colonel cassad on syria & iraq

A message to Syrian Kurds
Colonel Cassad, Oct 15 2018

The Syrian Foreign Ministry announced a short and unequivocal message to the Syrian Kurds. After completion of the operations in Idlib, Syria definitely will regain control of north-eastern Syria, which Pindostan is occupying. The aim of Damascus is to return the local Kurds, Arabs and tribal structures to the constitutional field through negotiation. As it was stated:

If the Kurds want negotiations, there is the Constitution and the law that govern the relationship. If they don’t want that, it’s something else entirely. We will not accept federalism or other violations of the Syrian Constitution. They will be forced to pay the high price for adherence to Pindo illusions, if they go that way.

In the abstract, the SDF said that time is preparing the process of inter-Syrian settlement and establishment of a new Constitution, the Kurds as the second force in Syria after the government, want to participate in this process, threatening to resist if Damascus attacks Rojava. What would happen if as in the case of Afrin, Turkish will release the Kraken, Rojava did not specify. This option is not excluded. It is openly voiced after the Sochi deal. But in any case, these are preliminary negotiating positions being adopted, hence the appearance of fixed positions. To this also can be attributed to the maxim of Erdogan:

Very soon, with God’s help, we can end the horrors of terrorism to the east of the Euphrates.

While Idlib is not done, he is unlikely to touch Rojava, but after that it will become the object of attention of Damascus and Ankara. Syria and Turkey are not tired of reminding, so that Pindostan has no illusions that their Kurdish manipulations will be ignored. The Kurds consider it reasonable to wait and see what is the outcome of the Idlib epic, to continue to build their line of conduct in the negotiations with Damascus. Tomorrow will set the tone for the first month of the Sochi transactions. The alternative is not too wonderful: to be a bargaining chip in the anti-Iranian strategy of Faschingstein, a strategy which has already led the Iraqi Kurds and the people of Afrin to tragic consequences. Towards the end of the year, this theme is likely to be central in the Syrian conflict. Today, inside Idlib province and the adjoining parts of the provinces of Aleppo and Hama under the control of the “spirits” (ду́хи, rebels), the situation is as follows.

In these provinces there are two major enterprises, consisting of various groupings. The first is the unification of the relatively moderate and pro-Turkish groups, such as Jaish al-Islam and Nour’ed-Din al-Zenki. The first are mainly in the north of Hama with the center in the settlement Latamina, and has about 1,000 heads. In command of this group is a former major in the SAA, Jamil Saleh. Nour’ed-Din al-Zenki since mainly located in western and north-western suburbs of Aleppo. So these two main groups formed the “moderate wing” Idlib zone (Jaish al-Latamina le-Tahrir). In fact, the list of groups of incoming here much more, but the main participants are these. The second wing is the outright demented Jihadis of the type Ahrar al-Sham and DAN. They are in control of 70% of the territory Idlib areas, the entire border with Turkey and almost the entire line of contact with the SAA. Near the border of Idlib and northern Hama, their center is the infamous Khan Sheykhun. In the area south and south-west of Aleppo (around Sarakeb, Marat Numan, Erika, Jal Jinas) is an association of geeks called HTS/Nusra. After the truce and the creation of the DMZ were announced, a serious proportion of these same unions there began to moderate, consisting mainly of local fighters ready in principle to return to the world and end the war. “Stoned” HTS/Nusra have very different plans. They need a war. The Turks today are trying to maintain and increase the number of moderate, strongly supporting them as a resource, and people. Although still the advantage remains with HTS/Nusra. Some time inside the province of Idlib marked by a series of assassinations of commanders of the various gangs and groups, mostly from supporters of Nusra. It is issued as internecine squabbles. Although in my opinion, it is the program of the Turks to eliminate dissent militants. Now the Turks in Idlib need silence and complete obedience. Therefore, those who are sabotaging this concept are subject to liquidation. In addition, in Idlib province noted an interesting detail. Documentation began to be published and be completed in two languages, Turkish and Arabic. Turkish money came into use. And finally, the Turks began to give Turkish passports to the locals. It looks like they’ve decided to settle in for the long haul, if not permanently. Thus, they solve several problems at once, but will report on that later.

On Oct 15 was scheduled to begin joint patrols of Russian and Turkish military and security DMZ and the highway Aleppo-Hama and Aleppo-Latakia. Today it is the Turkish side was not ready for this, as reported by the Russian side. In turn, the Russian military today were ready to commence patrol and security. The unwillingness of the Turks is hardly surprising. Even if they are sincerely ready to fulfill the agreements, they will have to convince or force the militant supporters of the radical wing, namely HTS/Nusra, who yesterday openly said that they are not going to perform and called for the continuation of the war. The Turks are trying to influence these groups through their leader al-Golani, but so far without result. It is possible that in a few days, he will be or may not be at all. It is the east. Today, according to reconnaissance, heavy weapons were not observed along the line of contact. Although in general there was not from the spirits never. They understood that in the case of SAA and allies, their only hope is a provocation with the use of CW and the subsequent intervention of Pindostan & its vassals. In any other case, “Green” in Idlib for a long time probably would not have lasted.

In the Iraqi Parliament collect signatures for the withdrawal of Pindo & NATO troops in 2019
Colonel Cassad, 15 Oct 2018

To illustrate one of the reasons why Faschingstein and Tehran are so fiercely fought to ensure the rise to power in Iraq of “their candidates.” Almost immediately after the government in Baghdad was restarted in favorable for Tehran’s key, began preparations for the adoption of the law on the withdrawal by the middle of 2019 of all Pindo and NATO troops from Iraq, including from the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan, where trainers of Pindostan and NATO train the Peshmerga. Back in August, on the eve of the fateful election, Pindostan declared that its troops will remain in Iraq, hoping that their candidate wins, and Pindostan will maintain its military presence in the country because the Iraqis want Pindostan to fight against Iran and to support the Kurdish projects in Iraq and Syria. On Oct 10, Reuters reported that the Iraqi Parliament is collecting signatures of deputies for submission to Parliament of the law on the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq. The deputies representing the dominant Shi’ite bloc are actively lobbying for a law that would force Pindostan to withdraw troops from Iraq. In September these troops numbered 5,500 + PMCs + several thousand soldiers of NATO countries. It was noted that the process was successful and the question is to draw up a timetable for the withdrawal of Pindo troops. Representatives of the ruling coalition claimed that the withdrawal of Pindo troops was a priority for them and they don’t approve of the Pindo approach to the “opposition groups” in Iraq, including Hizbullah. Sanctions imposed by Pindostan on Iran and Hezbollah were said by representatives of the Alliance to be useless and unnecessary, a view supported by the statements of the speaker of Parliament, who said that Iraq would not comply with Pindo sanctions against Iran.

