“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
Wars And Rumours Of Wars
Paul Craig Roberts
July 22, 2016
The Western pubic doesn’t know it, but Washington and its European vassals are convincing Russia that they are preparing to attack. Eric Zuesse reports on a German newspaper leak of a Bundeswehr decision to declare Russia to be an enemy nation of Germany.
This is the interpretation that some Russian politicians themselves have put on the NATO military bases that Washington is establishing on Russia’s borders.
Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941.
Zhirinovsky is the founder and leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and a vice chairman of the Russian parliament. In a confrontation with the editor of a German newspaper, Zhirinovsky tells him that German troops again on Russia’s border will provoke a preventive strike after which nothing will remain of German and NATO troops. “The more NATO soldiers in your territory, the faster you are going to die. To the last man. Remove NATO from your territory!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQm8L8d8uDc
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.
Indeed Zhirinovsky has already reached that point and perhaps Vladimir Putin also. As I reported, Putin recently dressed down Western presstitutes for their role in fomenting nuclear war. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/08/are-you-planning-your-retirement-forget-about-it-you-wont-survive-to-experience-it/ See also: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45055.htm
Putin has made it clear that Russia will not accept US missile bases in Poland and Romania. He has informed Washington and the imbecilic Polish and Romanian governments. However, as Putin observed, “they don’t hear.”
The inability to hear means that Washington’s arrogance has made Washington too stupid to take seriously Putin’s warning. If Washington persists, it will provoke the preventive strike that Zhirinovsky told the German editor the Merkel regime was inviting.
Americans need to wake up to the dangerous situation that Washington has created, but I doubt they will. Most wars happen without the public’s knowledge until they happen. The main function of the American left-wing is to serve as a bogyman with which to scare conservatives about the country’s loss of morals, and the main function of conservatives is to create fear and hysteria about immigrants, Muslims, and Russians. There is no sign that Congress is aware of approaching Armageddon, and the media consists of propaganda.
I and a few others try to alert people to the real threats that they face, but our voices are not loud enough. Not even Vladimir Putin’s voice is loud enough. It looks like the West won’t hear until “there remains nothing at all of the German and NATO troops,” and of Poland and Romania and the rest of us.
Darpa Spent $62 Million Creating Microchips For Humans
WRITTEN BY: GREG WHITE JULY 22, 2016
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is in the process of making a neural-coding device capable of controlling artificial limbs when seeded in the brain. The device has had success in animal studies and the first human trials are set for 2017. The Pentagon has subsidized the institution $62 million to help foster this mind-control technology. Meanwhile, the mainstream media is pushing for the micochipping of children sooner rather than later.
During a recent televised report by NBC News, the news station purported the micro-chipping of children by the state was as normal as bar codes for consumers: “When barcodes first came out in the late 1960s, people were appalled. They were wary of them and did not understand the concept. Today, it is so commonplace, we don’t even notice it. A microchip would work much in the same way.”
This declaration is a reflection of the mentality of the mainstream media, which sees people as objects fit for labeling rather than persons with intrinsic moral value. Although DARPA touts the brain chips as a way to protect children, in actuality, this sort of technology has more to do with control than it does public safety.
Controlling the masses
Whenever the establishment wants to control the masses, they assemble a list of cheap talking points to scare the population into abiding by its agenda. Whenever the mainstream media pushes for vaccines, for instance, they list all the possible ways a person may become very sick and die if they don’t get the shot. And whenever the government wishes to corrode privacy rights, they do so in the name of “protecting” the public from would be “terrorists.”
Several pet owners have already microchiped their dogs to keep tabs on their pets. Therefore, microchip proponents argue, it is not too much of a stretch to start micro chipping children at birth for similar purposes. The problem is most people are not aware of the dangers this reasoning poses, which is why mind-control technology is not being more widely opposed.
According to a statement made by DARPA, the brain chip would:
“[Enable] data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world, feeding digital auditory or visual information into the brain.” and thereby “open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
In short: They are developing mind control chips that can be inserted into the brains of babies from the cradle.
As the Waking Times explains, the military deploys a term known as “mission creep,” which refers to the expansion of a military project beyond its original goals that has yet to foster public support. If the military wants to invade a country, for example, they will first take over nearby regions and establish a military base around the desired country in an effort to boost the likelihood of winning. In the same way the public has been coerced into a number of unjustifiable wars, DARPA is now trying to coerce the public into submitting to mind control.
