why did corbyn even authorize this crazy witch-hunt

Jewish anti-Zionist sues Labour over suspension
Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, Oct 24 2016

A Jewish anti-Zionist who has been suspended from Labour is suing the party’s general secretary for what she says was a breach of data protection laws. Jackie Walker told EI on Monday that her case was only one of many such breaches made by the party bureaucracy in the UK over the last year. Her lawyer Martin Howe wrote to EI:

Jackie Walker has faced a barrage of hurtful, threatening and nasty abuse since the private details of her investigation by the Labour Party over alleged anti-Semitism was leaked to the press before even she knew of her suspension by the party. (This) led directly to her being prejudged and unfairly cast as a racist before she was given any opportunity to tell her side of the story.

Walker on Monday launched a crowd-funding campaign to cover legal costs. She said she hoped the case would force an “immediate revamping of the Compliance Unit and the way it operates.” Under the authority of party general secretary Iain McNicol, the unit has been responsible for a purge of Labour members over the summer, most of them supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. The party has reportedly admitted that approximately 5,000 people, or 1% of its eligible membership, were disqualified from voting in the summer’s leadership election campaign. But according to the newspaper Morning Starsome estimates say the true figure could be as high as 5% or 10%. Weeks before Corbyn decisively won re-election as party leader in September, his allies expressed concern about a “rigged purge” aimed at his supporters. For most of 2016, Corbyn has faced an exaggerated and in some cases fabricated media narrative about an “anti-Semitism crisis” in the Labour Party. Walker was briefly suspended from the party in May after comments from what she had thought was a private Facebook conversation were sent by a pro-Israel group to the Jewish Chronicle. The paper boasted that the Labour Party suspended Walker as soon as “the JC brought her comments to the party’s attention,” without investigation. It is this “unfair” briefing of the press which forms the crux of Walker’s legal case against McNicol, she says. She first found out about her suspension from press reports. After a grassroots campaign pressed McNicol to rescind Walker’s suspension, the party found that the long-time anti-racism activist had no case to answer, and she was readmitted. But she was suspended again earlier this month, after a member of the Jewish Labour Movement executive filmed questions she asked at a training on anti-Semitism at the Labour Party conference in September. Walker said she could not work with the politicized anti-Semitism definition the JLM promoted at the training, and said it would be good if all peoples who have experienced holocausts could be recognized by Holocaust Memorial Day. The video was then leaked to the Daily Telegraph. Another media storm ensued and Walker was suspended from Labour and removed from her role as vice chair of the left-wing Corbyn support organization Momentum. In September, Morning Star columnist Charley Allan was suspended from the Labour Party. At first he was given no reason why, but after he pressed McNicol and his staff, the Compliance Unit cited four Tweets. In one of those Tweets he wrote:


In another, he wrote:

Confused by #LabourCoup? Wonder why Blairite hooligans would rather smash up @UKLabour than let @jeremycorbyn win?

He attached a meme of Tony Blair’s notorious quote about not wanting “to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform.” As one of many members campaigning against unjust suspensions in the party, Allan has called for the current general secretary to step down:

To wipe the slate properly clean, McNicol must go.

Allan told EI on Monday:

Jackie’s legal challenge is important because it looks like this is the only way she’s going to get any justice. This is just another example of the right wing using false claims of anti-semitism as a weapon against the left. We need a full investigation into the purge. With general secretary Iain McNicol personally abusing his powers by suspending us all without any hearings, his position is now untenable.

In perhaps the most stark example of the party machinery’s over-zealous policing of speech, one Labour member was suspended for writing on Facebook:

I fucking love the Foo Fighters.

overnight from wikileaks

i know, let’s you & them fight

Pindostani Army keeping wary eye on Russia
Kristina Wong, The Hill, Oct 24 2016

Pindo military leaders are increasingly leery of Russia, even as Donald Trump talks on the campaign trail about improving relations with them. Russia appeared to be enemy #1 at an Army conference held Oct 3-5, where military leaders spoke of potential war with near-peer competitors who are aggressively modernizing their militaries, at times explicitly mentioning Russia. Army CoS Gen M Milley, who has called Russia the top threat to Pindostan, warned:

You will lose to the Pindosi Army. Make no mistake about it. Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Kramarenko recently called for the dismantling of NATO and the EU, saying: “The established world order is undergoing a foundational shake-up. Russia can now fight a conventional war in Europe and win. Russia is the only country that will remain relevant forever. Any other country is dispensable, and that includes Pindostan. We are an endgame now.” Bluster? Hubris? Bravado? Or does he mean what he says? Does he believe it? More importantly, do the leaders in the Kremlin believe it? Well, history tells us to be careful.

He also said war between different nation states in the future is “almost guaranteed,” which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saw as a prediction of a Pindo-Russian conflict. Lavrov said in a recent CNN interview:

We read, of course, statements of the Pindosi military that the war is inevitable with Russia. I leave this on their conscience.

