Just when we thought the Harper Regime’s fear-mongering and war-profiteering propaganda had no “legitimate” counter narratives thanks to gaslighting media conglomerates, yellow journalists and cowardly controlled Oppositions, Friday the 13th presented a couple of rather odd surprises from the most unusual sources. Thanks to an attempted censorship of an article/video published/uploaded 12Mar2015 by the Voice of America (VOA), an article that seemingly flew under the radar via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) published 08Mar2015 and another under the radar article via ABC News published 11Mar2015, we can actually present some facts about the situation in Ukraine and Iraq/Syria that may come to a surprise to many but unsurprising to others. One may begin to wonder who “We the People” should really be afraid of, who the enemy actually is and who should be incarcerated for life.
Sadly, this tri-fecta is not really good for the actual People of Ukraine nor Iraq nor Syria or here, but you can be assured that the People of Ukraine and Iraq and Syria, and their respective regions, their collective peace, prosperity, safety and security, are feeling the full brunt of this wonton military adventurism and they certainly will not forget these omissions and facts. While our attention is being diverted every which way but loose, the Harper Regime and their foreign partners are taking full advantage of the ongoing distractions and fear-mongering while at the same time coordinating very similar draconian legislation, such as Bill C-51, to curtail the fundamental liberties of the collective citizenry and populous. Let’s face the facts, the Harper Regime is merely going along, to get along.
Below, we will present everyone with 3 articles that should concern everyone for multiple reasons. After you take the time to review them, ponder the wars that are being sold by way of deceptive propaganda techniques sand the flooding of vast regions with weapons and armaments. Then question the role that the “legitimate” media conglomerates playing to sell these foreign endevours as legitimate and necessary as well as the way that our elected politicians are turning a blind eye to certain facts to go along, to get along. Discuss them with your friends, political representatives and adversaries alike. Upon reflection, utilize some critical thinking skills and ask yourself and decide for yourself, Cui bono?
The first article is the most recent and the one that prompted this summary that should stir the debate about the situation in Ukraine, who is fighting who and why. The article/video from the VOA was censored within a day of being published for some odd reason. Since this one requires a bit of an introduction, we will present an embedded summary video, that may also be viewed via our ytube channel, followed by screengrabs of the pages and the content of the original article.
Censored VOA: In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels #cdnpoli
In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels
Published March 12, 2015
After months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, the presence of the Ukrainian military and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the rebellion. VOA spent a day with a group of new recruits undergoing weapons and explosives training. Patrick Wells reports from Donetsk.
- 270p / 5.0MB [http://av.voanews.com/Videoroot/Pangeavideo/2015/03/2/2c/2cadf30c-3c01-4da7-bd92-a3c8d29d0bc3_mobile.mp4?download=1]
- 360p / 7.0MB [http://av.voanews.com/Videoroot/Pangeavideo/2015/03/2/2c/2cadf30c-3c01-4da7-bd92-a3c8d29d0bc3.mp4?download=1]
- ,a href=”http://av.voanews.com/Videoroot/Pangeavideo/2015/03/2/2c/2cadf30c-3c01-4da7-bd92-a3c8d29d0bc3_hq.mp4?download=1″ title=”Download: In Eastern Ukraine, Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels 702p / 72.0MB”>702p / 72.0MB [http://av.voanews.com/Videoroot/Pangeavideo/2015/03/2/2c/2cadf30c-3c01-4da7-bd92-a3c8d29d0bc3_hq.mp4?download=1]
This article should cause alarm bells to go off far and wide, considering the non-stop, wall to wall coverage of a single suspicious recently slain politician in Russia. Oddly the “international” community is loud with regards to one individual in Russia yet completely silent about several suspiciously dead individuals in Ukraine. Once again, Cui bono?
Suicide Or Homicide? In Ukraine, Old-Guard Officials Dying Mysteriously
By Marichka Naboka
March 08, 2015
This year Ukraine has seen a bizarre string of deaths involving high-ranking officials, including a ex-city mayor, a former railway executive, and the former head of the state body in charge of privatization.
