-debth investigation into the prevalence of congenital birth defects (CBD) in Iraq, which many experts believe is linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by Allied forces. According to the 'summary report': "The rates for spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, and congenital birth defects found in the study are consistent with or even lower than international estimates. The study provides no clear evidence to suggest an unusually high rate of congenital birth defects in Iraq." Jaffar Hussain, WHO's Head of Mission in Iraq, said that the report is based on survey techniques that arE "renowned worldwide" and that the study was peer reviewed "extensively" by international experts. Backtrack: But the conclusions contrasted dramatically from the previous statements about the research findings from Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH) officials involved in the study. Earlier this year, BBC News spoke to MOH researchers who confirmed the joint report would furnish " damning evidence" that rates of birth defects are higher in areas experiencing heavy fighting in the 2003 war. In an early press release, WHO similarly acknowledged "existing MOH statistics showing high number of CBD cases" in the "high risk" areas selected for study. The publication of this 'summary document' on the World Health Organization's website has raised questions from independent experts and former United Nations and WHO officials, who question the validity of its findings and its anonymous authorship. The publication of this 'summary document' on the World Health Organization's website has raised questions from independent experts and former United Nations amd WHO officials, who question the validity of its findings and its anonymous authorship. They highlight the existence of abundant research demonstrating not only significant rates of congenital birth defects in many areas of Iraq, but also a plausible link to the impact of depleted uranium. For years, medical doctors in Iraq have reported "a high level of birth defects." Other peer-reviewed studies have documented a dramatic increase in infant mortality, cancer and leukemia in the aftermath of US military bombardment. In Fallujah, doctors are witnessing a"massive unprecedented number" of heart defects, and an increase in the number of nervous system defects. Analysis of pre-2003 data compared to now showed that "the rate of congenital heart defects was 95 per 1,000 births, 13 times the rate found in Europe." The purpose of the WHO study was to probe the data further, but some say the project is deeply flawed. Dr. Keith Bavistock of the Department of Environmental Science, University of Eastern Finland, is a retired 13-year WHO expert on radiation and health. He told me that the new 'summary document' was at best "disappointing." He condemned the decision from "the very outset to preclude the possibility of looking at the extent to which the increase of birth defects is linked to the use of depleted uranium", and further slammed the document's lack of scientific credibility. "This document is not of scientific quality. It wouldn't pass peer review in one of the worst journals. One of the biggest methodological problems, among many, is that the document does not even attempt to look at existing medical records in Iraqi hospitals.

By Fred Cederholm: INNUENDO: Getting a Crash Course in Semantics and Word Choice!

I've been thinking about innuendo. Actually, I've been thinking about the "so-called" government shutdown, the $16.7 TRILLION, the U.S. Government Debt, collateralization, default, Social Security, and the alleged ceiling. The American public is being "treated" to a lesson in semantics, the cherry picked use of words to create a desired image/illusion for a specific purpose Innuendo is the select using of words to create a desired image/illusion for a specific purpose. Innuendo is the select using of words for insinuation, intimidation, or suggestion against something. We are being inundated by the two political parties in Washington DC that we "gotta" raise the debt ceiling, or all HELL will break loose, and the life that we know is over. You see I will admit that we are the working class, no. make that a major crisis, because the political elites desire to go merrily on their way ignoring a growing problem which has plagued our system since the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson! There is nothing "new"here.  what has changed is that the problems have grown and keep growing until they have reached almost celestial proportions. Now I fear that Congress has no clue how to really "fix" things. Well, they know in their silent heart of hearts what they must do, but the only true solution would greatly erode their power as elected servants. Power comes from money and spending. This bottomless spending would end abruptly, casting a death blow to their political power. Almost all of our elected officials would be thrown out of office.  I am not saying that THAT would be a bad thing. Our National Debt has been hovering at just over $16 TRILLION since the first of the year. If you look to the US Treasury website you will see that the sum total has not really grown much since last May. Uncle Sugar has not stopped spending, he has just stopped paying. Mostly this has been in the area of Government pension expense and military equipment. This should tell US/us that the October crisis began last May when Uncle effectively shut the checkbook. It took US/us from George Washington thru the mid-Ronald Reagan years to accumulate a TRILLION in debt. Now the latest TRILLION takes about nine months. In fact, the five years under Obama have been the most costly as far as our debt is concerned. Congress was a co-conspirator never-putting a-lid on spending and continuing on with the deficit financing. Now everybody's backs are against the wall and the only desired "solution" is once again, raise the debt ceiling and continue on with the profligate spending. Congress does not use "profligate." Governmental accounting is based in Never-never land. Our National Debt belongs to the nation only in the sense that the citizens will ultimate be held liable for it. There is no collateral behind this debt other than the catch phrase "full faith and credit" for the United States. This means that the future power to tax the citizenry is the only guarantee there is behind the debt. We are not being told this tabloid. The debt is not cross-defaulting, meaning that if the covenants are not met on part of the debt, all the debt comes due at once. That is simply NOT true. Let us assume that 1% of the outstanding debt comes die on a given weak. That means $167 BILLION matures. The Treasury Fed roll this over into a new debt instrument. Nothing has changed. What about the interest due upon maturities? Well, this is capitalized, meaning added to the latest debt rollover. Uncle must thus add $1.67 BILLION to the outstanding debt to cover this interest due in the week. I have used the assumption of a 1% interest rate and a one year maturity date for this example to keep things simple.