Russian leaders deny they want war with Pindostan, but Pentagon leaders warn that Russia is making alarming military advances that could challenge Pindo military superiority. JCoS Dunford said at the conference:

We’ve also seen them modernizing their existing systems and also some capabilities that are particularly concerning to the United States and our interests. Their long-range conventional strike, modernized nuclear capabilities, and then focus on developing a wide range of robust cyber, space, electronic warfare and undersea capabilities. And they are also doing that while continuing to maintain a very capable conventional force.

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said:

The Russians have also effectively demonstrated the ability to use a variety of long-range guided munitions across different domains, launched from the air, sea and undersea. They have also improved the accuracy and responsiveness of their indirect fire skills, using artillery and rockets guided by drones, cyber, signal intelligence and electronic intelligence. We would be “foolish” not to pay attention to their operations. They are quite frankly a pacing competitor, that tells us where we need to go to make sure that we have operational and tactical superiority.

Russia is likely a high priority in the Pentagon’s next national military strategy, which Dunford previewed during the conference. He said Moscow is specifically seeking to undermine Pindostan’s ability to project power and the credibility of its alliances, which he called the military’s “centers of gravity.” The Army’s new “multi-domain battle” concept aims to overcome adversaries’ growing abilities to keep it from operating near their borders, a strategy referred to as “anti-access, area denial” or A2/AD. Russia has stepped up its cyber hacking of the Pindosi government and political institutions, taking down the JCoS email system for several weeks last year, and hacking into the DNC and Clinton campaign chief J Podesta’s email account. The Pentagon has said it would continue to view Russia as an adversary, but would leave the door open for cooperation should it change its mind. Dunford dismissed talk of Russia being weak, saying:

They have significant demographic and economic challenges, there’s no doubt, but it’s equally true that they’ve been pursuing a path of military capability development and modernization that’s virtually unmatched around the world.

suppose iran was forced to fight turkey for possession of northern iraq

Iran warns Turkey over Iraqi sovereignty
AP, Oct 24 2016

Iran has warned Turkey against violating Iraqi sovereignty to participate in the operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group, entering into the dispute over Turkish troops’ presence in northern Iraq. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told journalists at his weekly press conference on Monday:

It is not acceptable at all if a country, under the pretext of combating terrorism or any other crimes, tries to violate (another’s) sovereignty.

Pres Rouhani also criticized Ankara’s military incursion into Iraq on Monday, saying on state TV:

(Iran) considers intervention of foreign countries under the pretext of fighting terrorism and without coordination with the host country very dangerous, whether it is armored forces, air forces or ground forces.

Iraq has objected to the presence of some 500 Turks stationed at a base near Mosul who (say they are) are training Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds taking part in the offensive. Baghdad says the Turks are there without permission and has repeatedly requested their withdrawal. Turkey has refused, insisting its troops entered Iraq last year with an invitation to train anti-Daesh forces, and that it wants a bigger role in the Mosul operation to prevent sectarian clashes and protect itself against terrorism. On Monday, Turkish FM Cavusoglu said:

Turkey is involved in the Mosul operation in a multi-faceted way, including the participation of four Turkish F-16s in the coalition. Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp are contributing to the campaign by training Sunni Arab and Kurdish forces as well as firing artillery against Daesh. Seventeen Daesh have been killed by Turkish troops since the beginning of the Mosul offensive.

He was echoing the remarks of PM Yildirim, who told journalists Sunday:

The Kurdish peshmerga requested our support in Bashiqa and we are supporting them with artillery, tanks and howitzers.

However, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has denied Turkey’s claim that its troops were taking part in the operation as “baseless and untrue” and reiterated his opposition to the presence of Turkish troops in Bashiqa. Abadi said at a Baghdad press conference Monday:

We reject any interference in Iraqi internal affairs and violating its sovereignty. We hope that neighboring Turkey … will not threaten Iraq amid these dangerous and sensitive stages as we are looking for good relations with Turkey and all neighboring countries.

it failed because nusra ignored it

UN blames all sides after Syria evacuation plan fails
AFP, Oct 24 2016

The UN on Monday blamed all sides in Syria after it failed to secure agreement to evacuate critically injured and sick Syrians from Aleppo. UN aid agencies, the SARC, the ICRC and other medical groups held days of negotiations to try to secure safe passage for the sick and wounded, but the effort came to a halt when fighting resumed. Stephen O’Brien, the UN’s humanitarian aid coordinator, said:

After three days of lull, parties to the conflict have still not agreed, military operations have resumed and violence is now escalating. The political and military paths are trumping basic humanity once again in Syria. … It is deeply regrettable that no patients or accompanying family members could be moved. The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo. Armed groups imposed conditions to guarantee the safety of the evacuation operation, while the Syrian government refused to allow medical and other aid supplies into the rebel-held east of the city.

Russia last week declared a humanitarian pause in the assault on eastern Aleppo, where more than 250,000 civilians have been trapped. On Monday, Russia ruled out a renewal of the ceasefire and blamed rebel groups for blocking the medical evacuation. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said:

Over the last three days, what was needed did not happen. In order to renew the pause, our opponents must ensure appropriate behavior by the anti-government groups that in particular sabotaged the medical evacuation that was intended during the humanitarian pause.

