By Stephen Lendman
In cahoots with the US and their ISIS, al-Nusra, and other terrorist proxies, Israel has been waging undeclared war on Syria for years.
Ruling regimes of both countries partner in each other’s high crimes of war and against humanity.
Obama’s war on Syria — now Trump’s, to be Biden’s war next year if he triumphs over DJT in November — is in its 9th year with no prospect for resolution because bipartisan US hardliners reject turning a page for peace and stability in all their active war theaters.
Pentagon and IDF warplanes terror-bomb Syria at their discretion, civilians harmed most.
The latest Netanyahu regime aggression occurred Monday night.
Israeli warplanes and attack helicopters struck Syrian targets in Quneitra province, a premeditated strike like all others.
According to the IDF, observation posts, intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft artillery, and military command and control systems were targeted.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that overnight Israeli aggression caused “material damages” with no further elaboration.
Citing state media, Southfront said “Syrian forces intercepted several missiles, while the impact of the rest of them caused” no casualties.
An IDF spokesman claimed Israel foiled an attempt by unnamed parties to plant bombs earlier on Monday along the border of Occupied Golan and Syria, adding:
The unidentified individuals were lethally shot. It’s unclear who was shot, how many individuals, or for what reason other than what Israel claimed that may not reflect reality.
Time and again, its explanations of hostile incidents later were exposed as disinformation to justify what’s unjustifiable.
Aggression is a US and Israeli specialty, not how Syria or Hezbollah operate. Claims otherwise by ruling US or Israeli regimes are falsified.
No nations, groups or individuals threaten their territory. Their imperial aims threaten humanity.
Separately, IDF warplanes preemptively terror-bombed Gaza, what’s gone on repeatedly since the Strip was unlawfully blockaded in 2007, an IDF statement, saying:
Its warplanes struck Hamas targets.
“During the attack, a concrete production site used to excavate underground infrastructure was attacked, and in addition, underground (Hamas) infrastructure.”
“The attack was carried out in response to (a) rocket fire(d) from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory” by an unknown party — causing no damage or casualties, the incident unrelated to Hamas.
Yet the Netanyahu regime falsely blames its ruling authorities for whatever happens in the Strip or in its coastal waters, knowing they’re not responsible.
Time and again, Israel blames others for its own high crimes. The US operates by the same unlawful standard.
Separately, Israeli provocations heightened tensions along its border with Lebanon.
In late July, the IDF falsely claimed that “Hezbollah attempted to carry out an infiltration operation and that the Israeli army frustrated the attack and killed a number of its fighters.”
Hezbollah refuted the phony claim, explaining that Israeli forces preemptively carried out the border incident — stressing that gunfire occurred only from the Israeli side, adding:
Its aggression “will not remain unanswered.”
Israel lied about the late July incident. Its explanation of what occurred overnight along the border of Occupied Golan and Syria was also likely falsified.
The US and Israel are belligerent states, longstanding aggressors — threatening their own people and other nations in pursuit of their hegemonic aims.
By Finian Cunningham
Source: Information Clearing House
Those who deny history, or who are oblivious, are apt to repeat it. That is the frightening, perhaps most disturbing aspect of the 75th anniversary this week of the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The indiscriminate mass murder of 200,000 people on August 6 and 9, 1945, is beyond words in its horror and moral depravity. But what is equally condemning is the ostensible lack of remorse and the obfuscation to conceal the scale of such evil.
For if there were any remorse or realization about the crime there would surely be a commitment to never repeat it. The most solemn manifestation of commitment would be the pursuance of nuclear disarmament.
Seventy-five years on, yes, American news media run so-called commemorative articles on the historic events. However, there is a sense of glibness about the calamity, a sort of dull duty to mark the occasion as if it is a yearly chore of “regret”. There is also a sneaking awe at the destructive power unleashed on those Japanese cities, as well as the usual inclusion of official justification about how US leaders at the time were allegedly motivated by ending the Pacific War quickly. There are even in some media coverage brief mentions of acknowledgement that the dropping of the A-bombs was “unnecessary”.
But it’s all delivered in an insidious way to obscure the shocking, barbaric truth that the United States dropped weapons of mass destruction on civilians. How about going further and acknowledging it was a deliberate act of mass terror for political purpose to establish American hegemony in the postwar order?