A total of five officials died in a single 34-day period between January 28 and February 28. In each case, the deaths have been ruled probable suicides. But the victims’ political allegiances and job histories have led many in Ukraine to suspect that the men were in fact murdered:
January 26 — Mykola Serhiyenko, the former first deputy chief of the state-run Ukrainian Railways, died in his Kyiv home after apparently shooting himself with a registered hunting rifle.
Investigators said Serhiyenko, 57, was alone at the time of the tragedy, and that all of the flat’s doors and windows had been locked shut from the inside and showed no signs of tampering.
Serhiyenko, who worked with Ukrainian Railways from April 2010 to April 2014, had been appointed to the post by Mykola Azarov, the former prime minister under Viktor Yanukovych. Azarov and Yanukovych are both wanted by Interpol on charges including embezzlement and misappropriation.
January 29 — Oleksiy Kolesnyk, the former head of the Kharkiv regional government, died after apparently hanging himself.
Kolesnyk, 64, did not leave a suicide note, but media and investigators have hinted he may have killed himself, noting that his death took place on the birthday of his friend and fellow politician, former Kharkiv Governor and Party of Regions ideologue Yevhen Kushnaryov, who died in 2007 after being shot on a hunting expedition.
Kolesnyk began serving as chair of the Kharkiv Regional Council in 2002, but resigned prematurely in 2004.
February 25 — The former mayor of the southeastern city of Melitopol, 57-year-old Serhiy Walter, reportedly hanged himself. A member of the Party of Regions who had served as the head of Melitopol since 2010, Walter had been dismissed from his post in 2013 and put on trial for abuse of power and ties to organized crime.
Walter was forced to attend some 145 hearings during his trial, with prosecutors calling for 14 years’ imprisonment. Throughout the proceedings, he insisted he was innocent. Walter was due to attend a new hearing on the day he died.
February 26 — One day after Walter’s death, the body of the 47-year-old deputy chief of the Melitopol police, Oleksandr Bordyuh, was found in a garage. According to news reports, Bordyuh’s former boss was a lawyer involved in Walter’s trial.
Media reported that the cause of Bordyuh’s death was ruled a “hypertensive crisis,” or stroke — a term that police frequently use in instances of suicide. Additional details were not provided.
February 28 — Mykhaylo Chechetov, the ex-deputy chairman of the Party of Regions faction in Ukraine’s parliament, died after jumping or falling out of the window of his 17th-story apartment.
The death came just days after Chechetov was arrested for fraud and abuse of office stemming from his two years at the helm of the powerful State Property Fund. (Chechetov posted bond to avoid being held in pretrial detention.)
Chechetov’s time at the property fund, from April 2003 to April 2005, marked one of the busiest periods of post-Soviet privatization, with the steel giant Kryvorizhstal among the cut-rate sales made during his tenure. The plant, notoriously, was sold to a group that included the son-in-law of former President Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Pinchuk, for just $850 million. (In October 2005, Viktor Yushchenko reversed the sale, reselling a 93-percent stake in the plant to Mittal Steel for $4.8 billion.)
Anton Herashchenko, a Popular Front lawmaker and adviser to the Interior Ministry, has speculated that Chechetov may have been driven to suicide by fellow old-guard members whose role in the deal stood to be exposed by his testimony. “It’s a shame we’ll never get to learn all of the interesting things we would have heard from Chechetov’s evidence,” he wrote on Facebook.
Chechetov isn’t the first head of the State Property Fund to die an unnatural death.
On August 27, 2014 the body of Valentina Semenyuk-Samsonenko was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, with a gun lying nearby. She led the agency from April 2005 to December 2008. Her family told reporters they dismissed the possibility of suicide, saying that she had spoken fearfully of someone taking out a contract on her life.
The third death of an official tied to Ukraine’s privatization took place even earlier. In May 1997, the head of the Crimean branch of the State Property Fund, Oleksiy Holovizin, was killed in the entryway of his house.
Lawmaker Ihor Lutsenko, a member of the new government’s anticorruption committee, wrote in Ukrainska Pravda that eliminating Property Fund chiefs makes it almost impossible to reverse corrupt privatization sales, like that of Kryvorizhstal.
“Semenyuk and Chechetov won’t be saying anything,” he wrote. “And that will cost us, the citizens of Ukraine, tens of billions of dollars.”
