Ukraine launches drill near Russia’s border Reply

Ukraine launches a military drill near Russia’s border with which Kiev has been at loggerheads over a wide range of issues. The three-day military exercises involve tanks and heavy artillery. Ukraine stressed that it is prepared to defend its territory. The drill came as Kiev has accused Moscow of planning to seize two of its strategic port cities. However, Russia rejected the allegations as absurd and unsubstantiated. Relations between the two countries have been strained since the crisis began in eastern Ukraine in 20-14 and Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum the same year. The relations worsened further after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships recently accusing them of illegally entering Russian waters off the coast of Crimea.

Keith Preston: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman becoming a liability, embarrassment to US 1

Press TV. Listen here.

Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become a “liability” to the United States but Washington is not in a position to take action against him, an American analyst says.

Keith Preston, director of the Attackthesystem.org, said Washington was feeling embarrassed by bin Salman’s actions but couldn’t do anything about it.

“The American government is currently in a very difficult situation because the Saudi Arabian government is a staunch ally of the United States and it is obvious that the Trump administration wants to maintain that relationship,” Preston told Press TV.

US President Donald Trump has so far resisted growing calls from both sides of the isle in Congress for a strong response to the Saudi regime’s murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, arguing that doing so would endanger deep financial and political ties between the two sides and push Riyadh towards Russia.

Trump’s reluctance to go after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite growing evidence pointing to his role, became clearer after he undermined a CIA assessment that the prince was indeed aware of the murder.

The biggest reason is the risk that losing Saudi Arabia’s services would pose to Israel, Trump has admitted.

 

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Keith Preston: Trump and “Moderate Dog” Reply

Press TV. Watch the interview here.

Image result for trump mattis

Trump considering dismissal of Mattis There had been speculations for long that US President Donald Trump does not see eye to eye with his Defense Secretary James Mattis on a series of issues.

They include US ties with NATO, US military presence in South Korea and Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The media in Washington are now quoting informed sources as saying that President Trump is considering a decision to fire his defense chief.

Keith Preston: Trump’s opposition include ‘inside’ members Reply

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US President Donald Trump has many enemies among fellow members of the Republican Party and his own administration, an American journalist and analyst says.

Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem, told  Press TV in an interview on Thursday that Trump has many enemies, not only among media and the Democrats, but also, in his own party and his staff.

The media depicted Secretary of Defense James Mattis as one of the senior members of the Trump administration who opposed the president and called him an “idiot”.

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Keith Preston: US government complicit in Saudi crimes in Yemen Reply

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The administration of US President Donald Trump’s unconditional support for Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom’s many crimes in Yemen makes Washington a complicit in the onslaught, says an American analyst.

Keith Preston, director of the Attackthesystem.org, made the remarks during an interview with Press TV about the White House’s continued backing of the Saudi-led military aggression against Yemen despite international outrage.

Earlier this week, as the months-long offensive by the Saudis and their regional allies to capture Yemen’s important port city of al-Hudaydah continued, Saudi commanders announced Wednesday that they had been able to block two key supply routes into the city, The Washington Post reported.

That was bad news for millions of people in Yemen who are struggling with hunger and deadly cholera outbreaks, as the city acts as a gateway for 70 percent of food and medicine supplies sent to the conflict-ridden country.

This is while the Saudi-led coalition has had the port city under aerial and maritime blockade since the beginning of the war in March 2015.

Despite all this, however, the Trump administration certified to Congress on Tuesday that the Saudis and their allies were “making every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties.”

The official notice was required for the Pentagon to be allowed to continue delivering weapons and intelligence to Riyadh despite the international view that civilians have now become the main target of the war.

“The American government is completely complicit in this in the sense that the American government, who is not only the world’s primary backer of the Saudi regime in terms of money, weapons and diplomatic support, but the United States has actually given the green light to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for the war in Yemen,” Preston told Press TV.

Referring to reports that US military forces are working closely with their American peers on the battlefront, the analyst said the cooperation was part of an Israeli-American plan to “undermine the influence of Iran in the region and by extension nations that are aligned with Iran.”