No proper humane or moral lessons, it seems, have been drawn about the genocide that took place at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Neither by the people in US government and media establishments nor, lamentably, by the wider American population. If lessons were truly learned then there would be a sense of revulsion and outrage demanding immediate nuclear disarmament and the end to all war machinery.
Just last month, the US Congress passed an annual military budget of $740 billion, including for the development of weapons of mass destruction. This is while 30 million American workers and their families are suffering from unemployment and deprivation due to the coronavirus pandemic and the government shutting off pittance welfare payments.
The anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki comes as the Trump administration issues ever-more provocative slander against China over the pandemic and other matters that are really not Washington’s business nor remit, especially the subjects of alleged human rights violations or government espionage against citizens.
Washington continues to provoke both Russia and China with ever-expanding plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles near their territories. This only one year after Washington scrapped the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Moscow.
It is the US side which is threatening to collapse the New START accord, the last-remaining nuclear arms-control treaty with Moscow.
It is the US side which is pushing recklessly ahead with weaponizing outer space while falsely, cynically, accusing Russia and China of doing so, even though the latter have both repeatedly called for a United Nations-backed moratorium on militarizing this domain.
It is the US side which reserves the unilateral “right to first nuclear strike” while Russia and China have declared to only use such weapons as defensive response to attack.
The militarization by Washington and its bellicose policies towards Moscow and Beijing are proof that the criminality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has never been accounted for.
The criminality of that genocide remains unacknowledged and ignored by the US ruling system because, evidently, it wants to use that horror as a psychological weapon against others. The psychological weapon being: “We did it before, and we can do it again”. The ultimate “terror card” was played and continues to be played, albeit tacitly.
Contemporary developments and indicators of geopolitical tensions with China and Russia show that Washington is not willing or indeed capable of engaging for mutual peace. It is hellbent on stoking cold war confrontation, even if that confrontation results in hot war. A war with Russia or China would inevitably escalate into a catastrophic nuclear end.
On August 6 and 9, 1945, 75 years ago, the world witnessed two cities despatched to the hell of nuclear annihilation. It is utterly shameful that the nation that perpetrated such an absolute crime remains unapologetic and in denial. But more than that, it is utterly nefarious because the unapologetic logic means it could happen again.
Peter O’Toole plays the huntsman who nearly shoots Hitler before the war and is forced on the run through rural Britain in the 70s TV film Rogue Male.
By Adam Scovell
British TV films of the 1970s were obsessed with landscape. Getting their hands on 16mm cameras, directors gravitated towards rural realms in order to tell the most surreal and unusual of stories. Whether it be BBC Ghost Stories, Play for Today episodes or one-off films, the countryside never seemed so strange or omnipresent a setting as it did back then.
With a large part of its narrative set in the Dorset countryside, it’s unsurprising then to find Geoffrey Household’s tense 1939 novel, Rogue Male, adapted in this period. Clive Donner’s version, scripted by Frederic Raphael (Far from the Madding Crowd; Eyes Wide Shut) and now released on Blu-ray and DVD, is one of the strongest evocations of landscape of the time. The film shows how people must adapt to their role in an increasingly dangerous pre-war ecosystem, one that’s predicated on notions of survival of the fittest.
Broadcast on BBC2 on 22 November 1976, Rogue Male follows the misfortunes of sporting aristocrat Sir Robert Hunter (Peter O’Toole). On a suspiciously random trip to the continent, he is caught aiming his rifle at Adolf Hitler (Michael Sheard) and only misses by chance. Escaping the clutches of the Nazis after being caught and tortured by the Gestapo, Hunter makes his way slowly back to Britain, soon believing that he’s safe on his home turf. But, on finding that he has been followed by Nazi agents, and with little help from his politician uncle (Alastair Sim), he’s forced to flee from London to Dorset. Here he must confront his pursuers and the memories from his past that first motivated him to take aim at the Führer.
Household’s novel was first adapted by Fritz Lang as Man Hunt in 1941, with a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. But in Lang’s film, the landscape is less of a vital presence. Donner – known previously for the 1963 film of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker and the swinging 60s romp Here We Go round the Mulberry Bush (1968) – is more aware of the inherent symbolism in Household’s original novel, and more concerned with the detail the author went into in describing the Dorset topography. His film matches this detail with a gritty but effective rendering of the hills and holloways where Hunter hides out, filling the scenes with sustained shots of the land: the only reliable constant in Hunter’s world.