Today the Iraqi press reported on the response of Pindostan, who are trying to prevent the adoption of this law, which will send them to the exit. The main problem for Pindostan is that their opponents refer to the Fifth article of the Iraqi Constitution, according to which Iraq is a fully sovereign state and determines its own policy on its territory, including that of the military. In fact, Suleimani and al-Sadr (despite all the differences between them), although with the help of Iraq’s Constitution (adopted with the active participation of Pindostan) to force US to leave while the Shi’ite Alliance is capable of it. The United States began actively to push my creature in Baghdad, as well as to communicate with the Iraqi politicians to determine whether to block the imposition of such a law to the vote or to replace it in such a law that will allow Pindostan to remain in Iraq after 2019. Pindostan feared that if such a law were pushed through Parliament, the new PM Abd’ul-Mahdi and his government, which came to power thanks to the support of people like Muqtada al-Sadr, Qassem Soleimani, Nasrallah and al-Sistani, referring to the Parliament and the Constitution, put Pindostan to the task of having to leave Iraq, and not on their own terms. Now the radical deputies of the Iraqi Parliament said that after the adoption of the law, Pindo troops in Iraq will be regarded as an occupying force that need to go. Now to work actively joined the State Dept and Pindo Embassy in Baghdad. Pindostan relies on its ties to Iraqi intelligence and among functionaries of the former ruling party to at least slow down the process. Iraqi sources indicate that the adoption of this law was part of the backroom agreements when negotiating the nomination of a new PM, where Iran has sacrificed part of their ambitions regarding personnel in exchange for guarantees that his partners in the Shi’ite coalition will achieve the Pindo withdrawal from Iraq. According to these statements, the law will be submitted to Parliament as soon as the formation of a government will be completed. The scheme here is quite simple. The Parliament using the Shi’ite majority passes the law (with some resistance from pro-Pindo forces), and the government has to carry out this law, as it is part of the overall arrangements aimed primarily against Pindostan. According to the leaks:

The bill will be based on the Paragraph V of the Constitution, which states that Iraq is a fully sovereign on their territory an independent state and the Iraqi army is responsible for security on their land and the sky.

The bill provides for the removal of all foreign forces from Iraq, including the Kurdistan region in Iraq, and supports Iraqi militia forces, such as the Iranian-organized “Hashd al-Shaabi” of 130,000 to 150,000 bayonets, as well as the formation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and mobilization system for the Iraqi militia. In addition, the law provides for strengthening the capacity of the air force and the establishment of systems of air defense, able to ensure the security of the country. I think I know what the next country will purchase S-300 or S-400, if this law is passed. Given the fact that Russia is already helping to re-equip the Iraqi tank units from the “Abrams” to the “T-90”, the Russian defense industry offers a wonderful perspective to Iraq, if Iran will be able to finish this game to the end. In addition, the law provides for the signing of military agreements for the protection of neighbouring friendly countries. There is no specification, but I would bet that it will be Iran, Syria and Turkey. Overall, Iran has achieved significant military and political successes in Iraq and now, basing itself on occupied positions, is trying to strike Pindostan a very powerful retaliatory blow of which the minimum impact will be to weaken Pindo influence in Iraq, putting Pindo and NATO troops in a position dependent upon the new government in Baghdad, and as a maximum, to force a full withdrawal of Pindo & NATO troops from Iraq and to form a long-term Shi’ite Alliance which will stabilize Iraq, provide support to Iranian efforts in Syria and Lebanon, and provide in Iraq the implementation of “New Silk Road” which China is interested in. For Russia it is beneficial from the point of view of prospects of expansion of arms sales to Iraq and promote the interests of major oil companies, as well as from the point of view of further weakening Pindostan in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Now the tables will be turned on Pindostan, and they will have to work very hard to prevent the implementation of the ambitious Iranian plans. The main resources for Pindostan are themselves contingent on a significant number of pro-Pindo figures in “the Iraqi Establishment” and the Kurdish scene, including the Barzanists and Iranian Kurds, who are trying to wage war against Iran from Iraqi territory. So it will not do to underestimate Pindo capabilities. They are still strong enough to try to temper the ambitions of Tehran. As for the rest, it is also one of the symptoms of tectonic processes that change the entire region, the catalyst for which was the Syrian war.

monstrous lying genocidal hypocrites

Amnesty Slams Pentagon’s Denials Of Deaths In Raqqa
South Front, Oct 16 2018

7-2-1024x433 

On Oct 15, Amnesty International released a report slamming the Pentagon for its denials of deaths in the Syrian city of Raqqa as a aresult of the operation by CENTCOM and the SDF.  Amnesty International said:

The Pentagon’s ongoing failure to admit to, let alone adequately investigate, the shocking scale of civilian deaths and destruction it caused in Raqqa is a slap in the face for survivors trying to rebuild their lives and their city, said Amnesty International a year after the offensive to oust Daesh. On Oct 17 2017, following a fierce four-month battle, the SDF announced victory over Daesh, which had used civilians as human shields and committed other war crimes in besieged Raqqa. Winning the battle came at a terrible price. Almost 80% of the city was destroyed and many hundreds of civilians lay dead, the majority killed by the Coalition’s bombardment. In a letter to Amnesty International on Sep 10 2018, the Pentagon, whose forces carried out most of the air strikes and all the artillery strikes on Raqqa, made clear it accepts no liability for the civilian casualties it caused. The Coalition does not plan to compensate survivors and relatives of those killed in Raqqa and refuses to provide further information about the circumstances behind strikes that killed and maimed civilians.

The article also quoted Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General, who had returned from a field visit to Raqqa. Naidoo said:

Disturbingly, the Pentagon does not even seem willing to offer an apology for the hundreds of civilians killed in its ‘war of annihilation’ on Raqqa. This is an insult to families who after suffering the brutality of Daesh rule, lost loved ones to the Coalition’s cataclysmic barrage of firepower.

Amnesty International further criticized “flawed civilian casualty reporting” by the Pindo coalition. Kumi Naidoo said:

The Coalition’s failure to live up to its commitments to carry out ground investigations into the impact of its strikes is one reason why its own civilian casualties count is so implausibly low. Prior to Amnesty International’s Jun 2018 report War of Annihilation: Devastating Toll upon Civilians in Raqqa, the Coalition had admitted to causing just 23 civilian deaths in its entire Raqqa campaign. Incredibly, a year after the offensive, the British Ministry of Defence still maintains its hundreds of air strikes in Raqqa resulted in zero civilian casualties. Following a string of blustery denials from military officials and politicians, at the end of July the Coalition quietly admitted it had caused a further 77 civilian deaths, almost all of those documented in Amnesty International’s report. Despite its admission of responsibility in these cases, a more than 300% increase on previous reports, the Coalition persists in refusing to detail the circumstances in which these civilians were killed. Surely, with hundreds of civilians dead, it begs the question what went wrong. Was it weapon malfunction, poor intelligence, human error, or fundamental negligence? Did the Coalition fail to adequately verify the targets, or was it down to a poor choice of munition? These are crucial details, to establish both facts and assess lawfulness, as well as learn the lessons necessary to avoid similar mistakes in future, which is fundamental to minimizing harm to civilians, a legal obligation.

