October 1 – the New York Times reported that “Russian aircraft carried out a bombing attack against Syrian opposition fighters on Wednesday, including at least one group trained by the CIA, eliciting angry protests from American officials and plunging the complex sectarian war there into dangerous new territory.” The article goes on in a silly state of surprise “American officials said the attack was not directed at the Islamic State but at other opposition groups fighting against the government of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, whom Mr. Putin has vowed to support.”
So it is alright for the CIA to train anti-Assad terrorists, but not for Russia to fight them on behalf of a democratically elected leader of a sovereign country? – An election won some 15 months ago by President al-Assad by a landslide of almost 90% (88.7%), confirmed by a large delegation of international observers, representing more than 30 countries – obviously not Washington and its European puppets, who barked the election was a farce. Nobody barked at George Bush’s two farce elections, the results of which by now are proven were fraudulent and brought us the endless ‘war on terror’ – and so far an estimated 10 to 12 million deaths.
How dare the Syrians elect a President whom a foreign nation – the US of A – wants to remove by it’s traditional ‘regime change’ approach for reasons of (US) ‘national security’ – what an outright BS! – It is no longer a secret that the PNAC (Plan for A New American Century) needs Syria to fall into equal disarray and chaos as did Iraq and Libya – and Sudan, Somalia, Central Africa; Lebanon and of course Iran – and on goes the list – for the ultimate goal: America’s absolute hegemony.
The Iran nuclear ‘deal’ is a great achievement especially for Iran. No matter what Obama’s successor or a right-wing Israel influenced Congress will do with it, Iran has ‘reestablished’ itself in the international arena, even though there was effectively never a reason to accuse and sanction Iran for the pursuit of nuclear arms – which was never in her plans. Washington knows it very well, as it was reported in 2012 by the 15 most important US intelligence agencies; a fact of course, quickly silenced by the western media. The Iran nuclear arms threat was a mere monster-propaganda item to put Iran under pressure by sanctions and – what else – to provoke a ‘regime change’. It failed miserably.
An abrogation of the deal initiated by the United States in the face of the P5+1 agreement, would no doubt displease ever more of Washington’s fading group of ‘allies’ – let’s call them allies of fear. One day the fear will evaporate and convert into self-assertion and opposition. We can only hope that day will come soon. Every day lost on the way to empire’s demise claims thousands of lives by guns, bombs and weapons of mass destruction directly applied by the empire and NATO or supplied by it to its minions in the Middle East and Europe. Regardless of the ‘deal’ per se, an increasing number of fearless allies of Iran will eventually bring Iran back to where it belongs, into the world arena of free, respected and sovereign nations with strong social values for their people.
Back to the NYT article: What an almost unbelievably asinine arrogance it displays on behalf of the exceptional nation, even shamelessly admitting US interference in Syria by the CIA, long before Russia’s consideration to put an end to this atrocious and endless killing by American forces and its bowing servants.
What’s wrong with you guys at the NYT; with the MSM at large? – What is it that not even now, you the media, let alone Washington-Pentagon-NATO in their final throes can see the light – and join an effort of peace? Wouldn’t history be kinder when at least before the bitter end the empire would show some grace with a conscious effort to bring about a different world – one where people can trust each other again and where marriages of all races and creeds would re-emerge as happy family events?
Instead, as reported by Robert Parry, the Saudi air force was bombing last Monday a wedding party on Yemen’s Red Sea Coast, killing more than 130 people, including women and children. An event hardly reported on, just drowned by the steady rumbling of guns and bombs across a devastated Middle East. The Saudi’s acting with more than a tacit nod from Washington, rather as empire’s proxies, are massacring a population that has had enough of Washington imposed dictators over the last 40 years, wanting to choose as a sovereign nation their own sovereign government – which happens to be a moderate group of Moslems, the Houthis, a socially and religiously conscious movement of the 1990s, preaching tolerance and peace, eventually seeking more social justice by the Sana’a Government. The White House sledge-hammer approach to democracy could indeed not tolerate a movement of independence – and that with a socialist leaning – in one of the most strategic locations of the Middle-East, the Gulf of Aden.
One surviving relative of the wedding party said, it was difficult to determine the exact number of dead because the bodies were blasted into so many bloody pieces. “I saw no body intact,” said the uncle of one of the victims.
Such abject slaughter is what Russia intends to avoid, first for Syria, and hopefully eventually for the entire Middle-East. Mr. Putin is not seeking ‘regime change’, nor expansion of territory, as western pundits would like you to believe, but stability in a part of the world that has suffered over the last sixty years endless atrocities at the bloody hands of the Anglo-Zionist empire.
Yes, it is also a region awash in energy- hydrocarbons that today’s world still depends on, and with neoliberal values, he who controls energy, controls the flows of money and ultimately the people – the world – and who shall live and who shall die.