Google endorses DARPA mind control chips
Last year, CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, attended a Bilderberg conference with former DARPA employee and Google executive Regina Dugan, where he voiced support of DARPA’s technology.
“If you have something that you don’t want anybody to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” Schmidt said.
“We don’t need you to type at all because we know here you are, with your permission, we know where you’ve been, with your permission, we can more or less guess what you’re thinking about,” he continued.
Adding to these remarks, Schmidt specifically referred to DARPA’s brain chips in the same interview.
“There’s what I call the creepy line and the Google policy with a lot of these things is to get right up to the creepy line, but not cross it. I would argue that implanting things in your brain is beyond the creepy line…at least for the moment until the technology gets better.”
Without doubt, the mainstream media and DARPA will continue to tout the benefits of this technology without noting all the risks. Due to this, it is on the shoulders of the alternative media to ensure the public isn’t trolled by mind control.
TURKISH PROSECUTOR CLAIMS CIA, FBI TRAINED COUP PLOTTERS
Claims foreign secret services were involved in training the coup plotters
JULY 29, 2016
A Turkish prosecutor has claimed that the CIA and FBI provided training for the followers of powerful US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the coup attempt earlier this month.
The indictment, prepared by the Edirne Public Prosecutor’s office and accepted by the local Second Heavy Penal Court, seeks the harshest possible punishment for 43 suspects that have allegedly been linked to the failed coup attempt on July 15, including the coup’s supposed mastermind, Fethullah Gulen, the arch-nemesis of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The prosecutor said on Thursday that members of what it describes as “the Fethullah Terrorist Organization” were trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The CIA and FBI provided training in several subjects to the cadre raised in the culture centers belonging to the Gulen movement. The operations carried out by prosecutors and security officials during the Dec. 17 process can be taken as a good example of this,” the document says, referring to a high profile corruption probe that targeted senior government officials between December 17 and December 25 of 2013, as reported by the Turkish Hurriyet daily.
The investigation affected many officials linked to the Turkish Cabinet, which was headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan at that time. Erdogan, who is now Turkey’s president, called it “a judicial coup” attempt, while accusing Gulen and his movement of orchestrating it with the help of some “foreign forces.”
The indictment states that Gulen loyalists received US training and infiltrated judicial and security institutions.
“This [failed coup] attempt aimed to weaken the state with all its institutions by getting rid of the government completely. Those in the Gulen movement who work in the judicial and security institutions and who received the aforementioned training, took on this task and moved into action,” the document says, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
It adds that some other foreign secret services were also involved in training the coup plotters, according to the Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper.
Relations between Washington and Ankara soured following the foiled coup attempt on July 15. Some Turkish media and even government officials, including the labor minister, have claimed that the US was somehow involved, despite an outright denial from the US.
Immediately after the failed coup attempt, the Turkish government criticized the US for providing safe haven for Gulen, saying that a country that harbors “the coup planner” is “no friend” to Turkey. Ankara has also repeatedly demanded that the US extradite Gulen to Turkey, while Washington has maintained that Turkey must first file a formal extradition request and provide solid proof of his involvement in the coup.
On July 25, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said that Turkey-US ties could suffer unless Washington extradites Gulen.
On Friday, Erdogan once again slammed the US for harboring Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, and demanded his extradition. He also lashed out at the head of US Central Command, General Joseph Votel, who has criticized the detention of thousands of Turkish military personnel in the aftermath of the coup attempt and said that some of the military figures that the US had been working with are now in jail.
“It is not up to you to make that decision. Who are you? Know your place…” Erdogan said, as quoted by AP.
“Instead of thanking this nation that quashed the coup in the name of democracy, on the contrary you are taking sides with the coup-plotters,” he added, stressing that “the coup plotter is in your country anyway” and “you [the US] can never convince my people otherwise.”
On Friday, general Votel rejected Turkey’s claims.
“Any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate,” Votel said, according to the statement from US Central Command.
Votel added that “Turkey has been an extraordinary and vital partner in the region for many years.”
On July 25, Yeni Safak claimed that retired US Army General John F. Campbell, the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, was behind the foiled coup attempt. Campbell reportedly sent more than $ 2 billion in transactions to Turkey via Nigeria in order to distribute it among the pro-coup military. He has also been accused of managing the soldiers involved in the rebellion, the daily said, citing sources close to the investigation.
Washington later dismissed the allegations against the general, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest calling them unsubstantiated.
The US dismissed claims that it was complicit in the Turkish coup attempt as “utterly false and harmful” after Ankara declared that any state standing by US-based cleric Gulen an enemy.