UN Sec-Gen Ban last week said nearly 500 people had been killed and about 2,000 injured during the nearly month-long bombing raids in Aleppo. No UN aid convoy has entered Aleppo since Jul 7 and food rations will run out by the end of October, he warned.

aleppo update (hint: look for nusra)

Syrian government makes key Aleppo gains
CBS News, Oct 242016

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces and their allies on Monday captured strategic high ground in embattled Aleppo as Russia said it was not planning more “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting in the city’s eastern, rebel-held districts. The fighting in Aleppo came as airstrikes hit towns in the north-western province of Idlib, killing at least 13 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees. They said the people killed were in the towns of Kfar Takharim and Khan Sheikhoun, where a market was hit. Fighting resumed in Aleppo over the weekend, following a days-long lull announced by Moscow that was meant to allow rebels and civilians to leave the eastern districts. The rebels rejected the Russian offer and none of the civilians left the conflicted areas, in what is turning into the key symbolic battle of the five-year-old Syrian civil war. Government troops launched a fresh offensive and on Monday took the hilltop of Bazo on the southern edge of Aleppo, near military bases, and shelled the rebel neighborhoods, according to opposition activists. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Bazo was taken amid heavy bombardment. The Observatory and the Aleppo Media Center reported government shelling in eastern parts of the city. A video released by the Syrian army showed tanks and cannons pounding rebel positions in the area. The state SANA news agency, meanwhile, said the rebels shelled government-held neighborhoods in western Aleppo, killing one person and wounding seven.

A pro-opposition media outlet circulated footage of a powerful and hard-line Islamist rebel coalition known as Jaish al-Fatah announcing that the campaign to break the government’s siege of the city’s east would begin “within hours.” Jaish al-Fatah commander Ali Abu Odai al-Aloush told the Qasioun News Agency that “zero hour has drawn near,” and that his militants had begun moving toward Aleppo. It was unclear when the interview was recorded. A spokesman for the Nour el-Din al-Zinki rebel faction in Aleppo said an operation to break the government’s siege of the rebel-held eastern districts of Aleppo was “coming.” The spokesman, Yasser al-Yousef, said the rebels would not intentionally target civilians in Aleppo’s government-held districts, but warned of collateral damage from the anticipated operations. In Moscow, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia wasn’t planning another humanitarian pause in Aleppo anytime soon. He blamed the rebels for the fact that medical evacuations from eastern Aleppo, planned during the pause, were scrapped at the last moment. He said in comments carried by Russian news agencies:

In order to resume it, our opponents need to make sure the anti-government groups behave properly. What needed to happen didn’t happen. That’s why resuming a humanitarian pause is not on the agenda.

Moscow doesn’t expect any new round of Syria peace talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne until after the Pindo elections. Moscow has taken an increasingly hard line as its support has lead to numerous gains by Assad’s military. On Sunday, Kremlin spox D Peskov said the entire territory of Syria must be “liberated.” Russia’s said Assad needs to stay in power to prevent the country from falling into the hands of Jihadis. Peskov said:

There are just two options: Assad sitting in Damascus or the Nusra sitting in Damascus. And Assad must sit in Damascus to ensure a political settlement.

French FM Ayrault called for an end of the “massive bombing raids” by Russia and Syria to allow for the delivery of aid to beleaguered populations and the resumption of peace efforts. Speaking during a joint news conference with the Turkish FM in Ankara Monday, Ayrault said:

It’s the only way that humanitarian aid can reach populations that really need it. It’s the only that that the negotiations can resume.

Ayrault also said that there cannot be a “lasting peace” in Syria “outside of a political solution.”

Mosul offensive: Daesh fleeing to Syria, says tribal leader
Euan McKirdy, Mohammed Tawfiq, Michael Holmes, CNN, Oct 24 2016

Near MOSUL – Hundreds of Daesh are fleeing Mosul in Iraq and crossing into neighboring Syria as coalition forces close in on the city, a powerful tribal leader in the region says. Sheikh Abdullah al-Yawer, a tribal leader in the town of Rabia, on Iraq’s border with Syria, told CNN Monday that dozens of Daesh and their families were fleeing the city each day, and crossing into Syria at Ba’aaj, a Daesh-controlled crossing point south of Sinjar. The route was entirely along corridors under Daesh control, he said. Fleeing civilians with no affiliation to Daesh usually ended up in the Syrian town of al-Hul, which is under Kurdish control, he said. Coalition forces celebrated better-than-expected territorial gains over the weekend and artillery fire pummeled ISIS positions in the encircled town of Bashiqa early Monday morning in the relentless push for Mosul. According to the Iraqi Joint Operations Command center, 78 towns and villages have been liberated so far as the operation to retake the city enters its second week. The center said 772 Daesh had been killed and 23 detained, 127 car & truck bombs were destroyed, two bomb-making factories were discovered and nearly 400 IEDs were remotely detonated so far. Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk said:

The offensive is remarkable for both its speed and the level of cooperation that this disparate group is showing in the face of its common enemy, an extraordinary union of factions that have long stood on opposing sides in Iraq’s history, with Kurdish forces, Christians and Shia Muslims fighting alongside the majority Sunni Arabs. The thousands of ground troops were supported from above with a concentrated program of airstrikes aimed at weakening Daesh’s defenses, the highest weekly number since the campaign against the terror group began.

