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Surrender to neocons: Trump administration after its Colin Powell moment

Trump bowed to NeoCon pressure: hello Ms Clinton

Is the US air forces assuming the role of  Al Qaeda/Al Nusra air forces  a "right idea"?

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 | 6

It 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.[50]

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.[51] Varying[52] sources gave a death toll of 322[53] to 1,729.[54]

See also Herch discussion of  2013 Ghouta chemical attack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS5DOg-_XXE

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.

 

 
12 13
Is this the same situation as Sadaam Hussein - "We know they've got chemical weapons, because we've got the receipts"? It certainly seems to be the usual unfortunate situation where it's a terrible thing for "them" to use chemical weapons and kill civilians, but nowhere near as bad when "we" do it.

 

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 10
    It'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 1
    Interesting 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 8
    Why 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 56
    Using 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 68
    The 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 31
    Well, 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 5
    I 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 9
  •  
    42 43
    Are 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 28
    Yes, Syrian and Russian forces are striking ISIS, Al-Queda and Al-Nusra, while the US strikes Syria. Sums up the whole thing really.
     
    61 62
    According 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 4
    It 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 2
    Trump will feel emboldened by this move. A frighening thought indeed.
     
    8 9
    I am sure that Netanyahu will be pleased that America has finally agreed to remove another Arab leader.
     
    9 10
    This 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 3
    No, 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 71
    This 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 27
    So here we go, nothing really changes in the land of the free. Warmongers they will remain. Al Qaeda rejoices.
     
    7 8
    I 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 6
    I 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 war
     
    7 8
    Agreed 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 0

     
    3 4
    But 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 1
    Trump – 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 4
    This 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 10
    Five 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.

    Now:

    “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 24
    Assad 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 11
    Breaking 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 13
    Spot-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 15
    There 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 1
    I 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 6
    As 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 5
    The 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 6
    This will improve his ratings!
    3 4
    That is all he cares about.
     
    12 13
    Trump 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!

     


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    NEWS CONTENTS

    Old News ;-)

    [Oct 11, 2017] The Infantilization of President Trump by David A. Graham

    Atlantic used to have a strong pro-Hillary bias and stooges are prominent among its correspndents, so all information should be take with huge grain of salt. may be this is just a "color revolution" style campaign to provoke the President of some outburst that hurts him politically.
    But Trump behaviour in case of North Korea speaks for itself so this is not pure insinuations...
    Notable quotes:
    "... On the North Korean front, the president has repeatedly made bellicose remarks for months, even as aides try to slow-walk the slide toward war, warning of the catastrophic destruction that would result, insisting that all options remain on the table, and trying to keep diplomatic channels open -- only to see Trump repeatedly undercut them. Even as the president seems eager for confrontation, more prudent members of the team have sought to redirect his anger. ..."
    Oct 11, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

    ... Or, for that matter, whether the U.S. might go to war soon with either North Korea or Iran, as I wrote yesterday . On the North Korean front, the president has repeatedly made bellicose remarks for months, even as aides try to slow-walk the slide toward war, warning of the catastrophic destruction that would result, insisting that all options remain on the table, and trying to keep diplomatic channels open -- only to see Trump repeatedly undercut them. Even as the president seems eager for confrontation, more prudent members of the team have sought to redirect his anger.

    Bargaining is another technique, as recent news about Iran shows. While many of Trump's aides had their gripes about the 2015 deal with Tehran to prevent nuclear proliferation, most of them seem to agree that keeping the deal in place is far preferable to eliminating it. But now the administration seems likely to punt the issue, decertifying the deal but leaving it to Congress to either let it stand or fall. (So much for Harry S. Truman's "the buck stops here.") Why take this halfway step? Part of it is that, just as on DACA, Trump wants to keep a campaign promise to end the deal without suffering the consequences, but another part is childish petulance: Olivier Knox reports Trump simply hates being confronted with the need to recertify the deal every 90 days.

    And then, as every parent knows, sometimes you just have to give in -- let the kid have a victory on something less significant. Aides can try to prevent war with North Korea, and they can seek compromise on the Iran deal, and they can quietly kill the demand for more nukes, but they've got to let the president have his way on occasion. When Trump demands "goddamned steam" to power catapults on aircraft carriers, aides shrug and let it go.

    Trump's childish behavior was worrying when it involved belittling his opponents, discussing his genitalia, or taking swipes at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, but it takes on a new level of danger when it affects U.S. military policy, from Iran to North Korea to the nuclear arsenal. There's a powerful, perhaps too powerful, urge to seek historical analogues for Trump , but seldom has there been a president whose own loyalists and insiders were so dismissive of his maturity, judgment, and prudence. So how does the presidency work when the president's aides treat him like a child? The immediate answer is, not very well. The longer-term answers are murkier and scarier.

    [Oct 11, 2017] Donald Trump is exposing the contradictions of the elite by David Callahan

    That's neoliberal elite after all. Why the author expects them to be ashamed is unclear
    Notable quotes:
    "... Business practices aimed at boosting shareholder value – like outsourcing, offshoring, automation, union-busting, predatory lending, and a range of anti-competitive abuses – have undermined the security of large swaths of the country. In turn, a flood of business dollars for campaign donations and lobbying over decades has helped thwart effective government responses to rising pain on Main Street. ..."
    "... History tells us that societies with extractive and self-serving upper classes tend to fall into decline – whereas societies with inclusive elites are more likely to thrive. With the rise of Trump, we're seeing what an unraveling of the social fabric looks like after decades in which nearly all the nation's income gains have flowed upwards to a tiny sliver of households. ..."
    Oct 11, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

    Since January, though, we've also seen a new level of rapaciousness by corporate interests in Washington DC that seem intent on extracting as much wealth as they can from wherever they can: consumers, investors, public lands, student borrowers, the tax code and even the war in Afghanistan.

    Longtime watchers of the .01% won't be surprised by this bifurcated picture. For over two decades, an ever more educated wealthy elite has trumpeted its belief in tolerance, diversity, and meritocracy – even as it's also helped usher in record levels of inequality that have left many Americans feeling economically excluded and increasingly angry.

    Trump's retrograde presidency has revealed the profound contradictions at the top of the US income ladder.

    ... ... ...

    Corporate leaders have already been supportive of Trump's sweeping push to gut regulations in ways that would tilt the rules governing the economy more in favor of business and the wealthy. Social inclusion may be a growing public mantra of the far upper class. But economic extraction remains among its core operating principles.

    ... ... ...

    Social inclusion is a public mantra of the upper class. But economic extraction remains a core operating principle

    The answer is that many corporate and financial leaders were, and still are, a big part of the problem. These leaders have fostered the economic conditions that have thrown the values of tolerance and diversity on the defensive in America.

    Business practices aimed at boosting shareholder value – like outsourcing, offshoring, automation, union-busting, predatory lending, and a range of anti-competitive abuses – have undermined the security of large swaths of the country. In turn, a flood of business dollars for campaign donations and lobbying over decades has helped thwart effective government responses to rising pain on Main Street.

    ... ... ...

    History tells us that societies with extractive and self-serving upper classes tend to fall into decline – whereas societies with inclusive elites are more likely to thrive. With the rise of Trump, we're seeing what an unraveling of the social fabric looks like after decades in which nearly all the nation's income gains have flowed upwards to a tiny sliver of households.

    Rarely has the American experiment – the notion of a country united by ideas rather than shared heritage – felt more fragile than it does right now. It's an ugly picture of division and resentment, but a predictable one given the economic trauma inflicted on millions of people over recent decades.

    ... ... ...

    David Callahan is the author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. He is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy

    [Oct 09, 2017] Corker Strikes Back by Daniel Larison

    And this guy was elected with the mandate to end all foreign wars, although regarding Iraq he always was pretty crazy and jingoistic.
    Notable quotes:
    "... The New York Times ..."
    Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    Bob Corker followed up on his initial response to Trump's attack on him with some scathing criticism in an interview with The New York Times :

    Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like "a reality show," with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation "on the path to World War III."

    In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts "like he's doing 'The Apprentice' or something."

    "He concerns me," Mr. Corker added. "He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation."

    Corker isn't saying anything that many others haven't already said, but it is significant that it is coming from such a high-profile elected Republican. The senator was among a very few in the Senate inclined to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in the past, and he sometimes went out of his way to say positive things about Trump's foreign policy. During the election, he was saying that Trump was bringing a "degree of realism" and "maturity" to foreign policy. That was always wishful thinking, and Corker's criticism now is a belated admission that he was wrong about all of that. It is fair to fault Corker for not realizing or saying any of these things sooner, but that doesn't make it any less extraordinary that he is saying it on the record. Thanks to Trump's foolish attack on him yesterday, he evidently no longer feels obliged to keep quiet about the problems he has with the president.

    One of the more interesting things that Corker confirmed concerned Trump's repeated undermining of Tillerson:

    The senator, who is close to Mr. Tillerson, invoked comments that the president made on Twitter last weekend in which he appeared to undercut Mr. Tillerson's negotiations with North Korea.

    "A lot of people think that there is some kind of 'good cop, bad cop' act underway, but that's just not true," Mr. Corker said.

    Without offering specifics, he said Mr. Trump had repeatedly undermined diplomacy with his Twitter fingers. "I know he has hurt, in several instances, he's hurt us as it relates to negotiations that were underway by tweeting things out," Mr. Corker said.

    We already knew this, but it is important that someone in Corker's position is acknowledging that the administration's foreign policy is every bit as dysfunctional as it appears to be. It remains to be seen whether Corker's break with Trump will translate into meaningful opposition to any part of Trump's foreign policy, but his remarks in this interview suggest that it might.

    [Oct 09, 2017] Dennis Kucinich We Must Challenge the Two-Party Duopoly Committed to War by Adam Dick

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government. ..."
    "... Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home." ..."
    "... This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in. ..."
    "... Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war." ..."
    Oct 09, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

    In a new interview with host Jesse Ventura at RT, former United States presidential candidate and House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich stressed the importance of the American people challenging the "two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

    In the interview, Kucinich discusses his work to expose the misinformation used to argue for US government interventions overseas before and during the Iraq War and, later, concerning the US effort to assist in the overthrow of the Syria government.

    Regarding the Iraq War, Kucinich, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, explains that his research showed that "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nothing to do with al-Qaeda's role in 9/11, didn't have any connection to the anthrax attack, didn't have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States, and didn't have the weapons of mass destruction that were being claimed." This information, Kucinich relates, he provided to US Congress members in an October 2, 2002 report showing "there was no cause for war."

    Despite Kucinich and other individuals' efforts to stop the march toward war, Congress passed an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq later in October, and the invasion of Iraq commenced in March of 2003.

    Kucinich, in the interview, places the Iraq War, with its costs including trillions in US government spending and the death of over a million Iraqis, in the context of "this American imperium, this idea that somehow we have the right to establish ourselves anywhere we want" including with "over 800 bases in 132 countries" and to go around the world "looking for dragons to slay while we ignore our own problems here at home."

    Why are we "wasting the blood of our nation, the treasure of our nation, our young people" on these overseas activities that are "causing catastrophes among families in other countries?" Kucinich asks. He answers as follows:

    This is a racket. This is a way for people who make arms to cash in or have government contracts to cash in.
    Continuing with his explanation for the support for the Iraq War and other US military intervention abroad, Kucinich says:
    The problem today we have in Washington is that both political parties have converged with the military-industrial complex, fulfilling President Eisenhower's nightmare and setting America on a path toward destruction.

    Rescuing America from a future "cataclysmic war," Kucinich argues, requires that Americans both "realize that our position in the world was never, ever meant to be a cop on the beat, a global cop," and "challenge this two-party duopoly that's committed to war."

    Watch Kucinich's complete interview here:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/3n5w1xYmV8A


    Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
    Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

    [Oct 09, 2017] Autopilot Wars by Andrew J. Bacevich

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality. ..."
    "... Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ..."
    "... The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. ..."
    "... On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. ..."
    "... Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. ..."
    "... Blather crowds out substance. ..."
    "... Besides, we're too busy. ..."
    "... Anyway, the next president will save us. ..."
    "... Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. ..."
    "... Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question. ..."
    Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Autopilot Wars Sixteen Years, But Who's Counting?

    Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts. First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one faraway place, but at least seven . Second, the vast majority of the American people could not care less.

    Nor can it be said that we don't care because we don't know. True, government authorities withhold certain aspects of ongoing military operations or release only details that they find convenient. Yet information describing what U.S. forces are doing (and where) is readily available, even if buried in recent months by barrages of presidential tweets. Here, for anyone interested, are press releases issued by United States Central Command for just one recent week:

    Ever since the United States launched its war on terror, oceans of military press releases have poured forth. And those are just for starters. To provide updates on the U.S. military's various ongoing campaigns, generals, admirals, and high-ranking defense officials regularly testify before congressional committees or brief members of the press. From the field, journalists offer updates that fill in at least some of the details -- on civilian casualties, for example -- that government authorities prefer not to disclose. Contributors to newspaper op-ed pages and "experts" booked by network and cable TV news shows, including passels of retired military officers, provide analysis. Trailing behind come books and documentaries that put things in a broader perspective.

    But here's the truth of it. None of it matters.

    Like traffic jams or robocalls, war has fallen into the category of things that Americans may not welcome, but have learned to live with. In twenty-first-century America, war is not that big a deal.

    While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

    Why do Americans today show so little interest in the wars waged in their name and at least nominally on their behalf? Why, as our wars drag on and on, doesn't the disparity between effort expended and benefits accrued arouse more than passing curiosity or mild expressions of dismay? Why, in short, don't we give a [ expletive deleted ]?

    Perhaps just posing such a question propels us instantly into the realm of the unanswerable, like trying to figure out why people idolize Justin Bieber, shoot birds, or watch golf on television.

    Without any expectation of actually piercing our collective ennui, let me take a stab at explaining why we don't give a @#$%&! Here are eight distinctive but mutually reinforcing explanations, offered in a sequence that begins with the blindingly obvious and ends with the more speculative.

    Americans don't attend all that much to ongoing American wars because:

    1. U.S. casualty rates are low . By using proxies and contractors, and relying heavily on airpower, America's war managers have been able to keep a tight lid on the number of U.S. troops being killed and wounded. In all of 2017, for example, a grand total of 11 American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan -- about equal to the number of shooting deaths in Chicago over the course of a typical week. True, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries where the U.S. is engaged in hostilities, whether directly or indirectly, plenty of people who are not Americans are being killed and maimed. (The estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed this year alone exceeds 12,000 .) But those casualties have next to no political salience as far as the United States is concerned. As long as they don't impede U.S. military operations, they literally don't count (and generally aren't counted).

    2. The true costs of Washington's wars go untabulated. In a famous speech , dating from early in his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower said that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dollars spent on weaponry, Ike insisted, translated directly into schools, hospitals, homes, highways, and power plants that would go unbuilt. "This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense," he continued. "[I]t is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." More than six decades later, Americans have long since accommodated themselves to that cross of iron. Many actually see it as a boon, a source of corporate profits, jobs, and, of course, campaign contributions. As such, they avert their eyes from the opportunity costs of our never-ending wars. The dollars expended pursuant to our post-9/11 conflicts will ultimately number in the multi-trillions . Imagine the benefits of investing such sums in upgrading the nation's aging infrastructure . Yet don't count on Congressional leaders, other politicians, or just about anyone else to pursue that connection.

    On matters related to war, American citizens have opted out. Others have made the point so frequently that it's the equivalent of hearing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at Christmastime. Even so, it bears repeating: the American people have defined their obligation to "support the troops" in the narrowest imaginable terms , ensuring above all that such support requires absolutely no sacrifice on their part. Members of Congress abet this civic apathy, while also taking steps to insulate themselves from responsibility. In effect, citizens and their elected representatives in Washington agree: supporting the troops means deferring to the commander in chief, without inquiring about whether what he has the troops doing makes the slightest sense. Yes, we set down our beers long enough to applaud those in uniform and boo those who decline to participate in mandatory rituals of patriotism. What we don't do is demand anything remotely approximating actual accountability.

    4. Terrorism gets hyped and hyped and hyped some more. While international terrorism isn't a trivial problem (and wasn't for decades before 9/11), it comes nowhere close to posing an existential threat to the United States. Indeed, other threats, notably the impact of climate change, constitute a far greater danger to the wellbeing of Americans. Worried about the safety of your children or grandchildren? The opioid epidemic constitutes an infinitely greater danger than "Islamic radicalism." Yet having been sold a bill of goods about a "war on terror" that is essential for "keeping America safe," mere citizens are easily persuaded that scattering U.S. troops throughout the Islamic world while dropping bombs on designated evildoers is helping win the former while guaranteeing the latter. To question that proposition becomes tantamount to suggesting that God might not have given Moses two stone tablets after all.

    5. Blather crowds out substance. When it comes to foreign policy, American public discourse is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- vacuous, insipid, and mindlessly repetitive. William Safire of the New York Times once characterized American political rhetoric as BOMFOG, with those running for high office relentlessly touting the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God. Ask a politician, Republican or Democrat, to expound on this country's role in the world, and then brace yourself for some variant of WOSFAD, as the speaker insists that it is incumbent upon the World's Only Superpower to spread Freedom and Democracy. Terms like leadership and indispensable are introduced, along with warnings about the dangers of isolationism and appeasement, embellished with ominous references to Munich . Such grandiose posturing makes it unnecessary to probe too deeply into the actual origins and purposes of American wars, past or present, or assess the likelihood of ongoing wars ending in some approximation of actual success. Cheerleading displaces serious thought.

    6. Besides, we're too busy. Think of this as a corollary to point five. Even if the present-day American political scene included figures like Senators Robert La Follette or J. William Fulbright , who long ago warned against the dangers of militarizing U.S. policy, Americans may not retain a capacity to attend to such critiques. Responding to the demands of the Information Age is not, it turns out, conducive to deep reflection. We live in an era (so we are told) when frantic multitasking has become a sort of duty and when being overscheduled is almost obligatory. Our attention span shrinks and with it our time horizon. The matters we attend to are those that happened just hours or minutes ago. Yet like the great solar eclipse of 2017 -- hugely significant and instantly forgotten -- those matters will, within another few minutes or hours, be superseded by some other development that briefly captures our attention. As a result, a dwindling number of Americans -- those not compulsively checking Facebook pages and Twitter accounts -- have the time or inclination to ponder questions like: When will the Afghanistan War end? Why has it lasted almost 16 years? Why doesn't the finest fighting force in history actually win? Can't package an answer in 140 characters or a 30-second made-for-TV sound bite? Well, then, slowpoke, don't expect anyone to attend to what you have to say.

    7. Anyway, the next president will save us. At regular intervals, Americans indulge in the fantasy that, if we just install the right person in the White House, all will be well. Ambitious politicians are quick to exploit this expectation. Presidential candidates struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but all of them promise in one way or another to wipe the slate clean and Make America Great Again. Ignoring the historical record of promises broken or unfulfilled, and presidents who turn out not to be deities but flawed human beings, Americans -- members of the media above all -- pretend to take all this seriously. Campaigns become longer, more expensive, more circus-like, and ever less substantial. One might think that the election of Donald Trump would prompt a downward revision in the exalted expectations of presidents putting things right. Instead, especially in the anti-Trump camp, getting rid of Trump himself (Collusion! Corruption! Obstruction! Impeachment!) has become the overriding imperative, with little attention given to restoring the balance intended by the framers of the Constitution. The irony of Trump perpetuating wars that he once roundly criticized and then handing the conduct of those wars to generals devoid of ideas for ending them almost entirely escapes notice.

    8. Our culturally progressive military has largely immunized itself from criticism. As recently as the 1990s, the U.S. military establishment aligned itself with the retrograde side of the culture wars. Who can forget the gays-in-the-military controversy that rocked Bill Clinton's administration during his first weeks in office, as senior military leaders publicly denounced their commander-in-chief? Those days are long gone. Culturally, the armed forces have moved left. Today, the services go out of their way to project an image of tolerance and a commitment to equality on all matters related to race, gender, and sexuality. So when President Trump announced his opposition to transgendered persons serving in the armed forces, tweeting that the military "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," senior officers politely but firmly disagreed and pushed back . Given the ascendency of cultural issues near the top of the U.S. political agenda, the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism and from being called to account for a less than sterling performance in waging wars. Put simply, critics who in an earlier day might have blasted military leaders for their inability to bring wars to a successful conclusion hold their fire. Having women graduate from Ranger School or command Marines in combat more than compensates for not winning.

    A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America. But don't expect your neighbors down the street or the editors of the New York Times to lose any sleep over that fact. Even to notice it would require them -- and us -- to care.

    Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is the author, most recently, of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History .

    Dan Hayes > , October 9, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

    You have enumerated ten general reasons why Americans "don't attend" to ongoing wars.

    Let me add a further specific one: the draft or lack of same. If there were a draft in place either the powers-that-be would not even dare to contemplate any of our present martial misadventures, or failing that the outraged citizenry would burn down the Congress!

    BTW I had never thought about reason #8: the military's embrace of diversity helps to insulate it from criticism. This explains General Casey's inane statement that diversity shouldn't be a casualty of the Fort Hood massacre by a "diverse" officer!

    Carlton Meyer > , Website October 9, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

    One reason Trump won is that he promised to pull back the empire, while suggesting the Pentagon already has plenty of money. After the election, he demanded a 10% increase, and threatens North Korea to justify it! This increase alone is bigger than the entire annual military budget of Russia! The public is informed that this is because of cuts during the Obama years, but there were no cuts, only limits to increases.

    How did the Democrats react? Most voted for a bigger military budget than the mindless increase proposed by Trump! That news was not reported by our corporate media, as Jimmy Dore explained:

    Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

    A collective indifference to war has become an emblem of contemporary America.

    Well, yes, the US has recently killed 100.000′s of Arab civilians because they were Terrorists (?) or to Bring them Democracy (?) or whatever, or something – or who cares anyway. There's more coverage of the transgender toilet access question.

    So who are Mr & Mrs Indifferent, the emblems of contemporary America? https://www.yahoo.com/news/29-couples-boudoir-photos-almost-172445904.html ?.tsrc=fauxdal – Thanks to Priss

    Backwoods Bob > , October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am GMT

    Structurally, you have arms production, military bases, hospitals, and related service industries across nearly all the congressional districts in the country.

    So it is an enormous set of vested interests with both voting power and corporate money for campaign treasuries.

    Quoting Ike was good, and he mentions the opportunity cost in schools, roads, etc. – but also the organizing political and economic power of the military industrial complex.

    The government schools are with some exceptions worthless. No subject, let alone war, is taken on seriously.

    The legacy media has been co-opted by the MIC/Financial interests. The state is spying on everyone and everyone knows so. Free speech, free association, free assembly, right to bear arms, confront your accuser, trial by jury, habeas corpus – all gone now.

    So the sheep behave. They walk by the dead whistling, and look straight ahead.

    Robert Magill > , October 9, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT

    While serving as defense secretary in the 1960s, Robert McNamara once mused that the "greatest contribution" of the Vietnam War might have been to make it possible for the United States "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." With regard to the conflict once widely referred to as McNamara's War, his claim proved grotesquely premature. Yet a half-century later, his wish has become reality.

