As Biden Bombs Syria and Iraq, 80 Groups Push Gaza Cease-Fire to Avert Wider War

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Original article by BRETT WILKINS republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

The crew of a U.S. aircraft carrier direct warplanes conducting airstrikes against Houthi fighters on January 22, 2024.  (Photo: U.S. Central Command)

“We urge you to prioritize diplomatic pathways to de-escalation, which must include urgently pressing for and securing a permanent cease-fire in Gaza,” the groups said in a letter to the president.

As U.S. forces on Friday launched intense airstrikes against Syria and Iraq in retaliation for this week’s deadly drone strike on an American outpost in Jordan, scores of advocacy groups urged President Joe Biden to avoid a wider Mideast war by pressing Israel for a cease-fire in Gaza.

According to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), American warplanes struck Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and “affiliated militia groups” in Syria and Iraq—countries that have suffered various degrees of U.S. bombardment since 2014 and 1991, respectively.

This, after U.S. and U.K.-led airstrikes last month targeted Houthi fighters in Yemen amid attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

“We fear that, as tensions continue in this escalatory spiral, the U.S. could become engaged in a protracted new war that spans across the entire region.”

“U.S. military forces struck more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from United States,” CENTCOM said Friday. “The facilities that were struck included command and control operations, intelligence centers, rockets and missiles, unmanned aired vehicle storages, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities of militia groups and their IRGC sponsors who facilitated attacks against U.S. and coalition forces.”

Anti-war voices condemned the latest bombings in the 22-year, open-ended U.S. War on Terror, during which millions of lives have been lost and trillions of dollars spent. A coalition of 80 advocacy groups sent a letter to Biden imploring his administration to eschew war by “leading with diplomacy.”

“We fear that, as tensions continue in this escalatory spiral, the U.S. could become engaged in a protracted new war that spans across the entire region,” the groups wrote. “To avoid such an unacceptable outcome, we urge you to prioritize diplomatic pathways to de-escalation, which must include urgently pressing for and securing a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.”

Stephen Miles, president of Win Without War—one of the signatories to the letter—said that “while these strikes come in response to the recent tragic loss of three U.S. service members, there is little reason to believe that they will be any more successful at halting the growing spread of violence across the Middle East than multiple previous rounds of similar U.S. bombing.”

“Instead, the president should do everything in his power to immediately secure a cease-fire in Gaza, the fire at the core of this regional inferno, while leading robust, regional diplomacy aimed at a genuine de-escalation of violence,” he continued. “More war will only put U.S. forces and people in the region at greater risk than they already are.”

“Finally, we remain concerned about the clear lack of appropriate legal authorization for this prolonged military engagement,” Miles added. “While the president always retains the constitutional right to engage in self-defense, planned retaliation and prolonged bombing campaigns are not self-defense.”

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been demanding that Biden attack Iran in retaliation for Sunday’s drone strike on the Tower 22 outpost in northeastern Jordan that killed three soldiers serving in the Army Reserve’s 718th Engineer Company and wounded dozens more.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI)—a coalition of Shia Islamist militant groups backed by Tehran—said it carried out the attack on the U.S. base. Iran denies any involvement in the strike, and the Biden administration admitted Monday that it has no proof that Tehran ordered the attack.

U.S. support for Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza—which has left more than 100,000 Palestinians dead, wounded, or missing—has stoked intense outrage throughout the Muslim world. IRI warned following Sunday’s strike that “if the U.S. keeps supporting Israel, there will be escalations.”

“Nothing in the region is likely to de-escalate unless there is de-escalation in Gaza.”

Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the letter signer Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, said Friday that “Biden’s strategy appears more focused on reducing the militias’ capability to strike the U.S. than reducing their interest in targeting Americans.”

This is ultimately a suboptimal strategy. It would be more effective to reduce their interest in striking against the U.S. since that would render their capacity a lesser problem,” Parsi warned. “What would reduce their interest? A cease-fire in Gaza.”