On July 19, US ambassador John Bass even went on CNN Turk to dismiss the accusations against the US. “The United States government did not direct, support or know about the coup [attempt] before it happened or until it was underway,” he said at that time.
Relations between the two countries have also been strained by the situation at NATO’s Incirlik air base in Turkey, which stores US tactical nuclear weapons and is being used by Washington in its campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
About 1,000 people gathered at the base on Thursday in an anti-US protest to demand the closure of the facility.
Turkish prosecutors and police have conducted searches at the base, and its commander, General Bekir Ercan Van, has been arrested along with more than a dozen lower ranking officers on charges of complicity in the attempted coup.
According to Turkish officials, 270 people were killed in the July 15 uprising against President Erdogan, including 24 plotters. More than 18,000 people have been detained since the foiled coup attempt, Turkish Interior Minister Efkana Ala announced recently. Over 45,000 members of the army, judiciary, police, and media, as well as civil servants, have been fired.
Turexit: Will Turkey Leave NATO Over Post-Coup Attempt Rift with the US?
© AP Photo/
With polls showing that only 17% of Turks welcome the US in their country and with the country's leadership accusing the United States of staging the attempted government overthrow and even threatening war against the Americans, this relationship appears doomed to fail.
The death of NATO appeared to be all but written on the wall in the wake of the failed coup attempt when Turkish Labor Secretary Suleyman Soylu said during a live interview with Haberturk television that "The US is behind the coup" – a statement that Ankara still refuses to condemn.
The situation became worse as the country’s provocative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the US extradite the "head of terrorist" referring to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara claims was behind the failed government overthrow effort while the crowd sang "death penalty for Feto"
Haberturk TV - @140journos pic.twitter.com/AnoCW2ecB9
6:31 PM - 16 Jul 2016
But it was Prime Minister Binali Yidlirim who really lowered the boom threatening to go to war with "any" country that supports Fethullah Gulen – a direct reference to the United States.
Since accusing the United States, their long-time ally, of masterminding a failed attempt to overthrow a government whose connections to Islamic terrorist organizations – with evidence showing that Ankara has been engaged in regular weapons and oil trade with Daesh and reports connecting the Erdogan regime with a false-flag sarin gas attack in Syria – already much too close for Washington’s liking many believed that the United States would pack up and leave.
Instead, the US State Department has cautioned that accusing the United States of attempting to overthrow an allied government is "harmful to bilateral relations," expressing continued support for the Erdogan regime, and has attempted to explain to Turkey that under US law evidence is needed to support the extradition request Turkey seeks.
The final straw may very well have come several months ago with the attacks against three US marines in Istanbul on Wednesday by a group of Turkish nationalists who will no doubt be emboldened by their leaders’ statements that the Americans were behind the attempt to destabilize the country. The attackers put white hoods and bags over the heads of the US soldiers while yelling “Yankees go home” while calling them "murderers" and throwing orange paint on them.
"Because we regard you as murderers who kill men, we require that you leave our country," one of the Turks said in English while the soldiers were chased down the street. Despite the Obama administration’s attempts to downplay this growing sentiment among the Turkish people, a poll in October revealed that only 19% of Turks welcome Americans.
Washington now faces a critical challenge with Turkey serving as the linchpin to America’s security strategy in the Middle East and the Balkans based on its geography and longstanding alliance with the United States.
NATO Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis explained in a recent Foreign Policy magazine article that Turkey has been critical to "virtually every NATO operation with significant impact: training Afghan Security Forces and leading coalition efforts in the central district, including Kabul; sending ships and aircraft to Libya; participating in counterpiracy operations; maintaining a steady presence in the security and peacekeeping force in the Balkans."
Despite its strategic importance, Ankara has increasingly become a thorn in the side of the Obama administration and NATO which houses some 90 tactical nuclear weapons at Incirlik Airbase only 60 miles northwest of the Syrian border with growing political instability raising the prospect of a "loose nuke" falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
That possibility looms large as the Erdogan regime engages in a full-scale purge of opposition having locked up over 10,000 alleged supporters of Fethullah Gulen from the country’s education, judicial, and military sectors while hinting at the idea of bringing back the death penalty to engage in mass executions by saying earlier this week "why should I keep them locked up and feed them."
Washington now faces a conundrum of setting back its defense strategy a decade by losing access to a critical regional base or enduring repeated accusations that it attempted a coup against its ally, attacks on US soldiers by an increasingly hostile Turkish population, the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the waiting arms of terrorists, and sanctioning the activities of a leader who has hinted at killing off over 10,000 people on allegations of treason.