In what it called its “final response” to Amnesty International, the Pentagon stated that it does not consider itself bound to answer further questions about the circumstances and reasons behind launching strikes which killed and maimed so many civilians. According to the report, the Pentagon went even further and blamed Amnesty International for employing a wrong approach and failing to understand international humanitarian law

The Pentagon also spuriously asserted that experienced Amnesty International researchers, military and legal experts do not understand international humanitarian law (the laws of war). It suggested that Amnesty International based its prima facie case that the law had been broken on the deaths of civilians alone. In doing so, it chose to ignore evidence that, in the cases documented by Amnesty International, Daesh fighters were not present at the scene of the air strikes that killed and injured civilians, a key part of the analysis. Amnesty International believes this evidence provides a prima facie case that these strikes violated international humanitarian law.

Kumi Naidoo also pointed out a double-faced attitude of the Pentagon.

Sec Def James Mattis has claimed Pindo forces are the good guys. The good guys would comply with the laws of war and do whatever is necessary to ensure innocent civilians who suffer as a result of their actions get the justice they deserve.

“the angry arab”on khashoggi

Khashoggi Picked the Wrong Prince
The Real News, Oct 15 2018

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi should be denounced. Prof As`ad AbuKhalil says western media’s uncritical praise of Khashoggi is unworthy. He was a loyal member of the Toad propaganda apparatus and chose the wrong side of “the House of Toad.”

khashoggi

Toads preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say
Clarissa Ward, Tim Lister, CNN, Oct 15 2018

ANKARA – The Toads are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Jamal Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey, according to two sources. One source says the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible. One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change. The WaPo columnist was last seen in public when he entered the Toad consulate in Istanbul in Turkey on Oct 2. Previously, the Toads had maintained Khashoggi left the consulate the same afternoon of his visit, but provided no evidence to support the claim. Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate, says she did not see him re-emerge. The disappearance created a diplomatic rift between the Toads and the West. Amid the fallout, international firms pulled out of a high-profile investment summit, the Future Investment Initiative conference, due to take place later this month in Riyadh. The case also caused friction between the Toads and Turkey, which repeatedly accused the Toads of failing to cooperate with their investigation. The Turks previously said they believed that 15 Toad nationals who arrived in Istanbul on Oct 2 were connected to Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible murder. At least some of them appear to have high-level connections in the Toad government. On Friday, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that shows Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. CNN reporters saw Turkish investigators, including forensics officers, entering the Toad consulate in Istanbul Monday evening. Toad boxtops granted permission for the premises to be searched, a Turkish diplomatic source told CNN. Police were seen cordoning off the area before investigators arrived. The Turks also wanted to search the nearby consul general’s residence. Earlier Monday, Pres Trump suggested that “rogue killers” could be behind Khashoggi’s disappearance, after a phone call with King Salman about the case. Trump said Salman told him “in a very firm way that they had no knowledge of it.” Later Monday, Trump said he had seen the latest media reports. But he said he did not know if the report is accurate or just “rumor.” He said he remains eager to get to the bottom of what happened to Khashoggi. He noted that Turks & Toads are “working together” to determine what happened. He said Big Rube Pompeo will “immediately get on a plane” to Riyadh and will likely also go to Ankara “if necessary.” On the airplane, State Dept Spox Heather Nauert told reporters that Big Rube “looks forward to meeting with King Salman.”

Toads to admit that missing journalist was killed in botched interrogation and abduction operation, CNN reports
Reuters/AP/Haaretz, Oct 16 2018

The Toads preparing a report that would admit Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong, CNN reported on Monday, citing two unnamed sources. One source cautioned that the report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said. The other source said the report would likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and that those involved will be held responsible, the cable news outlet said. According to CNN, the Toad report will note that the interrogation was intended to lead to Khashoggi’s abduction from Turkey. The NYT, citing a person familiar with the Toad government’s plans, reported that MbS had approved interrogating or even forcing Khashoggi to return to Riyadh. The Toad government, it said, would shield the prince by blaming an intel boxtop for the bungled operation. Pres Trump said on Monday he had seen the report, but that “nobody knows” if this was an official report. Trump dispatched Big Rube Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case. Members of Khashoggi’s family called for an investigation in a statement released on Monday. they said:

We are sadly and anxiously following the conflicting news regarding the fate of our father after losing contact with him two weeks ago. The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death.

A crime scene investigation team of around 10 people left the consulate after completing a search early on Tuesday, the witness said. The Turkish prosecutor assigned to the case has also left the consulate. Four forensic vehicles arrived outside the consulate and took away soil samples as well as a metal door from the garden, the Reuters witness said. A police dog was part of the search team. The team entered the Toad Consulate in Istanbul earlier on Monday for what Turkish boxtops called a joint inspection of the building where Khashoggi disappeared nearly two weeks ago. The team arrived by unmarked police cars at the consulate and said nothing to journalists waiting outside as they entered the building. Police then pushed back journalists from the front of the consulate, where they’ve been stationed for days, setting up a new cordon to keep them away. The makeup of the investigative team that entered the diplomatic compound was not immediately clear. International concern continues to grow over the writer’s Oct 2 disappearance. Pindo Congress critturs have threatened tough punitive action against the Toads, and Germany, France and Britain have jointly called for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance. A Foreign Ministry boxtop had earlier said the team would visit the diplomatic post Monday. Turkish boxtops have said they fear a Toad hit team that flew into and out of Turkey on Oct 2 killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who had written WaPo columns critically of MbS. The kingdom has called such allegations “baseless” but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate. Such a search would be an extraordinary development, as embassies and consulates under the Vienna Convention are technically foreign soil. The Toads may have agreed to the search in order to appease its Western allies and the international community. However, it remained unclear what evidence, if any, would remain nearly two weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance. As if to drive the point home, a cleaning crew with mops, trash bags and cartons of milk walked in past journalists waiting outside the consulate on Monday. Pres Trump said the Toads could face “severe punishment” if it was proven it was involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Trump tweeted Monday:

On Sunday, the Toads warned via the state-run Toad Press Agency:

The KSA also affirms that if the KSA receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy. The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations.

The statement did not elaborate. However, a column published in English a short time later by the general manager of the Toad-owned al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested the Toads could use its oil production as a weapon. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $80, and Trump has criticized OPEC and the Toads over rising prices. Toad media followed on from that statement in television broadcasts and newspaper front pages Monday. The Arabic-language daily Okaz wrote a headline on Monday in English warning:

Don’t Test Our Patience.

It showed a clenched fist made of a crowd of people in the country’s green color. The Toad Gazette trumpeted:

Enough Is Enough.

The Arab News said:

The Toads will not be bullied.

