|May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)|
|Contents||Bulletin||Scripting in shell and Perl||Network troubleshooting||History||Humor|
|News||The Deep State||Recommended Links||Shoot-first-ask-questions-later: Trump ME policy||Trump after his Colin Powell moment||Purple revolution||Khan Sheikhoun gas attack||History of American False Flag Operations||Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations|
|False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy||Anti Trump Hysteria||Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||Sacrifice of Michael Flynn||Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak||Trump foreign policy platform||National Security State||Demonization of Putin|
|Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism||Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS||Cold War II||American Exceptionalism||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich||The Iron Law of Oligarchy||Blowback against neoliberal globalization|
|Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"||Myth about intelligent voter||Libertarian Philosophy||Pluralism as a myth||Anti-globalization movement||Doublespeak||New American Militarism||Bait and Switch|
|TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates||Trump economic platform||Predator state||Corporatism||Nation under attack meme||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism||Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers||Deception as an art form|
|Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism||Neocons||Principal-agent problem||Neoliberalism||Corporatist Corruption||Non-Interventionism||Skeptic Quotations||Humor||Etc|
Attack in Syria was a game changer. And a sign that Trump capitulated due to the intensity of anti-Russian hysteria. In other words Trump surrendered to the neocons. Suddenly the the neoliberal/neocon MSM who launched the witch hunt against him after the elections are lauding him for a senseless escalation. His plan now is just to survive, and under the implicit agreement signed at capitulation, he can no longer control US foreign policy under any circumstances. It is neocons who again in change of the US foreign policy. The Trump administrations motivations appear to be purely political, defensive, dictation in conditions when he is under siege, and extremely short term. I want to survive is tootoed on his forehead. Nikki Haley's TV remarks that the US now thinks there can be no solution to the Syrian crisis (created by the USA) that leaves Assad in power signify that Trump is no longer has any inflince on forerigh policy. He is a puppet, not a puppeteer and he does not control Nikki Haley. It is Nikki Haley and her neocon hanglers who control Trump:
meshpal | Apr 11, 2017 7:46:36 AM | 6It appears that US foreign policy is in turmoil and no longer well managed. The key goal has been to keep the US dollar as a reserve currency and every state in-line with their privately owned central bank. The petrol dollar is no longer working and debts are out-of-control. Libya and Operation Odyssey Dawn helped bring down a functional government but remember the first thing they did was establish a new private central bank and get rid of an independent one. Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan still have an independent bank and people at the top don’t like that. What a coincidence that having an independent central bank and being an enemy of America are the same.
In any case, it looks like the US is just winging it in Syria; anything to stop Russia, Iran, and Syria working together in peace. And make sure that central bank ownership is changed. Chaos may not be great, but it seems to generate profits and achieve goals for people at the top of the food chain. I do not hear much complaining about Libya. Why not the same for Syria?
The new Syria policy seems to be the plan of Kushner, who resembles/is a neocon: No More Mister Nice Blog IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE, THE DEMOCRATS (AND THE DEMOCRATS) COULD BE OUT OF FAVOR BY SUMMER
Meanwhile, an interventionist foreign policy may be getting Trump good press for the moment, but do you honestly believe he's going to get results? I don't say that because Kushner appears to be running foreign policy and he's completely unqualified to do so. I say it because even the administration's wiser, more experienced foreign policy aides -- the generals Trump admires so much -- aren't going to help him score crowd-pleasing wins.
There is little chance that the US can split Syria from Russia by staging of suporting the staged false flag attack using sarin. While Russia is under pressure in Kaliningrad, Crimea and Syria it has lived through way worse situation and these have always increased its determination. So chances that Putin fold right now are slim. His couse is right: to get rid of Islam fundamentalists in Syria even if this means preserving Assad government, as there is no real alternative to Assad in Syria other then islamists.
The key warning sign that something is wrong is the fact that the USA hit Assad forces before any investigation, US Congress resolution, or God forbid UN Security
Council resolution. So Trump behaves exactly like previous administration, and it is clear that not
the previous dysfunctional jingoistic neoliberal elite, hell bent of the idea of global neoliberal
empire led by the USA dictates trump policies.
Of course, the USA is an exceptional nation, so it does not need any UN support.
And the reason for the existence of UN is probably as unclear to Trump as it was unclear to Bush II, but the latter at least arranged this historical spectacle with Colin Powell.
What is interesting is that this was not the first attempt to stage a false flag operation using sarin to get the US into action to remove Assad goverment and install jihadists in power, as already happened in Lybia. The first was 2013 Ghouta chemical attack
Sarin is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It can be lethal even at very low concentrations, where death can occur within one to ten minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes, typically atropine and an oxime, such as pralidoxime, are quickly administered. People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage.
... ... ...
2004: Iraqi insurgents detonated a 155 mm shell containing binary precursors for sarin near a U.S. convoy in Iraq. The shell was designed to mix the chemicals as it spun during flight. The detonated shell released only a small amount of sarin gas, either because the explosion failed to mix the binary agents properly or because the chemicals inside the shell had degraded with age. Two United States soldiers were treated after displaying the early symptoms of exposure to sarin.
2013: Ghouta chemical attack; sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war. Varying sources gave a death toll of 322 to 1,729.
See also Herch discussion of 2013 Ghouta chemical attack
As sarin is extremely toxic anybody who approached a child killed by the gas without protective suits should probably be dead by now unless he/she wear full protection suit. Which was not the case. Touching the victim is enough to be dead.
That means that sarin "gas attack" hypothesis propagated by the US MSM smells with Iraq WDMs.
Also in Syria children are usually accompanied by women. There was little women casualties (full list of causalities and whether they were locals or hostages is currently unknown). What is known is that many victims are children.
That means that it might be a cloud of some herbicide with similar formula, but less toxic for adults; can happen if the bomb his the storage unit ).
Now MSM downgraded the gas to chlorine (can you imaged any sovereign state air force use chorine - based munitions, but Al Qaeda and affiliated groups do use them as well as sarin).
The last but least: the US is essentially acting as air force for Al Nusra is a questionable use of
30 million or so which those Tomahawks cost. Each cruse missile cost is about $569,000 in 1999 dollars, according to the US Navy, -- equivalent
to about $832,000 today. The cost of 50 units is the cost of a pretty nice residential complex in
the USA for 100-200 families.
BTW both Turkey and KSA had bet all cards on Syrian insurgency. In the past Turkey's intelligence service MIT was supporting not only the Free Syrian Army but also Al-Nusra, which produced sarin from components bought in Turkey.
Even if we assume that this was a "Monica" type of attack, to distuct from "russian probe" witch hunt, it is still very questionable act by Trump administration. Who BTW already lost two key people which were anti-globalists. The last was Bannon.
It looks like it took Trump metamorphosed around 100 days to metamorphose into Hillary Clinton administration ;-).
Around the same time Obama transformed is administration into Bush II administration. So Trump might even beat the king of "bait and switch" Obama in this area.
The UN haven't even concluded who is actually responsible for the attack yet, but Trump ordered the attack. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/06/donald-trumps-senseless-syria-strikes-accomplish-nothing#comments
Donald Trump, the man who just over a month ago wanted to bar entry of all Syrian refugees into the United States, now wants us to think that he cares deeply about Syrian children. I don’t believe it.
What I do believe is that our president is a bad actor. He was a bad actor on his old television show, and he’s still a bad actor today. And he’s a bad actor in both senses of the term, which is to say his actions are poorly executed and morally questionable.
Addressing the nation from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the president announced that he had authorized “a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched”. Trump was referring to a chemical weapons attack on Tuesday that killed more than 80 people, including dozens of women and children, in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun. The chemical attack had in all likelihood been carried out by the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.21 22.
Well, definitely an act of aggression and hence illegal under the UN Charter - now, who will bring a condemning Resolution in the Security Council ? And who will vote against it, or even veto it ?
I see the UK Government has already mindlessly agreed with the aggressive act.
But what will the US’s military strike – a barrage of at least 59 (offensively named) Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at a lone airfield – really accomplish?
9 10It's pretty clear that this is Trump just being the lunatic amateur that he is, you know the one we all worried because he had his finger on the button. He authorised the fatally flawed Yemen raid only days after assuming office. This is Dr Trumplove in action, there's nothing the public and his sycophantic fans would enjoy more than a reprise of the missiles down elevator chutes that lit up our televisions in '92. This time the war will not be televised...it will be on twitter. 0 1Interesting that America claims to care about Arab children, while it recently killed over 150 civilians in Iraq.
Having said that, I find it difficult not to support a targeted strike at Assad's military bases. I would never however support an invasion or occupation of another Arab country as we all know that would be a huge mistake; the tens of thousands of Arabs that would die, Western military personnel put at risk and financial cost.
Assad must be stopped, but only the Syrians themselves must take the lead in forming a new government without continued interference from the outside. Formation of a new government at any point must be home-grown alone.
- 7 8Why must Assad be stopped he is fighting the same demented loonies who have done attacks all over Europe, including the UK. Are you saying its ok for us to kill these loonies but not Syria.Get real.55 56Using gas was a terrorist attack, not a military one.
In that case, why on earth would Assad do it. It weakens his case in all respects and strengthens his enemies.
But of course such an argument flies in the face of hawks worldwide.67 68The whole thing is a sad sorry affair. I'm not sure I can trust anything any side is saying. One thing is certain is this proxy wars between Russia and the US will continue in all shapes and form first the next 20 years at least.
One question though. Those US air strikes that killed over 100 civilians last week. Why have they not got the same coverage as the chemical weapons? Isn't killing, killing?30 31Well, the deep state always wins. The idea that assad used chemical weapons (which the country was declared free of a fee years ago) immediately after trump declared a policy of non regime change beggars belief.
This article is calling for the grounding of Russian and syrian planes. The first action could cause WWIII. The second would allow isis to invade Damascus.
4 5I suppose the use of chemical weapons in 2013 in Syria was doen to the CIA and Obama? You are probably yet another conspiracy "nut" who thinks that the gassing of the Kurds in northern Iraq by Assad's chum Saddam was Fake News. 8 9It probably was.42 43Are we sure it wasn't the so called rebels? It would make no sense for Assad to do this now. Who financed the whole coup in the first place arming the 'rebels'? They are responsible for the whole mess.27 28Yes, Syrian and Russian forces are striking ISIS, Al-Queda and Al-Nusra, while the US strikes Syria. Sums up the whole thing really.61 62According to a poll this morning between 41% and 51% of British voters would support an escalation even if it meant conflict with Russia. We're being turned into a country of gurning imbeciles and if I die because of all this bollocks I'll be really pissed off.3 4It depends what you mean by 'accomplish nothing.'
The chances are that there will be no response of any kind. Will this drive a President, having an unhealthy mix of behavioral problems and frustrated by failure in his domestic policy, to take further dramatic action in order to attract attention in the style of his spoilt brat counterpart in North Korea, Kim Jong-un?
- 1 2Trump will feel emboldened by this move. A frighening thought indeed.8 9I am sure that Netanyahu will be pleased that America has finally agreed to remove another Arab leader.9 10This is a set up by the criminal regime in Washington and their servile allies in London. I don't believe their propaganda claims about this chemical attack, and in any case they are not interested in waiting for any evidence. They must be made to pay a heavy price for this criminal act.
- 1 2"They must be made to pay a heavy price for this criminal act."
As long as "they" does not include the innocent UK/US population.2 3No, certainly not. I would never advocate terrorist acts against anybody. But this action will do the US and the Western alliance no good at all and will diminish their standing in the world. The US/UK population must hold their leaders to account over this nonsense, and demand proof of the dubious claims over the supposed chemical attack.70 71This was a failed US aggression based on propaganda. A repetition of the invented story about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq Syrian style.
The rebels will get an advantage if they use chemical weapons and blames Assad. Assad has nothing to gain from using such weapons.
It's simply not logical and believable that Assad. used chemical weapons. What happened to information based decisions and critical journalism?26 27So here we go, nothing really changes in the land of the free. Warmongers they will remain. Al Qaeda rejoices.7 8I actually feel that Trump may have got this just about right. If we actually believe that a plane from this airbase delivered a Sarin attack, then it was necessary to prevent a repetition. But equally it was necessary to avoid the US being dragged into a war against Assad, which so many are desperate to see happen, and it was necessary to avoid World War 3 by avoiding killing Russians.
If the Russians, as they probably did, warned the Syrians and few people were actually killed by this strike, then maybe it will all calm down now, the Syrian air force won't ever use Sarin again and can concentrate on defeating the rebels instead which, like it or not, is probably the quickest route to peace.
- 5 6I have to question whether or not it was actually Assad who committed the attack, why would he risk retaliation from the US when he is currently winning the Syrian Civil war7 8Agreed the main thing it shows is a kneejerk reaction. Incredibly dangerous from a US president but perhaps not unexpected.
Even if Assad needs to be removed the idea as well that Trump has a post regime plan to do that is laughable.
We have seen what happened in Iraq and Libya when bad dictators were overthrown and a bad situation ended up much worse in terms of a replacement by militant Islamist groups.
Unfortunately what we have here is ISIS 1 (Trump o.g), Commonsense and sanity 03 4But if the alleged planes carrying chemical weapons came from Homs that just got 59 bombs, where was the topic cloud? Weren't they suppose to have a chemical stock in this airbase ? Strange that no chemical in sight.0 1Trump – Russia...Trump – Russia...Trump – Russia...
Oh, wait a minute...
1. Susan Rice – mother lode for all the Trump-Russia conspiracy theories via her unmasking of names and wide dispersal of same, but “nothing to see here”.
2. “Donald Trump's Syrian air-strike 'significant blow to US-Russia relations', says Kremlin” (Guardian headline).
I would have posted this comment below said title but, of course, no comments are possible, just as they aren't below most of, for example, David Smith's execrable anti-Trump 'output'.3 4This attack is an act of war against Syria. North Korea has nuclear weapons will the usa warmongers risk a nuclear war.2 3"Lavrov, please release some pictures from the videos of Trump with the prostitutes!"9 10Five months ago: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/02/politics/donald-trump-terrorists-families/
"The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families," Trump said.
“I will tell you that attack on children had a big, big impact on me,” he said. “That was a horrible, horrible thing.”
Eh?23 24Assad has absolutely no motive to order this attack. His forces, with Russia's assistance have gained the upper hand in the protracted conflict with US and UK backed terrorists. Why on earth would he do something that he knows would bring international condemnation and likely military action from the US?
Stinks to high heaven of a false flag- the fact that global MSM had solved the crime and broadcast the perpertrators all over global media within an hour is enough proof for me - the stories would have had to have been pre-packaged.10 11Breaking news, Assad has Sarin tipped long-range missiles that can hit the UK in 30 mins. We need to go in and destroy these WMDs immediately.
"S**t, we've used that one before, any ideas?"12 13Spot-on.
Perhaps you could tell that to the Guardian writers (the "liberal interventionists") who have been beating the war drums for years, failing to learn any lessons from Iraq and Libya. I see no plan for the aftermath, and I see no real consideration given to the threat of a further decline in relations with Russia.
And, do these people seriously want Trump overseeing a regime change? It would be more chaotic than when Bush tried it in Iraq.14 15There are at likely two parties that are very happy about the USA attack on Syrian airfield. They are Syrian al-Qaeda which governs Idlib province where the alleged chemical attack happened and ISIS.
Both can count that alleging Assad for chemical attacks may get Donald Trump´s USA to become their air force. If there is a red line, cross it and blame Assad. I think that may be how al-Qaeda and ISIS leaders are interpreting the events.5 6
a barrage of at least 59 (offensively named) Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at a lone airfield – really accomplish?
That's $70 million down the drain JUST on missiles.
Made a certain group of shareholders owning a certain military company trading in NYSE slightly wealthier.
Also, a participatory certificate for participating in a virility contest.0 1I thought Russian air defences were supposed to be able to shoot down tomahawk missiles. They don't travel all that fast. Perhaps they wanted to put pressure on Assad and let them pass.5 6As the missile strike have already happened ('justice' before investigation) so will there be an independent investigation about what was the cause of the gas leakage ?4 5The usual suspects, those actually responsible for false flag unleashing chemical weapons, have apparently achieved only a limited response from el trumpo... and one unlikely to satisfy their lust ultimately to bring down the Syrian government. This action designed as a stage to that end to uncouple trumpo and putin...5 6This will improve his ratings!
- 3 4That is all he cares about.12 13Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure. He was supposed to be different. But then so was Obama. 300,000 people have died! Were those killed by bombs any less tragic? Who is funding, arming and supporting ISIS? It's not about these children it's about anti Assad/Iran/Russia influence in the region. Again, 300,000 have died already!
Dec 14, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Exclusive: Taking on water from revealed FBI conflicts of interest, the foundering Russia-gate probe – and its mainstream media promoters – are resorting to insults against people who note the listing ship, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling "scandal" into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump's presidency.
Peter Strzok, who served as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, second in command of counterintelligence.
As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American "deep state" exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government's intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump.
In one Aug. 6, 2016 text exchange, Page told Strzok: "Maybe you're meant to stay where you are because you're meant to protect the country from that menace." At the end of that text, she sent Strzok a link to a David Brooks column in The New York Times, which concludes with the clarion call: "There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you're not in revolt, you're in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame."
Apparently after reading that stirring advice, Strzok replied, "And of course I'll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps."
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, criticized Strzok's boast that "I can protect our country at many levels." Jordan said: "this guy thought he was super-agent James Bond at the FBI [deciding] there's no way we can let the American people make Donald Trump the next president."
In the text messages, Strzok also expressed visceral contempt for working-class Trump voters, for instance, writing on Aug. 26, 2016, "Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. it's scary real down here."
Another text message suggested that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk."
Strzok added, "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event that you die before you're 40."
It's unclear what strategy these FBI officials were contemplating to ensure Trump's defeat, but the comments mesh with what an intelligence source told me after the 2016 election, that there was a plan among senior Obama administration officials to use the allegations about Russian meddling to block Trump's momentum with the voters and -- if elected -- to persuade members of the Electoral College to deny Trump a majority of votes and thus throw the selection of a new president into the House of Representatives under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment .
The scheme involved having some Democratic electors vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell (which did happen), making him the third-place vote-getter in the Electoral College and thus eligible for selection by the House. But the plan fizzled when enough of Trump's electors stayed loyal to their candidate to officially make him President.
After that, Trump's opponents turned to the Russia-gate investigation as the vehicle to create the conditions for somehow nullifying the election, impeaching Trump, or at least weakening him sufficiently so he could not take steps to improve relations with Russia.
In one of her text messages to Strzok, Page made reference to a possible Watergate-style ouster of Trump, writing: "Bought all the president's men. Figure I needed to brush up on watergate."
As a key feature in this oust-Trump effort, Democrats have continued to lie by claiming that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred" in the assessment that Russia hacked the Democratic emails last year on orders from President Vladimir Putin and then slipped them to WikiLeaks to undermine Hillary Clinton's campaign.
That canard was used in the early months of the Russia-gate imbroglio to silence any skepticism about the "hacking" accusation, and the falsehood was repeated again by a Democratic congressman during Wednesday's hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.
But the "consensus" claim was never true. In May 2017 testimony , President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that the Jan. 6 "Intelligence Community Assessment" was put together by "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.
Biased at the Creation
And, the new revelations of high-level FBI bias puts Clapper's statement about "hand-picked" analysts in sharper perspective, since any intelligence veteran will tell you that if you hand-pick the analysts you are effectively hand-picking the analysis.
Although it has not yet been spelled out exactly what role Strzok and Page may have had in the Jan. 6 report, I was told by one source that Strzok had a direct hand in writing it. Whether that is indeed the case, Strzok, as a senior FBI counterintelligence official, would almost surely have had input into the selection of the FBI analysts and thus into the substance of the report itself. [For challenges from intelligence experts to the Jan. 6 report, see Consortiumnews.com's " More Holes in the Russia-gate Narrative. "]
If the FBI contributors to the Jan. 6 report shared Strzok's contempt for Trump, it could explain why claims from an unverified dossier of Democratic-financed "dirt" on Trump, including salacious charges that Russian intelligence operatives videotaped Trump being urinated on by prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel, was added as a classified appendix to the report and presented personally to President-elect Trump.
Though Democrats and the Clinton campaign long denied financing the dossier – prepared by ex-British spy Christopher Steele who claimed to rely on second- and third-hand information from anonymous Russian contacts – it was revealed in October 2017 that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign shared in the costs, with the payments going to the "oppo" research firm, Fusion GPS, through the Democrats' law firm, Perkins Coie.
That discovery helped ensnare another senior Justice Department official, Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who talked with Steele during the campaign and had a post-election meeting with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Recently, Simpson has acknowledged that Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS last year to investigate Trump.
Bruce Ohr has since been demoted and Strzok was quietly removed from the Russia-gate investigation last July although the reasons for these moves were not publicly explained at the time.
Still, the drive for "another Watergate" to oust an unpopular – and to many insiders, unfit – President remains at the center of the thinking among the top mainstream news organizations as they have scrambled for Russia-gate "scoops" over the past year even at the cost of making serious reporting errors .
For instance, last Friday, CNN -- and then CBS News and MSNBC -- trumpeted an email supposedly sent from someone named Michael J. Erickson on Sept. 4, 2016, to Donald Trump Jr. that involved WikiLeaks offering the Trump campaign pre-publication access to purloined Democratic National Committee emails that WikiLeaks published on Sept. 13, nine days later.
Grasping for Confirmation
Since the Jan. 6 report alleged that WikiLeaks received the "hacked" emails from Russia -- a claim that WikiLeaks and Russia deny -- the story seemed to finally tie together the notion that the Trump campaign had at least indirectly colluded with Russia.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)
This new "evidence" spread like wildfire across social media. As The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald wrote in an article critical of the media's performance, some Russia-gate enthusiasts heralded the revelation with graphics of cannons booming and nukes exploding.
But the story soon collapsed when it turned out that the date on the email was actually Sept. 14, 2016, i.e., the day after WikiLeaks released the batch of DNC emails, not Sept. 4. It appeared that "Erickson" – whoever he was – had simply alerted the Trump campaign to the public existence of the WikiLeaks disclosure.
Greenwald noted , "So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all."
Yet, despite the cascade of errors and grudging corrections, including some belated admissions that there was no "17-intelligence-agency consensus" on Russian "hacking" – The New York Times made a preemptive strike against the new documentary evidence that the Russia-gate investigation was riddled with conflicts of interest.
The Times' lead editorial on Wednesday mocked reporters at Fox News for living in an "alternate universe" where the Russia-gate "investigation is 'illegitimate and corrupt,' or so says Gregg Jarrett, a legal analyst who appears regularly on [Sean] Hannity's nightly exercise in presidential ego-stroking."
Though briefly mentioning the situation with Strzok's text messages, the Times offered no details or context for the concerns, instead just heaping ridicule on anyone who questions the Russia-gate narrative.
"To put it mildly, this is insane," the Times declared. "The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."
The Times fumed that "roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election – a fact that is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including the nation's intelligence community." (There we go again with the false suggestion of a consensus within the intelligence community.)
The Times also took to task Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, for seeking "a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 – not just Trump and Russia." The Times insisted that "None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith."
But what are the Times editors so afraid of? As much as they try to insult and intimidate anyone who demands serious evidence about the Russia-gate allegations, why shouldn't the American people be informed about how Washington insiders manipulate elite opinion in pursuit of reversing "mistaken" judgments by the unwashed masses?
Do the Times editors really believe in democracy – a process that historically has had its share of warts and mistakes – or are they just elitists who think they know best and turn away their noses from the smell of working-class people at Walmart?
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).
mike k , December 13, 2017 at 9:54 pmmike k , December 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm
The NYT is just another tool of the multi-billionaire oligarchs who rule this USA from the shadows. They fear nothing more than the light. When that investigative light gets strong enough, more and more ordinary folks will begin to awake to the massive fraud that has been perpetrated at their expense. And when that happens, we will finally see the Oligarchy begin to crumble under the pressure of the 99%. The truth will out, then heads will roll ..incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:04 am
Keep up the pressure – get your friends interested, tell them about CN, Counterpunch, Strategic-Culture, Chris Hedges, etc. Pursuing the truth can be a fascinating hobby, that leads to a person awakening. Make it interesting, awaken your friend's curiosity.T.J , December 14, 2017 at 8:45 am
How about also including RT in your list? It's a news and commentary site with strong journalistic values and credibility, notwithstanding what the Administration or the MSM may say or imply.Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 11:59 am
If RT didn't have the qualities you describe, attempts by the Administration and the MSM to discredit it would have been successful. However they will attempt to silence it by other means.tina , December 14, 2017 at 11:06 pm
Very true TJ. I found counterpunch when wapo / propornot blacklisted them. Gave 'em creds imo. I also like mint press, occupy, naked capitalism, **world socialist website**, disobedient media, truthout, some of Glenns work on the Intercept and my youtube subs include: wearechange, **anonymous Scandinavia**, **the jimmy dore show**, RT America, TeleSUR English*, Zoon Politikon, **democracy at work**, HA Goodman, theRealNews*, mintpressnews, watching the hawks, secular talk, laura kinhtlinger, judicial watch, empire files, redacted tonight, TBTV, a little from Julian Assange's twitter.Erik G , December 14, 2017 at 8:03 am
what about Al-Jazeera?Amyg , December 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm
Good suggestion; in such persuasion, one must respectfully suggest better sources and avoid any conflict.
Mr. Parry has well summarized for beginners these essential counterpoints to the mass media propaganda.
Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.Walter Devine , December 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm
I like this use of "awakened," in contrast to the establishment culture's fascination with "woke." People don't need to get woke. They need to become awakened. Thanks to Robert Parry.Robert Gardner , December 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm
I thought we were waiting to hear what the evidence is found. The lack of discussion about what they have uncovered seems to me to speak of a professional operation. Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose. As for Bias, that exists in everyone to some extent or another, where was the moral outrage from the Republicans charging this today when the Benghazi investigation was being conducted by folks with known axes to grind themselves? It is the Washington hypocrisy machine at its most obvious. As for the media, print or otherwise, they are just preaching to their choirs in order to sell whatever their particular consumers are buying. Frankly I have come to expect more from you than this article Mr. Parry, here's hopingtina , December 13, 2017 at 11:42 pm
I've been skeptical out the Russian conspiracy so far, but I agree with what Walter Devine wrote.incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:08 am
I am still waiting . Mr. Parry can ride on his story back in the 1980's. We are in 2017, The internet is good. What did those people in Washington do today? get rid of net neutrality? Love you all people on CN, Happy Hanukah Merry Christmas, and Kwanzaa, And the winter solstice. Peace to all. Love, tina everyone is going to believe that they want to believe.Larco Marco , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 am
Are you kidding about Benghazi? Obviously you have still not informed yourself about the egregious security breakdown of the Administration or how the Benghazi facility factored into the CIA's proxy war in Syria. (And, btw, where was Hillary "Rod up her Hiney" Clinton when that '3AM call' came in at 4pm?Anna , December 14, 2017 at 12:56 am
Hillary Rodham Clinton AND William Hamrod Clintonbobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm
Thank you for bringing attention to the Benghazi scandal: "FBI Chief Instructed Agents To Lie About Benghazi To Protect Hillary" http://yournewswire.com/fbi-lie-benghazi-hillary/
"By placing the interests of the Obama administration over the public's interests, the order is yet another data point highlighting the politicization of the FBI: After the September 11, 2012 attack against U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration peddled a lie, telling the public that the attack was related to Muslims who had become enraged at an anti-Islam YouTube video, and not a planned act of terrorism – despite Hillary Clinton emailing Chelsea Clinton from her unsecure @clintonemail.com server the night of the attack to say exactly that."
-- On a topic of evidence: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/anti-trump-texts-between-fired-fbi-agents-having-extramarital-affair-leak-and-theyre "
In 2016, [the FBI] received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" The "dossier" was a compendium of allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier – which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials. (One more time for you, Walter Devine -- "if he [Steele] could verify the claims"). When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times.
Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team. Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.
-- More evidence" "FBI Texts Reveal "Insurance Policy" To Prevent Trump Presidency" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/we-cant-take-risk-fbi-texts-reveal-insurance-policy-prevent-trump-presidency
-- Have you noticed the numbers for payments? The bank records? The names? -- these are the evidence. Or you believe that there a Bias against the miserable Steele?Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm
Of interest to me is why the Republicans did not hammer Hillary for placing an ambassador in what was essentially a CIA compound in the first place. My guess and I can only guess is that they no objection to its being a ratline to ship Libya's stolen armaments to head-chopping jihadists (with USA blessing) fighting Assad. So to raise the issue of why putting an ambassador there would have opened the door to sensitive questions -- if the press would ask them, of course.Jon Adams , December 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm
That's the real Benghazi story the MSM won't talk about. Although I suspect the armaments were given to the head choppers by the CIA, and then they rebelled at having them transferred to the head choppers in Syria after they had succeeded in killing Ghaddafi.Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm
"Madame Secretary, WHY was it necessary to destroy Libya?" No republican asked THAT question.Adrian Engler , December 14, 2017 at 3:44 am
Hello Skip, nice to read your good comments again and to exchange info. Here is an article which talks about the weapons ratline in Syria. Within four days, the powerful anti-tank missiles that CIA bought in Bulgaria and (supposedly) delivered to "moderate" rebels, ended up in ISIS hands. The only problem with the article's narrative is that it is still drawing the official line that the lack of oversight is to blame for such, whilst it was clearly a deliberate action to supply weapons to ISIS wrapped up in plausible deniability of passing them through the hands of some poor inept souls serving as intermediaries.
Thus, the CIA kept being surprised that its powerful weapons kept ending up in ISIS hands but kept doing the same over and over: oops an oversight mistake, oops and another one, oops one more, and another one, . the two hundredth one
https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/blowback-isis-got-a-powerful-missile-the-cia-secretly?utm_term=.joevpx9dG#.lxegj54A7Antiwar7 , December 14, 2017 at 7:24 am
Starting a grand-scale investigation on the basis of allegations of conspiracy with another government and treason is rather dubious when these allegations from dirty campaign tactics are not based on any tangible facts. It is true that the Muller team does not leak as much to the press as the intelligence services did previously. This investigation still plays an important role for the media propaganda that still pushes the Russiagate conspiracy theory even though there had never been any factual basis for it and no evidence has been found in over a year. Since there is still this investigation is going on, they can use it for justifying their daily minutes of hate against Russia, their calls for censorship and denounciation of any political position that diverges from the neoconservative and neoliberal ideology.
I wonder how long this can go on. So far, the indictments of the Muller team have had nothing to do with the Russiagate conspiracy theory. Paul Manafort was indicted for tax evasion related to lobbying business with Ukraine, mostly years ago. Michael Flynn was indicted because when he reported a call from his holidays to the Russian ambassador to the FBI more than three weeks later, he left out two elements (the FBI had the recordings from the NSA, anyway, so they wouldn't have had to ask him about the telephone call). There was nothing illegal about the contents of the telephone call (the most dubious thing was, of course, the lobbying related to a UN security council resolution vote, but that might at best hint at colluding with Israel, it certainly does not fit the Russiagate conspiracy theory). It seems quite plausible that Flynn just forgot these two elements of a telephone call in which quite a large number of points was raised and that he pleaded guilty because of a plea deal (otherwise he might have been indicted in connection with his lobbying work for Turkey). Superficially, the closest to the idea of Russiagate is the indictment of Papadopoulos, someone who played a minor role in the Trump campaign and was looking for contacts with Russians, but, as it seems did not get very far (for some reasons he seemed to think a Russian woman he was talking with was a relative of Putin). His actions may have been naïve or misguided, but nothing about them was illegal, like in the case of Michael Flynn, he is only accused of lying to the FBI about normal, legal actions.
So, if we judge the Muller investigation by its results, it is not going anywhere. Obviously, that is what should be expected when a commission is set up for investigating a conspiracy theory for which there had never been any evidence to begin with. I suppose the result would be similar if the Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, or reptiloids were officially investigated.
The question is how they will wind down. If they just say that apart from things like Manafort's possible tax evation and Flynn's lobbying for Israel, they have not found anything – certainly nothing that confirms the Russiagate conspiracy theory -, that will be quite difficult, people will demand that it is investigated how it came about that such a conspiracy was spread and played such an influential role in political discourse for some time. It seems that the Muller team wants to delay that moment when they have to confess that the conspiracy theory has broken down, but that won't necessarily make it easier, either.bobzz , December 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm
How long should we wait until we hear of ONE, that's right, ONE piece of evidence backing these claims up? Please answer: 2 years? 10 years? The only evidence so far amounts to "trust us".