Source: UPI. AFRICOM builds up military bases in Italy for small-scale "secret wars" in Afrika!

The U.S. deployment of 200 Marines to a naval base in Sicily for possible operations in Libya, a short hop across the Mediterranean, underlines how the Americans have been building a network of bases in Italy as launch pads for military interventions in Africa and the Mideast. The signs are that 20 years after the American military's first, and costly,, encounter with Muslim militants in Mogadishu, Somalia, U.S. operations in Africa are growing as the Islamist threat expands. Another key factor is U.S. President Obama's switch in his counter-terror strategy from drone strikes against al-Qaida to pinpoint raids by small Special Forces teams, as seen in Somalia and Libya Oct.5. These were triggered by Islamist violence in both countries, including the Sept. 21 seizure of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, by fighters of Somalia's al-Qaida affiliate, al-Shabaab, that left at least 67 people dead. The U. S. SEAL Team 6 seaborne raid on the Somali coastal town of Barawe to capture al-Shabab mastermind Abdulkadir Mohammed Abdulkadir, a Kenyan of Somalia origin, ran into heavier than expected resistance and had to be aborted. But the U.S. Army's Delta Force had more success in its raid on Tripoli when they grabbed longtime al-Qaida fugitive Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, aka Abu Anas al Libi, indicted by a U.S. court in 2000 for the August 1988 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salam, Tanzania,that killed 224 people. These raids reflect a U.S. move away from the kind of risk-averse operations the Americans have been mounting with missile-firing drones to on-the-ground raids against high-value targets. The abhorrence of risk stemmed largely from the psychological fallout over the October 1993 operation in Mogadishu
to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid that went badly wrong and led to the downing of two helicopters and the deaths of 18 Rangers and Special Forces troopers. U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Africa in June-July was widely seen as evidence of the White House's broader foreign policy objectives which have included an expansion of U.S. military operations across Africa. Many of these involve small-scale "secret wars" against Islamists, mainly linked to al-Qaida and often carried out under the aegis of the U.S. Africa Command established in 2007. "Both the number and complexity of U.S. military operations in Africa will continue to grow in the medium term," observed Oxford Analytica. "Given the relatively high impact contribution they make to Washington's strategic goals, such military operations will also increasingly encroach on domains traditionally associated with development and diplomacy. "However, they will also increasingly commit the United States to an 'intervention-led' foreign policy in Africa."Although Africom and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command claim they've been increasingly active in building up a U.S. military presence, and especially reach across the continent. The United States has only one official base in Africa, the counter-terrorism facility at Camp Lemonnier, a former French Foreign Legion base in Djbouti, East Africa, where Special Forces, strike jets and armed unmanned areal vehicles are based.

By Christopher Hobson and Andrew Dewit: The Lid Comes Off Fukushima Daiichi,

Japan's Ground Zero": The Devastating Consequences of Government Inaction. Japan's searing summer of 2013 saw the lid slide further off Fukushima Daiichi and its Pandora box of radioactive and political crises. The company in charge, Tokyo Electric Power Company, (TEPCO), already Japan's most distrusted firm, was irredeemably exposed as dangerously incompetent. A slew of reports concerning leaks of high-level radiation led to increasingly concerned appeals, from within Japan and from overseas, for the Abe Shinzo government to take over at Fukushima Daiichi. The most recent opinion poll, released by the Mainichi Shimbun on August 25, shows that no less than 91% of the Japanese public wants the government to intervene. Clearly, Abe's August 25, shows that no less than 91% of the Japanese public wants the government to intervene. Clearly, Abe's August 7 gambit of publicly declaring "Tepco: shape up!" convinced few that he was doing enough. Indeed, while the Mainichi was in the midst of polling, Abe was being lambasted by an August 23 editorial in Nishinihon Shimbun. The editors demand he act, expressing open dismay that he would call for decisive action from Tepco given its shameful record of endless mishaps and denials. From beyond Japan's shores, The Economist depicted Fukushima Daiichi as a "nightmare" with "no end in sight," and the editors of Bloomberg addressed Abe directly with stern warnings that the site is "ground zero" for his government, insisting that decisive intervention is crucial in order to "redeem Japan's nuclear industry, jump-start its economy, and perhaps increase the odds of removing the radioactive pall over Tokyo's bid to land the 2020 Olympics." The August 28 Business Times Singapore spoke up from the East, and excoriatingly editorialized that "Mr Abe appears grudging in his occasional statements of 'regret' at the ongoing crisis but resentful that it continues to dent Japan's international image. Certainly, it embarrasses a country anxious to promote overseas sales of nuclear reactors and to bring other idled reactors back on line." The editors highlighted the proliferating "international dimensions" of the crisis and cautioned that if Fukushima Daiichi "is not an international threat, then it is difficult to see what is." Indeed, as the Business Times Singapore warned, the foreign media are not alone in being alarmed by the Abe administration's unwillingness to get a grip on Fukushima Daichi. Japan's neighbouring states and civil societies also evince increasing concern. South Korea's Asiana Airlines announced on August 21 that, as of October, because of Fukushima Daiichi, they would discontinue charter flights to Fukushima City. The situation is in fact so grave in South Korean eyes that the August 8 minutes of the Bank of Korea's 15th Monetary Policy Board meeting expressed concern that further mishandling of Fukushima Daiichi could make it a "black swan" in the larger context of economic uncertainty confronting the global financial economy in the fall. And results from the South Korean Gallup agency poll over the three days ending August 29 indicated that
78% of Koreans believe their country is already being impacted by radiation from Fukushima Daiichi.   