The recent string of deaths comes 10 years after two more resonant cases that followed closely on the heels of the Orange Revolution. Heorhiy Kirpa, transport minister under Kuchma, was found dead in late December, 2004. His death came two days after the rerun of the second round of presidential elections that handed Yushchenko the win over Yanukovych.
The following March, Kuchma’s former interior minister, Yuriy Kravchenko, died one day after being called as a witness in the resurrected case of slain journalist Heorhiy Gongadze.
Both deaths were officially ruled suicides — even though, in Kravchenko’s case, it had taken two gunshots to kill him.
Written in Prague by Daisy Sindelar based on reporting in Kyiv by Marichka Naboka
Now this article is the most troubling since it not only affects the credibility of the military interventions, but it also poses the greatest threat to our soldiers that are being deployed. make no mistake, if ABC News decided to run this story, it has already been widely disseminated abroad by so called enemies and allies alike. This is where the Harper Regime has sent our special forces to “train” Iraqi soldiers/miltia and where they want to deploy even more in an offensive capacity. It may be time to question this misguided mission before more flag draped coffins begin to arrive home. Does anyone really believe that those foreign funded mercenaries or our so called allies in Iraq/Syria can tell the difference between an American and Canadian? Once again, Cui bono?
‘Dirty Brigades’: US-Trained Iraqi Forces Investigated for War Crimes
Mar 11, 2015, 2:18 PM ET
By JAMES GORDON MEEK, BRIAN ROSS, RYM MOMTAZ and ALEX HOSENBALL
PHOTO: A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst — from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.
A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst — from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.
Obtained by ABC News
U.S.-trained and armed Iraqi military units, the key to the American strategy against ISIS, are under investigation for committing some of the same atrocities as the terror group, American and Iraqi officials told ABC News. Some Iraqi units have already been cut off from U.S. assistance over “credible” human rights violations, according to a senior military official on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.
The investigation, being conducted by the Iraqi government, was launched after officials were confronted with numerous allegations of “war crimes,” based in part on dozens of ghastly videos and still photos that appear to show uniformed soldiers from some of Iraq’s most elite units and militia members massacring civilians, torturing and executing prisoners, and displaying severed heads.
The videos and photos are part of a trove of disturbing images that ABC News discovered has been circulating within the dark corners of Iraqi social media since last summer. In some U.S. military and Iraqi circles, the Iraqi units and militias under scrutiny are referred to as the “dirty brigades.”
“As the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] and militias reclaim territory, their behavior must be above reproach or they risk being painted with the same brush as ISIL [ISIS] fighters,” said a statement to ABC News from the U.S. government. “If these allegations are confirmed, those found responsible must be held accountable.”
[In an image posted on Instagram, six black-uniformed men who appear to be Iraqi Special Operations Forces from the “Golden Brigades” surround an alleged ISIS suspect who has been dragged with a rope or cable tied to his foot.]
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, along with international human rights advocates and military experts, called the photos evidence of Iraqi “war crimes.”
“I guarantee you ultimately we get blamed for it whether we did it or not,” Leahy predicted.
Under what is known as the Leahy Law, the U.S. is required to cut off funds to any foreign military unit when there is “credible evidence” of human rights violations. In Iraq the responsibility of determination falls to the Department of Defense. In recent Senate testimony, Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed the Iraqi investigation had been ordered and said the Leahy Law applies to units operating alongside the many militias also fighting in Iraq against ISIS.
“I would say that involves the Leahy Law,” Leahy recently told ABC News after viewing the shocking imagery. “And I’d argue that we should be withholding money.”
According to the Pentagon, the U.S. already has. In a statement to ABC News, the Joint Staff official revealed that in the months since the U.S. began airstrikes and military assistance to Iraq last August, “We have withheld assistance from certain Iraqi units on the basis of credible information in the past. Due to the sensitive nature of our security assistance, we are unable to discuss specific units.”
In Washington today, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers the U.S. military is keeping a close eye on the militias as well.
“What we are watching carefully is whether the militias — they call themselves the popular mobilization forces — whether when they recapture lost territory, whether they engage in acts of retribution and ethnic cleansing,” he said.