It may ultimately not be Turkey that leaves NATO, but rather the West that decides Ankara has drifted too far down the road of perdition. One way or another, the clock appears to be ticking on the waning hours of the once great military alliance.
FARS NEWS AGENCY
Turkey Thanks Russia for "Unconditional Support" during Botched Coup
Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:27
TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed gratitude on Monday to the Russian President for the "unconditional support" offered to Ankara during the botched coup in the country.
"Russia has offered unconditional support to us. First of all, I’d like to thank Mr. Putin and other Russian officials," Cavusoglu said, TASS reported.
During his statement that was broadcast by Haberturk TV channel, Cavusoglu said that a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be held in August before the G20 summit.
"This meeting will focus on removing the economic barriers and on other steps to restore bilateral relations," the Turkish foreign minister said.
On the night to July 16, a group of insurgents took an abortive coup attempt in Turkey. The main confrontation took place in Ankara and Istanbul. The country’s leaders announced later that the coup attempt had been thwarted. According to the latest reports, 246 people, the putsch members excluded, died and 2,185 were injured in the clashes.
Many experts believe that the Turkish foreign minister's remarks about Russia's "unconditional support" could pertain to earlier reports that Moscow had informed the Ankara government of an impending coup hours before it happened over ten days ago.
Arab media outlets quoted diplomats in Ankara as disclosing that Turkey's President Erdogan was alerted by Russia against an imminent army coup hours before it was initiated on Friday, while a western media outlet said Erdogan asked his supporters to remain in the streets after receiving advice from Tehran.
Several Arab media outlets, including Rai Alyoum, quoted diplomatic sources in Ankara as saying that Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, known locally as the MIT, received intel from its Russian counterpart that warned of an impending coup in the Muslim state.
The unnamed diplomats said the Russian army in the region had intercepted highly sensitive army exchanges and encoded radio messages showing that the Turkish army was readying to stage a coup against the administration in Ankara.The exchanges included dispatch of several army choppers to President Erdogan's resort hotel to arrest or kill the president.
Erdogan Hints at Executing 13,000, Exits European Human Rights Convention
© AFP 2016/ ARIS MESSINIS
21:59 24.07.2016(updated 04:04 25.07.2016)
Turkish authorities have arrested more than 13,000 people believed to be tied to the coup attempt and have gutted the country’s civil services sector suspending over 60,000 educators, judges and police.
"'Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons for years to come?' – that’s what the people say," said Erdogan. "The people now have the idea, after so many terrorist incidents, that these terrorists should be killed, that’s where they are, they don’t see any other outcome to it."
In the wake of the coup, the Erdogan government immediately withdrew from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, which bans executions, raising the likelihood of mass executions.
Erdogan’s Turkey now finds itself in a state of disrepair in the wake of a failed coup attempt that left at least 246 dead and more than 2,000 injured as the country’s president called his people to go into the streets and clash with the military forces attempting to overthrow the government. The coup forces, which labelled themselves a Peace Council, opened fire on civilians with helicopters, tanks, and automatic rifles.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday authorities had imprisoned over 13,000 people on accusations of treason, including 8,831 soldiers and 2,745 judges – 36% of the entire Turkish judiciary.
"The cleansing is continuing, and we remain very determined," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech late Wednesday describing opposition as a "virus" within the Turkish military and state institutions that had spread like "cancer."
Many worry that the government’s dragnet has extended well beyond those who could have been connected to the botched coup plot or even sympathizers to the cause in light of President Erdogan’s move in June to pass a constitutional amendment revoking legislative immunity for Kurdish opposition lawmakers from the HDP. Erdogan also successfully pushed to expand the country’s “terrorist” laws to extend to virtually any opposition member deemed by decree.
Erdogan has proven to have a tenuous grasp of the notion of civil liberties and democracy cracking down with wanton fury against opposition journalists and, in fact, criminalizing nearly all forms of opposition to his government. Still many wonder whether the increasingly autocratic Turkish government is willing to execute thousands which would all but forever exclude the country from the European Union and NATO limiting Erdogan’s level of influence on the international stage.
Equally troubling are the prison conditions for those accused of treason, an imprisonment of the kind that may be worse than death and that is to persist indefinitely for those convicted. The conditions evidenced in the photo below suggest that whether or not the accused are formally executed their time may be limited.