    He was dead wrong about this in the 60′s as it soon became obvious to everyone else. But we learned how "to go to war without the necessity of arousing the public ire." Cut out the military draft and embed the press into the ranks so they dare not report the actions they witness.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    [Oct 08, 2017] THE CRISIS OF NEOLIBERALISM by Julie A. Wilson

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism. ..."
    "... Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. ..."
    "... Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy. ..."
    "... In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism. ..."
    "... We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism. ..."
    "... While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."' ..."
    Oct 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

    Quote from the book is courtesy of Amazon preview of the book Neoliberalism (Key Ideas in Media & Cultural Studies)

    In Chapter 1, we traced the rise of our neoliberal conjuncture back to the crisis of liberalism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, culminating in the Great Depression. During this period, huge transformations in capitalism proved impossible to manage with classical laissez-faire approaches. Out of this crisis, two movements emerged, both of which would eventually shape the course of the twentieth century and beyond. The first, and the one that became dominant in the aftermath of the crisis, was the conjuncture of embedded liberalism. The crisis indicated that capitalism wrecked too much damage on the lives of ordinary citizens. People (white workers and families, especially) warranted social protection from the volatilities and brutalities of capitalism. The state's public function was expanded to include the provision of a more substantive social safety net, a web of protections for people and a web of constraints on markets. The second response was the invention of neoliberalism. Deeply skeptical of the common-good principles that undergirded the emerging social welfare state, neoliberals began organizing on the ground to develop a "new" liberal govemmentality, one rooted less in laissez-faire principles and more in the generalization of competition and enterprise. They worked to envision a new society premised on a new social ontology, that is, on new truths about the state, the market, and human beings. Crucially, neoliberals also began building infrastructures and institutions for disseminating their new' knowledges and theories (i.e., the Neoliberal Thought Collective), as well as organizing politically to build mass support for new policies (i.e., working to unite anti-communists, Christian conservatives, and free marketers in common cause against the welfare state). When cracks in embedded liberalism began to surface -- which is bound to happen with any moving political equilibrium -- neoliberals were there with new stories and solutions, ready to make the world anew.

    We are currently living through the crisis of neoliberalism. As I write this book, Donald Trump has recently secured the U.S. presidency, prevailing in the national election over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Throughout the election, I couldn't help but think back to the crisis of liberalism and the two responses that emerged. Similarly, after the Great Recession of 2008, we've saw two responses emerge to challenge our unworkable status quo, which dispossesses so many people of vital resources for individual and collective life. On the one hand, we witnessed the rise of Occupy Wall Street. While many continue to critique the movement for its lack of leadership and a coherent political vision, Occupy was connected to burgeoning movements across the globe, and our current political horizons have been undoubtedly shaped by the movement's success at repositioning class and economic inequality within our political horizon. On the other hand, we saw' the rise of the Tea Party, a right-wing response to the crisis. While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism.

    Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. There were just too many fissures and fault lines in the glossy, cosmopolitan world of left neoliberalism and marketized equality. Indeed, while Clinton ran on status-quo stories of good governance and neoliberal feminism, confident that demographics and diversity would be enough to win the election, Trump effectively tapped into the unfolding conjunctural crisis by exacerbating the cracks in the system of marketized equality, channeling political anger into his celebrity brand that had been built on saying "f*** you" to the culture of left neoliberalism (corporate diversity, political correctness, etc.) In fact, much like Clinton's challenger in the Democratic primary, Benie Sanders, Trump was a crisis candidate.

    Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy.

    Universal health care. Free higher education. Fair trade. The repeal of Citizens United. Trump offered a different response to the crisis. Like Sanders, he railed against global trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, Trump's victory was fueled by right neoliberalism's culture of cruelty. While Sanders tapped into and mobilized desires for a more egalitarian and democratic future, Trump's promise was nostalgic, making America "great again" -- putting the nation back on "top of the world," and implying a time when women were "in their place" as male property, and minorities and immigrants were controlled by the state.

    Thus, what distinguished Trump's campaign from more traditional Republican campaigns was that it actively and explicitly pitted one group's equality (white men) against everyone else's (immigrants, women, Muslims, minorities, etc.). As Catherine Rottenberg suggests, Trump offered voters a choice between a multiracial society (where folks are increasingly disadvantaged and dispossessed) and white supremacy (where white people would be back on top). However, "[w]hat he neglected to state," Rottenberg writes,

    is that neoliberalism flourishes in societies where the playing field is already stacked against various segments of society, and that it needs only a relatively small select group of capital-enhancing subjects, while everyone else is ultimately dispensable. 1

    In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism.

    We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism.

    While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."'

    Mark Fisher, the author of Capitalist Realism, put it this way:

    The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.4

    I think that, for the first time in the history of U.S. capitalism, the vast majority of people might sense the lie of liberal, capitalist democracy. They feel anxious, unfree, disaffected. Fantasies of the good life have been shattered beyond repair for most people. Trump and this hopefully brief triumph of right neoliberalism will soon lay this bare for everyone to see. Now, with Trump, it is absolutely clear: the rich rule the world; we are all disposable; this is no democracy. The question becomes: How will we show up for history? Will there be new stories, ideas, visions, and fantasies to attach to? How can we productively and meaningful intervene in the crisis of neoliberalism? How can we "tear a hole in the grey curtain" and open up better worlds? How can we put what we've learned to use and begin to imagine and build a world beyond living in competition? I hope our critical journey through the neoliberal conjuncture has enabled you to begin to answer these questions.

    More specifically, in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War, our common-good sensibilities have been channeled into neoliberal platforms for social change and privatized action, funneling our political energies into brand culture and marketized struggles for equality (e.g., charter schools, NGOs and non-profits, neoliberal antiracism and feminism). As a result, despite our collective anger and disaffected consent, we find ourselves stuck in capitalist realism with no real alternative. Like the neoliberal care of the self, we are trapped in a privatized mode of politics that relies on cruel optimism; we are attached, it seems, to politics that inspire and motivate us to action, while keeping us living in competition.

    To disrupt the game, we need to construct common political horizons against neoliberal hegemony. We need to use our common stories and common reason to build common movements against precarity -- for within neoliberalism, precarity is what ultimately has the potential to thread all of our lives together. Put differently, the ultimate fault line in the neoliberal conjiuicture is the way it subjects us all to precarity and the biopolitics of disposability, thereby creating conditions of possibility for new coalitions across race, gender, citizenship, sexuality, and class. Recognizing this potential for coalition in the face of precarization is the most pressing task facing those who are yearning for a new world. The question is: How do we get there? How do we realize these coalitional potentialities and materialize common horizons?

    HOW WE GET THERE

    Ultimately, mapping the neoliberal conjuncture through everyday life in enterprise culture has not only provided some direction in terms of what we need; it has also cultivated concrete and practical intellectual resources for political interv ention and social interconnection -- a critical toolbox for living in common. More specifically, this book has sought to provide resources for thinking and acting against the four Ds: resources for engaging in counter-conduct, modes of living that refuse, on one hand, to conduct one's life according to the norm of enterprise, and on the other, to relate to others through the norm of competition. Indeed, we need new ways of relating, interacting, and living as friends, lovers, workers, vulnerable bodies, and democratic people if we are to write new stories, invent new govemmentalities, and build coalitions for new worlds.

    Against Disimagination: Educated Hope and Affirmative Speculation

    We need to stop turning inward, retreating into ourselves, and taking personal responsibility for our lives (a task which is ultimately impossible). Enough with the disimagination machine! Let's start looking outward, not inward -- to the broader structures that undergird our lives. Of course, we need to take care of ourselves; we must survive. But I firmly believe that we can do this in ways both big and small, that transform neoliberal culture and its status-quo stories.

    Here's the thing I tell my students all the time. You cannot escape neoliberalism. It is the air we breathe, the water in which we swim. No job, practice of social activism, program of self-care, or relationship will be totally free from neoliberal impingements and logics. There is no pure "outside" to get to or work from -- that's just the nature of the neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power. But let's not forget that neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power is also a source of weakness. Potential for resistance is everywhere, scattered throughout our everyday lives in enterprise culture. Our critical toolbox can help us identify these potentialities and navigate and engage our conjuncture in ways that tear open up those new worlds we desire.

    In other words, our critical perspective can help us move through the world with what Henry Giroux calls educated hope. Educated hope means holding in tension the material realities of power and the contingency of history. This orientation of educated hope knows very well what we're up against. However, in the face of seemingly totalizing power, it also knows that neoliberalism can never become total because the future is open. Educated hope is what allows us to see the fault lines, fissures, and potentialities of the present and emboldens us to think and work from that sliver of social space where we do have political agency and freedom to construct a new world. Educated hope is what undoes the power of capitalist realism. It enables affirmative speculation (such as discussed in Chapter 5), which does not try to hold the future to neoliberal horizons (that's cruel optimism!), but instead to affirm our commonalities and the potentialities for the new worlds they signal. Affirmative speculation demands a different sort of risk calculation and management. It senses how little we have to lose and how much we have to gain from knocking the hustle of our lives.

    Against De-democratization: Organizing and Collective Coverning

    We can think of educated hope and affirmative speculation as practices of what Wendy Brown calls "bare democracy" -- the basic idea that ordinary' people like you and me should govern our lives in common, that we should critique and try to change our world, especially the exploitative and oppressive structures of power that maintain social hierarchies and diminish lives. Neoliberal culture works to stomp out capacities for bare democracy by transforming democratic desires and feelings into meritocratic desires and feelings. In neoliberal culture, utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective governing to competing for equality.

    We have to get back that democractic feeling! As Jeremy Gilbert taught us, disaffected consent is a post-democratic orientation. We don't like our world, but we don't think we can do anything about it. So, how do we get back that democratic feeling? How do we transform our disaffected consent into something new? As I suggested in the last chapter, we organize. Organizing is simply about people coming together around a common horizon and working collectively to materialize it. In this way, organizing is based on the idea of radical democracy, not liberal democracy. While the latter is based on formal and abstract rights guaranteed by the state, radical democracy insists that people should directly make the decisions that impact their lives, security, and well-being. Radical democracy is a practice of collective governing: it is about us hashing out, together in communities, what matters, and working in common to build a world based on these new sensibilities.

    The work of organizing is messy, often unsatisfying, and sometimes even scary. Organizing based on affirmative speculation and coalition-building, furthermore, will have to be experimental and uncertain. As Lauren Berlant suggests, it means "embracing the discomfort of affective experience in a truly open social life that no

    one has ever experienced." Organizing through and for the common "requires more adaptable infrastructures. Keep forcing the existing infrastructures to do what they don't know how to do. Make new ways to be local together, where local doesn't require a physical neighborhood." 5 What Berlant is saying is that the work of bare democracy requires unlearning, and detaching from, our current stories and infrastructures in order to see and make things work differently. Organizing for a new world is not easy -- and there are no guarantees -- but it is the only way out of capitalist realism.

    Against Disposability: Radical Equality

    Getting back democratic feeling will at once require and help us lo move beyond the biopolitics of disposability and entrenched systems of inequality. On one hand, organizing will never be enough if it is not animated by bare democracy, a sensibility that each of us is equally important when it comes to the project of determining our lives in common. Our bodies, our hurts, our dreams, and our desires matter regardless of our race, gender, sexuality, or citizenship, and regardless of how r much capital (economic, social, or cultural) we have. Simply put, in a radical democracy, no one is disposable. This bare-democratic sense of equality must be foundational to organizing and coalition-building. Otherwise, we will always and inevitably fall back into a world of inequality.

    On the other hand, organizing and collective governing will deepen and enhance our sensibilities and capacities for radical equality. In this context, the kind of self-enclosed individualism that empowers and underwrites the biopolitics of disposability melts away, as we realize the interconnectedness of our lives and just how amazing it feels to

    fail, we affirm our capacities for freedom, political intervention, social interconnection, and collective social doing.

    Against Dispossession: Shared Security and Common Wealth

    Thinking and acting against the biopolitics of disposability goes hand-in-hand with thinking and acting against dispossession. Ultimately, when we really understand and feel ourselves in relationships of interconnection with others, we want for them as we want for ourselves. Our lives and sensibilities of what is good and just are rooted in radical equality, not possessive or self-appreciating individualism. Because we desire social security and protection, we also know others desire and deserve the same.

    However, to really think and act against dispossession means not only advocating for shared security and social protection, but also for a new society that is built on the egalitarian production and distribution of social wealth that we all produce. In this sense, we can take Marx's critique of capitalism -- that wealth is produced collectively but appropriated individually -- to heart. Capitalism was built on the idea that one class -- the owners of the means of production -- could exploit and profit from the collective labors of everyone else (those who do not own and thus have to work), albeit in very different ways depending on race, gender, or citizenship. This meant that, for workers of all stripes, their lives existed not for themselves, but for others (the appropriating class), and that regardless of what we own as consumers, we are not really free or equal in that bare-democratic sense of the word.

    If we want to be really free, we need to construct new material and affective social infrastructures for our common wealth. In these new infrastructures, wealth must not be reduced to economic value; it must be rooted in social value. Here, the production of wealth does not exist as a separate sphere from the reproduction of our lives. In other words, new infrastructures, based on the idea of common wealth, will not be set up to exploit our labor, dispossess our communities, or to divide our lives. Rather, they will work to provide collective social resources and care so that we may all be free to pursue happiness, create beautiful and/or useful things, and to realize our potential within a social world of living in common. Crucially, to create the conditions for these new, democratic forms of freedom rooted in radical equality, we need to find ways to refuse and exit the financial networks of Empire and the dispossessions of creditocracy, building new systems that invite everyone to participate in the ongoing production of new worlds and the sharing of the wealth that we produce in common.

    It's not up to me to tell you exactly where to look, but I assure you that potentialities for these new worlds are everywhere around you.

    [Oct 05, 2017] Tillerson Summoned to White House Amid Presidential Fury

    MSm stil trying to sing Trump, and it looks like he is helping them. Campaign of well times and damaging leaks continue.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Additional reporting from Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Vivian Salama. ..."
    Oct 05, 2017 | www.msn.com
    Additional reporting from Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson and Vivian Salama.

    WASHINGTON -- John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, abruptly scrapped plans to travel with President Donald Trump on Wednesday so he could try to contain his boss's fury and manage the fallout from new revelations about tensions between the president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to six senior administration officials.

    Kelly summoned Tillerson, and their ally Defense Secretary James Mattis, to the White House, where the three of them huddled to discuss a path forward, according to three administration officials. The White House downplayed Kelly's decision to stay in Washington, saying he did so to manage day-to-day operations.

    Vice President Mike Pence, meanwhile, was fuming in Phoenix, where he was traveling, seven officials told NBC News. He and Tillerson spoke on the phone before the secretary's public appearance on Wednesday morning.

    Pence was incensed upon learning from the NBC report that Tillerson's top spokesman had said he once privately questioned the value of Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Officials said the spokesman, R.C. Hammond, fabricated an anecdote that Pence had asked Tillerson in a meeting whether Haley, who is seen as a possible successor if Tillerson, is helpful or harmful to the administration.

    NBC reported Wednesday that Tillerson had threatened to resign in July after a series of clashes with the president, at one point venting his frustrations among his colleagues by calling the president a "moron," according to multiple senior administration officials who were aware of the matter at the time.

    Four senior administration officials said Trump first learned on Wednesday that Tillerson had disparaged him after a July 20 national security meeting at the Pentagon. Trump vented to Kelly Wednesday morning, leading Kelly to scrap plans to travel with the president to Las Vegas to meet with victims and first responders in Sunday's mass shooting.

    Trump was furious when he saw the NBC News report, which was published shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday. For the next two hours the president fumed inside the White House, venting to Kelly, officials said. He left for Las Vegas shortly after 8 a.m., 20 minutes behind schedule. Tillerson scrambled to pull together a statement, while his spokesman publicly apologized for his comments about Pence and Haley, saying he "spoke out of line about conversations I wasn't privy to."

    Tillerson delivered a statement praising Trump and insisting he never considered resigning, but it's what he didn't say that further enraged Trump, officials said.

    The secretary's refusal to deny that he had called the president a "moron" in his opening statement and in his responses to questions from reporters stoked Trump's anger and widened the rift between the two men, officials said. After watching the secretary's response Wednesday, one White House official said, "When Tillerson didn't deny it, I assumed it was true." Hammond is seen by the White House, particularly Pence's office, as untrustworthy, officials said. It's unclear if he will remain in his post, according to three administration officials.

    Pence was "very annoyed anyone would misrepresent anything he said, particularly in private meetings," one White House official said. On Wednesday, this source said, White House officials spoke to State Department officials to make it clear that Hammond's comment was "false" and needed to be corrected. The revelations followed Trump's frustrations over the weekend after Tillerson said the U.S. would talk to North Korea.

    State Department officials tried to reach Tillerson on his government aircraft during his flight from Beijing to Japan, but they couldn't reach him, sources said. The secretary and his team didn't want to issue a clarification, further stoking tensions with the White House, on administration official said.

    Trump took to Twitter, telling Tillerson not to waste his time trying to negotiate with the North Korean regime.

    Related:

    [Oct 04, 2017] Wheels and Deals Trouble Brewing in the House of Saud by Pepe Escobar

    The quote attributed to Mark Twain and Yogi Berra "It's Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future" still holds. This assessment by Pete Escobar about forthcoming bankruptcy of KAS need to be verified in three years from now. It is unclear whether the key future events (such as prediction that the current Crown Prince might be deposed with the CIA help) will take place.
    It is, nevertheless, clear that KAS economics is under considerable stress due to low oil prices and that eventually can bankrupt the kingdom as foreign currency reserves shrink rapidly. What such economic crisis might entail for KAS we can only guess by reshuffling at the top is quite probably in this case. So in a way the future of KAS hangs on how soon oil prices will be pushed back into $100 range.
    Notable quotes:
    "... MBS is surrounded by inexperienced thirty-something princes, and alienating just about everyone else. ..."
    "... "the CIA is outraged that the compromise worked out in April, 2014 has been abrogated wherein the greatest anti-terrorist factor in the Middle East, Mohammed bin Nayef, was arrested." That may prompt "vigorous action taken against MBS possibly in early October." And it might even coincide with the Salman-Trump get together. ..."
    "... Asia Times' Gulf business source stresses how "the Saudi economy is under extreme strain based on their oil price war against Russia, and they are behind their bills in paying just about all their contractors. That could lead to the bankruptcy of some of the major enterprises in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia of MBS features the Crown Prince buying a US$600 million yacht and his father spending US$100 million on his summer vacation, highlighted on the front pages of the New York Times while the Kingdom strangles under their leadership." ..."
    "... MBS's pet project, the spun-to-death Vision 2030, in theory aims to diversify from mere oil profits and dependency on the US to a more modern economy (and a more independent foreign policy). That's completely misguided, according to the source, because "the problem in Saudi Arabia is that their companies cannot function with their local population and [are] reliant on expatriates for about 70% or more of their staff. Aramco cannot run without expatriates. Therefore, selling 5% of Aramco to diversify does not solve the problem. If he wants a more productive society, and less handouts and meaningless government jobs, he has to first train and employ his own people." ..."
    "... The similarly lauded Aramco IPO, arguably the largest share sale in history and originally scheduled for next year, has once again been postponed – "possibly" to the second half of 2019, according to officials in Riyadh. And still no one knows where shares will be sold; the NYSE is far from a done deal. ..."
    "... I n parallel, MBS's war on Yemen, and the Saudi drive for regime change in Syria and to reshape the Greater Middle East, have turned out to be spectacular disasters. ..."
    "... The Islamic State project was conceived as the ideal tool to force Iraq to implode. It's now public domain that the organization's funding came mostly from Saudi Arabia. Even the former imam of Mecca has publicly admitted ISIS' leadership "draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, our own principles." ..."
    "... Salafi-jihadism is more than alive inside the Kingdom even as MBS tries to spin a (fake) liberal trend (the "baby you can drive my car" stunt). The problem is Riyadh congenitally cannot deliver on any liberal promise; the only legitimacy for the House of Saud lies in those religious "books" and "principles." ..."
    "... In Syria, besides the fact that an absolute majority of the country's population does not wish to live in a Takfiristan , Saudi Arabia supported ISIS while Qatar supported al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra). That ended up in a crossfire bloodbath, with all those non-existent US-supported "moderate rebels" reduced to road kill. ..."
    "... In Enemy of the State, the latest Mitch Rapp thriller written by Kyle Mills, President Alexander, sitting at the White House, blurts, "the Middle East is imploding because those Saudi sons of bitches have been pumping up religious fundamentalism to hide the fact that they're robbing their people blind." That's a fair assessment. ..."
    "... In terms of what Washington wants, the CIA is not fond of MBS, to say the least. They want "their" man Nayef back. As for the Trump administration, rumors swirl it is " desperate for Saudi money , especially infrastructure investments in the Rust Belt." ..."
    "... This piece first appeared in Asia Times . ..."
    Oct 04, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

    No wonder, considering that the ousted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef – highly regarded in the Beltway, especially Langley – is under house arrest. His massive web of agents at the Interior Ministry has largely been "relieved of their authority". The new Interior Minister is Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, 34, the eldest son of the governor of the country's largely Shi'ite Eastern Province, where all the oil is. Curiously, the father is now reporting to his son. MBS is surrounded by inexperienced thirty-something princes, and alienating just about everyone else.

    Former King Abdulaziz set up his Saudi succession based on the seniority of his sons; in theory, if each one lived to the same age all would have a shot at the throne, thus avoiding the bloodletting historically common in Arabian clans over lines of succession.

    Now, says the source, "a bloodbath is predicted to be imminent." Especially because "the CIA is outraged that the compromise worked out in April, 2014 has been abrogated wherein the greatest anti-terrorist factor in the Middle East, Mohammed bin Nayef, was arrested." That may prompt "vigorous action taken against MBS possibly in early October." And it might even coincide with the Salman-Trump get together.

    ISIS playing by the (Saudi) book

    Asia Times' Gulf business source stresses how "the Saudi economy is under extreme strain based on their oil price war against Russia, and they are behind their bills in paying just about all their contractors. That could lead to the bankruptcy of some of the major enterprises in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia of MBS features the Crown Prince buying a US$600 million yacht and his father spending US$100 million on his summer vacation, highlighted on the front pages of the New York Times while the Kingdom strangles under their leadership."

    MBS's pet project, the spun-to-death Vision 2030, in theory aims to diversify from mere oil profits and dependency on the US to a more modern economy (and a more independent foreign policy). That's completely misguided, according to the source, because "the problem in Saudi Arabia is that their companies cannot function with their local population and [are] reliant on expatriates for about 70% or more of their staff. Aramco cannot run without expatriates. Therefore, selling 5% of Aramco to diversify does not solve the problem. If he wants a more productive society, and less handouts and meaningless government jobs, he has to first train and employ his own people."

    The similarly lauded Aramco IPO, arguably the largest share sale in history and originally scheduled for next year, has once again been postponed – "possibly" to the second half of 2019, according to officials in Riyadh. And still no one knows where shares will be sold; the NYSE is far from a done deal.

    I n parallel, MBS's war on Yemen, and the Saudi drive for regime change in Syria and to reshape the Greater Middle East, have turned out to be spectacular disasters. Egypt and Pakistan have refused to send troops to Yemen, where relentless Saudi air bombing – with US and UK weapons – has accelerated malnutrition, famine and cholera, and configured a massive humanitarian crisis.

    The Islamic State project was conceived as the ideal tool to force Iraq to implode. It's now public domain that the organization's funding came mostly from Saudi Arabia. Even the former imam of Mecca has publicly admitted ISIS' leadership "draw their ideas from what is written in our own books, our own principles."