By John Pilger: Old Game, New Obsession, New Enemy, Now It's China!

Countries are "pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world," wrote Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1898. Nothing has changed. The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody facade behind which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are the great game. The al-Shabaab shopping mall killers came from Somalia. If any country is an imperial metaphor, it is Somalia. Sharing a common language and religion, Somalis
have been divided between the British, French, Italians and Ethiopians. Tens of thousands of people have been handed from one power to another. "When they are made to hate each other," wrote a British colonial official, "good governance is assured." Today, Somalia is a theme park of brutal, artificial divisions, long impoverished by World Bank and IMF "structural adjustment" programmes, and saturated with modern weapons, notably President Obama's personal favourite, the drone. The one stable Somali government, the Islamic Courts, was "well received by the people in areas it controlled," reported the US Congressional Research Service, "but received negative press coverage, especially in the West." Obama crushed it, and in January, Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, presented her man to the world. Somalia will remain grateful to the unwavering support from the United States government, " effused President Hassan Mohamud, "thank you, America." The shopping mall atrocity was a response to this, just as the attack on the Twin Towers and the London bombings were explicit reactions to invasion and injustice. Once of little consequence, jihadism now marches in lockstep with the return of unfettered imperialism. Since Nato reduced modern Libya to a Hobbesian state in 2011, the last obstacles to Africa have fallen. "Scrambles for energy, minerals and fertile land are likely to occur with increasingly intensity," report Ministry of Defense planners. They predict "high numbers of civilian casualties", therefore "perceptions of moral legitimacy will be important for success." Sensitive to the PR problem of invading a continent, the arms mammoth, BAE Sustems, together with Barclay and BP, warn that "the government should define its international mission as a managing risks on behalf of British citizens". The cynicism is lethal. British governments are repeatedly warned, not least by the parliamentary intelligence and security committee, that foreign adventures beckon retaliation at home. With minimal media interest, the US African Command (Africom) has deployed troops to 35 African countries, establishing a familiar network of authoritarian supplicants eager for bribes and armaments. In war games, a "soldier to soldier" doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. The British did the same in India. It is as if Africa's proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master's black colonial elite whose "historic mission", warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the subjugation of their own people in the cause of "a capitalism rampant though camouflaged". The reference also fits the Son of Africa in the White House. For Obama, there is a more pressing cause, China. Africa is China's success story. Where the Americans bring drones, the Chinese build roads, bridges and dams. What the Chinese want is resources, especially fossel fuels.


By Simon Denyer: China bypasses American 'New Silk Road' with two of its own!

BEIJING: Armed with tens of billions of dollars in investment deals and romantic tales of ancient explorer, Chinese President Xi Jinping has spent much of the past month promoting his vision of two new "Silk Roads" to connect his country to the West and secure its energy supplies, one by land and another by sea. In the process, he has eclipsed an American vision of a New Silk Road that was advanced with much fanfare by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton two years ago and was supposed to revitalize Afghanistan as the link between Central and South Asia. The contrast between the two visions, one with huge sums of money on the table, the other struggling to get off the ground, only underlines how China's ever-growing clout in Asia is challenging the influence of the United States. In Central Asia in particular, China's leader has taken advantage of Russia's relative decline and the planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan to expand his country's influence, experts said. "China is making a pretty bold move," said Chris Johnson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "Xi Jinping sees a huge gaping hole in terms of trade and economic opportunities that the U.S. has so far failed to take advantage of." Dating back more than two millenia, a web of trade routes linking oasis towns brought Chinese silks and other products from across Asia to the West. In his call for a new Silk Road, Xi was underlining the importance of China securing its energy supplies overland to the gas and oil fields of Central Asia and beyond, and by sea through Asia's contested waters and via the busy Straight of Malacca. Last month, Xi traveled to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzastan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and signed tens of billions of dollars' worth of investment deals, taking a share in a major Kazakh oil field and expanding gas imports piped from Turmenistan. In Astana, Kazakhstan, where deals worth $30 billion were inked, he talked wistfully of almost hearing "the ring of camel bells echoing in the mountains" and seeing "the wisp of smoke rising from the desert." Xi spoke of the travels of Han dynasty envoy Zhang Qian to the region more than 2,100 years ago, but more substantively, he proposed the establishment of a Silk Road economic belt" to boost trade and transport links and strengthen regional policy coordination from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea. As well as the geostrategic energy play, Beijing sees economic benefits in moving goods from western China, which has lagged the booming east coast, through Central Asia. China's courting of the Central Asian republics has drawn comparisons to the Great Game, the 19th-century rivalry between Russia and Britain in the region. Viewed as a race, China is ahead, eclipsing Russia as the largest trading partner of four of the five Central Asian republics. Xi was the third consecutive Chinese president to visit the former Soviet Central Asia region countries that no U.S. president has visited. There are tremendous business opportunities in the area for U.S. companies in telecommunications, oil and roads. But at the moment, China is "coming out on top in the region," said Martha Brill Olcott of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. XI also has trained his sights farther east. Last week, he was in Malaysia and Indonesia, wrapping up tens of billions of dollars in business deals and promoting trade and military ties. He mentioned historical links, with tales of the Chinese navigator Zheng He, who made seven visits to "the Western Seas in the 15th century. Xi also spoke of building a "maritime Silk Road."

