John Kerry Gives Russia An Ultimatum: Stop Bombing Aleppo Or All Cooperation Ends - ZeroHedge

Jeff Fitchett:  More and more it is looking like the proxy war in Syria will lead to a much broader global conflict pitting the US and their vassal states (Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan) against Russia & China.  The hypocrisy stemming from the US is epic.  Obama's lecture to Russia about "the increasing Russian aggression" is a joke.  How Obama can keep a straight face while spewing lies deserves an Academy Award rather than the Nobel Peace Prize.  Last I checked the US has 700+ military bases in over 100 countries.  Perhaps it was opposite day at the UN general assembly last week!

Originally published at ZeroHedge

In the latest, and most dramatic - if perhaps entertaining - escalation of diplomacy between the US and Russian, earlier today Secretary of State John Kerry threatened to cut off all contacts with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end. Kerry issued the ultimatum in a Wednesday telephone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kerry told Lavrov the U.S. was preparing to "suspend U.S.-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria," including on a proposed counterterrorism partnership, "unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo" and restore a cease-fire.
As the AP reported, in the telephone call with Lavrov, Kerry "expressed grave concern over the deteriorating situation in Syria, particularly for continued Russian and Syrian regime attacks on hospitals, the water supply network and other civilian infrastructure in Aleppo," Kirby's statement said. Kerry also told Lavrov the U.S. holds Russia responsible for the use of incendiary and bunker-buster bombs in an urban area. 
It was unclear what effect Kerry's words would have. There have been many threats lobbed at Russia over the years for the duration of the Syrian conflict, now in its 6th year, and most warnings have gone unfulfilled, including President Barack Obama's declaration that the U.S. would take military action if Syrian President Bashar Assad crossed the "red line" of using chemical weapons. Furthermore, Syria has repeatedly stressed that it is in its right to try to retake Aleppo from rebel forces. 
"The burden remains on Russia to stop this assault and allow humanitarian access to Aleppo and other areas in need," Kerry told Lavrov, according to State Department spokesman John Kirby.
According to western-based sources, government shelling and airstrikes landed near a bread distribution center and two hospitals in Aleppo on Wednesday. Activists and medics reported several people killed. They said at least one of the medical facilities was no longer operable, leaving the country's biggest city with only six functioning hospitals.
Ironically, despite Moscow's military engagement in the war alongside Assad's government, Washington has been working with its former Cold War foe in hopes of securing a cease-fire and a peace process, most recently a "landmark" ceasefire deal, which however collapse just a week later after US-coalition forces "mistakenly" bombed a Syrian army position. Still, despite the most recent collapse in diplomatic relations, current coordination to ensure U.S. and Russian planes stay out of each other's way will continue no matter what, the Pentagon said. The U.S. and its coalition partners are flying missions in Syria against IS; the U.S. also has a small contingent of special forces on the ground.
As AP notes, Kerry's threat aside, the U.S. has few other options beyond engaging Moscow to end the fighting between Assad's forces and rebels. Obama has made clear he won't authorize military action against Syria and the presence of Russian air assets alongside Syrian forces makes such a scenario all the more unlikely. The U.S. is similarly uncomfortable ramping up military support for anti-Assad rebels given the close ties even the so-called "moderate" groups maintain with al-Qaida-linked militants.
Making matters worse, peace efforts without Russia are unlikely to win over Assad. And green-lighting Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey or other countries to provide more weapons to the rebels could only make the war deadlier. Already, as many as 500,000 people have been killed. 
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry presented a different version of the call, which focused on Lavrov's demand that the U.S. compel opposition forces to separate themselves from extremist groups. He told Kerry that many U.S.-backed groups have merged with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and said Nusra was getting U.S. weaponry that way. He made no reference to the "ultimatum" showing how seriously Russia is taking it.


The Western Narrative on Syria (and pretty much everything else) is a facade - by Jeff Fitchett

Nothing is as it seems.  We are being lied to by our governments and the media.  Like minded people feel the same and appreciate that an information war has been going on for decades.  Our beliefs and thoughts are shaped on a daily basis by individuals bankrupt of ethics and values.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Most people just want to go about their day living a healthy and happy existence.  A very small percentage of our population is hell bent on destroying lives all in an effort to maximize profits, gain power and dictate what transpires globally.