An Iraqi government spokesperson previously said while the dozens of photos could be ISIS propaganda, a full investigation was warranted.
“Yes, of course we will investigate these pictures,” the spokesperson, Gen. Saad Maan, said in an interview in Baghdad as he viewed a selection of images provided by ABC News.
“We don’t have anything to hide,” the general said. “We don’t have anything to be in, let’s say, in a black corner.”
[A bound and blindfolded detainee appears to be dropped – or possibly hung from the neck according to one analyst — from what looks like an Iraqi military base guard tower. The image was posted on Instagram.]
The Iraqi military is key to the U.S. strategy to fight ISIS and stop its atrocities, which have outraged the world. The U.S. is shipping almost $1 billion in weapons, as well as providing U.S. military trainers to instruct new Iraqi recruits. A special operations official in Baghdad, however, said it’s the government of Iraq that decides — not the Pentagon — which Iraqi units get U.S.-donated weapons, such as 43,000 M4 rifles and thousands of other light infantry weapons Congress approved for shipment in December. American troops are not known to be operating on the ground in combat in Iraq or Syria. No Americans are shown in the images or footage ABC News has found, nor have any Americans been implicated in any of the alleged atrocities.
Officials from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International who reviewed the library of horrors assembled in the ABC News investigation said it is rare to see so much visual evidence of human rights abuses.
“Usually when forces commit such crimes they try to hide them. What we are seeing here is a brazen, proud display of these terrible crimes,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East Executive Director at Human Rights Watch, said in an interview as she and the group’s lead investigator in Iraq, Erin Evers, surveyed the carnage.
ABC News came upon the first such images last September, when a reporter following personal Instagram accounts of Iraqi counter-terrorism troops spotted a video of a handcuffed prisoner shot in the head by a man in camouflage — which more than 600 users “liked.” The English and Arabic captions by a self-identified member of the Iraqi security forces said, “We have arrested this terrorist yesterday and we killed him after completion of interrogation.”
A separate photo posted in September showed the severed head of a long-haired and bearded alleged ISIS fighter lashed to the grill of a U.S.-donated Humvee bearing an Iraqi Army license plate. A second related photo eventually surfaced of what appeared to be an Iraqi Army soldier holding up the same severed head next to the gun truck. Desecration of war dead and extrajudicial killings are violations of the Geneva Conventions.
“You don’t behead someone and place their head on the front of your Humvee. That’s unacceptable — because it’s a war crime. And it’s an atrocity,” retired U.S. Army Special Forces Lt. Col. James Gavrilis told ABC News.
As a senior officer in 5th Special Forces Group in Iraq a decade ago, Gavrilis was deeply involved in counterinsurgency during the U.S. war and creating Iraqi counter-terrorism units from Special Forces and special police teams.
“I think it’s horrible. I think this really shows a failure of our policy for Iraq,” Gavrilis said, confirming that the imagery looked authentic and too plentiful online to be faked.
“Both sides are committing war crimes,” he said. “This is widespread, it’s endemic.”
In another video posted online in October, two unarmed civilians are shot to death after being questioned, and denying, whether they were part of ISIS. When the camera pans to one man with a gun, he appears to be wearing a uniform and shoulder patch of Iraqi Special Forces, with Iraqi Army officers also nearby observing the atrocity.
Fighters who appear to be a mix of militia and army appearing in a separate 78-second video circulating in January — including some wearing Iraqi flags and Iraqi Special Forces patches — take pictures of a captured teenaged boy who appears terrified. “Didn’t you just shoot?” demands one fighter. The handcuffed boy, shoved to the ground, insists, “No, no, I did not shoot a single bullet.”
The men argue over whether to kill him, some asking the others to calm down, but they shoot him to death anyway as the sound of mortars and gunfire nearby punctuate the crime. “This is to avenge the martyrs,” one man says.
“I’ve seen all sorts of horrible things over the years… but I have never seen anything this bad in my life,” said Ali Khedery, an American former diplomat in Baghdad who advised five U.S. ambassadors in the Iraqi capital and three generals overseeing Middle East operations at U.S. Central Command.
