Archives 12th September 2017

‘The United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea on Monday over the country’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, imposing a ban on the country’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

It was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.

The United States, which had proposed banning all oil imports to the Asian country, watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russia.

Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, welcomed the resolution. “The international community has shown it is united against the illegal and reckless acts by the North Korean regime. By adopting these new measures, we have the most stringent UN sanctions regime placed on any nation in the 21st century.’

Read more: UN Security Council steps up sanctions against North Korea over nuclear test

‘On Tuesday, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley gave speech a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, home to many neoconservative policymakers who supported the Iraq war, declaring that Iran has violated the 2015 international agreement limiting its nuclear program.

The speech followed publication of an article by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, also a supporter of the Iraq war, calling for repudiation of the agreement. Earlier this year, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an Iraq war veteran, called for the White House to formally adopt a policy of “regime change” toward Iran, the largest country in the Middle East with 80 million people.

In short, the repudiation of the 2015 agreement is the first step toward a declared U.S. policy of overthrowing the government of Iran.

But why should the United States, beset with natural disasters and racial division, a losing war in Aghanistan, the folly of Iraq, and the emergence of ISIS, actively provoke another war in the Middle East?

The short answer is that U.S. allies in the region–Saudi Arabia and Israel–are Iran’s chief rivals. Neither is strong enough to attack Iran on their own.’

Read more: Six Lies Driving Trump’s Campaign to Create a Massive Clash with Iran

‘State owned Saudi propaganda television channel Al Arabiya is set to release a “documentary” produced in the United States which seeks to implicate Iran in the 9/11 attacks whose 16 year anniversary will be commemorated this month.

The preposterously untrue Saudi claims come as new information in a 9/11 related lawsuit accuses Saudi officials of financing a “dry run” of 9/11 prior to the commencement of the atrocity.

While Saudi Arabia has long been implicated as a major architect of the attacks, Riyadh’s state owned media is instead trying to shift blame to Iran which no credible source has ever accused of having anything to do with 9/11.

While Iran and the United States no longer have formal diplomatic relations, the Islamic Republic of Iran was among the first countries to unequivocally condemn 9/11.’

Read more: State owned Saudi propaganda tries to blame 9/11 on Iran

‘The leader of Kurdistan Iraq, President Masoud Barzani, has called for a (second) general referendum on Independence, setting the date as 25th of September this year. He is determined to materialise the dream of establishing a Kurdish state in the Middle East.

This coincides with support from the US administration for Kurdish Syrians in al-Hasaka, Raqqah and Deir al-Zour northern provinces. The aim is to see another Kurdish Federation that can follow the path or even precede their Iraqi “brothers”.

Both the steps in Iraq and Syria relating to the Kurds are linked, regardless of borders. Nevertheless, the regional countries directly concerned – i.e. Ankara, Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus – believe that it is the US’s intention to reshape the region and form a “new Middle East,” as promoted during President George Bush’s eraby ex-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice..

Will the countries, which are neighbours to the Kurds, allow the US to divide the Middle East by taking advantage of 22-25 million enthusiastic and committed Kurds, dreaming of having their own state?’

Read more: The New Middle East: Kurds in Iraq and Syria Used as a Trojan Horse. Washington’s Intent is to ‘Divide the Middle East’

‘The race between legitimate Syrian government forces and the US-backed SDF umbrella group to control the oil rich Deir ez-Zor province has intensified following the lifting of the blockade by Syrian troops last week and risks turning into direct confrontation.

Last Tuesday, the Syrian military backed by the Russian air force finally broke the IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL) siege of Deir ez-Zor from the west following a cruise missile strike on terrorist positions.

The advance to clear the remaining terrorists progressed at a steady pace, and by Saturday, Syrian government forces smashed the IS blockade of the military airport which for three years had served as the only lifeline to the city.

Following Damascus’ strategic victory, and while its forces continue to squash pockets of IS resistance in the west of the city, the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) swiftly announced on Saturday a separate offensive east of Deir ez-Zor. SDF forces raced to Deir ez-Zor which lies only 140 km south-east of Raqqa, where the US-led coalition is conducting its main offensive against ISIS.’

Read more: US on collision course with Syrian forces in ‘race for Deir ez-Zor’s oil fields’

‘The situation in Burma is a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’, the United Nations rights chief said yesterday, as the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the country for Bangladesh topped 300,000.

The UN warning came as it emerged the Dalai Lama wrote to de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi urging her to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in the mainly Buddhist country.

The Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority, have faced decades of persecution in Burma where they are regarded as illegal immigrants.

But since the latest upsurge in violence on August 25, hundreds of thousands have flooded across the border into Bangladesh bringing stories of entire villages burned to the ground by Buddhist mobs and Burma troops.

On Monday the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein accused Burma of waging a ‘systematic attack’ on the Rohingya and warned that ‘ethnic cleansing’ seemed to be under way.’

Read more: Burma is accused of ‘textbook’ ethnic cleansing by the UN as the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing for Bangladesh tops 300,000

‘Britain must stop “legitimizing human rights abusers” and halt its training of Myanmar soldiers amid reports of the ongoing “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in the south-east Asian country, anti-arms trade activists told RT.

Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) spokesman Andrew Smith said there should be an investigation into how Britain contributes to the training of Myanmar soldiers, and what sort of impact its aid is having on ground forces.

“The Burmese military has an appalling human rights record,” CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith told RT.

“Questions need to be asked about the training being provided by the UK – what is it for and what has been its impact?

“The UK should not be strengthening or legitimizing human rights abusers.”

His comments come as a top UN human rights official claimed on Monday that Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state is a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.’

Read more: UK should stop training Myanmar soldiers amid Rohingya Muslim ‘ethnic cleansing’ – activists

‘A day after the city of Naples was run over by the eye of Hurricane Irma, locals are assessing the damage left by the 141 mph winds and shaking their heads.

“It’s very eery,” says one resident, Paige Shirk. “It looks like it could be on the set of ‘The Walking Dead’.”

After Irma made landfall in the early hours of Sunday in the Florida Keys, it headed northwards and then struck land for a second time at Marco Island – a barrier community linked to this city of 20,000 by a causeway. Informed that they were in the centre of Irma’s path, city officials feared they were in for storm surges of up to 15ft (4.6m).

As it was, Naples, along with cities to the north such as St Petersburg and Tampa, escaped the devastation that many had feared. Yet, the destruction that Irma left in its wake is clear to see – downed power lines, trees uprooted and streets of suburban homes left under water. Light fixtures were torn from their housing. In the centre of this coastal community, debris and damaged trees are strewn across the roads.’

Read more: ‘It looks like The Walking Dead’: Florida’s residents assess Irma’s damage