And that's ignoring the monumental number of pieces of false evidence that have been put forward. That in itself makes the whole "investigation" suspicious. On top of the long, documented history of the CIA planting false stories in the press.Dunno , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm
I don't know. How long did it take the Dutch to cook the evidence to condemn Russian partisans for the downing of the Malaysian airliner -- with Ukraine holding a gun to their heads.Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:24 pm
Dear Mr. 7, I have come to the grudging conclusion that Russia-gate is and has always been more about Russia and Putin than about the crooked Don. If we stop to think about it, Trump has succumbed to the deep control of the Deep-State colossus. Russia evil; Israel good! Got it? When the pathetic wiener & crotch-grabber isn't bitchin' for Bibi and doing little pooch tricks for Israel, he is being programmed by the pentagon and the Deep State, and making sure that the super-rich get super richer. His own SOS Tillerson called him an effin' moron. Enough said!
Therefore, 7, Russia-gate is all about keeping the pot boiling for the presidential election in Russia next year. Demonizing Putin and Russia is the new great game of our era. The NWO Nebula lusts after Russia's geostrategic location and its abundant resources. It's 1905-1925 all over again. Read the book, "Wall Street and the Russian Revolution 1905-1925" by Richard B. Spence and also take a gander at Trine Day books' website of suppressed books. The deep-state Plutocrats and their secret societies hatch their evil little plots, while trying to keep the rest of us in the dark. Right now, Trump is a convenient platform for anti-Russian propaganda.Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:10 am
Think you nailed it. The bankster regime changers already tried once to structurally adjust Russia into being a US puppet state in the 90s under Clinton. Russia was robbed blind while Yeltzin drank himself into a stupor. Putin is the one who put a stop to the looting. That is his crime against the western oligarchs and why he is enemy #1.Lois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm
Once more the standard troll line about being a prior supporter, which plainly "Devine" is not.
We are well over a year into this matter with nothing but speculation and manufactured claims.
It is clear that Russia-gate = Israel-gate, a diversion from zionist control of the DNC.
Where is the concern of "Devine" for the lack of investigation of control of elections and mass media by Israel?
Why does he seek to cover up the complete destruction of democracy by the foreign power Israel?Adam Kraft , December 14, 2017 at 12:16 pm
Oliver Stone had this to say on the matter on FaceBook. If you're on FB, here is the link.
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=oliver%20stoneLois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm
facts don't show bias walt. yeah, media sells to the public, but they're also selling (or trading narratives for access) to the gov't. Wikileaks exposed the MSM – DNC collusion and we've witnessed the leaks and anonymous sources from the IC. Trust the CIA?
There's no 'lack of discussion about what they have uncovered' which has basically amounted to a pile of dirt. Have not read from the VIPS and William Binney? Uncovering shady business with oligarchs doesn't show collusion, but the dossier oppo does, but it's business as usual. Denying the FBI-DNC server subpoena was odd don't you think?
I personally believe that progressive hope dies at the DNC and exposing the party's lies (their private and public views) and undemocratic practices (preliminary process, fundraising) is the best thing for the country. It brings us one step closer to potentially building a third party that represents the proletariat and petty bourgeois classes.Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm
I agree with your sentiment, but I'm finding it disturbing how many so called progressives are convinced beyond any doubt, despite the evidence I produce to instill doubt, that Russia interfered in "our democracy."
They have come unglued to the point of idiocy over Trump. They are firmly in the clutches of the CIA Deep State apparatus.Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 3:06 pm
Hey, Walter Devine, here is more for your whining about evidence: There are plenty of evidence when the disgusting clintonistas are concerned: http://theduran.com/fusion-gps-admits-that-it-hired-wife-of-doj-official-to-investigate-then-candidate-trump/
"Fusion GPS appears to be in the center of a web of corruption. Who hired Fusion GPS to ramp up its opposition research against Trump? Hillary Clinton and the DNC. the wife of Justice Department official Bruce G. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election. Nellie Ohr is listed as working for the CIA's Open Source Works department in a 2010 DOJ report." Look how the CIA, FBI, and DNC have found each other and made a friendship forever.
Also, do you personally have any concern about the murder of Seth Rich? -- Donna Brazil has become afraid of being Seth-Riched. How come? What kind of scum the Democratic apparatus has become? -- Guess Tony Podesta and Bill Clinton and madame "we came, we saw, he died ha, ha, ha " are the composite face of the Democratic Party today.Gregory Herr , December 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm
@ Walter Devine: "Once they are done and present what they have found, then everyone can get on their soap boxes and let loose."
But overlook that the Democrats and mainstream media are doing the opposite? It seems to me that this is precisely the point that Mr. Parry's reporting has been aimed at, that the Democrats and mainstream media are jumping enormously to RussiaGate conclusions without disclosing any evidence to back up their incredibly dangerous claims and that there *is* very strong evidence of ulterior motives.Peter de Klerk , December 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm
Have at it Walter. What exactly have they uncovered? The "process" lost credibility long ago. The "intelligence" report of January 6th was garbage and it's been all downhill since.falcemartello , December 13, 2017 at 10:28 pm
I had great respect Parry's earlier writing which had a healthy dose of MSM skepticism (albeit largely for personal reasons). This whole business of jumping to conclusions on the Russia meddling has put me off him totally. All the reporting seems to be in service of defending a forgone conclusion. I wonder if this has anything to do with fundraising.john wilson , December 14, 2017 at 6:00 am
This whole Russia ate my lunch has entered the realm of alternate truth. The MSM are now actually stating that the Russian hacking the 2016 election as fact. Just like all the other false and fabricated statements of world events in the last 20 years . Fro Yugoslavia, Milosovic exonerated for the falsely laid charges of genocide . How convenient after his death . Qadaffi murdering and slaughtering his own people hence RPL interventionist and voila the highest standard of living in the African continent is now reduced to takfiri heaven for the NATO proxy army recruiting centre. MH17 disaster is still being paroled as Russian deliberate murder. No facts no evidence that would stand even in a Stalinist show trial. Assad gassing his own people. More than debunked by multiple sources and US academics to boot no still being paroled as fact by western MSM.
The whole charade post 9/11 has gone into this Orwellian nightmare that just keep on growing and news and information has become pure Hollwoodian fantasy that the sheeple are sleep walking into this futuristic hell hole that these vile masters of the universe will not be able to back track without losing face and without causing the populace to stand up and be counted and kick tjhese vile players out for good.Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:15 am
Take heart Falcemartello, its not all bad. Over here in the Britain RT has its own free to view TV channel which sits next to the BBC news and the parliament programme. It is now widely watched by the public and has millions of viewers with many using RT as their main news source. The fact that the American deep state criminals have made things difficult for RT America in the US, is a clear indication that the fake news masters otherwise known as the MSN, and their handlers in the deep state are rattled by the ever growing alternative voice. Its up to you, me and the rest of the posters on CN to tell our friends colleagues and others about CN, RT etc. If only one percent take a look then alternative opinion will start to filter through and more importantly, show the public what liars and criminals are in charge of their country.BobS , December 14, 2017 at 11:36 am
Thanks for the info John. I am really glad that at least Britain has a reasonable degree of freedom of the press. If it spreads across Europe, the USA may eventually find itself so isolated by its own propaganda that the whole evil empire scheme will implode, and we will have to learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. That is my Christmas wish.rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm
It's not difficult to get RT in the US- I watch it regularly on Dish Network. Youtube is another option- I'm guessing it's big and rich enough to survive any changes in net neutrality that will result from the Trump/Pai FCC (of course, Obama and Clinton were just as bad, DEEP STATE!!!!, etc.).
If you're going to tout conspiracies, get your facts straight.rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm
John Pilger has an article in counterpunch explaining the importance of documentaries (not just his!). It is notable that his first one, on Cambodia, in 1970, was shown free to air on TV in the UK and thirity other countries, with huge audience impact, but refused by PBS as too disturbing!!
The free press in the USA is in tune with the ptb.Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm
I see the Pilger article is here on consortiumnews. It is worth a read, like the rest here!Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm
What you wrote john wilson is simply not the complete truth, although I wish it was. It is true that RT UK has its own terrestrial digital TV channel. It appears that Margarita Simonyan bid for such channel at an auction when Britain was converting from analogue to digital TV and got it. Thus, the British TV viewers can now see RT without any subscription or special equipment, "next to BBC" as you optimistically say.
What you did not mention john wilson is that the British Government regulator Ofcom is putting severe pressure on RT because their news offered an alternative view to the British propaganda. They rinse and repeat the same biased-news allegations almost every year, keeping RT UK under constant threat of the loss of its broadcasting licence due to "breach of truth standards" = "fake news". They even banned the lightbox, radio and other media advertising campaign of RT in Britain, the so called "RT is the second opinion", only because the campaign claimed that if RT existed before UK attack on Iraq in 2003, Tony Blair may have not been successful in passing the war resolutions through the parliament.
What most people do not appreciate is that the methods of suppression are not the same in all Western countries, and why should they be? Simonyan got a terrestrial TV channel and the broadcasting licence because of the British propaganda hubris – the British still believed that their post-imperial propaganda is the best in the World, just because it was the best in the world during the empire. They simply never expected the Russians to be so successful, just the same as US.
US => force RT to register as a foreign agent to force reporting of every little detail of its operations; refuse journalistic credentials to Congress etc to disadvantage its reporting
UK => keep constant threat of the loss of broadcasting licence to skew the reporting towards the British Government version of the news
I post the links relevant to what I wrote here separately to avoid being put on hold.Joe Tedesky , December 13, 2017 at 10:32 pm
https://theintercept.com/2015/03/02/uk-media-regulator-threatens-rt-bias-airing-anti-western-views/rosemerry , December 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm
Philip Giraldi writes about a shift occurring over at the CIA in Trump's favor, Politico's interview with a somewhat repentant Trump hater Mike Morell now saying 'maybe our plan wasn't that well thought out' , and now these MSM Russia Gate screwups coupled with a discovery of FBI Trump haters, is a result of Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as it being Israel's capital? Just say'n.BobH , December 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Obama's expulsion of the Russian diplomats after Trump's election, with no reason based on fact/danger to the USA gave a good start to the Russophobia encouraged by the Clinton losers and leading on to the ludicrous extreme situation still going on.Kiza , December 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm
AmenLois Gagnon , December 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm
Spot on Bob, the unfortunate and idealistic Mr Seth Rich became the DNC's bottom line, the shining example of its "anything goes as long as we have friends in the right places" (FBI, DOJ, CIA, etc etc).Anon , December 14, 2017 at 8:23 am
Agreed. Let's not forget Process Server for the DNC Fraud Lawsuit Shawn Lucas who died mysteriously 2 weeks after serving the DNC either.
I never would have believed the rot in the Democratic Party establishment would rival the Republicans, but here we are.Steven A , December 13, 2017 at 11:16 pm
"Tina" is a troll assigned to CN to claim extremism, and never presents evidence or argument.incontinent reader , December 14, 2017 at 12:12 am
This is another great review by Robert Parry. However, he again uses the formulation that "WikiLeaks published" and "WikiLeaks released" purloined DNC emails on September 13, 2016. Greenwald and the Washington Post have stated, more carefully, that WikiLeaks "promoted" the data source of these emails by means of a Tweet on that date.
Adam Carter noted in a comment under Parry's previous article that the DNC emails in question are the NGP/VAN files associated with Guccifer 2.0's pre-announced "hack" on July 5, 2016 and reportedly released by him on Sept 13, 2016.
In fact, they are certainly not part of WikiLeak's official archive. One can see from their website that they published nothing between the times of the DNC emails release of July 22, 2016 and the Podesta emails release of October 7. So "published" is clearly the wrong word.
Whether or in what sense it may fairly be stated that WikiLeaks "released", "promoted" or "uploaded" (as according to the Erickson email, which probably represents nothing more than an outsider's impression) the September 13 files needs to be cautiously assessed. Their Tweet did include an access key, as did the Erickson email, and the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks.
Did Guccifer 2.0 himself upload the files to mega.nz? Did he play Kim Dot Com to use the latter's association with Wikileaks to get Wikileaks itself to put out the Sept 13 Tweet advertising the data release? I'm not sure how this all worked, but it seems that it is misleading to simply refer to this set of emails as having been "published" by Wikileaks.Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 8:21 am
Didn't you read the VIPS analyses of the DNC leaks?mike k , December 14, 2017 at 11:08 am
Yes, I did, but not while writing my comment above. Do they say anything relevant to the question of whether it is accurate to correct the false media report that the Trump campaign was given access to the NGP/VAN DNC emails before WikiLeaks published them with a "corrected" statement that the Trump campaign was notified (but may never have noticed) of a link to those files by a random member of the public _after WikiLeaks had already published them_? As I recall, the original VIPS memo was itself somewhat confused about the distinction between the NGP/VAN material and the five DNC documents made public by "Guccifer 2.0" on June 15, 2016, so I'm not sure one will find anything relevant to my question there.
While it is true that the "correction" here is _much_ closer to the truth than the original misinformation, the underlined part at the end of my question still seems misleading in that the "publication" is attributed to WikiLeaks without qualification. And it seems Parry is not the only one to make this mistake. As Adam Carter pointed out two days ago, he was very surprised that almost no one has been noticing that the files in question came from "Guccifer 2.0" and not from WikiLeaks. While Parry's attribution misleading, I am still not clear in my own mind about precisely what did happen, i.e. how WikiLeaks came to "promote" the release of the files and whether in some loose or indirect sense WikiLeaks did "release" them.Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 2:05 pm
Is there really any other purpose in your involved questioning but seeking to cloud and confuse the obvious issues in the "Russia hacked" affair?Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm
How is it clouding the issue to suggest, as Adam Carter did, that one element in Parry's (and others') description of the facts in an otherwise excellent article seems to be misleading?Steven A , December 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm
@ "the address for the file given in the latter was a "mega.nz" address. I assume that this address is associated with Kim Dot Com, who also claims to have been involved with WikiLeaks."
Kim Dot Com's relationship with Mega was already extremely strained by the time of the Guccifer leaks and to the extent he ever had control of the company it had apparently ended. See e.g., https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-warns-mega-users-to-backup-their-files-160421/robjira , December 14, 2017 at 12:17 am
These are the sort of details I haven't been familiar with and about which I was hoping to learn more – so thanks! I was relying on a vague impression from memory when I made the link between the "mega.nz" address seen in the email from Erickson and Kim Dot Com.
Since the whole Guccifer 2.0 operation appears to be an attempt to falsely smear WikiLeaks as a Russian agent (by publicly claiming to be a hacker associated with WikiLeaks and then being "caught" releasing documents (the ones of June 15, 2016) with "Russian fingerprints"), perhaps his uploading files (Sept 13, 2016) to a server with (past) ties to someone associated with WikiLeaks (Kim Dot Com) would have been part of the same effort.
A contemporary article says this about the release: "'Guccifer 2.0' released over 670 megabytes of documents at a cybersecurity conference in London Tuesday . The documents were released on a file storage system and not on WikiLeaks or on Guccifer 2.0's website." https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hacker-guccifer-2-0-releases-more-dnc-docs-including-tim-n647921
Thus the statement that "WikiLeaks published" the files in question (repeated by Parry, Justin Raimondo and others) appears to be false. I share the surprise expressed by Adam Carter (under Parry's previous piece) that few appear to have noticed or bothered to correct this error – even though they were on target in exposing the main part of the latest MSM lie.Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm
Great related reporting on BAR.
https://www.blackagendareport.com/russsiagate-and-collapse-obamas-war-against-syriaKarl Sanchez , December 14, 2017 at 12:57 am
Excellent links, robjira. Thanks.Marko , December 14, 2017 at 2:22 am
Those of us who live within the Outlaw US Empire have been seduced by lies Big and small since we could understand language. RussiaGate is an example of a Big Lie, just as the Outlaw US Empire being a democracy is a Big Lie–both are indoctrinational. Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin, Sand Man, Cupid, et al are other excellent examples of indoctrinational Big Lies. One of the most severe is the maxim delivered from parents: You must share and play nice, when the real world acts in the exact opposite fashion. What's more, RussiaGate serves as a cover-up for several major crimes–some by Clinton, some by DNC, some by FBI, some by Justice Department, and some by CIA: None of them are being actively investigated despite there being lots of evidence existing in the public domain, which is why we know those crimes occurred.
I very highly suggest reading this article, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/13/the-u-s-is-not-a-democracy-it-never-was/irina , December 14, 2017 at 4:03 am
The last great hope for the Dems :
"A Russian hacker accused of stealing from Russian banks reportedly confessed in court that he hacked the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) and stole Hillary Clinton's emails under the direction of agents from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB)"
PUTIN ORDERED THEFT OF CLINTON'S EMAILS FROM DNC, RUSSIAN HACKER CONFESSES
BY CRISTINA MAZA ON 12/12/17
http://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555Bob Van Noy , December 14, 2017 at 9:57 am
And on PBS tonite the author of this Atlantic article got to put in her two cents about Putin:
in which she stated that not only did Putin 'annex Crimea' but also invaded Ukraine, among other things. None of her statements were backed up by any facts, which apparently are irrelevant anymore. Wikipedia has an interesting bio on her.Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 8:56 am
Thank you irina for that "catch". I'm a long time reader of "The Atlantic Magazine" well aware of its long, liberal history and was surprised to find David Frum reporting there. David was a speech writer for W. Bush and apparently came up with the infamous "Axis of Evil" tag for President Bush's State Of The Union speech. I'll link the Wikipedia page below for those interested. I'm concerned that propaganda has spread far and wide
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_of_evilexiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm
Despite its extremely conclusive title and substance, the Newsweek article later admits the extremely suspect nature of the accusation, and the lack of any evidence whatsoever:
"Andrei Soldatov an expert on Russian cybersecurity, said he believes Kozlovsky invented the story about his direction from the FSB for personal gain. 'I've been communicating with [Kozlovsky] for four months, and he has failed to give me any proof or answer my questions," Soldatov told Newsweek .'He was put in jail by these guys so it could be out of revenge, or he wanted to make a deal with the FSB,'"
Such a reversal of evidence and conclusion bespeaks deliberate deception. The motive is unclear, as the failed Newsweek is said to have been revived in 2013 by a Korean-American Christian fundamentalist David Jang formerly of Moon's Unification Church, whose followers consider him the Second Coming of JC, according to the linked source. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/
Perhaps another quasi-religious CIA front like Fethullah Gulen's madrassas in Turkey and across central Asia.Manfred Whimplebottem , December 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm
They keep publishing the same horseshit just like Pravda did in the Soviet era and just like the Voelkischer Beobachter and Stuermer did during the Nazi era. I guess the uninformed hoi polloi get so used to it in these situations that they accept the situation, like ducks and frogs accept watery ponds as their environments.Wm. Boyce , December 14, 2017 at 2:33 am
I think I heard a similar story from newsweek months ago, looks like someone took the deal(?).
FBI Probe Into Clinton Emails Prompted Offer of Cash, Citizenship for Confession, Russian Hacker Claims
"On October 5, 2016, days before U.S. intelligence publicly accused Russia of endorsing an infiltration of Democratic Party officials' emails, Nikulin was arrested in Prague at the request of the U.S. on separate hacking charges. Now, Nikulin claims U.S. authorities tried to pin the email scandal on him."
"ikulin's lawyer, Martin Sadilek, [claims] that the FBI visited him at least a couple of times, offering to drop the charges and grant him U.S. citizenship as well as cash and an apartment in the U.S. if the Russian national confessed to participating in the 2016 hacks of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta's emails in July."
"[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton's inbox for [U.S. President Donald Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin]," Nikulin wrote"
http://www.newsweek.com/fbi-investigation-clinton-emails-russia-hack-607538Marko , December 14, 2017 at 4:43 am
I'm curious as to why this is still an issue. Here's a link to an article from last August:
At that time, it wasn't known why Mr. Strzok was transferred/whatever from counter-intelligence, but since then it has been revealed that Mr. Mueller did so for his ( Strzok) political opinions. That would seem a fair thing to do. What's the problem? Might be right-wing fear.exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm
" What's the problem? "
C'mon , man. Given Strzok's position and his influence on Russiagate AND the earlier Hillarygate investigations , the fact that he was transferred in July is of little comfort. Any damage he could do he'd already done by then. Jim Jordan will explain it to you , in six minutes :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=69&v=cShxjlUfmhkRealist , December 14, 2017 at 2:43 am
The problem is that when that story first appeared, nothing else was disclosed. The damning material took months to emerge, as did Strzok's links to the Clinton coverups and the links to the fake dossier and the FBI's "anti-Trump" insurance policy. Those who want to believe the regime's falsehoods can always come up with rationales such as "I guess the government people know best" which was typical of the answers to sceptics against the Viet Nam war in the mid '60s.Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:48 am
It's been a year and a half since Hillary Clinton first accused Donald Trump of being a Putin puppet and in collusion with the Kremlin. Any fool should be able to understand that if there existed any real evidence to support this accusation the world would have seen it under banner headlines long ago. Instead, we get nothing but one set of sensational fake headlines unsupported by any actual facts time and again, all in an attempt to fool the mentally-challenged public. Yet the NYT and the rest of the yellow press continue to insist that the evidence continues to mount against Trump. What a laugh. Moreover, these deceivers are the people that want what they define as "fake news" to be systematically rooted out and stricken from the public record so no thinking person can ever see it. And, they tell us this is a free and democratic country. Got any more jokes?exiled off mainstreet , December 14, 2017 at 3:30 am
Totally agree. And it reminds me of some reality "quest" shows about finding Bigfoot or the Oak Island treasure, etc.
If those were actually found, it would be reported a day or two later, unless every single one of the producers, actors, workers, etc. were under an NDA enough to wait until some season finale a year or two later. Ridiculous. If Bigfoot exists that will come to us on news, and big news, international. It won't come on a 4th season of some Bigfoot-finding show.
So yeah, season two of the Trump-Russia whatever.
Maddow/MSNBC and the likes have gone utterly insane. Bigfoot behind every door. Scant or zero facts, who cares. This isn't like Benghazi or White Water or Bush's air service this is 24/7 inane terrible journalism from nearly every journalist publisher in the US.Homina , December 14, 2017 at 3:40 am
I think that the new evidence discussed provides Trump the cover to pull the plug on the whole Mueller operation despite the Alabama debacle. Sure the media talkers would compare it to the Saturday Night Massacre, but the proven falsity of the whole absurd circus renders risible such comparisons. While I don't expect much out of Trump, the championing of this absurd theory by the mainstream democrats renders them an existential threat to civilization itself based on the fact that enmity with Russia seems to be their be-all and end-all. It is all not only criminal but profoundly stupid.Sam F , December 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm
"The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election – a proposition that grows more plausible every day."
1. How is Russia an "adversary"? And even if Russia is, that's weasel-words and subjective. Is Turkey a foreign adversary? Is Israel? China? Mexico?
2. Why wasn't there decades ago a special Election Panel looking into foreign influence? I guess it just started to happen in this last election though .Only with Putin!
3. "more plausible" .this fucking idiot. After a year of headlines of "this is what will finally take down Trump" and such, all with zero reasons, zero facts .Is naught more plausible than naught?
4. I detest Trump. I more detest hypocrites and idiots.
But sure, "blah blah more possible take trump down" says some idiot or collective NYT idiocy. Bore me more your next op-ed, you partisan morons.Rich Monahan , December 14, 2017 at 3:57 am
Yes, the NYT is mere propaganda. We already know that "a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election" because Clinton's top ten donors were all Zionists, and she supported all wars for Israel.Skip Scott , December 14, 2017 at 8:59 am
Thank you for your spot-on analysis! The motives of the deep state – including FBI operatives, NY Times and WAPO – is crystal clear. They do not want Trump to be president, and are determined to either remove him or handcuff him indefinitely. But why? Why has the establishment gone crazy? Is it simply political, or something deeper and darker?M C Martin , December 14, 2017 at 6:08 am
The real "deep" reason is the PNAC plot to make sure that the USA remains the sole super power that can impose its will anywhere in the world. Trump's campaign position of seeking detente with Russia would have led us into a multi-polar world giving Russia a sphere of influence. That is unacceptable to the empire.
RussiaGate is an attempt to remove Trump from power, or at a minimum make it impossible for him to seek detente. I am no Trump apologist, but I do think our only hope for a future in this nuclear age is to seek peace and cooperation in a multi-polar world that respects national sovereignty and the rule of law. I suspect Trump will continue to be brought to heel, with or without the success of RussiaGate. And there is always the JFK solution as a last resort.
Where is William Binney's "Thin String" signals intelligence (SIGINT) software when it's needed? Wouldn't it be lovely to focus it on the communications of our own government? Binney says applying it after 9/11 to the pre-9/11 communications streams did successfully predict the 9/11 attacks. If only we had stored all communications of government officials dating back to . hey, let's say 1774 or so, what truths might we now know, and what proofs might we now have? What would FDR's communications prior to Pearl Harbor reveal? What about the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X assassinations?
While I can't endorse our government's illegal and immoral collection and storing of virtually all communications among people, if the store is there and is used against petty criminals, why couldn't or shouldn't it be used to detect and prove the illegal acts of our government power brokers?
What's good for the goose
Dec 07, 2017 | angrybearblog.com
John Harwood of that well known lefty outlet, . ummm, CNBC . writes this morning that "Trump has Forgotten his 'Forgotten People':"
He forgot them on health care. Jettisoning his campaign pledge to "take care of everybody" regardless of income, he proposed cutting federal health subsidies for the hard-pressed blue-collar voters who put him into office.
He forgot them on financial regulation. Abandoning talk of cracking down on Wall Street executives who "rigged" the economy to hobble the working class, he seeks to undercut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
And he forgot them on taxes. Discarding his vow to reshape taxation for average families at the expense of rich people like himself, he's working with Republican leaders to hand the biggest benefits to corporations and the wealthy.
To the contrary, his budget includes big cuts to Social Security disability program. Meanwhile his much-vaunted infrastructure plan has 'failed to materialize."
But, Harwood points out:
The president hasn't forgotten everything. In lieu of big financial benefits, Trump has steadily given "the forgotten people" at least one visceral commodity [: ] affirmation of shared racial grievances.
I think this is a good summary of Trump's domestic policies as revealed by the past year. On social issues, he has governed exactly as he promised during his campaign, issuing a de facto ban on Muslim immigration, unleashing ICE against Latinos, and fulminating against protesting black NFL players.But on economic issues he has behaved exactly like a standard issue country club republican. The requirement that the GOP enact a "replacement" for Obamacare? Gone. Preventing the offshoring of manufacturing jobs? Gone. Enacting at least something like a tariff at the borders? Gone. Actually *doing* something about the opioid crisis, which is strongly correlated with areas of economic distress (as opposed to lip service)? Nothing.
Joel , December 7, 2017 9:03 amlittle john , December 7, 2017 4:01 pm
Forgotten? LOL! No, Trump didn't forget. He was lying.run75441 , December 8, 2017 9:35 am
I hate doing this because I am not a fan of the President but a "de facto ban on Muslim immigration"? I cannot remember but I don't think Indonesia, Pakistan, India or Turkey was on the list. Those a pretty big Muslim nations. Maybe you should look it up. "Unleashing ICE against Latinos"? I have three Latino neighbors on my street, my next door neighbor doesn't even speak English, but I haven't seen any ICE agents around. Maybe I should just wait they're on their way? "Fulminating against NFL players"? You're right about that.
As an aside I have recently had to laugh when I see your pseudonym. Here in Dallas we've taken down the statue of Robert E. Lee from Robert E. Lee Park. (Now named Oak Lawn Park.) At the opening of the park in 1936 there is a great picture of the statue with FDR, Robert E Lee IV and D.W. Griffith. I am wondering if NewDealDemocrat is a microaggression?spencer , December 8, 2017 1:45 pm
Before you bemoan the loss of the CSR (covered by Section 1402 of the ACA) for those making between 138 and 250% FPL, you do understand premium subsidies will pick up the difference. If the states apply the premium increase properly to the Silver plans, the impact is felt across all other levels between 138% and 400% FPL. Indeed, in many cases Bronze plans are free, Gold plans become less costly, and premiums decrease. A person can go to a lower deductible/copay for the same or less cost than the original silver plan.
I think as some will tell you here, this does nothing for those greater than 400% FPL who now find themselves being hit with the full impact of a premium increase due to Trump's action. While a much smaller percentage of the insured, it still numbers around 9 million.
Isn't that 8 million being hit out of the under 20 million that had signed up for Obamacare.
So on a percent basis doesn't you quote imply about half of the relevant population is being hit?
Dec 12, 2017 | www.unz.com
Mark James , December 12, 2017 at 5:57 am GMTAnonymous , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 7:22 am GMT
I'm really concerned an attack on Iran is a correct assessment Philip. They are not a threat to the US and while I think we will be in a support capacity -- with Israel obviously -- to a bunker buster attack it will be regarded as US backed war throughout the Islamic world. Trump may be too weak to resist Netanyahu's best sales pitch.
Tillerson will be gone sooner or later: No question, perhaps the week between Christmas and New Year?
Cotton and Pompeo: Pompeo may have problems with the Mueller probe. Cotton has a number of rumors in his past and maybe they are just unfortunate talk? But I don't see him at CIA (we shall see?)
The Neocons are turning up at MSNBC of late. In addition to Podhoretz, Brooks, Kristol, we are now seeing E. Johnson, B. Stephens, D. Pletka on the scene as regular rotation players. No doubt where they will be leading. Moving in where opportunities abound for some reason? At least two (Halperin, Ford) aren't around anymore on Coffee Joe.Well, if the rumours about Cotton and Pompeo appointments materialise, Trump might as well move his own office to JerusalemFran Macadam , December 12, 2017 at 7:42 am GMTWe're all just hapless passengers on the Neocon Titanic, unable to influence what's playing out on the bridge. Steady as she goes on the unsinkable U.S.S.Realist , December 12, 2017 at 9:08 am GMT@Mark JamesPhilip Smeeton , December 12, 2017 at 11:02 am GMT
"Trump may be too weak to resist Netanyahu's best sales pitch." Trump is an Israeli sycophant ..a loser.From the movie Iron Sky, meant as a condemnation of Nazism, but inadvertently conveying a sensible message about the merits of purity.Anonymous , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 11:23 am GMT
This is very simple. The world is sick, but we are the doctors. The world is anemic, but we are the vitamin. The world is weary, but we are the strength. We are here to make the world healthy once again, with hard work, with honesty, with clarity, with decency. We are the product of loving mothers and brave fathers. We are the embodiment of love and bravery! We are the gift of both God and Science. We are the answer to the question. We are the promise delivered to all mankind. For that, we raise our hands to one Nation. We step to the beat of one drum. We march to the beat of one heart and it is this song that we will sing to this world. We are the people who carry the children on our shoulders in the same way that our fathers carried us and their fathers carried them. We are the one people united and strong. We are the one people with certainty, moral certainty. We are invincible and we have no fear because the truth makes us wise.@peterAUSjacques sheete , December 12, 2017 at 11:53 am GMT
Well, if conflict is simply air assault on Iranian nuclear facilities that shouldn't be a problem for either party. Israelis/Americans bomb a bit and then everything goes back to normal. Something as that cruise missile launch on Syria.
That US missile attack on the Syrian airport cost Trump a lot of domestic and international support for zero benefit...Greg Bacon , Website December 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm GMT
I do not even want to guess at what kind of insanity
Insanity. That's the key. Sick beyond redemption. No rational person could ever begin to understand their motives. Somehow the jackals need to be restrained.We see the same usual suspects time and again, waving their pom-poms lustily cheering on endless war that does NOT help or benefit the USA. In fact, it is destroying our nation economically, spiritually and politically.Den Lille Abe , December 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT
From an April 2003 Haaretz article:
The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible.
This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.
Yet if you point out the obvious, that our foreign policy has been hijacked by an element whose first loyalty is to Israel, you will catch all sorts of hell, be banned from making comments on blogs and news sites, or like the brave Mr. Giraldi, lose your job. And be blasted with the worn-out canard of being an anti-Semite. Maybe even a Jew hater, all because you show concern for the nation you love and are loyal to.
