Militants in Syria’s Idlib have transported several canisters containing chlorine to the village of Bsanqul, apparently preparing to stage a false flag chemical attack, the Russian Defense Ministry has said.
The chlorine-filled canisters were delivered by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants of Tahrir al Sham, formerly known as Al-Nusra Front, a spokesman of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Lieutenant General Vladimir Savchenko, said in a statement Saturday. He added that the latest developments showed that the militants are preparing for a false flag attack that would be used to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its people.
The US and its allies have so far dismissed the Russian warnings, but said that the government in Damascus might instead be preparing chemical attacks against civilians. Moscow has suggested that the attack might be prepared with the support of Washington, which wants to justify further air strikes against Syria. Those planned strikes are said to be much larger in scale than those launched against the Syrian military by the US, the UK and France in April.
It comes as Washington has been building up its military presence in the region. In late August, the missile destroyer USS Ross was deployed to the Mediterranean, carrying 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles, while the USS The Sullivans was deployed to the Persian Gulf and a B-1B Lancer strategic bomber was moved to an air base in Qatar.
Most recently, the USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, entered the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar. Last week, the attack submarine USS Newport News (SSN-750) arrived in the Mediterranean as well.
With the arrival of the Bulkeley, the US forces in the region reportedly have up to 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles available to strike targets in Syria if ordered to do so, Russian media reports.
Well, the harsh truth about the integrity and fortitude of billionaires is finally out in the open for all to see, and the results are repugnant: Billionaires are gutless, chicken-hearted cowards. The proof is found in the pudding as several Silicon Valley billionaires purchase massive underground bunkers built in Murchison, Texas shipped to New Zealand, where the bunkers are buried in secret underground nests.
All of which begs this question: What’s with capitalism/capitalists? As soon as things turn sour, they turn south with tails between their legs and hightail it out of Dodge. However, they feast on and love steady, easy, orderly avenues (markets) to riches, but as soon as things heat up a bit, they turn tail and run.
History proves it time and again, for example, FDR rescued capitalism, literally rescued it, from certain demise by instituting social welfare programs for all of the citizens as capitalists fled and/or jumped off buildings.
Then during the 2008 financial meltdown capitalists were found curled up in the corners of rooms as all hell broke lose. Taxpayers, “Everyday Joes,” had to bail them out with $700B in public funds, and even more after that. All public funds! Taxpayers, average Americans, bailed them out!
Capitalists can’t take the heat as well as gritty American industrial workers that ended up bailing them out of the “jam of the century.” As explained by Allen Sinai chief global economist for Decision Economics, Inc, discussing Milton ‘laissez-faire’ Friedman’s free-market dogma vis a vis the 2008 economic meltdown: “The free market is not geared to take care of the casualties, because there’s no profit motive.”
The chicken-hearts from Silicon Valley already have Gulfstream G550s ($70M each) readied at a Nevada airstrip for the quickie escape journey to NZ.
Escape, from what?
Well, of course, the 99%, you silly!
This revelation comes from Robert Vicino, founder of the Vivos Project, a builder of massive underground bunkers who claims the Silicon Valley elites developed detailed plans to flee to New Zealand while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where the world’s richest biggest kahunas meet every year to take victory laps and discuss future biz battles.
According to Vicino: “They foresaw a revolution or a change where society is going to go after the 1 per centers. In other words, them.”1
Maybe a copy of Jean-Paul Marat’s Chains of Slavery (published 1774) was passed out as bedtime reading material at Davos. Surely a radical political theorists like Marat’s verbal flailing of “princes/aristocrats” with extremely harsh mean-spirited judgment must have dealt them a sleepless night or two.
And maybe the nighttime reading packet also included Victor Hugo’s Ninety-Three (published 1874), which discussed the beheading of King Louis XVI, the Terror, and the monarchist revolt that was brutally suppressed by the new Republic. Heads rolled!
Whatever the source or reason, something happened to flush-out these yellow belly lily livered fraidy-cats, out into the open, but actually deep underground where they’ll live in constant fear that the 99% will hunt them down. Lest they forget, when mobs ruled France, thousands of aristocrats lost their heads to the guillotine, not a fun prospect, which likely has today’s billionaires shaking in their Lucchese boots. Otherwise, why the elaborate plans?