    Which brings us to the ultimate Saudi contradiction. Salafi-jihadism is more than alive inside the Kingdom even as MBS tries to spin a (fake) liberal trend (the "baby you can drive my car" stunt). The problem is Riyadh congenitally cannot deliver on any liberal promise; the only legitimacy for the House of Saud lies in those religious "books" and "principles."

    In Syria, besides the fact that an absolute majority of the country's population does not wish to live in a Takfiristan , Saudi Arabia supported ISIS while Qatar supported al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra). That ended up in a crossfire bloodbath, with all those non-existent US-supported "moderate rebels" reduced to road kill.

    And then there's the economic blockade against Qatar – another brilliant MBS plot. That has only served to improve Doha's relations with both Ankara and Tehran. Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was not regime-changed, whether or not Trump really dissuaded Riyadh and Abu Dhabi from taking "military action." There was no economic strangulation: Total, for instance, is about to invest US$2 billion to expand production of Qatari natural gas. And Qatar, via its sovereign fund, counterpunched with the ultimate soft power move – it bought global footballing brand Neymar for PSG , and the "blockade" sank without a trace.

    "Robbing their people blind"

    In Enemy of the State, the latest Mitch Rapp thriller written by Kyle Mills, President Alexander, sitting at the White House, blurts, "the Middle East is imploding because those Saudi sons of bitches have been pumping up religious fundamentalism to hide the fact that they're robbing their people blind." That's a fair assessment.

    No dissent whatsoever is allowed in Saudi Arabia. Even the economic analyst Isam Az-Zamil, very close to the top, has been arrested during the current repression campaign. So opposition to MBS does not come only from the royal family or some top clerics – although the official spin rules that only those supporting Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey, Iran and Qatari "terrorism" are being targeted.

    In terms of what Washington wants, the CIA is not fond of MBS, to say the least. They want "their" man Nayef back. As for the Trump administration, rumors swirl it is " desperate for Saudi money , especially infrastructure investments in the Rust Belt."

    It will be immensely enlightening to compare what Trump gets from Salman with what Putin gets from Salman: the ailing King will visit Moscow in late October. Rosneft is interested in buying shares of Aramco when the IPO takes place. Riyadh and Moscow are considering an OPEC deal extension as well as an OPEC-non-OPEC cooperation platform incorporating the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

    Riyadh has read the writing on the new wall: Moscow's rising political / strategic capital all across the board, from Iran, Syria and Qatar to Turkey and Yemen. That does not sit well with the US deep state. Even if Trump gets some Rust Belt deals, the burning question is whether the CIA and its friends can live with MBS on the House of Saud throne.

    This piece first appeared in Asia Times .

    Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). His latest book is Empire of Chaos . He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com .

    [Oct 03, 2017] The Trump Presidency

    Notable quotes:
    "... The most dangerous of these has barely been reported. A very important study in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ..."
    Oct 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Not all of the damage can be blamed on the con man who is nominally in charge, on his outlandish appointments, or on the congressional forces he has unleashed. Some of the most dangerous developments under Trump trace back to Obama initiatives -- initiatives passed, to be sure, under pressure from the Republican Congress.

    The most dangerous of these has barely been reported. A very important study in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , published in March 2017, reveals that the Obama nuclear weapons modernization program has increased "the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three -- and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike."

    As the analysts point out, this new capacity undermines the strategic stability on which human survival depends. And the chilling record of near disaster and reckless behavior of leaders in past years only shows how fragile our survival is. Now this program is being carried forward under Trump. These developments, along with the threat of environmental disaster, cast a dark shadow over everything else -- and are barely discussed, while attention is claimed by the performances of the showman at center stage.

    Whether Trump has any idea what he and his henchmen are up to is not clear. Perhaps he is completely authentic: an ignorant, thin-skinned megalomaniac whose only ideology is himself.

    [Oct 03, 2017] Are You Ready to Die by Paul Craig Roberts

    Notable quotes:
    "... Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards." ..."
    "... In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know. ..."
    "... Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. ..."
    "... This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack. ..."
    "... What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes? ..."
    "... I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. ..."
    Oct 02, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept exposes the fake news put out by the US Department of Homeland Security (an euphemistic name for a Big Brother operation that spies on US citizens) that Russia hacked 21 US state elections, news that was instantly spread around the world by the presstitute media. The propagandists running Homeland Security were contradicted by the state governments, forcing Homeland Security to retract its fake news claims. https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

    The unasked/unanswered question is why did Homeland Security put out a FAKE NEWS story?

    Greenwald explains that the US media is so conditioned by the National Security State to see Russian President Putin lurking behind and masterminding attacks on America that it is "now religious dogma" -- a requirement -- to find Russian perfidy everywhere. The result Greenwald correctly says is that "an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards."

    In other words, the United States no longer has a media . It has a propaganda ministry for the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Israel Lobby. And the idiot Americans sit in front of the TV and absorb the propaganda, and they read the New York Times and think that they are sophisticated and in the know.

    What Greenwald doesn't address is the effect of the massive amount of fake news on Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Russia knows that Washington knows that the accusations against Russia are false. So why is Washington making false accusations against Russia?

    This is a serious question, not only for Russia but for the entire world. All previous false accusations from the Clinton regime criminals, the Bush/Cheney regime criminals, and the Obama regime criminals ended in military attacks on the falsely demonized targets. Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea would be within reason to wonder if the false news propaganda attack on them is a prelude to military attack.

    Iran and North Korea cannot attack the US and its European vassals, but Russia and China can. I have written about the Operational Command of the Russian armed forces conclusion that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. Instead of reassuring the Russians that no such planning is in the works, Washington has instead pushed further the fake news Russiagate story with the false report that Russia had hacked the elections of 21 states.

    What is the point of US security agencies such as Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA constantly filling the propaganda machine known as the American Media with lies about Russia? Russia must wonder as well. Russia knows that they are lies. Russia knows that it does no good to refute the lies because the West has a Propaganda Ministry instead of a media. Russia knows that Washington told lies about the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran. What does Russia conclude from the constant stream of lies about Russia that flow out of Washington and are presented as truth by the Western presstitutes?

    If you were the Russian government, would you conclude that your country was the next to be attacked militarily by Washington? If you were the Russian government, you would know that Washington/NATO cannot possibly attack Russia except by surprise nuclear strike. Knowing this, if you were the Russian government, would you sit there and wait on the strike? Imagine yourself the Russian government listening day in, day out, to endless wild improbable charges against Russia. What can Russia possibly conclude other than this is preparation of Western peoples for a nuclear attack on Russia?

    Russia is not going to be hung like Saddan Hussein or murdered like Gaddafi.

    I have written many times that provoking nuclear powers such as Russia and China is the most extreme form of recklessness and irresponsibility. The crazed morons in Washington are risking the life of the planet. The presstitutes are worse than the whores that they are. They never question the path to war; they only amplify it. Washington's craven, cowardly, moronic vassal states in UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, and the rest of the EU/NATO idiots are, by their cooperation with Washington, begging for their own destruction.

    Nowhere in the West is there a sign of intelligence.

    Will Washington follow Adolf Hitler's folly and march into Russia?

    [Oct 02, 2017] The Russian Defence Minister has released photos of US Forces stationed on Daesh territory

    Oct 02, 2017 | www.voltairenet.org

    On 24 September 2017, the Russian Defense Minister broadcast satellite images of US Special forces camping right in the centre of Daesh territory in Deir ez-Zor, a region in Syria.

    The Turkish press agency, Anadolu, had already flagged up the existence of these bases on 17 June.

    A number of sources confirm that there is a non-aggression agreement between the US Forces and Kurdish forces on the one hand, and Daesh on the other. These photographs challenge the version that the United States and its Kurdish allies are fighting the Islamic State. Only States which have satellites positioned above Syria are able to verify the authenticity of these photos. It follows that this information is meant for them.

    JPEG - 69.9 kb

    [Oct 02, 2017] The Kurdish independence referendum was a political miscalculation

    Independence of small nations always depends on great powers. They are essentially pawns in a bigger game, national aspirations and all that as a tool in often pretty dirty game.
    Notable quotes:
    "... The Iraqi government has banned international flights to the Kurdish capital Irbil from 6pm this Friday, isolating the Kurds in Iraq to a degree they have not experienced since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The isolation is political as well as geographical as traditional Kurdish allies, like the US, UK, France and Germany, have opposed the referendum on Kurdish independence while near neighbours in Turkey, Iran and Baghdad are moving to squeeze the Kurds into submission. ..."
    "... The four countries with Kurdish minorities fear that secessionism might spread, but a further problem is that they do not believe that an Iraqi Kurdish state would be truly independent, but would shift into the orbit of another power. The Iranians are paranoid about the possibility that such a state would be an American base threatening Iran. Politicians in Baghdad say that, if the Kurds are serious about self-determination, they would cling onto the oil fields of Kirkuk and be dependent on Turkey through which to export their crude. ..."
    Oct 02, 2017 | www.unz.com

    The Iraqi government has banned international flights to the Kurdish capital Irbil from 6pm this Friday, isolating the Kurds in Iraq to a degree they have not experienced since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The isolation is political as well as geographical as traditional Kurdish allies, like the US, UK, France and Germany, have opposed the referendum on Kurdish independence while near neighbours in Turkey, Iran and Baghdad are moving to squeeze the Kurds into submission.

    The referendum succeeded in showing that the Kurds, not just in Iraq but in Turkey, Iran and Syria, still yearn for their own state. Paradoxically, the outcome of the poll has demonstrated both the strength of their demand for self-determination and the weakness of their ability to obtain it. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is revealed as a minnow whose freedom of action – and even its survival – depends on playing off one foreign state against the other and keeping tolerable relations with all of them, even when they detested each other. In the past an American envoy would go out one door just as the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards came in the other.

    The referendum has ended, perhaps only temporarily, these delicate balancing acts at which the Kurdish leadership was very skilled. In the last few weeks, the US has denounced the referendum in forthright terms, emboldening Iraq, Turkey and Iran to punish the Kurds for their undiplomatic enthusiasm to be an independent nation.

    The poll was always a dangerous gamble but it is too early to say that it has entirely failed: minority communities and small nations must occasionally kick their big power allies in the teeth. Otherwise, they will become permanent proxies whose agreement with what their big power ally wants can be taken for granted. The skill for the smaller player is not to pay too high a price for going their own way. Iraq, Turkey and Iran have all made threatening statements over the last few days, some of them bombast, but they can hit the Kurds very hard if they want to.

    The Kurds are in a fix and normally they would look to Washington to help them out, but under President Trump US foreign policy has become notoriously unpredictable. Worse from the Kurdish point of view, the US no longer needs the Iraqi Kurds as it did before the capture of Mosul from Isis in July. In any case, it was the Iraqi armed forces that won a great victory there, so for the first time in 14 years there is a powerful Iraqi army in the north of the country. We may not be on the verge of an Arab-Kurdish war, but the military balance of power is changing and Baghdad, not Irbil, is the gainer.

    Anxious diplomats and excited journalists describe Iraq as "being on a collision course", but the different parties will not necessarily collide. Muddling through is not only a British trait. But there is no doubt that the situation has become more dangerous, particularly in the disputed territories stretching across northern Iraq from Syria to Iran.

    The referendum always had a risky ambivalence about it which helped ignite the present crisis. It all depended on what audience Kurdish President Masoud Barzani was addressing: when he spoke to Kurdish voters, it was a poll of historic significance when the Kurds would take a decisive step towards an independent state.

    But addressing an international and regional audience, Barzani said he was proposing something much tamer, more like an opinion poll, in which the Iraqi Kurds were politely indicating a general preference for independence at some date in the future. Like many leaders who play the nationalist card, Barzani is finding that his rhetoric is being taken more seriously than his caveats. "Bye, Bye Iraq!" chanted crowds in Irbil on the night of the referendum.

    Much of this was born of Barzani's bid to outmanoeuvre his political rivals in Kurdistan by re-emerging as the standard bearer of Kurdish nationalism. He will benefit from his decision to defy the world and press ahead with the vote when it comes to the presidential and parliamentary elections in KRG on 1 November.

    But the price of this could be high. It is not only Barzani who is facing an election in which national self-assertion is an issue in the coming months. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has a parliamentary election in 2018 and does not want to be accused of being insufficiently tough on the Kurds. Banning of international flights to Irbil is far less than many Iraqi MPs say they want.

    By holding a referendum in the disputed territories, Barzani promoted this issue to the top of the Iraqi political agenda. It might have been in the interests of the Kurds to let it lie since the contending claims for land are deeply felt and irreconcilable. Optimists believe that Irbil and Baghdad could never go to war because they are both too dependent militarily on foreign powers. It is true that the Iraqi armed forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga alike could not have held off and defeated Isis without close air support from the US-led coalition. But by putting the future status of the KRG and the territories in play, Barzani has presented the Iraqi government, Turkey and Iran with a threat and an opportunity.

    The four countries with Kurdish minorities fear that secessionism might spread, but a further problem is that they do not believe that an Iraqi Kurdish state would be truly independent, but would shift into the orbit of another power. The Iranians are paranoid about the possibility that such a state would be an American base threatening Iran. Politicians in Baghdad say that, if the Kurds are serious about self-determination, they would cling onto the oil fields of Kirkuk and be dependent on Turkey through which to export their crude.

    Once the KRG dreamed of becoming a new Dubai with gleaming malls and hotels, but since 2014 it has looked more like Pompeii. The skyline is punctured by dozens of half completed tower blocks beside rusting cranes and abandoned machinery. The boom town atmosphere disappeared in 2014 when the price of oil went down, money stopped coming from Baghdad and Isis seized Mosul two hours' drive away. The state is impoverished and salaries paid late, if at all. This will now all get a lot worse with airports and border crossings closed and 35,000 federal employees no longer being paid.

    At all events, the political landscape in Iraq and Syria is changing: we are at the beginning of a new political phase in which the battle to defeat Isis is being replaced by a power struggle between Arabs and Kurds.

    [Oct 01, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here by Cornel West

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness. ..."
    "... This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future. ..."
    "... In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome! ..."
    "... The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang ..."
    "... The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised. ..."
    "... if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial! ..."
    "... The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad. ..."
    "... Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back. ..."
    "... He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. ..."
    "... Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried. ..."
    Nov 17, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

    The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

    The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

    White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

    This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

    What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties.

    Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one Liza Featherstone By banking on the idea that women would support Hillary Clinton just because she was a female candidate, the movement made a terrible mistake Read more

    The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

    Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

    In this sense, Trump's election was enabled by the neoliberal policies of the Clintons and Obama that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. The progressive populism of Bernie Sanders nearly toppled the establishment of the Democratic party but Clinton and Obama came to the rescue to preserve the status quo. And I do believe Sanders would have beat Trump to avert this neofascist outcome!

    Click and elect: how fake news helped Donald Trump win a real election Hannah Jane Parkinson The 'alt-right' (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media. But tech companies seem unwilling to admit there's a problem

    In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

    We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy – such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding US military presence.

    As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

    For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

    theomatica -> MSP1984 17 Nov 2016 6:40

    To be replaced by a form of capitalism that is constrained by national interests. An ideology that wishes to uses the forces of capitalism within a market limited only by national boundaries which aims for more self sufficiency only importing goods the nation can not itself source.

    farga 17 Nov 2016 6:35

    The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

    Really? The white house and congress are now dominated by tea party politicians who worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.....read Breitbart news to see how Thatcher and Reagan are idolised.

    That in recent decades middle ground politicians have strayed from the true faith....and now its time to go back - popular capitalism, small government, low taxes.

    if you think the era of "neo liberalism" is over, you are in deep denial!

    Social36 -> farga 17 Nov 2016 8:33

    Maybe, West should have written that we're now in neoliberal, neofascist era!

    ForSparta -> farga 17 Nov 2016 14:24

    Well in all fairness, Donald Trump (horse's ass) did say he'd 'pump' money into the middle classes thus abandoning 'trickle down'. His plan/ideology is also to increase corporate tax revenues overall by reducing the level of corporation tax -- the aim being to entice corporations to repatriate wealth currently held overseas. Plus he has proposed an infrastructure spending spree, a fiscal stimulus not a monetary one. When you add in tax cuts the middle classes will feel flushed and it is within that demographic that most businesses and hence jobs are created. I think his short game has every chance of doing what he said it would.

    SeeNOevilHearNOevil 17 Nov 2016 6:36

    The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

    Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

    He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position. He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did.

    But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

    ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 6:37

    I agree with some of this, but do we really have to throw around hysterical terms like 'fascist' at every opportunity? It's as bad as when people call the left 'cultural Marxists'.

    LithophaneFurcifera -> ProbablyOnTopic 17 Nov 2016 7:05

    True, it's sloganeering that drowns out any nuance, whoever does it. Whenever a political term is coined, you can be assured that its use and meaning will eventually be extended to the point that it becomes less effective at characterising the very groups that it was coined to characterise.

    Keep "fascist" for Mussolini and "cultural Marxist" for Adorno, unless and until others show such strong resemblances that the link can't seriously be denied.

    I agree about the importance of recognising the suffering of the poor and building alliances beyond, and not primarily defined by, race though.

    l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 6:40
    Hang about Trump is the embodiment of neo-liberalism. It's neo-liberalism with republican tea party in control. He's not going to smash the system that served him so well, the years he manipulated and cheated, why would he want to change it.
    garrylee -> l0Ho5LG4wWcFJsKg 17 Nov 2016 9:38
    West's point is that it's beyond Trump's control. The scales have fallen from peoples eyes. They now see the deceit of neo-liberalism. And once they see through the charlatan Trump and the rest of the fascists, they will, hopefully, come to realize the only antidote to neo-liberalism is a planned economy.

    Nash25 17 Nov 2016 6:40

    This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

    However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

    Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

    Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

    Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

    Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.


    VenetianBlind 17 Nov 2016 6:42

    Not sure Neo-Liberalism has ended. All they have done is get rid of the middle man.

    macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 6:46

    It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

    Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

    We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

    It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

    VenetianBlind -> macfeegal 17 Nov 2016 7:00

    I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

    Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

    I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

    [Sep 30, 2017] Is the US in cahoots with IS - TTG

    Notable quotes:
    "... "BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:50 P.M.) – A video has just been released on social media showing the interview of an ISIS fighter from Deir Ezzor who admits that the terrorist groups forces in the region are forbidden by their commanders from attacking US-backed, Kurdish-led militias. ..."
    "... The interviewee, Mohammed Moussa al-Shawwakh, says that his group, tasked with defending the area around the Conoco Gas Fields, was ordered to allow Kurdish forces to enter the strategic site. The order, he says, came from a top regional emir (leader) called Abu Zaid. ..."
    "... The ISIS fighters confession goes on to mention that Kurdish-led forces were also allowed to enter other gas and oil fields in the region in order to make propaganda videos. ..."
    "... Mohammed finishes the interview by saying that he knows for a fact that the US is attempting to establish an alliance between Kurdish forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor province in order to undermine government-led military efforts to liberate the region." ..."
    "... Regime change in Syria was an Obama/Hillary project aided and abetted by Ambassador Ford, the French, Germans and British and of course the prime manipulators Bibi, Erdogan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies. ..."
    "... Brennan and CENTCOM were in hog heaven. No idea if they directly aided the jihadis both AQ & IS. But clearly indirectly and in a big way. Then Putin intervened. I recall Obama trolling him saying this would be another Afghanistan quagmire for Russia. Well, it seems like R+6, have the winning hand and Assad may survive and Syria will face the long road to reconstruction as a mostly secular state. ..."
    "... The distinction about arrogance, if I understand TTG correctly, is more that the brainiacs in DC and CENTCOM making policy think they are such world class game players that they can or will have control over the situation. Because they are so astute and on top of things, the pieces will move because they want them to. ..."
    "... US foreign policy is another topic - my mental image is of a bunch of kittens in a bag. When all the kittens are moving in different directions the bag won't move but sometimes three kittens are moving in one direction and the bag will move. I label the kittens Gas&Oil, AIPIAC+neocons, CIA and banking.... ..."
    "... Is this the case with Canada and Australia? It's usually assumed, maybe simplistically, that the Ukrainian/Eastern European diaspora in those countries keeps the politicians there committed to neocon foreign policy anyway. At the more extreme end of the spectrum you sometimes see on the internet assertions that both the Ukrainians and the Israelis are holding the fort for white civilisation. Whether that's some nutter sounding off on a blog or whether it represents the underlying attitude of some of the Mr and Mrs Averages in that diaspora is difficult to tell from this distance. ..."
    "... ISIS=Saudi; Al Nusra=Turkey & SDF=IDF with Saudi & IDF collaboration. Thus, ISIS melts away and voilà: SDF takes over ..."
    Sep 27, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
    In short, no. IS is clearly losing cohesion and any IS or allied groups not closely tied to the central leadership are beginning to despair of the fight. I think YPG/SDF units may be able to bypass some of these deflated jihadis without much of a fight. Local jihadis may also be open to local truces with the local SDF Arab tribes. I would think the US and its allied forces would be happy to avoid these fights rather than aggressively seek combat. CJTF-OIR may also be watching the success of the Russian reconciliation program in turning former enemy fighters into allies and seek to do the same east of the Euphrates.

    Yesterday Al Masdar News published an enlightening story where an ISIS fighter admits that ISIS is forbidden to attack Kurdish forces in Deir Ezzor.

    *********

    "BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:50 P.M.) – A video has just been released on social media showing the interview of an ISIS fighter from Deir Ezzor who admits that the terrorist groups forces in the region are forbidden by their commanders from attacking US-backed, Kurdish-led militias.

    The interviewee, Mohammed Moussa al-Shawwakh, says that his group, tasked with defending the area around the Conoco Gas Fields, was ordered to allow Kurdish forces to enter the strategic site. The order, he says, came from a top regional emir (leader) called Abu Zaid.

    The ISIS fighters confession goes on to mention that Kurdish-led forces were also allowed to enter other gas and oil fields in the region in order to make propaganda videos.

    Mohammed finishes the interview by saying that he knows for a fact that the US is attempting to establish an alliance between Kurdish forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor province in order to undermine government-led military efforts to liberate the region."

    **********

    Well, this would certainly explain the ease of the YPG/SDF advance to Deir Ezzor and the lack of combat. Some will see this as proof of US-IS collusion. I see it as evidence supporting my earlier thoughts of the CJTF-OIR seeing the wisdom of neutralizing the enemy through negotiations rather than eliminating them through combat. It is evidence of IS weakness rather than US perfidy.

    Remember all that talk about the Russians and Assad being allied with IS because they were busy slamming all those other jihadis, including our unicorn army, rather than exclusively targeting IS? Many also were, and still are, in high dungeon about the whole Russian sponsored de-escalation zone effort. We were most recently mightily upset that the R+6 and Lebanon would allow a few busloads of IS jihadis and their families to leave their positions along the Syrian-Lebanese border enroute to Deir Ezzor. In my opinion, all these de-escalation efforts have put the R+6 in a far better position of neutralizing the jihadi threat in Idlib now than it was in immediately after the liberation of Aleppo. Perhaps the CJTF-OIR has realized what the R+6 discovered long ago. As Churchill said, Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war. Even as a tactic of war, it makes sense in this region.

    What is more troubling is that we dont know what the USG and CJTF-OIR plans to do once IS is neutralized on both sides of the Euphrates. CENTCOM is a damnably arrogant command which has long sought to maintain a sizable and influential footprint in the region. Why?

    mike , 27 September 2017 at 09:31 PM

    Mohammed Moussa al-Shawwakh is saying whatever the Mukhbarat wants him to say. But I am sure there will be many commenters here who will believe his "confession" to be the final proof they are looking for. Sadly.

