John Pilger talks MSM landscape & Assange, Syria & US sanctions wars (Going Underground)

Published on 4 Oct 2018
There are two types of media in the world – approved and unapproved – and the public is generally only allowed to see the former, journalist John Pilger told RT. He also spoke about Western sanctions and Trump’s approach in Syria. READ MORE:

International Court of Justice Rules US Sanctions on Iran Are Illegal


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The United Nations’ highest court on Wednesday ordered the United States to lift sanctions on Iran that affect imports of humanitarian goods and products and services linked to civil aviation safety.

The ruling by the International Court of Justice is legally binding, but it remains to be seen if the administration of President Donald Trump will comply.

Of course Washington will not comply. The US government is a criminal organization that refuses to obey even its on laws

Update: As I said, Washington refused to comply with the law. Instead, Washington cancelled the treaty showing the US to be a completely lawless government.

Trump’s growing diplomatic isolation on Iran

Via: The Washington Post <>

President Trump’s reintroduction of sanctions on Iran isn’t going over well with the international community. On Wednesday, the United Nations’ highest court ordered the United States to remove any restrictions on the export of humanitarian goods and services to Iran.

Iranian officials had appealed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, arguing that Trump’s move to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions violated, among other things, a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries. The court didn’t give Iran the sweeping ruling against all sanctions that it hoped, but enough to claim a moral victory.

But the ICJ doesn’t have the power to enforce its rulings, and the Trump administration wasn’t about to let foreign judges constrain its actions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Treaty of Amity. Iran, he said, had been violating it “for an awfully long time,” anyway.

Then, at a White House briefing, national security adviser John Bolton announced that the administration was reviewing all agreements that could subject the United States to future rulings by the court. He said Washington would withdraw from an amendment to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an “optional protocol” that allowed Palestinian officials to file a suit against the United States at the ICJ last week for moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

“The United States will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us,” Bolton said. When asked about Tehran’s response, he replied that “Iran is a rogue regime . . . so I don’t take what they say seriously at all.”

But other governments still do. During meetings at the United Nations last week, Trump, Pompeo and Bolton railed against Iran and berated various other member states and U.N. bodies for not bending to American interests. Their approach elicited an icy reaction. At a Security Council session chaired by President Trump, every other member of the U.N.’s most powerful body scolded Washington for its rejection of the nuclear deal, an agreement the council had endorsed.

Iran’s political leadership is enjoying its moment of international solidarity. After the ICJ ruling, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif termed the United States an “outlaw regime” in pursuit of a “malign” agenda, parroting U.S. attacks on Tehran. Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani welcomed a European proposal to create a barter system in which companies could trade with Iran without money changing hands, thus skirting U.S. sanctions. “Europe has taken a big step,” he said.

Iran hopes that the ICJ’s announcement, though mostly symbolic, will give a similar boost to its trade prospects. “The decision could encourage European companies, which ceased trading with Iran for fear of falling foul of President Trump, to reconsider their position, specifically those dealing in the humanitarian items outlined by the judges,” wrote Anna Holligan, the BBC’s correspondent in The Hague.

Away from the chambers of U.N. organizations, however, the picture is a bit gloomier for Tehran. Iran’s financial sector has long been a mess. Its currency, the rial, has lost about 70 percent of its value since May. One analysis by a group of economists forecasts that the country’s economy could contract close to 4 percent in 2019 — a collapse driven largely by the re-imposition of oil sanctions, which will come into place next month.

“The pressures will have an impact and put [the Trump administration] in position to claim credit for things that would have happened anyway,” said Patrick Clawson, director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, speaking at a panel on Iran held by the Center for the National Interest in Washington.

Trump and the anti-Iran ideologues in his administration have cited the difficulties faced by the regime — as well as the economic protests that have flared up in various parts of the country — as evidence of a nation ready for real political change. They believe the sanctions will galvanize the Iranian opposition and force the country’s leaders to curb their support for their armed proxies across the Middle East.

But some analysts fear the sanctions will have the opposite effect. Figures such as Rouhani and Zarif have drawn popular ire over the country’s economic mismanagement, but they don’t make the final decisions on Iran’s military footprint abroad. The theocratic regime’s hardliners, particularly among its Revolutionary Guard Corps, control that portfolio. And with recent polling suggesting that Iranians still largely support their country’s foreign policy, the mullahs have little incentive to change course.