The sorriest part to this story has everything to do with the “privileged” aspect embedded in the glory of capitalism, which ratchets upwards in lock step with vast monetary accumulation. The formula seems to be that the more money one has the more “privileges” one is entitled to at the expense of everybody else, same as 18th century France in Hugo’s Ninety-Three, wherein an aristocrat’s carriage hit and ran over (and killed) the child of a poor family but the aristocrat, without hesitating, kept on going lickety-split to his estate to hide behind locked gates, which is another example of a yellow belly lily livered chicken that can’t take the heat when times get rough.
Evidently, money doesn’t equate to toughness because a principled billionaire would stay back and help in times of trouble, not run for cover. Billionaire plans to escape as soon as things turn rough is a sure sign of weak-kneed namby-pamby pansies on the premises!
Victor Hugo comprehended the French Revolution very well. The aristocrats, whilst prancing about in goofy ruffled clothes and sprayed with perfume and riding in golden carriages, turned up their noses at the masses, looking down upon them with contempt. No help for the starving. In turn, their hubris turned hungry masses into a machine of mass murder as they roamed the streets in search of some dignity, similar to America’s bereft industrial cities today; loss of dignity turns people into something different, nothing to lose, anger, elect Trump, get really mad, do crazy things. In Paris in the 18th C they killed the rich, with abandon.
Actually, billionaires today have much more to consider other than a French Revolution-style uprising that targets the one-percent (them). There are other factors at work like nuclear war, a killer germ, or climate Armageddon, when every street turns dangerous with gangs trolling for food and gasoline and ammo and rich people.
Solving all of those nasty problems, New Zealand allows émigrés to buy residency via investor visas. As a result, super wealthy Americans have poured a fortune into the country and whenever possible acquire palatial estates. For example, James Cameron of Titanic fame bought a mansion at Lake Pounui.
Sotheby’s claims several well-heeled Americans have bought multimillion-dollar properties in the Queenstown area over the past two years. Maybe these billionaires are privy to information of a pending alert or upcoming disaster. Who knows?
Peter Thiel, the PayPal billionaire and renowned super-super-super libertarian and unapologetic Trumpster love-fester achieved New Zealand citizenship in only 12 days and bought not only his citizenship but a $13.8M estate in Wanaka, a lakeside community.
According to a phone interview with the former PM of New Zealand John Key:
If you’re the sort of person that says I’m going to have an alternative plan when Armageddon strikes, then you would pick the farthest location and the safest environment – and that equals New Zealand if you Google it… It’s known as the last bus stop on the planet before you hit Antarctica. I’ve had a lot of people say to me that they would like to own a property in New Zealand if the world goes to hell in a handbasket.2
Hence, when Armageddon hits, all of the billionaires will huddle together in New Zealand.
That’s real creepy!
- Olivia Carville, “Wealthy Americans Have Stepped up Investment in New Zealand. Parliament Votes to Ban Foreigners From Buying Bolt-Hole Homes”, Bloomberg LP, September 5, 2018.
“Foreign specialists” have arrived in Syria and may stage a chemical attack using chlorine in “the next two days,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. This will be filmed for international media to frame Damascus forces.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the operation is planned to unfold in the village of Kafr Zita in Syria’s northwestern Hama Province in “the next two days.”
Konashenkov said that “English-speaking specialists” are already in place to use “poisonous agents.” While a group of residents from the north has been transported to Kafr Zita and is currently being prepared “to take part in the staging of the attack” and be filmed suffering from supposed “‘chemical munitions’ and ‘barrel bombs’ launched by the Syrian government forces.”
The groups of residents will be used to assist “fake rescuers from the White Helmets.” They will be filmed apparently suffering from the effects of chemical weapons and then be shown in “the Middle Eastern and English-language media.”
The defense ministry earlier warned that the US, UK, and France are preparing to use the planned attack as a pretext for airstrikes against Syria. The USS The Sullivans, an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, was already deployed to the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago.
On August 22, US National Security Adviser John Bolton stated that “if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov earlier warned that the US is not finished looking for pretexts for regime change in Damascus.
