New Cold War.org information bulletin for week beginning Monday, Jan 8, 2018
(Most recent news at top; comments in square brackets [ ] are by New Cold War.org editor)
Turkey vows imminent strike on Kurdish enclave in Syria, The Associated Press, Jan 14, 2018 President Erdogan says he expects U.S. ‘to support Turkey in its legitimate efforts’ to combat terror
* Turkey vows to ‘eliminate any threat’ after U.S. announces Kurdish border force in Syria, RT.com, Jan 15, 2018
* Turkey slams U.S.-led coalition’s new Syria ‘border force’ using Kurdish militias, RT.com, Jan 15, 2018
George Monbiot is not only a hypocrite, but a bully too, by Jonathan Cook, published on his website blog, Jan 12, 2018
Trump’s racist comments on ‘s***hole’ countries: Eagerness for scandal betrays a cruel indifference to discrimination, by Shree Paradkar, opinion columnist, Toronto Star, Jan 13, 2018, Donald Trump’s latest round of vulgarism represents the contemptuous attitudes and biases that inform U.S. and Canadian immigration policy-making
* Love of Trump endures despite it all, by Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report, Jan 10, 2018
* What Canada and America owe Haiti, by Andray Domise, MacLean’s Magazine (Canada monthly), Nov 24, 2017 The United States and Canada have a brutal, ruinous record in Haiti. This should inform the treatment of asylum seekers today.
The same Democrats who denounce Donald Trump as a lawless, treasonous authoritarian just voted to give him vast, warrantless spying powers, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Jan 12, 2018
Iran officials, observers weigh prospects that the Trump regime may pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran political (‘nuclear’) agreement, Al-Monitor, Jan 11, 2018 Update: Trump issues warning, but renews U.S. signature on Iran deal at Jan 12 renewal date, CNN, Jan 12, 2018 [At Jan 12 renewal date, Trump warns he may not renew after another 120 days.]
Turkish President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu visit France and Germany, resp., amidst speculation that Turkey’s EU bid is dead, Al-Monitor, Jan 10, 2018
Are Ukraine’s population figures totally inaccurate? Ex-PM claims eight million have emmigrated since 2014 Maidan coup, by Bryan MacDonald, RT.com, Jan 12, 2018
Venezuela’s government resumes dialogue with opposition, by TeleSur, Jan 11, 2018
* How Western journalists threaten the democracy and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people, commentary by Joe Emersberger, Venezuela Analysis, Jan 9, 2018
* Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann suggests fixing Venezuela’s ‘humanitarian crisis’ by just bombing everyone, by Ryan Mallett-Outrim, Venezuela Analysis, Jan 5, 2018
More details emerge of gang-up against North Korea to take place at Vancouver conference on Jan 16 hosted by Canada, U.S., report by Lee Berthiaume, Canadian Press, Jan 11, 2018
Canada and its Korean War allies [!] will sit down in Vancouver next week to mull ways to tighten the screws on North Korea – including whether to intercept North Korean shipping.
U.S. State Department officials confirmed that China and Russia were not invited to Tuesday’s meeting… Instead, only those countries that deployed troops as part of the United Nations during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953 have been invited to participate in the discussions…
Andriy Biletsky: Ukraine’s future Nazi leader?, news analysis by Oriental Review, Jan 4, 2018
Related: Cheap dignity of the Ukrainian revolution, news analysis by Oriental Review, Nov 23, 2017 The interviews with three snipers of Georgian nationality, conducted by an Italian journalist Gian Micalessin and aired last week [November 2017] as a breathtaking documentary on Milan-based Canale 5 (Matrix program), still have not paved their way to the international mainstream media. That is hardly surprising taking into account the bombshell evidence against the real perpetrators and organizers of the 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, generally known as the ‘revolution of dignity‘…
How the US failed to rebuild Afghanistan, by Sam Ellis, VOX News, Jan 11, 2018
How January 11 in Washington started with a bipartisan immigration deal and ended with a ‘shithole’, VOX News, Jan 11, 2018
* Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ comment exposes the core of Trumpism, by Zack Beauchamp, VOX News, Jan 11, 2018 Trump’s racism isn’t incidental to his political appeal. It’s the core of it.
* Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2018, by German Lopez, VOX News, Jan 12, 2018
France, Germany, UK urge Donald Trump to support 2015 diplomatic (‘nuclear’) pact with Iran, Associated Press, Jan 11, 2018
[The United States introduced new sanctions against Iran in October 2017 to punish it for its missile defense program (news report Oct 27, 2017) and for foreign policies which the U.S. doesn’t like (news report Oct 13, 2017). Iran says these sanctions are a violation of the 2015 ‘nuclear’ agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action–Wikipedia) in which Iran opened its nuclear power program to international inspectors in exchange for the lifting of Western sanctions. Also in October 2017, Donald Trump ‘decertified’ the U.S. signature to the JCPOA, but its participation in the agreement remains in place.]
Ecuador has granted citizenship to Julian Assange, says foreign ministry, RT.com, Jan 11, 2018 Related: Britain rejects Ecuador’s request to grant Julian Assange diplomatic status, RTE News, Jan 11, 2018
Oprah for president in 2020: Time to rename the White House the Celebrity House, commentary by John Wight on the ‘Op-Edge’ feature of RT.com, Jan 10, 2018
‘I’m sorry, but a group of obscenely rich people agreeing to dress in black (designer black, that is) at a Hollywood awards ceremony in protest at a culture of sexual abuse and exploitation cannot be taken seriously within an industry that is the very embodiment of abuse and exploitation.’