“We have altered the trajectory of the Islamic Republic, but not in a good way,” said Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council, speaking at the same event. She pointed to the surging popularity of Qassem Soleimani, a key leader within the IRGC, whose foreign proxies are engaged in conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

“I thought that an Iran that was more engaged with the world would be one that would be more likely to evolve in a more liberal direction,” Slavin said, referring to the hopes of many people who backed the nuclear deal. “Now the military will become stronger.”

Key U.S. allies also fear the dangers of Trump’s path. Speaking with reporters in Washington on Wednesday, Ahmed Mahjoub, Iraq’s chief foreign-affairs spokesman, warned that sanctions will hurt ordinary Iraqis, who are vulnerable to economic chaos next door.

He pointed out the failures of U.S. sanctions imposed on the government of Saddam Hussein in the 1990s. Sanctions “do harm to the people, not the political regime,” he said. “Imposing them is futile and will hurt Iranians who may otherwise be sympathetic to the United States.”

• My colleague Carol Morello has more on Pompeo’s termination of the Treaty of Amity with Iran:

“‘We ought to have pulled out of it decades ago,’ Pompeo said, calling it ‘39 years overdue’ in a reference to the 1979 revolution in Iran. ‘Today marked a useful point with the decision that was made this morning from the ICJ. This marked a useful point for us to demonstrate the absolute absurdity of the Treaty of Amity between the United States and the Islamic Republic.’

“The court told the United States that it should lift a number of sanctions that were reimposed after President Trump announced in May that he would withdraw from the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran. A more punishing round of sanctions against Iran’s oil and financial sectors is scheduled to take effect Nov. 4, and the United States is warning allies that they could face secondary sanctions if they continue to do business with Iran.

“The court ruling was a moral victory for Tehran, even though it was hoping for a more sweeping decision on the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal. It had argued that U.S. sanctions, which were lifted when the agreement was implemented in 2016, violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity.”

• The White House said late Wednesday it will send the FBI’s completed report on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Senate. In anticipation of the report’s arrival, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) teed up a key vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination for Friday. Until that vote, my colleagues report, “senators will be rushing in and out of a secure facility in the Capitol to review the sensitive FBI report that the bureau has compiled, looking into allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.”

But, my colleagues go on, the report has already been criticized by lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford —the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault —as incomplete. They say the FBI did not interview Ford or any witnesses who corroborate her testimony. These concerns come as The Post reports that the FBI investigation appears to have been curtailed in its scope by the White House.

• After months of wrangling, Iraq is on the way to finally forming a government. On Tuesday, the country’s parliament elected veteran Kurdish politician Barham Salih as president and tasked former oil minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to form the next government. My colleagues Mustafa Salim and Tamer El-Ghobashy reported from Baghad:

“The selection of the men showed how the sectarian loyalties in Iraq’s Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab communities that have prevailed since the U.S. invasion in 2003 are breaking down, giving way to more-pragmatic coalitions that cut across sectarian lines.

“Salih, 58, was chosen as president, a largely ceremonial post, after trouncing his Kurdish rival by a vote of 219 to 22, signaling overwhelming support among the legislature’s Arab majority for Salih’s brand of conciliatory politics.

“Abdul Mahdi, 76, a Shiite with no recent party affiliation, will hold the vast majority of executive power, and his selection represents a compromise by the top finishers in May’s election, Iraqi and American officials said.

“But the vote left no clear winner in the ongoing tussle between Iran and the United States to place their allies in Iraq’s key political posts as Washington seeks to isolate Tehran economically and politically.”

• There’s a rather overt subtext to the USMCA, the new free-trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States that will replace NAFTA. My colleague Gerry Shih explains:

“One of the most significant elements of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, analysts say, may be two lines tucked near the end of the accord. Nicknamed the ‘Trump veto’ by some Canadian politicians, Clause 32 Section 10 allows signatories to pull out of the USMCA if one country pursues a separate free trade agreement with a ‘nonmarket country’ — a thinly veiled warning, in other words, against any side deals with China.

“The fine print in the North American pact offers the latest sign of how the deepening rivalry between the two largest economies is spilling over and threatening to polarize the world.

“On Sunday, a senior Trump administration official said the new deal, which effectively replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, would allow the White House to focus its attention on China. The deal would be a ‘playbook’ for future trade deals, the official said, suggesting that Washington could pressure other allies to loosen their trade ties with Beijing.