Will the Erdogan regime fly off the rails even further and engage in a public horror show leading to the deaths of thousands? The leadership may overestimate their hand in light of NATO’s decision to increase funding to Turkey following the 1980 coup where over 650,000 individuals were arrested, over 500 were executed, and hundreds of others died in prison.
That appears to be the case with the Turkish Labor Minister accusing the United States of being behind the coup attempt in an interview with HaberTurk last week followed by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim threatening all-out war on "any country" that supports alleged coup mastermind and US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen – a not so veiled warning to the United States.
Additionally, the rift between the United States and Turkey once thought to be impossible looks to worsen in the coming weeks as Washington continues to deny Ankara’s extradition request citing US law that expressly prohibits extraditing an individual without sufficient evidence – a condition not required in Turkey.
The legal challenges faced by the Obama administration appear to be lost on Erdogan who said to the Obama administration "So now you ask someone to be extradited, you’re my strategic partner I do obey, I do abide by that, but you don’t do the same thing – well, of course, there should be reciprocity in the types of things."
Despite the Erdogan regime’s willingness to arrest tens of thousands while the world intently watches, its cavalier threats and accusations against its long-time ally, and a statement by President Erdogan himself calling for mass executions the prospect remains almost unthinkable although only time will tell.
People in Aleppo 'scared and hungry' as Syrian troops encircle city
July 28, 2016
By Ralph Ellis and Waffa Munayyer CNN
(CNN) -- People in Aleppo are hungry and terrified as the Syrian army tightens its grip on the rebel-held eastern section of the city, resident and photojournalist Karam Al Masri told CNN.
Food and water have become scarce, he said.
"The situation now is really bad. There is not enough food in the city, not enough bread. The residents are very scared and hungry."
Many markets are closed and people stand in long lines for food, with each family receiving six loaves of bread every two days, Masri said.
"There is a shortage of all the basic needs," he added.
Rebels urged to surrender
The Syrian army said Wednesday its troops and supporters have surrounded Aleppo and cut off "all supply lines and corridors" to the rebel-held neighborhoods, state-run media reported.
The army called on the rebels -- everyone "bearing arms" -- to surrender their weapons and either leave or remain in the city, according to SANA.
Residents received texts from the regime telling them to leave, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reported from Beirut.
Masri said it would be difficult for residents to get out of the city, even if they wanted to.
"The eastern parts of the city are completely cut off by the regime forces," he said. "There is no escape. ... All the roads are cut off and the city is besieged."
He said people fear the Syrian army will kill everybody if they advance into the city.
"But that is not likely to happen," he said. "The likely scenario is that the regime won't get inside the city. Urban fighting inside Aleppo is very difficult. Instead, they will starve the residents and force surrender, just like they did in Homs."
The United Nations said it is deeply concerned about a potential humanitarian disaster. Aid workers report the only road in or out is effectively cut off and they cannot evacuate patients along it.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said barrel bombs dropped by Syrian helicopters killed at least five civilians Tuesday in the Mashhad district of Aleppo.
In another incident, a child was killed when a residential building collapsed following a barrel bomb attack in the Salah al-Deen district, SOHR said.
UNICEF says hospitals struck
The siege has been especially rough on medical personnel, who face multiple challenges in operating hospitals. Losing access to the road out of Aleppo only makes it more difficult for them to obtain medical supplies.
UNICEF issued a statement saying four hospitals in eastern Aleppo -- al-Dakkak, al-Bayan, al-Hakim and al-Zahraa -- and a blood blank were struck in recent days, disrupting key life-saving health services.
"Health facilities in Syria are being attacked with alarming ferocity," the statement said. "According to([World Health Organization) estimates, since the beginning of the year, there have been more than forty attacks on health facilities in Syria. It is estimated that nearly 60% of public hospitals in the country have closed or are only partially functional.
"Attacks on health facilities are a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and can amount to war crimes. Health facilities must never be attacked or damaged, and health workers should be allowed to provide medical treatment and services to all people in need wherever they are inside Syria."
Aleppo has been a major battlefield in Syria since 2011, with fierce fighting between rebel groups and regime forces.
According to the SOHR, Aleppo has seen many of its neighborhoods come under fire for 80 consecutive days, with more than 6,000 people -- mainly civilians -- killed or injured.
SOHR said rebel-held areas in the east of the city have come under sustained attack by regime artillery and airstrikes, while regime-controlled areas in western neighborhoods have been shelled by rebels.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh and Ghazi Balkiz reported from Beirut. CNN's Waffa Munayyer reported from Atlanta and Ralph Ellis reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Paul Armstrong contributed to this report.