By Jack A. Smith: General Vo Nguyen Giap: Defeated French Imperialism, Drove the U.S. out of Vietnam!

Vietnamese Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, who helped defeat Japan, then France, then the United States in a 35-year war for national independence, died in Hanoi on Oct: 4 at the age of 102. He had been ailing and living in a military hospital for the last four years. Giap's extraordinary generalship drove French imperialism out of the three countries of Indochina, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the mid-1950s. At the time he declared the anti-French struggle "was victorious because because we had a wide and firm National United Front, organized and led by the party of the working class, the Indochinese Communist Party, now the Vietnam Workers Party." Decades later, he described the Vietnamese triumph against France as "the first great victory for a weak, colonized people struggling against the full strength of modern Western forces. This is why it was the first great defeat for the West. It shook the foundations of colonialism and called on people to fight for their freedom." Next came what the Vietnamese call the American War. The United States supported French colonialism in Indochina beginning in 1954 with money and a Military Assistance Advisory Group. It remained in the southern half of the country after France withdrew its tattered legions, virtually destroying Vietnam with its bombs, heavy artillery, chemical poisons and a half million troops until it was ousted with finality in 1975. Gen. Giap played a major role in bringing about this stunning defeat of history's most powerful military state. It was the first time the U.S. lost a war. "We had to use the small against the big, backward weapons to defeat modern weapons," Giap said. "At the end, it was the human factor that determined the victory." He further noted elsewhere that "guerrilla warfare is the means whereby the people of a weak, badly equipped country can stand up against an aggressive army possessing better equipment and techniques." At the same time, Giap made it entirely clear that the enormous pressure put upon Washington by the nationwide antiwar movement in the U.S. was a major contributing factor to Vietnam's victory. He later told historian Stanley Karnow: "We were not strong enough to drive out a half million American troops, but that wasn't our aim. Our intention was to break the will of the American government to continue the war. "the U.S. "second front" consisting of millions of American civilians and GIs who expressed their opposition to an unjust war, helped bring it to an end. Another factor contributing to Vietnam's success was the material support from both Russia and China despite the growing political antagonism between the two communist giants. Given that he is considered one of the great generals in modern history, and called by some the "Red Napoleon," it is of no little interest that he was self-taught in the arts of war, never having attended even one class in the subject. Giap was familiar with Vietnam's long history, dating back thousands of years, of resisting foreign invasions and domination, mainly from China and Mongolia. He studied some of these engagements. But his practical abilities derived from modern sources. Primarily, he studied the extensive contemporary military writings of Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, adapting them to the social, political and geographical conditions of Vietnam. He further learned from his mentor, Ho Chi Minh, the great leader of the Indochinese struggle for national liberation, as well as Marx, Engels, Lenin and others.

By Nick Barrickman: Impoverishing America: 58 Million Retirees to receive

Nebligible Social Security COLA Increases. The Associated Press (AP) reported Monday that tens of millions of US retirees will receive inflation adjustments to their Social Security checks of only 1.5 percent in January, among the smallest increases since automatic cost of living raises were instituted in 1975. For the more than 20 percent of the US population that relies on Social Security benefits to pay their bills, the negligible size of the monthly increase, typically about $17, will add to the hardship resulting from five years of economic slump and sweeping cuts in social programs. The tiny projected inflation adjustment for 2014 will follow three straight years of either negligible or nonexistent raises. This year's increase was only 1.7 percent and there were no increases at all in 2010 and 2011. The average increase since 1975 is 2.1 percent. The AP made its own projection based on consumer price data released by the US government, which show only a marginal increase in the cost of living. In reality, increases in basic expenses such as rent, food and utilities have severely and disproportionally impacted older Americans who rely in Social Security Administration has been unable to calculate next year's cost of living adjustment (COLA) rate for retirees and disabled workers drawing Social Security payments. It normally releases the figure in October. Social Security
Administration officials say they have been unable to obtain inflation numbers for the month of September due to the furloughing of Federal employees. Nearly 70 percent of all senior citizens rely on Social Security payments for at least half of their income. Forty percent rely on it for nearly all of their income.The average payment is roughly $1,162 monthly, or barely $15,000 annually. The inflation adjustment is calculated based on the rates of inflation for the months of July, August and September of the current year, which are then compared to the previous year's numbers. Through the Federal shutdown has not affected Social Security payments, failure to raise the debt ceiling by this Thursday could result in delays in benefit checks, with severe consequences for millions of retirees. President Obama has already proposed permanently reducing Social Security COLA increases as part
of an overall package of cuts in Social Security and Medicare. He advocates the adoption of the so-called "chained" consumer price index for calculating Social Security benefits, which would substantially reduce inflation adjustments. The attacks on the right to secure retirement have already produced a steady increase in the number of workers above the age of 50 whose financial situation will prevent them from retiring at age of 50 whose financial situation will prevent them from retiring at age 60 or 65. The growth of "defined contribution" and 401k plans and decline in traditional pensions has left workers at the mercy of the stock market. The average nearly retired worker has less than $120,000 saved for his or her post-retirement years. This calculates to a monthly income of barely $575 for some living until his or her mid-80s. A recent poll released by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 82 percent of workers over the age of 50 planned to continue working into their official retirement. Another 47 percent expected they would have to postpone their retirement at least several years.