    CENTCOM arrogant? Maybe. They do have a lot on their plate:

    http://www.centcom.mil/portals/6/Images/centcommapmideast_Cropped.jpg?ver=2016-07-13-125046-033

    Why you ask? Seems to me that is their charter from the National Command Authorities, and not from General Votel.

    james -> mike... , 27 September 2017 at 09:45 PM
    mike, the guys comments are in a long line of similar revelations for anyone receptive to the idea.. no '''final'' proof needed.. in the past it was always assad working with isis and etc. etc.. folks in the west have been indoctrinated to years of this bs.. i think it was obama who stated something to the effect he thought that isis would help to get rid of assad... that is the level of depravity the usa has sunk to here as i see it.. it has been ongoing and this guys comments come in a long line of examples of us exceptionalism..
    mike -> james... , 28 September 2017 at 11:47 PM
    james -

    I do not believe Assad ever worked with Daesh. Some claim otherwise. I have not suggested that. His security services did release some jihadis from prison who became Daesh leaders, just like al-Baghdadi was released from imprisonment in Iraq. Many Syrians claim it was deliberate on Assad's part. I have not suggested that. Stupidity? Incompetence? Yes to both IMO, and that includes both the USA and the Syrian regime.

    The real father of Daesh is Bush Junior and his invasion of Iraq in 2003, and Iraqi prime Minister Maliki. But to give them the benefit of the doubt, that was probably arrogance and ignorance on their part and not a deliberately evil intention.

    PS - Why do you call this death cult by their preferred name of 'ISIS'? By using that term you legitimize their argument that they are a state, in other words a country like Syria or Belgium or the US or any country in the United Nations. They are the Daesh, a word they despise, a word which they have flogged people for using and threaten to cut out the tongue of those who use the word. Do not legitimize these monsters. They are not a state.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/what-daesh-mean-isis-threatens-6841468

    james -> mike... , 29 September 2017 at 12:35 AM
    mike,

    i never said you did, but the western msm did fairly regularly.. as for the name isis - i have called them the ''moderate'' headchoppers too - to make fun of the stupid idea of any moderate opposition in all of this, although that bill of goods has been passed off regularly via the western msm and by the usa in particular.. they are a bunch of wahabbi nut jobs spreading their religion of intolerance and hate thanks the funding from saudi arabia primarily - again - a country the usa continues to countenance... i am sorry mike, but it burns me up to think anyone would believe the usa (or the uk, and a host of other countries) has played an honest role in anything to do with syria.. they haven't.. they have tried to tear it apart and ruined countless innocent lives with their bullshit... and - it continues all under the guise of going after isis, or daesh or whatever you want to call it.. thanks..

    Red Cloud -> mike... , 28 September 2017 at 01:24 PM
    Mohammed Moussa al-Shawwakh's comments don't contradict any accepted facts, and just as TTG pointed out - his statements are in line with the evidence of what actually happened.

    So from an objective standpoint there is more reason to believe what he is saying than to not.

    Yet right on que, you were the first comment to quickly dismiss everything the man said.

    james -> Red Cloud... , 28 September 2017 at 05:26 PM
    the pay must be good..
    LeaNder -> Red Cloud... , 28 September 2017 at 09:38 PM
    Army Times reported on a new Baghdadi audio that surfaced. I know, I know reminiscent of the curious OBL videos. But thankfully this time all that is needed is voice recognition. Wonder how good they are in that field by now. ;)

    https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2017/09/28/isis-releases-baghdadi-audio-as-the-group-crumbles-in-iraq-and-syria/

    In the message, Baghdadi told his supporters that ISIS remains steadfast as America grows weary in the conflict, according to analysis by Hassan Hassan, a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute located in Washington D.C.

    Townsend, thought he was still alive and kicking in the Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV) Syria/Iraq; MT, August 31:
    https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2017/09/28/isis-releases-baghdadi-audio-as-the-group-crumbles-in-iraq-and-syria/

    Slightly more elaborated via the NYT, same date:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/31/us/politics/isis-military-us-iraq-syria-euphrates.html

    Were planning for tough fights ahead, General Townsend said.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces, which are backed by the United States, are largely led by Syrian Kurds who may not be immediately acceptable to the local Arab populations. The Syrian Kurds provide most of the essential command-and-control for the overall fighting force, half of which is Arab.

    But as they move into the Euphrates River Valley, the Syrian forces now are expected to recruit additional local Arabs as well other Arab fighters who have been trained by American and allied forces at al-Tanf, a desert outpost in southern Syria near the intersection of the Jordanian and Iraqi borders.

    The Arab fighters from al-Tanf are vetted and supported with small arms, navigation tools and medical supplies. American and other allied advisers also provide basic combat training skills, including first aid, marksmanship and techniques on how to clear a house of militants.

    They also report that an agreement between Russia and the US that the SAA stay on the Western side hadn't been reached at that date.


    Christian Chuba , 27 September 2017 at 09:37 PM
    Great post TTG. Both the SDF and SAA have made evacuation arrangements to spare civilians or to gain military advantage and both sides have made something that resembles reconciliation / de-escalation agreements but the SAA and Russians have been better at it.

    Between the U.S./SDF vs the Syrian / Russians, I'd say that we have grandstanded much more about it when the SAA have done this because we are always in Information War mode. I wish we wouldn't, poisoning the waters doesn't do any good and can eventually bite us but it sure makes us feel good and gives Nikki lots to rant about.

    There must be tiers of ISIS members, a top tier of Baghdadi types who are 'irredeemable' and a bottom tier who are just as comfortable being part of any number of groups. I don't think we should get on our high horse about it if someone local decides that it's a good idea to let some of them scat but then again we once thought that Baghdadi was one of the more harmless ones. No one has invented a Takfiri gauge yet.

    james , 27 September 2017 at 09:41 PM
    thanks ttg.. i guess the question i have is has the usa paid a fee to get isis to stand down? i don't know if that is the case, but i am fine with that. my problem with the usa is their intent all along has been to divide syria and remove assad.. it seems to be continuing on for the most part here..

    as for your last statement and question, i think the answer is the usa's intent to divide syria, giving the part in the east to the kurds, which works well with the oil interests and israel which the usa seems to always coincidently align itself with..

    Jack , 27 September 2017 at 10:11 PM
    TTG, Sir

    I watched Ken Burn's Vietnam War documentary. IMO, an important aspect of the documentary was perspective.

    Regime change in Syria was an Obama/Hillary project aided and abetted by Ambassador Ford, the French, Germans and British and of course the prime manipulators Bibi, Erdogan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies.

    Brennan and CENTCOM were in hog heaven. No idea if they directly aided the jihadis both AQ & IS. But clearly indirectly and in a big way. Then Putin intervened. I recall Obama trolling him saying this would be another Afghanistan quagmire for Russia. Well, it seems like R+6, have the winning hand and Assad may survive and Syria will face the long road to reconstruction as a mostly secular state.

    The big winners from a strategic sense are Russia, Iran and Hezbollah who earned whatever that victory means in blood. Maybe some decades from now the next Ken Burns will come along and give us a documentary of our sordid role in creating chaos and anarchy in the Middle East beginning with regime change in Iraq on the basis of false pretenses.

    J , 27 September 2017 at 10:51 PM
    TTG,

    Speaking of the Kurds, appears Kurd nationalism is bringing together Iran/Iraq/Turkey in a joint op to squash Kurd independence.

    jjc , 27 September 2017 at 10:51 PM
    The focus for SDF was removing ISIS from Raqqa, then suddenly it became a race to the Euphrates and the oil fields. The Kurdish militias have moved far outside their traditional territory. So it's hard not to see this as a land and resources grab, facilitated by a cooperative ISIS (who still attack SAA).
    LeaNder , 28 September 2017 at 09:53 AM
    Mohammed finishes the interview by saying that he knows for a fact that the US is attempting to establish an alliance between Kurdish forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor province in order to undermine government-led military efforts to liberate the region.

    I could imagine that Russia and its partners in war wonder about what drives the Iraqi Kurds to have an election on independence right now? ...

    Elijah J. M.
    https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/masoud-barzani-either-burned-or-paved-the-way-for-the-syrian-kurds-a-dangerous-move/

    JJackson , 28 September 2017 at 10:17 AM
    The poorly thought out neocon dream of destuction of a Shia cresent is showning every sign of developing into something beyond their worst nightmares. When the dust settles they may well be faced by a new Warsaw pact of the feared Shia cresent plus the defection of Turkey and Qatar. The new Hizb re-armed and retrained by the Russians - quite possibly with defacto control of Lebanon. At this point the Golan would seem vunerable and should it go Jordan may well begin to wonder if a realignment may not also be in its best interests. What then Judea and Sumeria?
    As to TTG's why? My guess would be that the incoherent multi-faceted US FP still has significant elements that have not given up hope of a 'friendly' entity in east Syria. Trump may have given up on Syrian regieme change but I am not sure everyone else has and these delusional dreamers may still hope this can be used as a springboard from which to undo all that has occured since the start of the second Iraq war.
    Charles Michael -> The Twisted Genius ... , 28 September 2017 at 01:20 PM
    TTG,
    That is exactly my understanding of the situation.
    From the start of the insurgency Bachar Al Hassad has been rather benevolent with the Kurds.
    Surely with victory in sight he will not start speeling Kurds blood.

    Most westerners seems unable to consider a long game, true it is nerve raking; but all quick fix imposed by brutal force have proved very temporary.

    Ishmael Zechariah -> The Twisted Genius ... , 28 September 2017 at 05:18 PM
    TTG,
    For whatever it's worth, PKK, PYG, KRG etc. are completely infiltrated by Mossad at this time and must dance to the izzie tune. IMO the kurds are too deeply in to extricate themselves gracefully. Governments might make nice w/each other but the tribes surrounding the kurds will not forget kurdish perfidy that easily.
    Ishmael Zechariah
    The Porkchop Express , 28 September 2017 at 11:12 AM
    TTG - I think you struck a very important distinction: the issue of connivance vs. arrogance when it comes to US/assorted jihadis in Syria and around the region.
    Willybilly -> The Porkchop Express... , 28 September 2017 at 12:53 PM
    TPE & TTG, Thre are definitely connivance and arrogance galore... and YES the US, NATO and the Izzies are in cahoots with ISIS and ALL its cousins, sisters and brothers in arms from day one. But plausible deniability requires all the acrobatics and various posturing we have seen over the years, in a veiled but failing attempts at denying the obvious...
    The Porkchop Express -> Willybilly... , 28 September 2017 at 04:19 PM
    There is no way the US is actively, directly in cahoots with Daesh, HTS/al Qaeda, or any other salifiyye. The Israelis, maybe. Saudis most assuredly.

    The distinction about arrogance, if I understand TTG correctly, is more that the brainiacs in DC and CENTCOM making policy think they are such world class game players that they can or will have control over the situation. Because they are so astute and on top of things, the pieces will move because they want them to.

    That doesn't mean the US is in bed with any of them.

    james -> The Porkchop Express... , 28 September 2017 at 05:28 PM
    and who is in cahoots with israel and saudi arabia??? one can see a pattern here!~
    The Twisted Genius -> Willybilly... , 28 September 2017 at 11:35 PM
    Willybilly,

    While the USG thought it was clever enough to allow IS to attempt to topple the Assad government, it did not deliberately create and direct IS to do so. If that was the USG policy, we would not have bombed the crap out of IS around Kobane when the Rojava Kurds were about to be wiped out? We supported those Kurds in their successful campaign against IS since then.

    We still seem hell bent on pursuing an "Assad must go" policy, but we did not deliberately support IS. We just stupidly let IS rampage across Iraq and Syria when we thought we could gain from that. As part of that stupid and destructive policy, we let the Saudis and Turks directly support IS. Now all those "moderate jihadis" who freely supported Al Qaeda and IS were our direct fault. Of course we weren't alone in that idiocy, either.

    jld -> The Twisted Genius ... , 29 September 2017 at 02:51 AM
    If that was the USG policy, we would not have bombed the crap out of IS around Kobane when the Rojava Kurds were about to be wiped out?

    That argument doesn't hold because it suppose some USG rationality but there is plenty of evidence that the USG does engage in stupid/contradictory/incoherent/schizophrenic behavior.
    Hey, careful, you might destroy the so convenient excuse "It's only stupidity not malevolence" !

    semiconscious -> The Twisted Genius ... , 29 September 2017 at 09:36 AM
    'We still seem hell bent on pursuing an "Assad must go" policy, but we did not deliberately support IS. We just stupidly let IS rampage across Iraq and Syria when we thought we could gain from that ...'

    i believe the accepted term for describing this type of behavior is 'enabling' :) ...

    FkDahl -> The Twisted Genius ... , 29 September 2017 at 12:55 PM
    ISIS is the Tasmanian Devil, full of chaos and destruction, and the US has no direct control over it - but it appears the growth of ISIS was useful for certain US foreign policy goals.

    Why European leaders went along with this and thus greatly facilitated the growth of combat experienced salafist terrorists in Europe is yet another example how - to put it frankly - stupid and short sighted (Western) European leaders are. Playing ball with the hegemon gives you a nice sinecure as a cushy post-politics job is the best explanation I can think of.

    US foreign policy is another topic - my mental image is of a bunch of kittens in a bag. When all the kittens are moving in different directions the bag won't move but sometimes three kittens are moving in one direction and the bag will move. I label the kittens Gas&Oil, AIPIAC+neocons, CIA and banking....

    Richardstevenhack , 28 September 2017 at 02:09 PM
    "It is evidence of IS weakness rather than US perfidy."

    In the immortal words of Tony Stark: "I say, is it too much to ask for both?"

    Sure, the US is bombing ISIS NOW. Go back to 2014 to 2015. A year of US bombing ISIS and ISIS continued to make gains throughout Syria.

    The Russians come in September, 2015 - and six months later the tide is turned. 25-50 Russian jets did in six months what US bombing for a year did not do.

    Pretty much stands for itself. Not to mention that all during that time the US was insisting that "Assad must go" as their primary objective, several times threatening to establish a "no-fly zone" as a cover for directly attacking the Syrian regime.

    Now that the tide is turned, and Russia (and Iran and Hizballah) has shamed the US in terms of effectiveness, of course the US comes in to try to finish off ISIS and have a hand in any subsequent negotiations.

    I think this interpretation of the history of events is quite plausible.

    Babak Makkinejad -> Richardstevenhack ... , 28 September 2017 at 06:10 PM
    A joint US-Jordanian force could have destroyed ISIS in Syria in its early days. Wonder why that was never attempted, I guess helping the Party of Ali was a big No-No.
    Richardstevenhack , 28 September 2017 at 02:14 PM
    This is how the Russians do it...

    REVENGE: Russia Vaporizes 5 Al-Qaeda Commanders Who Attacked Their MPs Last Week
    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/revenge-russia-vaporizes-5-al-qaeda-commanders-who-attacked-their-mps-last-week/ri21077

    "At present, special measures to search for and destroy all the militants involved in the attack on Russian servicemen in Syria are continuing."

    ISL -> Richardstevenhack ... , 29 September 2017 at 11:52 AM
    Richardstevenhack:

    Thanks for the link:

    From the article:

    "It was discovered where the leaders would hold a meeting..."

    If true, this would suggest that ISIS is now leaking perhaps as individuals try and buy their post ISIS survival.

    I do not recall such reports claimed a year or so ago.

    VietnamVet , 28 September 2017 at 06:55 PM
    TTG

    Thanks again for keeping us up-to-date. This is invaluable.

    Policies that ignore American citizens and enrich polluters and war profiteers are reaching a point of implosion. The chickens are coming home to roost.

    Either the Shiite Crescent is accepted with Iran as a regional leader in an alliance with Russia or a world war is about to break out to form Kurdistan to cut the landline in half. Tens of thousands of American soldiers and contractors are in Syria and Iraq. As Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico point out; projected catastrophes do happen. Dont develop quagmires.

    mike , 28 September 2017 at 09:02 PM
    There are some signs of Damascus relaxing their attitude against the Kurds in northern Syria. The Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moualem, told Russia Today News that some form of autonomy may be possible. Is he sincere - or just trying to head off an independence referendum in Syria like what happened in northern Iraq?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds/damascus-says-syrian-kurdish-autonomy-negotiable-report-idUSKCN1C10TJ

    The Kurds with their Syriac-Assyrian/Arab/Turkmen allies in the Democratic Northern Syria Federation have "answered Syrian Foreign Ministers remarks on 'negotiations', saying that they are ready for talks." They say Moualem's statement is welcome and a positive step. They put it in writing.

    https://anfenglish.com/rojava/northern-syria-answers-damascus-we-are-ready-for-negotiations-22376

    My thinking is that Russian pressure on Damascus has made this possible. The Kurds have been so far shut out of Geneva and Astana. So this possible thawing of relations is a good sign. Russia has also suggested that Afrin may be the next 'de-escalation' area. About time I say.

    Negotiations will be tough. Damascus will hold out for control of oil and gas assets in the north - plus the lion's share of electricity distribution from Tishrin and Tabqa dams that are under SDF control. The Kurds (and their allies) will hold out for the right to elect their own local officials instead of carpetbaggers from Damascus. They will want the right to participate in legitimate political parties other than the Ba'ath Party. Plus they may want justice for the PYD Party officials who were tortured and died while imprisoned by the Mukhbarat in the past. That last won't happen IMO, no way the regime is going to give up the men of its security apparatus to trial. In any case it will take a lot of good faith and compromising on both sides to make it work. Tough road ahead.

    Laguerre -> mike... , 29 September 2017 at 08:46 AM
    "There are some signs of Damascus relaxing their attitude against the Kurds in northern Syria."

    This is a quite inexact reading of the situation. The Rojavan Kurds have always been negotiating with Damascus, because of course they recognize that they will have to make a deal with Asad when the war is over. It's just the US that wants outright war. The evidence of course is the survival of the Syrian army base in Qamishli (or is it Hassekeh?). There was one attack upon it, but it was never renewed, and they're still there. I've always presumed that the attack was under US pressure, and now the Kurdish leadership has thought again, and doesn't want to go there now.

    mike -> Laguerre... , 29 September 2017 at 01:56 PM
    Laguerre -

    You are correct that the Kurdish PYD have for a long time been in discussions with the Syrian regime - or at least elements of the regime. And cooperating with them too. You case in point about Qamislo is but one example. The Kurds in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood of Aleppo City cooperated with and helped the SAA to break the siege there.

    It was al-Hasakah where the Kurds and regime forces clashed. But that was due to attacks on Kurds by elements of the regime backed NDF militia. There are still regime police and other elements in Hasakah. There was also a minor skirmish in Qamislo about a year and a half ago when NDF militia opened fire on a Kurdish Asayish police patrol.

    But this latest thaw (if it is one) is critical as it follows the two to three week long agitprop blitz out of Baghdad and Moscow about the SDF and the US.

    I'm not sure what to make of the Syrian FM. He also said this back in May of this year: I think that what the Syrian Kurds are doing in fighting Daesh is legitimate in the framework of their keenness on preserving the unity and integrity of Syrian territories. He thought that the Kurds were helping to preserve Syrian unity.

    Does Moualem speak for Assad? Maybe. Or not. But some Kurds claim that Assad had a Kurdish grampa. Or maybe it was a great grampa?

    Laguerre -> mike... , 29 September 2017 at 04:42 PM
    "But that was due to attacks on Kurds by elements of the regime backed NDF militia."

    Ha ha. You expect me to believe that? If the Kurds wanted the Syrian base gone, it would have been gone long ago.

    mike -> Laguerre... , 29 September 2017 at 08:06 PM
    Laguerre -

    You are correct in saying: "If the Kurds wanted the Syrian base gone, it would have been gone long ago." The facts that they did not should bolster the case that these were primarily local pissing-contest firefights between the Kurds and local/hostile militias. There are probably lots of he-saids and she-saids as to who fired the first shots in these skirmishes. The Kurdish police claim they were fired on at NDF checkpoints. I have not seen any counterclaims from the NDF.

    JJackson -> masoud... , 29 September 2017 at 05:02 AM
    Personally I do not believe that. I think they were happy to sit back and watch Assad and IS weaken each other with a view to picking up the pieces later. In addition their poor understading of the flows of knowledge, arms and personel between all the Jihadis led them to aid groups they thought 'friendly' only to find they were then fighting them once they morphed into something else. At root the problem is the difference between reality and 'US reality' as understood inside the beltway bubble and various tendrils of USgov.
    LeaNder -> masoud... , 29 September 2017 at 08:23 AM
    That's a nice and comfortable formula, case closed let's move on? Are you going to be both prosecutor and judge? Also executor of your own verdict? And what exactly would that be concerning the US? to not dwell too long on masoud.
    English Outsider , 29 September 2017 at 07:24 AM

    TTG - Thank you for another great summary. In addition to that, I believe that the second paragraph of your reply to "Willybilly" is the most accurate summary possible of the issue of claimed Western support for IS. We "let" ISIS run. We did not deliberately "create and direct" it.

    Who's "We?". As the Syrian conflict becomes more and more solely a US/Russia affair, as far as the participants outside the ME are concerned, the final sentence of that second paragraph points to something else that needs clarifying about the "stupid and destructive policy" that led to the Syrian debacle: European and Israeli input into the policy and into the implementation of that policy.

    The Israeli input into both policy and implementation gets sufficient attention, sometimes even in the media. The European input not so much, though I believe it was significant. Of the British component of that input on the ground we in the general public - that is, we in the general public who might have a rough idea of where Syria is on the map - know little except for what we hear of some dubious sounding intelligence/PR work and the odd reference to Special Forces. Even less of the French and German component.

    Given the disinformation and spin that surrounds the subject arriving at a view of Western intervention in the ME that is at once informed and balanced isn't easy. This is the only site that does it. At present we're waiting to see whether Syria succeeds in recovering its territory, whether it goes into a "frozen conflict" condition, or whether it ends up with a Kosovo scenario. As said, the Israeli influence on that outcome is recognised. European influence on the outcome and on arriving at it will also be a factor. Are there any indications of how that influence is exerted at present?

    There is also the question of Chinese interests in Syria and whether that will lead to the Chinese seeking to exert influence on the outcome.

    Such questions seem at present to have little direct bearing on the military position you are examining. They must, however, be in the minds of whoever in Washington is making the military decisions.

    David Habakkuk -> English Outsider ... , 29 September 2017 at 12:48 PM
    EO,

    On the British role in Syria, an invaluable resource is the material collected in the pages entitled Talk: British involvement in Syria, on the A Closer Look On Syria site.

    (See http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Talk:British_involvement_in_Syria .)

    This has a lot of material on the activities of Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, whom I discussed briefly in my post on the British role in the Ghouta false flag and the subsequent cover-up, back in April.

    (See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/sentence-first-verdict-afterwards-a-revision-by-david-habakkuk-14-april-2017.html .)

    Among other subjects covered is the role of James Le Mesurier in the White Helmets, and of Paul Tilley in InCoStrat.

    One interesting feature is that the British seemed to have carved out a niche in StratCom. So, for example, a sometime colleague of mine, Mark Laity, who when I had dealings with him was BBC Radio Defence Correspondent, is now Chief Strategic Communication at SHAPE.

    In this capacity, he produces presentations with titles like Perception becomes Reality, and Behavioural approaches to Perception management.