The Arab News’ headline was above a front-page editorial by Dubai-based real-estate tycoon Khalaf al-Habtur, calling on Gulf Arab nations to boycott international firms now backing out of a planned economic summit in Riyadh later this month. al-Habtur said:

Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the kingdom, we will be next in line.

Already, international business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom’s upcoming investment forum. They include the CEO of Uber, Richard Branson, Jamie Dimon and Ford Motors Chairman Bill Ford. News that the CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, would pull out of the conference drew angry responses across the region. The foreign minister of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, tweeted Sunday night that there should be a boycott of the ride-hailing app. Late Sunday, Salman spoke by telephone with Erdogan about Khashoggi. Turkey said Erdogan stressed the forming of a joint working group to probe the case. Salman thanked Erdogan for welcoming the kingdom’s proposal for forming the working group. Salman said Turks & Toads enjoy close relations and that no one will get to undermine the strength of this relationship. While Turks & Toads may differ on political issues, Toad investments are a crucial lifeline for Ankara. MbS has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. But Khashoggi’s disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, called the Future Investment Initiative. The Toad stock exchange, only months earlier viewed as a darling of frontier investors, plunged as much as 7% at one point Sunday before closing down over 4%. On Monday, Riyadh’s Tadawul exchange closed up 4%. Concerns appeared to spread Monday to Japan’s SoftBank, which has invested tens of billions of dollars of Saudi government funds. SoftBank was down over 7% in trading on Tokyo’s stock exchange. Khashoggi has written extensively for the WaPo about the Toads, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of MbS.

Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates
Al-Jazeera, Oct 15 2018

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife. He has not been seen since. Turkish sources have told media outlets they believe the Saudi writer and critic was killed inside the consulate in what they describe as “premeditated murder”. Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi left the building before vanishing. Here are the latest developments:

Big Rube Pompeo has landed in Riyadh, for talks with King Salman over the Khashoggi case. Pompeo’s arrival followed a 20-minute phone call between King Salman and Pres Trump on Monday. A team of Turkish police investigating Khashoggi’s disappearance has left the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul. Turkish police investigators entered the consulate late on Monday. A Turkish diplomatic source had earlier said a joint team would search the consulate. The results of the investigation will be released in two to three days, the prosecutors office said. Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Monday it would not attend a business conference in Saudi Arabia scheduled to take place later this month. The announcement came after several other business leaders including representatives from Uber, Virgin, JP Morgan, Mastercard, The World Bank and Ford also said they would boycott the conference, officially known as the Future Finance Initiative, which is scheduled to start on Oct 23. The NYT reports the Toad royal court will soon put out a narrative that a boxtop from within the kingdom’s intelligence services who happens to be a friend of MbS carried out Khashoggi’s killing. According to that narrative, MbS approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Riyadh, but the intel boxtop was tragically incompetent as he eagerly sought to prove himself. He then tried to cover up the botched handling of the situation. CNN earlier reported a similar story. Both reports cited anonymous people said to be familiar with the Toad plans. Trump said:

I’ve heard that report but nobody’s knows if it’s an official report. So far it’s just the rumour, the rumour of a report coming out.

The NYT reported the theory was widely dismissed among Khashoggi’s friends, human rights defenders and some Pindo politicians. Azzam Tamimi, a Khashoggi friend, called the “rogue” theory “disastrous” for Erdogan’s credibility. He said:

The Turks have leaked so much that it is inconceivable that they would settle for less than telling the world exactly what happened.

David Hearst, editor of Middle East Eye, said:

The “interrogation-gone wrong” story really doesn’t hold water. The 15-member assassination team that has been identified consisted of special forces, not interrogators. This is not the team you send to interrogate or even kidnap someone. What is happening is that the Toad story is crumbling, and crumbling very quickly. And now there’s an attempt to build a firewall around MbS and the king.

Pres Trump suggested “rogue killers” could be responsible for Khashoggi’s mysterious disappearance, an explanation offering the ToadS a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm. The Toads continued to deny they killed the writer, but there were indications the story could soon change. Trump spoke after a personal 20-minute phone call with King Salman and as the president dispatched his sec state, Big Rube Pompeo, to Riyadh for a face-to-face discussion with the king on Tuesday. Trump quoted the king as saying neither he nor his son MbS had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi. Trump told reporters of Khashoggi’s disappearance:

The king firmly denied any knowledge of it. It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. I mean, who knows? We’re going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial.

A statement released by Khashoggi’s relatives is urging an internationally recognised investigation into his whereabouts. It said:

As we await definitive answers and facts from multiple ongoing investigations, we believe it is imperative to launch an independent, impartial and internationally recognised investigation in order to provide us and the many who loved him with much-needed clarity and resolution.

Turkish boxtops say prosecutors have found evidence that supports suspicions Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, correspondent Jamal Elshayyal reported from Istanbul. A source at the attorney-general’s office, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told al-Jazeera:

They have found evidence that supports their suspicions that Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Toad consulate. This is a significant step forward after several days of an impasse.

The attorney-general’s office also said their team inside the consulate found evidence of “tampering”, Elshayyal added. The results of the investigation would be released in two to three days, the prosecutors office said. Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that Saudi Arabia is preparing to admit that Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong, citing two unnamed sources. One source cautioned that a report was still being prepared and could change, CNN said. The other source said the report would likely conclude the operation was carried out without clearance and those involved will be held responsible, they said. The Pindo NSC released a statement demanding a thorough investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi. It said:

It is absolutely essential that Turkish authorities, with full and transparent support from the government of the Toads, are able to conduct a thorough investigation and officially release the results of that investigation when concluded. We support Turkish investigators’ efforts and are not going to prejudge the outcome of the official investigation. We stand ready to assist.

Turkish police investigators entered the consulate nearly two weeks after the disappearance of Khashoggi. A Turkish diplomatic source had earlier said that a joint team would conduct a search of the consulate. Pompeo, hurriedly sent to Riyadh, is expected to get more clarity during talks with Toads on Tuesday. The White House expects credible answers quickly after Pompeo wraps up his trip with a stop in Ankara. The disappearance of Khashoggi is hitting the Toad economy, with stocks plunging almost 7% in early trading on Sunday, wiping out all the gains it had made since the start of the year. The fall came after Pres Trump threatened “severe punishment” if the Toads were found to be responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance, but Riyadh warned it would retaliate if economic sanctions are imposed on it. Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa has voiced his support for a boycott of ride-hailing app Uber over the Khashoggi case. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said he would not attend the business conference. On Twitter, al-Khalifa called for a boycott of Uber. A prominent Emirati businessman called for the boycott of Virgin after Richard Branson cancelled on the economic conference. Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtur said on Twitter:

Now it is time for GCC to prove their loyalty by boycotting Virgin and Uber and all the companies pulling out of KSA. Together, we can prove our unity and that we cannot be bullied.