Aleppo siege: Why latest developments are so significant
By Clarissa Ward, CNN
Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT) July 28, 2016
(CNN)Syrian and Russian forces are to open humanitarian corridors for people to flee Aleppo, the day after Syria's army announced that it had encircled the besieged city -- cutting off supply lines and creating relief sites to distribute food and medicine to civilians.
But what does the relief operation mean for the desperate citizens of Aleppo and the future of the city?
The Russians and Syrian government forces have been pounding Aleppo relentlessly for months now in an effort to take back the eastern part of the city which has been in rebel hands for nearly four years.
Aleppo has seen many of its neighborhoods come under fire for 80 consecutive days, with more than 6,000 people -- mainly civilians -- killed or injured. Four hospitals have been hit. Rebel fighters have been hitting back with artillery and bombings but they simply can't match the firepower that government forces have since the Russian intervention.
Why are the latest development such a big deal?
Aleppo is the country's largest city and a vital economic hub. When rebels first launched their attack on the city in July 2012, it sent shock waves through government-held parts of Aleppo. Regime strongholds were no longer seen as impenetrable.
People began speculating that the downfall of President Bashar al Assad was imminent. For rebel forces it was a jubilant moment. They have since invested huge amounts of resources and blood in holding onto their hard fought gains. To lose that now would be devastating symbolically. It would send a signal that President Assad has reclaimed his hold over the country and that the rebel movement is on its last legs.
What do we know about how many people are still there?
There are an estimated 200,000-300,000 people still inside rebel-held Aleppo, though exact numbers are very tough to come by. Many of them are elderly people who are too sick or too stubborn to leave. Living conditions are extremely tough. Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to apocalyptic wastelands.
Basic services like running water and electricity are sporadic. Prices have soared because of the difficulty of getting in food and aid. The World Food Programme says the food security situation in Aleppo is extremely fluid with the crisis severely disrupting supply routes. It says the cost of rice has increased by 32% in three months and by 142% from a year ago.
And with the entire area now under siege, food and diesel shortages are likely imminent. That diesel is needed to power generators and those generators are needed to power hospitals.
What would surrender look like for those still inside?
Fliers have been raining down on rebel-held areas, offering amnesty to those who turn themselves into government forces and encouraging people to leave in the next 3 months. But for most of the people I have spoken to, surrender is not an option. Those who have stayed this long, who have endured bombardment day in and day out, have made a conscience decision to stay.
I interviewed one elderly woman in the rebel-held Suqquri neighborhood back in February. She told me that she plans to stay in Aleppo until she dies because it is her home. There are others who have stayed because they simply don't have the means to leave, but surrender is still not an option for most.
There have been numerous instances where the government has offered amnesty to people living in rebel-held areas. Typically, when people surrender, the men are separated from the women and children and the men are taken away, never to be heard from again. So while you may see some women and children and perhaps some elderly people turning themselves in to government forces, it is highly unlikely that many men will do the same.
Is there much of Aleppo left after five years of war?
The heart of Aleppo has been ravaged by Syria's civil war. From the ancient citadel to the bustling souk, there is little left of the historic, beautiful city that was once visited by tourists from all over the world.
Entire city blocks have been flattened by round-the-clock aerial bombardment. The buildings that are left are pockmarked with shrapnel and bullet holes. Government-held areas are certainly in better shape than rebel-held areas.
It can be surreal to watch people celebrate a wedding party in a luxury hotel in one part of town, while just a mile away, the streets are desolate and dark with people hunkered down in basements to escape bombing raids.
When and if the Syrian civil war finally comes to an end, it will hopefully be possible to rebuild some of Aleppo's most beloved monuments and historic sites.
But the vibrant soul of the city has been decimated. And that cannot be replaced.
Germany prepares to smash last post-Nazi taboo by deploying armed soldiers on the streets in peacetime after Munich shooting
Mentally-ill loner, 18, killed nine including teenagers outside a McDonald's
Munich massacre has triggered the new security debate on use of troops
Soldiers on streets in peacetime have not been common since Nazi rule
Ministers say soldiers must join anti-terror fight just as they do in France
By PETER ALLEN
PUBLISHED: 17:08, 24 July 2016 | UPDATED: 17:51, 24 July 2016
Germany is on the verge of smashing one of the last post-Nazi taboos by deploying armed soldiers on the streets in peacetime to combat terrorism.
The Munich massacre has triggered a new security debate which includes stiffer gun laws and the use of troops in force.