    (See https://www.cmdrcoe.org/download.php?id=336 , https://www.cmdrcoe.org/download.php?id=341 )

    What I find fascinating – and depressing – is that former British Army officers – like Tilley, Le Mesurier, and de Bretton-Gordon – seem to have swallowed this kind of nonsense hook, line and sinker.

    They do not seem to realise a central problem with propaganda – that, very often, the easiest person to fool is oneself.

    This may also be relevant to a central issue raised by British involvement in Syria, as also in other places.

    All one can find here are indications and pointers. But it seems likely that, behind the scenes, arguments about the dangers of blowback involved in the assumption that we could collaborate with the Saudis and other Gulfies in using jihadists against those deemed common enemies have been going on for a long time.

    It is of interest that a figure who has traced the history of this devils bargain very incisively – Alastair Crooke – is a former employee of MI6.

    (See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-aim-saudi-arabia_b_5748744.html .)

    There is enough of the old Tory cynic in me to think that it is commonly a very major mistake to apply the twenty-twenty vision of hindsight. There are a lot of matters where it seemed a good idea at the time is an appropriate maxim.

    However, the evidence is fairly clear that the kind of people who run MI6 have been remarkably resistant to the accumulating evidence that Sunni jihadists have been, as it were, devils with whom we have supped without a long enough spoon.

    So, for example, as late as July 2014 the former head of the organisation, Sir Richard Dearlove, was still attempting to convince others – and probably himself – that we didnt have to worry too much about the Islamic State, because their central objective was to butcher Shia.

    (See http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html .)

    To see the extent to which the leadership of MI6 still dont get it – and cannot grasp how the assumptions that have shaped the organisations activities for decades have little relevance to todays world – one has only to read the first public speech of its current head, Sir Alex Younger, given last December.

    From the section on Syria:

    Because beyond any of our capabilities, it is legitimacy that is the strongest weapon against international terrorism. If you doubt the link between legitimacy and effective counter-terrorism, then – albeit negatively – the unfolding tragedy in Syria will, I fear, provide proof. I believe the Russian conduct in Syria, allied with that of Asads discredited regime, will, if they do not change course, provide a tragic example of the perils of forfeiting legitimacy. In defining as a terrorist anyone who opposes a brutal government, they alienate precisely that group that has to be on side if the extremists are to be defeated. Meanwhile, in Aleppo, Russia and the Syrian regime seek to make a desert and call it peace. The human tragedy is heart-breaking.

    (See https://www.sis.gov.uk/media/1155/cs-public-speech-8-december-2016-final.doc .)

    The man is, quite patently, both a gibbering idiot and a very unpleasant kind of sentimentalist. And, commonly, sentimentalists are precisely those people who are capable of the most wicked actions.

    But the MSM, in Britain and the United States, continue to behave like the characters in the Hans Christian Andersen fable – they cannot face the fact that the Emperor has no clothes, and they have been among those who have been praising the beauty of his suits all the time.

    How this situation has developed is a very interesting question.

    james -> David Habakkuk ... , 29 September 2017 at 09:08 PM
    eo and david h.. thank you both for the insightful and knowledgeable comments.. yes - white helmets and probably the info shop sohr - all on the uk/usa propaganda bankroll... i am not absolving canada - where i live) in any of this either.. canada with regard to syria has also been an abject failure of vision and leadership.. all our political class here do is follow what the usa does.. it's pathetic..
    English Outsider -> james... , 30 September 2017 at 08:58 AM

    James - pathetic all right but I have some reservations:-

    You write- "all our political class here do is follow what the USA does.."

    Is this the case with Canada and Australia? It's usually assumed, maybe simplistically, that the Ukrainian/Eastern European diaspora in those countries keeps the politicians there committed to neocon foreign policy anyway. At the more extreme end of the spectrum you sometimes see on the internet assertions that both the Ukrainians and the Israelis are holding the fort for white civilisation. Whether that's some nutter sounding off on a blog or whether it represents the underlying attitude of some of the Mr and Mrs Averages in that diaspora is difficult to tell from this distance.

    In any case I believe the view that neocon is just something the cronies do is incorrect. In Eastern Europe, parts of Germany and France, and I think in Canada and Australia there is a genuine sub-stratum of popular support for neocon foreign policy. We merely have to look at the relaxed attitude some Germans take to their government giving the Neo-Nazis a hand in the Ukraine; and some of those Neo-Nazis are getting up to considerably more than just sounding off on a blog. With respect, I don't think the Beltway is leading the charge in such aspects of neocon foreign policy. More shoulder to shoulder.

    More generally I'd suggest, very diffidently because the general public doesn't get to see a lot of what's happening, that sometimes in the various Western interventions abroad the tail has been wagging the dog pretty vigorously.

    That was my impression at times, both of the Clinton and Bush II years and of the Obama years. Still waiting to see what happens in the Trump years.

    james -> English Outsider ... , 30 September 2017 at 11:03 AM
    thanks eo... actually i think it is the case.. we are told to continue on with this nato exercise and to continue to spend more money on the military and we are encouraged to get involved in these conflicts around the globe where the usa deems the correct side to be on is - opposed to syria, with ukraine, and etc. etc... i prefer to not use the word neocon to describe it all..

    i agree there is a part of canada's public that continues to be okay with this war spending and foreign activities in support of the usa general policy as expressed in a newspaper.. this segment is becoming less and less relevant as i see it.. there have been too many botched jobs in the middle east beginning with iraq and moving on to libya... there are enough people that can see when you constantly hold up the idea that you have found the next hitler - saddam, gaddaffi, assad, putin - it wears very thin... i think the stomach for these types of foreign actions/interventions is quite low..

    now it might be slightly different with regard to ukraine where a large diaspora of ukranian people have a spokesperson in the form of crystia freeland who i personally find a huge embarrassment to canada, but other then that - i don't think canucks are in any significant way supportive of as you say 'neocons'... in the case of freeland, her connections to george soros remain enshrouded in secrecy and of course we know of soros position towards russia with his open russia ngo... he can go have another party with pussy riot and try to con the west all he wants and of course there will always be willing fools to buy into it especially ones in the western msm..

    JJackson -> David Habakkuk ... , 30 September 2017 at 08:46 AM
    Long ago, somewhere in these threads, I posted a link to a Small Wars Journal post by a British officer sent to the US DoS to add British input into the Iraq war post kinetic recunstruction phase. From memory the gist was this. The planning was going quite well originally but as the offensive drew near DoD got on a roll and began to take over the show at which point they looked at the DoS plan and junked it as being overly pessimistic as in their view the victorious allies would be welcomed as much loved liberators and post Saddam Iraq would naturally morph into some kind of democratic ally.
    David Habakkuk -> English Outsider ... , 29 September 2017 at 12:53 PM
    Pat,

    EO's comment seemed to need a reply, but once again it has been put into spam. The lawsuits provoked by the dossier are getting odder and odder. The lawyers for BuzzFeed are now trying to compel key figures in the American 'intelligence community' to produce some kind of testimony. This is, ironically, a situation familiar in wars -- where there are clearly escalatory dynamics, which are hard to predict.

    I have been tied up with other things, but hope to produce something sensible about what is going on at some point.

    English Outsider -> David Habakkuk ... , 30 September 2017 at 10:18 AM

    David Habkkuk,

    These people you're researching, particularly those in or on the fringes of the media - when you write more on them it will be instructive to see how you account for their being able to reconcile their activities with any sort of recognisable Service or institutional ethos.

    mike , 29 September 2017 at 10:55 AM
    Press brief yesterday morning by the CJTF-OIR spokesman, Colonel Ryan Dillon. Coalition airstrikes killed a network of three Daesh drone developers in and near Mayadin. (That indicates agents or sources (moles?) on the ground in Mayadin that are providing intel on Daesh leadership and constituents. It appears Colonel Lang was correct in his previous comment on that subject.)

    https://www.dvidshub.net/video/554521/inherent-resolve-spokesman-briefs-reporters

    Other key points that Dillon mentioned: More than 44000 sq kilometers liberated from Daesh in Syria by CJTF supported CJTF. (That is more than 24% of Syrian landmass in my estimation.) Two million Syrians no longer under the control of ISIS thanks to CJTF supported SDF.

    "Singular mission of the coalition joint task force is the annihilation of ISIS."

    Laguerre , 29 September 2017 at 05:24 PM
    The basic point about ISIS is the remark of I think it was Bandar bin Sultan who said, 'ISIS is a Saudi thing, the Muslim Brotherhood is Qatar.' Evidently since then Saudi has been obliged to disavow its support. But, you know, the islamic tradition is for private support of jihad objectives, thus no problem for the saudi princes to continue to support ISIS out of their private pocket, which is the same thing as the public pocket. There are endless public sermons in favour of ISIS in Saudi.

    I don't know how much the US is involved in all this, but I guess they've figured it out. Stick with Saudi and you stick with jihadism.

    Lurker -> Laguerre... , 30 September 2017 at 08:46 AM
    ISIS=Saudi; Al Nusra=Turkey & SDF=IDF with Saudi & IDF collaboration. Thus, ISIS melts away and voilà: SDF takes over

    [Sep 28, 2017] Russias Stand-Off Capability The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

    In comments the term Neoliberal was replaced to Neoliberal for clarity...
    Notable quotes:
    "... Long term goal for USI meant Neoliberal Empire, is weakening the regime in Moscow and executing a regime change. Long term goal for Russia is enduring and waiting/hoping for US..umphNeoliberal Empire implosion. ..."
    "... Nobody voted for Trump to advocate a dreamer amnesty, and nobody voted for Trump to continue the neocons foreign policy. So right now Trump has two big black marks against him. ..."
    Sep 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

    This is both a legitimate but also a highly unprofessional question. In fact, there are many people of prominence in the US who apart from considering such a terrifying scenario are actually pushing for it. Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters doesnt mince words when it comes to attacking Russians; in fact, he is a very straight to the point guy when giving prescriptions on how to fight those Russians: This could spin out of control very, very fast. If it does, we have to win rapidly and decisively -- and keep it within Syria.

    There is no doubt that Peters and the bunch of US military and political people he represents did partake in the strategic wisdom of the past, from Clausewitz to Moltke to Guderian, but it is here where a seemingly legitimate question on the probability of American success in bombing those nasty Russkies into the stone age at Khmeimim and elsewhere in Syria stops being, well, serious. Of course, US can unleash whatever it has at its conventional disposal at Khmeimim and it will eventually overwhelm whatever the Russians have there, from several SU-35s to S-300s and S-400s and, possibly, make Peters wet dream of keeping the whole ordeal confined to Syria very real. This would work, say against anyones military contingent except Russia.

    At issue here is not the fact that Russia is a nuclear superpower -- everyone knows that. Even the most rabid American Russophobes know this and can grasp, however slightly, the concept of their poor dears turning into radioactive ash pretty fast if they do the unthinkable, such as attacking Russia proper with nuclear weapons. Syria, however, is a bit different -- the escalation to a nuclear threshold could, indeed, be controlled by those who hold a decisive advantage conventionally. At issue here is the fact of conventional war -- a precise type of a conflict US military prided itself on for the last 30+ years, boasting of being able to handle any kind of adversary.

    In the foundation of this, rather overly assertive approach, the self-assurance was the real and not so real advantage of the US in stand-off weapons. Aggression against Yugoslavia showed the US military could overwhelm the air-defense of a nation such as Serbia fairly fast and from distances far beyond the reach of its obsolete air defenses. There were Tomahawk cruise missiles, which were launched at Serbia in thousands and which rendered her air defense almost useless after the first couple of weeks of incessant bombing.

    But here is the problem for the US: Russia can take this hypothetical conventional conflict well beyond Syria any time it wants and I am not talking about other strategic theaters, such as Ukraine, where Russia can compensate for a hypothetical defeat in Syria. The reason for this is purely technological -- Russia can go tit-for-tat conventionally in Syria and anywhere in the Middle East. In fact, the Russian military has in its possession the most advanced arsenal of High Precision stand-off weapons which have been demonstrated in action for the whole world to see.

    This is what makes the whole talk about defeating the Russian contingent in Syria very amateurish. War is much more than some shoot-out between belligerents, the war starts in the operational rooms and political offices well before any shot is fired. If the Russian contingent in Syria had been deployed there say in 2005, there would have been no problem in imagining Ralph Peters scenario. But it is not 2005 and an 800 pound gorilla, which many continue to ignore, in the room is Russias stand-off capability -- it is simply much better than the American one and it opens an operational door, in case of a hypothetical conventional attack on Kheimim, for a massive retaliation against any US asset in the region.

    Yesterday, in the wake of the death of Lieutenant General Asapov in Syria, allegedly with some help from the so called Coalition in the vicinity of the liberated Deir-ez-Zor, Russias strategic aviation launched long-range stealthy X-101 cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria. There is nothing new now in Russias using 5,500+ kilometer range cruise missile, nor is there news any more for the Russian Navy being able to launch 2,500+ kilometer range 3M14 of Kalibr family from anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Caspian Sea. These are ranges which are simply beyond the reach of any stand-off weapon in US arsenal with Tomahawk TLAM-A Block II having the maximum range of around 2,500 kilometers while TLAM Block IV, currently being most produced variety, having the range of 1,600 kilometers.

    Raytheon says that these missiles are capable of loitering and that Tomahawk would be able to hit moving targets. It is all fine and dandy but the key is range and precision and here the US is not in the leading position to put it mildly. Range gives an unprecedented operational flexibility and yesterdays launch from Russian Tu-95 Bears strategic bombers had a very serious message -- not in terms of X-101′s range, even longer range cruise missiles are getting ready for procurement, with ranges in 10,000 kilometers vicinity. The message was in the fact that missiles were launched from Iranian and Iraqi aerospace. They didnt have to do so, this could have been easily done from the area of the Caspian Sea. But Bears launched while being escorted in Iranian aerospace by Su-30s and Su-35s of Russian Air Space Forces and that, apart from obvious hint at Russian full capability to reach any US ground asset in the area, provided some ominous signs.

    Iran knows for sure that should the unthinkable but not improbable happen, such as an American attack on the Russian forces in Syria, Iran will not be left standing on the side -- she gets immediately involved whether she wants it or not. So, the logic goes, why not make the best of it when all bets, other than nuclear, will be off. Iran may as well have Russian forces on her side and in her airspace, which, obviously helps significantly. But that also opens another serious operational possibility in case of a real conventional conflict in the area between Russia and the US -- a scenario Neocons, due to their military illiteracy and overall detachment from the strategic reality, are dreaming about. Putting inevitable emotions aside and looking at the factual side of things, Russias Military Doctrine since 2010, reaffirmed in 2014 Edition, views the use of stand-off High Precision as a key in strategic force containment, as Article 26 of a doctrine clearly states. Russia doesnt want war with the US, but if push comes to shove Russia is totally capable of not only reaching US ground assets, such as CENTCOMs Qatar forward installation but, what is even more significant, also the naval ones in the Persian Gulf.

    Apart from 66 long-range strategic bombers, the Tu-160s and Tu-95s, Russia has at her disposal more than 100 TU-22M3 bombers many of which are capable of both inflight refueling and of carrying a rather intimidating weapon -- the X-32 (Kh-32) cruise missile whose range is 1000 kilometers and the speed is in excess of Mach 4.2. This missile, apart from being able to attack anything on the ground, is capable in fact was designed primarily for the purpose, of hitting anything moving on the surface of the sea. The missile, let alone a salvo of those, is incredibly difficult if possible at all to intercept and as yesterdays demonstration showed, Iran, most likely would have no problem with allowing these very TU-22M3s to operate from her airspace in case of the worst case scenario. Launched anywhere from Darab area the salvo will not only cover all of a Persian Gulf but will reliably close off Gulf of Oman for any naval force. No ship, no Carrier Battle Group will be able to enter this area in case of a conventional conflict with Russia in Syria -- the strategic ramifications of this are enormous. Even the salvo of 3M14s from Caspian Sea on October 7, 2015 made such an impression that USS Theodore Roosevelt and her CBG almost immediately left the Gulf .

    Ron Unz > , September 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT

    In support of the strategic thesis advanced in this important article, I seem to recall that the original Russian military intervention in Syria was accompanied by a volley of ultra-long-range cruise missiles, whose capabilities greatly surprised American military analysts.

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Also, since Russia, Iran, and Iraq have become de facto allies in the Syria War, Id think that the use of Iranian and Iraqi airspace as the launch point for the latest bombardment is also meant to raise much greater doubts in Trumps military advisors about the huge risks in any future attack against Iran or attempt to forcefully renegotiate the existing nuclear treaty.

    Thorfinnsson > , September 27, 2017 at 8:22 pm GMT

    Advanced Russian cruise missiles–or at least should not be news to military planners.

    They were well known in Cold War times and discussed in Western defense publications such as Janes.

    The entire purpose of the failed F-111B and its replacement, the F-14, was to keep Soviet maritime bombers and their deadly cruise missiles as far away from the fleet as possible. A lesson obviously forgotten since the end of the Cold War.

    The existence of advanced military technology in Russia (or, really, anywhere outside of America) does appear to surprise American civilian leaders however, few of whom have any military expertise these days.

    The real question: how many working cruise missiles does Russia have in inventory? If Soviet stocks still exist the answer could be quite a lot.

    Andrei Martyanov > , Website September 27, 2017 at 9:11 pm GMT

    @Thorfinnsson Advanced Russian cruise missiles--or at least should not be news to military planners.

    They were well known in Cold War times and discussed in Western defense publications such as Jane's.

    The entire purpose of the failed F-111B and its replacement, the F-14, was to keep Soviet maritime bombers and their deadly cruise missiles as far away from the fleet as possible. A lesson obviously forgotten since the end of the Cold War.

    The existence of advanced military technology in Russia (or, really, anywhere outside of America) does appear to surprise American civilian leaders however, few of whom have any military expertise these days.

    The real question: how many working cruise missiles does Russia have in inventory? If Soviet stocks still exist the answer could be quite a lot.

    Advanced Russian cruise missiles–or at least should not be news to military planners.

    Second generation Anti-Shipping Missiles , starting from Malakhyt and ending with P-700 Granit are not news since 1980s. We are talking about latest generation of high precision land and surface attack weapons which make all previous Soviet weapons obsolete and look like amateurs. 3M14 and X-101 are a new word in TLAMs which, apart from Inertial, GLONASS and TERCOM guidance use other quirky things and, again–nothing was produced ever with combat range of 5,500+ kilometers. None. You are talking about mostly anti-shipping missiles. Among them today only P-1000 Voulkans are retained on old Missile Cruisers of Slava-class and P-700 Granits (NATO: SS-N-19 Shipwreck) carried by some Project 949A (Oscar-II class) SSGNs and Cruiser Peter The Great–most of those will be removed (some are being as I type it) and will have new generation of: P-800 Onyx, 3M54 Kalibr family and 3M22 Zircon hyper-sonic missiles installed. X-32 also is already fully operational for strategic aviation. Those are game changers. Once Mach=8 capable 3M22 Zircon comes on-line, it is pretty much over for the naval warfare as we know it. Real American military professionals know it, others only sense it.

    peterAUS > , September 28, 2017 at 4:28 am GMT

    Read the article.

    Interesting.

    Say its all true. So what?

    MAD was assured during Cold War.So what? Soviet/Warsaw Pact was superior in conventional capability then NATO. So what? The end result was dissolution of not only Warsaw Pact but Soviet Union itself.

    And thats precisely whats going on here. Not an all out war with Russia. I mean, it can happen but neither party would want it. If it happens it will be one of those oh SHIT! moments. Anyway.

    The purpose of war in Syria, from US (OKNeoliberal Empire/whatever) point is ongoing chaos in that region. Chaos …in……that……region.

    Russia can not make that chaos go away. Or if it can, well.fine. I just dont see it.

    All this missiles/high tech/who has a bigger dick thing is ….just….irrelevant.

    The Professor is doing a fine job of spinning positive image on that General (and some other people) death here and thats fine. Not a bad job.

    But the game which killed the General will go on. And on…..and on..and it wont be solved by advanced missiles and what not.

    Russia is in Syria to prop its strategic ally and keep the presence there. The presence there is the objective.

    Russia can keep the presence -- –US (yes..sorry..Neoliberal Empire) will maintain chaos . Both winners.

    Military personnel on both sides will keep being killed and mutilated. Part of the job. High tech assassinations and just bad luck.

    And Islamists from all over the world will keep fulfilling their destiny.

    The Syrians, though…..mice and elephants.

    Long term goal for USI meant Neoliberal Empire, is weakening the regime in Moscow and executing a regime change. Long term goal for Russia is enduring and waiting/hoping for US..umphNeoliberal Empire implosion.

    SimpleHandle > , September 28, 2017 at 4:43 am GMT

    Nobody voted for Trump to advocate a dreamer amnesty, and nobody voted for Trump to continue the neocons foreign policy. So right now Trump has two big black marks against him. I hope Trump can be convinced to back off from his military brinkmanship but with the generals in his administration I am not optimistic. Russia is on the right side of the Syrian conflict.

    unit472 > , September 28, 2017 at 5:03 am GMT

    @peterAUS Read the article.

    Interesting.

    Say it's all true. So what?

    MAD was assured during Cold War.So what? Soviet/Warsaw Pact was superior in conventional capability then NATO. So what? The end result was dissolution of not only Warsaw Pact but Soviet Union itself.

    And that's precisely what's going on here. Not an all out war with Russia. I mean, it can happen but neither party would want it. If it happens it will be one of those "oh SHIT!" moments. Anyway.

    The purpose of war in Syria, from US (OK...Neoliberal Empire/whatever) point is ongoing chaos in that region. Chaos ......in............that............region.

    Russia can not make that chaos go away. Or if it can, well....fine. I just don't see it.

    All this missiles/high tech/who has a bigger dick thing is .......just.......irrelevant.

    The Professor is doing a fine job of spinning positive image on that General (and some other people) death here and that's fine. Not a bad job.

    But the game which killed the General will go on. And on........and on.....and it won't be solved by advanced missiles and what not.

    Russia is in Syria to prop its strategic ally and keep the presence there. The presence there is the objective.

    Russia can keep the presence -----US (yes..sorry..Neoliberal Empire) will maintain chaos . Both winners.

    Military personnel on both sides will keep being killed and mutilated. Part of the job. High tech assassinations and just bad luck.

    And Islamists from all over the world will keep fulfilling their destiny.

    The Syrians, though...........mice and elephants.

    Long term goal for US...I meant Neoliberal Empire, is weakening the regime in Moscow and executing a regime change. Long term goal for Russia is enduring and waiting/hoping for US..umph...Neoliberal Empire implosion.

    All fine. Unless one is a Syrian. Indeed, high tech ( and expensive) weaponry is almost useless against groups like the Taliban or ISIS. Unless you are willing to wage a Mosul type campaign and slaughter civilians on an industrial scale rooting out bands of armed brigands requires infantry. A $ 10 million drone firing a $100,000 missile may take out a terrorist leader but these guys are not indispensable. OTOH some guy driving a car or wearing a suicide vest can take out a whole bunch of highly trained military professionals.

    Anonymous > , Disclaimer September 28, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

    Check out this article and video of a Russian cruise missile launch, hitting ISIS targets a thousand miles away. Very impressive. This was from the Deir al-Zor operation from a few weeks ago. In the comments section there is dispute as to weather the USN has this same vertical launch system capability (launch rate).

