TNHP - April 2016

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NATO will just have to wait

Ukraine sells Croatia $21 million of MiG-21 jets

Shipped them by truck because they couldn't fly

24 March 2016

A scandal is unfolding in Croatia after it was revealed it had bought Soviet-era MiG-21 jets – now unable to fly – that were assembled from dubious parts by Ukraine. The Croatian defense minister has threatened to shoot himself if any wrongdoing in the deal is proved.

Croatian security services and the Defense Ministry have launched an investigation into a 2013 military deal with a Ukrainian company, which is said to have undermined the air force’s combat capabilities.

Under the contract, Croatia paid over $21 million to repair and modernize seven Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter jets at Ukrainian plants, and to purchase another five aircraft of the same type there. (More)

Mixed messages in Syria:

'Pentagon-backed rebels fighting CIA-backed rebels'

' . . . the Pentagon has been thoroughly embarrassed by investing half a billion dollars into fielding four or five people still in the fight.'

30 March 2016 (RT) — American soldiers never used to shoot at our CIA agents, and vice-versa, but that’s what’s reportedly happening in the northern part of Syria, former CIA officer Ray McGovern told RT from Washington, DC.

In February, the CIA-armed group ‘Fursan al Haq’, or Knights of Righteousness, were apparently forced out of their positions by the so-called ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’, backed by the Pentagon.

The report — put out by a US Veterans group — comes as President Obama this month authorized a new Pentagon plan to train and arm Syrian anti-government fighters.

RT: How much control do the US military and intelligence have over the groups they are funding on the ground?

Ray McGovern: Well, let’s start with the good news. The good news is that because of Russian intervention and President Obama’s sensible reaction to it, namely, no longer pressing for priority for removing Assad and also allowing Iranians to participate in negotiations, the ceasefire — or what we call the ‘cessation of hostilities’ — is holding. Now, the embarrassing part of all is that when President Putin and President Obama told their respective foreign ministers to de-conflict things, make sure their planes don’t run into each other, that has moved forward to the point with this active military cooperation in Syria.

Now, unfortunately the same is not true of the various factions within the US government: the CIA, on the one hand, and the Department of Defense, on the other. They don’t seem able to de-conflict their strategies. And the bottom line here of course is there’s no one in control. Susan Rice, National Security Adviser, she is going to tell the Special Operation folks and the Air Force and the CIA what to do? It is almost laughable, if it weren’t so serious… We have different objectives. First of all, the moderate rebels were going to remove Assad and then they got instructions: 'No, no, don’t remove Assad. We are going to go after ISIS.' No one knows what to think. And besides that the Pentagon has been thoroughly embarrassed by investing half a billion dollars into fielding four or five people still in the fight. So, the solution is to work with the Russians, to make sure that they de-conflict not only Russian and US objectives and actions, but that the Russians might even help us to de-conflict the obvious shooting that is going on between CIA-supported rebels and Department of Defense-supported rebels. It is really quite an embarrassment…(More)

Fidel Castro to Brother Obama

'We don’t need the empire to give us anything'

By Fidel Castro
29 March 2016

Obama was born in August of 1961, as he himself explained. More than half a century has transpired since that time.

Let us see, however, how our illustrious guest thinks today:

“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” followed by a deluge of concepts entirely novel for the majority of us:

“We both live in a new world, colonized by Europeans,” the U.S. President continued, “Cuba, like the United States, was built in part by slaves brought here from Africa. Like the United States, the Cuban people can trace their heritage to both slaves and slave-owners.”

The native populations don’t exist at all in Obama’s mind. Nor does he say that the Revolution swept away racial discrimination, or that pensions and salaries for all Cubans were decreed by it before Mr. Barrack Obama was 10 years old. The hateful, racist bourgeois custom of hiring strongmen to expel Black citizens from recreational centers was swept away by the Cuban Revolution - that which would go down in history for the battle against apartheid that liberated Angola, putting an end to the presence of nuclear weapons on a continent of more than a billion inhabitants. This was not the objective of our solidarity, but rather to help the peoples of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and others under the fascist colonial domination of Portugal.

In 1961, just one year and three months after the triumph of the Revolution, a mercenary force with armored artillery and infantry, backed by aircraft, trained and accompanied by U.S. warships and aircraft carriers, attacked our country by surprise. Nothing can justify that perfidious attack which cost our country hundreds of losses, including deaths and injuries

As for the pro-yankee assault brigade, no evidence exists anywhere that it was possible to evacuate a single mercenary. Yankee combat planes were presented before the United Nations as the equipment of a Cuban uprising.

The military experience and power of this country is very well known. In Africa, they likewise believed that revolutionary Cuba would be easily taken out of the fight. The invasion via southern Angola by racist South African motorized brigades got close to Luanda, the capital in the eastern part of the country. There a struggle began which went on for no less than 15 years. I wouldn’t even talk about this, if I didn’t have the elemental duty to respond to Obama’s speech in Havana’s Alicia Alonso Grand Theater. (More)

Russia calls on world parliaments

to denounce Nazi SS veterans march in Latvia

18 March 2016 (RT) — The State Duma in Moscow has voted to prepare an address to foreign parliaments and international organizations, calling on their colleagues to condemn the Latvian authorities for allowing Nazi veterans and their supporters to rally in Riga.

