Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said in a letter to the UN Security Council that Turkey is the main supplier of weapons to ISIS — but the media doesn’t seem impressed
The western media has been almost completely silent about a rather explosive accusation leveled against Turkey: According to Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Ankara is the main supplier of weapons and ammunition to ISIS and other extremist groups operating in Syria.
The accusation was made in a letter to the UN Security Council, and included a detailed list of weapons and chemicals that Turkey has sent across its border into Syria.
According to Churkin, Turkey has been using humanitarian convoys to deliver the weapons.
Ankara’s use of “humanitarian” convoys to deliver weapons and supplies to “moderate” rebels has been well-documented. In November, Russia was accused of bombing a Turkish “humanitarian” convoy full of weapons: The nature of the ‘humanitarian aid’ is also in question. Turkish media and the IHH say the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to refugees in Azaz. However, the Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper cited sources close to the Syrian government saying the convoy was delivering weapons to terrorist organizations.
The Hawar news agency reported that Turkey repeatedly sent convoys with arms to the Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist organizations under the guise of humanitarian aid. Reports on Twitter went further – they identified the arms as allegedly “Docka machine guns” and “small arms with ammunitions.” Churkin’s letter “gave details of convoys with military equipment and munitions for IS fighters, and of funding allegedly arranged by the three foundations. It said one foundation has sent 7,500 vehicles with various supplies to IS-controlled territory since 2011.” According to Churkin,
among the supplies delivered to IS were ammunition for TOW anti-tank missile systems, RPG-7 grenade launchers and small arms, M-60 recoilless rifles, 82mm mortar shells, hand grenades, communication tools and equipment from the Turkish intelligence services. Aside from an AP report, we’ve yet to see a single mainstream source cover this incredible development. Turkey has just been accused of directly arming the world’s most infamous terrorist group. Why the crickets?
In this video Luke Rudkowski talks about the latest developing news from Syria and the increase of aggression between the U.S and Russia. We go over the rumor of Assad stepping down for the peace process and how this is false. While the U.S and Russia step up their military operations all around the world while the peace process fails inside of Syria. Thank you for watching free and independent media to continue our operation check out our store http://wearechange.org/store/
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There’s ten months to go of Barack Obama’s second term but Republicans don’t want to let him nominate a liberal justice that will forever upset the balance of the court. They’ve pledged to block all of his nominees until after the November election. Although, this puts the Supreme Court in a quandary. There are numerous cases currently being heard that will need decisions this year and there needs to be a tie breaker on the nine seat court. Republicans and Democrats will have to compromise. The best way for that to happen is to nominate Ron Paul to the Supreme Court.
There are three factors that are preventing a new justice from being appointed to the Supreme Court. Barack Obama wants to nominate a liberal justice, the Senate wants to confirm a conservative one, and many do not want to permanently change the balance of the court in a President’s final year. Nominating Ron Paul to the Supreme Court would solve all three of these problems.
Ron Paul has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the role of government. That qualifies him more than any law degree. He’s also a libertarian so he would be a fair and impartial tie breaker. On occasions he might side with the liberal justices and in other instances he might side with conservatives. Democrats would get a bit of what they want and so would Republicans. The balance of the court would not shift reliably left or right with Ron Paul as a justice.
Furthermore, given that Ron Paul is already eighty one years old he would not be a justice for long. In fact, Ron Paul could retire from the court right after the inauguration of the next President. That would give the next President the chance to nominate a permanent justice as the people wish.
As with all compromises, nominating Ron Paul to the Supreme Court would require give and take from both Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell. However, both sides would come out on top with decisions in their favor and an acceptable temporary solution.
There is a pervasive idea in today’s American society that regardless of political philosophy or party affiliation, one must never criticize the members of the United States military. Conventional wisdom holds that we must appreciate the sacrifice soldiers have made to “fight for our freedom,” and even if one is against the war, they must always “support the troops.” This line of thinking is not coming solely from the pro-war crowd; many of those who consider themselves anti-war (or at least oppose a specific war or conflict) have the utmost regard for those who fight in them. But is this canonization of those who take up arms in the name of the United States government truly just? Or is it a falsehood based on propaganda, emotion, and a lack of critical thinking?
The first myth that must be debunked is the previously-mentioned idea that the job of a soldier is to protect “our freedom.” This assertion is unequivocally untrue. The role of U.S. soldiers, first and foremost, is to obey the orders of their government and commanders, whether these orders support or infringe upon the freedoms of Americans and those in other countries. A soldier is not beholden to the average American, but instead to a small group of people in authority. His job is not to keep us free, but to do what he is told, even if that includes participating in the deaths of innocent people. Propaganda slogans aside (“a government for the people, by the people”), governments are not the people of a country. A soldier is not accountable to us, but to them.