The coalition force, which vastly exceeds Daesh’s numbers, is closing in on the beleaguered city, still home to an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 civilians. But the coalition is well aware that resistance, already tough in the open fields and small villages surrounding the main prize, is likely to ramp up significantly when the city’s perimeter is breached. Daesh has been in control of Mosul for two years and the militants have time and time again proved themselves adept at bloody urban warfare. The city was important to the terror group as the cultural capital of its envisaged Caliphate. With this weekend’s gains have come pockets of horrific losses. Daesh executed about 40 people who were celebrating the apparent liberation of their villages by Iraqi forces, a Mosul City Council boxtop said Sunday, citing local sources. The boxtop said that although Iraqi troops passed through the village where the executions took place, near Nimrud, south of Mosul, they did not leave units behind to ensure that Daesh stayed out. These follow executions on Thursday and Friday, when Daesh rounded up and shot dead 284 men and boys, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN. Emergency crews have been working around the clock to extinguish a fire at a sulfur factory in Qayyara, about 30 km south of Mosul, that was torched by Daesh. The fire, started when Daesh left explosives and slow-burning oil in sulfur deposits and around the facility, has sent plumes of toxic smoke in the air, causing hundreds to seek medical help.

half a million is just a friendly loan to buy a better electric shaver or something

Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife
Devlin Barrett, WSJ, Oct 23 2016

The political organization of Virginia Gov Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500k to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the FBI who later helped oversee the investigation into Clinton’s email use. Campaign finance records show McAuliffe’s PAC donated $467.5k to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI. The Virginia Democrat Party, over which McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675k to her candidacy from entities either directly under McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr McCabe raised in the effort. McAuliffe and other state party leaders recruited Dr McCabe to run, according to party officials. She lost the election to incumbent Republican Dick Black. A spox said:

Mr McAuliffe supported Jill McCabe because he believed she would be a good state senator. This is a customary practice for Virginia governors… Any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous.

Among political candidates that year, Dr McCabe was the third largest recipient of funds from Common Good VA, the governor’s PAC, according to campaign finance records. Dan Gecker received $781.5k from the PAC and $214,456 from the state party for a campaign that raised $2.9m, according to records; and Jeremy McPike received $803.5k from the PAC and $535,162 from the state party, raising more $3.8m that year for his candidacy. The governor could recall only one meeting with McCabe, when he and other state Democrats met with the couple on Mar 7 2015, to urge Dr McCabe to run, according to the spokesman. The FBI said in a statement:

During his wife’s campaign, Mr McCabe played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fund-raising or support of any kind. Months after the completion of her campaign, then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to Deputy, where in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Sec Clinton’s emails.

FBI boxtops said that after that meeting with the governor in Richmond on Mar 7, McCabe sought ethics advice from the bureau and followed it, avoiding involvement with public corruption cases in Virginia and avoiding any campaign activity or events. McCabe’s supervision of the Clinton email case in 2016 wasn’t seen as a conflict or an ethics issue, because his wife’s campaign was over by then and McAuliffe wasn’t part of the email probe, said the boxtops. Dr McCabe said:

Once I decided to run, my husband had no formal role in my campaign other than to be a supportive husband to me and our children. As a federal official…everyone who participated in our campaign understood and respected that he could not participate.

McCabe is a longtime FBI official who focused much of his career on terrorism. His wife is a hospital physician who campaigned in northern Virginia, where the couple live with their children. The 2015 Virginia State senate race was Dr McCabe’s first run for office and her campaign spent $1.8m. The race was part of McAuliffe’s failed effort to win a Democrat majority in the Virginia legislature, which would have given him significantly more sway in Richmond, the state capital. McAuliffe has been a central figure in the Clintons’ political careers for decades. In the 1990s he was Bill Clinton’s chief fund-raiser, and he remains one of the couple’s closest allies and public boosters. Clinton appeared with him in northern Virginia in 2015 as he sought to increase the number of Democrats in the state legislature. Dr McCabe announced her candidacy in Mar 2015, the same month it was revealed that Clinton had used a private server as Sec State to send and receive government emails, a disclosure that prompted the FBI investigation. At the time the investigation was launched in Jul 2015, McCabe was running the FBI’s Washington field office, which provided personnel and resources to the Clinton email probe. That investigation examined whether Clinton’s use of private email may have compromised national security by transmitting classified information in an insecure system. A review of Clinton’s emails concluded that 110 messages contained classified information. Clinton has said she made a mistake but that she never sent or received messages that were marked classified.