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Company Chairman Bill Ford cancelled plans to attend the conference, the latest such high-profile announcements after Khashoggi’s disappearance. The cancellations could add pressure on other Pindo firms such as Goldman Sachs, Mastercard and Bank of America to reconsider their plans to attend the high-profile event. The absence of media and tech execs is likely to cast a shadow over the three-day event, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote MbS’s reform vision.The sell-off on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange shows investors are uneasy, analysts say. The exchange dropped by more than 500 points, then clawed back some of the losses, ending Sunday down 264 points, or more than 4%. Of 188 stocks traded on the exchange, 179 ended the day with a loss. Issam Kassabieh, a financial analyst at Dubai-based firm Menacorp Finance, said:

Something this big would definitely spook investors, and Riyadh just opened up for foreign direct investment, so that was big. Investors do not feel solid there yet, so it’s easy for them to take back their funds.

Neem Aslam of ThinkMarkets said the unstable political situation would likely continue to frighten investors away. He told al-Jazeera:

This will become a major concern. If entrepreneurs at these levels decide to cut ties or pullback from investments in Riyadh, the stock market is going to have a huge reaction. Uncertainty regarding foreign direct investment is the worst thing that can happen to any country.

A column by the general manager of the Toad-owned al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested that the Toads could use oil production as a weapon if Pindostan imposes sanctions over Khashoggi’s disappearance. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at about $80, and Pres Trump has criticised OPEC and rthe Toads over rising prices. Turki Aldakhil wrote:

If the price of oil reaching $80 angered Pres Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100 or $200 or even double that figure. The truth is that if Faschingstein imposes sanctions on Riyadh, it will stab its own economy to death, even though it thinks that it is stabbing only Riyadh.

It’s unclear whether the Toads would be willing to unilaterally cut production. Meanwhile, a Toad dissident in Canada believes the kingdom hacked his phone and listened to calls he had with Jamal Khashoggi prior to the journalist’s disappearance. Omar Abd’ul-Aziz said he was working on several projects with Khashoggi in recent months, including a campaign to counter Riyadh’s pro-government propaganda on social media. Abd’ul-Aziz said in an interview with CBC:

For sure, they listened to the conversation between me and Jamal and other activists, in Canada, in Pindostan, in Turkey, in Riyadh. He promised me to sponsor the project and I guess they could listen in to those conversations. His voice was a headache for the Toad government.

A report published recently by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab concluded that the Toads were “very likely” responsible for hacking his phone with powerful spyware sold only to governments.

celebrating the reign of the lizards, all the way from one wall to the other

Michelle Obama’s declares Bush 43 her “partner in crime”
Nick Barrickman, WSWS, Oct 16 2018

There are certain incidents that, while perhaps minor and accidental in their origins, reveal something fundamental about the character of politics. Such were the comments by former First Lady Michelle Obama on NBC’s “Today” show to promote her forthcoming book Becoming, set to be release in a few weeks. Amid the light and banal fare which permeated the discussion, Obama opened up about her warm relationship with former President George W Bush (Bush 43). Asked about a friendly interaction caught on camera between the two as they sat together during the recent funeral for John McCain, Obama explained:

President Bush and I are forever seat mates because of protocol. That’s how we sit at all the official functions.

Rather than ending it there, Obama continued, gushing:

He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather. I love him to death. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.

Any belief that Obama was speaking merely in personal terms about former president Bush was put to rest when she explained:

Party doesn’t separate us. Color, gender, those kinds of things don’t separate us. It’s the messages we send. And if we’re the adults and the leaders in the room, and we’re not showing that level of decency, we cannot expect our children to do the same.

Michelle Obama’s statement is an even more explicit version of what Barack Obama said days after the Nov 2016 election:

We’re actually all on one team.

Barack Obama referred to the election contest between Trump and Clinton as “an intramural scrimmage.” Bush is “my partner in crime” and “a wonderful man” … What can one say? Bush is in fact a criminal of the highest order, responsible for overseeing the invasion of Iraq based on lies, which led to the death of at least 1 million people. Following 9/11, his administration launched the GWOT as a pretext for ripping up the Constitution, expanding illegal domestic spying, and introducing torture as an instrument of foreign policy. He deserves to be arrested and prosecuted for war crimes. Terms such as the “war on terror,” “shock and awe” bombing of civilian populations, “extraordinary rendition” and “waterboarding” will forever be associated with Bush’s name. To any list of crimes must be added Bush’s domestic policy, including a massive attack on social programs, tax cuts for the rich and the initial response of the ruling class to the 2008 financial crisis—the bailout of the banks. That Michelle Obama can speak in such terms about Bush is an expression of the fact that, however bitter their differences, the political representatives of the ruling elite are united. It is not a matter of personal friendship, but shared class interests. Indeed, the right-wing policies of the Bush 43 administration carry like a red thread through succeeding administrations. Barack Obama only deepened the anti-democratic and militarist policies of his predecessor, refusing to hold any member of Bush 43’s cabinet responsible for violations of domestic and international law, even retaining and promoting some of them in his own administration. Initially campaigning with mild criticisms of the Bush administration’s occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama continued these wars while beginning wars of his own in Libya, Syria and Yemen, which have led to untold misery and suffering. Obama, the candidate of “hope” and “change,” carried out the wholesale bailout of the Pindo financial system to the tune of trillions of dollars while looting social programs to pay for it. He expanded the Bush 43 administration’s program of illegal spying on the population while introducing innovations such as drone strikes and other forms of extrajudicial murder, including of Pindo citizens. The Obamas themselves have cashed in on their services to the financial elite since their exit from the political stage in 2017. In addition to Barack Obama’s highly paid speaking tours and book deals, Michelle has sought develop her brand as well. According to the WaPo:

A mega-book tour unlike any book tour, well, ever is being managed by Live Nation, which more typically stages events for the likes of Rihanna, U2 and Pink.

The Hill states:

Michelle Obama will talk to large crowds in arenas that hold rock concerts and NBA games. She’ll appear all over the media and could sell more books than prospective 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Mrs Obama’s comments come as the entire Pindo political establishment is shifting to the right. Following Trump’s 2016 election victory, the Demagog Party and sections of the state and military apparatus have sought to oppose his perceived “softness” against Russia and other geopolitical foes of Pindostan while blaming “foreign meddling” on social media for Trump’s election victory. The former first lady’s comment about her and Bush being “adults in the room” was a nod to this anti-democratic ruling-class “opposition” which openly appeals to former military generals and officials within the Trump administration to intervene in the White House in the name of preempting the irresponsible policies of Trump himself. By embracing the war criminal Bush, the former first lady, who may well be mulling a presidential campaign herself, has further demonstrated the bankrupt and authoritarian political and social outlook of the ruling class, an outlook which permeates the entire capitalist political system. This extends to the pseudo-left as the Democratic Socialists of America, whose candidate for Congress in New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was recently endorsed by none other than … Barack Obama himself.

eventually, the CIA will have authorized the demolition of the entire muslim world

CENTCOM’s Votel intensifies pressure on Islamabad
Sampath Perera, WSWS, Oct 16 2018