“This is a humanitarian catastrophe and the United States has escalated the humanitarian issue by attempting to restrict aid to Yemen as well,” he said, calling the situation in Yemen as one of the “most serious human rights problems in the world today.”

Keith Preston: US relies on military–industrial complex for manufacturing jobs Reply

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The United States relies on the country’s military–industrial complex for manufacturing and factory employment, an American analyst in Virginia says.

Maintaining the massive US arms industry is motivated not just by military purposes, but also for preserving American jobs and economic growth, said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“The military–industrial complex…is a central component of the United States economic system,” Preston told Press TV on Thursday.

“Military production is a big part of the economy,” he said. “Essentially they’re not so much because they serve any military purpose as much as someone is getting paid for producing the weapons or they’re the source of preserving jobs and employment either within the military or within the civilian sector.”

US manufacturing, and in particular by the US arms industry, has always relied on government funding in one form or another.

Roughly 10 percent of the $2.2 trillion in factory output in the United States goes into the production of weapons sold mainly to the US Defense Department for use by the armed forces.

The US military is planning to install a massive radar that officials say is designed to identify missile attacks against the US mainland, Military.com reported Wednesday.

The $1 billion system is supposed to spot incoming missile warheads fired for Hawaii and other US states and send the information to ground-based interceptor missile systems in Alaska, which will then try to shoot them down, the report said.

Experts have argued that a larger face would allow the radar to distinguish between warheads and decoys more precisely.

The news of comes fays after Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, met in Singapore earlier this month and issued a declaration agreeing to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Keith Preston: Syria strike would escalate US-Russia hostilities Reply

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If the United Sates were to launch an airstrike on Syria, it would certainly escalate the hostilities between Washington and Moscow and even could develop into a direct military confrontation between the two powers, says Keith Preston, an American political analyst in Virginia.

Russia has said that threats by the US and France to launch a military aggression against Syria violate the UN Charter, calling on the West to “seriously consider” the consequences of such intimidation.

“At the highest level, the presidents of the United States and France threatened a tough reaction, with the use of force against Syria. I would like to note that the threat of using force against a UN member state is a gross violation of the charter of this organization,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

The US and its allies have been threatening Damascus with military action since April 7, when a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, reportedly killed 60 people and injured hundreds more.

The possibility of an attack grew larger on Wednesday, after Trump warned Russia, Syria’s key supporters in the fight against foreign-backed militancy, to “get ready” to shoot down American missiles over Syria soon.

But Trump tempered those remarks on Thursday, saying the US response could be “very soon or not so soon at all!”

 

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Keith Preston: Bolton pick indicates ‘more confrontational stance with Iran’ Reply

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This AFP file photo taken on February 24, 2017 shows former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.
This AFP file photo taken on February 24, 2017 shows former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

The appointment of John Bolton as US national security adviser indicates that the Donald Trump administration plans to escalate hostilities towards Iran, says an analyst.

“John Bolton has for years, even for decades, been a proponent of not only a confrontational stance with Iran but even of invading Iran,” Keith Preston, director of AttacktheSystem.com said in an interview. “Bolton has publicly advocated war against Iran.”

President Trump announced Gen. H.R. McMaster’s replacement on Thursday, making Bolton — a former US ambassador to the United Nations — his third national security adviser, part of a shake-up that creates one of the most hawkish national security teams of any White House in recent history.

“Bolton is associated with the American neo-conservative movement… which advocates very aggressive imperialist approach to really the entire world but in particular in the Middle East,” Preston told Press TV.

http://presstv.com/Default/embedattached/595477

“These were the people who were the primary architects of the war in Iraq and other disasters like that that have happened in the past,” the analyst said.

Shortly before the US and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003, Bolton reportedly told Israeli officials that once Saddam Hussein was removed, it would be necessary to deal with Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Foreign policy experts say Bolton is likely to encourage President Trump toward military confrontation with Iran.

Bolton has also called on Washington to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, even though UN inspectors have repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance with the accord.

“There’s been far too much debate over whether #Iran is in violation of the #NuclearDeal. The point is that this was a bad deal to begin with and it’s a bad deal now and it should be torn up,” Bolton tweeted in January.