We the people remain subdued because of the constant barrage of distractions we face.  It takes effort to ignore the bullshit and dig into what is really happening.  It often seems futile to think about how we can change the course of the direction humanity is going.  Each of us can only control our own actions.  Nobody is perfect, but we each can strive to unplug from the matrix in our own unique way.

It is imperative to not give up and raise a white flag in surrender.  Unhitching ourselves from the system that is destroying us is an arduous task, but it is also a fruitful endeavour.  The joy and sense of accomplishment is worth the effort in time.

The wars being waged by the West will be the undoing of Western domination.  The policies instituted by the maniacs running the show are becoming ridiculous to say the least.  You have to ask yourself; "who are they kidding?"  The truth is sitting out in the open for anyone to see who is willing to see.  It is all a facade that is slowly breaking down.  Obama receiving the Nobel Peace prize is a farce.

People are beginning to question why our governments are instigating policies in far off places that are leaving us worse off in our home countries as the social fabric that has kept us together is unravelling.  The West is plodding down a path that will lead to a 3rd world existence.

Resources are being wasted for what? Death and destruction? An inflection point is coming and the outcome will be surreal.

Listen to Bashar Ja’afari and US Peace Council Representatives on Syria

Gerald Celente Trends In The News - Proof US Media HATES Peace, LOVES War (Sep 21, 2016)

Jeff Fitchett: This is a good update from Gerald Celente. I wish there were more people like Gerald!


Trivium Report Weekly update featuring: The Invisible American by Jim Clifton

“In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree—and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.”
Ayn Rand

Earlier this week, as I was reading through my ‘pending articles to read’ pile, I came across an article by the Chairman and CEO of Gallup.  Gallup is a major research and polling company that is used by many companies and organizations.  The article below sheds a light on the true state of affairs within the US as it pertains to the majority of Americans.  The same statistics apply to most Western nations.  The situation in developing countries is much worse.   

It pains me to see the decline in the standard of living of so many people from all around the world.  It frustrates me that the establishment position is that we are in a recovery.  The first step to solving a problem is to realize that there is a problem.  

As I have mentioned in past articles, political upheaval is increasing because more and more people are starting to question the direction we are heading.  In 2016, the Brexit vote was the first major signal that discontent is increasing.  The upcoming US, German and French elections will be interesting to watch.

The Invisible American - by Jim Clifton 

I've been reading a lot about a "recovering" economy. It was even trumpeted on Page 1 of The New York Times and Financial Times last week.

I don't think it's true.

The percentage of Americans who say they are in the middle or upper-middle class has fallen 10 percentage points, from a 61% average between 2000 and 2008 to 51% today.

Ten percent of 250 million adults in the U.S. is 25 million people whose economic lives have crashed.

What the media is missing is that these 25 million people are invisible in the widely reported 4.9% official U.S. unemployment rate.

Let's say someone has a good middle-class job that pays $65,000 a year. That job goes away in a changing, disrupted world, and his new full-time job pays $14 per hour -- or about $28,000 per year. That devastated American remains counted as "full-time employed" because he still has full-time work -- although with drastically reduced pay and benefits. He has fallen out of the middle class and is invisible in current reporting.

More disastrous is the emotional toll on the person -- the sudden loss of household income can cause a crash of self-esteem and dignity, leading to an environment of desperation that we haven't seen since the Great Depression.

Millions of Americans, even if they themselves are gainfully employed in good jobs, are just one degree away from someone who is experiencing either unemployment, underemployment or falling wages. We know them all.

There are three serious metrics that need to be turned around or we'll lose the whole middle class.
1 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the total U.S. adult population that has a full-time job has been hovering around 48% since 2010 -- this is the lowest full-time employment level since 1983.
2 The number of publicly listed companies trading on U.S. exchanges has been cut almost in half in the past 20 years -- from about 7,300 to 3,700. Because firms can't grow organically -- that is, build more business from new and existing customers -- they give up and pay high prices to acquire their competitors, thus drastically shrinking the number of U.S. public companies. This seriously contributes to the massive loss of U.S. middle-class jobs.
3 New business startups are at historical lows. Americans have stopped starting businesses. And the businesses that do start are growing at historically slow rates.

Free enterprise is in free fall -- but it is fixable. Small business can save America and restore the middle class.

Gallup finds that small businesses -- startups plus "shootups," those that grow big -- are the engine of new economic energy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 65% of all new jobs are created by small businesses, not large ones.