By Alex Lantier: Report finds US-backed Syrian opposition responsible for sectarian atrocity!

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published yesterday exposes sectarian massacres of hundreds of civilians by US-backed Sunni opposition forces during an offensive in early August, in the majority-Alwite region around the coastal city of Lattakia. Based on extensive photographic evidence and interviews with survivors, HRW found that at least 190 Alawite civilians were butchered and 200
taken hostage by opposition forces. The dead included at least 57 women, 18 children, and 14 elderly men. HRW acting Middle East Director Joe Stork said the massacres were "not the actions of rogue fighters. This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population of these Alawite villages." These events are an indictment of Washington and its European allies as well as the corporate media.all of which have backed Al Qaeda- linked opposition militias in Syria. The media have falsely hailed this opposition as fighters for democracy, pressing for a US-led war to support them. Two weeks after the Latttakia killings, Washington began a campaign for war with Syria, based on lies about a chemical attack in Ghouta, pulling back from the brink of war only due to mass opposition from American and European workers. The atrocities near Lattakia took place amid an offensive starting on August 4, the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It appears that opposition forces chose this date, like Nixon administration's Christmas bombing of Hanoi during the Vietnam War, in order to terrorize its victims, showing them that it would not restrain its blood lust even during the most revered holidays. It fielded thousands of troops, armed with heavy machine guns, multiple-barreled rocket launchers, armored anti-aircraft guns, and a few captured tanks. Syrian army forces retook the area only on August 19. Alawite civilians who fell under opposition control were brutally massacred. HRW cites medical reports: "Cause of death in several of the bodies was multiple gunshot wounds all over the bodies, in addition to stab wounds made with a sharp instrument, given the decapitation observed in most bodies." Opposition officials contacted HRW early on in the offensive, when most of the killings apparently took place. The report cites one "opposition activist" who, on August 5, boasted to HRW: "We caught 150 women and 40 children, and killed all the men." The report details dozens of cases where defenseless civilians were slaughtered. In the village of Barouda, opposition fighters killed two civilians who were unable to escape: Safwan Hassan Shamieh Ali Darwish, who could only walk on crutches. In the village of Sleibel al-Hamboushieh, they murdered a blind 80-year-old woman, Nassiba Salem Sleim,, and several of her relatives. Other civilians were killed as they tried to escape the opposition militias. Ghazi Ibrahim Badour, who was fleeing with his wife and 10 children, said: "They cut off the road, so we tried to escape through the trees, but they were shooting at us , and two of my daughters died. My wife and another daughter Sefah Badour, who has a masters in Arabic literature, and my daughter Sara, who has a degree in philosophy, were killed." According to HRW, the opposition fighters who carried out the massacres were largely drawn from five Al Qaeda-linked militias: the Al Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Izz, and Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar.    

By Noam Chomsky: Chomsky: For Almost 70 Years the U.S. Has been the World Leader in Spreading

Destruction and Misery Across the Planet. The recent Obama -Putin tiff over American exceptionalism reignited an ongoing debate over the Obama Doctrine: Is the president veering toward isolationism? Or will he proudly carry the banner of exceptionalism? The debate is narrower than it may seem. There is considerable common ground between the two positions, as was expressed clearly by Hans Morgenthau, the founder of the now dominant no-sentimentality "realist" school of international relations. Throughout his work, Morgenthau describes America as unique among all powers past and present in that it has a "transcendent purpose" that it "must defend and promote" throughout the world: "the establishment of equality in freedom." The competing concepts exceptionalism" and "isolationism" both accept this doctrine and its various elaborations but differ with regard to its application. One extreme was vigorously defended by President Obama in his Sept. 10 address to the nation: "What makes America different," he declared, "what makes us exceptional," is that we are dedicated to act, "with humility, but with resolve," when we detect violations somewhere. "For nearly seven decades the United States has been the anchor of global security," a role that "has meant more than forging international agreements, it has meant enforcing them." The competing doctrine, isolationism, holds that we can no longer afford to carry out the noble mission of racing to put out the fires lit by others. It takes seriously a cautionary note sounded 20years ago by the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that "granting idealism a near exclusive hold on our foreign policy" may lead us to neglect our own interests in our devotion to the needs of others. Between these extremes, the debate over foreign policy rages. At the fringes, some observers reject the shared assumptions, bringing up the historical record: for example, the fact that "for nearly seven decades" the United States has led the world in aggression and subversion, overthrowing elected governments and imposing vicious dictatorships, supporting horrendous crimes, undermining international agreements and leaving trails of blood, destruction and misery. To these misguided creatures, Morgenthau provided an answer. A serious scholar, he recognized that America has consistently violated its "transcendent purpose." But to bring up this objection, he explains, is to commit "the error of atheism, which denies the validity of religion on similar grounds." It is the transcendent purpose of America that is "reality", the actual historical record is merely "the abuse of reality." In short, "American exceptionalism" and "isolationanism" are generally understood to be tactical variants of a secular religion, with a grip that is quite extraordinary, going beyond normal religious orthodoxy in that it can barely even be perceived. Since no alternative is thinkable, this faith is adopted reflexively. Others express the doctrine more crudely. One of President Reagan's U.N. ambassadors, Jeane Kirkpatrick, devised a new method to deflect criticism of state crimes. Those unwilling to dismiss them as mere "blunders" or "innocent naivete" can be charged with "moral equivalence" of claiming that the U.S. is no different from Nazi Germany, or whoever the current demon may be.