Will Americans ever realize they are being played for fools by a country and Zionist con artists which doesn't give a tinkers damn about us or will we keep jumping up and down to the pom-pom waving?Yes all this Newspeak, to hide the fact that the US is a threat in anyone that disagrees with themZ-man , December 12, 2017 at 2:18 pm GMTOf course I hope you're wrong Phil. While Pompeo would be not good, Tillerson has been a big disappointment with his latest statements on Crimea and Ukraine included.Zumbuddi , December 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT
Cotton would be another matter altogether and even though there is a 'collegial spirit' in the Senate I would hope that Rand Paul and other senators with common sense would squash this guys nomination. Even if he has to carry himself back from Kentucky, broken ribs and all, to squash this Neocon stooge Cotton. Also, I'm hopping there are some boys in the closet when it comes to Cotton. lol@LondonBobAnonymous , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
Faith in Bush the OLDER is misplaced. In 1979 he stood shoulder to shoulder w/ Bibi and Benzion Netenyahu, and Midge Decter & other neocons, in Jerusalem, as they drafted the blueprint for GWOT. Planning went so far as to name the 7 states to take out. USSR was #1 at the time. Jews got Jews Who had been highly educated at Russian expense – out of Russia, now Russia is back in the crosshairs.
... ... ...nsa , December 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT
Americans are stoopid and cowardly fucks for being so easily manipulated by the Jew.
Not so much anymore. Meanwhile, didn't the Muslims spend five years fighting each-other right on the Israeli border? But wait – they did attack Israel once – and apologised:
I don't know what to tell you@peterAUSMichael Kenny , December 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm GMT
"the American public isn't as gullible as before ."
Ha, Ha. You obviously do not live here. 99% of Americans have a flat screen TV installed in their living rooms and believe everything (jooie managed images and info) spewing forth from it. More than 50% of Americans have multiple flat screen TV in their homes so they can be sure not to miss the latest disinfo or lies.
.... ... ...The "problem" is that the whole American "business model" is based on global economic supremacy, which means, essentially, the dollar as world reserve currency. If that goes, the whole US house of cards will probably implode, Soviet-style. That requires unchallenged American "world leadership". The big threat to the "American model" isn't the EU and certainly not the Russian Federation. It's China. 1.4 billion people and rapidly heading for global economic hegemony. To say nothing of a rising India at 1.2 billion. At 300 million, the US is small beans. How to ward off the Yellow Peril? That's the problem the US hegemonists had to resolve.DaveE , December 12, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
... ... ...@Anonymousanonymous , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT
Yeah, yeah, yeah big bad ISIS. The Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. "Keeping Fools and Idiots At Each Other's Throats". Since 1950. I don't know what to tell you ..@jacques sheeteanonymous , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT
Somehow the jackals need to be restrained.
It's not that difficult to strategize HOW to go about "restraining the jackals." 99 44/100% of what ziocons accuse others of is projection. They say, "They [_____ Iran, ISIS, Palestinians, Russians - fill in the blank] understand only force." This projects that the only thing that will restrain psychopathic Israel is force.
When an Iranian nuclear engineer was assassinated in Tehran, Ronen Bergman told Brian Williams that "Israel has used assassination more than any other state; not even Stalin or Hitler used assassination as much as Israel. . . ."
... ... ...@Ben Frankanonymous , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT
So far the President has proved much smarter than most people expected him to be
Exactamundo, Ben Frank (any relation to Anne, Princess of the Ballpoint Pen?). Naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel was fucking brilliant. Don't you worry your pretty little head about all the US forces in the multiple bases in the region that are accessible to mad-as-hornets Muslims; Israel will have their backs, fer shur.
Come to think of it, maybe Trump can burnish his "much smarter-ness" by taking a page out of Reagan's playbook: Immediately after the first US soldier is plinked by an Angry Arab, Trump should pull ALL US FORCES out of the region: do a Reagan-post-Black Hawk down.
If the Israelis want to stir the pot, let them stand over the steam-heat and wield the spoon. We're outa there.The people of the ME can't catch a break. Since being pried away from the Ottoman empire a hundred years ago they've been the plaything of various western countries. Their national borders drawn up by distant foreigners, they've been interfered with constantly, their regimes dictated by foreigners. Then the selfsame westerners turn around and point to their backwardness as proof that they're incapable of doing anything on their own.Rurik , December 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm GMT
The US is expansionist, projecting itself all over the globe and uses force against anyone who resists. Force is all it understands. What happens when the irresistible force bumps into the immovable object? War hysteria, of which we've had an unending amount for the past three generations. Objectively there's nothing conservative about the so-called neocons. They're hardly any different from fascists except the rhetoric is different. Mussolini had limits as to how much territory he wanted to conquer for his empire unlike the US which recognizes no limits.SolontoCroesus , December 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm GMT
replaced at CIA by Senator Tom Cotton.
it was faint, and barely perceptible, but at some level, I did actually tremble when I read those words. Cotton is the new John McCain. The ultimate traitor to this nation and its people and all people of good will on the planet and every tenet of decency known to the universe
a lickspittle to Sheldon Adelson and everything that repulsive toad represents. if Cotton is exalted to head the CIA, I'll have to think very hard about leaving these shores. perhaps Bobby Fischer was right, and the ZUSA is endemically, irredeemably evil.
there can be no doubt that the zio-Fiend is the incarnation of evil itself, but I always keep hoping that the good people of the ZUS will repudiate the zio-Fiend- that has them waging serial wars all over the planet to benefit the Jews. As their infrastructure crumbles back home, and their veterans can't get health care, and the jobs are 'in' and outsourced to the third world. what will it take to wake up the bovine, cud-chewing sheople?!
their children come home in body bags, or with their souls so eviscerated by the sheer evil of the wars they're forced to fight, that they often just 'snuff it' as the only escape from their nightmares. (and the realization that the ZUSA is a drooling fiend and that they've murdered innocent people and destroyed nations on its behalf)
those young people can not abide the evil that the ZUS government has become, and their only salvation is to end their young lives.
for those of us with more choices at hand, why can't we finally and simply repudiate the zio-scum who've done us and so many others so much harm?!
NOT TOM COTTON!!!!!
fuck no!@SolontoCroesusAstuteobservor II , December 12, 2017 at 4:43 pm GMT
PS If the USA / American people and their representatives conformed foreign as well as economic policy to the vision of George Washington rather than Louis Brandeis -- > Benjamin Netanyahu & fellow psychopaths and traitors, USA would engage with OBOR rather than attempt to destroy it.
Check out anon20171212′s comment at #21, above http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/bad-moon-rising/#comment-2115106
Destruction (and deception) are the way of the Talmudists. Even Heinrich Graetz, the Germanophilic Jew who authored the first modern history of the Jewish people, had nothing but opprobrium to heap on Talmudists.
The American 'way' is not the way of the Talmud. Christian values are not Talmudic values. George Washington's legacy was not Talmudic, it was America First :
https://www.varsitytutors.com/earlyamerica/milestone-events/george-washingtons-farewell-address-full-text@AnonymousKen S , December 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm GMT
doesn't matter, we are still the ones doing the dirty work. there is no escape from the responsibility. it is like a hitman claiming he is a professional, it is just business. that doesn't fly.What's with it with neoconservative Israel lackeys like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz graduating from a prestigious and supposedly left-wing school like Harvard? Are they book-smart without common sense? The country would be better off if Cotton stayed in the Senate. He can do less damage if 1 of 100. Plus, the shelf-life of anyone in the Trump admin seems to be very short – and he'd better not have groped any Harvard classmates, who might just be waiting in the wings to destroy his career.Seamus Padraig , December 12, 2017 at 5:34 pm GMTAs recently as a month ago, I was still willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. But it should now be obvious to all what a total zio-muppet he really is. If there's any silver lining in all of this, it's the fact that the Jew-media have expended so much effort in attacking Trump that he'll now make a very poor spokesman for their cause abroad.Frank Walus , December 12, 2017 at 7:24 pm GMT
BTW, I still don't see an attack on Iran as being very likely. If Russia and China would not greenlight an attack on Syria, they will be doubly reluctant to greenlight an attack on Iran.The "democracy" the neocons want to push is the one in which (((mass media))) successfully lobotomizes the electorate into thinking it has democracy. The zombies then make their way to the polls seeking "hope & change" but with no choice. Hegemony is the goal, not democracy.Joe Wong , December 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
Trump may have been skeptical as a candidate about America's role as policeman of the world, but the establishment knives are out and he might (correctly?) surmise that the only way to stay in office is to make the ziocons happy. Even Bill Kristol would see the error in never-Trumpism if bombs started falling on Iran.@peterAUSCharles Pewitt , December 12, 2017 at 8:14 pm GMT
American has an all volunteer armed forces (mercenary), they are paid to kill or be killed, their fates is only a few seconds on the screens if the MSM decided to air them, otherwise the wars and the American soldiers' lives have nothing to do with the American public. Mayhem in far away land in out of sight and out of mind. Citing the American public gullibility is really a residual sentiment of old days cold war mentality and trying to attach some kind of morality to the wars the American has been fighting. American has long been demonstrated they are just as morally defunct imperialist as the British and their mentor, the Romans.
The real issue is how to finance the war, as long as the war does not cause hyper inflation in the USA, the warmongers in the Washington beltway will go ahead with the war without much concern, with EU, Australia, Japan and S Korea in line paying the bills, the American should be able to wage another regime change war in the ME without much difficulty.Tom Cotton is not to be trusted. Many gave US Senator Tom Cotton credit for his offering a bill that would cut legal immigration in half and would significantly reduce illegal immigration. It is now clear that the immigration reduction ploy proffered by Tom Cotton was a sneaky way to mollify the White Core American voter base of President Trump.Z-man , December 12, 2017 at 8:22 pm GMT
Tom Cotton is a stooge for Sheldon Adelson and the Neo-Conservatives. The Neo-Conservatives know they are highly vulnerable on the immigration issue and the national question. That is why they sent their puppet Tom Cotton out with instructions to bang the pot on reducing immigration.
Recently, the Neo-Conservative-controlled, Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal gave Tom Cotton a half page, above the fold puff piece where Tom Cotton is said to be offering a foreign policy fit for "Jacksonian America." I think Tom Cotton must be referring to Michael Jackson or some other Jackson, and not General Andrew Jackson. Having some small portion of Scotch-Irish ancestry myself, and having ancestors who pioneered Tennessee, I don't think General Andrew Jackson would support the Israel First foreign policy of Tom Cotton.
IMMIGRATION and the NATIONAL QUESTION are the two things that will finally dislodge the nation-wrecking Neo-Conservatives and their politician puppets from the ruling class of the American Empire.@Greg BaconVeranon , December 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm GMT
Yet if you point out the obvious, that our foreign policy has been hijacked by an element whose first loyalty is to Israel, you will catch all sorts of hell, be banned from making comments on blogs and news sites, or like the brave Mr. Giraldi, lose your job. And be blasted with the worn-out canard of being an anti-Semite. Maybe even a Jew hater, all because you show concern for the nation you love and are loyal to.
If you remember what happened to Rick Sanchez, the former talking head of NBC and CNN when he was pushed into calling out the Jew in a 'gotcha' interview as he sarcastically replied that yeah Jews are underrepresented in the media. He was gone in '60 seconds'!
Whatever happened to Rick Sanchez??? LOL!!!Re: At the time, I agreed, but I did note that the neoconservatives have proven to be remarkable resilient, particularly as many of them have remained true to their Democratic Party values on nearly everything but foreign policy, where they are irredeemable hawks, hostile to Russia and Iran and always reliably in the corner of Israel.Priss Factor , Website December 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm GMT
-- -- -- -- -
Of course. The Jewish Neocons and their "useful idiots," whether "bought and paid for" or voluntarily enlisted, are necessarily "liberal" in relation to domestic policy because the idea is to destroy all Western and Christian norms and values by means of cultural marxist "critical theory." And it's working very well. The mass media and the educational system have hopelessly corrupted American and European minds with this profoundly subversive "intellectual" garbage.
And when it comes to foreign policy, of course the Neocons are globalists, like the international bankers whom they serve. Israel first, because they are not there to defend their country's interests, but to defend Israel's, in accordance with the permanent goal of Eretz Ysrael and world hegemony in accordance with the ultimate goal of Jewish supremacy via the money power, and in preparation for their "messiah". It's all disguised as for the sake of American greatness and "our values."
The Neocons are nothing less than a parasitical foreign body which has us thinking in accordance with its interests; in fact they are mortal enemies, nothing less. The Western goyim–as well as innocent Jews here and in Israel itself–will be cheerfully sacrificed by the Zionists, who serve darker forces and interests than those of their people. Western humanity has been rendered helpless because they are intellectually helpless and because in consequence they have been dispossessed of deep faith and corresponding real virtues. This was noted years ago by Solzhenitsyn, among others. Ideas rule human beings for good or ill, since we are thinking beings. But when the ideas that determine us are profoundly wrong and when intellectual chaos and unbridled individualism reign, nothing real can be accomplished. However, in due time vincit omnia veritas –the Real has the last word. "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."North Korea's survival strategy is "If you invade us, we will blow up South Korea and maybe even Tokyo." Ruled by a vile regime but with rational concern for survival, even if it has no moral right to survive. But then, what is the other option? South Korea is a puppet state of US globalist empire. If NK was ruled by wiser people, its case would be made more intelligently. It would tell the world community that it needs for defense given US record in the Middle East and North Africa. But it's ruled by some egotistical brat-boy whose idea of culture is Dennis Rodman and Rap trash-talking.JackOH , December 12, 2017 at 10:04 pm GMT
As different as NK and Jewish Power, they have one thing in common: WGYG or We Go, You Go. The idea is that if they are destroyed, they will take others with them.
Jewish Power pulled this off in 2008. When Lehman Brothers wasn't bailed out by the government, Wall Street pushed a 'too big to fail' scheme and threatened Total Collapse of the Economy UNLESS it was showered with super-generous bailouts that would eventually come to enrich the banks during a severe recession for most Americans. Bush couldn't do anything about it except go along. Obama bailed out Wall Street. And McCain would have done the same had he won. Jewish Wall Street power held a gun to the head of the entire US economy and said 'Give us money, OR we will take ALL OF YOU down with us.'
The system is rigged so that a major collapse of Jewish Power will trigger total collapse of the entire system. It's been wired that way. The whole tower will collapse. So, if anyone tries to cut the wire of Jewish Power, kaboom, the whole thing blows up, and everyone dies. Gentiles must carry Jewish Power like a crate of nitroglycerin. One false step and Kaboom.Phil, thanks.anon , Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 10:52 pm GMT
"Tom [Cotton] is completely owned by the Israeli lobby."
" . . . [Nikki] Haley is stupid. And ambitious. And is also owned by the Israeli lobby . . .".
My knowledge of foreign policy is headline-quality only. My knowledge of some domestic policy is pretty good. I've been on the public stump in my area. The reality of American policy, as I've seen it, is that it's bought and paid for. There is no "public interest", no "national interest". I'm not even sure there's an America, in the sense of a people joined by some common values. Sometimes I think of America as an agglomeration of rackets. You're goddamned right I don't like thinking this way.
There are only insider players who bankroll and blackmail their way into getting the decisions they want. I wish I could say something high-minded, but I can't.@Priss FactorFB , December 13, 2017 at 12:03 am GMT
India and Pakistan have nukes. How would they respond to an Israeli Sampson Option?
How about China? An Izzie attack on European capitals could destroy a lot of Chinese investment. China has sufficient nuclear capability to detach Israel from the Mediterranean littoral and create an irradiated submerged island.
Does van Crevald think Putin will sit on his hands and wait a thousand years for the dust to clear?
van Crevald says Israel can hit Rome. That's zionism's wet dream, to completely obliterate Rome.
How many Jews live a parasitical life in Rome and other European capitals?
Can Izzies reach USA? Didn't think so. What do they think would happen to hundreds of Jewish institutions, and Jewish people, in USA if Israel destroys Europe -- again?People need to let go of the idea that Dump is anything but a conman and a weak one at thatFB , December 13, 2017 at 12:14 am GMT
The office of President holds a lot of authority that Dump has not been able [or willing] to wield that speaks to his own weakness as a leader
It's time to admit that he is not the messiah that many Lunchpail Joes wanted to believe
As to the specifics of this article yes I agree with Mr. Giraldi that the neocons are back in the driver's seat if they ever left in the first place
Exhibit One is Jared Kushner the Clown Prince of the Shite House. This is the guy who has inflicted most of the damage on Dump starting with his advice to dump Flynn. Dump was under zero pressure to do any such thing the neocon Pence is the one who demanded Flynn's head. Dump could have pushed back there was nothing wrong with Flynn the incoming National Security Adviser speaking to the Russians or anyone else and what he spoke of with the Russians was in lobbying THEM in the US interest not the other way round
Dump's second big mistake was firing Comey again on the advice of Kushner. Which got the Mueller ball rolling. Some have rightly drawn the parallels of Kushner whispering in Dump's ear to the same role of Kissinger vis a vis Nixon's downfall
Then Kushner appeared to connive with his buddy KSA Clown Prince MBS to engineer the Hariri fiasco [which Tillerson managed to "deftly undo..."]
' Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was accompanying the president during his Asia tour at the time of the Saudi-engineered initiative, was "completely blindsided" by the move, as several senior Middle East diplomats confirmed to TAC.
While Tillerson would later be accused of being "totally disengaged" from the crisis, several former and current U.S. diplomats have told us that just precisely the opposite was the case '
' The unlikely hero in all of this might well be Rex Tillerson, who quietly engineered a U.S. policy at odds with the views of Donald Trump -- and his son-in-law. The exact details of how Tillerson pulled this off remain unknown ("I think Tillerson just told Trump what he was going to do," the senior diplomat with whom we spoke speculates, "and then just did it.") '
So that's the backstory right there about why the neocons are agitating for Tillerson's ouster. I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Giraldi's characterization of Tillerson as
' a somewhat bumbling businessman adept at dealing in energy futures contracts who has been struggling with reducing State's enormously bloated payroll '
That is a useless statement on many levels Tillerson deftly managed what is arguably America's most important corporation in what is surely the most strategic and geopolitical global industry energy
The global oil trade is 14 trillion dollars even at today's prices and the petrodollar is the underpinning of the entire US system a free ride for printing free money because every nation has to buy US dollars to buy or sell oil. In 1971
' I was informed at a White House meeting that U.S. diplomats had let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries know that they could charge as much as they wanted for their oil, but that the United States would treat it as an act of war not to keep their oil proceeds in U.S. dollar assets '
Writes economist Michael Hudson" from personal recollection of the many meetings he had at the WH
This whole saga surrounding Dump's readiness to tie the can to Tillerson is proof positive if any more were needed that conman Dump has been a fake from the beginning
If the neocons are ascendant and back in the driver's seat it is no one's fault but the Dumpster
He has cast his lot with Kushner who appears to be the neocons' Trojan Horse
There can be no more sympathy or understanding anymore for Dump
If we recall his campaign rhetoric of 'draining the swamp' and rebuilding America's failing infrastructure improving relations with Russia all good things
we must also recall that he has been vehemently anti-Iran from the get-go
One has to ask why ?
Iran is a completely Israeli-owned issue Iran has nothing to do with the interests of the US other than to benefit leading US industries like aircraft manufacturing which were immediately rewarded with a $100 billion order of Boeing aircraft in the aftermath of the Obama nuclear deal
That vehement anti-Iran attitude even on the campaign trail should have been a red flag to everyone
Even Hellary would have been better in that regard and as for the Russia 'issue' what could Hellary or the US to do Russia anyway ?
Militarily nothing even in Syria the US military would certainly not go for an open war against Russia neither would the regional players hosting US bases which would need to be on board for such an adventure
same goes for the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine
Germany and France are anyway moving closer to Russia, which has de facto established itself as an energy distribution superpower for the continent and for China
The big picture is that the petrodollar and the free ride for US prosperity is living on borrowed time China is the world's biggest energy importer and is not going to support the petrodollar forever
Already an alternative financial architecture is being built and the BRICS countries now outpace the combined GDP of the G7 so the writing is on the wall
Dump has shown himself to be a conman first and an incredibly weak president he deserves no sympathy or support
The neocons are of course insane they are picking fights with Iran, Venezuela and others who are going to be the first to ditch the petrodollar and accelerate the tipping point to the new global financial order that is going to impoverish the US overnight
The same neocons are also the ones who are undermining US demographics because their Ponzi scheme economy is based on perpetual growth which, in turn, requires perpetual population growth which means more immigration. Also the immigration keeps the wages low which is just extra gravy for the Plutocracy
The US will be a white-minority country by 2050 much of the Southwest already is
None of that is going to change when the party is over and the Titanic sinks the handful of necons and Plutocrats will have their lifeboats ready@FB
Sorry my link to the Kushner role in the Hariri circus and Tillerson's save did not come through here it is: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/kushner-kept-tillerson-in-the-dark-on-saudi-lebanon-move/
Dec 12, 2017 | www.unz.com
Back during the admittedly brief shock and awe period that immediately followed on the Trump electoral victory, it appeared that there might be an actual realignment of American foreign policy. The neoconservatives virtually unanimously had opposed Donald Trump in the most vile terms, both in the GOP primaries and during the actual electoral campaign, making clear that Hillary was their choice for a future full of unrelenting, ideologically driven warfare to convert the world to democracy. By that metric, one would assume that Trump would prefer to be roasted on a spit rather than have neocons on his national security team, and many in the punditry did agree with that analysis and went on to share that view.
At the time, I agreed, but I did note that the neoconservatives have proven to be remarkable resilient, particularly as many of them have remained true to their Democratic Party values on nearly everything but foreign policy, where they are irredeemable hawks, hostile to Russia and Iran and always reliably in the corner of Israel. In short, many neocons can be unmasked as Hillary Clinton Democrats if one looks at them issue by issue, which certainly helps to explain some subsequent developments.
Some Washington observers who actually care about such things have been writing how there has been a kumbaya process going on between self-described conservative neocons and liberal interventionists. Katrina vanden Heuvel describes the progressive hawks as "the essential-country crowd," borrowing a phrase from ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
There are inevitably minor disconnects between the two groups based on their motives for aggression – Democrats claim to do it to bring democracy and freedom while Republicans say they do it to enhance national security. Both are lying in any event as it all comes down to great power rivalries, with big powerful nations pushing smaller weaker nations around because they are able to get away with it and feel more comfortable if everyone lines up behind them.
So everyone in Washington and New York's financial services industry agrees that a more assertive America is a better America even when the reality is that no one winds up with either democracy or security. Which brings us to the latest shuffle in the Donald Trump cabinet and what it is likely to mean down the road. Multiple sources are predicting Tillerson out and Mike Pompeo in at State Department with Pompeo replaced at CIA by Senator Tom Cotton. The White House is denying the story, calling it "fake news," but it is clear that Trump is uncomfortable with the current arrangement and Tillerson will be gone sooner or later.
Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State replaces a somewhat bumbling businessman adept at dealing in energy futures contracts who has been struggling with reducing State's enormously bloated payroll. Pompeo, a real hard-nosed political hardliner who tends to see complex issues in fairly simplistic ways, has become a presidential confidant, briefing Trump frequently on the state of the world, most recently pushing for the horrific decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In a recent speech , Pompeo criticized the CIA, observing that it had both forgotten how to spy, which is almost certainly true, while adding that it will have to become "more vicious" to accomplish its mission of making the United States "safe." Pompeo would like to turn the United States into an unleashed wrecking ball directed against the enemies of the American Way and he appears intent on starting that process in the Middle East.
And Pompeo will be replaced as CIA Director by Tom Cotton. The less said about Tom the better, but I will attempt to summarize in 8 words here: Tom is completely owned by the Israel Lobby. In his 2014 election as junior Senator from Arkansas, he received $1 million from the Emergency Committee for Israel headed by Bill Kristol as well as additional assistance from the Republican Jewish Coalition. In March 2015, Tom paid those supporters back when 47 Republican United States Senators signed a letter allegedly written by him that was then sent to the Iranian government directly, warning that any agreement over that country's nuclear program reached with President Barack Obama would likely be overturned by the Congress. The letter, which undercuts the authority of the American president before an international audience, was signed by the entire Republican Party leadership in the Senate and also included then presidential contenders Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
I do not wish to imply that Cotton and Pompeo are somehow stupid, but they do tend to see the world in a very monochromatic fashion, just like their boss. Pompeo was first in his class at West Point and Cotton graduated from Harvard as an undergrad and also from the Law School . Trump claims to be the smartest person in the room no matter where he is standing. But for all the academic credentials and other posturing, it is hard to imagine how the new choices could possibly be worse from a common-sense perspective unless one includes Nikki Haley, who is, fortunately, otherwise engaged. Haley really is stupid. And ambitious. And is also owned by the Israel Lobby, which appears to be a thread that runs its way through all the Trump foreign policy appointees.
What is wrong about the whole Trump team is that they all seem to believe that you can go around the world kicking the shit out of everyone without there being any consequences. And they all hate Iran for reasons that continue to be obscure but may be connected to their relationships with – you guessed it – the neoconservatives and the Israeli Lobby!
Yes, the neocons are back. I noted back in October that when Pompeo and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster wanted a friendly place to drop by to give a policy speech that would be warmly received they went to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), whose marketing masthead slogan is "Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Freedom." FDD is currently neocon central, used like the American Enterprise Institute was when Dick Cheney was Vice President and needed a friendly audience. It is headed by Canadian Mark Dubowitz, whose passion in life is making sure that sanctions on Iran are enforced to the letter. Unfortunately, it is not easy to deport a Canadian.
Neocon watchers will undoubtedly note that big names like Brill Kristol, the Kagans, Michael Chertoff and Max Boot will not be showing up in government. True, but that is because they will instead be working through their foundations, of which FDD is only one. The Alliance for Securing Democracy, which has recently sprung up in lobby-land, markets itself as "bipartisan, and transatlantic " but it actually is pure neocon. Its goal is to "expose Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States of America and Europe." It includes the usual neocon names but also has the loyal Democratic opposition, including ex-CIA Acting Director Mike Morell and Jake Sullivan, both of whom were top level advisers to Hillary Clinton.
The replacement of former political appointees in the government has been so slow in Trump's first year that it has actually benefited the neocons in their recovery. Many survivors of the two previous administrations are still in place, nearly all of whom reflect the hawkishness prevalent during 2001-2016. They will be supplemented by second and third tier neoconservatives, who will fill in the policy gaps, virtually guaranteeing that the neocon crafted foreign policy that has been around for the past sixteen years will be here for some time longer.
What all this means is that, now that the Palestinians have been disposed of and the Israelis rewarded, we can expect armed conflict with Iran within the next year, followed by increased hostility towards Moscow as Russiagate continues to play out. I do not even want to guess at what kind of insanity the gang in the West Wing Situation Room will come up with for dealing with North Korea. The good news is that the builders of home bomb shelters, a booming enterprise when I was growing up back in the 1950s and 1960s now used to cultivate mushrooms, will be back in business.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.
Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.
The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?
It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.
But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.
After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."
Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.
"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."
And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."
Assessing the Damage
Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.
First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.
William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.
A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)
Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.
Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.
Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.
"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."
So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."
The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.
"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."
Deals with the Devil
The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.
The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."
Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).
Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."
Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.
As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."
With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.
Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.
U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.
So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.
It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.
The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.
Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.
Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).
Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pmjohn wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am
I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.
The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am
Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm
Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm
Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am
Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am
CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm
Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."
It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!
Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm
What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.
Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.
The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.
Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".
This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.
How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm
Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.
The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.
"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U
After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.
Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.
Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm
If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).
I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm
Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.
Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.
Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.
Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.
Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am
Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm
Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm
Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am
When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm
Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm
One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm
Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)
https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm
On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.
Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.
The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.
Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm
An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."
The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."
To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."
The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.
The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.
The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm
In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."
Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:
Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"
Flynn: "I think the administration."
Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"
Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."
Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"
Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."
Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."
Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."
Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:
Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"
Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."
Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.
Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm
Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency
Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.htmlAbe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm
"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.
"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.
"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."
Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm
"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).
"The plan involved the following steps:
- sweep away a strong secular Arab state with a political culture, armed forces and security services;
- generate total chaos and horror in Syria that would justify the creation of Israel's 'security zone', not only in Golan Heights, but also further north;
- start a civil war in Lebanon and incite takfiri violence against Hezbollah, leading to them both bleeding to death and then create a "security zone", this time in Lebanon;
- prevent the creation of a "Shiite axis" of Iran/Iraq/Syria/Lebanon;
- continue the division of Syria along ethnic and religious lines, establish an independent Kurdistan and then to use them against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
- give Israel the opportunity to become the unquestioned major player in the region and force Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and everyone else to apply for permission from Israel in order to implement any oil and gas projects;
- gradually isolate, threaten, undermine and ultimately attack Iran with a wide regional coalition, removing all Shiite centers of power in the middle East.
"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.
"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.
"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.
"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]
"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."
The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm
The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.
That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm
There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.
A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.
Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.
The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am
Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm
The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am
I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.
B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.
C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.
C. IF THE SITUATION UNRAVELS THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).
D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:
–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm
Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm
I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm
The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.
One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm
Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.
Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am
The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am
I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am
The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm
Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm
Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm
All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm
There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.htmlLinda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm
"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm
Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm
That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:
The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.
Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am
The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.
It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am
Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am
The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am
This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.
Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicatedChristene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am
You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?
So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.
Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.
The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.
So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.
Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm
Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am
Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.
It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am
From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am
Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am
"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."
Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.
Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am
I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.
There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.
I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it
Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.
No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.
Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm
Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.
Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm
A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.
A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.
"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.
If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm
https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm
Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm
In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.
Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.
Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.
Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.
Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.
The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.
In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.
The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.
At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.
Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.
According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.
In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm
The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm
The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?
Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.
A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am
I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns
I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am
This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am
I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am
Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am
Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am
The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm
I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.
What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.
Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?
Dec 09, 2017 | www.ynetnews.com
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Friday the "status of Jerusalem was not final" and that it will be some time before the US is able to move its embassy to from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, pursuant to President Donald Trump's speech earlier this week recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announcing the planned embassy move.Any final decision on the status of Jerusalem will depend on negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, Tillerson said, appearing to add nuance to President Trump's decision.
"With respect to the rest of Jerusalem the president ... did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem," Tillerson said, speaking at a news conference in Paris alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
... ... ...
Earlier Friday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by the US ran counter to common sense while Russia warned that US recognition may lead to escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called on all parties to show restraint.
Turkish sources said Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Turkey next week to discuss recent developments surrounding Jerusalem and the situation in Syria with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Kremlin verified the visit and said the leaders will discuss "important international problems."
Erdoğan and Putin spoke on the phone Thursday and concurred the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital will negatively impact the peace process and the region's stability.
Dec 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Just Another Bystander December 8, 2017 at 9:19 pmCould someone help me understand what is so "populist" about this presidency?Edward Dougherty , says: December 8, 2017 at 9:27 pm
After the Senate passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich (which Trump himself stands to benefit from handsomely), Trump went off to a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser at hedge fund manager Steve Schwartzman's Manhattan apartment. Is that populist?
Trump appointed a telecom lobbyist to head the FCC and he has proceeded to give AT&T, Verizon and Comcast their wish list. Is that populist?
He's nominated a pharmaceutical lobbyist to head Health & Human Services. Is that populist?
Nothing populist has come out of this presidency. He has done everything any other Republican would do, only with a big helping of racism and bigotry piled on top.Noah172,
If he's doing what he said he would do on trade, then why is NAFTA still around? Also, remember the 35% border adjustment tax he said he was going to slap on foreign goods? He dropped that the same week that he tweeted about transgender people in the military (probably to hide that he wasn't going though with the former). About the only thing you can claim is that he dropped us out of the TPP, which was always going to be a long shot anyway because of the number of nations involved.
Dec 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
As 2017 comes to a close, the warring parties in Syria are moving towards reconciliation -- but the U.S. is not among them.
The Islamic State is all but defeated, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies are now closing in on the few remaining pockets occupied by other extremists, and Iranians, Russians, and Turks are mapping out the peace to come.
Then there's America. Donald Trump may have hinted at changes up his sleeve, but he's treading the same tired path as his predecessor on Syria.
Determined to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a means to weaken Iran and re-establish U.S. regional hegemony, Barack Obama's White House placed its bets on two pathways to this goal: 1) a military strategy to wrest control over Syria from the regime, and 2) a UN-sponsored and U.S.-backed mediation in Geneva to transition Assad out.
Washington lost its military gamble when the Russian air force entered the battle in September 2015, providing both game-changing air cover and international clout to Assad's efforts.