“But Biden is doing everything he can to avoid putting any real pressure on Israel. He is accepting significant risk to U.S. soldiers—even willing to risk a regional war—just to make sure he doesn’t cross the Netanyahu government on the issue of a cease-fire,” Parsi continued, referring to far-right Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Regardless of how Biden’s campaign is choreographed and calibrated not to elicit lethal retaliations from the militias or Iran itself, there is no escaping this reality: Nothing in the region is likely to de-escalate unless there is de-escalation in Gaza,” he added.

Original article by BRETT WILKINS republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

Continue ReadingAs Biden Bombs Syria and Iraq, 80 Groups Push Gaza Cease-Fire to Avert Wider War

US approves plan to bomb Iraq and Syria

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Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

US troops conduct area reconnaissance in Syria (Photo: Spc. Jensen Guillory)

The country approved plans to widen the scope of the regional war originating in Israel’s genocide in Gaza

Following an attack by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq against US foreign outpost “Tower 22”, which killed three US soldiers stationed near the Syria-Jordan border, the United States has approved plans for a multi-day strike against Iraq and Syria. 

The death of three US troops, the first casualties among US forces in a widening conflict in West Asia, drew attention to the hundreds of US military bases and outposts spread throughout the world. 

In confirming responsibility for the attack, an Islamic Resistance official declared, “If the United States continues to support ‘israel,’ there will be an escalation.” and that “All American interests in the region are legitimate targets.”

The United States is using the strikes as a way to continue to blame Iran for the wider resistance in West Asia. The strikes will purportedly be against “Iranian targets.” Resistance organizations such as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq are frequently accused of being Iranian “proxies” by US officials and in the mainstream press

Contrary to seeking peace for the hundreds of thousands being slaughtered in Gaza, the United States and the Western world have continually chased escalation. Earlier in January, the US and the UK began an airstrike campaign against Yemen, in retaliation against the nation’s casualty-free blockade of the Red Sea, which Yemeni forces claim to be carrying out in solidarity in Gaza. The only deaths surrounding the blockade have been suffered by Yemenis, and have been as a result of the US and UK’s bombing campaign. 

The United States and several Western nations have also directly worsened the plight of Gazans by cutting all their funding to the UNRWA, due to dubious accusations made by Israel that some UNRWA were involved in the October 7 operation. 

Original article republished from peoples dispatch under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-SA) license.

Continue ReadingUS approves plan to bomb Iraq and Syria

UN Relief Chief Says All-Out War Is ‘Looming Dangerously Close’

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Original article by JAKE JOHNSON republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

A picture taken from Rafah on January 6, 2024 shows smoke billowing over Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip during Israeli bombardment.  (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

“This war should never have started. But it’s long past time for it to end,” said United Nations emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths.

The United Nations’ emergency relief coordinator warned Friday that the threat of a broader conflict in the Middle East is growing rapidly as Israel’s assault continues in Gaza, which the U.N. official said has been rendered “uninhabitable” by near-constant airstrikes and a suffocating blockade.

“The specter of further regional spillover of the war is looming dangerously close,” Martin Griffiths, the U.N.’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement, pointing to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, mounting Israeli attacks in the West Bank, and rocket attacks on Israel. “Hope has never been more elusive.”

Griffiths, a longtime diplomat who has described the situation in Gaza as the worst humanitarian crisis he’s ever witnessed, issued his unsparing statement at the tail end of a week that saw Israel and the United States launch deadly strikes in Lebanon and Iraq, killing a senior Hamas official and the leader of an Iran-aligned militia.

On Saturday, Hezbollah responded to Israel’s drone strike on an office building in the Lebanese capital of Beirut by firing rockets at a military base in northern Israel, heightening fears of an escalatory spiral.

While the Biden administration insists it wants to avert a regional war, it continues to provide Israel with lethal military aid and oppose international efforts to enact a permanent cease-fire that analysts say is necessary to stop the conflict from spreading. The U.S. is also reportedly drafting plans to bomb Yemen in response to Houthi attacks on vessels in the Red Sea.

The Houthis have said the attacks will stop once Israel ends its catastrophic assault on the Gaza Strip.