The address, prepared by the State Duma’s security and foreign relations committees, was passed unanimously without abstentions. The authors of the document expressed their outrage over new attempts to rehabilitate Nazism and present Nazi criminals and their followers as heroes. Russian MPs condemned “the Latvian heirs of the Nazi ideology and their patrons in Brussels” and enjoined their colleagues from other nations to follow suit.

The event that caused such strong reaction in the Russian parliament took place in the Latvian capital Riga on March 16 - Legion Day, which was established in memory of Latvians who fought on Hitler’s side in WWII. About 900 people participated in the event, according to Riga Mayor Nils Ushakovs.

“The extraordinary cynicism of the organizers of this event lies in the fact that it was held on March 16 – on the day in 1944 when Latvian units of the Waffen SS saw combat for the first time with Red Army troops in the Pskov region, on Russian territory” the address reads. (More)

Western media: great hue and cry over Muslim attacks

But silent while we massacre innocent Muslim civilians

Highlighting western victims while ignoring victims of western violence

By Glenn Greenwald
The Intercept

26 March 2016

American cable news has broadcast non-stop coverage of the horrific attack in Brussels. Viewers repeatedly heard from witnesses and from the wounded. Video was shown in a loop of the terror and panic when the bombs exploded. Networks dispatched their TV stars to Brussels, where they remain. NPR profiled the lives of several of the airport victims. CNN showed a moving interview with a wounded, bandage-wrapped Mormon American teenager speaking from his Belgium hospital bed.

All of that is how it should be: That’s news. And it’s important to understand on a visceral level the human cost from this type of violence. But that’s also the same reason it’s so unjustifiable, and so propagandistic, that this type of coverage is accorded only to Western victims of violence, but almost never to the non-Western victims of the West’s own violence.

A little more than a week ago, as Mohammed Ali Kalfood reported in The Intercept, “Fighter jets from a Saudi-led [U.S. and U.K.-supported] coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah. The latest count indicates that about 120 people were killed, including more than 20 children, and 80 were wounded in the strikes.” Kalfood interviewed 21-year-old Yemeni Khaled Hassan Mohammadi, who said, “We saw airstrikes on a market last Ramadan, not far from here, but this attack was the deadliest.” Over the past several years, the U.S. has launched hideous civilian-slaughtering strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq. Last July, The Intercept published a photo essay by Alex Potter of Yemeni victims of one of 2015’s deadliest Saudi-led, U.S.- and U.K.-armed strikes. (More)

Russian court rules against city ban on LGBT march

Orders monetary compensation to gay rights activist

14 March 2016

KOSTROMA, Russia (RT) — A court in this Northern Russian city has ruled that municipal authorities had wrongly banned LGBT marches and pickets and ordered monetary compensation in favor of gay rights activist Nikolay Alekseyev.

The press service of the Sverdlovsk District Court in Kostroma reported on Monday 14 March that the judge ruled to partially fulfill two lawsuits filed by Alekseyev against the Financial Directorate of the city administration and ordered the city authorities to pay the activist compensation of 6,000 rubles plus 300 rubles of court fees (about $90 in total). The press service added that one more “Alekseyev vs. Kostroma administration” case was still being considered.

According to Russian news portal RBC, the court decision concerned the events of April 2014, when city authorities in Kostroma refused to license a gay pride event that organizers named ‘For Ranevskaya!’ in honor of Soviet-era movie actress Faina Ranevskaya, known for a collection of her witty sayings. One such famous saying was “Homosexuality is not a perversion. Field hockey and ballet on ice are,” and activists intended to carry signs with this phrase at their event. The other court decision dealt with the official ban on the gay pride parade in Kostroma in June 2014. (More)

China-US Relations and the South China Sea

President Xi Jinping and Obama in Washington

By Stephen Lendman
Global Research

02 April 2016

Sino/US relations are less than cordial. Beijing justifiably rejects Washington wanting dominion over part of the world not its own – its longstanding imperial agenda, intruding where it doesn’t belong, belligerently at its discretion.

Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). Issues discussed included Beijing’s sovereignty over its offshore waters and territories, notably its rights in the South China Sea.

Obama asserting what he called “significant (US) interests in the Asia-Pacific region” was code language for Washington wanting regional dominance, directly challenging Beijing, including its right to develop and protect its offshore waters and territories.

“China will firmly safeguard the sovereignty and related rights in the South China Sea,” said Xi.

It “respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight other countries are entitled to under international law, (but does) “not accept any freedom of navigation as an excuse to undermine China’s sovereignty and national security interests.”

Washington uses the pretext of “freedom of navigation” to asset its Pacific presence, aggressively advancing its military footprint, risking direct confrontation with China.

Beijing claims sovereignty of the Nansha Islands and surrounding waters. While not intending to militarize them, it maintains the right to install defensive missiles, while expressing serious concern over Washington’s provocative regional military activities. (More)

Christian ‘Prophet’ loses buttocks to hungry lion

while trying to prove that God would save him

'I do not know what came over me. I thought the Lord wanted to use me to show his power over animals.'

By Sarah K. Burris
Raw Story
11 March 2016

GHANA — Alec Ndiwane thought he was filled with the Holy Spirit when he decided to “challenge” lions at the Kruger National Park.

The Zion Christian Church Prophet was at the park with his fellow church members when, according to GhanaWeb, he went into a trance and began speaking in tongues. The group approached the pride of lions while they munched happily on an antelope, but that’s when Ndiwane ran toward the lions. (More)

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