So the U.S. turned its hand to resuscitating a limp Geneva peace process that might have delivered a Syrian political settlement sans Assad.
Instead, two years on, the tables have turned in this sphere, too. Today, it is the Iranians, Turks, and Russians leading reconciliation efforts in Syria through a process established in Astana and continued last week in Sochi -- not Geneva. The three states have transformed the ground war by isolating key extremists, carving out ceasefire zones, and negotiating deals to keep the peace.
To nobody's surprise, the Americans are neither part of this new initiative, nor have they offered any constructive counters. Meanwhile, the UN's Geneva framework, after eight rounds of talks, has not once been able to bring the two Syrian sides face-to-face at the Big Table.
To illustrate, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who leads these talks, now says things like this with a straight face: "We have started very close proximity parallel meetings. In fact, I have been shuttling between two rooms at a distance of five meters from each other."
In short, the U.S.'s Syrian efforts have hit a brick wall, while new regional and international power brokers have stepped in to pick up the slack.
Geneva: A process designed to fail
Just one week ago, with great media fanfare, we were promised a fresh start and new twists in Syria. For the first time since the Geneva I conference launched in June 2012, we were told the opposition was "unified" and there were no "pre-conditions" that might hold up talks.
Those expectations were shattered almost immediately when various Syrian opposition members went off-message and insisted that "Assad must go" at some point during a future transition period. Unified they were not. And the Syrian government didn't hide their disgust. They arrived a day late and scurried back to Damascus just as quickly.
And here is why Geneva negotiations will never, ever get off the ground.
Firstly, the "Syrian opposition" do not actually represent "the Syrian people." Most of these individuals have been selected by foreign governments -- until recently, mainly by U.S. allies in Riyadh, Doha, Ankara -- to do their bidding in Geneva, and have been "elected" by no more than a few dozen other Syrians in foreign capitals.
UN envoy de Mistura didn't bother to hide that fact last week when he thanked the Saudis for facilitating "the establishment of a unified opposition delegation."
The UN-led process -- like the U.S. administration -- has created conditions that exclude Syria's more independent and nationalistic domestic opposition from negotiations. These are people who have largely rejected foreign intervention and the militarization of the conflict, rail against Western-imposed sanctions, and signal actual readiness to talk to Assad's government about the reforms they desire.
The Russians and Iranians have kept open channels to these individuals and groups, and many of them have beaten a path to Moscow over the years to strike compromises and seek solutions. A few even made the cut, for the first time, at this eighth round of Geneva talks.
Secondly, the Syrian opposition have lost the war -- victors decide the peace, not the vanquished. The team sitting in Geneva seems oblivious to the fact that the Syrian government and its allies have now gained an almost-irreversible military advantage on the battlefield. These are not two parties on equal footing -- and no great-power mentors in the world can change that fact.
Assad's government has said on numerous occasions that it is willing to sit with any Syrian who comes without preconditions and negotiates in good faith. Years of "reconciliations" on the ground between the government, local citizens, NGOs, friendly foreign state-guarantors, and rebel fighters lend a proven track record to those claims. This is the format for future negotiations -- it is a tested, homegrown Syrian solution, not one made-in-America-or-Riyadh.
"Ceasefires" struck in Astana
The breakthrough came in late 2016. Turkey, the main adversary state through which weapons and jihadists flowed into Syria, made a U-turn on its Syria strategy, driven by U.S. military support for Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, which Ankara views as a national security threat. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a tactical engagement with Russia and Iran, and pulled Qatar and its respective Syrian rebel allies along with him. These moves tipped the balance on the battlefield, allowing the SAA and its allies to liberate Aleppo (a turning point in the war) and launch their ultimately successful campaign against ISIS.
Shortly afterward, delegations consisting of the Syrian government and a dozen opposition rebel factions convened in Astana, Kazakhstan, for indirect talks sponsored by Turkey, Iran, and Russia.
By early May, the three countries had signed a memorandum to establish four "de-escalation zones" in rebel-occupied areas in Syria. The zones cover key hotspots in northern Homs, southern Syria, eastern Ghouta, and Idlib province, and are renewable at six-month intervals. While some armed groups have rejected the concept, the de-escalation zones have largely succeeded at halting hostilities and, importantly, have helped create separation between extremists and rebels willing to participate in ceasefires.
Furthermore, for the more than two million people believed to reside in these zones, the Astana process also guarantees humanitarian and medical access, the return of displaced persons to their towns and homes, the reconstruction of vital infrastructure, and other benefits.
In July, the U.S. and Jordan joined Russia to broker the details of the southern Syrian de-escalation zone, with a joint command established in Jordan. And in September, Iran, Russia, and Turkey agreed to implement the fourth and final de-escalation zone in Idlib, a stronghold of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra terrorist group.
In short, within eight months, four key areas of Syria demilitarized under the watch of three countries: Turkey, a major supporter of Syrian opposition militants, and Iran and Russia, both close allies of the Syrian government.
A "political solution" in Sochi next?
Ceasefires are, incidentally, one of the two primary objectives of the Geneva process. They are the military part of a Syrian solution.
The other objective is the political settlement of the Syrian conflict, envisioned by Geneva's architects as the establishment of a transitional government that would generate a revised constitution, prepare elections, and the like.
Last week, on the eve of Geneva-8, the three Astana sponsors convened in Sochi after an unexpected meeting there between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin that appeared to signal an official Syrian approval for what came next.
In a joint statement , the presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey called for a "Syrian National Dialogue Congress" to be held in Sochi in the near future, consisting of the Syrian government and "the opposition that are committed to the sovereignty, independence, unity, territorial integrity and non-fractional character of the Syrian state."
While they were careful to point out that the initiative is intended to "complement" Geneva, not act as an "alternative," the statement also made clear that "Iran, Russia and Turkey will consult and agree on participants of the Congress."
Will this be another rubber-stamped opposition directed by foreign mentors? An informed source says no, "any Syrian who does not exclude him or herself can participate."
It is highly likely that hardliners and extremists will exclude themselves from the Sochi talks -- they have consistently rejected direct interactions with the Syrian government and will never accept a future with Assad at the helm. Instead, Sochi is likely to draw interest from a larger cross-section of Syrian society closer to the views of Syria's traditional domestic opposition , who were never given a chance in Geneva.
In the end, it is altogether conceivable that a final Syrian political solution will look very similar to the reforms Assad offered up in 2011 and 2012. His proposals were never given the time or space to mature and were, at the time, rejected outright by foreign governments and their Syrian allies.
But most importantly, if Sochi can finish what Geneva could never start, we will be thrust into a genuine post-American era where alternative regional actors will be able to broker globally significant peace deals.
The resolution of a conflict of this magnitude largely outside the umbrella of a UN- or U.S.-led framework breaks with the assumption that major geopolitical solutions need be made-in-America.
The most common refrain in a disgruntled Middle East today is that "Americans don't solve conflicts, they manage them."
Trump this week forever dispelled the notion that America is an honest mediator in Middle East peace efforts when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It is not surprising that the Saudis , Jordanians Qataris Sudanese Egyptians, and others are now beating a path to Moscow for some fresh thinking.
Sharmine Narwani is a commentator and analyst of Mideast geopolitics based in Beirut. 12 Responses to Mideast Peacemaking is No Longer Made-in-America
No Daylight Pariah December 7, 2017 at 11:04 pmYeah, especially after Trump's pointless, ridiculous Jerusalem move, more negotiations and multilateral deals will be struck without US involvement. Our hyper-militarized approach to diplomacy, and a Middle East obsessed foreign policy dictated by Israel, has shocked and disgusted the world, including our actual treaty allies, who are now moving on without us.Our Shift Is Over (finally) , says: December 7, 2017 at 11:14 pm"But most importantly, if Sochi can finish what Geneva could never start, we will be thrust into a genuine post-American era where alternative regional actors will be able to broker globally significant peace deals."Whine Merchant , says: December 8, 2017 at 12:00 am
I pray that you're right. America must disentangle itself from the legacy of failure, futility, and colossal expense of the "peace process". Let others do it. It sounds like the Turks, Russians, Qataris, and Iranians have had some success at this. Fine. Let them take over Israel / Palestine. And let the US get the hell out and come home to do some of the "America First" stuff that Trump promised. Like withdrawing our troops from the Middle East and defending our own borders with them instead.Well, Kim-il-Trump has eliminated the US as a participant in any settlement. Putin and Erdogan will get whatever they want while the US stands on the sidelines, a diminishing power. Maybe Jared can get his family permission to build a few more settlements in the occupied territories, sited on a Palestinian olive grove.MEOW , says: December 8, 2017 at 3:22 am
All the while, Xi Jinping grows stronger as he guides China to be the last remaining superpower.
Make America Great Again [pass he fries]Very interesting article. Thank you. Having worked in the Middle East the U.S. is regarded as nothing more than a pawn of Israel. Sad but true. This by people who often have relatives and friends living well in the U.S. who understand that the shackles on U.S. foreign policy are tight and well-controlled from Tel Aviv and now Jerusalem. These people cede the goodwill of the American people and love us for it, but know the reality of decision-making is made by neocons with dubious loyalties to the U.S. Trump's Jerusalem decision will put QED to these assumptions as to who is the boss. Many of us will have lived our mortal span under this most frustrating and counter-productive phenomenon. Will future generations throw off this heavy and unbearable yolk? It will take courage.Mccormick47 , says: December 8, 2017 at 11:17 amAfter invading Iraq twice, once at the behest of the House of Saud, the second time for no reason at all, why would anyone in the Mideast listen to us about peace?Youknowho , says: December 8, 2017 at 12:17 pmConsidering that the US has become the bull in the China shop in the area, the sooner it is out of it, the better.This Holy Land , says: December 8, 2017 at 1:11 pmPeople cut us a lot of slack because they know we're hamstrung by the Israel Lobby buying, threatening, or blackmailing our politicians. But after a while it's like the Germans and Nazism: there's the question "why didn't you do anything? It's your country. How could you let this happen?"midtown , says: December 8, 2017 at 1:41 pm
Now that Trump has starkly, publicly dramatized the problem by putting America at further risk of terror attacks in order to please Israel and Israel's American agents, it becomes harder for others to believe that Americans don't really know what's going on. And it becomes likelier we'll be held responsible, likelier that the rest of the world will distance itself from us, likelier that Americans will be attacked and killed.
One thing's for sure. You don't make America great again by doing what Obama called "stupid s***" for Israel.
In fact, our relationship with the modern state of Israel has been a steadily worsening burden and curse. Which suggests (to this Christian American) that the modern state that calls itself "Israel" is not the Israel that the Bible says we should bless. He is punishing us, His people, Americans, and our land, America, with war and staggering costs for worshiping the false idol of "Israel".This is all good news for the United States and its citizens. Not so much for the war party of McCain and Romney.Alex , says: December 8, 2017 at 1:43 pmThe US has never had any influence in Syria whereas Russia always had. So, I do not understand what all that noise is about.Michael Kenny , says: December 8, 2017 at 1:56 pm
BTW, it was not the US who started all that mess in Syria. It was a civil/religious war.The weakness in all this is that Putin has bogged himself down irreversibly in Syria, just as the Soviets did in Afghanistan and for exactly the same reason. Putin has made himself Assad's protector and must now prop him up for all time and against all comers. The US can lower the boom on him at any time by simply re-launching the war, for example, as a terrorist campaign which can penetrate all the way up to the Mediterranean coast and inflict casualties directly on the Russians.Janwaar Bibi , says: December 8, 2017 at 4:17 pmTrump this week forever dispelled the notion that America is an honest mediator in Middle East peace efforts when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It is not surprising that the Saudis, Jordanians, Qataris, Sudanese, Egyptians, and others are now beating a path to Moscow for some fresh thinking.PR Doucette , says: December 8, 2017 at 4:38 pm
This is excellent news. One reason why the US felt free to attack country after country at the behest of its Israeli and Saudi masters is that after the collapse of the USSR, there were no countries left to challenge its actions. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
If Russia and China can provide a counterweight to US power, the likelihood of the US behaving like a rogue nation goes down drastically, and that will be good for everyone, the US included.While some reasonable long term level of peace in Syria would be a welcome outcome of these negotiations, it will be interesting to see how far Assad is willing to go in ceding power away from himself and the minority Alawites who have historically held many of the senior positions in the Syrian government and military if this is what is required to get a peace agreement. Whatever is agreed it seems likely the Syrian people will have to accept the presence of the Russian military for years to come.
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Richardstevenhack ,On this side of the water, my prediction that Tillerson would be gone by end of year appears to be coming true.Kooshy , 30 November 2017 at 05:48 PM
Reports say Trump is going to throw Tillerson under the bus - like all his other supporters - and replace him with CIA's Mike Pompeo. Senator Cotter - a torture and drone advocate - will replace Pompeo at CIA
So now we'll have a CIA head in charge at State. I'm totally sure that will improve US diplomacy with North Korea, Russia, China, etc...
Those people who kept saying Trump had some master plan to save us were right - it entails throwing out anyone NOT advocating war with most of the nuclear powers on the planet.Zizi controlled US media, like the NYT and CNN really want Rex Tillerson out, they are paving the way for him to leave, and have decided who they like to replace him, both candidates for the state and CIA are supper neocon protectors of Zionism in US, and totally anti Iran.Fred -> Richardstevenhack ... , 30 November 2017 at 06:23 PMRichardstevenhack,JamesT -> Richardstevenhack ... , 30 November 2017 at 06:39 PM
This is the second, or perhaps third, report of Tillerson getting "thrown under the bus". I would say the Borg are having their policy narrative systematicly destroyed by Trump and they are desperate to at least create, or at least maintain, an image of turmoil in the executive branch.RichardstevenhackDemiJohn said in reply to Fred ... , 30 November 2017 at 08:57 PM
Do you think that POTUS ordered CENTCOM to cut off arms supplies to the Kurds in order to start a war with nuclear powers? It seems to me this action does the complete opposite of that - it dramatically reduces the chance of war with Russia.Agreed. And Reuters is also In the band. It would be sad to see one of the last brains in the cabinet disappear.Yeah, Right , 01 December 2017 at 02:11 AM"Those people who kept saying Trump had some master plan to save us were right" Maybe not a master plan, but Trump may well be marching to a tune that you can not hear. Take his refusal to certify the JCPOA as stipulated by Congress.Matthew said in reply to Fred ... , 01 December 2017 at 09:11 AM
Q: Did he follow that up by tearing up the JCPOA?
A: No, he didn't. He threw the problem back to Congress, who look like a deer caught in some headlights.
He is also expected (either this time or the next) to refuse to sign the waiver regarding moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Q: Will he then follow up by actually, you know, moving that embassy?
A: My guess is he won't, and he'll dare Congress to make something of it.
I really think that there is a pattern to his behaviour, and it isn't the behaviour of a slave to "the establishment". It looks more like he is throwing that establishment off-balance by saying, in essence, that he isn't interested in playing their silly games, and by doing so he exposes those games as.... silly.
Certifying the JCPOA is a burden, and he simply shrugs it off. Waiving the Embassy move is a burden, and he'll just shrug it off. Every time he does so he exposes Congressional politicking that are an irrelevance - an instance of Congress sticking its nose where it doesn't belong - and that's no bad thing. Just my take, but I really don't think Trump is who you think he is.Fred: It's assuming that the "professional diplomats" who gave us the Iraq War and the Maiden Demonstrations in Ukraine call Trump irresponsible! I think Trump is doing a Gulfies. Besides the Mother of Arms Deals with the Kingdom of Horrors, he's just got Bahrain to buy another batch of F-16's they don't need.
Trump said he was going to make the Gulfies pay for our protection. And that is what he is doing. Now if he could only make the Zionists pay.....
Dec 07, 2017 | foreignpolicy.com
U.S. 'badly' wants to mend fences with Moscow, Secretary of State Tillerson says.
Tillerson has said for months that normalizing relations with Russia has been one of Trump's top foreign-policy priorities. He has broached the topic of Russian election interference, but not with the rhetoric he leveled against Moscow on Ukraine.
"There is clear evidence of Russia meddling in democratic elections in the U.S. and Europe," Tillerson said said at a speech in Washington on Nov. 28. "We, together with our friends in Europe, recognize the active threat of a recently resurgent Russia." Trump, for his part, has repeatedly contradicted U.S. intelligence agencies to belittle their conclusions that Russia interfered in the election.Relations between Moscow and most of the West have been severely strained since early 2014, when Russia threw military support behind separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, sparking fighting that has killed some 10,000 and displaced some 1.7 million so far. In March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula, a part of Ukraine -- the first such cross-border land grab in Europe since the bloody wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.
"We can have differences in other arenas, in Syria, we can have differences in other areas but when one country invades another, that is a difference that is hard to look past or reconcile," Tillerson said. "It stands as the single most difficult obstacle to us re-normalizing a relationship with Russia, which we badly would like to do," he added.
There is another potential obstacle to normalized ties: the drumbeat of revelations of the Kremlin's meddling in last year's U.S. election. That includes organizing the release of hacked material harmful to the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton and the creation of fake social media accounts to spread false news stories that sowed division in the United States.
Most recently, Trump's disgraced former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn pleaded guilty last week to lying to FBI agents about his efforts to carry out freelance diplomacy with Russia as a private citizen during the presidential transition.
Tillerson has said for months that normalizing relations with Russia has been one of Trump's top foreign-policy priorities. He has broached the topic of Russian election interference, but not with the rhetoric he leveled against Moscow on Ukraine.
"There is clear evidence of Russia meddling in democratic elections in the U.S. and Europe," Tillerson said said at a speech in Washington on Nov. 28. "We, together with our friends in Europe, recognize the active threat of a recently resurgent Russia." Trump, for his part, has repeatedly contradicted U.S. intelligence agencies to belittle their conclusions that Russia interfered in the election.
Comments from inosmi.ru (Goggle translation)
zaharov.ny | 17:44 08.12.2017 |
In this nonsense only star-striped donkeys can beleive.
kveinfo 17:52 08/12/2017 |
"According to Tillerson, the biggest obstacle to achieving this goal is the Kremlin's participation in the war in Ukraine." I would paraphrase this phrase like this: "The biggest obstacle to achieving this goal is the US participation in the war in Ukraine.
Retro Grad 17:54 08.12.2017 |
"What's stopping us is Ukraine," Tillerson said at a meeting of the OSCE in Vienna, I do not see the problem! Read the Russian classics: "I gave birth to you, I will kill you!" Eliminate what you gave birth on the Maidan and - no problem
As I live 18:26 08.12.2017 | 2
"To improve relations with Russia" is a crime? And the fact of your established a relationship with Ukrainian Nazis is not a crime? Who asked you to invade the Kiev Maidan by the state Department and senators, the Director of the CIA, the intelligence services', the NATO trainers, to offer and sell weapons? Who staged a sniper shooting, blackmail the legitimate government, and provocation with Boeing? What do You care about earopeyskie selection of Bandera, to civil war? Leave yourself from the Ukraine, the invaders! It is not included in your Alliance. Let the EU coddling them (although I'm sure that you imposed on Ukraine, sanctions, LGBT, refugees, poor Europeans). Evident to all that the United States does not want dialogue, or understand it as the imposition of their interests. What do you care, it is the desire of the Ukrainians, how many percent can a referendum on the area will hold? Afraid? Perhaps the Mexicans or the Texans want to join the CSTO, BRICS, or even in Russia, let us ask. Establish if you want your interests to be taken into account. Syria is only the first step, then the avalanche of anti-Americanism will only increase as inter-civil conflicts. Degrades dove, you do not want on good, will be different. Fuck all your wishlist does not force us to hide from the world your dirty secrets. We have not started to intervene, but if we start...
Dec 07, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Trump can't make a move without being seen as a bag man for Putin.
Thanks to the many questionable contacts between some members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials, the administration has been unable to pursue any constructive engagement with Moscow without triggering accusations of doing Russia's bidding. The administration's response to this predicament has usually been to echo the most conventional hawkish views on disputed issues and make no concerted effort to repair frayed ties with the Russian government.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently delivered a speech at the Wilson Center in which he described Russia primarily in terms of the threat that it posed to Europe. Even as he stated that the U.S. desires a "productive new relationship" with Moscow, he framed previous breakdowns in relations as being purely the result of Russian "aggression." In Tillerson's oversimplified telling, "both attempts by the prior administration to reset the Russia and U.S.-Europe relationships have been followed by Russia invading its neighbor." But that is not quite how things unfolded.
The 2008 war to which Tillerson refers was a product of the Georgian government's recklessness, its overconfidence in Western promises, and the profoundly misguided allied pledge at the Bucharest NATO summit that Ukraine and Georgia would one day become members of the alliance. Whatever "reset" George W. Bush attempted early in his first term had long since given way to repeatedly antagonizing Moscow by withdrawing from the ABM Treaty, launching the Iraq war, promoting missile defense in central Europe, NATO expansion in eastern Europe, and U.S. support for the so-called "color" revolutions in the former Soviet Union.
The Obama-era "reset" achieved some initial successes, but this soon stalled out and was replaced by resentment over the passage of the Magnitsky Act and the bait-and-switch intervention for regime change in Libya that Russia had been persuaded not to oppose. Confrontation over the civil war in Syria also contributed significantly to the souring of U.S.-Russian relations. By the time the political crisis in Ukraine erupted in 2014, the hopeful atmosphere created by the "reset" was long gone, and the U.S. and allied response to that crisis contributed to further deterioration. If our government officials fail to recognize the U.S. role in creating bad relations between Washington and Moscow, they are bound to keep repeating the mistakes that their predecessors made.
... ... ...
cornel lencar says: December 6, 2017 at 11:18 pm
I am a close follower of your blog and admire your analyses, but I always found that there is an important component that you never address that is core to the strategic interests of the U.S. and that for Russia, or other major powers, have lately recognized explicitly and acting against, explicitly. This is the issue of U.S. dollar, or how some people call it, the petrodollar.
Given how US can and has undermined countries with its ability to control the flow of US dollars, China, Russia, etc are creating the mechanisms to move away from that. With the recent announcements by Trump, concerning Jerusalem and Yemen, Saudi Arabia might be persuaded to use other currencies when selling its oil, beside US dollar.
Such issues are of extreme strategic significance, and you never seem to touch on them.
Likbez, December 7, 2017 at 02:58 pm
Another factor worth mentioning is neo-McCarthyism which is now in full swing. That "poisoned the well" probably for a long, long time.
And it did nothing or very little to unite the country against this new official enemy.
Russiagate mostly serves internal political kitchen, specifically a color revolution against Trump administration launched by globalists (for some unknown to me reasons, as Trump manage to betray a good part of his election promises in the first three months of his presidency).
Daniel Larison is senior editor at The American Conservative.
Dec 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
Sollipsist , Next New CommentDecember 3, 2017 at 8:19 pm GMT@nsa
It's pretty easy to see Trump as Nero – a wealthy, crass narcissist who really wanted to be an actor. There's also the theory that Nero was specifically chosen over Brittanicus in order to discredit the throne and break the Julio-Claudian dynasty, a desperate last hope for the Republicans who had been losing ground steadily since Caesar.
But more relevant to the discussion at hand would be the threat of Carthage while the Republic still existed. There were Senators who recognized that peace in the Mediterranean region was better served by having a competing power to balance the Roman presence. They argued passionately and rationally against wiping out Carthage, but were shouted down by the greedy hawks and others who couldn't stand having their supremacy challenged.
Mar 28, 2015 | Foreign AffairsHow did twenty-first-century Russia end up, yet again, in personal rule? An advanced industrial country of 142 million people, it has no enduring political parties that organize and respond to voter preferences.
The military is sprawling yet tame; the immense secret police are effectively in one man's pocket. The hydrocarbon sector is a personal bank, and indeed much of the economy is increasingly treated as an individual fiefdom. Mass media move more or less in lockstep with the commands of the presidential administration.
Competing interest groups abound, but there is no rival center of power. In late October 2014, after a top aide to Russia's president told the annual forum of the Valdai Discussion Club, which brings together Russian and foreign experts, that Russians understand "if there is no Putin, there is no Russia," the pundit Stanislav Belkovsky observed that "the search for Russia's national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now, it is evident that Russia's national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."
Russia is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank (having a per capita GDP exceeding $14,000). Its unemployment remains low (around five percent); until recently, consumer spending had been expanding at more than five percent annually; life expectancy has been rising; and Internet penetration exceeds that of some countries in the European Union.
But Russia is now beset by economic stagnation alongside high inflation, its labor productivity remains dismally low, and its once-vaunted school system has deteriorated alarmingly. And it is astonishingly corrupt. Not only the bullying central authorities in Moscow but regional state bodies, too, have been systematically criminalizing revenue streams, while giant swaths of territory lack basic public services and local vigilante groups proliferate.
Across the country, officials who have purchased their positions for hefty sums team up with organized crime syndicates and use friendly prosecutors and judges to extort and expropriate rivals. President Vladimir Putin's vaunted "stability," in short, has turned into spoliation. But Putin has been in power for 15 years, and there is no end in sight. Stalin ruled for some three decades...
Jamil M ChaudriInteresting but slanted and one-sided, myopic analysis. Why would the 1.6 billion Muslims spread over three continents, accept Mr Kotkin's concept of "World Order".
There is no World Order; it is the predatory West's efforts to enslave people to the European weltanschauung. It is an effort by the colonialists to prolong their hegemony over Muslim lands and people.
One of the biggest mistakes Pakia made was to join the West in destroying Soviet Russia. A bi-polar world was a better world than a unipolar world, where the west is destroying Muslim nations (one after the other).
This is no World Order: it a man eat man world that has been created.
Jamil M Chaudri -> JACK RICE
Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Afghanis there was no daily violence in Afghania. Before the invasion (and total destruction) of Iraqia, there is no daily violence in Iraqia. Before Pakia allied itself with America (leading to the further debasement of an evolving state) there were no (practically) daily suicide bombings in Pakia. Before America decided to aid Ethiopia (and joined it) in destroying Somalia, the state of Somalia had a pretty vibrant civil society, and no gangster precipitate violence.
Before America decided to KILL Gadhafi by indiscriminatingly arming gangsters to carry out their will, the incipient-unity state of Libya did not have the sectarian violence that we presently hear about. Before America decided to Destroy the Syrian State, by leading a crusade (guised as a push for, of all things, DEMOCRACY), Syria was a fast-developing state. ......... This list could be stretched back to the days of Pilgrim Fathers. But I am hoping you follow the drift.
If the hat fits, wear it! If the shoe fits, wear them!! From the top of the head to the sole of the shoes, everything is dyed deep in BLOOD.
At the moment with more than 2'000'000 deaths in Iraqia, and more than 250'000 deaths in Afgania and more than 10'000 deaths in Pakia,
Jamil M Chaudri -> BAKER ALLON
Take some smelling salts, and read what happened in North and South America, when whole nations were destroyed by the colonialists, and kept in RESERVATIONS; their children were taken to missions for conversion to Christianity, their dwellings were destroyed. Read about the Trail of Tears, when a whole nation was banished from their ancestral lands. Read about 2'000'000 deaths in Afghania. For you destruction of HUMAN LIFE is less important than destruction of statues? Shows the kind of person you are. There are many clips available on the internet showing the destruction of Human Life in most parts of Iraqia(including Mosel) by the blood thirsty invaders. Harping about statues and museums, and totally callus about human lives (millions of them) you are indeed a museum piece! Go back to the shelf you have come off.
Renee Barclay -> Jamil M Chaudri • 19 days ago
Bush was a moron but that doesn't change the fact that Saddam was a murderous dictator. And Saddam's sons were known rapists and murderers.
Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites turned on each other after Bush eliminated Saddam and that's the simple fact. And they're STILL killing each other to this day. Google it.
Jamil M Chaudri -> Renee Barclay
I do not have to Google such assertions. They are non sequitur, in nature. Even then, let us examine your assertion for a moment: Bush was a Moron but Saddam was a murderous dictator. By your logic we American must be the epitome of Moron-ness, for we ELECTED Bush; Iraqis must be a gentle and good people who were overpowered by the Saddam, the Murderous Dictator..
By the way, how many Iraqis did Saddam murder? And then, how many Iraqis were murdered, at the command of Bush? Since the Iraqis were killed/murdered at the command of Bush, and Americans elected Bush, Americans are responsible for the murders. We Americans have blood on our hands!
My assertion is that America is responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.
On your non-sequitur. If a good man has evils sons, does the man become evil? Again, Sunnis turned against Shias; so what? About the American Civil War, Google says: Though the number of killed and wounded in the Civil War is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed was between 640,000 and 700,000.
There was no civil war in Iraq before American Invasion and destruction of Iraqi State and Society. Thus, America is TOTALLY responsible for 2'000'000 deaths in Iraq.
Vivienne Perkins -> Jamil M Chaudri
Dear Jamil: As an American citizen, I take my hat off to you for telling the exact truth -- that the terrorist state is the United States of America and our media's propaganda stream is now in overdrive, especially in regard to Russia, which is our latest target.
The US State Department's Victoria Nuland and our CIA (+ Blackwater mercenaries) installed the puppet Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko govt. in Kiev (to do our bidding) and CIA Dir. James Brennan himself went to Kiev to launch the civil war against the Eastern provinces that Europeans, at least, are now trying to bring to a halt. The US does leave nothing but failed states behind it, and Western Ukraine will be the next failed state in a long list. Since the end of WWII, the best estimate is that the United States, in 67 military operations and countless covert CIA operations, has destroyed between 20 and 30 million people world-wide, largely in the interest of commandeering their resources or serving the interests of the banks to which they owe money--money they were usually cajoled into borrowing.
As for political corruption, I don't know much about Russian levels of corruption, but I know a lot about the total corruption of our system of government and the evisceration of all of our civil liberties, subsequent to the passage of the so-called and mis-named Patriot Act. By the provisions of the NDAA, any US citizen can be picked up and held in indefinite military detention without charge or trial. I wonder how much worse is Russia than that?
And since Citizens United, nearly every legislator in our Congress is absolutely bought and paid for. Maybe we should leave Russia alone and think about how to restore what we once thought of as a democratic system of governance h ere in the United States.
jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins
One thing has nothing to do with the other. While I'm in agreement with you on the Ukrainian matter, lets not forget that Vladimir Putin's Russia also has a very big problem with Islamic extremists in their territories as does a number of countries around the world .
Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37
I'm not sure I get your point. Maybe we should think about why the West has trouble with Islamic extremists. Might it be because for over a hundred years the Western powers have chosen the dictatorial rulers of Muslim countries, drawn their boundaries, supported leaders or removed them at its own whim (as S. Hussein in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, Khaddafi in Libya, etc.) and inserted Israel into Arab territory for its own reasons. Has it ever occurred to you that if Muslim nations had been allowed to develop according to their own preferences, we might possibly have a more rational and peaceful world today? I can't prove this obviously, but it does seem clear that the more the US attacks and interferes, the more hostile the Muslims become. As an American I would like to see my country behave in a more decent way and with less self-serving propaganda.
jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins
And was America to blame for Jihadi activity thousands of years ago before its existence? Do you not realize that their actvity is given full sanction, and indeed commands them to go to war with the Kufar? Currently, there is Jihadi activity in countries stretching from India toChechnya and in several African countries. They all have to do with Islamic aggression against there neighbors and almost nothing to do with " western imperialism'
Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37
"Thousands of years ago" Islam did not exist. I hold to my original point that Islamic terrorism has been created by unjustified Western interference.
jlord37 -> Vivienne Perkins
Islam first appeared on the world stage in about the year 620 AD.
Vivienne Perkins -> jlord37
Which means it is now 1,395 years old (not thousands) and I doubt that it's legitimate to equate its idea that it was entitled to make forcible conversions to the present situation, which seems to me to have arisen fairly recently as a response to Western meddling in Arab lands.
Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37
The answer to the one of your question is a LOWD Yes: It was the FIRST CRUSADES that brought religiosity into the GAME OF KINGS: enlarging kingdoms at the expense of neighbouring kingdoms. The First Crusade was indeed nearly a thousand years ago. The only differences between JIHAD and CRUSADE are:
1. CRUSADERS are more cruel, surreptitious, deceptive, etc.
2. Crusades have no moral component, the goal is political supremacy. Jihad is about moral supremacy, justice and equality.