Pakistan’s newly elected Islamic populist government has begun negotiations with the IMF on an emergency bailout. In televised remarks on Oct 10, PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan’s foreign reserves fell last month to $8.4b, which scarcely exceeds the total Islamabad must pay on outstanding government debt in the remainder of 2018, leaving the government no choice but to turn to the IMF. Khan said he would also be seeking financial help from “friendly countries,” which was universally interpreted to mean China and the Toads. Faschingstein has served notice that it intends to leverage Pakistan’s current account crisis to disrupt Islamabad’s long-standing and ever-closer economic and strategic partnership with China, and to pressure Islamabad to bolster its support for the Pindo war in Afghanistan. According to press reports, Pakistan will request at least $7b from the IMF. This is an amount larger than any of the twelve previous loans that Islamabad has contracted with the IMF during the past three decades, each encumbered with a neolib ‘restructuring’ agreement. When in opposition, Khan and his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) criticized the “humiliating” terms that the IMF dictated to various Pakistan Muslim League and People’s Party of Pakistan-led governments. But with the aim of winning IMF support, Khan and his PTI brought down a “mini-budget” late last month that was chock-full of austerity measures, quickly putting paid to their populist promises of an “Islamic welfare state.” Last Saturday, on his return from the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Bali, Finance Minis­ter Asad Umar warned of coming “painful measures,” saying the population should brace itself for an economic slowdown and price rises. Pakistan’s currency has lost more than 25% of its value against the dollar in the past year.

Pindostan has dominated the IMF since its founding and has always used IMF loans to pursue its predatory economic and strategic objectives. What is different today is the extent to which Pakistan’s economic and strategic crises are intertwined, adding a new explosive charge to each. During the Cold War, Pakistan came to strategically rest on the twin pillars of Faschingstein and Beijing. But over the past decade this has become increasingly untenable. Not only has Pindo imperialism mounted a massive and ever-widening economic, diplomatic and military-strategic offensive against China whose logic is all-out war. Faschingstein has dramatically downgraded relations with Islamabad so as to woo India and transform it into a “frontline” state in the Pindo drive against China. China and Pakistan have responded to the Pindo-India “global strategic partnership” by strengthening their own economic and strategic ties, as epitomized by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has further soured both countries’ relations with New Delhi and Faschingstein, which sees Pakistan’s economic troubles as a choice opportunity to strong-arm Islamabad to distance itself from Beijing, including by leveraging resentments with Pakistan’s venal elite over the distribution of the CPEC spoils and the growing presence of Chinese businesses and exports within the Pakistan economy. In late July, as Khan and his PTI were preparing to take the reins of power, Big Rube Pompeo warned that Faschingstein might block IMF assistance to Pakistan, since China and Chinese investors could stand to benefit. He said:

There’s no rationale for IMF tax dollars, and associated with that Pindo dollars that are part of the IMF funding, for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or China itself.

Pompeo’s remarks were echoed by State Dept spox Heather Nauert at a news briefing last Thursday. She said Pakistan’s request for IMF support would be closely scrutinized, adding:

Part of the reason that Pakistan found itself in this situation is Chinese debt.

Nauert emphasized that Pindostan had “been tracking fairly closely” the burgeoning economic ties between China and Pakistan. Since last fall, Faschingstein and the western media have been mounting an increasingly vitriolic campaign against Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to promote the development of infrastructure links across Eurasia. A key element in this propaganda offensive is the claim that Beijing is seeking to gain strategic and economic leverage over countries by luring them, with the offer of infrastructure projects, into “debt traps.” The CPEC is an especially important component of the BRI, and one that has a major strategic thrust. According to Britain’s Financial Times:

85 projects worth as much as $90b are in planning stages, under construction or completed.

CPEC’s flagship project is the development of road, rail and pipeline links between the Pakistani Arabian Sea port of Gwadar and western China. Such a corridor would link China to the oil-rich Middle East and help China to partially offset Pindo plans to impose a blockade on coastal China in the event of a conflict. Faschingstein is insisting on “transparency” about all CPEC projects, including their financing, as a condition for any IMF assistance, and the IMF is already taking up cudgels over the issue. Asked about Pakistan during the IMF-World Bank meeting, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that her organization would insist on “absolute transparency about the nature, size and terms” of all Pakistan’s debts, including those related to CPEC projects. China has said that it has no objections to the IMF gaining access to the financial details of the CPEC. Finance Minister Umar has said that Faschingstein’s claim that Pakistan is being weighed down by debts to China “is a totally wrong narrative,” since payments to China account for just $300m of the current $12b hole in Pakistan’s coming loan payments. Faschingstein’s other major demand is that Islamabad must assume more of the burden in the Afghan War, by eliminating so-called Taliban and Haqqani Network “safe havens” in its territory. Commenting on his meeting last week with Pakistan FM Qureshi, Gen Votel, commander of CENTCOM, demanded:

Islamabad must ensure that there is no movement back and forth across the AfPak border, and that fighters can’t come back into Pakistan to get aid or medical care or other things.

The Pentagon and Trump administration calculate that a ratcheting up of the war by both Pindostan & Pakistan could bloody the Taliban into accepting a “negotiated settlement” on terms favourable to Faschingstein. Votel combined his insistence that Pakistan intensify military operations in its devastated tribal areas with a call for Islamabad to bomb the Taliban back to the bargaining table. He said:

They can do this. They (Islamabad) can put pressure on them (the Taliban) to do this (negotiate).

With Pakistan tottering on the brink of state bankruptcy and a potential economic collapse, Islamabad’s long-brewing strategic crisis threatens to come to a head, sparking economic and geopolitical shock waves that would reverberate across the region and beyond.

turks & toads

Pompeo to visit Ankara after Riyadh: White House
Reuters, Oct 16 2018

FASCHINGSTEIN – Sec State Pompeo will stop in Turkey after his trip to Riyadh to talk with King Salman about the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. An NSC spox said on Monday:

It is absolutely essential that the Turks, with full and transparent support from the Toads, are able to conduct a thorough investigation and officially release the results of that investigation when concluded.

Trump sends Pompeo to Riyadh over Khashoggi
Tulay Karadeniz, Roberta Rampton, Reuters, Oct 15 2018

ANKARA/FASCHINGSTEIN – The Toads are preparing to acknowledge the death of Toad journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a botched interrogation, CNN and the NYT said on Monday, after Pres Trump speculated “rogue killers” may be responsible. Trump dispatched Sec State Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case that has strained the Pindos’ relationship with the Toads, carefully cultivated by the president. Khashoggi, a Pindo resident, WaPo columnist and leading critic of the powerful Toad crown prince, MbS, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago to get marriage documents. Turkish boxtops say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed. Members of his family called for an investigation, in a statement released on Monday which said:

We are sadly and anxiously following the conflicting news regarding the fate of our father after losing contact with him two weeks ago. The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death.