A mentally-ill loner, 18, killed nine including teenagers outside a McDonald's in revenge for years of bullying.
'We are facing extreme situations,' said Herrmann. 'We do not live in the time of the Weimar Republic now,' he said referring to Germany's post-WW1 experiment with democracy which failed spectacularly and led directly to the rise of the Nazis.
He said that historical reservations about armed soldiers on the streets were no longer applicable, adding: 'We are an absolutely stable democracy.'
But he said the decision when and where to deploy the Bundeswehr (army) must rest solely with the police.
He went on: 'The Bundeswehr can be deployed under the leadership of the German states who are responsible for internal security to protect the citizens.'
In tandem with this plan are new discussions in Berlin about tightening Germany's already strict gun laws.
The news comes as investigators say the gun used by the deranged Munich killer had been bought on the 'dark web' and was originally from Slovakia.
The 9mm Glock handgun was smuggled into Germany and sold illegally to 18-year-old killer Ali Sonboly.
The serial number on the weapon had been erased but police sources have revealed the firearm carried a certification mark from Slovakia.
It is believed the weapon used to kill nine people on Friday was a replica that had been converted to fire live ammunition.
The Glock 17 pistol was sold illegally via the the 'dark web' - sites on the internet that can only be accessed with passwords and are often used to sell drugs, child porn and other items illegally.
Austria Says ‘No More Muslims,’ Finalizes Plans To Build A Massive Wall On The Border To Keep The Muslims Out
by Andrew Bieszad on July 22, 2016 in Featured
For centuries, Vienna was the “gateway” to the west for Muslim invaders. Two times- once in 1529, and the other in 1683, Muslim armies reached the walls of Vienna but were not able to pass them.
History is repeating itself again, as following this massive “migration” of Muslims to Europe, the once-liberal Austrians are sick of allowing Muslim invaders to pour over their borders and in response they are building a massive wall to keep them out following similar plans from Eastern European nations:
Engineers in the central European state have finalised plans for the vast barrier, which would stretch along its entire southern border with Hungary.
Austria has repeatedly clashed with Brussels over its clampdown on illegal migration and has already put a daily cap on the number of people who can claim asylum.
The new border fence will mark a considerable escalation in Austria’s physical attempts to bring down migration, with the country only having constructed one small 4km fence along its border with Slovenia to date.
State officials have reached agreements with hundreds of landowners along the 100km stretch of border which will allow the fence to be put up in record time should the number of refugees increase again, according to a police spokesman.
Austria is on the Balkan migration route to the ‘promised lands’ of Germany and Sweden, where most asylum seekers arriving in Europe want to settle and start a better life.
At one point last year the country was brought to its knees by thousands of people crossing its borders every day, but the numbers have tailed off significantly since the EU signed its migrant deal with Turkey.
Only between 20 and 30 migrants arrive in Austria from Hungary every day at the moment but, with the political chaos in Turkey and the possible collapse of the current agreement, the country has decided to take precautions.
This is part of a long-term trend in the West. Nationalism is on the rise, and the native western peoples, sick and tired of having offered so much to peoples from other nations and yet receiving back so little in return, are starting to assert their borders with the hope of trying to save what is left of their societies.
If these trends continue and the socialist elitists continue to force the Islamization of the West and tear down these national borders that people in these nations are establishing, then the next and inevitable step will be war.
In Latest Political "Coup", Catalan Parliament Votes To Secede From Spain
by Tyler Durden
Jul 27, 2016 1:17 PM
In the aftermath of last month's Brexit vote, there was an outpouring of concern in Europe that the British decision would embolden similar separatist movements across the continent. Earlier Wednesday, this is precisely what happened when Catalan nationalists voted to approve a plan to secede from Spain, defying the nation’s Constitutional Court and challenging acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who is currently in political limbo as he struggles to form a government.
The decision was approved by 72 regional MPs out of 135. Ten MPs from the CSP group linked to Podemos, Partido Popular and Ciudadanos walked out of the assembly and the Socialists did not vote. A recent poll shows that 48% of the Catalan population currently supports independence compared with 43% against it.