Since you bring religion into the mix, try to re-read the bible (the new and the old, both of which) PRESCRIBE DEATH to heretics and non-believers. Here is a action in pursuance of such biblical dictate:
"A Spanish missionary, Bartolome de las Casas, described eye-witness accounts of mass murder, torture and rape. 2 Author Barry Lopez, summarizing Las Casas' report wrote:
"One day, in front of Las Casas, the Spanish dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 people. 'Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight,' he says, 'as no age can parallel....' The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that 'devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.' They used nursing infants for dog food." 3
Currently there is CRUSADING MISSIONARY activity in all non-Christian lands by religious warrior-fanatics (wearing the piety hat of the Christian hue). Read about the recent reaction local Hindu population in India against such activity.
First the Western nations used the RELIGION hat to subdue MORALLY SUPPERIOR but less BLOOD-THURSTY peoples; When that strategy ceased to work they rolled out a second version called DEMOCRACY. The second is as much of a sham as the earlier attempt.
Even internal to American, the "down trodden" masses are beginning to cry foul. The prevailing poverty rate in America is staggering. See the figures in most authoritative publications.
Reading does bring enlightenment. That is why I read from diverse sources.
jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri
Yes that's why millions of people are seeking to emigrate by any means necessary., and not the reverse. I can assure the " impoverished masses" in the west are in a lot better shape than they are in your neck of the woods.
But I think your trying to deflect once again. That Christianity ad well as other religions has had a bloody past, is no revelation, band I for one am no big fan. But steps have been taken since than, to temper the extremism that brought on these acts. One does not read of to many beheadings and or sucide bombings in the name of Jesus, Buddha, or Shiva. This is not meant as a criticism of Muslim people per se, or a put down of that particular of the world, it is merely mea by as a critique of some of the problems that I, and countless others see in the Islamic faith. There's no question that the leadership in the west, can be very corrupt and rapacious at times, but I think the general trend is towards an attempt at understanding and accommodation. Now, I think it is time for the Muslim world to attempt some sort of inner dialogue where they take steps towards a dressing and correcting their own problems. I enjoyed our discussion, and I hope we will be able to part in civil terms. Best wishes.
Jamil M Chaudri -> jlord37
First of all let me disabuse your notion of "my neck of the woods". In one of my earlier posting I have clearly stated that I am a proud American Citizen, living in a well wooded and watered part of the US of A. But as my country has gone wayward (essentially in pursuit of the buck) from its charter I am trying to bring America back to its promise.
You have levied accusation against me of "deflecting" arguments. Let me tell you what your problem is: you want to levy unsubstantiated accusations against others, and when they, with references, confront your falsehoods and soothsaying, you accuse the other of "deflecting" or "hijacking" the discussion! Pot calling the kettle black? Man, it is you who is unable to stick to the argument – but then, as you have no argument, of course, you have nothing to stick to. Your statements are based on your penchant for name-calling, bad mouthing, others. Perhaps your mind-set suggests that with such strategies, you will be the last "man standing" (?).
In my first posing on Dr Kotkin's article, I simply wanted to repudiate the so called "World Order". By what right have Great Britain and France seats at the Security Council. By definition in a democratic set-up, every unit has equal rights. What Dr Kotkins calls a World Order is therefore a sham democracy, created to benefit the West.
Under the guise of bringing democracy to Iraqia, Afghania, Libya, the Yemen, etc. the west is simply trying to prolong its hegemony. It is a sham democracy they impose on weak nations. Pliant regimes are being installed, and millions of people being killed. Any voice that is raised against such pseudo-democracy is silenced by force, by the thugs installed as "democratic" regimes. This is western patronage.
Presently, you read about EXCESSES done by the lunatic fringes of the Muslim Society (these groups, by the way, were created by and operate with the support of CIA – so that organisations like HOMELAND Security can get more dollars), because 90% of the news buzz is created by American media.
The USA is a state trying to improve its democracy on a continuous basis. In 1777 did America treat all people the same way? When was the promulgation of freedom (of SLAVES) passed in America? When was the voting rights acts passed? Are the economic developments of the Whites and Blacks (call it Afro-American, if you like) even TODAY at the same level?
I wish you and your, the very best. May Allah have his mercy on us as a Nation, so that we can STANDING TOGETHER still sing the Star-Spangled Banner.
jlord37 -> Jamil M Chaudri
We currently have a black president, black attorney General, a black director of homeland security, and a black national security adviser. That's not to mention the various statutes and regulations on the books that are strictly enforced to prevent discrimination and instances of inequality. Are these details of such small consequence? With regards to your observations of so called regime change, I am in complete agreement with you . I against such interventions wether it is Cairo or Kiev. It is up to the indigenous population of that country to determine the course that their country should take, and not have to be subjected to outside interference. However, I have to ask the question, do you really think that the CIA bears the sole responsibility for the for the existence of these groups? Could it be that they're trying to co opt them and use them for their own purposes? Im almost certain that the CIA didn't create the leaders who take certain texts and use them for recruitment purposes. All I'm suggesting is that we need to hear more from the moderate elements, and that some sort of reformation May have to be undertaken, much in the way it occurred in other religions. ( Christianity for example )
Finally, Im not sure where you got the idea that I " have a penchant of bad mouthing others" but nevertheless, I sincerely apologize if I have offended you in anyway. You are a worthy opponent, and it's been an enlightening discussion to say the least.
Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri
Stephen Kotkin is a Jewish shill for the oligarchy.
Jamil M Chaudri -> Robert Munro
I only knew Dr Kotkin's background as a historian; his religious affiliation did not concern me. The only part of his writing that offended me was the concept of "World Order". I do not accept nor do I want anybody else to be suppressed by the unbridled-capitalists.
Unfortunately, to exercise unbridled capitalism, the underpinning is provided by exercise of power over others. It is the RAPE OF NATIONS.
Robert Munro -> Jamil M Chaudri
I've read Kotkin before. He advocates a world ruled by an elite (unspecified). However, from his background and affiliations, it's very possible that his mind-set matches that of Baruch Levy, below..........
"The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.
In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the
Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the
resources of the state.
Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands."
Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928
Given the 3000 year history of Judaism, its religious writings, its possession of nuclear weapons and control of the American government/economy/media, it seems appropriate to take such claims very seriously.
Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON
Here's some more "fantasy" about your barbaric cult............
BTW- All three of the links above are to Jewish web sites - civilized Jews.
Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON
It is the cult for which you shill that is the disease.......for 3000 years you have been a malignant cancer trying to metastasize throughout our world.
Robert Munro -> BAKER ALLON
The disease that sickens and, hopefully, will kill your cult is truth...............
"To communicate anything with a Goy about our relations would be equal to the killing of all Jews, for if the Goyim knew what we teach about them, they would kill us openly." (found in both the Torah and Talmud)
Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP
Of course, of course. But then, there are even some people with eyes who do not see. For them it is a blessing, for they see no evil. It is really a mental condition due to aberrant eye. By the way, Yogi Berra is supposed to have said: "You can observe a lot just by watching". But perhaps street-walkers in Europe do not watch, because their game is different, and they are enjoying the benefits of their game.
I do not want to shatter your innocence, but slaves are not seen by street-walkers: Slaves are consigned to SLAVE QUARTERS. Present day, western world has built slave quarters in India, Pakistan, Sudan, Congo, etc. This is where the Western Worlds Slaves Live. If you want to read the whole report goto: http://www.globalslaveryindex....
India has the largest number of slaves in the world (14 million).
Mind you, A related concept is "wage slavery". To understand this concept requires sensibility.
Yet another but even more subtle concept is "mental slavery". A variation of this is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Mental Slavery is a totally abject state where the person ceases to think eigenartig but assumes the likes and hates of the person/people who have programmed him/her.
From the last line in your post, I can only assume that deep programming has been done. Programmed consciousness is virtual reality.
ARJAN VELLEKOOP -> Jamil M Chaudri
So, now the west should care for what governments in other countries do with their citizens? I thought you hated imperialists! Your reference to India is just idiotic. Why should the west feel responsible for the condition India is in?! You are probably going to say the colonial past. Well, thats bullcrap since there are plenty of countries which have grown, since their liberty, into decent and reasonably wealthy states. The west is not responsible for India, India is responsible for itself.
Particularly the Middle Eastern countries have shown behaviour to shift the blame away from their own failures. Maybe it have to do with their Islamic background, in which so many actions are based/motivated from religious basis. And of course the prophet is never wrong, so it must be the fault of a imperialist outsider.
Get real. The countries which contain these so called slaves, can make their own choices. They dont have to be part of the capitalist terrible world order. They can make the better choice like you and other believe it. Sadly enough, that idea is, apparently, not that good. Because good ideas sell itself.
Jamil M Chaudri -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP
You seem unable to differentiate between an imperialist and a "good Samaritan". You had earlier written that, as a street walker in Europe you had not seen any slaves, my response to that posting simply told you where you could go to see slavery. And specific reference to India was simply to help you find slavery most easily - with 14 million slaves India is the centre of Modern Slavery. However, in my conversations with Indians, especially the demi-literate ones, instead of admitting to the prevailing REALITY in India, they do not admit to seeing it. With their eyes open, the street walkers do not see it.
There is absolutely no religious underpinning for State Government in any of the states where Muslims are in Majority. The Saudi Family are are there because of America; the present rule in Iran is a reaction to America (re-)installing the 2-cent "SHAH" to rule the Iranian Nation. The present excesses of the Iranian state are essentially defense postures against America intransigence, and mechanisms to harm (and if possible) destroy the Iranian Nation.
I experience reality every day. If you would just come out of your VIRTUAL REALITY, you might by just watching observe some. I know deprogramming is not easy, and self-deprogramming is even more difficult.
All the same, I suggest that you wake up and smell the Coffee; if not try some smelling salts.
Robert Munro -> ARJAN VELLEKOOP
And we have read the drivel of thousands of shills for the oligarchy and the Zionist/Fascist cult...............such as yourself.
Ivan Night Terrible
Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin-Putin... :)) Hmmm... oк, about Putin: Look at Putin's foreign agenda this past year: Latin America just as the sanctions came in - an intentional finger in Washington's eye, as I read it - then China, China again recently, Turkey more recently, India just now. He has not been to Iran, but there, as in all these other places, he has forged or reiterated promising relations. The deals cut are too numerous to list. A couple are worth mentioning. The twin gas deals with China, worth nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars, are historic all by themselves. In six years' time China will be buying more gas from Russia than the latter now sells to Europe. And do not miss this: My sources tell me that this gas can be priced such as to crowd the U.S. at least partially out of the Asian market. Other side of the world: Putin has just canceled a planned pipeline to southeastern Europe, the South Stream. This is the defeat Western media put it over as, surely: Russia loses some customers. But two points:
- One, it was soon enough clear that the Europeans, having used South Stream as leverage in the sanctions game, probably overplayed their hand. The day following the announcement they were struggling for composure so far as I can make out.
- Two, Putin stunned everyone with his decision from Ankara, where he stood with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to announce that South Stream would be rerouted to serve the Turkish market. Think about this: It is more than a new deal; there are significant political and diplomatic implications in this, given Turkey's traditional alliances, its EU aspirations and so on.
Dec 01, 2017 | www.unz.com
Report on the US-Russian War
I am often asked if the US and Russia will go to war with each other. I always reply that they are already at war. Not a war like WWII, but a war nonetheless. This war is, at least for the time being, roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% kinetic. But in political terms the outcome for the loser of this war will be no less dramatic than the outcome of WWII was for Germany: the losing country will not survive it, at least not in its present shape: either Russia will become a US colony again or the AngloZionist Empire will collapse.
In my very first column for the Unz Review entitled " A Tale of Two World Orders " I described the kind of multipolar international system regulated by the rule of law that Russia, China and their allies and friends worldwide (whether overt or covert) are trying to build and how dramatically different it was from the single World Hegemony that the AngloZionists have attempted to establish (and almost successfully imposed upon our suffering planet!). In a way, the US imperial leaders are right , Russia does represent an existential threat, not for the United States as a country or for its people, but for the AngloZionist Empire, just as the latter represents an existential threat to Russia. Furthermore, Russia represents a fundamental civilizational challenge to what is normally called the "West" as she openly rejects its post-Christian (and, I would add, also viscerally anti-Islamic) values. This is why both sides are making an immense effort at prevailing in this struggle.
Last week the anti-imperial camp scored a major victory with the meeting between Presidents Putin, Rouhani and Erdogan in Sochi: they declared themselves the guarantors of a peace plan which will end the war against the Syrian people (the so-called "civil war", which this never was) and they did so without inviting the US to participate in the negotiations. Even worse, their final statement did not even mention the US, not once. The "indispensable nation" was seen as so irrelevant to even be mentioned.
To fully measure how offensive all this is we need to stress a number of points:
First, led by Obama, all the leaders of the West declared urbi et orbi and with immense confidence that Assad had no future, that he had to go, that he was already a political corpse and that he would have no role whatsoever to play in the future of Syria.
Second, the Empire created a "coalition" of 59 (!) countries, which failed to achieve anything, anything at all: a gigantic multi-billion dollar " gang that could not shoot straight " led by CENTCOM and NATO, which only proved its most abject incompetence. In contrast, Russia never had more than 35 combat aircraft in Syria at any time and turned the course of the war (with a lot of Iranian and Hezbollah help on the ground).
Next, the Empire decreed that Russia was "isolated" and her economy " in tatters " – all of which the Ziomedia parroted with total fidelity . Iran was, of course, part of the famous " Axis of Evil ," while Hezbollah was the " A-Team of terrorism ". As for Erdogan, the AngloZionists tried to overthrow and kill him. And now it is Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey who defeated the terrorists and will call the shots in Syria.
Finally, when the US realized that putting Daesh in power in Damascus was not going to happen, they first tried to break up Syria (Plan B) and then tried to create a Kurdish statelet in Iraq and Syria (Plan C). All these plans failed, Assad is in Russia giving hugs to Putin , while Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Quds Force Commander General Soleimani is taking a stroll through the last Syrian city to be liberated from Daesh .
Can you imagine how totally humiliated, ridiculed, and beaten the US leaders feel today? Being hated or resisted is one thing, but being totally ignored – now that hurts!
As for a strategy, the best they could come up with was what I would call a "petty harassment of Russia": making RT sign up as a foreign agent, stealing ancient art from Russia , stripping Russian athletes from medals en masse , trying to ban the Russian flag and anthem from the Olympics in Seoul or banning Russian military aircraft from the next Farnborough airshow. And all these efforts have achieved is making Putin even more popular, the West even more hated, and the Olympics even more boring (ditto for Farnborough – the MAKS and the Dubai Air Shows are so much 'sexier' anyway). Oh, I almost forgot, the "new Europeans" will continue their mini-war against old Soviet statues to their liberators. It's just like the US mini-war on the Russian representations in the US, a clear sign of weakness .
Speaking of weakness.
This is becoming comical. The US media, especially CNN, cannot let a day go by without mentioning the evil Russians, the US Congress is engaged in mass hysteria trying to figure out which of the Republicans and the Democrats have had more contacts with the Russians, NATO commanders are crapping their pants in abject terror (or so they say!) every time the Russian military organizes any exercise, the US Navy and Air Force representatives regularly whine about Russian pilots making "unprofessional intercepts", the British Navy goes into full combat mode when a single (and rather modest) Russian aircraft carrier transits through the English Channel – but Russia is, supposedly, the "weak" country here.
Does that make sense to you?
The truth is that the Russians are laughing. From the Kremlin, to the media, to the social media – they are even make hilarious sketches about how almighty they are and how they control everything. But mostly the Russians are laughing their heads off wondering what in the world the folks in the West are smoking to be so totally terrified ( at least officially ) by a non-existing threat.
You know what else they are seeing?
That western political leaders are seeking safety in numbers. Hence the ridiculously bloated "coalitions" and all the resolutions coming out of various European and trans-Atlantic bodies. Western politicians are like schoolyard nerds who, fearing the tough kid, huddle together to look bigger. Every Russian kid knows that seeking safety in numbers is a surefire sign of a scared wimp. In contrast, the Russians also remember how a tiny nation of less than 2 million people had the courage to declare war on Russia and how they fought the Russians hard, really hard. I am talking about the Chechens of course. Yeah, love them or hate them – but there is no denying that Chechens are courageous. Ditto for the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The Russians were impressed. And even though the Nazis inflicted an unspeakable amount of suffering on the Russian people, the Russians never deny that the German soldiers and officers were skilled and courageous. There is even a Russian saying "I love/respect the courageous man in the Tatar/Mongol" (л юблю молодца и в татарине). So Russians have no problem seeing courage in their enemies.
... ... ...
Russia: the Russian strategy towards the Empire is simple:Try to avoid as much as possible and for as long as possible any direct military confrontation with the US because Russia is still the weaker side (mostly in quantitative terms). That, and actively preparing for war under the ancient si vis pacem para bellum strategy. Try to cope as best can be with all the "petty harassment": the US still has infinitely more "soft power" than Russia and Russia simply does not have the means to strike back in kind. So she does the minimum to try to deter or weaken the effects of that kind of "petty harassment" but, in truth, there is not much she can do about it besides accepting it as a fact of life. Rather than trying to disengage from the AngloZionist controlled Empire (economically, financially, politically), Russia will very deliberately contribute to the gradual emergence of an alternative realm. A good example of that is the Chinese-promoted New Silk Road which is being built without any meaningful role for the Empire.
US: the US strategy is equally simple: Use the Russian "threat" to give a meaning and a purpose to the Empire, especially NATO. Continue and expand the "petty harassment" against Russia on all levels. Subvert and weaken as much as possible any country or politician showing any signs of independence or disobedience (including New Silk Road countries)
Both sides are using delaying tactics, but for diametrically opposite reasons: Russia, because time is on her side and the US, because they have run out of options.
It is important to stress here that in this struggle Russia is at a major disadvantage: whereas the Russians want to build something, the Americans only want to destroy it (examples include Syria, of course, but also the Ukraine or, for that matter, a united Europe). Another major disadvantage for Russia is that most governments out there as still afraid of antagonizing the Empire in any way, thus the deafening silence and supine submissiveness of the "concert of nations" when Uncle Sam goes on one of his usual rampages in total violation of international law and the UN Charter. This is probably changing, but very, very slowly. Most world politicians are just like US Congressmen: prostitutes (and cheap ones at that).
The biggest advantage for Russia is that the US are internally falling apart economically, socially, politically – you name it. With every passing year the once most prosperous United States are starting to look more and more like some backwater Third World country. Oh sure, the US economy is still huge (but rapidly shrinking!), but that is meaningless when financial wealth and social wealth are conflated into one completely misleading index of pseudo-prosperity. This is sad, really, a country that ought to be prosperous and happy is being bled to death by the, shall we say, "imperial parasite" feeding on it.
At the end of the day, political regimes can only survive by the consent of those they rule. In the United States this consent is clearly in the process of being withdrawn. In Russia it has never been stronger. This translates into a major fragility of the US and, therefore, the Empire (the US are by far the biggest host of the AngloZionist imperial parasite) and a major source of staying power for Russia.
All of the above applies only to political regimes, of course. The people of Russia and of the US have exactly the same interests: bringing down the Empire with the least amount of violence and suffering as possible. Like all Empires, the US Empire mostly abused others in its formative and peak years, but as any decaying Empire it is now mostly abusing its own people. It is therefore vital to always repeat that an "Empire-free US" would have no reason to see an enemy in Russia and vice-versa. In fact, Russia and the US could be ideal partners, but the "imperial parasites" will not allow that to happen. Thus we are all stuck in an absurd and dangerous situation which could result in a war which would completely destroy most of our planet.
For whatever it's worth, and in spite of the constant hysterical Russophobia in the US Ziomedia, I detect absolutely no sign whatsoever that this campaign is having any success with the people in the US. At most, some of them naively buy into the "the Russians tried to interfere in our elections" fairy tale, but even in this case this belief is mitigated by "no big deal, we also do that in other countries". I have yet to meet a American who would seriously believe that Russia is any kind of danger. I don't even detect superficial reactions of hostility when, for example, I speak Russian with my family in a public place. Typically, we are asked what language we are speaking and when we reply "Russian" the reaction normally is "cool!". Quite often I even hear "what do you think of Putin? I really like him". This is in severe contrast with the federal government whom the vast majority of Americans seem to hate with a passion.
To summarize it all, I would say that at this point in time of the US-Russian war, Russia is wining, the Empire is losing and the US is suffering. As for the EU it is "enjoying" a much deserved irrelevance while being mostly busy absorbing wave after wave of society-destroying refugees proving, yet again, the truth of the saying that if your head is in the sand, your ass is in the air.
This war is far from over, I don't even think that we have reach its peak yet and things are going to get worse before they get better again. But all in all, I am very optimistic that the Axis of Kindness will bite the dust in a relatively not too distant future.
yurivku , December 1, 2017 at 7:16 am GMTReading texts from Saker is a sip of fresh water in a rotten pool. His words "things are going to get worse before they get better again" could come true, but also could never happen cause current Cold War very likely may be converted to very hot one. And they will not get better. The common West doing everything for it.MarkU , December 1, 2017 at 10:40 am GMT
Saker said "Russians laughing" – yes, we do sometimes, but when we hear last news from "soft harassment" like attacks on our sportsmen, diplomats or reporters we are clenching our fists. We do not feel bad on western people, but this is not the case when to talk about the country as whole, counry which being determinated by its tops. There is a limit to any patience.
Amount of idiocy of current American authorities and society as whole is amazing. Looking in the past I can't see such desperate clowns as those on the top: McCains, Clintons, Haleys at last Trump! and hundreds of powerful people who can not distinguish between Austria and Australia, all of those stupid askin to punish Russia!
So, I'd like to be mistaken, but I'm not optimistic about the future of our planet and I believe it is the "West" who can change something, not Russia, we are staying near the last red line and not gonna retreat.The financial dynasties which have ruled the western world for the last few centuries are evidently in the final stages of degeneration. Their ancestors were at least intelligent people whatever one might think about their ethics. So far as I am able to tell we are now being ruled by people who only have one notable characteristic, arrogance. They are to the western world what Caligula and Nero were to Rome, poison and delusion. I doubt very much that there will be a happy outcome.Randal , December 1, 2017 at 10:53 am GMT
Inherited wealth on a massive scale is the problem, when individuals are born with enough wealth to confer political influence even over the wealthiest countries, then democracy can only be a sham. Bill Gates (of all people) was on the right track a few years ago when he declared that he was only going to pass down to his descendants enough money to live comfortably for one lifetime. Until some sort of sane cap is placed on inherited wealth then we will continue to be ruled by people with mediocre ability advised by second-rate intellectuals who are prepared to tell them what they want to hear.
The biggest threat to our continued existence is not the strength of the Russian federation but its weakness. Outspent and outnumbered hugely by the EU alone (whatever the paid liars in Washington say) their only credible defence in the event of open warfare is their nuclear arsenal, we can only hope they never need to use it.The Scalpel , Website December 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm GMT
Can you imagine how totally humiliated, ridiculed, and beaten the US leaders feel today? Being hated or resisted is one thing, but being totally ignored – now that hurts!
Saker could have added to the list of self-inflicted defeats for the US regime and foreign policy elites their ongoing humiliation over North Korea, where they have endlessly tried to insist that the US has some kind of special right for its enemies not to be allowed even to possess weapons that could potentially attack them, and postured and menaced in response to the NK government's defiance, but have so far been forced to accept that they can do nothing about it, as Pat Buchanan discusses today . And as Pat points out, this is a situation entirely of the US regime's making – by operating a sustained policy of military aggressions, and especially of attacking those that foolishly rely upon submission to their demands (Gaddafi) and undermining any agreements they make (Iran), they created the situation in which going all out for a nuclear deterrent became the most rational course available for NK.
The US might yet choose to wage another war of aggression in order to avoid yet another self-inflicted humiliation, or an unintended war might start as a result of the US regime's irresponsible military buildup and provocations, but if either happens, the costs will be colossal and any gains trivial, "win" or lose.
But mostly the Russians are laughing their heads off wondering what in the world the folks in the West are smoking to be so totally terrified (at least officially) by a non-existing threat.
That's not the only gross absurdity in US sphere society that Russians are laughing at, apparently:
Russian TV defends men over sex pest claims
Nor is Russia resisting the opportunity to twist the knife on the US's Korean nightmare:
North Korea: Russia accuses US of goading Kim Jong-un
Lavrov, like Putin, has made a practice of dropping such truth-bombs on the US regime. And who can blame them, if the US regime insists on handing them the ammunition, time after time?
Over the past thirty years, at least, the US regime has ensured that the truth is anti-American.yurivku , December 1, 2017 at 1:07 pm GMT"US would have no reason to see an enemy in Russia and vice-versa. In fact, Russia and the US could be ideal partners"
This is the dream I had when the "wall" came down. But instead, I saw that my belief that the US government was a "white knight in shining armor" acting for "truth, justice, and the american way" and to "make the world safe for democracy" was only a dream, a foolish fantasy. I had been deceived. I had wanted to be an Army general and was a Distinguished Graduate of the USMA. Now I resigned my commission as an Army officer, took off my uniform, and extended my arm to stop the tanks.
I hope to live to see the day of a multipolar world in peace. It is possible, but it must come from below. An "American Spring" is essential. I hope my complacent countrymen will see this before it is too late.@The ScalpelAndrei Martyanov , Website December 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Now I resigned my commission as an Army officer, took off my uniform, and extended my arm to stop the tanks.
I took off the uniform of Soviet Army officer more than 30 years ago. Was an officer in anti aircraft division.
I hope to live to see the day of a multipolar world in peace. It is possible, but it must come from below.
I hope too, but currenly a ball is on your side of a field. We (Russians) actually can't retreat any more. If US will keep its "soft harrasment" the result could be extremly bad. And I see no reason to expect sane behaviour from US establishment. They are insane, what about a majority of american people ? I don't know. But its must "come from below" of US society, not from us, we already did.@The ScalpelAndrei Martyanov , Website December 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT
This is the dream I had when the "wall" came down.
At that time (early 1990s) this was almost a consensus among many professionals on Russian side that this was possible. By 1999 it became clear that situation degenerated to such a degree that no compromise was possible anymore. Part of it was rooted in the nature of re-emerging genuine Russian state, the lion share, however, was in neocons completely subverting US foreign policy.@MarkUTomSchmidt , December 1, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT
their only credible defence in the event of open warfare is their nuclear arsenal
Sir, don't repeat discredited propaganda memes. If you don't trust me, which is fine, read opinion on the man who has decades of working and serving with this very NATO, not to mention his deep knowledge on military-diplomatic terms of Russia.
In fact, it is the United States who is the most likely user of its nuclear arsenal and it has nothing to do with Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing.At the end of the day, political regimes can only survive by the consent of those they rule. In the United States this consent is clearly in the process of being withdrawn.nickels , December 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT
That really is the nub of the matter there. The elites are fumbling about, trying to save themselves in the USA and their unearned perquisites. As the Saker says, the imperial parasite is sucking dry what should be a wealthy and peaceful land.Too much depends on China, and I don't trust them. The godless money grubbers may chose to ally with the (((Anglos))) and stab Russia in the back just like Russia allied with the (((Brits))) to stab Germany in the back. The world pivots on the Yellow Peril.Andrei Martyanov , Website December 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT@Hank ReardenCurmudgeon , December 1, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT
except for the reference to Conchita Wurst, of which I'm unfamiliar. I was curious enough to google it, and now I can't unsee that. Dear God, I need a brainwash.
LOL, tell me about that – same here. I heard of IT (This, that, creature etc.) but at some point of time I took a look. Boy, was I sorry:))@Priss FactorCyrano , December 1, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT
America's Founding was also marked by this great contradiction. It was, in one sense, a universal republic committed to principles that rose above tribe or nation.
Given that the Naturalization Act of 1790 allowed for Whites only, the concept of a universal republic was, obviously, not entirely universal.
As for Anglo-Americans, their importation of large numbers of black Africans to toil as slaves and then huge numbers of 'ethnic' European immigrants -- especially the feisty and pushy Jews -- led to increasing pressure to transform America into a 'proposition'
There was already a steady supply of White slaves (indentured servants) coming from the UK. The importation of Africans was mainly in Jewish hands, as the (((reviled))) Tony Martin pointed out. This ramped up considerably after Anthony Johnson, a Black landowner who was a former indentured servant, sued and won the right to keep slaves for life. Ironically, his two white slaves were also included in the judgement. So much for White privilege.At one point the US was so confident that they managed to "fix" the middle east, that they were talking about "pivot" to Asia, which was nothing more than a veiled threat to China that they are next on the list to be "fixed". So the pivot to Asia didn't really happen, as it turns out the middle east wasn't really "fixed", not the way the wanted it anyway. Then the fiasco in Ukraine happened where they had to turn their attention to Russia.Anon , Disclaimer December 1, 2017 at 8:14 pm GMT
May I be so bold as to suggest few names for the new US policies towards Russia after 2014 – using "pivot to Asia" as a guidance? How about:
1. Somersault to Russia? Or,
2. Cartwheel to Russia? Or maybe,
3. Backflip to Russia?
Note that all 3 suggested choices try to point out to the acrobatic skills needed in order for the missions named after them to succeed.First, there is no war. The real/unreal "war" continues because it serves the powers that be on both sides. On the US side, it serves as an excuse for an enormous "defense" spending that now exceeds defense spending of the rest of the world combined. This massive flow of taxpayers' money into the pockets of the few who feed at the Pentagon trough needs some "justification", and "evil Russia" serves admirably.Andrei Martyanov , Website December 1, 2017 at 8:29 pm GMT
On the Russian side, Putin's generally anti-US foreign policy, which is supported by the great majority of Russians, "justifies" his grip on power despite the fact that the internal policies of his government, which also enrich very few at the expense of the rest, are very unpopular.
The US never wages a real war on anyone who has WMDs. North Korea is the most up-to-date example of this. The very fact of the US invasion of Iraq or bombing of Syria showed that the US was 100% sure that neither Saddam nor Assad have WMDs. The US elites, dumb and shortsighted though they are, understand deep down that they need to stay alive to enjoy their loot. As Ukrainian saying puts it, "coffins have no pockets".
But there is a stiff competition: the US Empire is going downhill, like the British Empire a century ago, and the Chinese are happy to have Russia spearhead the resistance (which they quietly support in many ways). I doubt that Chinese domination would be any more benign than shameless and brutal US domination, but we'll see soon enough: in 20-30 years the US will be relegated to the position of a second-tier power. I am not even sure that Chinese domination would be in Russia's interests any more than the US domination, but US elites in their incredible stupidity forced Russia to ally with China and all anti-American forces in the world, as diverse as Iran and North Korea.
The US is losing so fast due to blind greed and overall degradation of its elites, who keep biting off a lot more than they can chew and behaving like it's 1990. But the ultimate win would be more China's than Russia's, unless Russia manages to create a tri-polar world with China and India, which would be certainly better than any unipolar world can possibly be.Erebus , December 2, 2017 at 2:51 am GMT
1. Somersault to Russia? Or,
2. Cartwheel to Russia? Or maybe,
3. Backflip to Russia?
Without jokes, but that is a perfect visual representation of a contemporary American foreign policy.@CyranoLow Voltage , December 2, 2017 at 3:52 am GMT
1. Somersault to Russia? Or,
2. Cartwheel to Russia? Or maybe,
3. Backflip to Russia?
Note that all 3 suggested choices try to point out to the acrobatic skills needed in order for the missions named after them to succeed.
In the end, it will be a spastic lurch and a nosedive into the ditch on the road to Moscow.Instead of AngloZionist Empire, I like just to call it the "Confederacy."Beckow , December 2, 2017 at 4:19 am GMT
1. The Southern Generals strut around the globe like they own the place.
2. We're a resource-based economy with a free trade mantra.
3. Slave labor camps litter the Empire (though only in prisons in Confederate Homeland).
4. Hyper Police State.
5. Everyone defines themselves by their skin color.
Would anyone else care to add this list?@peterAUSErebus , December 2, 2017 at 8:48 am GMT
"The same "hegemon with allies/vassals" as it is now, only in that case divided in three"
Why? There is absolutely nothing about 'multipolar' that dictates three, or four 'hegemons', or even lists who would the 'multis' be. The idea is simply that most people, most of the time are better off left alone.
Is that so hard to understand? Why should people in Washington (or Moscow, Beijing, Brussels, ) be intimately involved with how others live their lives, with their fights and alliances? Knowledge always dissipates with distance, and most of the 'masters of the universe' are not that smart to start with.