When comparing Obama’s and Putin’s recent speeches before the UN General Assembly, it is sickening to listen to Obama’s pathetic almost pity invoking lies-upon- lies-upon lies which he must deliver by orders of his military corporate and Wall Street financial masters. By contrast President Putin laid down the hard facts. Without mentioning names referring to the’western colleagues’ interfering in other sovereign nations – Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Iraq – to name just a few, creating chaos, devastating them to rubble, causing uncountable dead and misery; and ultimately responsible for the current flood of refugees – now used by the US-think-tankers (sic) strategists as a weapon to destabilize Europe, to make it more vulnerable, moldable, easier to control and subdue – just in case one or the other of the puppet governments may wake up and change sides
The NYT infers that it is OK for the exceptional nation to organize Color Revolutions, a euphemism for ‘regime change’, but not for Russia to help an ally to defend itself against proven US – Saudi – NATO armed, trained and financed ISIS/L - Daesh terrorists. – What planet are you living on?
Mr. Putin has clearly defined the two legal options to interfere in an independent sovereign country, (i) with a UN Security Council Mandate, or (ii) at the request of the official and legal Government.
The Syrian Government asked the Russian Federation for support against the foreign sustained terrorist insurgency. The Duma, Russian Parliament, gave green light to its government to help Syria fight against this western created terror, called at times ISIS/L or Daesh, al-Nusra or even Al Qaeda, you name it, whatever suits best the moment, when confusion is needed and shades of lesser or stronger terror are defined to justify US intervention. An intervention never, but never with the objective of bringing about peace and stop the killing, but always-always to produce chaos, disaster, destruction, massive death – and ultimately regime change – in the case of Syria to unseat the elected President Bashar al-Assad, who still today – after the western sponsored ‘civil war’ claimed more than 300,000 dead and more than 3 million refugees and mounting – enjoys a popularity among Syrians of more than 75%.
None of the western interferences meet the international criteria of legality, as defined by the Charter of the UN and cited by Mr. Putin – the request of an officially elected sovereign government, and / or the mandate of the UN Security Council. None, absolutely none, of the countless US war-mongering intrusions in sovereign contraries around the globe correspond to these principles.
Mr. Putin has called for an international coalition to join Russia to fight and eliminate the destructive and destabilizing terror forces that are threatening not only Syria, but the entire Middle-East, and make no mistake, ultimately these nefarious killing organizations may also threaten Russia, especially acting as well-armed and funded front-army for Washington. Nobody will blame Russia for defending her national interests.
The coalition so far includes Iraq, which hosts an international intelligence center, Iran, Syria and Russia – and lately, to the detriment of and as a serious set-back to the empire, it looks like China may also join the alliance to protect the region and stop the expansion of western-made atrocities carried out by the extremist Islamic State movements. Washington and its European vassals would, of course, never join an alliance that is bound to defend the livelihoods of populations of sovereign nations – and less so when the idea of such a coalition comes from and is led by Russia.
Enters the ultimate spineless non-character, France’s François Hollande, the epitome of Washington boot-licking. France’s air force is bombing Mr. Assad’s ground troops, so that the ‘moderates’ – aka, the different shades of the Islamic State, can advance towards Damascus. They may have a tough time. Mr. Putin has warned them – all the western ‘colleagues’- to be careful and not to interfere in the paths of Russian fighter planes, lest to risk a clash among ‘colleagues’.
The kaleidoscope of shades looks at the outset like a mosaic of western and Mid-Eastern belligerent forces – all pursuing their own interests to the detriment of millions of lives and livelihoods – and all – Washington Gulf cronies, the European spineless marionettes, the hosts of NATO – with the ultimate goal to help the emperor achieve Full Spectrum Dominance, a buzz word of the PNAC – and maybe, just maybe earn a few kudos, some meager crumbs of the spoil, for having been good boys.
What becomes increasingly likely – as the western media’s mass propaganda are demolishing Putin and his peace seeking mission – is the emergence of a proxy-war between the two super powers. The US needs war to sustain its economy, as it did before entering the two WWs. We can just hope that common sense and Mr. Putin’s wisdom will prevent Washington’s aggression from turning the world into rubble.
It may not happen. The Russia-China alliance, expanded by the other BRICS states (Brazil, India, South Africa) and the SCO nations (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) are demonstrating an alternative more peaceful co-habitation among sovereign countries. After all, they comprise at least half of the world’s population and about one third of our globe’s economic output – and their door is open for any country to join – not by force, but by free will – as the dawn on the eastern horizon demarks clearly a new socioeconomic and political future; a new all-encompassing Eastern Silk Road.
The bombing of a Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) hospital located in the Afghan city of Kunduz took place on Saturday night. The airstrike is reported to have been carried out by US forces, the reason of the attack is still unclear.
As result of the airstrike, at least 16 people (among them medical workers) were killed and about 37 — including 19 doctors — were injured. Many are still missing.
The representatives of the medical organization stated that the airstrike continued for more than 30 minutes even after the doctors sent a call for help. The reason for why the attack was not immediately stopped after American and Afghan military forces had been informed about the terrible incident is unclear.
The US armed forces declared that there had been an airstrike in the early morning. According to a NATO statement, this was a military operation against Taliban forces that 'may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility'.
Doctors Without Borders condemned the "horrific" attack "with the sharpest possible words" and said that the exact location of the facility had been reported to all parties to the conflict as well as to the governments in Kabul and Washington.