Griffiths said Friday that the situation in Gaza is shockingly dire, with displaced families “sleeping in the open as temperatures plummet” and the territory’s remaining medical facilities “under relentless attack.”

“The few hospitals that are partially functional are overwhelmed with trauma cases, critically short of all supplies, and inundated by desperate people seeking safety,” said Griffiths. “Infectious diseases are spreading in overcrowded shelters as sewers spill over. Some 180 Palestinian women are giving birth daily amidst this chaos. People are facing the highest levels of food insecurity ever recorded. Famine is around the corner.”

“For children in particular,” Griffiths added, “the past 12 weeks have been traumatic: No food. No water. No school. Nothing but the terrifying sounds of war, day in and day out.”

Much of Gaza has been decimated by Israeli bombs, many of which were supplied by the United States. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said Friday that around 68,000 housing units in Gaza have been completely destroyed by Israeli airstrikes.

Roughly 4% of Gaza’s population—more than 90,000 people—has been killed, wounded, or left missing by Israeli attacks since October 7, the group estimated.

“It is time for the parties to meet all their obligations under international law, including to protect civilians and meet their essential needs, and to release all hostages immediately,” Griffiths said. “It is time for the international community to use all its influence to make this happen. This war should never have started. But it’s long past time for it to end.”

Original article by JAKE JOHNSON republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

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Continue ReadingUN Relief Chief Says All-Out War Is ‘Looming Dangerously Close’

Syria and Daesh/Isil – What the UK parliament daren’t discuss

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The UK government is today discussing joining the Western alliance bombing Syria.

After doing an evening’s research last night I almost feel like an expert on Syria and Daesh/ISIL. I also get regular updates from Juan Cole’s Informed Comment which is an excellent resource. It’s important to check internet sources since there are some misleading accounts out there.

There’s the Neo-Conservative ‘Clean Break’ document published in 1996 proposing an aggressive policy in reshaping the Middle East so that Israel is able to “transend” the Arab-Israeli conflict.

We have a 2012 document 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document:
West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”
. This document shows that Daesh/ISIS/ISIL was created and maintained by Western powers.

It is only since Russia recently commenced air strikes supporting Syria that Daesh/ISIS/ISIL’s illicit oil trading business has been targeted. Russia accuses Turkey of facilitating and profiting from this illicit trade while also supporting Daesh/ISIS/ISIL militants. There are accounts of strange deaths of journalists in Turkey and associated support of the Daesh/ISIS/ISIL militants by Turkey’s MIT secret service.

That it is only recently that Daesh/ISIS/ISIL financing has been targeted by Russia suggests that it was accepted by the coalition allegedly fighting Daesh/ISIS/ISIL i.e. Daesh was tolerated as it attacked the Syrian regime.

ed: Aren’t those who engage in terrorism terrorists?

 

3/12/15 3.40pm I’ve found that Dr Nafeez Ahmed has also considered the2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document:
West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”
document and reached similar conclusions that Western governments were creating, supporting and maintaining extremist terrorists while claiming the opposite. As an aside I notice that Daesh was not mentioned in this document and wonder whether the ‘new’ ISIS is to move on from ISIS/ISIL/ISI.

It follows that those that accuse others of being “terrorist sympathisers” are actual, literal terrorists … while – of course – hiding and pointing the finger at others.

Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS

Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’

by Nafeez Ahmed

Image of Western sponsored terrorists ISIS ISIL ISI Daesh

A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these “supporting powers” desired the emergence of a “Salafist Principality” in Syria to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of this strategy, and warned that it could destabilize Iraq. Despite anticipating that Western, Gulf state and Turkish support for the “Syrian opposition” — which included al-Qaeda in Iraq — could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the document provides no indication of any decision to reverse the policy of support to the Syrian rebels. On the contrary, the emergence of an al-Qaeda affiliated “Salafist Principality” as a result is described as a strategic opportunity to isolate Assad.

The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.

Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.

In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.”

The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.”

The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were supported.

However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.

Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq.