At the end of Jul 2015, McCabe was promoted to FBI headquarters and assumed the #3 position at the agency. In Feb 2016, he became FBI Director Comey’s second-in-command. As deputy director, McCabe was part of the executive leadership team overseeing the Clinton email investigation, though FBI officials say any final decisions on that probe were made by Comey, who served as a high-ranking DoJ in the Bush 43 administration. McAuliffe has been under investigation for months by the FBI’s Washington field office, a probe that includes an examination of donations made on behalf of a Chinese businessman, according to people familiar with the matter. His lawyers have denied any wrongdoing and said the investigation is seeking to determine if McAuliffe may have violated a law requiring people to register as agents of a foreign entity. It was unclear the extent to which McCabe may have recused himself from discussions involving McAuliffe. When McCabe’s wife began her campaign, he shied away from involvement in Virginia public corruption cases, according to officials. Once the campaign was over, officials said, McCabe and FBI officials felt the potential conflict-of-interest issues ended.

over the MOAB shall i cast out my washpot

The MOAB would be a pure vanity bomb for Israel, because it would need the B-2 bomber to deliver it – RB


Barak, Bibi and Obama’s Bunker Buster Option
Amos Harel, Haaretz, Oct 23 2016

It’s been two months since former PM Barak threw a bombshell by giving a speech accusing Netanyahu of damaging national security via his poor relationship with Obama. As bilateral negotiations over the military aid package to Israel were drawing to a close, Barak said the prime minister had left Israel with “an extremely troubling vulnerability to a key security challenge,” because of his “operative conduct that wasn’t carefully thought through.” Barak’s hints galvanized the media and members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who demanded to know what Barak, also a former defense minister, meant. The media (including this paper) published guesses ranging from Israel’s growing closeness to Russia to the rate it’s acquiring Iron Dome missile defense systems. But an effort to summon Barak to a subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee failed, and Barak made no great effort to explain himself. About a month later, after the military aid deal was signed, Barak dropped another hint. Obama, he told Channel 2 television, was willing to offer Israel an aid package worth $4.5b/yr rather than the $3.8b/yr ultimately agreed on. Together with Israel, it would determine the conditions under which sanctions would be reinstated on Iran despite the nuclear agreement Obama had signed with it. And it would “in an extreme case,” even “supply Israel with the means through which, if both countries agreed that Iran had indeed violated the nuclear agreement, Israel would also have the technical ability to act independently.” But all this, Barak said, was taken off the table because Netanyahu insisted on continuing to fight the nuclear agreement in the months after it was signed in Jul 2015. Barak’s claims receive some support from a book published in Oct 2015 by a former senior official in the Obama administration, Dennis Ross. Ross wrote:

The proof that Israel could have received something significant to bolster deterrence, had it not fought the deal, came when Obama called me in August and said he would be open to providing the Israelis the MOP.

The Massive Ordnance Penetrator is better known as the bunker buster, a 14-ton precision bomb that can penetrate well-protected facilities deep underground like some of Iran’s nuclear facilities. But by September, Ross said, “when the administration had the necessary votes, that opening was gone.” In other words, according to Ross, when Obama wanted Netanyahu to stop lobbying Congress against the nuclear deal, the bombs Israel had sought for years were on the table. But when Netanyahu continued to work against Obama on Capitol Hill, and Obama realized that the agreement would pass despite Israel’s efforts to thwart it, this offer was scrapped. Israel doesn’t currently possess aircraft able to carry the heavy bombs. Even so, experts in Washington have raised the possibility of arming Israel with the ordnance on a number of occasions this year. Ross doesn’t elaborate how he offered to get around this complication.

war is pindostan’s only profit-making industry

Hillary’s ‘Puppet’ Screed
Michael Tracey, AmConMag, Oct 2, 2016

For months she had only intimated it, or delegated the real dirty work to her surrogates and campaign staff, but at the final televised debate this week, Hillary Clinton finally let loose: Donald Trump is “a puppet” of the Kremlin, she declared. It’s worth pausing to consider just how extreme and incendiary that allegation is. For Trump to be a “puppet” of a hostile foreign power, especially Russia, arguably Pindostan’s oldest continuous adversary, would be an event of earth-shaking magnitude unrivaled in history. It would mean that by some nefarious combination of subterfuge and collusion, the sinister Russian leader Vladimir Putin had managed to infiltrate our political system at its very core, executing a Manchurian Candidate-style scheme that would’ve been dismissed as outlandish in even the most hyperbolic 1960s-era espionage movie script. Trump is often accused of violating the “norms” that typically govern the tenor of presidential campaigns, and these accusations very often have validity. At the same debate, he declined to pre-emptively endorse the legitimacy of the election outcome, which appears to be without precedent. As everyone is now keenly aware, he’s unleashed a constant torrent of brash histrionics that defy discursive standards and violate “norms” of many kinds: You’re rigged! I’m rigged! We’re all rigged!

But Hillary too violated a long-standing norm this week with her “puppet” screed, which was the culmination of her campaign’s months-long effort to tarnish Trump as a secret Russian lackey using the kind of retrograde nomenclature (“Puppet”? Really?) that would’ve made even the most hardened old-time Cold Warrior blush. Because of Hillary’s barb, there will henceforth be a precedent for accusing a rival major-party nominee of being a stealth agent of a fearsome foreign power, based on only the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence. Extrapolating from Trump’s stated belief that cooperation with nuclear-armed Russia is desirable, rather than antagonism, Hillary’s boosters have long surmised that he must therefore be under the spell of a devious foreign spymaster. It can’t be that he genuinely prefers to be friendly with Russia and forge an alliance with their military. The only tenable explanation by their lights is this harebrained mind-control conspiracy theory. One central irony to all this is that Trump basically has the same position vis-à-visRussia as Barack Obama. As Trump pointed out in the Wednesday night debate, Obama attempted to broker a military alliance with Putin’s Russia only a few weeks ago; it fell through after American forces in Syria bombed soldiers loyal to Assad in direct contravention of the terms of the agreement. But it was an instance of deal-making nevertheless, so if Trump is guilty of accommodating the dastardly Russian menace, Obama must be similarly guilty.