Citing two unidentified sources, CNN said on Monday that the Toads are preparing a report that would acknowledge Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong. Trump told reporters, without elaborating:

I heard that report, but nobody knows if it’s an official report.

The NYT, citing a person familiar with the Toads’ plans, reported that MbS had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Riyadh. The Toads, it said, would shield the prince by blaming an intel boxtop for the bungled operation. The case has provoked an international outcry against the Toads, with more media and business executives pulling out of a planned investment conference there this month. While organizers said Monday the conference will go on, the Toads cancelled an annual diplomatic reception in Faschingstein set for later this week. Many Congress critturs have issued strong criticism of the kingdom over the case. The Turks have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, a Turkish boxtop and a security source told Reuters, and have shared evidence with the Toads & Pindos. They provided no further details. The Toads have strongly denied killing Khashoggi and has denounced such assertions as “lies,” saying he left the building shortly after entering. Trump told reporters after speaking with King Salman:

The king firmly denied any knowledge of it. He didn’t really know, maybe, I don’t want to get into his mind but it sounded to me, maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?

Trump gave no evidence to support the theory. Demagog Congress critturs criticized Trump for using the term “rogue killers.” Demagog Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter:

Been hearing the ridiculous ‘rogue killers’ theory was where the Toads would go with this. Absolutely extraordinary they were able to enlist the POTUS as their PR agent to float it.

Trump called Pompeo on Sunday night and asked him to have face-to-face meetings with the Toads, State Dept spox Heather Nauert said. Trump said Pompeo may go to Turkey after Saudi Arabia. Turkish police investigators entered the Istanbul consulate late on Monday. A Turkish diplomatic source had earlier said a joint team would search the building, the last place Khashoggi was seen before he vanished on Oct 2. The Turkish boxtop said:

It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be difficult.

A Toad boxtop told Reuters that the king had ordered an internal investigation based on information from the joint team in Istanbul. Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, although he has ruled out cancelling arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars with the Toads. The Euro vassals have urged “a credible investigation” and accountability for those responsible. Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to Pindostan last year fearing retribution for his criticism of MbS. A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators who it said had identified a 15-member Toad intel team that arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared. The Toad consulate referred Reuters to authorities in Riyadh, who did not respond to questions about the 15 Toad nationals. The Toads have responded to Western statements by saying they would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions “with greater action,” and Arab allies rallied to support them. The Toad Riyal fell to its lowest in two years, and its international bond prices slipped over fears that foreign investment could shrink amid international pressure. The Saudi stock market had tumbled 7.2% over the previous two trading days but rebounded 2% on Monday. Concern over Khashoggi’s disappearance has prompted media organizations and a growing number of guests to pull out of a “Davos in the Desert” investment conference set for Oct 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote MbS’s reform vision.

i wonder

Report: Ecuador tells Assange to curb speech, look after cat
Raphael Satter, AP, Oct 15 2018

LONDON — Ecuador has formally ordered Julian Assange to steer clear of topics that could harm its diplomatic interests if he wants to be reconnected to the internet, according to a memo published in a local media outlet Monday. The nine-page memo published by Ecuadorean website Codigo Vidrio said Assange is prohibited from “interfering in the internal affairs of other states” or from activities “that could prejudice Ecuador’s good relations with other states.” There was no indication Assange signed onto the memo, which governs the WikiLeaks founder’s access to the Wi-Fi network of the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he lived since seeking asylum there in 2012. AP could not immediately authenticate the document. But Codigo Vidrio has a track record of publishing inside material from the London embassy, and the restrictions detailed in the memo echo the conditions Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno recently described in an interview with AP. Messages left with Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry and WikiLeaks representatives were not immediately returned. Tension has been long building between Assange and his hosts, particularly after the Australian ex-hacker began cheering on Catalonian secessionists in Spain last year. In March, Ecuador announced it was restricting Assange’s access to the internet. On Sunday, WikiLeaks said Assange would be reconnected to the internet, but it’s not clear whether the move was contingent on him agreeing to Ecuador’s conditions. The memo mostly governs security and communication issues, but offers hints of other Assange issues at the embassy. For example, the document ordered Assange to keep the bathroom clean and warned that his pet cat would be confiscated and taken to an animal shelter if he did not look after it. Assange took refuge at Ecuadorean Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced sex crimes allegations.

Here Are the Demands Ecuador Has Given Julian Assange in Order to End His Isolation
Cassandra Fairbanks, Gateway Pundit, Oct 15 2018

Despite numerous reports claiming that the communications of Julian Assange have been restored, they are not yet, and there will be a severe regime of penalties and sanctions on his speech and writing when they are. The team at WikiLeaks was informed on Friday that his communications would be restored on Monday Oct 15, but so far there has not been any change. In a grave violation of free speech, Assange was also presented with a nine-page document that includes outlining limitations and restrictions on what he will be able to do and say online. The new rules also promise to potentially use the British police against visitors or to sieze communications equipment. The protocols Assange will be forced to agree to in order to end his isolation have been leaked online in Spanish. The draconian document demands that he avoids any activities that could be political or would interfere in interior matters of other states, essentially squashing his freedom of speech and his ability to publish. It also provides new rules for visitors.

The document begins by outlining the new rules for visitors. It says that any person outside the Embassy or the ecuadorian Government, without exception, that wishes to visit Assange will need to request prior authorization in writing addressed to the Chief of the Embassy of Ecuador. They will need to include their full names, nationality, copies of identification, reason for the visit, their profession and workplace, email accounts and links to their social media, and serial numbers for any phones or tablets they wish to keep with them during the visit. Additionally, the IMEI of visitor’s cellphone chips is also required for their intelligence collection operation. This must be sent through email, a return email obtained, and that must be printed and brought to the appointment. For frequent visitors, Ecuador is willing to make exceptions and give them a letter of identification which they will only have to renew every three months. Should the embassy refuse to allow someone access, they will not be providing a reason why. It says that they reserve the right to decline or cancel any authorization at any time, even for those who have been previously authorized as a frequent visitor. When this reporter visited Assange in the days prior to his isolation, all details were worked out with staff working for Assange. The embassy simply checked my passport and held my phone at the front desk. The new protocol also asserts that the embassy will be keeping a record of all visits made to Assange and the data that they provide. This information will be sent to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other unnamed agencies. Assange will also only be allowed to have up to three visitors at once, unless cleared by the head of the embassy. Ecuador also wrote that people who violate the rules of their visits or display a lack of “appropriate behavior” during the visit will be reported to British authorities.

The section regarding Assange’s communications begins by saying that when his internet is restored he will be liable for any costs for WiFi. It says that he may only use his own tablets, phones or computers except in exceptional cases and only with written permission from Ecuador. Assange must also provide the brand name, model number, and serial number for any devices he has in the embassy. While the document asserts that Ecuador shall not be liable for the contents of his communications, statements, documents or messages on social media, it goes on to place severe limits on his freedom of speech. It says that Assange, while “exercising his right of communication and of freedom of expression,” is prohibited from activities that could be considered political or interfering in the affairs of other nations or that may damage the relationship between Ecuador and other states. Ecuador says that disobeying this rule can lead to termination of asylum or placing him back into isolation. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has previously stated that speech restrictions include opinions critical of Pindo or Spanish policies, such as criticism of Spanish police brutalizing peaceful voters.