As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion” — namely, the emergence of ISIS — “but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

Continue ReadingSyria and Daesh/Isil – What the UK parliament daren’t discuss

2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document: West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”

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2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document:
West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”

2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document: West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”

Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for “THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.

The newly released DIA report makes the following summary points concerning “ISI” (in 2012 “Islamic State in Iraq,”) and the soon to emerge ISIS:

  • Al-Qaeda drives the opposition in Syria
  • The West identifies with the opposition
  • The establishment of a nascent Islamic State became a reality only with the rise of the Syrian insurgency (there is no mention of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits; see section 4.D. below)
  • The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in Eastern Syria is “exactly” what the external powers  supporting the opposition want (identified as “the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey”) in order to weaken the Assad government
  • “Safe havens” are suggested in areas conquered by Islamic insurgents along the lines of the Libyan model (which translates to so-called no-fly zones as a first act of ‘humanitarian war’; see 7.B.)
  • Iraq is identified with “Shia expansion” (8.C)
  • A Sunni “Islamic State” could be devastating to “unifying Iraq” and could lead to “the renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” (see last non-redacted line in full PDF view.)

 

UK MPs: SYRIA VOTE Wed:
So Many Lives Are in Your Hands. Get Informed Now!

Continue Reading2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document: West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”

I would remind you that …

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Chilcot is expected to announce a timetable soon.

I would remind you that

1. It is under the Inquires Act 2005 i.e. the government is decisive and in charge of everything. The government is in charge of everything.

2. I’ll get back to you

later ed: The I[E]nquires Act 2005 did away with anything near a public inquiry one month before 7 July 2005 which was then described as …

oh what was it now? a …

something diversion?

that would be a something diversion from

the official narrative …

an unnecessary investigation …

that …

didn’t

with the government version of Blair and Campbell & Co

which we know is so robust

and beyond any, any doubt

The official narrative is beyond reproach.

signed
Blair, Blair, Blunkett, Reid, Campbell & Co.

We did fuck up that the train they were on didn’t exist that day. But you’ve still got to believe us because we’re not lying, honest.

Would I lie to you?
Tony Blair

That’s it – a Ludicrous Diversion

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4454FA415EE50059

a … Ludicrous Diversion. An investigation would be ” a ludicrous diversion” …

ed: References to Tony Blair calling an investigation into the London bombings of 7 July 2005 “a ludicrous diversion” are disappearing.

ed: And I hate starting a sentence with and …

27/10/15 Re: Iraq War, Cameron and the Chilcot Inquiry

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/tony-blair-is-the-legal-net-tightening/

Sir Jeremy was Principal Private Secretary to Tony Blair from June 1999 to July 2003 and would thus have been party to every step of the scheming and untruths about the invasion and surely the plotting between Bush and Blair to attack, during their April 2002, three day meeting at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Subsequently Heywood stepped into the same position when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister after Blair’s resignation, a post he held between January 2008 and May 2010, so would also have been party to the plans for, and structure of, the Chilcot Inquiry into the war, which was set up by Brown. Thus those involved in the bloodbath and invasion, convened the Inquiry into the illegality.

Gordon Brown, as Blair’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, wrote the cheques for the years of illegal UK bombings of Iraq and for the UK’s participation in “Operation Iraqi Liberation” (OIL.) He also wrote the cheques for Britain’s part in the disastrous invasion of Afghanistan.

According to Ministry of Defence figures, the total cost of UK military operation in Iraq, 2003-2009, was £8.4 Billion – ongoing since they are back bombing, with Special Forces in Northern Iraq – and it would be unsurprising if also elsewhere in the country, given Britain’s duplicitous track record. To 2013 the cost of UK operations in Afghanistan reached £37 Billion, also ongoing.

David Cameron, who voted to attack Iraq, told a news programme at the time: “You’ve got to do what you think right, even if it’s unpopular …”, near mirroring Blair’s “I know I’m right” of the same time. Cameron admires Blair, regarding him as a “mentor.” At every level of government past and present, there are vested interests in the truth on Iraq never coming out.

Continue ReadingI would remind you that …