The Politico magazine revealed in November 2016 that Bolton, along with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who were then on Trump’s shortlist for key posts, accepted money from notorious Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and lobbied for the anti-Iran organization’s removal from the US list of terrorist groups.

According to the report, Bolton “recently boasted before a MKO crowd in Paris that he had been engaged with them for a decade.”

“This is a terrorist organization that is anti-Iranian and wishes to overturn the current Iranian government,” Preston said.

“The Americans have provided support to MKO and other similar groups for that reason,” he noted. “The United States’ foreign policy establishment has no problem with terrorism as long as they can use terrorism to advance the geopolitical objective they want to achieve.”

“And one of these geopolitical objectives is to overturn the independent governments in the Middle East that are not willing to accept direction from Washington,” Preston added.

US security firm: North Korea’s elite hacking group reaches ‘advanced’ level 2

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An AFP photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. (Photos by AFP)
An AFP photo taken on May 15, 2017 shows staff monitoring the spread of ransomware cyber-attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in Seoul. (Photos by AFP)

A top US security firm is cautioning American politicians about a North Korean elite hacking group’s capability to engage in a cyber-war with the United States.

The elite hacking group called Reaper, which is also known as ACT37, has reached the level of “advanced persistent threat,” according to a Tuesday report by American cybersecurity company FireEye.

“APT37 has expanded its operations in both scope and sophistication,” the company warned.

It further claimed that the group has been active “since at least 2012 and focuses on targeting the public and private sectors primarily in South Korea.”

This photo taken on February 8, 2018 and released on February 9, 2018 by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attending a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang.

ACT37 ‘maturing’

FireEye’s director of intelligence analysis, John Hultquist, told Wired, that the group is “the next team to watch.”

 

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Keith Preston: Guantanamo used by US to go around torture laws Reply

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It is no surprise that US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep open the Guantanamo Bay prison, says a political analyst in Virginia, adding that Guantanamo is being used to go around US torture laws. 

“This is entirely consistent with what he was saying during his electoral campaign, Donald Trump has always taken a hawkish position,” says Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

 

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Keith Preston: Trump Most “Pro-Zionist” U.S. President Ever Reply

I got a mention in Breitbart, lol. Listen to the original interview with Press TV here.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel renders him the “most pro-Zionist” commander-in-chief to have ever held the high office, declared Iran’s state-controlled news agency Press TV, citing an analyst.

State sponsor of terrorism Iran does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has continually threatened to destroy it. The Shiite powerhouse joined various predominantly Muslim countries, jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and Pope Francis in condemning President Trump’s decision.

On Wednesday, Trump announced that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has directed his administration to move America’s diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” declared Trump. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

Soon after Trump made his historic decision public, Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.com, told Press TV:

This is not surprising that Trump would make this announcement. One thing that needs to be recognized about the Trump administration’s foreign policy is that the Trump administration is zealously pro-Israel.

The Trump administration is ardently pro-Zionist, even more, pro-Zionist than many past administrations have been, arguably the most pro-Zionist administration in U.S. history.

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Keith Preston: Trump has well-developed capacity for insulting people Reply

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US President Donald Trump’s use of the name “Pocahontas” during a White House ceremony honoring Native American World War II veterans highlights his inclination to insult and abuse people, according to an American analyst.

“Donald Trump has a very well-developed capacity for insulting people; it’s almost what he specializes in,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

Donald Trump is prone to making comments that are vey inflammatory from a racial and ethnic perspective,” Preston told Press TV on Tuesday.

“This reflects the wider divisions in our society,” he added. “We have a very polarized society.”

Trump made a remark on Monday some called racist at a White House event honoring Native American World War II veterans by referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

“We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago,” Trump said. “They call her Pocahontas. But you know what, I like you.”

Warren, a noted legal scholar who taught at Harvard Law School, denounced Trump for stopping to a “disgusting low” by attacking her with a derisive nickname.

“President Trump couldn’t even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur,” Warren told CNN.

Trump started accusing Warren of lying about her heritage and called her “Pocahontas” at a campaign rally in June, 2016, according to the Washington Post, when Warren was campaigning for Trump’s Democratic rival Hilary Clinton.