Rogue Male’s script is filled with double entendres regarding the role of Hunter, who becomes more and more animalistic as the film progresses. His torment at the hands of the Gestapo turns him into a creature not unlike the animals he himself used to hunt. Even when he’s back in England, a country where we see walls scrawled with pro-fascist graffiti, he is “not out of the woods yet”. Later, he is described as having “gone to ground”, a fox-hunting term that implies he is no longer fleeing but in hiding.
All of these detail a subtle devolution in Hunter’s relationship with the land, from his mastery of it as a predator to scurrying with ingenuity as prey. He even wrote a book about the skill of hunting – much to his own misfortune, as it becomes the key that his chief pursuer, Quive-Smith (John Standing), uses to track him down.
With Hunter trapped underground in a warren of his own making, the imagery can’t help but remind us of the animated version of Richard Adams’ Watership Down (1978), with its equally subterranean battleground between the liberal and the totalitarian. Rogue Male’s very setting also recalls Mike Leigh’s Nuts in May, broadcast in January of the same year. Like a comedic inversion of Hunter, Leigh’s fastidious camper, Keith (Roger Sloman), also ends up foraging in the undergrowth after battling against ulterior – albeit antisocial – forces.
Unlike Keith, however, who never comes to terms with his lower placement in the Dorset landscape, Hunter adapts his way to freedom. Sir Robert knows, though, that for the next hunt he must be predator rather than prey, as the stakes will never be higher.
Watch the full film at the Anarchist Film Archive.
By Timothy Alexander Guzman
Source: Silent Crow News
If you watch the US mainstream media’s 24 hour news coverage on recent events around the world no matter what time of the day it is, Covid-19 and China dominate the headlines while ignoring recent escalations in the Middle East involving Israel and its Arab neighbors as they come closer to another war in an already devastated region. The Times of Israel reported that the Israeli government “sent a message to Hezbollah warning the Lebanese terror group against any retaliatory action in response to the killing of one of the organization’s fighters in an airstrike in Syria on Monday night, which was attributed to Israel.” According to various reports, Israel has killed one of Hezbollah’s fighters Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad in another cross-border attack in Syria last week and now fears that Hezbollah will retaliate, but Israel’s military and intelligence community has issued a statement aimed at Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria warning them not to retaliate considering that Israel would most likely launch a multi-front attack on all entities involved. The report said that “the airstrike attributed to Israel on Monday night hit weapons depots and military positions belonging to Syrian regime forces and Iran-backed militia fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.” For the record, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is a UK government funded pro-opposition group to the Assad Government. In a statement by the Israeli army, “The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for the fire against Israel earlier today” and that “the IDF will continue operating with determination and will respond to any violation of Israeli sovereignty.” What was revealing was an unannounced meeting between the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Israel’s top military leaders including Defense Minister Benny Gantz:
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, made an unannounced visit to Israel, meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Mossad director Yossi Cohen, along with other top brass.
Israeli television commentators speculated on the possible significance of the visit, particularly regarding the threat posed by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. “In light of a situational assessment in the IDF and in accordance with the Northern Command’s defense plan, the IDF’s deployment will change in both the military and civilian arena. with the goal of strengthening defenses along the northern border,” the IDF said in the statement. In a tacit threat, the IDF preemptively warned Beirut that it sees the state of Lebanon as “responsible for all actions emanating from Lebanon”
Something big is about to take place as the IDF “cleared some troops out of positions directly along the border, moving them deeper into Israel, so that they would not represent a clear target for Hezbollah, while still allowing them to defend the frontier” according to the report. However, Milley’s visit at the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel is significant according to another report by the Times of Israel ‘US military chief visits Israel to talk regional threats, amid tensions in north’ stating that “the visit came at a time of heightened tensions with Iran and its allies across the Middle East.” General Milley was briefed by Israel’s Intelligence agencies including Mossad and Israel’s military intelligence unit, Aman on the threat they face from Iran and its allies. After the briefing, Gantz declared that “the need to continue the pressure on Iran and its proxies that threaten regional and global stability” signaling to it’s neighboring enemies “not” to test Israel.