The vote, symbolic as it may be, was one of defiance toward Madrid as Spain's Constitutional Court had in recent days prohibited the regional parliament in Barcelona from voting on it. As Ansa reports, the resolution was presented by the pro-secessionist groups Junts Pel Si and CUP. The anti-secessionist parties - PP, Ciudadanos and PSC - have spoken out against the ''illegality'' of the decision. PP parliamentary chief Xavier Garcia Albiol has said that the act is tantamount to a ''coup'' against the government in Madrid and warned that there will be a price to pay for it. The head of the Socialist party, Pedro Sanchez, said there can be no democracy without common rules, while Albert Rivera, the Catalan-born leader of liberals Ciudadanos, described it as a attack on Spanish democracy. They both have rejected supporting Rajoy’s candidacy to become premier again.
Catalan regional president and pro-secessionist Carles Puidgemont instead says that the position taken by the regional MPs is ''legitimate'' and has in recent months confirmed that the goal is to achieve an independent ''Catalan Republic'' by the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, Spain’s caretaker administration - recall that Spain has been unable to form a government after two consecutive elections - said it has called on the state’s attorney to present a challenge before the Constitutional Court dismissing the plan, which lists the steps that would be followed to create independence, including drafting a Catalan constitution.
The latest escalation in the multiyear separatist movement signals renewed impetus from Catalans to break away from Spain. It coincides with a seven-month political deadlock sparked by two inconclusive elections that left the nation without a government. While Rajoy increased his party’s seats in parliament in the second vote, he’s failed to agree on governing terms with other parties, fueling prospects for a third election. Facing a parliamentary defeat, Rajoy has said he won’t undergo a vote of confidence in the 350-seat chamber that is needed to become PM unless he has received enough pledged support from rivals to guarantee his victory.
And taking advantage of the political chaos in Spain, and the lack of an actual, elected government, Catalonia just became the second European state in the span of a month to demand secession. It may not be successful this time, but as Brexit showed, sooner or later the will of the majority will prevail.
The JB Bardot Archieves
Eliminate Gout, Arthritis And Fibromyalgia Pain FAST With 3 Natural Alkalizing Home Remedies
Posted by JB Bardot
Anyone experiencing the pain of an acute gout or rheumatoid arthritis attack would sell their soul to get fast relief from the agony. Most drugs take time to build up in the system before relief occurs; and, many of those same drugs cause unacceptable side effects. What if you could make a drink, that in the matter of just a few minutes, would help the pain subside to tolerable levels or relieve it entirely? Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not.
The underlying cause of arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia is an imbalance in the system causing acidosis, which is the basis of most physical disease. In simple terms, this means your pH is out of balance and your body is trying to get back into balance in any way it can. Even in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, imbalance is at the root of its cause. The body’s attempt to regain stasis is what causes arthritis, high uric acid, muscle spasms and a host of other problems. The solution is to help the body’s pH return to normal by consuming alkalizing foods.
Here are three potent home remedies that can help relieve inflammatory arthritis and rheumatism pains, gout attacks and debilitating fibromyalgia episodes in a very short time. No one remedy works for everyone; so it’s important to use them all, one at a time, and find what works best in each circumstance.
Baking soda mixed in water can relieve gout joint pain almost instantly and reduce high uric acid. In some cases it may take up to two days to experience relief; however, if taken regularly, it will prevent attacks before they occur. Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 8 oz. of water and drink it all at once. The maximum recommended dose is 4 teaspoons divided up throughout the day during an acute attack. Then reduce the dose as the pain subsides. Baking soda can raise the blood pressure. Persons taking medication for hypertension should consult a health practitioner before using baking soda in this manner.
Apple cider vinegar
Anecdotal evidence and clinical reports indicate that apple cider vinegar relieves joint pain, acid stomach, headaches, gout, muscle spasms and arthritis. ACV acts to help create an alkaline-forming state in the body by stimulating digestive juices, including bicarbonate, that’s released by the pancreas. This highly alkaline substance neutralizes the acidic vinegar and stomach acids, helping to balance the pH. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 8 oz. of water and drink all at once. Some people prefer to sip on it; however, it seems to be more effective when consumed at one time. If it’s too strong use less vinegar and work up to a full dose. Apple cider vinegar is known to be especially helpful in relieving acute gout attacks. Always use organic vinegar with the mother intact.
Lemon juice and baking soda
Another alkalizing drink that works miracles for some people is a lemon juice and baking soda cocktail. Mixing the highly acidic lemon juice with the highly alkaline baking soda creates a perfectly balanced pH that matches the body’s natural healthy pH, which helps to restore balance almost instantaneously. Pour the juice of one lemon – about 2 oz. – into a tall glass. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and allow it to fizz and bubble until it is completely flat — about two minutes. It can also be stirred. Add 8 oz. of water and drink immediately. It should taste like flat water.
Until next week...keep on believing.