Many troop supporters would also point out that the job of a soldier includes disobeying illegal orders. In theory, this seems like an appropriate safeguard. But in practice, this rarely happens. Take the 2003 Iraq War, for instance, which was viewed by many in the U.S. as an unconstitutional war. The war was also viewed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a violation of international law. In theory, one would have expected a sizable contingent of soldiers to disobey the orders of President George W. Bush and refuse to step foot on Iraqi soil. Instead, a full-fledged invasion was launched. There are numerous other instances of soldiers breaking the law to do what they are told, whether it be the torture of detainees at Abu Gharib or the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. Even for soldiers who refuse to break the law, the legality of a war or order is fairly irrelevant in practice; those who are in power are able to bend the law to their liking, as the Bush administration did when it argued that “enhanced interrogation” (otherwise known as torture) was not in violation of the Geneva Convention. It is entirely possible that an individual soldier could at least attempt to opt out of performing illegal actions. But, there’s a relativity good chance he would be punished instead of commended. Even if he were to succeed without any repercussions, there would still likely be many more soldiers willing to do what he refused to.
The Iraq War is also a relevant example of the falsity of soldiers fighting for our freedom. Saddam Hussein was no threat to the freedoms of everyday Americans. He was not attacking us and had no plans to do so. What American freedoms were at stake in Iraq? The United States government, with its domestic spying, draconian drug laws, and disregard for our civil liberties has done far more to reduce the freedoms of the average American than Saddam Hussein ever did or could have. Yet the war raged on, killing somewhere from 150,000 to 1 million Iraqis (estimates vary) and over 4,000 U.S. soldiers. In reality, the only thing this war did was make Americans less safe. The disposal of Saddam Hussein paved the way for the rise of the Islamic State, which is now viewed as a greater threat to attack the US than Saddam ever was. But beyond that, the killing of civilians (estimated to be more than 100,000 by the Iraq Body Count Project) furthered a problem that the CIA refers to as “blowback.” Blowback is the idea that there are indirect consequences resulting from US military and government actions. In this case, the murder of civilians (dismissed by many as “collateral damage,” as if the victims were less than human) and the destruction of homes from bombings and drone strikes resulted in increased anti-American sentiment, which leads to increased recruitment by terrorist groups and more attacks on innocent people. It’s not hard to imagine why the killing of an innocent family member or friend by a foreign invader could lead to someone having an intense feeling of anger; it only requires us to think of Iraqis as people like us and not statistics. If a foreign invader were bombing American cities and killing civilians, Americans would be rightfully outraged.
Blowback has not just been a problem stemming from the Iraq War; the United States has a long history of meddling in the Middle East. installing dictators (as it did in Iran in 1952), toppling leaders, and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people (if not more) in the process. U.S. interventionism in the Middle East was cited by Osama bin Laden as the main reason for his planning of the 9/11 attacks (they did not simply “hate us for our freedoms”). One would be hard-pressed to find an American war in the last fifty years in which our freedoms were actually being protected. Some would say Afghanistan, as the original purpose was said to be finding those responsible for 9/11. But it quickly turned into a nation-building exercise with many of the qualities of the Iraq War.
Even many of those who would agree that the aforementioned wars have made us less safe and agree that the killing of civilians in war is morally reprehensible believe that soldiers do not deserve any of the blame. They blame solely the politicians who send them to war, and excuse the actions of the soldiers by saying that they’re “just doing their jobs.” Of course, the politicians do deserve a great share of the blame and in no way escape moral responsibility for the atrocities they’ve proposed or supported. But such actions could not occur without members of the military willing to carry them out. If it were true that “doing their jobs” excuses their actions, it would mean that someone getting paid for something (even it that something is morally wrong) automatically makes that action ok, or at least excuses the person from any moral responsibility. If this were true, it would be ok for a contract killer to commit a murder; he’s simply doing his job. It would be ok for a slave-catcher to hunt down, kidnap, and return a runaway slave. A Nazi concentration camp guard would not deserve any blame for shooting those who attempt to run away; he is paid to do so, and he is just trying to feed his family. Of course, this is utter nonsense; individuals are responsible for the choices they make and the actions they commit. Soldiers choose to sign up to kill who they are told to by a government. Soldiers are the ones fighting pre-emptive wars against those who have done nothing to them or their country. Soldiers are the ones bombing hospitals to take out a suspected enemy, even though innocent people will be killed or disfigured in the process. Ultimately, unless someone is coerced into an action under the threat of violence or some other type of harm, that person is responsible for the things they do.
