After the Devastation: Year One in Aleppo

ALEPPO: After Devastation, The Rehabilitation (Part One)

by  Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire


April 23, 2017

ALEPPOFor the last five years, everyone has been talking about Aleppo.

I can’t even count how many interviews we’ve conducted, or how many TV news segments I’ve watched and articles read – about the battles and sieges in this crucial theatre which has come to symbolise the long war on Syria.

With all of this in mind, nothing can really prepare you for the sheer scale of the devastation visible throughout Syria’s second largest city.


(Photo: Patrick Henningsen@21WIRE)


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Changelessness of the Guard: New Wars, Same General Plan

The Honeymoon of the Generals: Or Why Trump’s Wars Should Seem So Familiar
by Tom Engelhardt - TomDispatch 

April 23, 2017 

MOAB sounds more like an incestuous, war-torn biblical kingdom than the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, aka “the mother of all bombs.” Still, give Donald Trump credit. Only the really, really big bombs, whether North Korean nukes or those 21,600 pounds of MOAB, truly get his attention.

He wasn’t even involved in the decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal for the first time in war, but his beloved generals -- “we have the best military people on Earth” -- already know the man they work for, and the bigger, flashier, more explosive, and winninger, the better.

It was undoubtedly the awesome look of that first MOAB going off in grainy black and white on Fox News, rather than in Afghanistan, that appealed to the president. Just as he was visibly thrilled by all those picturesque Tomahawk cruise missiles, the equivalent of nearly three MOABS, whooshing from the decks of U.S. destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and heading, like so many fabulous fireworks, toward a Syrian airfield -- or was it actually an Iraqi one?

 
“We've just fired 59 missiles,” he said, “all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing... It's so incredible. It's brilliant. It's genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five.” 
 
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The Slaughter of Innocents Nothing More Than a "Hiccup" to CNN, the BBC, et al

Rashideen Massacre: Children Lured to Their Slaughter by NATO State Terrorists

by 21st Century Wire


April 22, 2017 
 

On April 15th 2017, the people of Kafarya and Foua were attacked, their children mown down deliberately, by a suicide bomb or explosive detonation, that targeted these innocent children who had been lured to their deaths by NATO and Gulf state terrorists, including Ahrar al Sham and Nusra Front (Al Qaeda).

Mothers had to watch from behind the windows of the buses they had been imprisoned in for 48 hours, while strangers, terrorists, picked up their children, their wounded, bleeding, mutilated children, and piled them up in the backs of trucks and Turkish ambulances before driving them away from the horrific scene and stealing them from their distraught, powerless mothers.

 

 

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Deepwater Horizon: Secrets, Lies, Cover-ups, and Revelation

Deepwater Horizon

BP and GWB Knew: The Real Story of the Cover-up

by Greg Palast – for Channel 4, UK


April 20, 2017

Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first one from the U.S. regulators and the United States Congress.

5 years ago, we located an eyewitness with devastating new information about the Caspian Sea oil-rig blow-out which BP had concealed from government and the industry.

The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BP’s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers “could have had a chance” of survival. But BP’s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate.

One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases: the use of a money-saving technique—plugging holes with “quick-dry” cement.

 

 

By hiding the disastrous failure of its penny-pinching cement process in 2008, BP was able to continue to use the dangerous methods in the Gulf of Mexico—causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. April 20 marks the 7th anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster.

 

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, K.J. Howe, Patrick Henningsen, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Christina Nikolic April 19th, 2017

This Week on GR

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


April 19, 2017

 

More than merely an avenue of escape, fiction serves best when elucidating the Truth of our times.

And, what times they are!

As war and rumours of it fill our screens and front pages it's fitting perhaps the stories we're drawn to reflect a chaotic planet, racked by violence and uncertainty.

Listen. Hear.

K.J. Howe is an author and inveterate globe-trotter whose debut novel, 'The Freedom Broker' incorporates her exotic adventure-travels and the dark world of kidnap and ransom, where crime, terrorism, and politics blur the lines between ideology and international business.

K.J. Howe in the first segment.

And; Patrick Henningsen is the founding editor of the independent news website, 21st Century Wire. He appeared here last month detailing his plans to travel to Syria to investigate firsthand the situation there, and arrived on the heals of the massacre by Western allies of an estimated 126 refugees from al-Foua and Kfraya, villages outside Aleppo.

The dead and maimed, mostly women and children, were blown to pieces by a bomb disguised in a food truck, and driven up to buses waiting, as agreed in a truce, to ferry the villagers to safety.

Patrick Henningsen from Syria in the second segment.

And; Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a woman with a plan, a Bioplan. The world renowned author, medical biochemist, botanist, and "last child of ancient Ireland" possesses a unique combination of western scientific knowledge and the traditional concepts of the ancient world. Her plan: "encouraging ordinary people to develop a new relationship with nature, to join together to replant the global forest."

A part of that "encouragement" is the authoring of the books: “The Sweetness of a Simple Life”, “The Global Forest”, “Arboretum Borealis”, “Arboretum America”, and “A Garden for Life.”

Diana has also made a film, chronicling her vision. 'Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees screens April 25th through 30th at UVic's Cinecenta theatre.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger and seeing the forest through the trees in the final segment.

And; horticultural guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here to bring us news of good things planned in and around our town in the coming week. But first, K.J. Howe and when freedom isn't free.

 

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.ca.  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: https://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Syria: Growing Opposition to Imperial Wars

Opposition to US Strikes in Syria Grows 

by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch


April 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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Russia-gate Disappears with Hopes of US-Russia Detente

What Russia-gate Has Wrought

by Robert Parry  - Consortium News


April 16, 2017

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

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

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


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

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


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Watching Jordan: Cruise Attack Prelude to Proxy Ground War?

Syria: Watching the Jordanian Border

by Tony Cartalucci - NEO


April 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

by Stephen Gowans  - What's Left


April 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


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Tea and Mortar Shells: Easter in War-Besieged Syria

DAMASCUS: Easter Week in a City Under Fire

by Patrick Henningsen - 21st Century Wire 


April 14, 2017 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Journalistic Integrity: Allan Nairn vs. Julian Assange

by Andrew Stewart - CounterPunch


April 13, 2017

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

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

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

 

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Praising Canada's "Sepoys"

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

by Yves Engler - Rabble.ca


April 13, 2017

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

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

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

 

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