    VIDEO: Russian Frigate Fires 3 Cruise Missiles on ISIS Targets in Syria

    https://news.usni.org/2017/09/05/video-russian-frigate-fires-3-cruise-missiles-isis-targets-syria

    Eagle Eye > , September 28, 2017 at 6:02 am GMT

    @Ron Unz In support of the strategic thesis advanced in this important article, I seem to recall that the original Russian military intervention in Syria was accompanied by a volley of ultra-long-range cruise missiles, whose capabilities greatly surprised American military analysts.

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Also, since Russia, Iran, and Iraq have become de facto allies in the Syria War, I'd think that the use of Iranian and Iraqi airspace as the launch point for the latest bombardment is also meant to raise much greater doubts in Trump's military advisors about the huge risks in any future attack against Iran or attempt to forcefully renegotiate the existing nuclear treaty. Thank you, Mr. Unz, for bringing these items – which are of fundamental strategic importance – to a wider public.

    Just found that the Russians actually released a video of the October 2015 cruise missile launches from the Caspian Sea.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/oct/07/russia-launches-missiles-on-isis-from-caspian-sea-video

    Frankie P > , September 28, 2017 at 8:49 am GMT

    @peterAUS Read the article.

    Interesting.

    Say it's all true. So what?

    MAD was assured during Cold War.So what? Soviet/Warsaw Pact was superior in conventional capability then NATO. So what? The end result was dissolution of not only Warsaw Pact but Soviet Union itself.

    And that's precisely what's going on here. Not an all out war with Russia. I mean, it can happen but neither party would want it. If it happens it will be one of those "oh SHIT!" moments. Anyway.

    The purpose of war in Syria, from US (OK...Neoliberal Empire/whatever) point is ongoing chaos in that region. Chaos ......in............that............region.

    Russia can not make that chaos go away. Or if it can, well....fine. I just don't see it.

    All this missiles/high tech/who has a bigger dick thing is .......just.......irrelevant.

    The Professor is doing a fine job of spinning positive image on that General (and some other people) death here and that's fine. Not a bad job.

    But the game which killed the General will go on. And on........and on.....and it won't be solved by advanced missiles and what not.

    Russia is in Syria to prop its strategic ally and keep the presence there. The presence there is the objective.

    Russia can keep the presence -----US (yes..sorry..Neoliberal Empire) will maintain chaos . Both winners.

    Military personnel on both sides will keep being killed and mutilated. Part of the job. High tech assassinations and just bad luck.

    And Islamists from all over the world will keep fulfilling their destiny.

    The Syrians, though...........mice and elephants.

    Long term goal for US...I meant Neoliberal Empire, is weakening the regime in Moscow and executing a regime change. Long term goal for Russia is enduring and waiting/hoping for US..umph...Neoliberal Empire implosion.

    All fine. Unless one is a Syrian. You miss the more immediate goal of the AngloNeoliberal Empire, namely the prevention of the Shia Crescent becoming a stable and calm area, protected and strengthened by well-trained, battle-hardened, united forces, including of course the SAA, Iran, the Iraqi militias, and Hezzbollah. For although as you mentioned the Neoliberal narcissistic great evil and its Yinon Plan to destabilize the entire Middle East / North Africa has long been a goal, we see once again that reality presents them having bitten off more than they could chew, and actions like the Iraq War, a neocon feast of overconfidence and bluster, ended up strengthening the true resistance, the true danger to their regional hegemonic plans. They doubled down, as psychopathic narcissists are prone to do, in Syria, and the resulting action by a stronger and more aggressive Russia has shone the light on the folly of their ways. The resistance has now become The Resistance, and with Americas continuing belligerence pushing Russia and China ever closer, we will soon be calling it THE RESISTANCE.

    Frankie P

    Randal > , September 28, 2017 at 9:41 am GMT

    So, what do you think, what could be the next steps in that play?

    OK lets look at it a bit closer. But to do so we must recognise that we are moving to the realms of wider politics rather than its subset, war. At the level we are talking about, the decisions are always political rather than military, even when they are taken by military men in an overtly military regime.

    The context is what is discussed by Martyanov above – the US regime, presumably listening to some of the less wise amongst its senior military men and the less honestly motivated amongst its influential political and media figures, decides to try to defeat and destroy the Russian forces in Syria whilst counting on what they believe is the USs general escalation superiority to constrain Russian responses and keep the open conflict contained to the region. After the initial probably devastating US attack on Russian forces in Syria, involving the overloading and suppression by various means including direct SEAD attacks of the limited air defences in theatre, the Russians respond with large standoff attacks that effectively destroy US bases and/or carriers used in the attack or in the vicinity. They would not have enough to keep all US and allied ships and bases from which attacks could be launched in Syria out of action, but they could presumably render several substantial bases unusable for significant periods and sink a number of ships including carriers, which would have to operate from more distant locations, rendering operations more costly and less effective.

    What does the US do next? Militarily it has to retaliate, but it can choose how far to escalate in doing so. The problem is that substantive retaliation presumably requires attacks on Russian bases inside Russia, which involves very high risks of uncontrolled escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange. Do they do that? If they launch limited attacks inside Russia (eg an attack on a base used to launch the strategic bombers, say), Russia has the strategic capability to carry out direct tit for tat responses.

    Given the likely involvement of the forces and bases of regional allies (though who really knows how enthusiastic Turkey would really be, these days), it seems likely the attack on Russian forces in Syria could still be prosecuted to completion with their effective destruction, and meaningful Russia reinforcements interdicted successfully, but that would now seem rather a sideshow. And meanwhile Iraqi and Iranian involvement would be likely, and not to the advantage of the USs interests on the ground. Russian ships in the region and perhaps elsewhere could (certainly would in the case of ships in theatre) be engaged in full scale air/sea battles likely resulting in their fairly prompt destruction, but not without significant ongoing losses to US naval forces.

    While all this is going on, what is the political response that will drive the long term outcome? Imo that depends on the political context – is this Pearl Harbor or the Beirut bombings for the US regime? In Pearl Harbor the Japanese executed a Bush Doctrine preventive attack on US military forces intended to forestall what they probably correctly saw as an existential threat from a rival. The result was that although they did considerable military damage all they ultimately achieved was to provide the political context in which the US regime could do what it had not previously been capable of doing, namely to wage a total war to defeat and occupy its Pacific rival. In Beirut the US was interfering in a Lebanese conflict under the transparently false pretext of peacekeeping, and their enemies struck back at them by carrying out a large suicide bombing attack on their military base in theatre. The result was not the creation of a political motivation for invasion and occupation, but rather the discrediting of the intervention policy and the withdrawal of US military forces from Lebanon.

    In the context under discussion, would the loss of US bases and/or carriers, with massive loss of life and arguably even greater loss of prestige (and, it should be remembered, substantial loss of actual military intervention capability in theatre, even if that could be rebuilt and replaced over time), result in an American political determination to engage in a long, massive military confrontation to defeat Russia strategically (a WW2 Japan-style open war of invasion and occupation is ruled out by the modern nuclear peace), and would the US have the necessary global support in waging such a campaign to give it any chance of succeeding?

    Or would it result in a backlash, both domestic and international, against the US regime itself for attacking Russian forces in Syria and essentially provoking the Russian response?

    Much depends on propaganda – does the US regime and its various collaborating elites still have sufficient control of the global and domestic media environment to impose the necessary narrative of a dastardly Russian act of aggression (yes, incredibly enough that is how they try to would portray it – the Americans have demonstrated over the years a shocking degree of hypocrisy when it comes to viewing themselves as the victims in cases of retaliation against them for the actions of their own government and military)? But much also would depend upon the particular circumstances in which the initial American attacks took place and how they were justified (supposed chemical attacks, WMD, responses to provocations, etc).

    In the end, all the dithering in Washington over the past six years about how far to go in Syria has been in large part about who gets the blame if things go wrong.

    So would the result be some kind of strategic defeat for Russia (as for Japan in WW2), or political turmoil in the US resulting in a loss of stomach for further interference (as in Lebanon)? If the former, then you have to explain how such a defeat is realistically going to occur given the reality of the strategic nuclear deterrent Russia has against any massive military attack, and its very significant defensive conventional capabilities, as well as the reality that even if the USs European and Pacific satellites might be willing to go along in such a venture (questionable in some cases, depending on the context), China and most of Asia, and much of Africa and South America, certainly would not, and these areas weigh much more heavily in the global economic balance than they did a few decades ago.

    The real lesson of all this, of course, is that the US regime would have to be profoundly stupid or desperate to risk attacking Russian forces in Syria. Sadly thats not as reassuring as it ought to be.

    The Alarmist > , September 28, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

    There are reasons why that rabid attack chihuahua Peters retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, not the least of which is an inability to grasp the meaning of tactical and strategic indicators and the differences between them. He undoubtedly makes great money giving Fox red-meat quotes for the Rah-Rah crowd who drive the advertising, but I doubt anyone who is anyone, except for a few of the dumbest neocons, takes anything he says seriously.

    Andrei Martyanov > , Website September 28, 2017 at 12:48 pm GMT

    @The Alarmist There are reasons why that rabid attack chihuahua Peters retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, not the least of which is an inability to grasp the meaning of tactical and strategic indicators and the differences between them. He undoubtedly makes great money giving Fox red-meat quotes for the Rah-Rah crowd who drive the advertising, but I doubt anyone who is anyone, except for a few of the dumbest neocons, takes anything he says seriously.

    but I doubt anyone who is anyone, except for a few of the dumbest neocons, takes anything he says seriously.

    Here is the problem, Peters is not alone, in fact, a lot of his hysteria is echoed by such people as former SACEUR Phil Breedlove, today it is Dunford etc. Another matter, because those are still uniformed (or were recently) it is really bad idea to behave as psychopaths as Peters but all of them read from the same script, just the method of delivery differs, slightly at that. As per neocons–these are exact people who set foreign policies in D.C. Their military incompetence is appalling (which is expected from people with their backgrounds) and as such they are extremely dangerous. So I would dispute this thesis of yours. Militarily all neocons are dumb. For people who think that the history of Peloponnesian War (in their big honcho Kagans version) has any relevance to the age of GPS/GLONASS and Combat Informational Control Systems with Stand-off weapons–these people should be looked at very seriously by psychiatrist.

    Randal > , September 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm GMT

    @Ron Unz In support of the strategic thesis advanced in this important article, I seem to recall that the original Russian military intervention in Syria was accompanied by a volley of ultra-long-range cruise missiles, whose capabilities greatly surprised American military analysts.

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Also, since Russia, Iran, and Iraq have become de facto allies in the Syria War, I'd think that the use of Iranian and Iraqi airspace as the launch point for the latest bombardment is also meant to raise much greater doubts in Trump's military advisors about the huge risks in any future attack against Iran or attempt to forcefully renegotiate the existing nuclear treaty.

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Clearly it made no sense in a tactical military sense to use cruise missiles when straightforward air attack was available, and the use of the Kalibrs in October 2015 was certainly motivated as a demonstration of capability. To what degree it was a warning to potential enemies (the US regime, Israel and the Gulf states, obviously, but also remember at the time still Turkey, though that brief hostility seems to have been managed out of existence, helped by the US turning to the Kurds as their proxies in Syria, since then), as opposed to a marketing pitch ( the Russians have been selling export versions of these missiles for many years ) is open to question – probably both.

    The issue is not so much the possession of cruise missiles – the Soviets had nuclear armed Tomahawk equivalents back in the 1980s, and its always been assumed that those (the air and sea launched ones, anyway) were repurposed as conventionally armed missiles. Its having them, along with deployable launchers, in numbers and proving that they work reliably that was the issue. Theres an understandable post-Soviet tendency in the US sphere to discount Russian capabilities in terms of high tech weapons. And in order to use cruise missiles in the way Martyanov describes here – basically as a base-denial weapon against a peer rival – you need plenty of them. To hit a US base and render it unusable with conventionally armed weapons, you have to hit it accurately and you have to hit it multiple times, evading or overloading the defences and counter-measures. To take out a carrier, you have to locate the target first, and then beat the counter-measures to hit it at least once and preferably several times, though one hit could be a mission kill. And in the case of the land base, you have to be able to do it again a few days later, and keep hitting it.

    So the Russians, with their repeated uses of cruise missiles and the introduction of more modern and potentially significantly more capable missiles that Martyanov refers to, have been building a credible case that the US can no longer count on escalation superiority in Syria to protect them.

    Andrei Martyanov > , Website September 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm GMT

    @unit472

    Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done.

    And hopefully will not be done in the future–lets keep our fingers crossed.

    The Forrestal survived multiple detonations and explosions on its flight deck back in 1967 though over 100 sailors died

    Tragic scenario which still rendered USS Forrestal nonoperational. But then again: E=(mv^2)/2 . If to discount explosives, kinetic energy alone of Mach=3 (not to mention Mach=7+) of a single missile will surpass anything what Forestall or, for that matter, USS Enterprise endured in 1969. But here we get into the main issue of leaker and this is the problem which any US naval air defense system is not capable of solving. You may read more on the issue on US Naval Institute written by me.

    https://blog.usni.org/posts/2017/08/28/aircraft-carriers-drama

    Michael Kenny > , September 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT

    This sort of Russia is invincable bluster is old hat. It suggests that Putins American supporters are getting nervous.

    Sergey Krieger > , September 28, 2017 at 1:58 pm GMT

    Now I see how shooting from Iranian airspace increases salvo.missiles with shorter range can be used which could not have been used from Russian airspace. Now the logic behind longer range missiles is also clear to avoid being dependent on allies too. Those are not reliable
    One can only say in retrospective that were it not for what happened in 90s soviet/ Russian stand off capabilities would be absolutely crushing strong long time ago. Now, combined with EW capabilities, air defences and fast moving hard hitting land forces all this United by computerized control it must be something.

    The Alarmist > , September 28, 2017 at 2:06 pm GMT

    @Andrei Martyanov There are reasons why Breedlove was pushed out. Ive been out of the war for a couple decades, so my confidence that there are saner heads where it counts might be misplaced.

    I wouldnt say 99%, but the number is non-trivial, and that is alarming. Peters is aimed at the folks who buy the medicines and other crap hawked on Fox. It helps sell his fiction to people who used to read Tom Clancy but now have to take a step down. If he were taken seriously, hed be doing more appearances on the Sunday shows.

    Stoltenbergs militancy is distressing, but I again hope his masters have him on a short leash, meaning he will bark but he wont bite.

    The neocons are a problem. I think theyve largely been kept in check by calmer heads in the military, which has to do the fighting and occasional dying in the fights the neocons want to pick, which in my opinion is why the neocons have gone about achieving their aims using the Company and its assets.

    DoD has undoubtedly seen and assessed the standoff capability of the Russians, which is why their involvement has been somewhat muted, but yeah, there are some rabid types down the chain who are itching to try their toys on the only real adversaries we have in the world, and given the independence we often give field commanders, they can get us in trouble.

    Thorfinnsson > , September 28, 2017 at 2:10 pm GMT

    @Andrei Martyanov Pardon the pun, but converting anti-ship missiles into land attack missiles doesnt sound like rocket science.

    Even if the Soviet Union didnt have advanced land-attack cruise missiles in the 80s, it should still have been obvious to anyone that their anti-ship missiles could be developed into land attack missiles.

    Were really just talking about a different guidance package, and depending on the sensors involved that can be as simple as a software change. GLONASS began to enter service in 1982, and the first test of a satellite guided bomb was conducted in 1993. Any idiot shouldve been able to put two and two together here, and at least some Western writers have been warning about increasingly sophisticated Russian weapons for more than a decade.

    Whether or not anti-ship missiles make surface warships obsolete I do not know. My hunch is certainly yes (and the future obsolescence of surface warships was predicted already before the war), but this is one of those things we wont truly know until we see it done.

    For that matter Im not sure that hypersonic missiles are game changers for naval warfarepresumably one could simply saturate any naval task force with cheaper subsonic missiles and overwhelm defenses. If none of the of the ships in the task force have low frequency radars, stealth aircraft could drop laser guided bombs right down the blind stack directly on top of warships. A 2,000 pound high explosive bomb would sink more or less any warship afloat today. The Australian theorist Carlo Kopp proposed this for the F-22 as part of his pet cause to get his country to acquire F-22s.

    It has long struck me as idiotic that modern surface warships are largely unarmored, and I also find it curious how few CIWS Western warships have compared to Russian ones.

    DESERT FOX > , September 28, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

    The Neoliberal neocons who control the U.S. are used to invading and destroying small countries with no regard for international law and killing millions of civilians including men , women and children, this is what the Neoliberal neocons do or rather this is what they make the American military do.

    America is run by a Neoliberal crime cabal that operates much as Hitler and the Nazis did with no regard for life or limb, ie a rogue nation that creates terror groups such as ISIS and AL CIADA that it uses to wreck countries and pretends to fight this self created terror.

    The Neoliberal warmongers are going to destroy America and in case of war with Russia both nations will be destroyed and fools like col. ralph peters are typical of the toy officer contingent that is harbored in the military, and who are puppets of Israel.

    The real GORILLA is the Neoliberals and Israel who have driven American foreign policy for decades and who are going to destroy America as just as a parasite destroys its host...

    GOD BLESS RUSSIA AND SYRIA

    [Sep 27, 2017] Come You Masters of War by Matthew Harwood

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... The Middle East was now a U.S. military priority, and the pursuit of direct American domination of the region came from none other than the supposed peacenik, Jimmy Carter. ..."
    "... The result was the Carter Doctrine. Delivered to the American people during the 1980 State of Union Address, Carter started Americas War for the Greater Middle East. ..."
    "... he declared Americas right to cheap energy. Let our position be absolutely clear, he said. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. ..."
    "... Analyzing the Carter Doctrine, Bacevich writes that it represented a broad, open-ended commitment, one that expanded further with time -- one that implied the conversion of the Persian Gulf into an informal American protectorate. Defending the region meant policing it. And police it America has done, wrapping its naked self-interest in the seemingly noble cloth of democratization and human rights. ..."
    "... They didnt see that the U.S.-armed Afghan mujahideen also believed they were the victors and that they had every intention of resisting Americas version of modernity as much as they had resisted the Soviet Unions. (Americas self-destructive trend of arming its eventual enemies -- either directly or indirectly from Saddam Hussein to ISIS, respectively -- is a recurring theme of Bacevichs narrative.) ..."
    "... History cannot be controlled, and it had its revenge on a U.S. military and political elite who somehow believed they could see the future and manage historical forces toward a predestined end that naturally benefitted America. As Reinhold Niebuhr warned, and Bacevich quotes approvingly, The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning. ..."
    "... Another piece of connective tissue, according to Bacevich, is the belief that war is not the failure of diplomacy but a necessary ingredient to its success. The U.S. military establishment learned this lesson in Bosnia when U.S.-led NATO bombing brought Serbia to the negotiating table at the Dayton Peace Accords. The proper role of armed force, writes Bacevich, was not to supplant diplomacy but to make it work. Gen. Wesley Clark was more succinct when he called war coercive diplomacy during the Kosovo conflict. U.S. military force was no longer a last resort, particularly when technology was making it easier to unleash violence without endangering U.S. service members lives. ..."
    "... The people on the ground, as the D.C. elites just learned in November, have a way of not going along with the best-laid plans made for them in the epicenters of power. ..."
    "... Without any unifying aim or idea, according to Bacevich, the Obama administrations principal contribution to Americas War for the Greater Middle East was to expand its fronts. ..."
    "... As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence. ..."
    "... Expect Uncle Sams fangs to grow longer, his talons sharper, his violence huge. ..."
    "... Bacevich, himself, is not hopeful. In a note to readers that greets them before the prologue, Bacevich is refreshingly terse with his assessment of Americas war for the Greater Middle East: We have not won it. We are not winning it. Simply trying harder is unlikely to produce a different outcome. ..."
    Sep 26, 2017 | www.fff.org

    Review of America's War for the Greater Middle East by Andrew J. Bacevich (New York: Random House, 2016; 480 pages)

    Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Over time, other considerations intruded and complicated the wars conduct, but oil as a prerequisite of freedom was from day one an abiding consideration.

    By 1969, oil imports already made up 20 percent of the daily oil consumption in the United States. Four years later, Arab oil exporters suspended oil shipments to the United States to punish America for supporting Israel in the October War. The American economy screeched to a halt, seemingly held hostage by foreigners -- a big no-no for a country accustomed to getting what it wants. Predictably the U.S. response was regional domination to keep the oil flowing to America, especially to the Pentagon and its vast, permanent war machine.

    The Middle East was now a U.S. military priority, and the pursuit of direct American domination of the region came from none other than the supposed peacenik, Jimmy Carter. Before him, Richard Nixon was content to have the Middle East managed by proxies after the bloodletting America experienced in Vietnam. His arch-proxy was the despised shah of Iran, whom the United States had installed into power and then armed to the teeth. When his regime collapsed in 1979, felled by Islamic revolutionaries who would eventually capture the American embassy and initiate the Iranian hostage crisis, so too did the Nixon Doctrine. That same year, the Soviet Union rolled into Afghanistan. The world was a mess, and Carter was under extreme pressure to do something about it, lest he lose his bid for a second term. (He suffered a crushing defeat anyway.)

    Furies beyond reckoning

    The result was the Carter Doctrine. Delivered to the American people during the 1980 State of Union Address, Carter started Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Months earlier, in his infamous malaise speech, Carter asked Americans to simplify their lives and moderate their energy use. Now he declared Americas right to cheap energy. Let our position be absolutely clear, he said. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

    Analyzing the Carter Doctrine, Bacevich writes that it represented a broad, open-ended commitment, one that expanded further with time -- one that implied the conversion of the Persian Gulf into an informal American protectorate. Defending the region meant policing it. And police it America has done, wrapping its naked self-interest in the seemingly noble cloth of democratization and human rights.

    It is illustrative, and alarming, to list Bacevichs selected campaigns and operations in the region since 1980 up to the present, unleashed by Carter and subsequent presidents. Lets go in alphabetical order by country followed by the campaigns and operations:

    1. Afghanistan (Cyclone, 1980–1989; Infinite Reach, 1998; Enduring Freedom, 2001–2015; Freedoms Sentinel, 2015–present);
    2. Bosnia (Deny Flight, 1993–1995; Deliberate Force, 1995; Joint Endeavor, 1995–1996);
    3. East Africa (Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara, 2007–present);
    4. Egypt (Bright Star, 1980–2009);
    5. Iraq (Desert Storm, 1991; Southern Watch, 1991–2003; Desert Strike, 1996; Northern Watch, 1997–2003; Desert Fox, 1998; Iraqi Freedom, 2003–2010; New Dawn, 2010–2011; Inherent Resolve, 2014–present);
    6. Iran (Eagle Claw, 1980; Olympic Games, 2007–2010)
    7. Kosovo (Determined Force, 1998; Allied Force, 1999; Joint Guardian, 1999–2005);
    8. Lebanon (Multinational Force, 1982–1984);
    9. Libya (El Dorado Canyon, 1986; Odyssey Dawn, 2011);
    10. North/West Africa (Enduring Freedom -- Trans Sahara, 2007– present);
    11. Pakistan (Neptune Spear, 2011);
    12. Persian Gulf (Earnest Will, 1987–1988; Nimble Archer, 1987; Praying Mantis, 1988);
    13. Saudi Arabia (Desert Shield, 1990; Desert Focus, 1996);
    14. Somalia (Restore Hope, 1992–1993; Gothic Serpent, 1993); Sudan (Infinite Reach, 1998);
    15. Syria (Inherent Resolve, 2014–present);
    16. Turkey (Provide Comfort, 1991);
    17. Yemen (Determined Response, 2000)

    While Bacevich deftly takes the reader through the history of all those wars, the most important aspect of his book is his critique of the United Statess permanent military establishment and the power it wields in Washington. According to Bacevich, U.S. military leaders have a tendency to engage in fantastical thinking rife with hubris. Too many believe the United States is a global force for good that has the messianic duty to usher in secular modernity, a force that no one should ever interfere with, either militarily or ideologically.