The US-led air strike on a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz that killed at least 19 people, including 12 staff of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was "inexcusable" and possibly criminal, UN's human rights chief said, as the Pentagon ordered an investigation into the deadly raid.
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for a full and transparent investigation, noting that, "if established as deliberate in a court of law, an air strike on a hospital may amount to a war crime".
"This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable and possibly even criminal," Zeid said in a statement.
"This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable and possibly even criminal,"
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN Human Rights chief
Meinie Nicolai, MSF President, also condemned the attack as "abhorrent and a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law."
"We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as 'collateral damage'."
US defence chief Ash Carter called the incident "tragic" and acknowledged that US forces were operating nearby in support of the Afghan army.
"While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected. A full investigation into the tragic incident is underway in coordination with the Afghan government."
Among the fatalities in the early Saturday morning attack were three children. It also wounded 37 people, including 19 MSF staff, 18 patients and caretakers, according to the medical charity known for its French initial MSF.
The office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Army General John Campbell, head of the US-led forces in Afghanistan had apologised for the incident.
Officials of the charity organisation said they "frantically phoned" NATO and Washington DC, as bombs rained on the hospital for "nearly an hour".
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Bart Janssesns, MSF operations chief, demanded "more answers" from the US government, adding that the location of the hospital has been well-known by US-led forces for the last five years.
Vickie Hawkins, another MSF spokesman, told Al Jazeera that the last time the US-led coalition was provided the exact location of the hospital was on September 29.
Al Jazeera's Qais Azimy, reporting from Puli Khumri, about 130km from Kunduz, where some of the survivors were treated, described a "heart-breaking" scene at one local hospital.
He said that two children, who were injured in previous fighting in Kunduz, recalled how they and their father survived by hiding under their bed.
In a separate statement the US-led coalition also acknowledged launching the air strike "against individuals threatening the force".
"The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. This incident is under investigation."
The MSF hospital is seen as a key medical lifeline in Kunduz, which has been running "beyond capacity" in recent days of fighting which saw the Taliban seize control of the provincial capital for several days.
The trauma centre is the only medical facility in the region that can deal with major injuries.
At the time of the bombing, 105 patients and their caretakers and more than 80 MSF international and national staff were present in the hospital, the charity said.
Following the attack, MSF's operation is "effectively stopped" in Kunduz, MSF's Janssens told Al Jazeera.
MSF's hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan [MSF]
After the attack, the medical charity urged all parties involved in the violence to respect the safety of health facilities, patients and staff.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that no Taliban fighters were present in the hospital at the time of the air strike.
"We condemn the bombing on the hospital. It was an attack carried out on innocent people." Zabiullah told Al Jazeera.
"Our mujahedeen (fighters) were not treated at the MSF trauma centre due to prevailing military conditions. Such attacks by US forces have taken place in Afghanistan for years now. This very attack has once again exposed the ruthless colors of the invaders to the Afghans," he added.
However, an Afghan interior ministry spokesperson claimed the fighters were attacking security forces with gunfire and grenades from an area near the hospital.
A caretaker at the hospital, who was severely injured in the air strike, told Al Jazeera that clinic's medical staff did not favour any side the conflict.
"We are here to help and treat civilians," Abdul Manar said.
The development came a day after the Afghan government claimed it had successfully retaken parts of Kunduz from Taliban fighters who had controlled the strategic city since Monday.
The Taliban, however, claimed it remained in control of most of Kunduz, our correspondent said.
Kunduz is facing a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire between government forces and Taliban fighters.
Precise losses in the fighting were not known, but health authorities said on Friday that at least 60 people have been killed and 400 wounded.
Al Jazeera's Azimy also reported that civilians continue to pour out of Kunduz to escape from the fighting.
The Taliban's offensive in Kunduz, their biggest tactical success since 2001, marks a major blow for Afghanistan's Western-trained forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since last December.
Additional reporting by Shereena Qazi. Follow her on Twitter @ShereenaQazi
As American planes bomb a hospital operated by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in the Afghan town of Kunduz, killing patients and medical staff, this terrible horror follows previous incidents around the world that replicate the example of claimed ‘collateral damage’ inflicted upon hospitals and civilian installations, in Gaza, by its attackers in 2014 and earlier.
This precedent established by Israeli-invented drones and condoned by much of the world, in accepting the shocking killing of innocent civilians, as ‘collateral damage’ in the pursuit of the liquidation of its enemies, turns accepted international law upon its head.
It is not difficult to foresee a world, in maybe only ten years’ time, in 2025, where not only Israeli and American drones, but also British, French, Turkish, Indian or Pakistani armed, unmanned aerial vehicles will suddenly appear in the skies above our homes, anywhere, in Manchester, London, Munich or Marseilles, to kill political activists or protestors, at will. No judicial process, just summary execution of perceived enemies, unwanted critics and the collateral killing of innocent bystanders.
Welcome to the brave, new world of UAV warfare that will in the very near future determine all our lives, and our deaths, controlled by anonymous operatives sitting at computer consoles, and drinking coffee, in rooms thousands of miles distant in Tel Aviv or Arlington County, Virginia.