By Robert Parry: Israeli-Saudi Alliance Slips into View!

On Aug. 29, when I published entitled "The Saudi Israeli Superpower" describing an emerging odd couple alliance between those two traditional enemies, the story was met with skepicism in some quarters. But, increasingly, this secret alliance is going public. On Oct.2, Israel's Channel 2 TV news reported that senior Israeli security officials met with a high level Gulf State counterpart in Jerusalem, believed to be Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States and head now head of Saudi intelligence. And,, a day before that report, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at the new relationship in his United Nations General Assembly speech, which was largely devoted to excoriating Iran over its nuclear program and threatening a unilateral Israeli military strike. Amid the bellicosity, Netanyahu dropped in a largely missed clue about the evolving power relationships in the Middle East, saying: "the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes." Besides the shared Saudi- Israeli animosity toward Iran, the growing behind-the-scenes collaboration also revolves around mutual interests in supporting the military coup in Egypt that removed the elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi and in seeking to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. In mid-September, Israel's Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren even embraced the Saudi strategy in Syria when he announced that Israel would prefer to see the Saudi-backed jihadists prevail
in Syria when he announced that Israel would prefer to see the Saudi-backed jihadists prevail in Syria over the continuation of the Iran-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad. "The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Teheran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc," Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview. "We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren't backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran." Saudi Arabia, which follows the ultraconservative Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam, shares Israeli's strategic view that the Shiite crescent, stretching from Iran through Iraq and Syria to Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon, must be broken. Further advancing the Saudi-Israeli detente is the presence of the worldly Bandar bin Sultan as Saudi Arabia's new intelligence chief. As the former Saudi ambassador to the United States who worked closely with the neoncon administration of George W. Bush, Bandar doesn't share the crude anti-Semitism and visceral antipathy toward Israel that some earlier Saudi leaders did. He is a savvy player who understands the chess board of global geopolitics. The emerging Saudi-Israeli alliance also reflects a recognition that the two countries have complementary "soft power" strengths that , when combined could could create a new superpower in the Middle East and arguably the world. While the Israelis are masters of propaganda and political lobbying, especially in the United States, Saudi Arabia can pull strings through its extraordinary access to oil and money.


By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya: Obscuring the Details: A Panoramic Look at America's Case Against Syria.

The US federal government and the various agencies, media organizations, individuals, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, lobbies, forces, and other entities that are tied to it have done everything in their power to obscure the details involving the chemical attacks that took place in Syria on August 21, 2013. The aim has been to justify the US-led foreign campaign that was launched against Syria in 2011 by making the Syrian government appear culpable of grievous crimes. The chemical attack on Ghouta has now come to represent the crux of the matter. From the very start there was double-speaking coming from Washington and its cohorts about what happened in Ghouta. The Obama Administration and America's allies deliberately ignored the chemical weapons were used in Syria prior to August 21, 2013. They have pretended that the United Nations investigation team that had arrived in Syria when chemical weapons were used in Ghouta had just stumbled there coincidentally or with the purpose of inspecting the Syrian government's chemical weapon depots. Ignoring the Original Mandate of the UN Investigators. In reality, the UN Team that arrived in Syria in August was not a team of weapons inspectors. Even more important, the Syrian government had invited the UN investigation team to Syria in March 2013. This was because the insurgents had launched chemical attacks on March 19, 2013. The US and its allies tried to blame Syria, but they were embarrassingly contradicted by Carla Del Ponte, one of the UN investigators responsible for Syria, that said all the evidence pointed to the insurgents and not the Syrian government. Although she backed her conclusion with facts, Del Ponte was dismissed by the US, and NATO even abnormally took the time to make a statement against here. Moreover, the insurgents were even caught trying to sneak sarin gas into Syria from Turkey by Turkish security forces in May 2013. Because the insurgents were behind the chemical attacks in March 2013, Syria's government originally wanted the UN investigators to have the authority and mandate to officially assign blame on which party used the chemical weapons. The US, however, put all types of obstacles in place to prevent the UN from issuing a report that the US -supported insurgents were using chemical weapons. The US, however, put all types of obstacles in place to prevent the UN from issuing a report that the US supported insurgents were using chemical weapons. It was the US, however, put all types of obstacles in place to prevent the UN from issuing a report that the US-supported insurgents were using chemical weapons. It was the US, Britain, and France that prevented a UN investigation that could assign responsibility for any chemical weapon attacks from taking place. Instead they wanted a politicized inspection team that would try to demonize Syria and write reports against Damascus. This led to a deadlock in the United Nations over the type of team that the UN would send to work in Syria. A settlement was eventually reached. The US and its allies eventually reduced the mandate of the UN inspectors to one of only determining if chemical weapons were used.

