Friday, February 10, 2017

Arab Fingerprints In The Syrian Carnage

Obama's Arab apostates continue slaughter following the demise of his criminal regime  

By Victor Mikhin

First ever negotiations between the Syrian Government and the Syrian armed opposition hosted by the Kazakh capital Astana remain a heated topic among analysts, experts, diplomats and journalists. Russia, Turkey, Iran—the counties acting as guarantors of the Syrian peace talks, as well as Staffan de Mistura, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria, and US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, who took part in the talks as an observer, participated in the negotiations. 

The scale of the talks, arranged largely through the efforts of Moscow, was such that the participants could have resolved absolutely all, or at least the majority of the topical issues.

Though some experts and in particular journalists of certain views and from certain countries assess the significance of the event differently, though everybody agrees that the elaboration of strategy for the Syrian peace process was “rough and tough”. 

Military experts meeting in Astana finally managed to identify the regions on maps occupied by Daesh terrorists and those controlled by the opposition. Participants of the Astana negotiations acknowledged for the first time ever that the resolution of the Syrian crisis would require much more than just military actions. They also expressed hope for a continuation of the Geneva peace talks.

A note was made that Riyadh and Doha had used every opportunity to oppose to the Astana negotiations and urged their accomplices to derail any agreements. For example, the Ahrar Al-Sham militant group that had refused to come to the negotiations is patronized by Qatar. Though Saudi Jaysh al-Islam came to Astana, its delegates had been trying to thwart the negotiations that had been arranged with great difficulties. Riyadh, which was reluctant to take up the role of an official peace process broker in the Astana negotiations, managed to secure its mercenary interests in Syria by ensuring the delegation is headed by a representative of a loyal faction.

Some observers still wonder why Turkey did not pull its lever of influence to ensure the Qatari Ahrar Al-Sham shows up in Astana. There is a rather reasonable opinion that Ankara and Doha are holding back this group in reserve, so as to employ it as a restraining tool if negotiations start moving in a “wrong direction”. After all, Ahrar Al-Sham, being one of the groups from the Russian Defense Ministry’s list of armed opposition groups, would fall under the ceasefire conditions and might hypothetically accede to the agreements later. In other words, not only Riyadh and Doha are playing with a stacked deck. The Russia’s current ally Ankara is acting rather suspiciously. But with this “fishing in troubled waters”, parties should keep in mind that they are playing with fire.

Meanwhile, opponents of the Syrian peace process have continued sabotaging ceasefire even after the completion of the Astana talks. At the end of January, Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov met with the “not armed” Syrian opposition in Moscow. Though representatives of different factions of the Syrian opposition interested both in negotiations and in a peaceful settlement of the crisis have arrived in Moscow, the Riyadh backed opposition group (The Supreme Commission for Negotiations) ignored Moscow’s invitation as it had been disapproved by its Saudi masters.

The Moscow meeting turned out to be a litmus test, as it drew a clear line between the opposition seeking a peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict and those interested in its continuation to satisfy their selfish interests. Actually, shouldn’t those fanning the Syrian carnage be persecuted and tried according to the international law? Perhaps, this approach could sober warmongers up and put an end to the Syrian civil war instigated by external forces.

Today supporters of a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis are joining their efforts in an attempt to arrange and hold productive Geneva peace talks postponed to February 20. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura justified the new date by saying that the United Nations wants to allow some time for the Astana initiatives to begin bringing fruit, i.e. Geneva talks would greatly benefit if Astana ceasefire initiatives take root. He also noted that the Syrian Government needs some extra time to properly prepare for the event and come to Geneva with a solid strategy.

One of the major problems is to bring representatives of all the opposition groups together to form a single delegation. Opposition groups tend to act indecisively. At one point, they agree to sign ceasefire agreements, but at the other—abandon their commitments. Their seemingly irrational behavior is easy to explain: these “justice fighters” are only puppets in the hands of their patrons. Another problem—opposition groups, no matter whom they represent, are rarely interested in the establishment of relations with each other. It is especially true for the Kurds, who come to the negotiation table as a separate group advocating its own national interest.

In this complicated situation, Moscow is trying to engage other countries of the region, Egypt in particular, to resolve the bloody Syrian conflict in a peaceful way. Moscow is not the only broker in the Syrian peace talks. Two other countries—Tehran and Ankara—are acting in the capacity of guarantors. Both Syria and Egypt note that implementation of the Russian initiative would drive the Syrian peace process. Ankara, however, objects the strategy put forward by Moscow. There was a radical cooling in the Turkey-Egypt relations after the Egypt’s military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. That explains why the Turkish authorities object Egypt’s participation in the Syrian peace process. They, however, should be reminded of the lesser of two evils principle and let go of grudges in the face of the Daesh threat.

Moscow is also advocating the return of Syria to the League of Arab States. Syria’s participation in this organization would foster stability and joint resolution of problems that have accumulated during the years of the crisis.