This is not to say that all soldiers, or even most, are bad people. While I’m sure there are a collection of soldiers that delight in exercising their power over others or killing those they view as sub-human (as Chris Kyle, the subject of the movie American Sniper, did), I have no problem asserting that many soldiers believe they are doing the right thing. I am also sure that some do so for selfless reasons, like protecting others. But someone believing that they’re doing the right thing does not mean that they actually are. Many who commit horrific acts do not believe they are doing anything wrong. Members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups believe that their actions are morally correct; this does not make them so. If soldiers are excused of moral wrongdoing when they aggress upon others because they believe they are protecting our freedoms, one would have to believe al-Qaeda is also excused of moral culpability when they kill innocent people. Every soldier, even the most self-sacrificing, who participates in the war machine shares at least some responsibility. But this is not to say that some don’t join for the benefits, both monetary and otherwise, that they receive. Americans in particular practice a form of troop worship: responding angrily to anyone who dares to criticizes soldiers, thanking soldiers “for their service” without even knowing what they’ve done, and valuing members of the military and veterans as a higher, protected class. Soldiers are also honored at public gatherings and sporting events. Beyond that, soldiers are paid for what they do, and receive benefits such as free or reduced tuition at colleges and universities. They also receive on the job training that can help them in other careers. Regardless of how taboo it is to say in our culture, there are selfish reasons to join the military; a low-skilled worker could create a better future for himself by joining the military than by taking a minimum-wage job.
Americans are taught from a young age in public schools that the government does what is best for us, and as an extension of the government, soldiers are here to protect our freedom. This is a “truth” that many carry with them throughout their lives, never bothering to rethink it and immediately shutting down those who attempt to dispute it. This is not by accident, but instead by design. No one would attempt to disagree that a Catholic school would teach what the Catholic Church would want to be told. No one would disagree that a Jewish school would teach from the viewpoint of Judaism. It is not a stretch to believe that a school run by the government would teach us what the government wants us to believe. Recognizing the differences between logical thought and our preconceived biases is the first step toward ending the reign of the military-industrial complex.
Share this: TwitterFacebook215Google johnmhudak John Hudak is a market anarchist with a degree in political science from the University of Connecticut. Published March 26, 2016
A local boy was shot and killed by a US soldier guarding Bagram Air Base, the largest military installation in Afghanistan. The boy, whose name and age have not been disclosed, was carrying “what looked like an automatic rifle,” according to General Zaman Mamozai, chief of police for the Parwan province, where the airbase is located. A US soldier in one of the watchtowers warned the boy to stop, and then fired, Mamozai told AP. Later on Monday, a group of local residents gathered to protest the killing, but dispersed when they were told about the circumstances, Mamozai said, adding the incident is still being investigated.
Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, confirmed the US military was looking into the shooting.
Bagram Air Base, located 31 miles (50 km) north of Kabul, is the largest US military installation in Afghanistan. Originally built in the 1950s, it was expanded following the US invasion in 2001, and has served as the main logistics hub for the US and NATO forces in the country. It also hosts the Parwan Detention Facility, used to hold all prisoners taken by the US-led coalition in Afghanistan. Originally operated by the US, it was turned over to the Afghan government in 2012. Last October, President Barack Obama decided to extend the US presence in Afghanistan through 2017, in order to bolster the country’s security forces. The US-backed government of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has been struggling to hold ground against the resurgent Taliban, a militant Islamist movement thought defeated a decade ago.
Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter 5-year-old civil war.
The fighting has intensified over the past two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other as they have maneuvered through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.
In mid-February, a CIA-armed militia called Fursan al Haq, or Knights of Righteousness, was run out of the town of Marea, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, by Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces moving in from Kurdish-controlled areas to the east.
“Any faction that attacks us, regardless from where it gets its support, we will fight it,” said Maj. Fares Bayoush, a leader of Fursan al Haq.
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Rebel fighters described similar clashes in the town of Azaz, a key transit point for fighters and supplies between Aleppo and the Turkish border, and March 3 in the Aleppo neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsud.
Battle for Palmyra will reveal how much damage Islamic State did to priceless relics Battle for Palmyra will reveal how much damage Islamic State did to priceless relics The attacks come amid continued heavy fighting in Syria and illustrate the difficulty facing U.S. efforts to coordinate among dozens of armed groups that are trying to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad, fight the Islamic State militant group and battle one another all at the same time.
“It is an enormous challenge,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who described the clashes between U.S.-supported groups as “a fairly new phenomenon.”
“It is part of the three-dimensional chess that is the Syrian battlefield,” he said.
The area in northern Syria around Aleppo, the country’s second-largest city, features not only a war between the Assad government and its opponents, but also periodic battles against Islamic State militants, who control much of eastern Syria and also some territory to the northwest of the city, and long-standing tensions among the ethnic groups that inhabit the area, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.