In April, the US, UK, and France unleashed a bombing campaign on Syria in response to an alleged gas attack in Douma, which the West blamed on Bashar Assad’s government. The operation started hours before a team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was due to reach the city.
The Hon. Emmanuel Macron
President of France
Palais de l’Élysée
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
It was to our great astonishment, consternation, and shock that we perceived the Japanese Self Defense Forces display the Rising Sun Flag in front of the gathered crowds during the military parade on Bastille Day, 2018.
Not since the Nazis paraded the Swastika on June 14th, 1940 has there been such a sight on the Champs Elysées.
As you know, the Rising Sun banner is the war flag of the Japanese Imperial Military and the global symbol of Japanese Imperial Terror from 1894-1945. This is the emblem of the military empire that murdered, tortured, enslaved, raped and terrorized their way through Asia and the Pacific, brutally invading and subjugating entire countries and peoples, while perpetrating innumerable crimes of aggression, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
The leaders of the Japanese Military High Command, representing command responsibility for the Japanese military, were ultimately found guilty and hanged for these crimes.
Article R 645-1 of the French Criminal Code, rightly prohibits “the public exhibition or wearing of such insignia, symbols/emblems, uniforms that recall those used by…organizations…or persons found guilty of one or multiple crimes against humanity by…a [competent] international tribunal”.
We also remind you of the ineffaceable, irrevocable, inviolable right to redress (“imprescriptibilité“) regarding crimes against humanity, codified in French Law (Law No 64-1326, December 26th, 1964).
We further draw your attention to the fact that these leaders were found guilty of multiple Crimes Against Humanity in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, convened on April 29th, 1946.
We therefore assert that the members of the Japanese contingent parading the Rising Sun were in clear violation of R 645-1.
We request that they be charged and prosecuted according to the law.
Technically, on their own soil, the Japanese SDF are allowed to fly the Rising Sun, due to a 1955 accommodation arising from the US SCAP designs of cold war geopolitics. However, it staggers the imagination and shocks the conscience that Republican France—to whom we ascribe higher ethical standards and a demonstrated history of banning symbols and actions like this–would, within the heart of the French Metropole, on the very occasion of its commemoration of opposition to Absolutism and celebration of Universal Human Rights, permit the display and flaunting of a flag that represents the worst excesses of Imperialist Absolutism, unmitigated human rights atrocities, and genocidal and femicidal violations of international law.
We refuse to believe that French standards of governmentality, morality, decency, and common sense allow the public flaunting of the Rising Sun.
We refuse to believe that France allows the symbolic legitimation and normalization of Japanese Imperial Militarism with its long, unimaginable train of irrefragable, but unacknowledged, unatoned-for atrocities.
We refuse to believe that a public holiday also constitutes a moral holiday, where the historical oppressor is dispensed legal exemption to parade violent, traumatic, racist symbology at the cost, shock, and mortification of all its survivors and victims.
We live currently in chaotic, troubled, and morally unsettling times. Symbols have power: the power to incite or to calm, to divide or bring reconciliation, to heal or to harm. The inflammatory public display of the Rising Sun is a symbol of everything that is harmful, divisive, violent, and destructive of human decency, morality, society, and peace.
We urge you to consider our concerns and request prompt and rapid action and redress.
With Deepest Respect,
CWJC (Comfort Women Justice Coalition)
A recent European Council summit in Brussels was meant to articulate a united policy on the burgeoning refugees and migrant crisis. Instead, it served to highlight the bitter divisions among various European countries. Considering the gravity of the matter, Europe’s self-serving policies are set to worsen an already tragic situation.
True, several European leaders, including Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, went home to speak triumphantly of a ‘great victory’, achieved through a supposedly united European position.
Italy’s Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, used more derogatory terms in explaining his country’s new policy on refugees and migrants. “They will only see Italy on a postcard”, he said, referring to refugees who have been arriving in Italy with the help of humanitarian rescue boats.
The first of these boats, carrying over 600 refugees and economic migrants, the Aquarius, was sent back on June 11, followed by another, carrying over 200 refugees. When Italy carried out what then seemed like excessive action, the decision erupted into a massive political controversy between Italy, France, Spain, Malta and others.