At the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Jordan’s King Abdullah II assessed Russia’s actions in the Middle East and its role in the Syrian peace process and in the Middle East as “crucial”. In King’s opinion, Russia plays an important role not only in the resolution of the Syrian crisis, but also in the settlement of other regional conflicts.

As for the Syrian opposition groups and their foreign sponsors, i.e. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, disagreements between them are deepening. These warmongers, allegedly asserting the rights of Syrians, in fact are advocating the fight until a “decisive victory”, or, as some of them say, until the “last Syrian is dead”. External enemies of the Syrian state turned the country into a ring where they settle their disputes. Syria has become a zone of religious confrontation between the Sunni and Shia of the region and its people—hostages of grim circumstances. Although the main political players in the Syrian conflict claim that they want Syria to remain a single indivisible State, the chances that the country could be split into three or four enclaves in the future are high. This “flawed” policy has already been tested in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq.

If Syria is split, the stakeholders would face another challenge—the division of the sphere of influence. Would Syria follow in the footsteps of Lebanon where each party and each minister is backed by a different foreign master, and where the government system is so unstable that any minor argument between the stakeholders could lead to a major collapse? Given Syria’s economic worth, interested parties would have to work much harder (to compare to the case with Lebanon) to get a “slice” of the “Syrian pie”. That implies that the way to the political stability in the country will be long.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

A Deadly Legacy: The CIA’s Covert Laos War

Communist "dominoes" fell while the CIA became rich smuggling drugs    

By Don North

In the first of many mistakes of the Vietnam War, President Dwight Eisenhower said in 1954, “You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over quickly.”

Vang Pao
By January 1961, Eisenhower had warned his successor John F. Kennedy that Laos was the most pressing foreign policy issue in the world and he had initiated Operation Momentum in Laos, for the CIA to train and arm a small force of Hmong tribesmen to fight the communist Pathet Lao and their North Vietnamese supporters. But history would prove the “domino theory” in Southeast Asia was a misconception of tragic proportions. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines would all confidently resist communist influence and would have surely have done so without the bloodbath of millions of deaths across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

As a young freelance journalist in 1965, I tried to cover the secret war in Laos. In the capital Vientiane, I encountered CIA pilots running supplies to the Hmong army in Long Chen and urged them, over many beers at the bar of the Continental Hotel, to take me along but without success.

Now, more than a half century later, author Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, has published a book, A Great Place to Have a War, based on recently declassified documents and interviews with major players behind the secret war in Laos.

He also analyzes how the conflict in Laos was the genesis of the CIA’s support for clandestine paramilitary operations around the world, a pattern that continues through today. He concludes that the strategy in Laos set a sinister precedent for American presidents to conduct war without congressional or media oversight.

Kurlantzick writes:

“The Laos program would balloon in men and budget. It would grow into a massive undertaking run by CIA operatives. CIA leadership saw that an inexpensive proxy war could be a template for wars when U.S. presidents were looking for ways to continue the Cold War without going through Congress or committing ground troops. The CIA leadership thought that Laos was a great place to have a war.”

Hmong fighters

An army of hill tribes, mostly Hmong under the command of General Vang Pao, who initially led a ragged band of 5,000 guerrillas recruited and equipped by CIA officers. For 14 years, this irregular army fought the communists with Vang Pao’s guerrilla forces finally numbering 100,000 irregular troops.

Over those years, more bombs were dropped on Laos than were dropped on Japan and Germany during World War II. By the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, some 200,000 Laotians, both civilian and military had been killed, including at least 30,000 Hmong, with another 750,000 Laotians made homeless by the bombing. Some 700 Americans, mostly CIA officers, contractors and U.S. military also died in the Laos conflict, although those American deaths would not be revealed for decades.

Today, Laos is a failed country still strewn with landmines and other ordnance that take the limbs and lives of Laotians every day. Only 1 percent of the unexploded ordnance is believed to have been cleared and an estimated 20,000 Laotians have been killed or injured since the bombing ceased.

A Destructive Debacle

By most measures, the CIA’s war in Laos was a debacle that virtually destroyed a civilization. Plus, the war was “lost” from the U.S. government’s perspective when the country disappeared into the communist Vietnamese orbit. But by the CIA’s yardstick, it was a great success.

Old U.S. allies still hiding in Laos

“In the opinion of many officers in the CIA Clandestine services, the paramilitary programs that the agency operated in Laos between 1963-71 were the most successful ever mounted,” according to a quote from newly declassified CIA records cited by author Kurlantzick. “Small in numbers of personnel and even smaller in relative dollar costs, the CIA Laos operations shone in contrast to the ponderous operations of the US military forces in Vietnam.”

CIA Director Richard Helms declared that the agency had proven itself in Laos and had tied down 70,000 North Vietnamese troops who might otherwise have fought Americans in Vietnam. Laos would become the template for a new type of large, secret war for decades to come.

Helms with Richard Nixon

In his book, Kurlantzick concentrates on four remarkable individuals who in partnership with the CIA would control the agency’s war in Laos. All four have died recently, but Kurlantzick interviewed three of them.