Khedery recently wrote in Foreign Policy about another video, where a man was beaten and machine gunned to death by a gang who appeared to be both militias and Iraqi Special Forces with U.S.-donated M4A1 rifles. He said the video slaughter of the Iraqis accused by their killers of smuggling weapons for ISIS was far worse, because Iraqi government troops were present.
“It was the shooting of unarmed men. This is a U.S.-backed government. They carried U.S. weapons,” he said.
U.S. and Iraqi authorities say they have been working to fully authenticate the content posted online on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter connected to the Iraqi military. The uniforms and insignia of Iraqi Special Operations Forces under the command of Baghdad’s Counter-Terrorism Forces as well as special police and Emergency Response units from the Ministry of the Interior are clearly identifiable in many of the photos and videos, which include many severed heads and corpses dragged behind humvees.
Gen. Maan, the Iraqi government spokesperson, claimed the patches identifying Iraqi military units could be bought on Iraqi streets and that the gruesome images could be a clever ploy by ISIS to discredit the Iraqi military.
[The patches worn by the men in one of the photos posted to Instagram appear to match the patches of the Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade (E.R.B.), a counter-terrorism unit within the Ministry of Interior.]
“It does not look like ISIS propaganda at all,” Gavrilis said. “I don’t know how we could support them, if they are spearheading a lot on the front lines alongside these militias, and if they are conducting these kinds of atrocities as well… These Shi’a militias are just as barbaric as ISIS.”
Some militias take pride in their atrocities and appear to often be calling the shots on the battlefield, not the government forces, BloombergView columnist Eli Lake found when he recently visited the front lines north of Baghdad.
Officials said that the State Department’s human rights observers and military intelligence had viewed examples of Iraqi Security Forces posting atrocities on personal social media for over a year. But one knowledgeable U.S. official said that since ABC News began asking about the many disturbing images last fall, the atrocities allegations against Iraq’s fighting forces have grown “more severe” and the “very concerning” allegations are being raised at high levels in Baghdad.
The Pentagon spokesperson told ABC News the U.S. military has “discussed with Iraqi leaders the paramount importance of maintaining high standards of conduct and protecting civilian populations of all sects.”
“The actions of a small minority, if left unchecked, could do serious harm to the efforts of the Iraqi government,” the spokesperson said.
With several thousand American troops back in Iraq as trainers, the alleged atrocities by Iraqi troops puts U.S. military commanders in the unenviable position of having to sort out which units are clean or dirty, Gavrilis said.
[The severed head of an alleged ISIS fighter is being held up by a desert camouflage-uniformed individual in front of a Humvee in this image uploaded to Instagram. Patches on his uniform match those often worn by the Iraqi Army.]
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last month released a report on Iraq that both condemned ISIS for its campaign of killings verging on genocide, but also criticized Iraqi Security Forces for military operations that “which may have amounted to war crimes.”
Last March, the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor also issued its own damning report on Iraq, stating that government officials under then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki committed “extrajudicial killings” — meaning battlefield executions of ISIS suspects and killing individuals in custody without trial.
“Ministry of Interior officials tortured detainees to death, according to reports from multiple government officials and human rights organizations,” read the annual report. The Bureau explicitly fingered the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces and Interior Ministry’s special police units — which the U.S. established, trained and armed from 2003-2011, and whose troops are seen in many of the atrocities images.
But the State report was issued before the U.S. began airstrikes in Iraq last August to assist security forces in successfully retaking the Mosul Dam, and long before President Obama deployed thousands of American infantrymen, special operations forces and enablers back into Iraq beginning last fall to assist the Iraqis in fighting ISIS. A new report is expected soon, officials said.
Now that the alleged war crimes of the U.S.-backed forces have become public, the Iraqi spokesman stressed that his government will not tolerate “bad behavior.”
Using the Arabic slang for ISIS, Gen. Maan said, “We do not allow any person to be a savage like Daesh.”
ABC News’ Divya Kumar, Cho Park, Rhonda Schwartz, Randy Kreider and Lee Ferran contributed to this report.
[A black uniformed individual holds the severed head of a purported Saudi ISIS fighter while standing on top of a black-painted Humvee. In the background, a man wears two patches signifying the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Emergency Response Brigade.]
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