“Jorge Guajardo, a former Mexican ambassador to Beijing, said the message carried in the USMCA veto clause was stark. ‘It sent a very strong signal to the rest of the world that you’re either with us versus China, or you’re against us,’ Guajardo said. ‘Beijing should be very concerned.’

“China’s Foreign Ministry has not commented on the USMCA — the country is celebrating a week-long national holiday — but the moves will probably reinforce a deepening sense in China that the United States and its allies are orchestrating a concerted effort to thwart China’s rise not just in trade but in diplomacy, technology and military affairs.”

A security guard stands on a blocked road, leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, on&nbsp;Oct. 3.&nbsp;(Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)</p>

A security guard stands on a blocked road, leading to the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, on Oct. 3. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)


Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. He has not been heard from since. Kashoggi, 59, is a prominent commentator who writes for The Post’s Global Opinions section and has recently been critical of Saudi leadership.

Close to Saudi Arabia’s ruling circles for decades, Kashoggi has written extensively about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies, criticizing the arrests of activists and questioning Saudi Arabia’s involvement in a war in neighboring Yemen. He has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year and said that he feared arrest if he remained in Saudi Arabia.

The disappearance has stunned some of the Saudi government’s stalwart defenders and highlighted the country’s increasingly aggressive pursuit of its critics under the leadership of Mohammed. The Saudi authorities have arrested hundreds of people over the past year, often on murky charges, including women’s rights advocates, dissidents and popular clerics, according to human rights groups. 

Khashoggi’s apparent detention also threatens to become a flash point in relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The two countries maintain cordial relations but are on opposing sides of a regional dispute pitting Qatar against a bloc of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia. Turkey has strongly supported Qatar in the feud. And now Turkish officials are saying he is still inside the consulate, contradicting a Saudi government statement that he left it a day earlier.

Ibrahim Kalin, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Wednesday that “the information we have is, at the moment, this individual that is a Saudi citizen is still at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.”

Kalin also raised concerns about the legality of the apparent detention, saying that Khashoggi’s disappearance “has a dimension of international law. There is a dimension of the law of the Turkish republic.”

Khashoggi’s fiancee, who was standing vigil outside the consulate Wednesday with other friends, said Khashoggi had been at the consulate Tuesday to obtain documents that would allow them to be married this week.

“Of course he was worried,” she said of his decision to visit the mission despite the danger that he would not be allowed to leave. She added: “He took everything into consideration.” Kareem Fahim



UK Defending Al-Qaeda on 9/11 Anniversary! Trump Was Always Right About Leaving Syria — LaRouche Irish Brigade

Realities of warfare on the ground in Idlib province, Syria – June 11, 2018 (Qasioun News Agency/Screengrab) The Schiller Institute and LaRouchePAC remain mobilized against obvious British-led attempts to organize a UK-France-U.S. missile attack against Syria, and against Russian forces there, whether by using a “false flag” chemical attack, or even without the chemical-weapons […]

via UK Defending Al-Qaeda on 9/11 Anniversary! Trump Was Always Right About Leaving Syria — LaRouche Irish Brigade

Former Yazidi sex slave recalls horror of meeting her ISIS rapist in Germany

[……“My dignity is more important than being in Germany,” she said. “I’ve put my life on the edge to escape from ISIS here to keep my dignity, then you want me to stay in Germany and know that the one who was responsible for my misery is free in that country?”

“All I wanted was to be somewhere safe but if I meet ISIS there and I’m afraid all the time that he would hurt me again, then I can’t stay there anymore.”………]


Former Yazidi sex slave recalls horror of meeting her ISIS rapist in Germany   


A Yazidi teenager who fled from Islamic State slavery in Iraq, only to come face to face with her former captor in Germany, told RT why she returned to Iraq, and why she thinks Europe is no safe haven for girls like her.

After fleeing captivity in Iraq, Ashwaq Ta’lo thought she was safe in Schwabisch Gmund, a picturesque market town in the foothills of Germany’s Swabian mountains, near Stuttgart. That changed one night in February, when Ashwaq was returning home from school and a car pulled up beside her.

A short-bearded man stepped out and took off his glasses, leaning in closer to look at the teenager. “Can I ask you a question,” he said. “Are you Ashwaq?”

It was a face Ashwaq never thought she would see again. The man, known only as Abu Humam, was a Syrian Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) fighter who had bought Ashwaq for $100 at a slave market in Ba’aj, Iraq in 2015. He was now living in Germany as a refugee, enjoying the same freedom as his former victim.