Hillary’s increasingly hostile rhetoric on the homefront also likely contributed to “nuking” the accord with Russia, as she’s repeatedly accused Putin of subverting the Pindosi electoral process by way of hacks, as well as lambasting him as the “grand godfather” of global extremist movements including the Pindosi “alt-right.” It would be one thing if these fantastic claims were ever substantiated with evidence, but they’re not. At the debate, Hillary attributed her theory regarding the Russian orchestration of recent hacks on her campaign and the DNC to unnamed “intelligence professionals.” These unspecified individuals have also failed to produce tangible evidence linking Russia to Trump or Russia to the hacks. They are the same sorts of people whose proclamations about WMDs in Iraq were uncritically parroted by media vassals. Hillary launched into the “puppet” rant after moderator Chris Wallace quoted an excerpt from one of her speeches. delivered to a foreign bank. Hillary had actively concealed these speech transcripts over the course of the entire presidential campaign, and the only reason the Pindo sheeple can view them now is thanks to WikiLeaks. But in an effort to change the subject from her newly revealed (and damning) comments before admiring cadres of financial elites, Hillary accused the rogue publishing organization of being party to a Russian plot. Hillary proclaimed:

This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself.

What evidence has been furnished that demonstrates “Putin himself” directed such efforts? Absolutely none that we are yet aware of. One could feasibly posit that such a blithe willingness to launch baseless attacks against foreign leaders is indicative of a poor temperament on Hillary’s part. It’s exactly the kind of bluster that could escalate into hot conflict, and will likely sour the Pindo-Russia bilateral relationship for years to come under a prospective Clinton Administration. In addition to accusing Putin of hacking the Pindo election, Hillary again announced her staunch support for a “no-fly zone” in Syria, which would necessitate the deployment of thousands more Pindo ground troops and provoke direct hostile confrontation with Russia. When asked by Wallace if she would authorize the shoot-down of Russian warplanes, Hillary evaded the question. A simple “no” would’ve been nice. It’s long been known that Hillary is a hawk. She is supported by many of the same neocons who once gravitated to Bush 43. But her bellicosity toward Russia, which climaxed with the “puppet” diatribe, demonstrates that her hawkish tendencies are far from conventional. They are extreme. Hillary seems to be at her most animated, one might say crazed, when she is aiming ire at supposed foreign adversaries, which of late has meant Russia almost entirely. Russia was the #1 topic broached at all this year’s debates, according to a tally by Adam Johnson of the media-watchdog organization FAIR. The tenor of the international situation has gotten exceptionally dire. Last Friday it was reported that the CIA is preparing to launch an “unprecedented” cyber-attack on Russial Relations between the two states are at a dangerous nadir not seen in decades, to the point that Gorbachev has warned that a nuclear exchange is perilously likely. Trump, for all his faults, has long advocated a sort of détente. Why aren’t these developments front and center in media coverage of the campaign? Instead, it’s still a relentless focus on Trump’s many foibles, notwithstanding what appears to be Hillary’s steady sleepwalk into a potentially catastrophic war the end of the world.

more on the clusterfuck

Pindo general genocidaire says will not support Shi’ite militia in Mosul campaign
Idris Ali, Phil Stewart, Reuters, Oct 19 2016

The coalition will not support Shi’ite militia who might seek to participate in the campaign to retake Mosul from Daesh, and it is up to Baghdad to decide their role, a top Pindo mass killer told Pentagon reporters on Wednesday. Late on Tuesday, a Shi’ite paramilitary force said it would support the Iraqi army’s offensive west of Mosul. The Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) said it would back Iraqi government forces advancing toward Tal Afar, about 55 km west of Mosul. The announcement came despite warnings from human rights groups that involvement of the PMF could ignite sectarian violence. Maj-Gen G Volesky, the commander of coalition ground forces, said:

As far as the Shi’ite PMF, the coalition only supports those elements that are under the direct command and control of the Iraqi security forces, and the Shi’ite PMF are not, so we don’t support them. As far as what the Shi’ite PMF’s role is, again, that is up to the government of Iraq and we (advise) them on our recommendations but at the end of the day, that is the government of Iraq’s decision.