By Anthony Gucciardy: Top Nuke Commanders Terminated Following Missing Nuclear Warheads Report.

  1. Top nuke commanders Navy Vice Adm. Tim Giardina and Maj. Gen. Michael Carey terminated following exclusive high level military intelligence over secret nuclear warheads transfer. Two of the top nuclear commanders within the United States have now been terminated following the exclusive high level military leak report by Alex Jones and myself regarding the secret and unsigned nuclear weapons transfer from Dyess Air Force base to South Carolina. Disturbingly, the high level suspensions from top generals within the military establishment are not the only red flags to follow the leaked report. Even before it was announced that the second highest nuke commander in the United States was suspended on the same day of the secret nuke transfer just weeks later, it was Senator Lindsey Graham who went on record hours after our report in saying that a 'nuclear attack' could come to South Carolina in the event that we did not move military against Syria and Iran, pushing even harder to action against both Iran and Syria. This alone generated hundreds of thousands to view our video reports and millions to examine our reports, which had immediately gone from concerning high level military intelligence to an international topic. But now, even after we had Lindsey Graham warn against a nuclear strike in the exact region we told you the nuclear warheads were being transferred without a paper trail, we have the absolute highest level military nuke commanders being removed. But what's more, the terminations were not meant to be leaked, especially not the fact that the suspension of the #2 in command was issued on the exact day of the nuke transfer. From a report in the Daily Mail over the suspension of the second highest nuke commander in the country, we read how the commander was suspended on the same day as the transfer: "Kunze said Strategic Command did not announce the Sept. 3 suspension because Giardina remains under investigation and action on Kehler's recommendation that Giardina be reassigned is pending. The suspension was first reported by the Omaha World-Herald." It also revealed in the mainstream media reports that the government did not want these suspensions and firings to go on record, and that it was an anonymous government insider who provided leaked emails to the Associated Press: "An internal email obtained by the AP on Friday said the allegations against Carey stem from an inspector general probe of his behavior while on an unspecified 'temporary duty assignment.' The email said the allegations are not related to the operational readiness of the ICBM force or recent failed inspections of ICBM units." What this means is that the nuke commanders were terminated behind the scenes in a move that was not meant to hit the public eye, especially not the fact that the second in command was fired on the same day of the leaked nuclear transfer. More importantly, shedding light on the secret transfer of nuclear weapons and the numerous red flags that prove its validity is key in stopping the psychopathic control freaks in government from going through with Graham's 'warnings' of a nuclear explosion that would lead to a war with Syria.

By Steve Horn: Fracked Oil Spill Disaster in North Dakota. 865,200 Gallons.

Among Biggest Onshore Spills in Recent U.S. History. Over 20,600 barrels of oil fracked from the Bakken Shale has spilled from a Tesoro Logistics pipeline in Tiogo, North Dakota in one of the biggest onshore spills in recent U.S. history. Though the spill occurred on September 29, the U.S. National Response Center tasked with responding to chemical and oil spills, did not make the report available until October 8 due to the ongoing government shutdown. "The center generally makes such reports available on its website within 24 hours of their filing, but services were interrupted last week because of the U.S. government shutdown," explained Reuters. The "Incident Summaries" portion of the National Response Center's website is currently down, and the homepage notes, "Due to the government shutdown, some services may not be available." At more than 20,600 barrels, equivalent to 865, 200 gallons, the spill was bigger than the April 2013 ExxonMobil Pegasus pipeline spill, which spewed 5,000-7,000 barrels of tar sands into a residential neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas. So far, only 1,285 barrels have been cleaned, and the oil is spread out over a 7.3 acre land mass. Kris Roberts, environmental geologist for the North Dakota Department of Health Division of Water Quality told the Williston Herald, "the leak was caused by a hole that detiriorated in the side of the pipe." "No water, surface water or groundwater was impacted," he said. "They installed monitoring wells to ensure there is no impact now or that there is going to be one." Roberts also told the Herald he was impressed with Tesoro's handling of the cleanup. "They've responded aggressively and quickly," Roberts commented, also noting that the cleanup will cost upward to $4 million. "Sometimes we've had to ask companies to do what they did right off the mark. They're going at this aggressively and they know they have a problem and they know what they need to do about it." Tesoro Logistics Chairman and CEO Greg Goff also weighed in on the spill. "Protection and care of the environment are fundamental to our core values, and we deeply regret any impact to the landowner," said Goff in a press release. "We will continue to work tirelessly to fully remediate the release arena." Pipeline to Albany Refinery, Barging on the Hudson. Tesoro's six-inch pipeline was carrying oil obtained via the controversial hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") process to the Stampede, Canadian Pacific's freight trains take the oil piped from Tesoro's pipeline and ship it to an Albany, NY holding it to an Albany, NY holding facility by Global Partners located along the Hudson River. "Over five years, the equivalent of roughly 91 million barrels of oil will be transported via CP's rail network from a loading facility in Stampede, N.D., to a Global terminal in Albany," explained a September story appearing in the Financial Post. Albany's holding facility received its first Canadian Pacific shipment from the Bakken Shale in December 2011, according to Bloomberg. with 1.4 million
barrels of storage capacity. The facility receives 149,000-157,000 barrels of Bakken crude per day from Canadian Pacific. Once shipped to Global's Albany holding facility, much of the oil is barged to market on tankers along the Hudson from the Port of Albany. 