    As Bacevich makes plain again and again, history does not back up that mindset. For instance, after the Soviet Unions crippling defeat in Afghanistan, the Washington elite saw it as an American victory, the inauguration of the end of history and the inevitable march of democratic capitalism. They didnt see that the U.S.-armed Afghan mujahideen also believed they were the victors and that they had every intention of resisting Americas version of modernity as much as they had resisted the Soviet Unions. (Americas self-destructive trend of arming its eventual enemies -- either directly or indirectly from Saddam Hussein to ISIS, respectively -- is a recurring theme of Bacevichs narrative.)

    Over and over again after 9/11, America would be taught this lesson, as Islamic extremists, both Sunni and Shia, bloodied the U.S. military across the Greater Middle East, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. History cannot be controlled, and it had its revenge on a U.S. military and political elite who somehow believed they could see the future and manage historical forces toward a predestined end that naturally benefitted America. As Reinhold Niebuhr warned, and Bacevich quotes approvingly, The recalcitrant forces in the historical drama have a power and persistence beyond our reckoning.

    Yet across Americas War for the Greater Middle East, presidents would speak theologically of Americas role in the world, never admitting the United States is not an instrument of the Almighty. George H.W. Bush would speak of a new world order. Bill Clintons Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would declare that America is the indispensable nation. George W. Bushs faith in this delusion led him to declare a global war on terrorism, where American military might would extinguish evil wherever it resided and initiate Condoleeza Rices 'paradigm of progress -- democracy, limited government, market economics, and respect for human (and especially womens) rights across the region. As with all zealots, there was no acknowledgment by the Bush administration, flamboyantly Christian, that evil resided inside them too. Barack Obama seemed to pull back from this arrogance in his 2009 Cairo speech, declaring, No system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other. Yet he continued to articulate his faith that all people desire liberal democracy, even though that simply isnt true.

    All in all, American presidents and their military advisors believed they could impose a democratic capitalist peace on the world, undeterred that each intervention created more instability and unleashed new violent forces the United States would eventually engage militarily, such as Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and ISIS. Bacevich explains that this conviction, deeply embedded in the American collective psyche, provides one of the connecting threads making the ongoing War for the Greater Middle East something more than a collection of disparate and geographically scattered skirmishes.

    War and diplomacy

    Another piece of connective tissue, according to Bacevich, is the belief that war is not the failure of diplomacy but a necessary ingredient to its success. The U.S. military establishment learned this lesson in Bosnia when U.S.-led NATO bombing brought Serbia to the negotiating table at the Dayton Peace Accords. The proper role of armed force, writes Bacevich, was not to supplant diplomacy but to make it work. Gen. Wesley Clark was more succinct when he called war coercive diplomacy during the Kosovo conflict. U.S. military force was no longer a last resort, particularly when technology was making it easier to unleash violence without endangering U.S. service members lives.

    This logic would run aground in Iraq after 9/11 during what Bacevich calls the Third Gulf War. In an act of preventive war, the Bush administration shocked and awed Baghdad, believing U.S. military supremacy and its almost divine violence would bring other state sponsors of terrorism to heel after America quickly won the war. Vanquishing Saddam Hussein and destroying his army promised to invest American diplomacy with the power to coerce. Although the Bush administration believed the war ended after three weeks, Bacevich notes, the Third Gulf War was destined to continue for another 450. The people on the ground, as the D.C. elites just learned in November, have a way of not going along with the best-laid plans made for them in the epicenters of power.

    There was hope that Barack Obama, a constitutional professor, would correct the Bush administrations failures and start to wind down Americas War for the Greater Middle East. Instead, he expanded it into Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and West Africa through drone warfare and special-operations missions. Without any unifying aim or idea, according to Bacevich, the Obama administrations principal contribution to Americas War for the Greater Middle East was to expand its fronts.

    Now this war is in the hands of Donald J. Trump. If there is any upside to a Trump presidency -- and I find it hard to find many -- its the possibility that the intensity of American imperialism in the Middle East will wane. But I find that likelihood remote. Trump has promised to wipe out ISIS, which means continued military action in at least Iraq, Syria, and Libya. He has also called for more military spending, and I find it hard to believe that he or the national-security establishment will increase investment in the military and then show restraint in the use of force overseas.

    As Bacevich clearly shows over and over again in his narrative, the men and women who make up the defense establishment have a fanatical, almost theological, belief in the transformational power of American violence. They persist in this belief despite all evidence to the contrary. These are the men and women who will be whispering their advice into the new presidents ear. Expect Uncle Sams fangs to grow longer, his talons sharper, his violence huge.

    Bacevich, himself, is not hopeful. In a note to readers that greets them before the prologue, Bacevich is refreshingly terse with his assessment of Americas war for the Greater Middle East: We have not won it. We are not winning it. Simply trying harder is unlikely to produce a different outcome. And to this its not hard to hear Trump retort, Loser! And so the needless violence will continue on and on with no end in sight unless the American population develops a Middle East syndrome to replace the Vietnam syndrome that once made Washington wary of war.

    That lack of confidence in the masters of war cant come soon enough.

    This article was originally published in the July 2017 edition of Future of Freedom .

    [Sep 26, 2017] US-Saudi Alliance Fragments the Middle East (2-2) by RANIA KHALEK

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... And so, now, you have a situation now where Yazidis and Sunni Arabs who were able to live together for quite a while in Sinjar next door, being not just neighbors, but also friends, now hate each other. Yazidis never, ever, ever, and this is actually not just true for Yazidis, I mean, I'm talking like minority communities in general in Iraq, they now kind of harbor this hatred for Sunni Arabs because of what ISIS did to them and in some cases, it was their neighbors who turned on them when ISIS came. So, people that they knew, people that were even friends with. And so, now there is this trauma and this distrust between Sunni Arabs and Yazidis and they probably won't be able to live together for a very, very long time. ..."
    "... At the same time, the Kurdistan regional government is using the ISIS atrocities as a way to kind of like remove Sunni Arabs from areas just kind of calling them blanket, calling them all ISIS and removing them and burning down their villages as they did in Sinjar. And so, now you have a situation where it's just like you said, one community after another keeps being pitted against the other. And at the end of the day, the region is less safe. The region is a less hospitable place for people to live, and I mean Iraq is honestly one of the most extreme versions of this that I've ever seen and it's the outcome of decades and decades and decades of U.S. empire meddling in that region and just using one group against another. ..."
    Sep 26, 2017 | therealnews.com

    The consequences of US meddling and Saudi Wahhabism have decimated Iraq and pitted multiple Middle East groups against the other, says independent journalist Rania Khalek

    ... ... ...

    RANIA KHALEK: No, exactly, and at the end of the day, it kind of goes to the outside players who continue to meddle in the region. They just create a more violent, more toxic region where the conditions are fomented for more sectarianism, for more hatred, for more atrocities, one group against another.

    And you know, I didn't really get to this in my piece, but now you have a situation because of what happened with ISIS, and we can also say ISIS, the outcome of ISIS existing, is a direct result of the U.S. intervention in Iraq. You could say that Al Qaeda would never have come to Iraq. You never would have had ISIS had the U.S. not opened the floodgates when it intervened in that country in the way it intervened.

    And so, now, you have a situation now where Yazidis and Sunni Arabs who were able to live together for quite a while in Sinjar next door, being not just neighbors, but also friends, now hate each other. Yazidis never, ever, ever, and this is actually not just true for Yazidis, I mean, I'm talking like minority communities in general in Iraq, they now kind of harbor this hatred for Sunni Arabs because of what ISIS did to them and in some cases, it was their neighbors who turned on them when ISIS came. So, people that they knew, people that were even friends with. And so, now there is this trauma and this distrust between Sunni Arabs and Yazidis and they probably won't be able to live together for a very, very long time.

    At the same time, the Kurdistan regional government is using the ISIS atrocities as a way to kind of like remove Sunni Arabs from areas just kind of calling them blanket, calling them all ISIS and removing them and burning down their villages as they did in Sinjar. And so, now you have a situation where it's just like you said, one community after another keeps being pitted against the other. And at the end of the day, the region is less safe. The region is a less hospitable place for people to live, and I mean Iraq is honestly one of the most extreme versions of this that I've ever seen and it's the outcome of decades and decades and decades of U.S. empire meddling in that region and just using one group against another.

    It's worse than any place I've ever seen in that respect. Syria, Lebanon, I mean Iraq really tops it all. And so at the end of the day, I think it's really kind of a lesson in why the U.S. should not be involved in the Middle East in the way it has been.

    AARON MATÉ: Rania, finally, you spoke to Yezidis who survived and witnessed unimaginable atrocities under ISIS. What was that like for you?

    RANIA KHALEK: It's the first time that I've ever had to sit down and listen to somebody tell me about how they were gang raped or about they were raped at all. I'm not a grief counselor and I don't think that I've ever, ever, I mean I've never heard these kinds of stories before. It was really, really shocking to me especially speaking to the women survivors. The most, it was really, really shocking to me, the kinds of stuff they went through.

    In one case, one woman told me that the ISIS wife of one of the men who bought her, she was sold seven times, and one of the men who bought her, his wife actually helped him rape her. So, you have women who participated in helping to rape people because of their identity, because they were sub-human to them because they were Yazidi.

    Hearing these kinds of stories, honestly, it really felt like I was talking to Holocaust survivors. It was really, really shocking and I don't think that level of, like I said, the Yazidi plight has received a lot of attention, but I don't think their genocide has necessarily received the attention that it deserves because all I kept thinking was how angry it made me.

    Because there's an ideological basis, an ideological foundation for why ISIS did the things that they did. It doesn't happen in a vacuum. It doesn't come from nowhere. Its ideology is based in Salafism and Wahhabism and it's an ideology that is the state religion of the U.S.'s greatest ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

    And that's something that Yazidis kept saying to me that I never, ever, ever see expressed in any articles that I read about the Yazidis is they always, always say, "How come Saudi Arabia is allowed to push these ideas everywhere." That's where this comes from. This is who did this to us as this ideology. And they mention the Saudis and they mention the U.S.. For some reason, this will be in other articles I have coming out about this issue, but I never, ever read about this. And so if anything, hearing the kinds of stories I heard, at the end of the day, as atrocious as they were and as traumatic as they were to hear, what made me angriest is that nobody's talking about the ideological basis behind this, which is a fascistic ideology that is tolerated because it comes from America's number one ally in the region.

    AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and really on this front I have to point out, for raising this issue in the same way that we've seen supporters of Israel call critics of Israel anti-Semites. I've recently been seeing some critics of yours paint your argument as Islamophobic for pointing to the particularly dangerous facets of Wahhabism in the Saudi Arabian version which I found a very interesting parallel. I don't know, a brief comment on that?

    RANIA KHALEK: Well, yeah, so I think that that's a really great way you just put it is if anything, the people who want to defend Wahhabism have adopted a similar strategy as we've seen Israel's most excited supporters take views against its critics, which is to call anybody who criticizes Zionism or Israel or the policies of Israel, an anti-Semite. And it's really sad to me to see people taking that strategy and applying it to the issue of Islamophobia. Especially at a time when in America, Islamophobia is at its peak. It's at its worst it's ever been. We have a president right now who literally got elected on hatred for Muslims.

    So, it's not something that should ever be, I feel like it makes a mockery of Islamophobia to try and say that and austere strain of Sunni Islam like Wahhabism, to say that criticizing that is somehow Islamophobic. It's absolutely absurd. And beyond that, I will tell you right now, it is not just, this is the fascistic ideology in the Middle East is Wahhabism and Salafi-like Jihadi style thinking, which comes directly out of Wahhabism.

    And so for someone like me, who's a Middle Easterner, who at the moment is based in the region, I can tell you right now this is a conversation here that people are having and they don't see this being Islamophobic whatsoever, and it's really absurd for people in the West to be projecting Western dynamics of Islamophobia onto a region that actually does have to deal with groups that want to impose, Sharia Law that want to impose Al-Qaeda style laws. Because we do have Al-Qaeda in this region that does want to impose this on people, that wants to wipe out minorities, that wants to wipe out secular people, that wants to wipe out anybody who doesn't agree with them.

    And so I think it's just really, there's a lot of conversations happening among progressives in the U.S. about how it might be Islamophobic to be criticizing, like I said, Wahhabism and Salafism, but from my vantage point in this region, it just looks so absurd and so disconnected from reality.

    AARON MATÉ: The term that I think Max Blumenthal coined, correct me if I'm wrong is 'Woke Wahhabism.'

    RANIA KHALEK: Yeah, [laughs] 'Woke Wahhabism.' I don't think people understand. It's so insane. Wahhabism literally preaches like, supremacy. It's like the Middle East's version of white supremacy is Wahhabism. It's like these Al-Qaeda groups, these ISIS groups are the Middle East's version of the KKK and of these white nationalist groups you see in the U.S., and so if anything, these are kind of similar symptoms of something I see happening around the globe which is this sort of rise of fascism, but we always have to remember that in the Middle East, in the context of the Middle East and even beyond the Middle East, Wahhabism isn't rising naturally. Salafism isn't rising naturally. Saudi Arabia has spent a hundred billion dollars plus over the past several decades with the U.S.'s approval and participation supporting this ideology in Muslim communities around the world. And this is something we need to be talking about or else we end up conceding the conversation about these issues to the far Right, which is just going to blanket brush every single Muslim as being a part of the Wahhabi style doctrine, which isn't true.

    And so, I think that this is a conversation that the Left needs to be having. It needs to be on the forefront of because at the end of the day, Wahhabism is really just a tool of American imperialism because the Saudis don't do anything without America's approval and without America participating in helping them do it. So that's something to consider when we do have these conversations. 'Woke Wahhabism.' [laughs].

    AARON MATÉ: Rania Khalek, independent Journalist, co-host of the podcast, Unauthorized Disclosure. Her new piece for Alternate's Grayzone Project is called In the

    'Field with Yezidi Fighters, Tales of Genocide at ISIS's Hands and More Conflicts to Come.' Rania, thank you.

    Youri • 2 days ago

    thank you Real News for having Rania on, I feel you could invite her more but I'm glad you haven't blacklisted her like Vice, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now, The Intercept and others who have shamefully jumped the shark on Syria, Venezuela, and Russia conspiracy theories. Rania I feel deserves a Reality Asserts itself special, please do it. And I can't believe with all we know about Saudi Arabia and US-UK foreign policy towards the Middle East that people would be for the overthrow of Assad and ignore Western support for Saudi and Qatar and turkey exporting ISIS to Syria to overthrow Assad so they can put pipeline and create a Sunni client state there. How is Rania or anyone islamaphobic or a assadist for that? its ridiculous.

    Well Rania keep up the brilliant work your doing, and all the haters and smear artists and insincere left outlets and faux indie outlets can go to hell. Folks donate generously to the Real News, AlterNet that publishes Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton and yours truly Rania's work, and donate to Shadowproof and Unauthorized Disclosure that Rania co-hosts with Kevin Gosztola. Stay safe Rania, and "Good night & good luck".

    [Sep 24, 2017] Russian special forces repel a US-planned attack in Syria, denounce the USA and issue a stark warning - The Unz Review

    Notable quotes:
    "... There are a couple of problems here. First, objectively, the Russian contingent in Syria is a tiny one if compared to the immense power of CENTCOM, NATO and the ever-present Israelis. Not only that, but in any US-Russian confrontation, Russia as a country is objectively the weaker side by any measure except a full-out nuclear exchange. ..."
    "... Furthermore, for historical and cultural reasons, Russians are much more concerned by the initiation of any incident which could lead to all-out war than the Americans who always fight their wars in somebody else's country. ..."
    "... In practical terms this means that an American miscalculation could very well lead to a Russian military response which would stun the Americans and force them to enter an escalatory spiral which nobody would control. ..."
    "... At the same time a new Kurdistan means that the US, NATO, and Israel will lose Turkey to Russia forever. And that is a very bad trade off! ..."
    "... Anything short of nuclear is excellent for business but the profit potential of nuclear bombs is limited. ..."
    Sep 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Something rather unprecedented just happened in Syria: US backed "good terrorist" forces attempted a surprise attack against Syrian government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama. What makes this attack unique is that it took place inside a so-called "de-escalation zone" and that it appears that one of the key goals of the attack was to encircle in a pincer-movement and subsequently capture a platoon of Russian military police officers deployed to monitor and enforce the special status of this zone. The Russian military police forces, composed mainly of soldiers from the Caucasus region, fought against a much larger enemy force and had to call for assistance. For the first time, at least officially, Russian special operations forces were deployed to rescue and extract their comrades. At the same time, the Russians sent in a number of close air support aircraft who reportedly killed several hundred "good" terrorists and beat back the attack ( Russian sources speak of the destruction of 850 fighters, 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points; you can see photos of the destroyed personnel and equipment here ). What also makes this event unique is the official reaction of the Russians to this event.

    Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia's General Staff Colonel General Sergei Rudskoi declared that:

    "Despite agreements signed in Astana on September 15, gunmen of Jabhat al-Nusra and joining them units that don't want to comply with the cessation of hostilities terms, launched a large-scale offensive against positions of government troops north and northeast of Hama in Idlib de-escalation zone from 8 am on September 19 ( ) According to available data, the offensive was initiated by American intelligence services to stop a successful advance of government troops east of Deir ez-Zor ".

    Today, other Russian officials have added a not-so-veiled threat to this accusation. The Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov has declared that:

    Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed ( ) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary

    This is unprecedented on many levels. First, the Russians clearly believe that this attempt to kill or capture a platoon of the Russian military police was planned by the United States. The fact that they are making this accusation officially shows the degree of irritation felt by the Russians about the duplicity of the Americans. Second, this is the first time, at least to my knowledge, that Russian Spetsnaz forces had to be sent in to rescue a surrounded Russian subunit. All Spetsnaz operators survived, but three of them were wounded in the operation (the Russians are not saying how badly). The close air support by very low flying SU-25 aircraft was obviously coordinated by Spetsnaz forward air controllers and probably saved the day. In other words, this was a close call and things could have ended much more badly (just imagine what the Takfiri crazies would have done, on video, to any captured Russian serviceman!). Finally, a US-organized attack on what was supposed to be a "de-confliction" zone combined with an attempt to capture Russian soldiers raises the bar for American duplicity to a totally new level.

    The big question now is "do the Russians mean it?" or are they just whining with real determination to hit back if needed.

    There are a couple of problems here. First, objectively, the Russian contingent in Syria is a tiny one if compared to the immense power of CENTCOM, NATO and the ever-present Israelis. Not only that, but in any US-Russian confrontation, Russia as a country is objectively the weaker side by any measure except a full-out nuclear exchange. So the Russians are not in a position of force. Furthermore, for historical and cultural reasons, Russians are much more concerned by the initiation of any incident which could lead to all-out war than the Americans who always fight their wars in somebody else's country. This might seem paradoxical, but the Russians fear war but they are ready for it. In contrast to the Russians, the Americans don't fear war, but neither are they ready for it. In practical terms this means that an American miscalculation could very well lead to a Russian military response which would stun the Americans and force them to enter an escalatory spiral which nobody would control.

    Johnny Rico > , September 21, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

    Finally, a US-organized attack on what was supposed to be a "de-confliction" zone combined with an attempt to capture Russian soldiers raises the bar for American duplicity to a totally new level.

    Wow! That escalated quickly.

    First it is an accusation by a Russian general and a paragraph later it is apparently a fact.

    Evidence not required. You are worse than the Pentagon.

    So much for exercising caution and restraint.

    hunor > , September 22, 2017 at 4:39 am GMT

    @Johnny Rico " evidence not required"

    the Russians are not in a position to make an outlandish accusation ,without proof.

    they have intercepted communications between American military personals and moderate jihadist

    / AL Nustra / both in the planning , and executing of the operation. the Russians presented the evidence to they

    American "partners " The American official response was that the USA considers the Al Nustra front

    a terrorist organization

    anonymous > , Disclaimer September 22, 2017 at 2:36 pm GMT

    This is a very strange story and I find it puzzling. Could this be true? The numbers of killed and destroyed tanks and trucks seem to be rather high. Tanks? Who's supplying them with tanks? There's a confusing array of combatants out there, each with their own sponsors. What we need is a scorecard. Also, what's needed is an analysis of what the US goal of setting up a separate Kurdish state is all about and what the perceived benefits are. It's hard to tell if there's a coherent plan behind all this or if it's all due to confusion and gung-ho incompetence.

    Dr. Charles > , September 22, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT

    This is a very, very dangerous situation. And it is by no means clear who will blink first. All the contemptuous things that may be said about Trump only add to the danger. Yes, he's both a bully and a coward (as most bullies are). That's why he fired Bannon (who was going to get him out of Syria) and then put the Junta (of Mattis, McMaster and Kelly) over him–to "make a man out of him." That's why Trump's Dad sent him to Military School. So Trump will follow orders as he did back then. The military discipline didn't stick. But his military school years were the best he ever felt about himself. That's why he put the Junta over him now. And the Junta is out to be great generals all and win where others have failed. They'll be the Grants and Shermans of the 21st century. They'll win the Syrian War, the Afghan War, and the Korean War. (Just follow McArthur's nuclear plan!) Defeat Iran too– and send Russia running back to its borders. (Obama and HRC both privately pegged Putin as an appeaser a la letting the Kiev coup go through and just defending Crimea.)

    In Syria, Plan B was always to create a separate state of Kurdistan in Eastern Syria; build scores of US bases there; and cut off Hezbollah from Iran. Then let Israel wipe out Hezbollah (Good luck with that one!) and extend Israel's borders to the Litani River, which would then be diverted South to irrigate Israeli lands.

    Then Israel and the US would catch and destroy Assad in a pincer movement. And it's assumed Putin will withdraw rather than fight. He's already said on the record that Russia doesn't need Syria to survive. And if that causes the hardliners to topple him, the US will be ready with a First Strike option by then.

    I believe "Mad Dog" Mattis and McMaster think they can pull it off. They have the blood of General Custer in them!

    anon > , Disclaimer September 22, 2017 at 8:15 pm GMT

    @Johnny Rico "Nothing to see here"

    No. There's a lot to see here . 1st America declares Assad should go Then UK tells Assad has left the country for Russia .NATo says it is considering erecting safe zone and someone with bewitching smile saying: I am coming I am seeing but he is not dying I will impose no- fly zone.
    Then HRW and paid and bribed NYT WaPO and Guardian CNN FOX were asking when when when , when are we going to decapitate Assadd- that Sarin gas smells bad !!!

    AIPAC and Holocaust Museum with Natanyhuu getting irtae with Obama and now with Trump for not doing yet what should have been done 4 years ago. Trump goes to UN after firing misile and warns the world of his next move against Syria and IRan.

    Against these backdrop, relentless but slow recapture of territories by the 3 enemy forces – Iran Syria and Hizbullah must have turned AIPAC , ADL Holocaust Museum ,Natanyhu and their children in Congress and cabinets pure eunuchs with dry shrunken balls hanging between two beastly legs . There is a lot to see. Now Russia has told them something that any country with balls will point to the lies and laugh at the accusation or warnings or both. US just swallow it and like a confused child spit venom at NK IRAN and VENEZUELA thinking the ground underneath his feet was responsible for his fall.