The document says that Assange must submit to the quarterly evaluations with medical specialists at his own expense. The results of any examinations will be kept private. “In case of a medical emergency or at the express request of mr. Assange, the Head of the Mission will authorize your transfer, as soon as possible, to receive care from physicians outside the Embassy,” the document says. Britain has repeatedly denied Assange safe passage to a hospital after doctors who examined him called for him to be allowed to go and be treated for his deteriorating health. If he was to be transported to a hospital, it is extremely likely he would be arrested. Additionally, Ecuador is threatening to kidnap Assange’s embassy cat and bring him to an animal shelter if they deem it is not being properly cleaned up after. On Mar 28, Ecuador caved to pressure from Pindo and Spanish governments to isolate Assange by revoking his right to have visitors, make phone calls or use the internet. The WikiLeaks founder entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Jun 19 2012. He was soon granted political aslyum. Britain has long refused to acknowledge the findings of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), which found that Assange is being arbitrarily and unlawfully detained and must be immediately released and compensated.

a masterclass in falsification

Jeremy Bowen Interviews Christian Ndf Commander – Unedited Version
Vanessa Beeley, Oct 15 2018

The BBC published a written and video report by Middle East correspondent Jeremy Bowen. Bowen applied the BBC spin to the interview he was given by the commander of the volunteer National Defence Forces that are defending the Christian town of Al Skeilbiyyeh against attacks by terrorist groups such as Nusra Front and Jaish Al Islam encamped less than 700 meters away from the 20,000 inhabitants of the town that has been attacked many times. I visited Al Skeilbiyyeh on the 10th September, the day after they had been targeted with cluster rockets launched from the Al Madiq citadel occupied by Nusra Front, Ahrar Al Sham and Jaish Al Islam and the White Helmets. In the BBC report Bowen ignores the recent attacks, including upon the neighbouring Christian town of Muhardeh 3 days prior to the attack on Al Skeilbiyyeh, with the same cluster munitions that massacred 13 innocent civiliians in Muhardeh. Read Eva Bartlett‘s account of the attacks on Muhardeh here. The title of Bowen’s propaganda report is entitled “Syria war: why I fight alongside Assad’s forces near Idlib” and this quote is attributed to the commander of the NDF, Nabel al-Abdallah. The video below is the full unedited interview and this is not what the commander says. He clearly talks about the steadfastness of the SAA and allies in preventing the terrorist plague contained in Idlib invading the bordering areas. There is no reference to “Assad’s forces,” which is a typical ploy by the BBC and Bowen to portray the SAA, which is the Syrian people, as an elite Presidential force. That is then reinforced by Bowen’s comment:

The regime have been accused of being the biggest killer in this war.

This is a claim that would be fiercely denied by the vast majority of Syrian people who owe their lives, freedom and protection to the SAA. Not only the Syrian people, people in the West who understand what is being done to Syria by their governments also appreciate that the SAA is defending Humanity against the terror threat that has been created by those who would destroy Syria. Here is a message for the SAA from many of those people. My article on the connection between the Syrian people and the SAA is here. Of course Bowen goes on to describe the terrorist groups as “rebels” while ignoring Nabel’s explanation of who exactly is occupying Idlib and who is funding and promoting them, which includes the British Government. When Nabel mentions the role of the #WhiteHelmets in sustaining the war in Syria, Bowen literally turns away. I was told by one BBC journalist that the White Helmets is a subject that is too “polarising and controversial,” meaning that the BBC line is the UK FCO line and they are not going to question why their government is financing terrorism in Syria. Nabel and his NDF volunteer fighters have erected photos of all the fighters who have been martyred defending their people against the Western-sponsored terrorism. I have filmed the memorial to the heroes outside the military center in al-Skeilbiyyeh. In a moving tribute, Nabel told me that he had placed their memorials around the center so they can still be among their comrades who continue the battle against terrorism in al-Skeilbiyyeh and the region bordering Idlib.

How does Bowen describe this touching and moving tribute to martyred heroes? He says:

The regime venerates its own dead.

Despicable spin by the BBC. The people of al-Skeilbiyye “venerate” their sons, fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands – the souls of the martyrs, young men who gave their lives to protect their families. They are not fighting for some political gain, they fight for their country, their people and to defend their way of life against extremist groups whose aim is to ensure their extinction if allowed to spread their hatred and sectarian violence across Syria. Nabel says:

It is a reminder that people were sacrificed and that their blood will not go to waste, and their friends and fighters will continue, until achieving the victory, security and peace in Syria.

Bowen’s report ends with the line:

The war against the ‘rebels’ is nearly won but Syria is a long way from peace.

Bowen needs to spend more time talking to people who are now living in peace in areas liberated by the Syria Arab Army that he has consistently maligned. The war in Syria has been prolonged by journalists like Bowen and media outlets like the BBC, now they are having to let some of the truth trickle through but not without still spinning it in the favour of the interventionist alliance and their terrorist proxies. For those who did not see the BBC report: here. I will shortly be writing a full report on the time I spent in Al Skeilbiyyeh and with the brave fighters in the NDF who have courageously stood firm against the terrorist hordes that threaten their security on a daily basis. Here is the statement that Nabel al-Abdallah gave to me when I was there:

discounting trump’s latest infantile drivel

Kremlin: Claims that Putin ‘involved’ in Skripal case are grossly invalid and groundless
TASS, Oct 15 2018

MOSCOW – The Kremlin is confident that there can be no well-grounded accusations against Pres Putin concerning his alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals, Dmitri Peskov told reporters. He said:

The Pindo president did not come up with any direct accusations,, and moreover, there can be no substantiated accusations against the Russian president.

Trump earlier told CBS television that Putin could “probably” be “involved in assassinations” and “poisonings.” The Kremlin spox stressed that Russia has nothing to do and cannot possibly have anything to do with such accusations. According to London, the Skripals suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on Mar 4. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow refuted all of Britain’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such a substance. On Sep 5, British PM May informed the country’s parliament about the findings the investigators looking into the Salisbury incident had come to, asserting that two Russians believed to be GRU agents were suspected of conspiracy to murder the Skripals. The Metropolitan Police published the suspects’ photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. In late September, The Telegraph claimed:

One of the trained assassins wanted for poisoning Sergei Skripal is a decorated colonel in Russian military intelligence given the country’s highest award by Vladimir Putin.

The newspaper added that his real identity can be disclosed as Col Anatoli Vladimirovich Chepiga. However, Peskov said he had no information about any awards presented by the Russian president to a man named Anatoly Chepiga.