By Mike Whitney: Operation Enduring Misery Shambles Into its 13th Year:

Happy Anniversary Afghanistan! October 7 marked the 12th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, but you wouldn't know it by reading the papers. In fact, "America's longest war" has become so unpopular that both the media and the Obama administration have done everything in their power to sweep the whole matter under the rug hoping that people just forget about it. But it's hard to forget about it when US troops keep getting blown up like they did on Sunday. Just look at this from CBS News: "A bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, American and Afghan officials said. They were the latest casualties in a 12 year conflict that shows no signs of slowing down despite a draw-down in foreign forces." (Four U.S. troops killed in south Afghanistan", CBS News. And it's hard to forget about it when Obama keeps killing Afghan kids that are out playing tag or walking the dog. Take a look at this from Saturday's Al Jazzera: "At least five civilians, including three children, were killed overnight in a NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan after they were hunting for birds with air guns, local officials said Saturday. They were targeted and killed by a foreign forces airstrike," said Hazrat Hussein Mashreqiwal, a provincial police spokesman." "Afghan civilians reportedly killed in NATO airstrike", Al Jazeera. And it's hard to forget about it when Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, keeps blasting NATO in the media, like he did on Monday. Here's what he said: "On the security front the entire NATO exercise was one that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of live, and no gains," Karzai noted, elaborating on comments from his spokesman yesterday. Karzai went on to say that NATO and the US had repeatedly launched operations in express opposition to his government's wishes, notably night raids, and was clearly willing to violate Afghan sovereignty whenever it suits them." "Karzai Rejects US Security Pact, Says NATO Causing Great Suffering", antiwar.com. Karzai might be a puppet, but he did the right thing by criticizing the drone attacks and defending the nation's sovereignty. Even so, the issues here go way beyond Karzai or US casualties or even the deaths of innocent children. The problem is the war itself and the ongoing US occupation. It was a bad idea from the very beginning, and it is a bad idea today. War is too blunt an instrument to fight terrorism, that should be obvious by now. The American people were duped into believing that invading Afghanistan was an appropriate response for the attacks on 9/11, but it never was. It was always a stupid, wasteful, bloody idea without merit. The war in Afghanistan has never made any sense. From the bombing of Mazar-i-Sharif in November, 2001 to the droning of children chasing birds in 2013, its been one homicidal debacle after the other. On top of that, none of the strategic objectives has been achieved. The warlords and Taliban still control much of the countryside, the reconstruction effort has been a complete farce, women are no safer today than they were when the invasion was first launched, and the central government is a comical Potemkin regime riddled with corruption and incompetence. Oh yeah, and the dirt-poor country now produces 90 percent of the world's opium.   

By Ana Marie Cox: Unless You're a Very Healthy Rich Person Who Lives in a Cave,

the Government Shutdown Affects You. Human puff-adder Bill Kristol drolly noted on Morning Joe this week that the shutdown is not "the end of the world". The Huffington Post's Sam Stein snapped back, "For these people affected by these cuts, it is sort of comparable to the end of the world." I have one quibble with Stein's otherwise satisfying smackdown: "For the people affected by these cuts" implies that there are people who are not affected by these cuts. Stein was talking specifically about the families and children across the country most likely to suffer when the government stops paying for Head Start programs and nutritional aid, but they are only the most sympathetic victims of the shutdown. And there are a lot of them: Almost 9m mothers and children rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Most states will be able to operate
for about a week on the money they have, but in the words of one administrator in Cook County,"We have no cushion. If our funding stops we will temporarily suspend service." The US Department of Agriculture is attempting to prop up the program in the states hardest hit, they announced this week a $2.5 grant to Utah. But the $125m they have on reserve is laughably small for a program that costs $7b a year, its less than 2% of the total budget. If $125 was all the money the program had, it would operate for six days. But that's just women and children. The poorest of the poor, right? We're a civilized country, we won't let them starve. As Kristol told Stein, "Localities can help out. Churches can help out." Because obviously, up until now, localities and churches were just standing around twiddling their thumbs as lounged on divans and wondered if it was time to pick out new wallpaper or maybe treat themselves to a day at the spa. If you actually attend a church or do service work, I hope you've picked up the laptop from when you hurled it across the room just now. Already a huge patch in the patchwork of federal social services across the country, churches, and private food banks have stretched themselves thin to cover the drop in federal aid that accompanied the sequester cuts last spring (Remember that? The last time we had a budget showdown?) The ripple effects of a Wic crash spread outward quickly. Food stamp and Wic programs pump about $23m a year into retail grocery stores, indeed, a quarter of all meals for recipients of nutritional aid come from a supermarket. The Wic buys 60% of all the baby formula produced in the country. For every dollar spent on Wic, states save about $3.5 in Medical spending, but that's just a quantitative way of saying that Wic produces healthier babies. But maybe you're still thinking of this as a sad story, not that anything to do with you or anyone you know. You don't go to national parks, or live near one. Communities that depend on national park tourism stand to lose $30m a day. You'r not a veteran. At the VA, money allocated for disability payments and students studying under the GI bill will run out in a few weeks. You don't take commercial airplane flights. About 34% of the Federal Aviation Administration work force is now on leave, including almost 3,000 safety inspectors.