Once they cross the border into Syria, you lose a substantial amount of control or ability to control their actions. — Jeffrey White, former Defense Intelligence Agency official “This is a complicated, multisided war where our options are severely limited,” said a U.S. official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. “We know we need a partner on the ground. We can’t defeat ISIL without that part of the equation, so we keep trying to forge those relationships.” ISIL is an acronym for the Islamic State.
President Barack Obama recently authorized a new Pentagon plan to train and arm Syrian rebel fighters, relaunching a program that was suspended in the fall after a string of embarrassing setbacks, which included recruits being ambushed and handing over much of their U.S.-issued ammunition and trucks to an al-Qaida affiliate.
Amid the setbacks, the Pentagon late last year deployed about 50 special operations forces to Kurdish-held areas in northeastern Syria to better coordinate with local militias and help ensure U.S.-backed rebel groups aren’t fighting one another.
But such skirmishes have become routine.
Last year, the Pentagon helped create a new military coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces. The goal was to arm the group and prepare it to take territory away from Islamic State in eastern Syria and to provide information for U.S. airstrikes.
U.S. moving to increase troops in Iraq; senior Islamic State leader killed U.S. moving to increase troops in Iraq; senior Islamic State leader killed The group is dominated by Kurdish outfits known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG. A few Arab units have joined the force in order to prevent it from looking like an invading Kurdish army, and it has received airdrops of weapons and supplies and assistance from U.S. Special Forces.
Gen. Joseph Votel, now commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and the incoming head of Central Command, said this month that about 80 percent of the fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces were Kurdish.
The U.S. backing for a heavily Kurdish armed force has been a point of tension with the Turkish government, which has a long history of crushing Kurdish rebellions and doesn’t want to see Kurdish units control more of its southern border.
The CIA, meanwhile, has its own operations center inside Turkey from which it has been directing aid to rebel groups in Syria, providing them with TOW antitank missiles from Saudi Arabian weapons stockpiles.
While the Pentagon’s actions are part of an overt effort by the U.S. and its allies against the Islamic State, the CIA’s backing of militias is part of a separate covert U.S. effort aimed at keeping pressure on the Assad government in hopes of prodding the Syrian leader to the negotiating table.
At first, the two different sets of fighters were primarily operating in widely separated areas of Syria — the Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeastern part of the country and the CIA-backed groups further west.
But, over the past several months, Russian airstrikes against anti-Assad fighters in northwestern Syria have weakened them.
That created an opening that allowed the Kurdish-led groups to expand their zone of control to the outskirts of Aleppo, bringing them into more frequent conflict with the CIA-backed outfits.
We’ll fight all who aim to divide Syria or harm its people. — Suqour Al-Jabal Brigade fighter “Fighting over territory in Aleppo demonstrates how difficult it is for the U.S. to manage these really localized and, in some cases, entrenched conflicts,” said Nicholas Heras, an expert on the Syrian civil war at the Center for a New American Security, a think tank in Washington. “Preventing clashes is one of the constant topics in the joint operations room with Turkey.”
Over the course of the Syrian civil war, the town of Marea has been on the front line of the Islamic State’s attempts to advance across Aleppo province toward the rest of northern Syria.
On Feb. 18, the Syrian Democratic Forces attacked the town.
A fighter with the Suqour Al-Jabal Brigade, a group with links to the CIA, said intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State know their group has clashed with the Pentagon-trained militias.
“The MOM knows we fight them,” he said, referring to the joint operations center in southern Turkey, which is known as MOM from the acronym of its name in Turkish, Musterek Operasyon Merkezi.
“We’ll fight all who aim to divide Syria or harm its people,” said the fighter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Marea is home to many of the original Islamist fighters who took up arms against Assad during the Arab Spring in 2011. It has long been a critical way station for supplies and fighters coming from Turkey into Aleppo.
“Attempts by Syrian Democratic Forces to take Marea was a great betrayal and was viewed as a further example of a Kurdish conspiracy to force them from Arab and Turkmen lands,” Heras said.
The clashes brought the U.S. and Turkish officials to “loggerheads,” he added.
After diplomatic pressure from the U.S., the militia withdrew to the outskirts of the town as a sign of good faith, he said.
But continued fighting among different U.S.-backed groups may be inevitable, experts on the region said.
“Once they cross the border into Syria, you lose a substantial amount of control or ability to control their actions,” said Jeffrey White, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official. “You certainly have the potential for it becoming a larger problem as people fight for territory and control of the northern border area in Aleppo.”
W.J. Hennigan and Brian Bennett reported from Washington and special correspondent Nabih Bulos from Amman.