Warren has been accused of using her Native American Heritage to get ahead in her political career, particularly in the 2012 Massachusetts race for senator, according to the Boston Globe.

Genealogists have found a document stating that she has a great-great-great-grandmother who is Native American, which would make her 1/32 Cherokee, but they say it would take more research to confirm that finding.

Keith Preston: Donald Trump acts before he thinks Reply

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Donald Trump’s immigration policies have proven that the US president acts without thinking first, an analyst in Virginia says.

Keith Preston, director of attackthesysten.com, made the remarks while discussing a slew of directives by Trump that have plunged the country’s immigration system into chaos.

In late January, Trump introduced a travel ban against people from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia Iraq and Libya. All refugee admissions, except for Syrian refugees who were banned indefinitely, were halted for three months under the executive order, which has been halted upon a federal judge’s order.

Trump has also signed a directive to begin the construction of a controversial wall on the border with Mexico, while hiring thousands of new enforcement agents to carry out more deportation raids.

Preston said the refugee crisis south of the American borders took place in the 1980s, when people tried to flee US-backed wars in Central America, including Guatemala and El Salvador.

The crisis deepened “in the 1990s, when NAFTA—the North American Free trade Agreement—was imposed,” he argued. “That had the impact of destroying Mexican agriculture and then that created mass unemployment among Mexican agriculture workers, so they started migrating north to the United States.”

Preston said Trump was more focused on the issue of crimes committed by immigrants rather than the economic impact of immigration on the US economy.

“There is a question of practicality,” he said. “One real issue that the Trump administration has demonstrated is that they often act before they think.”

“We saw that with the seven [Muslim] nation travel ban. That was an executive order that was issued very hastily, very rapidly, and was not crafted in such a way as to address serious problems that would come up naturally when trying to impose something like that,” he explained.

“There is also the question of who is actually going to be impacted by this? Is it only going to be convicted criminals, or is it going to be their families?”

The human resources required to arrest immigrants and the due process during their detention were some of the other matters that Trump had not taken into consideration, according to Preston.

“I suspect that the more the Trump administration tries to ratchet up these kinds of actions the more political conflict there is going to be,” the analyst concluded.

Keith Preston: Trump’s legal tax evasion means his business operated ‘at a loss’ Reply

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GOP nominee Donald Trump’s legal evasion of income taxes for nearly two decades means his business was “operating at a loss” at the time, which would not make him a “genius” as his ally, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, would like voters to believe, suggests an analyst.

Keith Preston, the chief editor and director at AttacktheSystem.com, made the comments in an interview with Press TV on Tuesday in regard to earlier remarks by Giuliani.

“The man’s a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code to the benefit of the people he’s serving,” the Republican politician said in an interview with CNN on Sunday, a day after the New York Times said that the billionaire businessman reported a loss of $916 million on his 1995 income tax returns.

The tax deduction is said to be so substantial that it could have allowed Trump to legally avoid paying taxes for a period of 18 years.

A general view of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, September 29, 2016 in New York City. (photo by AFP)

Preston explained that businesses in the US “have to report their gross revenue and… any expenditures are allowed to be deducted from their gross revenue, so their taxable income is only their net revenue after expenses have been deducted.”

“When you have a business that’s actually losing money, the way it works is that all of your expenses become tax deductible because you simply don’t have any net revenue, of which to pay taxes on. It appears that that was the case with Donald Trump with the business difficulty that he experienced previously.”

The Virginia-based analyst affirmed that the real estate mogul had not resorted to any illegal activity just as Guiliani (pictured above)  said, yet suggesting that this means he was not very successful in his business..

“It shows what a genius he is. It shows he was able to preserve his enterprise and that he was able to build it,” Guiliani reiterated.

According to Preston, “business interests in the Unites States receive all sorts of favors from the state.”

“We can go and look at a lot of different corporate interests throughout the United States and we can identify ways in which corporations are able to avoid paying taxes for all sorts of other reasons,” he said, describing “tax loopholes” a serious problem in the US economy.

Trump has been under pressure by the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to release his tax returns like any other candidate running for president in the country.