Shi’ite militias say will support Iraqi army offensive on Mosul
Maher Chmaytelli, Babak Dehghanpisheh, Reuters, Oct 19 2016

BAGHDAD/ERBIL – A Shi’ite paramilitary force said it would support the Iraqi army’s offensive on Mosul, raising the risk of sectarian strife in the mainly Sunni region. The Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), a coalition of mostly Iranian-trained militias, said late on Tuesday it would back Iraqi government forces advancing toward Tal Afar, about 55 km west of Mosul. Taking Tal Afar would effectively cut off the escape route for Jihadis wanting to head into neighboring Syria, which would please Syria, which has accused the coalition of planning to allow them safe passage. It could also hamper the escape of civilians from the area of Mosul, where the militants are reportedly trying to use residents as human shields. Iraqi PM Abadi said on Tuesday (Oct 18) that blocking the road to Syria was the responsibility of the coalition. Tal Afar’s pre-war population of about 150,0000 to 200,000 was a mix of ethnic Turkmens. Shi’ites fled the town after Daesh took over the region in 2014, declaring a Caliphate over swathes of Iraq and Syria. A senior Iraqi boxtop said:

The Iranians and the PMF plan to take Tal Afar because of the Shi’ite significance and use that as a way to angle in to Mosul, but they also want to use it as a way to angle into the Syria fight.

Iraqi government forces are mostly fighting on the southern front and were trying on Wednesday (Oct 19) to clear the region of Shora, 40 km south of the city, a military statement said. Kurds were deployed on the eastern and northern frontlines, 20 to 25 km from the city. A statement on the PMF website said:

The PMF will be backing the security forces on the western front along two axes. The first is Tal Afar and the second is to support the forces going into the center of Mosul.

The announcement came despite warnings from human rights groups that PMF involvement could ignite sectarian violence. The PMF officially reports to Abadi, who announced on Monday (Oct 17) the start of the Mosul offensive, and has sought to allay fears of sectarian bloodshed, saying that the army and the police will be the only forces allowed to enter the city. AI on Tuesday published a report saying Shi’ite militias had committed “serious human rights violations, including war crimes” against civilians fleeing Daesh-held territory. The UN said in July it had a list of more than 640 Sunni men and boys reportedly abducted by a Shi’ite militia in Falluja and about 50 others who were summarily executed or tortured to death. The government and the PMF say a limited number of violations did occur and were investigated, but they deny the abuses were widespread and systematic. Iraqi officials and residents of Mosul say Islamic State is preventing people from leaving the city but civilians are fleeing from outlying districts and villages. The UN has warned that some 100,000 people may arrive in Syria from the Mosul area. Save the Children said on Wednesday about 5,000 people, mostly women and children, had arrived at the Al Hol camp in Syria in the last 10 days. It said in a statement:

At least a thousand more are now massing at the border waiting to cross.

Kurds Fire on Jarabulus as Turkey Continues to Attack Them
Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, Oct 23 2016

Turkey continued its airstrikes and rocket fire against the Kurdish YPG forces around the town of Afrin into the weekend, an ongoing flurry of attacks which began last week with airstrikes against YPG forces trying to attack Daesh, and killing 200 of the Kurdish fighters. This led to some skirmishes with Turkish-backed rebels around Afrin too, and threatens to expand across the region, with reports that YPG forces have started firing on the city of Jarabulus, farther to the east, killing two rebels in the attack. This has been an ongoing problem all year, with the Kurdish YPG heavily armed by the Pentagon, and the Turkey-backed rebels the same groups armed by the CIA over the past several years, and the two constantly at one another’s throats. Efforts to keep them out of direct conflict appear to have been dramatically undermined by Turkey’s invasion. A lot of this new fighting appears to be centered on plans to attack the Daesh-held city of Bab, with the Kurds already advancing in the area, and Turkey apparently deciding that the best way to make sure the Kurds don’t get to Bab first is to attack them outright, even if it starts another war. From Turkey’s perspective, this is likely only a minimal concern, as their invasion of Syria came with the assumption they’d eventually be fighting the Kurds at any rate, and the shift toward attacking the YPG, even if it distracts from fighting Daesh, was one they were bound to make eventually.

Mosul offensive intensifies regional tensions
Jordan Shilton, WSWS, Oct 24 2016

Tensions between Turkey and Iraq heightened over the weekend as the Iraqis and Kurds pushed towards Mosul. Ashtray visited Ankara on Friday, Baghdad on Saturday and Irbil on Sunday. Ashtray announced after meeting with Erdogan that he had secured an agreement in principle to permit Turkish troops stationed near Mosul to participate in the offensive. But within 24 hours, the Iraqi government, which has previously vowed to attack Turkish troops if they become involved, rebuffed the deal. PM Abadi declared Iraqi forces would take Mosul without additional outside assistance. He said after talks with Ashtray:

I know that the Turks want to participate, we tell them thank you, this is something the Iraqis will handle and the Iraqis will liberate Mosul and the rest of the territories.

Ignoring Abadi’s declaration, Turkish PM Yildirim confirmed Sunday that tanks and artillery had provided support to Kurds advancing on the Daesh-held town of Bashiqa. The nearby base used by Turkish soldiers has been described by Abadi as an illegal occupation of Iraqi territory. Erdogan, who spelt out in a speech last week Turkey’s regional ambitions throughout the Middle East and the Balkans, has made clear the Turkish troops have no intention of withdrawing. He insisted Turkey would be involved in Mosul, stating:

We share a 350-km border and I am under threat from across that border. Turkey will take part in the Mosul operation and hold a seat at the table. It is out of the question for us to remain outside, because there is history in Mosul for us.