Multipolar is just that – leave exercise of power and responsibility as close to the local situation as possible. Brussels telling Poland who should be a TV presenter, or Washington deciding what people in rural Hungary should read is idiotic. What's the point of all this busy-body behaviour? It is always justified by some slogans about preventing 'human rights violations'. Right. We have seen the results – a lot more people have died and suffered because of 'humanitarian' interventions than from anything else in the last 20+ years.
I do find the current rapprochement between Russia and the major Moslem states amusing. It goes beyond Turkey and Iran, Moscow is working all of them, Egypt, Sudan, I suspect it is a clever attempt to beat US at its own game – US has spent about four decades arming and unleashing any Islamic force it could find against Russians (and Slavs in general), using methods that were beyond brutal and hypocrisy that eventually backfired. Maybe turning it around is a good strategy. It is inconsistent, but when you fight extreme stupidity, often the only thing that works is to use more stupidity@BeckowBrzez , December 2, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT
"The same "hegemon with allies/vassals" as it is now, only in that case divided in three"
Why? There is absolutely nothing about 'multipolar' that dictates three, or four 'hegemons', or even lists who would the 'multis' be. The idea is simply that most people, most of the time are better off left alone.
Peter's is the apocalyptic view made famous by Orwell. He may be right, it may all unravel and Oceania, Eurasia & Eastasia run a classic 3-power calculus of shifting alliances in a struggle for control of the "hinterlands". Not at all impossible, but certainly not what the proponents of the multipolar world want.
The idea is much more than the notion that most people want to "be left alone". The Multipolar world as it is actually being constructed by its proponents, from its monetary structures to its security, commercial and trade regimes, is precisely the attempt to prevent that Orwellian development in the face of Western decline. Their foundational tenet is that Globalization as a world-historical trend is here to stay (for at least the next few generations), and the "compartmentalization" of the world into alliances and hegemonies as historically occurred is no longer a viable option. The 3 Orwellian powers are all nuclear now, and the #1 priority is to mitigate the risk of war between them. Best to do that by dissolving them into a matrix of commercial and developmental programs that they'd be loathe to destroy.
EG: Though Russia considers both China and Iran "strategic partners", there is no formal alliance with either of them, and there won't be. Alliances cannot be "forbidden", but the countries that have signed onto the multipolar world program view alliances with suspicion.
As a introduction to the coming multipolar world, Kupchan's Western-centric analysis is a good place to start: https://www.amazon.com/No-Ones-World-Council-Relations/dp/0199325227
"Kupchan provides a detailed strategy for striking a bargain between the West and the rising rest by fashioning a new consensus on issues of legitimacy, sovereignty, and governance."
Assuming he even knows the least thing about what the multipolar world is trying to do, Peter's view is that their attempt will fail. Maybe so.
To "fashion a new consensus on issues of legitimacy, sovereignty, and governance" requires that the professional criminal class that grabbed the remains of Western power a decade and a half ago has been forced to let go. If not, the world indeed faces an abyss.
Orwell's vision is but one of the possibilities. Another is Armageddon. Yet another is a "(Failed) West and a multipolar Rest". The latter is what I think will actually happen in the near and medium term. Things being what they are, it may even be the best we can hope for.@The ScalpelBeckow , December 2, 2017 at 9:32 pm GMT
"The white knight in shining armor" actually turned out to be a cowardly greedy coyote who unsuccessfully tried to fit into a stolen somewhere sheep skin.@peterAUSBeckow , December 2, 2017 at 9:48 pm GMT
"Russians shouldn't have raped all those German women"
Yeah, that's the problem – WWII was all about Russians raping. Not about Germans attacking east and murdering tens of millions. How many Russian women do you think Germans 'raped'? Or maybe they just killed them, 'ubermensch', right. It doesn't seem to bother you and that is sick.
Or this vignette:
The regime in Moscow has one and only one goal: own hold on power"
While, of course the 'regimes' in Washington or Berlin spend all their time worrying about the well-being of their citizens. You really cannot be that dumb, or can you?
I made mistake responding to you, you are hopeless.@ErebusBeckow , December 2, 2017 at 10:49 pm GMT
"(Failed) West and a multipolar Rest". The latter is what I think will actually happen in the near and medium term.
I think we already have it, except I don't think West has failed yet. Or it has in a way, the process of failing goes on, but the consequences have not been felt much in the West yet.
I don't see any other power than the West (=US) aspiring to 'manage the world'. Maybe some ISIS fanatics have the same dream, but they are not in a position to achieve it. West has 'managed' it very poorly: mindless interventions, wars, migrants, hypocrisy, threats and blackmail.
The other 'powers' have very modest, regional aspirations. Russia or China really don't care that much who wins the elections in Portugal, or what regional papers write in Hungary – US seems to be obsessed with it. And the only justification that Western defenders offer when pressed is that 'there would be a vacuum' and 'Russians would move in'. This is obvious nonsense and only elderly paranoid Cold Warrior types believe it (peterAUS?). What is really going on is that West has over-reached and can barely handle its own problems. So they scream 'Russians are coming' to distract, or to prolong the agony. Russians are not coming, they don't care in 2017, they can barely control their huge territory today. More you see squealing and lying in the Western media, more it shows that they have not much else to work with.@peterAUS
Is it possible to see BOTH as bad
You only mentioned one. You always only mention one, the same one.
To be fair, Germans started the war and killed a lot more people in the east. They deserved what they got.
how about ALL those regimes (Washington, Berlin, Moscow) first and foremost care about own survival and own success
You say that now because you got caught – again – with a one-sided biased view. If people have to remind you that rules should be applied equally, you are either too far gone or have issues with basic logic. Try to be objective to start with, not after you produce a biased rant and people point it out to you.
Apr 15, 2015 | antiwar.comFormer Washington insider and four-star General Wesley Clark spilled the beans several years ago on how Paul Wolfowitz and his neoconservative co-conspirators implemented their sweeping plan to destabilize key Middle Eastern countries once it became clear that post-Soviet Russia "won't stop us."
As I recently reviewed a YouTube eight-minute clip of General Clark's October 2007 speech, what leaped out at me was that the neocons had been enabled by their assessment that -- after the collapse of the Soviet Union – Russia had become neutralized and posed no deterrent to U.S. military action in the Middle East.
While Clark's public exposé largely escaped attention in the neocon-friendly "mainstream media" (surprise, surprise!), he recounted being told by a senior general at the Pentagon shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 about the Donald Rumsfeld/Paul Wolfowitz-led plan for "regime change" in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.
This was startling enough, I grant you, since officially the United States presents itself as a nation that respects international law, frowns upon other powerful nations overthrowing the governments of weaker states, and – in the aftermath of World War II – condemned past aggressions by Nazi Germany and decried Soviet "subversion" of pro-U.S. nations.
But what caught my eye this time was the significance of Clark's depiction of Wolfowitz in 1992 gloating over what he judged to be a major lesson learned from the Desert Storm attack on Iraq in 1991; namely, "the Soviets won't stop us."
That remark directly addresses a question that has troubled me since March 2003 when George W. Bush attacked Iraq. Would the neocons – widely known as "the crazies" at least among the remaining sane people of Washington – have been crazy enough to opt for war to re-arrange the Middle East if the Soviet Union had not fallen apart in 1991?
The question is not an idle one. Despite the debacle in Iraq and elsewhere, the neocon "crazies" still exercise huge influence in Establishment Washington. Thus, the question now becomes whether, with Russia far more stable and much stronger, the "crazies" are prepared to risk military escalation with Russia over Ukraine, what retired U.S. diplomat William R. Polk deemed a potentially dangerous nuclear confrontation, a "Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse."
The geopolitical vacuum that enabled the neocons to try out their "regime change" scheme in the Middle East may have been what Russian President Vladimir Putin was referring to in his state-of-the-nation address on April 25, 2005, when he called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [past] century." Putin's comment has been a favorite meme of those who seek to demonize Putin by portraying him as lusting to re-establish a powerful USSR through aggression in Europe.
But, commenting two years after the Iraq invasion, Putin seemed correct at least in how the neocons exploited the absence of the Russian counterweight to over-extend American power in ways that were harmful to the world, devastating to the people at the receiving end of the neocon interventions, and even detrimental to the United States.
If one takes a step back and attempts an unbiased look at the spread of violence in the Middle East over the past quarter-century, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Putin's comment was on the mark. With Russia a much-weakened military power in the 1990s and early 2000s, there was nothing to deter U.S. policymakers from the kind of adventurism at Russia's soft underbelly that, in earlier years, would have carried considerable risk of armed U.S.-USSR confrontation.
I lived in the USSR during the 1970s and would not wish that kind of restrictive regime on anyone. Until it fell apart, though, it was militarily strong enough to deter Wolfowitz-style adventurism. And I will say that – for the millions of people now dead, injured or displaced by U.S. military action in the Middle East over the past dozen years – the collapse of the Soviet Union as a deterrent to U.S. war-making was not only a "geopolitical catastrophe" but an unmitigated disaster.
In his 2007 speech, General Clark related how in early 1991 he dropped in on Paul Wolfowitz, then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (and later, from 2001 to 2005, Deputy Secretary of Defense). It was just after a major Shia uprising in Iraq in March 1991. President George H.W. Bush's administration had provoked it, but then did nothing to rescue the Shia from brutal retaliation by Saddam Hussein, who had just survived his Persian Gulf defeat.
According to Clark, Wolfowitz said: "We should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein. The truth is, one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the Middle East and the Soviets won't stop us. We've got about five or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran (sic), Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."
It's now been more than 10 years, of course. But do not be deceived into thinking Wolfowitz and his neocon colleagues believe they have failed in any major way. The unrest they initiated keeps mounting – in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Lebanon – not to mention fresh violence now in full swing in Yemen and the crisis in Ukraine. Yet, the Teflon coating painted on the neocons continues to cover and protect them in the "mainstream media."
True, one neocon disappointment is Iran. It is more stable and less isolated than before; it is playing a sophisticated role in Iraq; and it is on the verge of concluding a major nuclear agreement with the West – barring the throwing of a neocon/Israeli monkey wrench into the works to thwart it, as has been done in the past.
An earlier setback for the neocons came at the end of August 2013 when President Barack Obama decided not to let himself be mouse-trapped by the neocons into ordering U.S. forces to attack Syria. Wolfowitz et al. were on the threshold of having the U.S. formally join the war against Bashar al-Assad's government of Syria when there was the proverbial slip between cup and lip. With the aid of the neocons' new devil-incarnate Vladimir Putin, Obama faced them down and avoided war.
A week after it became clear that the neocons were not going to get their war in Syria, I found myself at the main CNN studio in Washington together with Paul Wolfowitz and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, another important neocon. As I reported in "How War on Syria Lost Its Way," the scene was surreal – funereal, even, with both Wolfowitz and Lieberman very much down-in-the-mouth, behaving as though they had just watched their favorite team lose the Super Bowl.
But the neocons are nothing if not resilient. Despite their grotesque disasters, like the Iraq War, and their disappointments, like not getting their war on Syria, they neither learn lessons nor change goals. They just readjust their aim, shooting now at Putin over Ukraine as a way to clear the path again for "regime change" in Syria and Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia."]
The neocons also can take some solace from their "success" at enflaming the Middle East with Shia and Sunni now at each other's throats – a bad thing for many people of the world and certainly for the many innocent victims in the region, but not so bad for the neocons. After all, it is the view of Israeli leaders and their neocon bedfellows (and women) that the internecine wars among Muslims provide at least some short-term advantages for Israel as it consolidates control over the Palestinian West Bank.
In a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memorandum for President Obama on Sept. 6, 2013, we called attention to an uncommonly candid report about Israeli/neocon motivation, written by none other than the Israel-friendly New York Times Bureau Chief in Jerusalem Jodi Rudoren on Sept. 2, 2013, just two days after Obama took advantage of Putin's success in persuading the Syrians to allow their chemical weapons to be destroyed and called off the planned attack on Syria, causing consternation among neocons in Washington.
Rudoren can perhaps be excused for her naïve lack of "political correctness." She had been barely a year on the job, had very little prior experience with reporting on the Middle East, and – in the excitement about the almost-attack on Syria – she apparently forgot the strictures normally imposed on the Times' reporting from Jerusalem. In any case, Israel's priorities became crystal clear in what Rudoren wrote.
In her article, entitled "Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria," Rudoren noted that the Israelis were arguing, quietly, that the best outcome for Syria's (then) 2 ½-year-old civil war, at least for the moment, was no outcome:
"For Jerusalem, the status quo, horrific as it may be from a humanitarian perspective, seems preferable to either a victory by Mr. Assad's government and his Iranian backers or a strengthening of rebel groups, increasingly dominated by Sunni jihadis.
"'This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don't want one to win - we'll settle for a tie,' said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. 'Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that's the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there's no real threat from Syria.'"
Clear enough? If this is the way Israel's leaders continue to regard the situation in Syria, then they look on deeper U.S. involvement – overt or covert – as likely to ensure that there is no early resolution of the conflict there. The longer Sunni and Shia are killing each other, not only in Syria but also across the region as a whole, the safer Tel Aviv's leaders calculate Israel is.
But Israeli leaders have also made clear that if one side must win, they would prefer the Sunni side, despite its bloody extremists from Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. In September 2013, shortly after Rudoren's article, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad.
"The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc," Oren said in an interview. "We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren't backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran." He said this was the case even if the "bad guys" were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
In June 2014, Oren – then speaking as a former ambassador – said Israel would even prefer a victory by the Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. "From Israel's perspective, if there's got to be an evil that's got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail," Oren said.
Netanyahu sounded a similar theme in his March 3, 2015 speech to the U.S. Congress in which he trivialized the threat from the Islamic State with its "butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube" when compared to Iran, which he accused of "gobbling up the nations" of the Middle East.
That Syria's main ally is Iran with which it has a mutual defense treaty plays a role in Israeli calculations. Accordingly, while some Western leaders would like to achieve a realistic if imperfect settlement of the Syrian civil war, others who enjoy considerable influence in Washington would just as soon see the Assad government and the entire region bleed out.
As cynical and cruel as this strategy is, it isn't all that hard to understand. Yet, it seems to be one of those complicated, politically charged situations well above the pay-grade of the sophomores advising President Obama – who, sad to say, are no match for the neocons in the Washington Establishment. Not to mention the Netanyahu-mesmerized Congress.
Speaking of Congress, a year after Rudoren's report, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who now chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, divulged some details about the military attack that had been planned against Syria, while lamenting that it was canceled. In doing so, Corker called Obama's abrupt change on Aug. 31, 2013, in opting for negotiations over open war on Syria, "the worst moment in U.S. foreign policy since I've been here." Following the neocon script, Corker blasted the deal (since fully implemented) with Putin and the Syrians to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.
Corker complained, "In essence – I'm sorry to be slightly rhetorical – we jumped into Putin's lap." A big No-No, of course – especially in Congress – to "jump into Putin's lap" even though Obama was able to achieve the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons without the United States jumping into another Middle East war.
It would have been nice, of course, if General Clark had thought to share his inside-Pentagon information earlier with the rest of us. In no way should he be seen as a whistleblower.
At the time of his September 2007 speech, he was deep into his quixotic attempt to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. In other words, Clark broke the omerta code of silence observed by virtually all U.S. generals, even post-retirement, merely to put some distance between himself and the debacle in Iraq – and win some favor among anti-war Democrats. It didn't work, so he endorsed Hillary Clinton; that didn't work, so he endorsed Barack Obama.
Wolfowitz, typically, has landed on his feet. He is now presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's foreign policy/defense adviser, no doubt outlining his preferred approach to the Middle East chessboard to his new boss. Does anyone know the plural of "bedlam?"
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.
Reprinted with permission from Consortium News.
Nov 30, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
by Brad Hoff Posted on June 28, 2016 June 27, 2016 On a Monday morning in September of 2014 White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stepped out in front of cameras to respond to questions of "intelligence failure" and explained that both the administration and intelligence community were caught completely "surprised" over the shocking and "rapid advance" of ISIS into Iraq over the course of that summer. However, two years prior in August 2012, an intelligence official with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) stationed in Iraq had written an incredibly prescient classified report predicting that out of the Syrian war could emerge "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime "
It seems the analyst's chief concern, from his or her vantage point in Iraq, was that the international coalition fueling the rebel insurgency across the border in Syria to effect regime change in Damascus could produce a monster capable to devouring large territory. The intelligence report forecast that "ISI [Islamic State in Iraq] could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory."
The memo specifically names Ramadi and Mosul as among the first Iraqi cities to potentially fall victim to what it calls "unifying the jihad" under the banner of an Islamic State . The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) would capture Mosul in June 2014, and in a seemingly unprecedented blitz across Anbar, seize Ramadi on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Ironically, the intelligence report itself would hit public view in heavily redacted form on Monday, May 18, 2015 – just as the world was receiving news of the fall of Ramadi.
Soon after it was written, the 2012 IIR (Intelligence Information Report) landed on the desks of Congressional Intelligence Committee members, but more importantly it would be used to argue policy at the White House – this according to the DoD's chief of military intelligence at the time the memo was produced.
Director of the DIA at the time of the memo's drafting and former Sr. Intelligence Officer for JSOC, Michael Flynn, has repeatedly affirmed the report's accuracy in public statements. But now for the first time a CIA perspective has been offered: former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell recently took to Politico to weigh in on controversy surrounding the now declassified 2012 memo which further warned that "the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria" and that "the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition."
Ex-CIA #2 Morell contradicts Flynn's account of the intelligence report, writing that "it was simply wrong in its facts when it indicated that the West was supporting extremists in Syria." Morell wants you to take his word for it: "The administration went to great lengths to ensure that any aid provided by the United States to the opposition would not fall into the hands of extremists, including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda." Morell adds his voice and insider credentials to a chorus of others assuring the public that Trump is spouting debunked conspiracy theories in claiming the memo points to Obama and Hillary "support" for ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria.
While Trump mustered this document to back his usually bizarre and hyper-sensationalized rhetoric on President Obama's supposed ideological sympathies with Islamic extremism, the DIA document itself is quite substantive and worthy of public scrutiny and debate. Middle East analysts and academics have been discussing the document for the past year since its court-ordered declassification through FOIA , though it has remained largely outside of US media's notice until recently.
The Washington Post's commentary, apparently uninformed of the history of reporting and analysis of the 2012 memo, refers to it as "relatively unimportant" and as mere "routine headquarters analysis" in spite of the publicly available confirmation that the terms by which it was obtained through FOIA reflect that it was used to brief Congressional Intelligence Committee leaders.
But Morell has paid closer attention and knows the more significant context the Post left out, which is perhaps why he takes the unusual step in writing an entire editorial to ensure the public stays away from the "conspiracy" reading of the text. He is well aware that within three months of the document's declassification, Lieutenant General Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, appeared on Al Jazeera and confirmed not only that the report had risen to his agency's highest office, but that he used it to argue policy at the White House. According to Morell:
"The conspiracy theory got another boost when several news outlets reported on an interview that Mike Flynn, the director of the DIA from 2012 to 2014, gave to Al Jazeera in August 2015. The media reported that Flynn said it was a 'willful decision' by the administration to support extremists in Syria. Flynn's seniority and his interview as reported by the media gave the conspiracy theory credibility."
Morell elsewhere references "national security-related blogs," which may be an indirect reference to my own August 2015 article , which could have caught his eye after WikiLeaks posted it on its media accounts , or after Glenn Greenwald cited it in an article defending Edward Snowden against intelligence officials' charge that his leaks had aided ISIS (Morell in particular had been very vocal on this charge after the Paris attacks).
Flynn appeared on Mehdi Hasan's Head to Head to tackle of topic of "Who is to blame for the rise of ISIL?" soon after the DIA memo was featured in an explosive article in The Guardian (UK) which went viral, and immediately on the heels of a lengthy London Review of Books history of the Syrian conflict authored by the world's foremost expert in modern Algeria and its Islamist movements, Hugh Roberts.
While Middle East pundit Juan Cole previously downplayed the document's importance, Roberts gave it lengthy commentary and affirmed that "The document not only anticipates the rise of IS but seems to suggest it would be a desirable development from the point of view of the international 'coalition' seeking regime change in Damascus."
Roberts seemed to anticipate the two extreme poles around which the intelligence report would be interpreted: on one side are the conspiracists who see evidence of the West's direct and ongoing support of ISIS to sow chaos in Syria, and on the other are those who say it's a low-level IIR (Intelligence Information Report) which is of no importance.
This is precisely the false dichotomy which Morell and the Washington Post present – no doubt the inevitable result of a somewhat complex intelligence report entering partisan presidential politics (and of course just old fashion CIA lying and obfuscation).
Hugh Roberts, however, accurately places the memo in its nuanced historical context:
"In the middle, showing more respect for the DIA, we could imagine something else: the possibility that, in 2012, American and other Western intelligence services saw Isis much as they saw Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadi groups, as useful auxiliaries in the anti-Assad drive, and could envisage its takeover of northeastern Syria as a helpful development with no worrying implications."
This is precisely both what Flynn confirms in his interview and what actually happened on the ground in Syria. The former CIA Deputy Director is certainly correct when he says, "It is actually worth watching the interview," but the wealth of context given in the five minute segment on the DIA memo should allow any observer to see that Morell is wrong in his interpretation: "When I watched it, I did not see Flynn agree with the interviewer's assertion that the United States was deliberately supporting extremists."
Though a tough interview segment , Flynn did not object to Hasan, who held up a physical copy of the report as the two spoke, but instead confirmed Hasan's reading of the intelligence document:
Hasan: In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?
Flynn: I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be.
Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was "disregarded" because it "didn't meet the narrative" on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that DOD officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria – warnings which were met with "enormous pushback." Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that "If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic." Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.
In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis , legendary DOD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained to me that the DIA memo was used as a "warning shot across the [administration's] bow." Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had "tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group." It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct "ISIS" and "Nusra" (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified "Islamic State." The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.
In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham .
Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation. Al Jazeera and rebel video footage with translations authenticated by the top Syria expert in the US, Joshua Landis, can be viewed here .
The Washington Post's interpretation of the DIA memo which includes the assertion that the "Obama administration, in fact, drew sharp distinctions between the rebel groups" naively glosses over the messier realities on the ground in Syria. Abstractions of the Situation Room are one thing, but as Brookings Institution scholar Charles Lister confirms in his latest book, The Syrian Jihad , ISIS largely made its military debut in Syria in 2013 in the context of a US backed operation: "And despite some contentious debate over whether the FSA or jihadists had been responsible for the victory, the then head of Aleppo's opposition Military Council, Colonel 'Abd al-Jabbar al-Okaidi, confirmed that '[ISIS] took the lead in taking over the airport. This group [is] a reality on the ground.'" (Charles Lister has elsewhere revealed that US advisors assisted the Al-Qaeda linked "Army of Conquest" in its 2015 takeover of Idlib from an "operations room" in Turkey.)
In spite of what Flynn calls a steady stream of accurate intelligence detailing the Al-Qaeda aligned nature of the opposition and its aim of establishing a "Salafist principality" or "an Islamic State" (DIA memo), a CIA program to arm the Syrian opposition moved forward anyway (the New York Times reports that the CIA program began in early 2012).
Michael Morell himself recently acknowledged to NPR that "all of the weapons that were available led to the rise of ISIS." But contrary to the guiding assumption of the NPR segment (that the intelligence community had failed to predict the rise of IS), the DIA memo and related testimony proves the IC knew exactly what would emerge, and that the White House was given this knowledge far in advance, yet proceeded in weapons delivery anyway.
Vice President Joe Biden, in extraordinarily candid remarks about internal White House deliberations given in front of a Harvard audience, explained in October 2014 that while the external powers supporting the opposition (Biden specifically identified US allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others) were claiming to support moderates, in actuality "the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements coming from other parts of the world." This was indeed, as Michael Flynn says, a "willful decision" as the intelligence "was very clear" and yet the White House proceeded in partnering with its "allies" in covert support of these groups anyway.
No responsible commentary on the DIA memo suggests that this means administration advisors were sitting around openly talking about how to empower ISIS, but this was certainly the end result of a CIA program born of calculation that a militarized Sunni movement could prove useful in rolling back both the Assad government and what the DIA memo calls "Shia expansion." Even the US's closest Middle East ally, Israel, routinely reflects in the policy statements of some current and former officials a strategic vision that sees ISIS as the lesser evil when compared to Assad and Iran.
Michael Morell himself confirmed in a 2015 Jerusalem Post interview that Israel cooperates with Syrian Al-Qaeda (Nusra) along the Golan border and took the opportunity to warn Israel with the following unambiguous words: "don't make deals with them." Most recently in Washington it's been former CIA Director David Petraeus strongly advocating for the direct arming and training of Al-Qaeda in Syria to effect the West's policies in the region.
No doubt Morell would likely emphasize that ISIS and other terror groups got their hands on US weapons primarily left behind in Iraq. Administration officials have consistently downplayed what the Washington Post reported in 2015 (based on Snowden documents) to be a secret weapons shipment program that is "one the agency's largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year" (1/15 th of the CIA's total budget according to the leaked documents). For Morell and others such a covert program signifies restraint and dovishness in a beltway environment where the prevailing culture is oriented towards overt war as always being "on the table."
For ISIS and others these US and coalition supplied weapons became, in the words of former MI6 spy and British diplomat Alastair Crooke, the basis of a "jihadi Wal-Mart" of sorts. The CIA had never been in the dark as to this reality, but officials like Michael Morell can hide behind plausible deniability as Crooke notes, "The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaida – let alone to ISIS , but the system they've constructed leads precisely to that end." Indeed, independent weapons research organizations like the UK-based Conflict Armament Research have gone so far as to trace the origins of Croatian antitank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters back to the joint CIA/Saudi covert program via identifiable serial numbers.
It must be remembered that low level and less well connected American citizens have been arrested and put into solitary confinement under US anti-terror laws for entering Syria to fight with FSA and al-Qaeda factions. Yet Michael Morell and others were the very overseers of a covert program which resulted in the arming and equipping of these very groups.
Trump is surely right about one thing: this administration, including the CIA and Michael Morell himself, has a lot to answer for concerning covert action in Syria.
Brad Hoff is an independent journalist and served as a Marine computer programmer for a headquarters unit at MCB Quantico. He lived in Syria on and off from 2004-2009 as a civilian and currently teaches in Texas.
Reprinted with permission from Levantreport.com .
Moscow may no longer be a superpower, but its revanchist politics are unsettling the international order. How should Donald Trump deal with Vladimir Putin?
... ... ...
It did not have to be this way. Twenty-five years ago, the dissolution of the Soviet Union marked not only the end of the Cold War but also the beginning of what should have been a golden era of friendly relations between Russia and the West. With enthusiasm, it seemed, Russians embraced both capitalism and democracy. To an extent that was startling, Russian cities became Westernized. Empty shelves and po-faced propaganda gave way to abundance and dazzling advertisements.
Contrary to the fears of some, there was a new world order after 1991. The world became a markedly more peaceful place as the flows of money and arms that had turned so many regional disputes into proxy wars dried up. American economists rushed to advise Russian politicians. American multinationals hurried to invest.
Go back a quarter century to 1991 and imagine three more or less equally plausible futures. First, imagine that the coup by hard-liners in August of that year had been more competently executed and that the Soviet Union had been preserved. Second, imagine a much more violent dissolution of the Soviet system in which ethnic and regional tensions escalated much further, producing the kind of "super-Yugoslavia" Kissinger has occasionally warned about. Finally, imagine a happily-ever-after history, in which Russia's economy thrived on the basis of capitalism and globalization, growing at Asian rates.
Russia could have been deep-frozen. It could have disintegrated. It could have boomed. No one in 1991 knew which of these futures we would get. In fact, we got none of them. Russia has retained the democratic institutions that were established after 1991, but the rule of law has not taken root, and, under Vladimir Putin, an authoritarian nationalist form of government has established itself that is notably ruthless in its suppression of opposition and criticism. Despite centrifugal forces, most obviously in the Caucasus, the Russian Federation has held together. However, the economy has performed much less well than might have been hoped. Between 1992 and 2016, the real compound annual growth rate of Russian per capita GDP has been 1.5 percent. Compare that with equivalent figures for India (5.1 percent) and China (8.9 percent).
Today, the Russian economy accounts for just over 3 percent of global output, according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates based on purchasing power parity. The U.S. share is 16 percent. The Chinese share is 18 percent. Calculated on a current dollar basis, Russia's GDP is less than 7 percent of America's. The British economy is twice the size of Russia's.
Moreover, the reliance of the Russian economy on exported fossil fuels - as well as other primary products - is shocking. Nearly two-thirds of Russian exports are petroleum (63 percent), according the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
... ... ...
Nevertheless, it is important to remember what exactly Putin said on that occasion. In remarks that seemed mainly directed at the Europeans in the room, he warned that a "unipolar world" - meaning one dominated by the United States - would prove "pernicious not only for all those within this system but also for the sovereign itself." America's "hyper use of force," Putin said, was "plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts." Speaking at a time when neither Iraq nor Afghanistan seemed especially good advertisements for U.S. military intervention, those words had a certain force, especially in German ears.
Nearly 10 years later, even Putin's most splenetic critics would be well-advised to reflect for a moment on our own part in the deterioration of relations between Washington and Moscow. The Russian view that the fault lies partly with Western overreach deserves to be taken more seriously than it generally is.
Is the West to blame?
If I look back on what I thought and wrote during the administration of George W. Bush, I would say that I underestimated the extent to which the expansion of both NATO and the European Union was antagonizing the Russians.
Certain decisions still seem to me defensible. Given their experiences in the middle of the 20th century, the Poles and the Czechs deserved both the security afforded by NATO membership (from 1999, when they joined along with Hungary) and the economic opportunities offered by EU membership (from 2004). Yet the U.S. decision in March 2007 to build an anti-ballistic missile defense site in Poland along with a radar station in the Czech Republic seems, with hindsight, more questionable, as does the subsequent decision to deploy 10 two-stage missile interceptors and a battery of MIM-104 Patriot missiles in Poland. Though notionally intended to detect and counter Iranian missiles, these installations were bound to be regarded by the Russians as directed at them. The subsequent deployment of Iskander short-range missiles to Kaliningrad was a predictable retaliation.
A similar act of retaliation followed in 2008 when, with encouragement from some EU states, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. In response, Russia recognized rebels in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and invaded those parts of Georgia. From a Russian perspective, this was no different from what the West had done in Kosovo.
The biggest miscalculation, however, was the willingness of the Bush administration to consider Ukraine for NATO membership and the later backing by the Obama administration of EU efforts to offer Ukraine an association agreement. I well remember the giddy mood at a pro-European conference in Yalta in September 2013, when Western representatives almost unanimously exhorted Ukraine to follow the Polish path. Not nearly enough consideration was given to the very different way Russia regards Ukraine nor to the obvious West-East divisions within Ukraine itself. This was despite an explicit warning from Putin's aide Sergei Glazyev, who attended the conference, that signing the EU association agreement would lead to "political and social unrest," a dramatic decline in living standards, and "chaos."
This is not in any way to legitimize the Russian actions of 2014, which were in clear violation of international law and agreements. It is to criticize successive administrations for paying too little heed to Russia's sensitivities and likely reactions.
"I don't really even need George Kennan right now," President Obama told the New Yorker's David Remnick in early 2014. The very opposite was true. He and his predecessor badly needed advisors who understood Russia as well as Kennan did. As Kissinger has often remarked, history is to nations what character is to people. In recent years, American policymakers have tended to forget that and then to wax indignant when other states act in ways that a knowledge of history might have enabled them to anticipate. No country, it might be said, has had its character more conditioned by its history than Russia. It was foolish to expect Russians to view with equanimity the departure into the Western sphere of influence of the heartland of medieval Russia, the breadbasket of the tsarist empire, the setting for Mikhail Bulgakov's The White Guard, the crime scene of Joseph Stalin's man-made famine, and the main target of Adolf Hitler's Operation Barbarossa.
One might have thought the events of 2014 would have taught U.S. policymakers a lesson. Yet the Obama administration has persisted in misreading Russia. It was arguably a mistake to leave Germany and France to handle the Ukraine crisis, when more direct U.S. involvement might have made the Minsk agreements effective. It was certainly a disastrous blunder to give Putin an admission ticket into the Syrian conflict by leaving to him the (partial) removal of Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons. One of Kissinger's lasting achievements in the early 1970s was to squeeze the Soviets out of the Middle East. The Obama administration has undone that, with dire consequences. We see in Aleppo the Russian military for what it is: a master of the mid-20th-century tactic of winning victories through the indiscriminate bombing of cities.