China says not all the main parties of the conflict in Korea will be in Vancouver and so it won’t attend, RT.com, Jan 10, 2018
[A gang-up against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) will take place in Vancouver, Canada on January 16, 2018 in the form of a conference hosted by Canada’s foreign minister and the U.S. secretary of state. North Korea is not invited, nor is Russia. China and Russia are the only two countries to share a land border with the DPRK. The two countries hosting the Vancouver conference were among those which waged a genocidal war against the Korean people from 1950 to 1953. Invitations to the conference are specifically directed at other countries that took part in waging that war. Reuters news agency reports, “Canada and the United States are co-hosting the meeting in Vancouver on Jan. 16 to demonstrate international solidarity against North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.”]
Related news: U.S. to sell Japan $133 million in missiles to counter North Korea threat [sic], by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, Jan 9, 2018
U.S. federal judge temporarily blocks Trump regime’s attempt to scrap Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while lawsuits play out, Associated Press, Jan 10, 2018 800,000 U.S. residents who came to the country as children fleeing hardships are threatened, including 200,000 from El Salvador.
Drone attack on Russian bases in Syria came from Turkish-backed rebels says Russi’a Ministry of Defense, RT.com, Jan, 10, 2018
The recent drone attack on Russian bases in Syria was launched from an area near Idlib, which is controlled by Turkish-backed rebel forces, the Russian military said. Moscow reportedly complained to Ankara about the attack.
The assault last Saturday [Jan 6] involved 13 primitive unmanned aircraft and was thwarted by the defenses of the two bases, an airfield near Latakia and a port site in Tartus. The Russian military said the drones had been launched from the village of Muazzara, in the south-western part of the Idlib governorate, which was designated a “de-escalation zone” under an arrangement negotiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran…
Related: Russia implies U.S support to recent drone attacks against its military bases in Syria, Associated Press, Jan 9, 2018
Trump’s new nuke ‘posture’: Draft allows nuclear response to conventional attack and new warheads, RT.com, Jan 10, 2018
… The new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is expected to be revealed sometime after President Donald Trump’s state-of-the-union address in late January and will be the first update of the key strategy document in eight years.
… One of the key changes to the U.S. policy would be an expansion of circumstances in which a nuclear attack would be considered. Under the new NPR, a conventional attack that causes mass casualties or targets critical infrastructure may trigger a nuclear retaliation from the U.S. …
The Trump administration also wants to develop new types of nuclear warheads. ..
Iran intelligence minister says protests not guided by foreigners, by staff, Al-Monitor Jan 8, 2018
North and South Korea agree to talk with goal to ‘relieve military tensions’, agree that N Korea delegation will participate in winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, ABC News, Jan 8, 2018
* Timeline of the talks between the two Koreas on Jan 8, 2018, Associated Press, Jan 8, 2018
* North Korea’s ‘gift’ to South Korea: Winter Olympics participation, by Andrew Salmon, Asia Times, Jan 9, 2018
* Seoul opts not to overturn 2015 comfort women deal with Tokyo, by Andrew Salmon, Asia Times, Jan 9, 2018
* North and South Korea talk, but Is Trump in the way?, interview with journalist Tim Shorrock, by Aaron Maté of The Real News Network, Jan 5, 2018 (with print transcript)
In jab at rivals, Iranian president Rouhani says Iran protests about more than economy, by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters, Jan 8, 2018 [This article is a rare glimpse by Western media into the nuance and complexity of politics in Iran.]
Trump-led U.S. ends protections for 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants, sparking fear, Associated Press, Jan 8, 2018 … Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave Salvadorans with temporary protected status until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or face deportation.
Related: Salvadoran asylum seekers could test Canada’s immigration system, The Canadian Press, Jan 7, 2018
Yemen’s Houthi forces shoot down Saudi F-15 over capital city Sana’a hours after shooting down Saudi Tornado jet over Saada province, Press TV, Jan 8, 2018
Related: Yemen’s Houthi rebels shoot down Saudi jet over Saada province, Xinhua, Jan 7, 2018 … More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in the impoverished country. More than 2,000 people have also died of cholera this year. The UN human rights office said it had tallied 136 civilians killed and another 87 wounded in strikes on Sanaa, Saada, Hodeida, Marib and Taiz governorates between December 6 and 16, 2017.
Battle looms for rebel-held Syrian province after IS defeat, by Bassem Mroue, Associated Press, Jan 7, 2018 Syrian government forces and allied militiamen are advancing on the largest remaining rebel-held territory in the country’s north, forcing thousands of civilians to flee toward the border with Turkey in freezing winter temperatures…
Related: Syrian trooops capture 14 villages from rebels, Associated Press, Jan 8, 2018 … In the northwestern city of Idlib, meanwhile, paramedics said the death toll from a massive car bombing the previous evening has risen to at least 25. Nearly 100 people were wounded.
Selahattin Demirtas will not seek re-election as co-leader of People’s Democratic party (HDP) in Turkey, by Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, Jan 8, 2018
… In addition to Demirtas, 10 other elected deputies of the HDP remain in jail, including the party’s former co-chair Figen Yuksekdag, all on charges of supporting “terrorism.” Today, a court in Diyarbakir sentenced HDP lawmaker Idris Bayulken to 16 years and eight months in prison for “membership of a terrorist organization” and engaging in “terrorist propaganda.”…
I’ve studied the Trump-Fox feedback loop for months, it’s crazier than you think, by Matthew Gertz, Politico, Jan 5, 2018
A tale of two Americas: Where the rich get richer and the poor go to jail, weekly commentary by John W. Whitehead, founder and president of the Rutherford Institute, Jan 3, 2018