There was Bill Lair, an American veteran of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Division in World War II who joined the CIA in Bangkok to train Thai troops for a possible invasion by China. Lair, adept at the Thai and Lao languages, was later sent to Laos where he would become the first chief agent to deal with the Hmong warlord Vang Pao.

There was Vang Pao, who met Lair in January 1961 and promised that if Lair would provide weapons he would gather 10,000 men to be trained by the CIA. Vang Pao had a reputation of having a sharp mind but his rage, sadness and energy sometimes overtook his abilities and knowledge.

The CIA's Air America in Laos: anything, anywhere, anytime 

There was Ambassador William Sullivan, who took his post in Vientiane in 1964 and soon became the most powerful U.S. ambassador in the world, in charge of the secret war in Laos. Sullivan’s power encompassed far more than the usual duties of filing reports on the political situation and attending diplomatic receptions. He had a strong respect for the CIA, unlike many U.S. ambassadors.

Sullivan also had a close relationship with President Lyndon Johnson, which Sullivan felt gave him a free hand to run the war in Laos. Called to testify before Congress, Sullivan drew the ire of Sen. William Fulbright, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who complained: “We pretend Laos is a sovereign country. We are pretending we are not there? You are deceiving the American people and Congress.”

Sullivan, who didn’t mention that he had commanded nearly every aspect of the operation in Laos, later became National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger’s right-hand man at the Paris peace talks. (Sullivan was the only one of the four principals whom Kurlantzick did not interview.)

Kissinger with Sullivan

The fourth principal in the Laotian war was Tony Poe, who had experienced heavy combat with the U.S. Marines island-hopping across the Pacific during World War II. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Poe signed up to train Korean saboteurs. In 1961, Poe arrived in Laos to help train the Hmong who had become the center of Operation Momentum.

Poe was a hard-drinking combat trainer who sought opportunities to fight with the troops he had trained. He had a reputation of ruthlessness that included tales of cutting heads off North Vietnamese troops and dropping them from a helicopter. He is said to have shipped bags of ears cut from enemy soldiers to the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane.

In the mountains with his private army and drinking heavily, many of Poe’s colleagues believed he had gone mad. However, in 1975, Poe was awarded a second CIA intelligence medal for “extraordinary heroism.” It is believed Poe was the model for Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Col. Kurtz in the film “Apocalypse Now.”

Enduring Lessons

The lessons from Laos had long-term effects on how the CIA would operate for years. After 1975, agents with Laos experience took over CIA stations all over the world and held senior jobs in agency headquarters. They brought with them a conviction the CIA could handle large-scale war fighting skills, reported Kurlantzick.

The secret war also had echoes up to the present.

“The post-9/11 war on terror replicates the Laos war in other critical ways: CIA activities are totally unwatched by the public and the media. The strategies used to keep most of the war on terror secret … would have been completely familiar to the CIA operatives running the Laos war.”

In his last foreign trip, President Obama went to Laos, the first sitting U.S. president to ever do so. In a speech in Vientiane in September that got little notice back home, he offered no apologies, but pledged to increase funding for clearing unexploded bombs by $90 million over the next three years.

“Given our history here, the United States has a moral obligation to help Laos heal,” Obama said. “At the time the U.S. did not acknowledge America’s role. Even now, many Americans are not fully aware of this chapter in our history, and it’s important that we remember today.”

Kurlantzick didn’t complete the research and transcript for his book until October, before the election of Donald Trump as president, but in an article for the Washington Post’s Outlook section Jan. 22, he analyzed the new administration’s likely policy toward the CIA:

“The incoming President seems eager to cut some of the agency’s spies and analysts. Instead, power would flow to operatives in the field – those who help arm allied foreign military forces and manage drone strikes … the Trump administration is poised to accelerate a transformation that has been happening since the 1960’s, with the CIA becoming less focused on spying and more on paramilitary organizations with a central role in violent conflicts.”

The first secret counter-terrorism operation under Trump’s orders took place on Jan. 29 in Yemen against an “Al Qaeda affiliate” and appeared to have been a botched mission though the Trump administration hailed it as a success. It was reported to have been carried out by U.S. Special Operation Forces, with no mention of CIA participation.

A senior Navy Seal was killed during the raid and Yemeni officials reported 30 civilians also killed, mostly women and children. The New York Times said the civilian casualties triggered widespread anger across Yemen toward the U.S., adding to the tensions over President Trump’s entry ban on Yemeni citizens.

Kurlantzick’s A Great Place to Have a War could help Americans remember the chaos and destruction visited upon one of the world’s most primitive societies. Whether the book will influence the future history of America’s way of war remains to be seen.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of



The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.



Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

 photo capitalism_zpsah78uy5p.jpg
We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.



By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...



UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak


 photo TAMIFLU_small_zpssojx6okt.jpg

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...



 photo WHO02_zpsplmhtlpr.jpg
The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .



By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.