Left: Free Syrian Army fighters fire an anti-aircraft weapon in Aleppo on Dec. 12. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images); Right: Far-right Ukrainian activists attack the office of the pro-Russian movement "Ukrainian Choice" in Kiev on Nov. 21. (Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
What price peace?
Yet I remain to be convinced that the correct response to these errors of American policy is to swing from underestimating Russia to overestimating it. Such an approach has the potential to be just another variation on the theme of misunderstanding.
It is not difficult to infer what Putin would like to get in any "great deal" between himself and Trump. Item No. 1 would be a lifting of sanctions. Item No. 2 would be an end to the war in Syria on Russia's terms - which would include the preservation of Assad in power for at least some "decent interval." Item No. 3 would be a de facto recognition of Russia's annexation of Crimea and some constitutional change designed to render the government in Kiev impotent by giving the country's eastern Donbass region a permanent pro-Russian veto power.
What is hard to understand is why the United States would want give Russia even a fraction of all this. What exactly would Russia be giving the United States in return for such concessions? That is the question that Trump's national security team needs to ask itself before he so much as takes a courtesy call from the Kremlin.
There is no question that the war in Syria needs to end, just as the frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine needs resolution. But the terms of peace can and must be very different from those that Putin has in mind. Any deal that pacified Syria by sacrificing Ukraine would be a grave mistake.
President Obama has been right in saying that Russia is a much weaker power than the United States. His failure has been to exploit that American advantage.
... ... ...
The Russian Question itself can be settled another day. But by reframing the international order on the basis of cooperation rather than deadlock in the Security Council, the United States at least poses the question in a new way. Will Russia learn to cooperate with the other great powers? Or will it continue to be the opponent of international order? Perhaps the latter is the option it will choose. After all, an economic system that prefers an oil price closer to $100 a barrel than $50 benefits more than most from escalating conflict in the Middle East and North Africa - preferably conflict that spills over into the oil fields of the Persian Gulf.
However, if that is the goal of Russia's strategy, then it is hard to see for how much longer Beijing and Moscow will be able to cooperate in the Security Council. Beijing needs stability in oil production and low oil prices as much as Russia needs the opposite. Because of recent tensions with the United States, Russia has been acquiescent as the "One Belt, One Road" program extends China's economic influence into Central Asia, once a Russian domain. There is potential conflict of interest there, too.
... ... ...
Nov 29, 2017 | www.unz.com
[Nov 28, 2017] The Duplicitous Superpower by Ted Galen Carpenter
At some point quantity of duplicity turns into quality. and affect international relations. Economic decline can speed this process up. The US elite has way too easy life since 1991. And that destroyed the tiny patina of self-restraint that it has during Cold War with negative (hugely negative) consequences first of all for the US population. Empire building is a costly project even if it supported by the dominance of neoliberal ideology and technological advances in computers and telecommunication. . The idea of "full spectrum dominance" was a disaster. But the realization of this came too late and at huge cost for the world and for the US population. Russia decimated its own elite twice in the last century. In might be the time for the USA to follow the Russia example and do it once in XXI century. If we thing about Hillary Clinton Jon McCain, Joe Biden, Niki Haley, as member of the US elite it is clear that "something is rotten in the state of Denmark).
"... How Washington's chronic deceit -- especially towards Russia -- has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump's transparent attempt to renege on Washington's commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran's nuclear program -- certainly does not increase Pyongyang's incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous. ..."
"... There seems to be no limit to Washington's desire to crowd Russia. NATO has even added the Baltic republics, which had been part of the Soviet Union itself. In early 2008, President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to admit Georgia and Ukraine, which would have engineered yet another alliance move eastward. By that time, Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders were beyond furious. ..."
"... The timing of Bush's attempted ploy could scarcely have been worse. It came on the heels of Russia's resentment at another example of U.S. duplicity. In 1999, Moscow had reluctantly accepted a UN mandate to cover NATO's military intervention against Serbia, a long-standing Russian client. The alliance airstrikes and subsequent moves to detach and occupy Serbia's restless province of Kosovo for the ostensible reason of protecting innocent civilians from atrocities was the same "humanitarian" justification that the West would use subsequently in Libya. ..."
"... Nine years after the initial Kosovo intervention, the United States adopted an evasive policy move, showing utter contempt for Russia's wishes and interests in the process. Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own. ..."
"... Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns made that point explicitly in a February 2008 State Department briefing. Both the illogic and the hubris of that position were breathtaking. ..."
"... This -- in the context of the long history of US and EU deceit and duplicity in their dealings with Russia is why Russia is supporting Catalan separatism (e.g. RT en Español's constant attacks on Spain and promotion of the separatists). The US and the EU effectively gave Russia permission to do this back in the 1990s. We set a precedent for their actions in Catalonia -- and, more famously, in Ukraine. ..."
"... One could scarcely ask for a better summary of why the Cold War seems, sadly, to be reheating as well as why Democratic attempts to blame it on Russian meddling are a equally sad evasion of their share of bipartisan responsibility for creating this mess. Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer for, "the courage to change the things I can," is painfully appropriate. ..."
"... "No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard." ..."
"... Putin is a rationally calculating man. He has made his strategic objectives well known. They are economic. He sees Russia as the great linchpin of the pan-Eurasian One Belt/One Road (OB/OR) initiative proposed by China as well as the AIIB. In that construct, Europe and East Asia are Russia's customers and bilateral trading partners. Military conquest would wreck that vision and Putin knows it. ..."
"... He's been remarkably restrained when egged on by Big Mouth Nikki Haley, Mad Dog Mattis or that other Pentagon nutcase Phillip Breedlove (former Supreme Commander of NATO) who have gone out of their way to demonize Russia. Unfortunately, with those Pentagon hacks whispering in Trump's ear, too much war-mongering is never enough. ..."
"... U.S. foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. The War Machine Hammer wrecks everything that it touches while sending the befuddled taxpayers the bill. ..."
"... When you meet individual Americans, they are frequently so nice and level-headed that you are perplexed trying to imagine where their leaders come from. And while we're on that subject, America does not actually have a foreign policy, as such. Its foreign policy is to bend every other living soul on the planet to the service of America. ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
How Washington's chronic deceit -- especially towards Russia -- has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy.
For any country, the foundation of successful diplomacy is a reputation for credibility and reliability. Governments are wary of concluding agreements with a negotiating partner that violates existing commitments and has a record of duplicity. Recent U.S. administrations have ignored that principle, and their actions have backfired majorly, damaging American foreign policy in the process.
The consequences of previous deceit are most evident in the ongoing effort to achieve a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis. During his recent trip to East Asia, President Trump urged Kim Jong-un's regime to "come to the negotiating table" and "do the right thing" -- relinquish the country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Presumably, that concession would lead to a lifting (or at least an easing) of international economic sanctions and a more normal relationship between Pyongyang and the international community.
Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump's transparent attempt to renege on Washington's commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran's nuclear program -- certainly does not increase Pyongyang's incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous.
North Korea is likely focused on another incident that raises even greater doubts about U.S. credibility. Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi capitulated on the nuclear issue in December of 2003, abandoning his country's nuclear program and reiterating a commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In exchange, the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions and welcomed Libya back into the community of respectable nations. Barely seven years later, though, Washington and its NATO partners double-crossed Qaddafi, launching airstrikes and cruise missile attacks to assist rebels in their campaign to overthrow the Libyan strongman. North Korea and other powers took notice of Qaddafi's fate, making the already difficult task of getting a de-nuclearization agreement with Pyongyang nearly impossible.
The Libya intervention sullied America's reputation in another way. Washington and its NATO allies prevailed on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution endorsing a military intervention to protect innocent civilians. Russia and China refrained from vetoing that resolution after Washington's assurances that military action would be limited in scope and solely for humanitarian purposes. Once the assault began, it quickly became evident that the resolution was merely a fig leaf for another U.S.-led regime-change war.
Beijing, and especially Moscow, understandably felt duped. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates succinctly described Russia's reaction, both short-term and long-term:
The Russians later firmly believed they had been deceived on Libya. They had been persuaded to abstain at the UN on the grounds that the resolution provided for a humanitarian mission to prevent the slaughter of civilians. Yet as the list of bombing targets steadily grew, it became obvious that very few targets were off-limits, and that NATO was intent on getting rid of Qaddafi. Convinced they had been tricked, the Russians would subsequently block any such future resolutions, including against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
The Libya episode was hardly the first time the Russians concluded that U.S. leaders had cynically misled them . Moscow asserts that when East Germany unraveled in 1990, both U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and West German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher offered verbal assurances that, if Russia accepted a unified Germany within NATO, the alliance would not expand beyond Germany's eastern border. The official U.S. position that there was nothing in writing affirming such a limitation is correct -- and the clarity, extent, and duration of any verbal commitment to refrain from enlargement are certainly matters of intense controversy . But invoking a "you didn't get it in writing" dodge does not inspire another government's trust.
There seems to be no limit to Washington's desire to crowd Russia. NATO has even added the Baltic republics, which had been part of the Soviet Union itself. In early 2008, President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to admit Georgia and Ukraine, which would have engineered yet another alliance move eastward. By that time, Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders were beyond furious.
The timing of Bush's attempted ploy could scarcely have been worse. It came on the heels of Russia's resentment at another example of U.S. duplicity. In 1999, Moscow had reluctantly accepted a UN mandate to cover NATO's military intervention against Serbia, a long-standing Russian client. The alliance airstrikes and subsequent moves to detach and occupy Serbia's restless province of Kosovo for the ostensible reason of protecting innocent civilians from atrocities was the same "humanitarian" justification that the West would use subsequently in Libya.
Nine years after the initial Kosovo intervention, the United States adopted an evasive policy move, showing utter contempt for Russia's wishes and interests in the process. Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own.
Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns made that point explicitly in a February 2008 State Department briefing. Both the illogic and the hubris of that position were breathtaking.
It is painful for any American to admit that the United States has acquired a well-deserved reputation for duplicity in its foreign policy. But the evidence for that proposition is quite substantial. Indeed, disingenuous U.S. behavior regarding NATO expansion and the resolution of Kosovo's political status may be the single most important factor for the poisoned bilateral relationship with Moscow. The U.S. track record of duplicity and betrayal is one reason why prospects for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue through diplomacy are so bleak.
Actions have consequences, and Washington's reputation for disingenuous behavior has complicated America's own foreign policy objectives. This is a textbook example of a great power shooting itself in the foot.
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 700 articles and policy studies on international affairs.
Magdi , says: November 28, 2017 at 5:46 amyou are dead ON! I have been saying this since IRAQHerbert Heebert , says: November 28, 2017 at 7:47 am
fiasco (not one Iraqi onboard on 9/11) we should have invaded egypt and saudi arabia. how the foolish american public(sheep) just buys the american propaganda is beyond me.. don't blame the Russians one spittle!!A few points:Viriato , says: November 28, 2017 at 9:25 am
1. I think North Korea might also be looking at the example of Ukraine, and Russia's clear violation of the Budapest Memorandum.
2. It's silly to put so much weight on Baker's verbal assurance re: NATO expansion.
3. I would suggest Mr. Carpenter make a list of Russia's betrayals. But I have the impression he is not interested.Excellent piece. The US really has destroyed its credibility over the years.craigsummers , says: November 28, 2017 at 10:09 am
This points Ted Galen Carpenter makes in this piece go a long way toward explaining Russia's destabilizing behavior in recent years.
One point in particular jumped out at me:
"Kosovo wanted to declare its formal independence from Serbia, but it was clear that such a move would face a certain Russian (and probable Chinese) veto in the UN Security Council. Washington and an ad-hoc coalition of European Union countries brazenly bypassed the Council and approved Pristina's independence declaration. It was an extremely controversial move. Not even all EU members were on board with the policy, since some of them (e.g., Spain) had secessionist problems of their own. Russia's leaders protested vehemently and warned that the West's unauthorized action established a dangerous, destabilizing international precedent. Washington rebuffed their complaints, arguing that the Kosovo situation was unique."
This -- in the context of the long history of US and EU deceit and duplicity in their dealings with Russia is why Russia is supporting Catalan separatism (e.g. RT en Español's constant attacks on Spain and promotion of the separatists). The US and the EU effectively gave Russia permission to do this back in the 1990s. We set a precedent for their actions in Catalonia -- and, more famously, in Ukraine.
ThisMr. CarpenterDOD , says: November 28, 2017 at 10:23 am
You have made a reasonable case that the US and Europe have not always been reliable, but the expansion of NATO is not one of them. No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard.
The idea of a "sphere of influence" is a cold war relic which Russia invoked with the Medvedev Doctrine in 2008. This is currently on display in Ukraine. Russia is aggressively denying Ukraine their sovereignty. Who could possibly blame former Soviet Block countries for hightailing it to NATO during a lull in Russian aggression?One could scarcely ask for a better summary of why the Cold War seems, sadly, to be reheating as well as why Democratic attempts to blame it on Russian meddling are a equally sad evasion of their share of bipartisan responsibility for creating this mess. Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer for, "the courage to change the things I can," is painfully appropriate.Michael Kenny , says: November 28, 2017 at 12:12 pmThe whole weakness of the author's argument is a classic American one: very few Americans seem to be able to get their heads around the fact that the Soviet Union ceased to exist 26 years ago! They are still totally locked into their cold war mentality. He thus unquestioningly accepts Putin's pre-1789 "sphere of influence" theory in which there are "superior" and "inferior" races, with only the superior races being entitled to have a sovereign state and the inferior races being forced to submit to being ruled by foreigners. Mr Carpenter really needs to put his cold war mentality aside and come into the 21st century!Will Harrington , says: November 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm
Most seriously of all, Mr Carpenter offers no solution for improving relations between the US and Russia. Saying that past US actions were wrong, even if true, says nothing about the present and offers nothing for the future. At best, Mr Carpenter's article is empty moralising.
And the unspoken, but perfectly obvious, subtext, namely that the US should "atone for its sins" by capitulating to Putin, is morally reprehensible and politically unrealistic. Since, by Mr Carpenter's own account, the problem is caused by US wrongdoing, isn't it for the US to put things right (for example, by getting Putin out of Ukraine) and not simply make a mess in someone else's country and then run for home with its tail between its legs? Who gave Americans the right to give away other people's countries?Herbert HeevertWill Harrington , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:15 pm
The one problem with your argument if, you are an american as I am, is that Russia is not acting in our names. If the US government, supposedly a government of, by, and for the people breaks its word, then you and I are foresworn oathbreakers as well because the government is (theoretically, at least) acting on OUR authority.Craig SummersNoldorElf , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm
Really?! "Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard."
I think that if you look at a map or a globe, you will find that this is not a belief but a fact. How you could overlook this, I don't know.
"The idea of a "sphere of influence" is a cold war relic "
If you are going to try and use history to influence opinion, it is best to check your facts. This is a very old concept.What do you think the Great Game between Imperial Russia and the British Empire in Central Asia was about? For that matter, what we call the Byzantine Commonwealth was a clearly attempt by the Romaoi to establish a political, cultural, and religious sphere of influence to support the power of the Empire, much as the United States has been doing over the past several decades.You could make the case that Iraq too in 2003 is another reason why the Russians and the North Koreans distrust the US.Jeeves , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm
At this point, it is fairly certain that the Bush Administration knew that Saddam was not building nuclear weapons of mass destruction, which is what Bush strongly implied in his ramp up to the war.
One other takeaway that the North Koreans mag have from the 2003 Iraq invasion is that the US will lie any way to get what it wants.
Not saying that Russia or North Korea are perfect. Far from it. But the US needs to take a hard look in the mirror.What Craigsummers said.SteveM , says: November 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm
And, Mr. Carpenter, when you have time off from your job as Russian apologist, learn the meaning of "verbal." It's not a synonym for "oral."Re: craigsummers, "No one forced any eastern European country to join NATO and the EU – decisions that indicate these countries feared a Russian revival after the collapse of the USSR. Russia always believed that these countries were in their near abroad or backyard."b. , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm
Except both here and abroad, the Global Cop Elites in Washington shape the strategy space through propaganda, fear-mongering and subversion. Moreover, the Eastern European countries are happy to join NATO when it's the American taxpayers who foot a large percentage of the bill.
Standard U.S. MO: create the threat, inflate the threat, send in the War Machine at massive cost to sustain the threat.
Rather than being broadened, NATO should have been ratcheted back after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the U.S. military presence in Europe massively reduced. Then normalized relations between Europe and Russia would have been designed and developed by Europe and Russia. Not the 800 pound Gorilla Global Cop that is good at little more than breaking things. (And perversely, after flushing TRILLIONS of tax dollars down the toilet, duping Americans to wildly applaud the "Warrior-Heroes" for a job well done.)The 2008 war between Georgia and Russia was, per observers at the time, in Russian word and thought directly linked to the Balkan 's precedent.Janek , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm
The subtext here – of nation states, sovereignty, separatism and secessionist movements – is even more relevant with respect to US-China relationships. Since WW2 and that brief, transient monopoly on nuclear weapons, US foreign policy has eroded the Peace of Westphalia while attempting to erect an "international order" of convenience on top if it.
Both China and Russia know that nothing will stop the expansionism of US "national interests". In response to the doctrinal aspirations of the Soviets, the US has committed itself to an ideology that is just a greedy and relentless. In retrospect, it is hard to tell how many decades ago the Cold War stopped being about opposition to Soviet ideology, and instead became about "projecting" – in every sense of the word – an equally globalist US ideology.
We are the redcoats now. Now wonder the neocons and neolibs are shouting "Russia!" at every opportunity.I am amazed how many masochistic conservatives are in USA conservative circles especially in the CATO institute. Mr. T. G. Carpenter, as is clear from not only this and other articles, is a staunch defender of Yalta and proponent of Yalta 2 after the Cold War ended. As far as I remember Libya was the hatchet job of the Europeans especially the French and British. B. Obama at first didn't want to attack Libya but gave in after lobbying by the French, British and the neoliberal/neo-conservative lobby and supporters of the Arab Spring in the USA. America lost credibility after and only since the conservatives neoliberals and neocons manipulated USA and the West's foreign politics for thirty plus years. USA is still a democratic country so it is easy to blame everything on the US. In today's Putin's Russia similar critics of the Russian politics wouldn't be so "easy".SteveM , says: November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm
The Central Europe doesn't want Russia's sphere of influence precisely because of centuries of Russian occupation and atrocities in there especially after WW2, brutal and bloody invasion of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Cuban Crisis, Afghanistan, Chechnya etc. Now you have infiltration by Russia of the American electoral process and political system and some conservatives still can't connect the dots and see what is going on. I wonder why the western conservatives and US in particular are such great supporters of Russia. If Russia should be allowed to keep her sphere of influence after the Cold War then what was the reason to fight the Cold War in the first place. Wouldn't it be easier to surrender to Russia right after WW2.One other observation about Russia that should be made but isn't is that the Russia-phobes can't point to an actual motive for Russian military aggression. There is no "Putin Plan" for conquest and domination by Russia like in Das Kapital or Hitler's Mein Kampf . What strategic value would Russia see from overrunning Poland and then having to perpetually suppress 35 million resistors? Or retaking the Baltic states that have only minority ethnic Russian populations?Mark , says: November 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Putin is a rationally calculating man. He has made his strategic objectives well known. They are economic. He sees Russia as the great linchpin of the pan-Eurasian One Belt/One Road (OB/OR) initiative proposed by China as well as the AIIB. In that construct, Europe and East Asia are Russia's customers and bilateral trading partners. Military conquest would wreck that vision and Putin knows it.
In the gangster movies, a mob boss often says that he hates bloodshed because it's bad for business. That's Putin. He's been remarkably restrained when egged on by Big Mouth Nikki Haley, Mad Dog Mattis or that other Pentagon nutcase Phillip Breedlove (former Supreme Commander of NATO) who have gone out of their way to demonize Russia. Unfortunately, with those Pentagon hacks whispering in Trump's ear, too much war-mongering is never enough.
U.S. foreign policy is an unmitigated disaster. The War Machine Hammer wrecks everything that it touches while sending the befuddled taxpayers the bill."And, Mr. Carpenter, when you have time off from your job as Russian apologist, learn the meaning of "verbal." It's not a synonym for "oral."
I imagine you thought you were being funny; and you were, just not in the way you foresaw. In fact, verbal is a synonym for oral; to wit, "spoken rather than written; oral. "a verbal agreement". Synonyms: oral, spoken, stated, said, verbalized, expressed."
Of course anyone who attempts to portray the United States as duplicitous and sneaky (those are synonyms!)is immediately branded a "Russian apologist". As if there are certain countries which automatically have no rights, and can be assumed to be lying every time they speak. Except they're not, and the verbal agreement that NATO would not advance further east in exchange for Russian cooperation has been acknowledged by western principals who were present.
As SteveM implies, NATO's reason for being evaporated with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and was dead as a dodo with the breakup of the Soviet Union. Everything since has been a rationalization for keeping it going, including regular demonizations of imaginary enemies until they become real enemies. You can't just 'join NATO' because it's the in-crowd, you know. No, there are actually criteria, one of which is the premise that your acceptance materially enhances the security of the alliance. Pretty comical imagining Montenegro in that context, isn't it?
When you meet individual Americans, they are frequently so nice and level-headed that you are perplexed trying to imagine where their leaders come from. And while we're on that subject, America does not actually have a foreign policy, as such. Its foreign policy is to bend every other living soul on the planet to the service of America.
[Nov 28, 2017] Trump Wants Peace With Erdogan - The Military Wants To Sabotage It
"... "President Trump instructed [his generals] in a very open way that the YPG will no longer be given weapons. He openly said that this absurdity should have ended much earlier ," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after the phone call. ..."
"... The YPG is the Syrian sister organization of the Turkish-Kurdish terror group PKK. Some weapons the U.S. had delivered to the YPK in Syria to fight the Islamic State have been recovered from PKK fighters in Turkey who were out to kill Turkish security personal. Despite that, supply for the YPG continued. In total over 3,500 truckloads were provided to it by the U.S. military. Only recently the YPK received some 120 armored Humvees , mine clearance vehicles and other equipment. ..."
"... The generals in the White House and other parts of the administration were caught flat-footed by the promise Trump has made. The Washington Post writes : "Initially, the administration's national security team appeared surprised by the Turks' announcement and uncertain what to say about it. The State Department referred questions to the White House, and hours passed with no confirmation from the National Security Council." ..."
"... The U.S. military uses the YPG as proxy power in Syria to justify and support its occupation of north-east Syria, The intent of the occupation is , for now, to press the Syrian government into agreeing to a U.S. controlled "regime change": ..."
"... When in 2014 the U.S. started to use Kurds in Syria as its foot-soldiers, it put the YPG under the mantle of the so called Syrian Democratic Forces and paid some Syrian Arabs to join and keep up the subterfuge. This helped to counter the Turkish argument that the U.S. was arming and supporting terrorists. But in May 2017 the U.S. announced to arm the YPG directly without the cover of the SDF. The alleged purpose was to eliminate the Islamic State from the city of Raqqa. ..."
"... A spokesperson of the SDF, the ethnic Turkman Talaf Silo, recently defected and went over to the Turkish side. The Turkish government is certainly well informed about the SDF and knows that its political and command structure is dominated by the YPK. The whole concept is a sham. ..."
"... Sometimes it's hard to see if Trump actually believed what he was saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail -- but either way it doesn't matter much as he seems incapable of navigating the labyrinth of the Deep State even if he had in independent thought in his head. I don't expect US weapons to stop making their way into Kurdish hands as they try to extend their mini-Israel-with-oil foothold in Syria. But it would certainly be a welcome sight if the US left Syria alone for once! ..."
"... Trump personally sent General Flynn to recruit back Erdogan and the Turks right before the election. Flynn wrote his now infamous editorial "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support" and published in "The Hill". http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/305021-our-ally-turkey-is-in-crisis-and-needs-our-support ..."
"... But if you know the role he played for Trump in the campaign and then the post-election role as soon to be NSC advisor, you will see that Trump was sending him to bring Turkey back into the fold after the coup attempt by CIA, Gulen and Turkey's AF and US State Dept failed. ..."
"... Trump wanted to prevent the Turkish Stream. It was a huge rival to his LNG strategy. All these are why Flynn did what he did for Trump. Now Trump has to battle CIA and State, as well as the CENTCOM-Israeli plans for insurgencies in Syria. It's not just the Kurd issue or the other needs of NATO to hold the bases in Turkey. It's the whole southwest containment of Russian gas and Russian naval power, and the reality of sharing the Mediterranean as well as MENA with the Bear. ..."
"... Furthermore, I've always been suspicious of Erdogan's 'turn' toward Russia. Many have suspected that the attempted coup was staged by Erdogan (with CIA help?) so as to enable Erdogan to remain in office. IMO Erdogan joined the 'Assad must go!' effort not just because he benefited from the oil trade but because he leans toward Sunnis (Surely he was aware of the thinking that: the road to Tehran runs through Damascus .) ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
President Trump is attempting to calm down the U.S. conflict with Turkey . The military junta in the White House has different plans. It now attempts to circumvent the decision the president communicated to his Turkish counterpart. The result will be more Turkish-U.S. acrimony.
Yesterday the Turkish foreign minister surprisingly announced a phone call President Trump had held with President Erdogan of Turkey.United States President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the phone on Nov. 24 only days after a Russia-Turkey-Iran summit on Syria, with Ankara saying that Washington has pledged not to send weapons to the People's Protection Units (YPG) any more .
"President Trump instructed [his generals] in a very open way that the YPG will no longer be given weapons. He openly said that this absurdity should have ended much earlier ," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after the phone call.
Trump had announced the call:Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!
12:04 PM - 24 Nov 2017
During the phone call Trump must have escaped his minders for a moment and promptly tried to make, as announced, peace with Erdogan. The issue of arming the YPG is really difficult for Turkey to swallow. Ending that would probably make up for the recent NATO blunder of presenting the founder of modern Turkey Kemal Atatürk and Erdogan himself as enemies.
The YPG is the Syrian sister organization of the Turkish-Kurdish terror group PKK. Some weapons the U.S. had delivered to the YPK in Syria to fight the Islamic State have been recovered from PKK fighters in Turkey who were out to kill Turkish security personal. Despite that, supply for the YPG continued. In total over 3,500 truckloads were provided to it by the U.S. military. Only recently the YPK received some 120 armored Humvees , mine clearance vehicles and other equipment.
The generals in the White House and other parts of the administration were caught flat-footed by the promise Trump has made. The Washington Post writes : "Initially, the administration's national security team appeared surprised by the Turks' announcement and uncertain what to say about it. The State Department referred questions to the White House, and hours passed with no confirmation from the National Security Council."
The White House finally released what the Associated Press called :a cryptic statement about the phone call that said Trump had informed the Turk of "pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria."
Neither a read-out of the call nor the statement AP refers to are currently available on the White House website.
The U.S. military uses the YPG as proxy power in Syria to justify and support its occupation of north-east Syria, The intent of the occupation is , for now, to press the Syrian government into agreeing to a U.S. controlled "regime change":U.S. officials have said they plan to keep American troops in northern Syria -- and continue working with Kurdish fighters -- to pressure Assad to make concessions during peace talks brokered by the United Nations in Geneva, stalemated for three years now. "We're not going to just walk away right now," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week.
To solidify its position the U.S. needs to further build up and strengthen its YPG mercenary forces.
When in 2014 the U.S. started to use Kurds in Syria as its foot-soldiers, it put the YPG under the mantle of the so called Syrian Democratic Forces and paid some Syrian Arabs to join and keep up the subterfuge. This helped to counter the Turkish argument that the U.S. was arming and supporting terrorists. But in May 2017 the U.S. announced to arm the YPG directly without the cover of the SDF. The alleged purpose was to eliminate the Islamic State from the city of Raqqa.
The YPG had been unwilling to fight for the Arab city unless the U.S. would provide it with more money, military supplies and support. All were provided. The U.S. special forces, who control the YPG fighters, directed an immense amount of aerial and artillery ammunition against the city. Any potential enemy position was destroyed by large ammunition and intense bombing before the YPG infantry proceeded. In the end few YPG fighters died in the fight. The Islamic State was let go or eliminated from the city but so was the city of Raqqa . The intensity of the bombardment of the medium size city was at times ten times greater than the bombing in all of Afghanistan. Airwars reported :Since June, an estimated 20,000 munitions were fired in support of Coalition operations at Raqqa . Images captured by journalists in the final days of the assault show a city in ruins
Several thousand civilians were killed in the indiscriminate onslaught.
The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is defeated. It no longer holds any ground. There is no longer any justification to further arm and supply the YPG or the dummy organization SDF.
But the generals want to continue to do so to further their larger plans. They are laying grounds to circumvent their president's promise. The Wall Street Journal seems to be the only outlet to pick up on the subterfuge:President Donald Trump's administration is preparing to stop sending weapons directly to Kurdish militants battling Islamic State in Syria, dealing a political blow to the U.S.'s most reliable ally in the civil war, officials said Friday.
The Turkish announcement came as a surprise in Washington, where military and political officials in Mr. Trump's administration appeared to be caught off-guard. U.S. military officials said they had received no new guidance about supplying weapons to the Kurdish forces. But they said there were no immediate plans to deliver any new weapons to the group. And the U.S. can continue to provide the Kurdish forces with arms via the umbrella Syrian militant coalition
The "military officials" talking to the WSJ have found a way to negate Trump's promise. A spokesperson of the SDF, the ethnic Turkman Talaf Silo, recently defected and went over to the Turkish side. The Turkish government is certainly well informed about the SDF and knows that its political and command structure is dominated by the YPK. The whole concept is a sham.
But the U.S. needs the YPG to keep control of north-east Syria. It has to continue to provide whatever the YPG demands, or it will have to give up its larger scheme against Syria.
The Turkish government will soon find out that the U.S. again tried to pull wool over its eyes. Erdogan will be furious when he discovers that the U.S. continues to supply war material to the YPG, even when those deliveries are covered up as supplies for the SDF.
The Turkish government released a photograph showing Erdogan and five of his aids taking Trump's phonecall. Such a release and the announcement of the call by the Turkish foreign minister are very unusual. Erdogan is taking prestige from the call and the public announcement is to make sure that Trump sticks to his promise.
This wide publication will also increase Erdogan's wrath when he finds out that he was again deceived.
Posted by b on November 25, 2017 at 12:14 PM | Permalink
WorldBLee | Nov 25, 2017 12:48:12 PM | 1Sometimes it's hard to see if Trump actually believed what he was saying about foreign policy on the campaign trail -- but either way it doesn't matter much as he seems incapable of navigating the labyrinth of the Deep State even if he had in independent thought in his head. I don't expect US weapons to stop making their way into Kurdish hands as they try to extend their mini-Israel-with-oil foothold in Syria. But it would certainly be a welcome sight if the US left Syria alone for once!Red Ryder | Nov 25, 2017 12:49:33 PM | 2Trump personally sent General Flynn to recruit back Erdogan and the Turks right before the election. Flynn wrote his now infamous editorial "Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support" and published in "The Hill". http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/foreign-policy/305021-our-ally-turkey-is-in-crisis-and-needs-our-supportHarry | Nov 25, 2017 1:18:07 PM | 3
Some interpret this act on Election eve as a pecuniary fulfillment by Flynn of a lobbying contract (which existed).
But if you know the role he played for Trump in the campaign and then the post-election role as soon to be NSC advisor, you will see that Trump was sending him to bring Turkey back into the fold after the coup attempt by CIA, Gulen and Turkey's AF and US State Dept failed.
Flynn understood the crucial need for US and NATO to hold Turkey and prevent the Russians from getting Erdogan as an ally for Syria and the Black Sea, the Balkans and Mediterranean as well as Iran, Qatar and Eurasia. Look at what has transpired between Turkey and Russia since. Gas will be flowing through the Turkish Stream and Erdogan conforms to Putin's wishes.
Trump wanted to prevent the Turkish Stream. It was a huge rival to his LNG strategy. All these are why Flynn did what he did for Trump. Now Trump has to battle CIA and State, as well as the CENTCOM-Israeli plans for insurgencies in Syria. It's not just the Kurd issue or the other needs of NATO to hold the bases in Turkey. It's the whole southwest containment of Russian gas and Russian naval power, and the reality of sharing the Mediterranean as well as MENA with the Bear.