Here's the crisis: The deaths of small businesses recently outnumbered the births of small businesses. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the total number of business startups and business closures per year crossed for the first time in 2008. In the nearly 30 years before that, the U.S. consistently averaged a surplus of almost 120,000 more business births than deaths each year. But from 2008 to 2011, an average of 420,000 businesses were born annually, while an average of 450,000 per year were dying.

Bottom line: The two most trusted institutions in the U.S. are the military and small business. Most people know about our military's importance, but not as many appreciate the role small business plays in creating the majority of new jobs and in national security itself.

America needs small business to boom again. Small businesses are our best hope for badly needed economic growth, great jobs and ultimately accelerated human development. When we get small business to boom, we can save America, restore our middle class and once again lead the world.

A version of this blog post originally appeared in The Small Business Journal.
Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.


Deconstructing Samantha Power’s Big Lies on US Warplanes Massacring Syrian Force - by Stephen Lendman

She’s Obama’s neocon UN envoy, a despicable character, complicit in his high crimes by outrageously supporting them.
Edward Herman once called her a member of “the cruise missile left.” She glorifies US-sponsored genocides outrageously called humanitarian interventions, ignoring or shamelessly justifying Washington’s sordid record of repeated supreme crimes against peace.
She disgraces the office she holds, part of Obama’s permanent war criminal cabal. Her notion of responsibility to protect is mass slaughter and destruction to advance America’s imperium.
Responding to Russia’s calling an emergency Saturday Security Council session to address US naked aggression against Syrian forces earlier in the day, flagrantly breaching Geneva ceasefire terms, she shamelessly changed the subject, turned truth on its head, bashed Russia’s “uniquely hypocritical and cynical” attempt to make her explain her government’s lawless aggression.
“Why are we having this meeting tonight,” she asked? “It is a diversion from what is happening on the ground. If you don’t like what is happening on the ground then you distract.”
“It is a magician’s trick…(W)e encourage the Russian Federation to have emergency meetings with the Assad regime and deliver them to this deal.”
“What Russia is alleging tonight is that somehow the United States is undermining the fighting against ISIL. The Russian spokesperson even said that the United States might be complicit in this attack.”
Truth about Obama’s war, its support for ISIS and virtually all other terrorists groups operating regionally and elsewhere is too much reality for her or other rogue US officials to admit publicly.
Playing the blame game instead, she disgracefully holds Assad and his democratic government responsible for Obama’s genocidal war – typical US arrogance and hubris.
“We are investigating (Saturday’s US terror-bombing) incident,” she ranted. When America investigates its own high crimes, whitewash follows every time.
Neocons infesting Washington don’t “regret the loss of life,” as Power claimed. They mass slaughter defenseless victims over and over again endlessly, civilians considered legitimate targets.
Power’s remarks were more despicable than usual, calling Russia’s legitimately convened Security Council session on Saturday “a stunt with moralism and grandstanding…uniquely cynical and hypocritical.”
She lied accusing Assad of “intentionally striking civilian targets with horrifying, predictable regularity.”
She lied saying Syria “prevent(s) life-saving humanitarian aid from reaching people” in need.
She lied claiming Syrian forces steal humanitarian aid for themselves.
She lied accusing its military of double-tapping civilian targets (striking the same ones twice to target rescue personnel rushing to the scene to aid victims of the first strike).
She lied claiming Syria used chemical weapons against its own people.
She lied saying Syria “tortured tens of thousands of people in its prisons, which now double as torture chambers.”
She lied about what she called Syria’s “worst practices: hitting hospitals, hitting refugee camps, hitting markets without a single public expression of remorse” – these and other civilian sites routine US targets in all its wars of aggression.
She lied accusing Syria of numerous other atrocities, calling them “some of the most systematic (ones) that we have seen in a generation.”
She lied claiming America doesn’t support ISIS or other terrorist groups – imported death squads it  created and uses as imperial foot soldiers.
She lied saying Saturday’s US willful, malicious and lawless terror-bombing of Syrian military personnel was done “in error.”
There was nothing accidental about it, a flagrant breach of Geneva terms, a high crime of war, more proof America reviles peace and stability.
Power sounded buffoon-like claiming “(t)he United States is extremely serious about making (Geneva) work.” It was dead-on-arrival because Washington rejects cessation of hostilities and diplomatic conflict resolution.
Power is paid to lie for Washington’s criminal cabal in charge. Her despicable remarks show she does it with relish.