“I said ‘no, I’m not Ashwaq,’” she told RT. “Then he said ‘no, you are and I know it, don’t lie to me,’” Ashwaq panicked and fled to her brother’s house, as Abu Humam followed her. The encounter instantly brought her from peaceful Germany back to the dusty roads of war-torn Iraq, where her ordeal had begun a few years before.

In 2014, as ISIS hordes claimed land and took lives across Iraq and Syria at blitzkrieg pace, Ashwaq lived with 77 of her extended family in a small village in Iraqi Kurdistan. ISIS’ campaign of slaughter and pillage eventually caught up with them, and jihadists surrounded her family home, capturing and separating the family.

“The worst time in my life was the moment when ISIS separated us from our families,” Ashwaq recalls. “I knew that I would be raped and tortured.” She was 15 at the time.

From there, Ashwaq was shuttled in pickup trucks from around northern Iraq, until she landed in the tiny town of Ba’aj, where she was sold for $100 to Abu Humam. “I tried my best to convince him that he should release me,” she said. “But he said that he got orders that they should rape all Yazidi women and keep them as slaves. We even tried looking for gasoline or anything sharp, like knives or scissors, to kill ourselves with, but didn’t find anything.”

Read more

Yazidis commemorate 3rd anniversary of ISIS genocidal campaign against them. August 3, 2017 © Suhaib Salem

Ashwaq was forced to convert to Islam, and became Abu Humam’s property. When the militants moved, Abu Humam kept the teenage girl by his side, a human shield against US-led Coalition airstrikes. Eventually, Ashwaq managed to flee, and a year later was resettled in Germany under a refugee program.

“We knew that if we stayed they would kill us, because they are ISIS and they are murderers,” she said.

After meeting Abu Humam in Germany, Ashwaq filed a police report and told her assigned social worker who she had seen. She says the police waited a month and a half to open the case, and when they did, they found no leads.

Her social worker told her that she was in Germany to recover from the trauma of her captivity in Iraq, but Ashwaq no longer felt safe.

“How can that be, if my rapist is living here and has the same rights as me?” she wondered.

Federal prosecutors say that they investigated the case as best they could. Based on her description, they could not identify Abu Humam, and could not trace his name. Prosecutors say they wanted to ask Ashwaq some more questions, but the teenager had already left Germany at that point.

Read more

FILE PHOTO. © Thilo Schmuelgen

Faced with living in fear of her rapist or taking her chances elsewhere, Ashwaq headed back to Iraq to visit relatives. Her family who stayed behind in Germany begged her to return, and assured her that the German government would see to it that justice was done. Ashwaq refused.

“My dignity is more important than being in Germany,” she said. “I’ve put my life on the edge to escape from ISIS here to keep my dignity, then you want me to stay in Germany and know that the one who was responsible for my misery is free in that country?”

“All I wanted was to be somewhere safe but if I meet ISIS there and I’m afraid all the time that he would hurt me again, then I can’t stay there anymore.”

Ashwaq arrived in Germany as one of over a million migrants admitted in 2015. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood by her country’s ‘open-door’ migration policy until it was abandoned this year. Critics have blasted the chancellor for carelessly admitting millions of migrants, often with inadequate vetting. Even when defending her decision, Merkel admitted last year that “for some time we didn’t have enough control” at Germany’s borders.

Ashwaq’s tormentor was just one of an unknown number of violent jihadists who may have slipped through the cracks. In 2015, German federal police received over 300 tip-offs about potential jihadists or known terrorists entering the country as refugees. “We have repeatedly seen that terrorists… have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees,” the head of Germany’s interior intelligence agency warned the following year.

Even before Merkel rolled out the welcome mat to migrants, some violent extremists managed to lay low in Germany. This April, a 42-year-old Tunisian man, living in Germany since 1997 and claiming government benefits, was found to have been a member of Al-Qaeda, and to have allegedly once worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden. After his deportation, a court ordered the man returned to Germany for prosecution.

When Ashwaq arrived in Germany, she was required to remain in the state of Baden-Württemberg. This meant that she couldn’t move across the country to avoid Abu Humam.

“Germany was taking care of us,” she said. “But it was a mistake to bring us all to Baden-Württemberg so it was easier for them to track us and we were not allowed to move to another state.”