Flynn was on it for Trump. And the IC and State want him prosecuted for defying their efforts to replace Erdogan with a stooge like Gulen. It looks like Mueller is pursuing that against the General.Its not a problem for US to drop Kurds if they are no longer needed, BUT for now they are essential for US/Israel/Saudi goals, therefore you can bet 100% Kurds support will continue. Trump's order (he hasn't made it official either) will be easily circumvented.alabaster | Nov 25, 2017 1:19:42 PM | 4
The real question is, what Resistance will do with the backstabbing Kurds? It wont be easy to make a deal while Kurds maintain absurd demands and as long as they have full Axis of Terror support.
Go Iraq's way like they reclaimed Kirkuk? US might have sitten out that one, I doubt they'll allow this to happen in Syria as well, unless they get something in return.While America's standard duplicity of saying one thing while doing the opposite has been known for decades, they have been able to play games mainly because of the weakness of the other actors in the region.Jean | Nov 25, 2017 1:35:55 PM | 5
The tables have turned now, but America still thinks it holds top dog position.
Wordplay, semantics and legal loopholes wont be tolerated for very long, and when hundreds of US boots return home in body bags a choice will have to be made - escalate, or run away.
Previous behavior dictates run away, but times have changed.
A cornered enemy is the most dangerous, and the USA has painted itself into a very small corner...Gee. While reading B's article what got to my mind is: "Turkey is testing the ground". Whatever Trump said to Erdogan on the phone, it seems to me that the Turks are playing a card to see how the different actors in the US that seems to follow different agendas will react. If Turkey concludes that the US will continue to back YPG, it's split from the US and will be definitive.Peter AU 1 | Nov 25, 2017 1:36:09 PM | 6
Erdogan is shifting away from US/NATO. He even hinted today that he might talk to Assad. That's huge! I wouldn't be surprised if Turkey leaves NATO sooner than later. And if it's the case, it will be a major move of a tectonic amplitude.Trump.. "Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!"Jen | Nov 25, 2017 2:36:10 PM | 7
General Wesley Clark - seven countries in five years with Iran last on the list = "Get it all done"?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_SwSurely by now Erdogan must realise that whatever the US President says and promises will be circumvented by the State Department, the Pentagon, the 17 US intel agencies (including the CIA and the NSA) and rogue individuals in these and other US government departments and agencies, and in Congress as well (Insane McCain comes to mind)? Not to mention the fact that the Israeli government and the pro-Israeli lobby on Capitol Hill exercise huge influence over sections of the US government.Hausmeister | Nov 25, 2017 3:37:06 PM | 8
If Erdogan hasn't figured out the schizoid behaviour of the US from past Turkish experience and the recent experience of Turkey's neighbours (and the Ukraine is one such neighbour), he must not be receiving good information.
Though as Jean says, perhaps Erdogan is giving the US one last chance to demonstrate that it has a coherent and reliable policy towards the Middle East.Jen | Nov 25, 2017 2:36:10 PM | 6stonebird | Nov 25, 2017 3:44:32 PM | 9
Well, the US policy has been coherent and reliable in the last years. It enhanced local conflicts, supported both sides at the same time but with different intensities. Whoever wins would be "our man". Old stuff since the Byzantine period. It always takes a lot of time to prove the single actions that were done. In most cases we learn about it years later. The delay is so big and unpleasant that quite a number of folks escapes to stupid narratives that explain everything in one step, and therefore nothing. By the way: is the interest of Kurds to remain under the umbrella of the Syrian state but not be governed by Baath type of Arabic nationalism illegitimate?How can Trump have his cake and eat it?james | Nov 25, 2017 4:00:51 PM | 10
The Kurds (PKK basically) are only necessary to give a "face" to the force the US is trying to align in E. Syria. The "fighting" against ISIS (if there really was any) is coming to a close. The Chiefs of ISIS have been airlifted to somewhere nearby, and the foreign mercenary forces sent elsewhere by convoy. ALL the valuable personnel have now become "HTS2" with reversible vests. These, plus the US special forces are the basis of a new armed anti-Syrian force. (Note that one general let slip that there are 5'000 US forces in E-Syria - not the 500 spoken of in the MSM).
So Trump may well be correct in saying that the Kurds (specifically) will not get any more arms - because they have other demands and might make peace with the Syrian Government, to keep at least some part of their territorial gains. The ISIS "bretheren" and foreign mercenaries do not want any peaceful solution because it would mean their elimination.. So The CIA and Pentagon will probably continue arms supplies to "HTS2" - but not the Kurds.
(ex-ISIS members; Some are from Saudi Arabia, Qatar - the EU and the US, as well as parts of Russia and China. They are not farming types but will find themselves with some of the best arable land in Syria. Which belonged to Syrian-arabs-christians-Druzes-Yadzis etc. Who wil want their properties back.)
Note that the US forces at Tanf are deliberately not letting humanitarian help reach the nearby refugee camp. Starvation and deprivation will force many of the younger members to become US paid terrorists.thanks b.. i tend to agree with @4 jean and @5 jen... the way i see it, there is either a real disconnect inside the usa where the president gets to say one thing, but another part of the establishment can do another, or trump has made his last lie to turkey here and turkey is going to say good bye to it's involvement with the usa in any way that can be trusted.. seems like some kind of internal usa conflict to me at this point, but maybe it is all smoke and mirrors to continue on with the same charade.. i mostly think internal usa conflict at this point..A P | Nov 25, 2017 4:34:19 PM | 11Odd that no one has mentioned the fact the US was behind the attempted coup, where Erdogan was on a plane with two rogue Syrian jets that stood down rather than execute the kill shot. I have read opinion that the fighter pilots were "lit up" by Russian missile batteries and informed by radio they would not survive unless they shut down their weapons targeting immediately. This is probably a favour Putin reminds Erdogan of on a regular basis, whenever Erdo tries to play Sultan. The attempted coup/asassination also shows Erdogan exactly how much he can trust the US/Zionists at any level.Virgile | Nov 25, 2017 5:09:38 PM | 12
And Edrogan must also know Syria was once at least partly in the US-orbit, as Syria was the destination for many well-documented US-ordered rendition/torture cases. It is probable Mossad (or their proxy thugs) killed Assad's father and older brother, so Erdo knows he's better relying on Putin than Trumpty Dumbdy.Erdogan is about to make a u-turn toward Syria. He is furious at Saudi Arabia for boycotting its ally Qatar, for talking about owning Sunni Islam and by the continuous support of Islamists and Sunni Kurds in Syria.dirtyoilandgas | Nov 25, 2017 6:13:37 PM | 13
Erdogan is preparing the turkish public opinion to a shift away from the USA-Israeli axis. This may get him many points in the 2019 election if the war in Syria is stopped, most Syrian refugees are back, Turkish companies are involved in the reconstruction and the YPG neutralized. Erdogan has 1 year and half to make this to happen. For that he badly needs Bashar al Assad and his army on his side.
Therefore he is evaluating what is the next move and he needs to know where the USA is standing about Turkey and Syria. Until now the messages from the USA are contradictory yet Erdogan keeps telling his supporters that the USA is plotting against Turkey and against Islam. Erdogan's reputation also is been threatened by the outcome of Reza Zarrab's trial in the US where the corruption of his party may be exposed.
That is why Erdogan is making another check about the US intentions before Erdogan he starts the irreversible shift toward the Iran-Russia (+Qatar and Syria) axis.missing in this analysis is oil gas ... producers, refiners, slavers, middle crooks, and the LNG crowd :Israel, Fracking, LNG and wall street... these are the underlying directing forces that will ultimately dictate when the outsiders have had enough fight against Assad over Assad's oil and Assad's refusal to allow outsiders to install their pipelines. Until then, gangland intelligence agencies will continue the divide, destroy and conquer strategies sufficient to keep the profits flowing. The politicians cannot move until the underlying corruptions resolve..les7 | Nov 25, 2017 6:59:27 PM | 14The word 'byzantine' has been used for centuries to describe the intricate and multi-leveled forms of agreement, betrayal, treachery and achievement among the shifting power brokers in the region. The US alone has three major and another three minor players at work - often fighting each other. If however, it thinks it can outplay people whose lives are steeped in such a living tradition, it is sadly deluded and will one day be in for a very rude surprise. Even the Russians have had difficulty navigating that maze.flankerbandit | Nov 25, 2017 7:53:29 PM | 15
When confronted with such a 'Gordian knot' of treachery and shifting alliances, Alexander the Great drew his sword and cut through it with a vision informed by the sage Socrates as taught by Aristotle.
Despite claiming to represent such a western heritage, the US has no such Socratic wisdom, no Aristotelian logic, and no visionary leadership that could enable it to do what Alexander did. Lacking this, it is destined to get lost in its' own hubris, and be consumed by our current version of that region's gordian knot.'Hausmaus' @7 says...Daniel | Nov 25, 2017 7:55:00 PM | 16'...By the way: is the interest of Kurds to remain under the umbrella of the Syrian state but not be governed by Baath type of Arabic nationalism illegitimate?..'
...showing that he either knows only the crap spouted by wikipedia...or nothing at all about the Baath party...
...which happens to be a socialist and secular party interested in pan-Arab unity...not nationalism...[an obvious oxymoron to be pan-national and 'nationalist' at the same time...]
Of course there is always a 'better way'...right Hausmaus...?
The Baath socialism under Saddam in Iraq was no good for anyone we recall...especially women, students, sick people etc...
A 'better way' has since been installed and it is working beautifully...all can agree...
Same thing in Libya...where the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was no good for anyone...
Of course everyone wanted the 'Better Way'...all those doctoral graduates with free education and guaranteed jobs...a standard of living better than some European countries...etc...
Again...removing the 'socialist' Kadafi has worked out wonderfully...
We now have black African slaves sold in open air markets...where before they did all the broom pushing that was beneath the dignity of the Libyan Arabs...
...and were quite happy to stay there and have a job and paycheck...instead of now flooding the shores of Italy in anything that can float...
Oh yes...why would anyone in Syria want to be governed by the socialist Baath party...?
...especially the Kurds...who just over the border in Turkey are not even recognized as humans...never mind speaking their own language...
Oh yes yes yes...we all want the 'Better Way'...
It's a question of legitimacy you see...I'd really hoped that Donald Trump® would be the "outsider" that both the MSM and he have been insisting he is for the past couple of years. Other than the Reality TV Show faux conflicts with which the MSM entertains us nightly, I see no such "rogue" Administration.flankerbandit | Nov 25, 2017 8:16:50 PM | 17
This say one thing, and do the other has been US foreign policy forever.
Recall, for instance that on February 21, 2014, Obama's State Department issued a statement hailing Ukrainian President Yanukovych for signing an agreement with the "pro-democracy Maidan Protest" leaders in which he acquiesced to all of their demands.
Then, on February 22, 2014, the US State Department cheered the "peaceful and Constitutional" coup after neo-nazis stormed the Parliament.
A few months later, Secretary of State Kerry hailed the Minsk Treaty to end the war in Ukraine. Later that day, Vickie Nuland said there was no way her Ukies would stop shelling civilians, and sure enough they didn't (until they'd been on the retreat for weeks, and came whimpering back to the negotiations table).
A couple years later, Kerry announced that the US and Russia would coordinate aerial assaults in Syria. The next day, "Defense" Secretary Carter said, "no way," and within a week or so, we "accidentally" bombed Syrian forces at Deir ez Zoir for over an hour.
From my perspective, they keep us chasing the next squirrel, while bickering amongst each other about each squirrel. But the wolves are still devouring the lambs, with only the Bear preventing a complete extinction.Some good comments here with food for thought...Yeah, Right | Nov 25, 2017 9:44:37 PM | 18
What we know with at least some level of confidence...
Dump is not the 'decider'...the junta is...he's just a cardboard cutout sitting behind the oval office desk...
And he's got no one to blame but himself...he came in talking a big game about cleaning house and got himself cleaned out of being an actual president...
This was inevitable from the moment he caved on Flynn...the only person he didn't need to vet with the senate...and a position that wields a lot of power...
This was his undoing on many levels...not only because he faced a hostile deep state and even his own party in congress with no one by his side [other than Flynn]...
...but because it showed that he had no balls and would not stand by his man...
This is not the stuff leaders are made of...
The same BS we see with Turkey is playing out with Russia on the Ukraine issue...
Now the junta and their enablers in congress want to start sending offensive arms to Ukraine...Dump and his platitudes to Putin...no matter how much he may mean it...mean nothing...he's not in charge...
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/410942-trump-putin-friendly-words/I think that Jean @4 has the best take on this: Erdoğan went very public on Trump's "promise" in a classic put-up-or-shut-up challenge to the USA.ritzl | Nov 25, 2017 11:08:38 PM | 19
Either the word of a POTUS means something or it doesn't, and if it doesn't then Turkey is going to join Russia in concluding that the USA as simply not-agreement-capable.
Erdoğan will then say "enough!!!", give the USA the two-finger-salute, and then take Turkey out of NATO.
And the best thing about it will be that McMaster, Kelly and Mathis will be so obsessed with playing their petty little games that they won't see it coming.It's hard to tell what Erdoğan is doing or intending other than that he is navigating something - objective TBD. It'll be interesting to see if he constrains the use of Incirlik airbase should the US keep arming the YPG/PKK forces. Airpower is the enabler (sole enabler, IMO) of the/any Kurdish overreach inside Syria. Seems like Erdoğan holds the ace card in this muddle but has yet to play it.Grieved | Nov 25, 2017 11:32:17 PM | 20@18 ritzlJackrabbit | Nov 25, 2017 11:42:26 PM | 21
Seems like Turkey has more than one card to play. A commenter on another site mentioned recently that the US really doesn't want Erdogan to have that S-400 system from Russia. Got me thinking, could Russia have deliberately loaded Erdogan's hand with that additional card to help him negotiate with the US?
Turkey may well leave NATO and as others have pointed out, this would be a game changer far beyond the matter of the US's illegal presence in NE Syria. This possibility brings immense existential gravitas to Erdogan's position right now. He could ask for many concessions at this point, not to leave. And from the Eurasian point of view, it doesn't matter if he leaves or stays, while from the western view, it matters greatly.
Would the US give up Syria, in order to keep Turkey in NATO? It's a western dichotomy, not one that affects Asia. It would be simple to throw S-400 at that dynamic to watch it squirm.Seby | Nov 26, 2017 12:25:05 AM | 22The plays the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.
As the endgame plays out, Erdogan's conscience may be revealed.
b has made the point that the partition that US-led proxy forces have carved out is unsustainable. But it would be sustainable if Erdogan can be convinced to allow trade via Turkey.
For that reason, I thought Trump's ceasing direct military aid to the Kurds made sense as it provided Erdogan with an excuse to allow land routes for trade/supply. Erdogan can argue that he wants to encourage such good behavior and doesn't want to make US an enemy (Turkey is still a NATO country).
Furthermore, I've always been suspicious of Erdogan's 'turn' toward Russia. Many have suspected that the attempted coup was staged by Erdogan (with CIA help?) so as to enable Erdogan to remain in office. IMO Erdogan joined the 'Assad must go!' effort not just because he benefited from the oil trade but because he leans toward Sunnis (Surely he was aware of the thinking that: the road to Tehran runs through Damascus .)
Hasn't Erdogan's vehement anti-Kurdish stance done R+6 a disservice? It seems to me that it has helped USA to convince Kurds to fight for them and has also been a convenient excuse for Erdogan to hold onto Idlib where al Queda forces have refuge. If Erdogan was really soooo angry with Washington, and soooo dependent on Moscow, then why not relax his anti-Kurdish stance so as to bring Kurds back into the Syrian orbit?tRump just wants to hide the truth that he is castrated and with a tiny penis, like his hands.Ian | Nov 26, 2017 12:29:05 AM | 23
Also just cares about money and soothing his narcissism. So f***'in American, in the worst sense!Jackrabbit @20:Fernando Arauxo | Nov 26, 2017 1:45:51 AM | 24
Erdogan may feel that if he relaxed his stance against the Syrian Kurds, it could embolden Turkish Kurds to further pursue their agenda. It would also make him appear weak towards his supporters.Erdogan is NOT going to leave NATO. Why should he? It would be the stupidest chess move ever? He's in the club and they can't kick him out. He can cause all the trouble he wants and hobble that huge machine that is the western alliance. He will not get EU membership, but he has his NATO ID CARD and that ain't bad. Erdo now knows that the poor bastard Trumps is WORTHLESS that he is a toothless executive in name only. This is a wake up call, if I were Erdo, I would be very afraid of the USA and it's Syria, MENA policy. It is being run by LUNATICS and is a slow moving train wreak. So for now, Erdo must be looking at Moscow, admiring Putin for this is a man who has his shit together and truly knows how to run a country. Maybe even a sense of admiration and more respect for Putin is even present. If I were Erdo, I'd double down in my support for Russia's Syria policy.Hausmeister | Nov 26, 2017 3:46:55 AM | 25@ flankerbandit | Nov 25, 2017 7:53:29 PM | 14Anon | Nov 26, 2017 5:11:53 AM | 26
You do not get it:
„...which happens to be a socialist and secular party interested in pan-Arab unity...not nationalism..."
According to this ideology the coherence of a society comes from where? And who is excluded if one applies it?
So your contribution is just a rant using rancidic rhetoric tools. But I will not call you „flunkerbandit". My advice is to move to this area and have a look into such a society from a more close position. Armchair type of vocal leadership does not help.
In the Obama years there was a:Jen | Nov 26, 2017 6:38:32 AM | 27
- Whitehouse policy
- Army Policy
- CIA policy
- State department policy.
Which policy is Trump really up against?Anon @ 25: Tempted to say Trump is up against all of them plus NSA policy, FBI policy, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) policy and the policies of, what, 12 other intel agencies?Yeah, Right | Nov 26, 2017 7:27:43 AM | 28
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/17-agencies-of-the-us-intelligence-community-2013-5?r=US&IR=T@23 "Erdogan is NOT going to leave NATO. Why should he?"arbetet | Nov 26, 2017 10:14:56 AM | 29
I guess one possible reason would be this: as long as Turkey remains in NATO then he is obliged to allow a US military presence in his country, and that's just asking for another attempt at a military coup.
After all, wasn't Incirlik airbase a hotbed of coup-plotters during the last coup attempt?This came up:Harry | Nov 26, 2017 10:33:01 AM | 30
SDF official: Kurds will join the Syrian Arab Army ranks!@ arbetet | 29dan of steele | Nov 26, 2017 11:00:06 AM | 31
"when the Syrian settlement is achieved, Syria's democratic forces will join the Syrian army."
"When the Syrian state stabilizes, we can say that the Americans did what they said, then withdraw as they did in Iraq and set a date for their departure and leave."
Nothing new here, nothing good either. Kurds so far are keeping up their demands of de-facto independence under fig-leaf of "we are part of federalised Syria" with weak central government and autonomous Kurds. Thats how US plan to castrate Syria. Russia offered cultural autonomy, Kurds rejected.
As for Americans "withdrawing" willfully, it never happened. Iraq had to kick them out, and then US used ISIS and Kurds to get back in.
As for Syria's stabilization part, US is doing everything in its power to prevent it.@Yeah Right #26Yeah, Right | Nov 26, 2017 5:18:37 PM | 32
Turkey is not obliged to keep foreign troops in their country to remain in NATO. De Gaulle invited the US to leave France in 1967 but is still a member of NATO@31 France actually withdrew from NATO in 1966. It remained "committed" to the collective defence of western Europe, without being, you know, "committed" to it.fast freddy | Nov 26, 2017 6:21:33 PM | 33
So, yeah, France kicked all the foreign troops out of France in 1967, precisely because its withdrawal from NATO's Integrated Military Command meant that the French were no longer under any obligation to allow NATO troops on its soil.
But France had to formally withdraw from that Command first, and the reason that de Gaulle gave for withdrawing were exactly that: remaining meant ceding sovereignty to a supra-national organization i.e. NATO Integrated Military Command.
That France retained "membership" of NATO's political organizations even after that withdrawal was little more than a fig-leaf.
After all, NATO's purpose isn't "political", it is "military".
"The Decider" is Trump's apparent self image. He can't be enjoying the Presidency and the controls exerted upon him by others among the "Deep State" (whom I suppose have effectively cowed him into behaving via serious threats).psychohistorian | Nov 26, 2017 11:30:16 PM | 34
If he already had money and power, as it appears that he had, he gained little by taking the crown. He has less power because he is now controlled by a number of forces (CIA, NSA, Media, MIC and etc.) as he remains under constant assault by his natural opposition.
Big mistake dumping Flynn.
Now you take another kind of asshole in the person of Obama - a guy that had nothing - you have a malleable character who enjoys the pomp and circumstance. Really didn't need any persuading to do anything required of him.Here is a recent report from the Turkish Prime Minister supporting Trump's "lie" about ending support for the Kurds....what will history show occured?Julian | Nov 27, 2017 12:47:45 AM | 35
ISTANBUL, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Sunday that his country is expecting the United States to end its partnership with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
"Since the very beginning, we have said that it is wrong for the U.S. to partner with PKK's cousin PYD and YPG in the fight against Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group," Yildirim told the press in Istanbul prior to his departure for Britain.
Ankara sees the Kurdish groups as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighting against the Turkish government for over 30 years, while Washington regards them as a reliable ground force against the Islamic State (IS), also known as Daesh.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday spoke to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone, pledging not to provide weapons to the YPG any more, an irritant that has hurt bilateral ties, according to the Turkish side.
Yildirim noted that Washington has described it as an obligation rather than an option to support the Kurdish groups on the ground. "But since Daesh (IS) is now eliminated then this obligation has disappeared," he added.It would be nice if Erdogan when withdrawing from NATO (Assuming he does this in the next 12-18 months) would say something like.Quentin | Nov 27, 2017 8:48:51 AM | 36"We really like President Trump - and we trust his word implicitly. The problem is, although we trust his word, we know he is not in control so his word is useless and best ignored. Though of course - we still trust he means well."
That would be a nice backhander to hear from Erdopig.Speculation about Turkey leaving NATO seems farfetched. Turkey has NATO over a barrel. It has been a member for decades and what would it gain by leaving? Nothing. By staying it continues to influence and needle at the same time. Turkey will only leave when NATO throws it out, which isn't going to happen.Willy2 | Nov 27, 2017 11:53:09 AM | 37- According to Sibel Edmonds there're 2 coups being prepared. One against Trump and one against Erdogan.
[Nov 28, 2017] Israeli Defense Minister Contradicts Netanyahu There Is No Iranian Military Force On Syrian Land
Nov 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
But on Tuesday Israel's own Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman flatly contradicted the prime minister's jingoistic alarmism by saying that there are no Iranian military forces in Syria, but instead merely stuck to acknowledging "experts and advisers". In comments to Israel's Ynet news, Lieberman admitted , "We must preserve our security interests. It is true that there are a number of Iranian experts and advisers, but there is no Iranian military force on Syrian land."
The comments came on the same day that the IDF Spokesperson made provocative and controversial statements , announcing that in the next Israel-Hezbollah War, "Nasrallah is a target" for assassination and that Israel is currently conducting psychological and media warfare against Hezbollah. But Defense Minister Lieberman's statement flies in the face of claims made by Netanyahu in his speech before the UN General Assembly this year when he said, "We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria... And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border."
According to a BBC report dubiously sourced to "a Western intelligence source" from earlier this month, Syria stands accused of hosting a sizable Iranian military base south of Damascus, a story which Israel utilized to ratchet up rhetoric in preparing its case before the international community for further attacks on supposed Iranian targets inside Syria. Israel has long justified its attacks inside Syria by claiming to be acting against Hezbollah and Iranian targets.
But Lieberman's surprising comments represent a significant potential backing away from what appeared to be Israel's long running official stance on the issue. According to Tel Aviv based Haaretz newspaper, Lieberman responded as follows when presented with the contradiction :
Netanyahu has said Iran is working to build military bases in Syria, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its leader there, Qassem Soleimani, have been photographed in the war-torn country neighboring Israel to the north. When asked about this discrepancy, Lieberman said that "all the regional forces know we are the strongest power in the area. Israel is a regional power."
"Iran has a strategy to creating proxies everywhere. Obviously, they are not physically in Lebanon, that's what's Hezbollah is for. In Yemen, they're not physically present, they created the Houthi rebels. They have the same plan in Syria: creating different kinds of militias."
It could be that this new emphasis on acknowledging Iranian "proxies" while stopping short of claiming direct Iranian military presence - a clear lessening of Israel's intensifying rhetoric of late - is connected to a potential Syria-Israeli back channel deal to demilitarize the Golan region. We reported yesterday that unconfirmed Israeli sources are claiming that Putin is personally mediating demands issued between Assad and Netanyahu after both leaders traveled to meet with Putin within the past months.
The Jerusalem Post published a story early this week based on a well placed Israeli source privy to diplomatic maneuvering between Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Damascus. The report said, "the source, who remains unnamed, said that during Syrian President Bashar Assad's surprise visit to Russia last week, Assad gave Russian Premier Vladimir Putin a message for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Damascus will agree to a demilitarized zone of up to 40 kilometers from the border in the Golan Heights as part of a comprehensive agreement between the two countries, but only if Israel does not work to remove Assad's regime from power."
Meanwhile, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have increasingly gone public with their covert relationship based on intelligence sharing against what both sides perceive to be a strong and expansionist Iran.
Earlier this month Israel Defense Force (IDF) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot gave an unprecedented interview to a prominent Saudi newspaper in which he said that, "Israel is ready to share intelligence with Riyadh on their shared arch-foe Iran." Eizenkot explained further, according to Tel Aviv based i24NEWS , that "Israel and Riyadh - which he noted have never fought one another - are in complete agreement about Iran's intentions to dominate the Middle East."
And like Israel, Saudi Arabia has long scapegoated Iran and the region's Shia for all of it's problems , especially as it wages its brutal war on Yemen.
But on Tuesday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hit back. In comments picked up by Reuters , he said that Saudi Arabia presents Iran as an enemy because it wants to cover up its defeats in the region. Rouhani said in the midst of a live interview on state television, "Saudi Arabia was unsuccessful in Qatar, was unsuccessful in Iraq, in Syria and recently in Lebanon. In all of these areas, they were unsuccessful," and added further, "So they want to cover up their defeats."
These words of course could just as well be aimed at Israel too. And with today's surprise admission by Israel's defense minister - that there is "no Iranian military force on Syrian land" - it could be that Israel's bluff has finally been called.
[Nov 22, 2017] Drums Along the Euphrates
"... "USA protects SDF and ISIS east of the Euphrates and agreed that Russia won't fly over the area occupied by the US Forces in north-east Syria. USA is officially an occupation force in the Levant." ..."
"... "The United States is prepared to explore the possibility of establishing with Russia joint mechanisms for ensuring stability, including no-fly zones, on the ground ceasefire observers, and coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance" ..."
Nov 22, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Earlier today this tweet by Elijiah Magnier caught my eye.
"USA protects SDF and ISIS east of the Euphrates and agreed that Russia won't fly over the area occupied by the US Forces in north-east Syria. USA is officially an occupation force in the Levant."
Seems the US and Russia have agreed to using the Euphrates as a de facto border between the SAA and its allies and the US-supported YPG/SDF at least for a while. This is in line with statements made by Tillerson prior to the G20 summit held on 7 July in Hamburg.
"The United States is prepared to explore the possibility of establishing with Russia joint mechanisms for ensuring stability, including no-fly zones, on the ground ceasefire observers, and coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance"
This temporary arrangement makes sense for Damascus. There are still plenty of fires to extinguish on Syrian territory west of the Euphrates. Why spread their forces thin again just when they are now able to concentrate their forces to address those fires. Besides, there is still plenty of time for the negotiation and reconciliation process to achieve victory without further bloodshed. I have no doubt. Syria will be whole once again.
I'm sure CENTCOM sees this differently. I think the grand scheme was to establish an enduring US-controlled enclave encompassing all of Iraqi Kurdistan, Rojava and the Arab lands of eastern Syria. I bet there was a plan for establishing a new CENTCOM forward headquarters in Erbil to oversee this vast enclave. The premature Kurdish bid for independence blew a gaping hole in that plan. Iraqi Kurdistan lost its border with Syria. With that loss went CENTCOM's secure land route from Kirkuk and Erbil to its growing bases in northeast Syria.
Another purpose of this "CENTCOM Caliphate" was to prevent the establishment of a land route from Teheran to Damascus and on to Beirut. With the liberation of Abu Kamal by a combined force of SAA, IRGC, Hezbollah and allied militias, that part of the CENTCOM plan also floundered on the rocks. The presence of Qassem Soleimani at this victory must have been a bitter pill to swallow at CJTF -- OIR headquarters.
Another disappointment CENTCOM must face is their now useless base at Al Tanf and the Rukban refugee camp. This base was meant to support our "moderate jihadis" and to help prevent the establishment of the Shia Crescent. Another dream dashed. We are now faced with a near abandoned base and a dire and embarrassing humanitarian crisis at Rubkan.
CENTCOM has always wanted a major physical presence in their AOR. They've had that for a long time now, ever since Desert Storm. Prior to that, they were bitterly jealous of EUCOM and PACOM. They would be much smarter to forgo their dreams of forward-based grandeur and return to being a CONUS-based command headquarters controlling training, exercise and limited operational deployments in their AOR. And for God's sake, get out of Syria. Between the Astana meetings and the upcoming Sochi National Dialogue Conference, Russia has this covered.
[Nov 22, 2017] DECAMERON And Now, Calling to Start US War in Syria All Over Again
"... "Consistent with the Trump Administration's stated intention of pushing back against Iran's increasingly malign behavior throughout the Middle East, American policymakers urgently need to rebuild credibility and positions of strength by contesting Iran's rising influence across the region. Most urgently, the United States must impose real obstacles to Tehran's pursuit of total victory by the Assad regime in Syria. Time is of the essence, as Iranian-backed forces recently have retaken nearly all the country, save lands liberated from Islamic State (IS) by the U.S.-led coalition. These, and any further, strategic gains threaten to entrench Tehran as the arbiter of postwar Syria and consolidate its control of a "land bridge" connecting Iran directly to Lebanon and Hezbollah." ..."
"... "The annual Generals and Admirals Program to the Middle East, in which recently retired American generals and admirals are invited to visit Israel with JINSA to meet the top echelon of the Israeli military and political leadership, ensures that the American delegation is well briefed on the security concerns of Israel, as well as the key role Israel plays as a friend and ally of the U.S. To date, JINSA has taken more than 400 retired officers to Israel, many of whom serve on JINSA's Board of Advisors." ..."
"... first -- JINSA." ..."
Nov 22, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
There are only a couple of dozen hardcore BORG-ists (to use Col Lang's useful description) trolling for war against Iran, but they are irrationally consistent. The names are familiar: Ledeen, Richard Perle, Woolsey, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), etc. Now, enter JINSA.
This week, another piece of the drive for war against Iran has manifested itself on the pages of the Jewish Institute for National Security for America (JINSA) www.jinsa.org , with a November 20, 2017 report, Countering Iranian Expansion in Syria. It says:
"Consistent with the Trump Administration's stated intention of pushing back against Iran's increasingly malign behavior throughout the Middle East, American policymakers urgently need to rebuild credibility and positions of strength by contesting Iran's rising influence across the region. Most urgently, the United States must impose real obstacles to Tehran's pursuit of total victory by the Assad regime in Syria. Time is of the essence, as Iranian-backed forces recently have retaken nearly all the country, save lands liberated from Islamic State (IS) by the U.S.-led coalition. These, and any further, strategic gains threaten to entrench Tehran as the arbiter of postwar Syria and consolidate its control of a "land bridge" connecting Iran directly to Lebanon and Hezbollah."
The heart of Israeli penetration of the U.S. national security sector has long been JINSA -- Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). JINSA was founded in 1973, immediately following the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli War, to assure U.S. military support for all future Israeli wars. JINSA 's mission was to recruit large numbers of recently retired U.S. military ofﬁcers to the Israeli cause, by, among other techniques, sponsoring all-expenses-paid junkets to Israel, or exchange programs at Israeli military academies. It is long term. It is steady. It keeps the same core directors. It is not distracted. It is a mostly-overlooked component of the Israel Lobby.
Today, the JINSA website boasts:
"The annual Generals and Admirals Program to the Middle East, in which recently retired American generals and a