The dispute between the Iraqi and Turkish governments is only one of a vast array of regional and sectarian divisions being inflamed by the offensive on Mosul. Faschingstein has forged alliances with mutually antagonistic state and non-state forces in the course of its joint interventions in Iraq and Syria, increasing the likelihood of the conflicts spiraling out of control and drawing in the major powers in a wider war. Turkey announced further attacks on the YPG in northern Syria on Sunday. While Ashtray attempted to smooth over frictions between Faschingstein and Ankara during his stop in Turkey Friday, these latest attacks on the pro-Pindo Kurds show how their interests are colliding. They could also serve to deepen hostilities with Damascus, which threatened to shoot down Turkish planes carrying out airstrikes on its territory. Such a development could easily be seized upon to justify a full-scale war in Syria on the basis that Turkey, a NATO member, had come under attack. Such an intervention would pit NATO not only against Syria, but also against Russia, which is determined to prop up its sole ally in the Middle East by supporting the Assad regime.

Even within the supposed anti-Daesh coalition currently advancing on Mosul, there are substantial differences. A growing number of commentators acknowledge that the capture of Mosul will likely set off another wave of sectarian bloodletting as the competing religious-based militias seek to seize territory in the area. These forces include Shia militias organized in the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), which are nominally under the command of the Baghdad government but are in reality controlled by Iran; Sunni tribal forces, Turkish-trained Sunni fighters, and the regular Iraqi army. One major fault line will be between the KRG and Baghdad, with the KRG foreign minister declaring last week that the Peshmerga’s participation in the offensive would have to be recognized by granting the KRG a role in the region around Mosul, which is rich in energy and in part contested between Irbil and Baghdad. As it has done since the 2003 invasion, Pindo imperialism will not hesitate to ruthlessly exploit these sectarian divisions in pursuit of its goals of maintaining a permanent military presence in energy-rich Iraq and extending its unchallenged dominance over the entire region. This is demonstrated by growing reports that Daesh Nusra are fleeing Mosul for Syria because the city has not been fully encircled. Hollande acknowledged that fighters were traveling to Raqqa in comments he made at a diplomatic conference in Paris on Thursday (Oct 20). This explodes the GWOT fraud that has been employed by the Pindo political and media establishment to justify one war after another over the past two decades. The reality is that Faschingstein tolerated Daesh when it first emerged in Syria, seeing it as a useful force to fight for the overturn of the Assad regime. It was only when the group began making substantial gains in Iraq and threatened to destabilize the pro-Pindo regime there that Faschingstein decided to intervene against it. While assisting in the preparation of a humanitarian disaster in Mosul, Faschingstein is continuing to recklessly escalate the Syrian conflict. After a UN report attributed a third chemical weapons attack to the Assad regime Friday, NSC spox N Price issued a belligerent statement in which the White House blamed Russia and Iran for war crimes and violations of international law. Vowing to hold those responsible to account, Price declared:

We strongly urge all UN member states and parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, including Russia and Iran, which continue to conduct military operations on behalf of the Assad regime, to unequivocally support these efforts and sustain our shared commitment to the international standard against chemical weapons use. Russian military and economic support to Syria enables the Assad regime to continue its military campaign against its own people, which it has done in violation of international law as demonstrated by the findings of this report.

Pindo Jewish hypocrisy and double standards know no bounds. While denouncing Assad and his Russian backers for using chemical weapons and attacking Islamist militias in the east of Aleppo, Pindostan and its vassals are preparing a war crime of far greater proportions just a few hundred miles further east. With the aid of a pliant corporate media, which continues to pump out propaganda from embedded reporters with the advancing Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the horrific scale of the humanitarian catastrophe being perpetrated by the Pindo + vassal forces is largely being concealed from public view. More than 5,600 have fled their homes since the advance began Oct 17. UNICEF’s Iraq representative Peter Hawkins described the conditions in one refugee camp as “very, very poor” for children and added that supplies had been delivered by aid workers just to last one week. The UN anticipates that 200,000 people will flee Mosul within the first month of the Pindo-backed offensive and that in a worst-case scenario, this could rise to 1 million over the coming months. UNICEF noted that only 58% of its funding required to conduct emergency humanitarian aid has been donated, meaning that thousands of civilians will be left to die and many more to fend for themselves in miserable conditions. UNICEF spox W Spindler said last week:

The assault on Mosul could produce a human catastrophe, resulting in one of the largest man-made displacement crises in recent years.

While media coverage of the threat to civilians focuses almost exclusively on Daesh’s use of residents as human shields, the main threat comes from airstrikes carried out in support of the offensive, and the wave of sectarian violence it is likely to trigger. Responding to a Daesh attack on Kirkuk Friday, Pindostan launched an airstrike which incinerated at least 15 women at a Shia shrine and injured many more civilians. Both the PMU, which played a prominent role in the recapturing of other cities from Daesh including Ramadi, and the Kurdish Peshmerga have been accused of war crimes. The Peshmerga was accused of ethnically cleansing Sunni villages retaken from ISIS last year and the PMU has also engaged in anti-Sunni reprisals such as abductions, torture and killings, according to AI.