Lebanon has two major problems to deal with besides another catastrophic war, for starters it has a severe economic crisis with a collapsing currency. The other problem is their newly discovered offshore oil and gas reserves which the US and Israel would love to get their hands on. Lebanon’s offshore oil reserves is estimated to be at 865 million barrels and has gas reserves that range from 25 trillion cubic feet (an estimate published in 2018 by the Chatham House which is part of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a think tank based in London) to 96 trillion cubic feet in 2013, an estimate claimed by the Lebanese Energy Minister at the time, Gebran Bassil. Either way, Lebanon hosts Hezbollah on its territory and has discovered an abundance of natural resources in its offshore territories, its a prime target for Israel and the US.
War Will Begin in the Middle East, Not Asia?
The recent incident involving Iran’s Mahan air passenger plane traveling from Tehran to Beirut over Syria and a US F-14 fighter jet who apparently came dangerously close to the plane according to Iranian media is a sign of aggression that sends a message to Iran and its allies including Hezbollah that the US and Israel is prepared for war. Israel does not want Washington to focus on China since the upcoming US elections are months away and Israel is not sure what is going to happen come this November with Trump and his pro-Israel administration. Israel cannot afford to have Washington start a new war with China so for the time being tensions between the US and China will lead to a new Cold War 2.0. The Middle East is an important region that remains a strategic part of the world’s economy with its valuable natural resources, a fact too important to ignore for western Big Oil interests and Israel. The meeting between US and Israeli military officials is significant and should be taken seriously, but the world is consumed with news on Covid-19 and China. Another Middle East war can happen either before or after the November elections and that depends on how desperate Israel becomes. Israel can pull Washington’s strings and ignite a war between the US and Iran before the situation intensifies in the South China Sea.
War is inevitable and it will begin in the Middle East and end on the US mainland with an already declining economy and a society that is falling apart. Non-stop protests continue to destroy many US cities with the possibility of more riots to to come if the never-Trump crowd or the Democrats lose the elections in November. However, while the world is occupied by a virus and the tensions in the South China Sea continue between the US and China and an upcoming Presidential election, a new conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors is a real possibility, making it one of the most dangerous periods in human history.
Japan was ready to surrender, making the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and Nagasaki two days later, totally unnecessary and morally indefensible, say a panel of scholars in two video discussions.
The debate over the atomic bombings—a controversy that forced the Smithsonian Institution to abandon its Enola Gay exhibit 25 years ago—continues unabated in America today as we approach the 75th anniversary of the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Four historians, each of whom has written extensively on the topic, discussed the documentary evidence and explored the current state of knowledge about the bombings in two sessions with TV, print, radio, and internet journalists from around the world.
Among other points, they argue that the bombings were unnecessary as Japan was ready to surrender as long as they could keep the emperor (which the U.S. eventually allowed them to do); that U.S. generals, including Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur, were opposed to the bombings; and that a real aim of the attacks was to send a message to the Soviet Union and not to avert a U.S. invasion, which was still months away.
The historians taking part are:
Gar Alperovitz, formerly a Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, the Institute of Politics at Harvard, and Lionel Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, is the author of Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. He is currently a Principal of The Democracy Collaborative, an independent research institution in Washington, D.C.
Martin Sherwin, University Professor of History, George Mason University, is author of A World Destroyed: Hiroshima and Its Legacies winner of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relation’s Bernath Book Prize, co-author with Kai Bird of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for biography, and Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis, forthcoming in September 2020.
Kai Bird, Executive Director, CUNY Graduate Center’s Leon Levy Center for Biography, co-author (with Martin Sherwin) of Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, co-editor (with Lawrence Lifschultz) Hiroshima’s Shadow, and author The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment.
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, co-author (with Akira Kimura), Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives, co-author (with Oliver Stone) of The New York Times best-selling The Untold History of the United States (books and documentary film series), and author “The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative.”
Former news executive at NPR, NBC, and CBS and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri Barbara Cochran moderated both sessions. The questioning in the first press briefing began with Owen Ullmann, former world news editor at USA Today, and current executive editor of International Economy Magazine, followed by former Washington Post columnist and current John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Maryland Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, former reporter/columnist at The Washington Post and contributing senior national security columnist at the Cipher Brief, Pablo Pardo of El Mundo, and Yuliya Olhovskaya of Channel One Russia. The second briefing was kicked off by New York Times Tokyo station chief Motoko Rich, Masato Tainaka of Asahi Shimbun, and Miya Tanaka of Kyodo News.
The two press briefings, one for the Western press, and the other for journalists in Asia, can be seen here:
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