However, the pandemonium has subsided since then, as Italy’s Conte declared that, following the Brussels summit, his country ‘is no longer alone.’
What Conte, who presides over a populist, right-wing government, meant is that his country’s unwelcoming attitude towards refugees is now gathering greater European consensus.
The debate over refugees and migrants has reached the point that it has become a source of political instability in countries like Germany. The latter is not considered a ‘frontline state’, as in countries that are likely to be the first destination for refugees escaping war or poverty at home.
Austria and other countries are also caught up in the crisis, each with its own angry constituency to appease.
On paper, representatives of European countries did, in fact, reach an agreement. The real problem ensued as soon as delegations returned to their respective countries.
Despite opposition from Poland and Hungary, and Italian threats to ‘veto’ any text that is not consistent with Italian priorities, the Council agreed on four main points:
First, the establishment of disembarkation centers outside European territories, to be stationed mostly in North Africa. At that early stage, economic migrants would be separated from political asylum seekers.
This first stipulation is made hollow simply because, as the Guardian reports, “no North African country has agreed to host migrant centers to process refugee claims,” in the first place.
Second, Europeans agreed to strengthen borders control through the Frontex system.
Aside from the questionable tactics of this pan-European border police, this system has been in use for years and it is difficult to imagine how ‘strengthening’ it will translate into a more efficient or humane border control system.
Third, the Council called for the creation of ‘controlled’ refugee and migrant processing centers within Europe itself, like the North African non-existing centers, to quickly separate between refugees fleeing strife and economic migrants.
This clause was offered as a ‘voluntary’ step to be exercised by any state as it sees fit, which, again, will hardly contribute to a united European policy on the issue. Yet, despite the voluntary nature of this provision, it still stirred a political controversy in Germany.
Soon after the Council issued its final statement, Horst Lorenz Seehofer, Germany’s Interior Minister, threatened to quit Angela Merkel’s coalition government.
The German Chancellor is now under dual pressure, from within her fractious coalition, but also from without, a massive political campaign championed by the far-right party, the ‘Alternative for Germany’. In fact, the latter group’s popularity is largely attributed to its anti-immigrant sentiment.
A compromise was reached, calling for the establishment of migrant ‘transit centers’ at the German-Austrian border. However, instead of resolving a problem, the decision created another one, propelling a new controversy in Austria itself.
Austria, which also has its own populist, anti-immigrant constituency to placate, fears that the proximity of the German ‘transit centers’ would force it to receive Germany’s unwanted refugees.
“If Berlin introduced national measures, which would have a chain reaction, it could mean that Austria would have to react,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz commented in a press conference. The magnitude of this ‘reaction’ is, of course, to be determined later, depending on the nature of counter-pressure emanating from Austria itself.
Austria has, in fact, already threatened to shut down the Brenner Pass, connecting Italy and Austria.
The fourth, and last, decision by the European Council called for the boosting of North African economies and offering training for Libya’s coastguard.
As altruistic as the last stipulation may sound, it is, indeed, the most ridiculous, especially since it was placed on the agenda with French enthusiasm. Even if one is to ignore France’s colonial history in Africa – grounded in the notion of usurping African resources under military threat – one can hardly ignore the current role that Emmanuel Macron is playing in the current Libyan conflict.
Various media reports suggest that Macron’s government is carrying on with the legacy of intervention, initiated by the government of Nicolas Sarkozy, most notably in the military intervention of March 2011.
Libya, a failed state par excellence, is now fighting proxy wars in which France and Italy are the main players.
Bearing that in mind, it would be absurd to suggest that Macron is keen on respecting the sovereignty and supporting the economies of Libya and other North African nations.
Considering Europe’s past failures and foot dragging on the issue of refugees, it is hard to imagine that one of Europe’s greatest challenges is to be resolved as a result of the Brussels summit and its lackluster ‘agreement’.
Europe continues to view the refugee crisis in terms of security, populist pressures and national identity, as opposed to it being a global humanitarian crisis invited by wars, political strife and economic inequality, of which Europe is hardly innocent.
As long as Europe continues to operate with a skewed definition of the crisis, the crisis will continue to grow, leading to far dire consequences for all of those involved.
• Romana Rubeo, an Italian writer, contributed to this article