    Schmid > , September 22, 2017 at 10:25 pm GMT

    I wonder why the Rebels /Islamist don't opt for a radical guerilla tactic. Why does they operate in a way, they risk being shot from air, a large amount of them in one place with their heavy material, being an easy target for air-forces? Isn't this crazy? I'm by far no military expert, so just asking.

    Other questions are the credibility of the sources and the possibility of other narrative

    Dr. Charles > , September 22, 2017 at 11:59 pm GMT

    @paull Pure fantasy from Saker McNasty. The US isn't interested in winning battles. It's interested in controlling the future of Syria. Russia may have won this battle, but the message sent was by the US and Russia, despite its public fulminating, got that message. Russia will agree to the partition of Syria that the US wants. This whole story is about face saving for Russia. Saker McNasty has a role to play in that. He plays it well.

    I think Putin never really intended to defend Syria's sovereignty. I think he has basically the same idea Trump has: that sovereignty means something different for small countries. Let's just say that the more powerful a country is, the more 'sovereignty' it has.

    So Russia boasts that it has won a battle and consequently makes threats. Meanwhile negotiations for the carve-up of Syria are being finalized... I do not believe that any of us should be permitted by the moderators to engage in vicious slurs, as in adding the epithet, "McNasty," to The Saker's illustrious nom de plume (or nom de guerre, as the case may be). The Saker never descends to such mud-slinging. He is ever challenging, but never girlishly "nasty." Such insult-throwing only inflames us all to turn troll. The moderators should not allow it. If a comment otherwise has merit, the moderators should have the option of sending the comment back to the writer to decide if he wants to have his comment published without these self-degrading slurs that substitute for rational debate. As for your "Americanized" (Animal Farm) version of what Putin thinks about sovereignty, it's certainly contrary to everything I know about the man (based on my own long professional study of his words and deeds)!starting with his lifelong (literally since age 13) commitment to the moral philosophy of Judo or "Gentle Path" in Japanese (reinforced by his post-1996 embrace of Orthodox Christianity): which holds that all people are equal and deserving of mutual respect, regardless of size, as expressed by the obligatory exchange of bows before matches. And Putin has carried that through to international relations, as often stated in his addresses at international forums. That said, he may decide that it may be in everyone's best interest to avoid a hot war with the US for now and let the US partition Syria for the time being–knowing that this new Kurdistan is not apt to last very long with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Russia, and possibly China (as a major oil/gas buyer) all opposed to it and only Israel and the US supporting it.

    At the same time a new Kurdistan means that the US, NATO, and Israel will lose Turkey to Russia forever. And that is a very bad trade off! Though I, for one, believe that if Putin does allow this partitioning to happen, the 3 generals now running Trump are likely to see this as further evidence of their own bogus (US-propaganda contradicting) theory of Putin's "appeasement" tendencies and go for a "limited" First Strike option (meaning: "accept our total destruction of your nuclear forces and unconditionally surrender or our Second Strike will incinerate every Russian city!").

    And that will be the ballgame. Whereas The Saker finds this idea that Trump's damned generals are so Hell-bent on ruling the world that they would actually go for a First Strike option just too well insane. True Son of the Enlightenment he! Just joking

    I'm not joking, however, when I say that it is my true belief that these Hell-bound generals now ruling Trump and our "post-Christian" Empire are so blinded by Satanic pride and lustful delusions of grandeur that they may well bring down a nuclear Armageddon upon us all.

    KA > , September 23, 2017 at 3:11 am GMT

    @Johnny Rico The Saker piece you read above is, in itself, a deception, however unintentional or not it may be.

    It does this by presenting its own narrative and context for the "facts" as provided by the linked articles. And also, leaving out any awkward details that might not match the desired narrative.

    Any history of this incident written a year from now will look quite different. As will one written 10 years from now.

    Here is another early take on the context.

    http://www.newsweek.com/russia-accuses-us-working-al-q-affiliate-syria-668414

    Accusation is not new . American scholars have accused of the same practices . American government has had a love hate relationship with this terrorists outfit .

    RAND corporation was very clear and explicit in its urging that America should embrace Jihadist to reach its goal. America is recapturing its past association with Fascist and with Nazis . Nothing remarkable or out of character . It is par the course .

    What is confusing is the half baked attempts to undermine Assad without a ready coherent opposition who America can present . It seems American plans embrace the theory of vivisection of Syria by different weakened groups as it happening in Libya . But what is different here is the presence of strong interested neighbors who have designs on this land . US wants to satisfy them .

    Then use the platform to project its power over Iran and possibly wobbly vacillating East European countries . Once Iran is corralled , America most likely target the belt and road initiative of China .

    It is very important for America to succeed in Syria. Otherwise it is done as far power projection is concerned. This is the reason America agreed to let Assad stay but within demarcated zone . Although it is doubtful if it could have done otherwise . This is plan B .

    Iain W > , September 23, 2017 at 6:53 am GMT

    Maybe the Russians have now finally realised after processing all the permutations in their 'reflexive control' model that talk is useless with the perfidious and odious US degenerates. The US is now an existential threat to the existence of Russia along with other non US aligned countries. If so, this will become a fight for survival at some point.

    CPH > , September 23, 2017 at 9:51 am GMT

    There is a contingent within the American government which has been pushing for war with Russia since Trump was elected. Unfortunately, any clear signals from the Russians that what this incident represents will not be tolerated is exactly what they are looking for.

    The bet they'll make is that the Russian government will not respond to the next provocation with a credible threat to escalate to nuclear war. Anything short of nuclear is excellent for business but the profit potential of nuclear bombs is limited.

    GreenEyedJinn > , September 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm GMT

    That al-Nusra attacked Idlib is likely. It's what they do. To say that it was orchestrated in any way by the US is not. We don't coordinate or push any ops with al-Nusra. The current al-Nusra is a splinter of ISIS. The US is in the business of killing ISIS, not supporting them. I'm glad the Russians are having success in killing al-Nusra, too.
    Note in the original TASS article there is zero mention of any US-Russian interaction. http://tass.com/defense/966624

    Christian > , September 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

    @Realist Its pretty clear to me that Trump has stopped funding many of the covert operations in Syria under the Obama admin. He didn't completely stop the stupidity, I doubt anyone could, but the eminent destruction of ISIS would be far less likely if his rival had one the election.

    El Dato > , September 23, 2017 at 10:25 pm GMT

    @Dr. Charles This is a very, very dangerous situation. And it is by no means clear who will blink first. All the contemptuous things that may be said about Trump only add to the danger. Yes, he's both a bully and a coward (as most bullies are). That's why he fired Bannon (who was going to get him out of Syria) and then put the Junta (of Mattis, McMaster and Kelly) over him--to "make a man out of him."

    That's why Trump's Dad sent him to Military School. So Trump will follow orders as he did back then. The military discipline didn't stick. But his military school years were the best he ever felt about himself. That's why he put the Junta over him now. And the Junta is out to be great generals all and win where others have failed. They'll be the Grants and Shermans of the 21st century. They'll win the Syrian War, the Afghan War, and the Korean War. (Just follow McArthur's nuclear plan!) Defeat Iran too-- and send Russia running back to its borders. (Obama and HRC both privately pegged Putin as an appeaser a la letting the Kiev coup go through and just defending Crimea.)

    In Syria, Plan B was always to create a separate state of Kurdistan in Eastern Syria; build scores of US bases there; and cut off Hezbollah from Iran. Then let Israel wipe out Hezbollah (Good luck with that one!) and extend Israel's borders to the Litani River, which would then be diverted South to irrigate Israeli lands. Then Israel and the US would catch and destroy Assad in a pincer movement.

    And it's assumed Putin will withdraw rather than fight. He's already said on the record that Russia doesn't need Syria to survive. And if that causes the hardliners to topple him, the US will be ready with a First Strike option by then. I believe "Mad Dog" Mattis and McMaster think they can pull it off. They have the blood of General Custer in them! Pretty much this.

    You are just leaving out Saudi Arabia (still hell-bent on "leveraging" Sunni Radicalism to throw its might around but getting a first rash of blowback), Pakistan and India (both interested in having a role in the future of Afghanistan while mooning each other over a sometimes-hot funny border war) and China (apparently probing the anus of the good old USA and not ready to play running dog lackey)

    Johnny Rico > , September 23, 2017 at 11:38 pm GMT

    @Realist The US should not be in any part of Syria. "There will never be peace in the Middle-East and in a hundred years it won't matter because we will all be dead."
    -my East German-defector (he was rumored to have commandeered an APC and driven it across the border) Defense Journalism professor at BU circa 1993

    Those, however, are predictions and I don't know what the future holds.

    I would say we probably shouldn't be in Syria either. But that is probably an unlikely outcome and problematic expectation.

    In regards to American involvement there, my opinion is that it is better Trump is President than Hillary. No regrets there. And I didn't vote for either one.

    peterAUS > , September 24, 2017 at 4:18 am GMT

    @paull Agree.

    Especially with:

    Russia will agree to the partition of Syria that the US wants.

    I think Putin never really intended to defend Syria's sovereignty. I think he has basically the same idea Trump has: that sovereignty means something different for small countries. Let's just say that the more powerful a country is, the more 'sovereignty' it has.

    Meanwhile negotiations for the carve-up of Syria are being finalized

    [Sep 24, 2017] Donald Trump is now embarked on a Pyongyang-style military-first policy in which resources, money, and power are heading for the Pentagon and the U.S. nuclear arsenal, while much of the rest of the government is downsized

    See also http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-nuclear-weapons-mini-nukes-targeted-strike-conflict-war-north-korea-russia-a7938486.html
    Sep 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Originally from Empire of Madness - The Unz Review

    You think not? When it comes to America's endless wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa, you can't imagine a more-of-the-same scenario eight years into the future? If, in 2009, eight years after the war on terror was launched, as President Obama was preparing to send a "surge" of more than 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan (while swearing to end the war in Iraq), I had written such a futuristic account of America's wars in 2017, you might have been no less unconvinced.

    Who would have believed then that political Washington and the U.S. military's high command could possibly continue on the same brainless path (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say superhighway) for another eight years? Who would have believed then that, in the fall of 2017, they would be intensifying their air campaigns across the Greater Middle East, still fighting in Iraq (and Syria), supporting a disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, launching the first of yet another set of mini-surges in Afghanistan, and so on? And who would have believed then that, in return for prosecuting unsuccessful wars for 16 years while aiding and abetting in the spread of terror movements across a vast region, three of America's generals would be the most powerful figures in Washington aside from our bizarre president (whose election no one could have predicted eight years ago)? Or here's another mind-bender: Would you really have predicted that, in return for 16 years of unsuccessful war-making, the U.S. military (and the rest of the national security state) would be getting yet more money from the political elite in our nation's capital or would be thought better of than any other American institution by the public?

    Now, I'm the first to admit that we humans are pathetic seers. Peering into the future with any kind of accuracy has never been part of our skill set. And so my version of 2025 could be way off base. Given our present world, it might prove to be far too optimistic about our wars.

    After all ! just to mention one grim possibility of our moment ! for the first time since 1945, we're on a planet where nuclear weapons might be used by either side in the course of a local war, potentially leaving Asia aflame and possibly the world economy in ruins. And don't even bring up Iran, which I carefully and perhaps too cautiously didn't include in my list of the 15 countries the U.S. was bombing in 2025 (as opposed to the seven at present). And yet, in the same world where they are decrying North Korea's nuclear weapons, the Trump administration and its U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley , seem to be hard at work creating a situation in which the Iranians could once again be developing ones of their own. The president has reportedly been desperate to ditch the nuclear agreement Barack Obama and the leaders of five other major powers signed with Iran in 2015 (though he has yet to actually do so) and he's stocked his administration with a remarkable crew of Iranophobes, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo , Secretary of Defense James Mattis , and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster , all of whom have been itching over the years for some kind of confrontation with Iran. (And given the last decade and a half of American war fighting in the region, how do you think that conflict would be likely to turn out?)

    Donald Trump's Washington, as John Feffer has recently pointed out , is now embarked on a Pyongyang-style "military-first" policy in which resources, money, and power are heading for the Pentagon and the U.S. nuclear arsenal , while much of the rest of the government is downsized. Obviously, if that's where your resources are going, then that's where your efforts and energies will go, too. So don't expect less war in the years to come, no matter how inept Washington has proven when it comes to making war work.

    ... ... ...

    Imagine the government of that same country, distracted by its hopeless wars and the terrorist groups they continue to generate... and not lifting a finger to deal with the situation...

    Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

    [Sep 23, 2017] Trumps UN Speech the Swamps Wine in an America First! Bottle

    Notable quotes:
    "... Listening to the president, one would almost think Trump was giving two different speeches, one rhetorical and one substantive. The rhetorical speech ( reportedly authored by Stephen Miller ) was the most stirring advocacy one could hope for of the rule of law and of the Westphalian principle of the sovereign state as the bedrock of the international order. The substantive speech, no doubt written by someone on the National Security Council staff, abrogates the very same Westphalian principle with the unlimited prerogatives of the planet's one government that reserves the right to violate or abolish the sovereignty of any other country – or to destroy that country altogether – for any reason political elites in Washington decide. ..."
    "... With respect to North Korea, some people assume that because the consequences would be patently catastrophic the "military option" must be off the table and that all this war talk is just bluster. That assumption is dead wrong. The once unthinkable is not only thinkable, it is increasingly probable. As Trump said: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." This is exactly backwards. Threatening North Korea with total destruction doesn't equate to the defense of the US (forget about our faux ..."
    "... With respect to Iran, the relevant passages of Trump's speech could as well have been drafted in the Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries – and perhaps they were. Paradoxically, such favoritism toward some countries and hatred for others is the exact opposite of the America First! principle on which Trump won the presidency. ..."
    "... Not to belabor the obvious, at least as far as foreign policy goes, the would-be Swamp-drainer has lost and the Swamp has won. ..."
    "... We can speculate as to why. Some say Trump was always a liar and conman and had no intention of keeping his promises. ..."
    "... To be fair, Trump's populism was never based on consistent non-interventionism. In 2016 he promised more money for the Pentagon and vowed to be the most " militaristic " president ever. Still, he seemed to understand that wars of choice unrelated to vital national interests, like Bush's in Iraq and Obama's in Libya, were a waste of untold billions of dollars and produced only disasters. ..."
    "... His acceptance of the Swamp's continuation of the war in Afghanistan was his first major stumble towards the dismal path of his predecessors. War against North Korea or Iran, or God forbid both, would wreck his presidency and his pledge to "Make America Great Again!" even more surely than Iraq ruined Bush's. ..."
    "... Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
    Sep 23, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

    In his maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly , President Donald Trump invoked the terms "sovereign" and "sovereignty" 21 times. In a manner unimaginable coming from any other recent occupant of the White House, the President committed the United States to the principle of national sovereignty and to the truth that "the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition." More, Trump rightly pointed out that these pertain not just to the US and the safeguarding of American sovereignty but to all countries:

    In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government's first duty is to its people, to our citizens -- to serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.

    As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries will always, and should always, put your countries first."

    Then he took it all back.

    Listening to the president, one would almost think Trump was giving two different speeches, one rhetorical and one substantive. The rhetorical speech ( reportedly authored by Stephen Miller ) was the most stirring advocacy one could hope for of the rule of law and of the Westphalian principle of the sovereign state as the bedrock of the international order. The substantive speech, no doubt written by someone on the National Security Council staff, abrogates the very same Westphalian principle with the unlimited prerogatives of the planet's one government that reserves the right to violate or abolish the sovereignty of any other country – or to destroy that country altogether – for any reason political elites in Washington decide.

    Numerous commentators immediately rushed to declare that Trump had dialed back to George W. Bush's 2002 " Axis of Evil " speech. (The phrase is attributed to then-speechwriter David Frum , now a moving figure behind the " Committee to Investigate Russia ," which in the sage opinion of Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman claims "we are at war" with Russia already.) Trump has now laid down what amounts to declarations of war against both North Korea and Iran. On both he has left himself very little room for maneuver, or for any compromise that would be regarded as weakness or Obama-style "leading from behind." While hostilities against both countries may not be imminent (though in the case of North Korea, they might be) we are, barring unforeseen circumstances, now approaching the point of no return.

    With respect to North Korea, some people assume that because the consequences would be patently catastrophic the "military option" must be off the table and that all this war talk is just bluster. That assumption is dead wrong. The once unthinkable is not only thinkable, it is increasingly probable. As Trump said: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." This is exactly backwards. Threatening North Korea with total destruction doesn't equate to the defense of the US (forget about our faux allies South Korea and Japan, which contribute nothing to our security), it positively increases the danger to our country and people.

    The Deep State would rather risk the lives of almost 30,000 American military personnel in Korea, of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of South Koreans, and of even more millions in North Korea – not to mention prodding Pyongyang to accelerate acquisition of a capability for a nuclear strike on the United States itself – than pry its grip off of a single square meter of our forward base against China on the northeast Asian mainland.

    With respect to Iran, the relevant passages of Trump's speech could as well have been drafted in the Israeli and Saudi foreign ministries – and perhaps they were. Paradoxically, such favoritism toward some countries and hatred for others is the exact opposite of the America First! principle on which Trump won the presidency. As stated in his Farewell Address by our first and greatest president (wait – are we still allowed to say that? George Washington was a slave-owner!), a country that allows itself to be steered not by its own interests but the interests of others negates it own freedom and becomes a slave to its foreign affections and antipathies:

    The nation which indulges toward another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
    Not to belabor the obvious, at least as far as foreign policy goes, the would-be Swamp-drainer has lost and the Swamp has won.

    We can speculate as to why. Some say Trump was always a liar and conman and had no intention of keeping his promises. (Let's see what he does on the "Dreamers" and throwing away his wall on the Mexican border. As Ann Coulter says , "If Trump doesn't get that wall built, and fast, his base will be done with him and feed him to Robert Mueller.") Others say Trump meant what he said during the campaign but now surrounded by generals and globalists that dominate his administration, and with populists in the White House now about as common as passenger pigeons , he's a virtual captive. If so, it's a captivity of his own making.

    To be fair, Trump's populism was never based on consistent non-interventionism. In 2016 he promised more money for the Pentagon and vowed to be the most " militaristic " president ever. Still, he seemed to understand that wars of choice unrelated to vital national interests, like Bush's in Iraq and Obama's in Libya, were a waste of untold billions of dollars and produced only disasters.

    His acceptance of the Swamp's continuation of the war in Afghanistan was his first major stumble towards the dismal path of his predecessors. War against North Korea or Iran, or God forbid both, would wreck his presidency and his pledge to "Make America Great Again!" even more surely than Iraq ruined Bush's.

    Still unanswered: does Trump know that, does he care, and does he have the wherewithal to do anything about it? At the moment, it doesn't look good.

    Reprinted with permission from the Strategic Culture Foundation .


    Related

    [Sep 23, 2017] Uncle Sam vs. Russia in Eastern Syria the Nightmare Scenario

    Notable quotes:
    "... lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . ..."
    Sep 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

    The impending collapse of ISIS has touched off a race for territory in the oil-rich eastern part of Syria pitting US-backed forces against the Russian-led coalition of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. This is the nightmare scenario that everyone wanted to avoid. Washington and Moscow's armies are now converging on the same area at the same time greatly increasing the probability of a conflagration between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. The only way a clash can be avoided is if one party backs down, which seems increasingly unlikely.

    The situation can be easily explained. The vast swath of territory captured by ISIS is steadily shrinking due to the dogged perseverance of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) which has liberated most of the countryside west of the Euphrates River including the former ISIS stronghold at Deir Ezzor, a critical garrison at the center of the fighting. ISIS is also getting pressure from the north where the US-backed SDF is pounding their capital at Raqqa while deploying troops and tanks southward to the oil fields in Deir Ezzor province.

    Washington has made it clear that it wants its proxy-army to control the area east of the Euphrates establishing a soft partition between east and west. The US also wants to control Deir Ezzor's vast oil resources in order to provide a reliable revenue stream for the emergent Kurdish statelet.

    Syrian President Bashar al Assad has said many times that he will never agree to the partitioning of the country. But the decision will not be made by Assad alone. His coalition partners in Moscow, Beirut and Tehran will also help shape the final settlement. As far as Putin is concerned, it seems extremely unlikely that he'd risk a protracted and bloody war with the United States simply to recapture every square inch of Syrian territory. The Russian president will probably allow the US to keep its bases in the northeast provided that critical areas are conceded to the regime. But where will the line be drawn, that's the question?

    The US wants to control the area east of the Euphrates including the lucrative oil fields. This is why they deployed troops from the SDF southward even though they're still needed in Raqqa. Earlier in the week, it looked like the Syrian Army had a leg up on the SDF as troops and armored vehicles crossed the Euphrates headed east to the oil fields. But reports that appeared late Thursday indicate that the SDF has beaten them to the punch. This is from South Front:

    "On Thursday, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured Tabiyeh and al-Isba oil fields in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to pro-Kurdish sources. If these reports are confirmed, the SDF will be in control over a half of Syria's oil reserve. Moreover, that will mean that the SDF at least partly blocked the SAA way on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river." ("Syrian Democratic Forces Capture Key Oil Fields In Deir Ezzor", South Front)

    This is a major setback for the Russian coalition. It means that the SAA backed by the Russian Airforce will have to fight a group which, up to this point, has been an ally in the war against ISIS. Now it's clear that the mainly-Kurdish SDF is no ally, it's an enemy that wants to steal Syria's resources and carve a state out of its eastern flank.

    The news about the SDF's arrival at the oil fields came just hours after the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov issued a terse warning to the US and SDF that Russia would retaliate if SAA positions were attacked again by SDF mortar or rocket fire.

    Quote: "Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed ( ) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary."

    In retrospect, it looks like the SDF had already decided to make a clean break with the government leaving no doubt of where they stood. Washington is using the SDF to seize the oil fields and to claim to the entire east side of the Euphrates for its own. There's no doubt that these combat units of the SDF are accompanied by US Special Forces who are providing critical communications, logistic and tactical support. This operation has Washington's fingerprints all over it.

    On Friday morning, loyalist forces led by the 5th Assault Corps ISIS Hunters, established full control over Khusham village on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River near Deir Ezzor city. The strategically-located village blocks a key road linking the area held by the SDF to the Omar oil fields.

    Get the picture? US-backed forces and Russian coalition members are now operating cheek-to-jowl in the same theatre trying to seize the same oil-rich scrap of land. This has all the makings of a major head-on collision.

    Putin is a cautious and reasonable man, but he's not going to hand over Syria's oil fields without a fight. Besides, Assad needs the oil receipts to finance the rebuilding of his decimated country. Equally important, he needs the territory east of Deir Ezzor to for an overland route connecting Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad to Tehran, the so-called Arab Superhighway. Putin's job is to glue as much of the country together as needed to create a viable state. So while he may allow the SDF and US military to occupy parts of the northeast, he's not going to surrender crucial resources or strategically-located territory.

    So what does it all mean? Does it mean that Russia will support Assad's attempts to liberate the oil fields even if it could trigger a broader war with the United States?

    Yes, that's exactly what it means.

    Putin doesn't want a slugfest with Uncle Sam, but he's not going to abandon an ally either. So there's going to be a confrontation because neither party is willing to give up what they feel they need to achieve success.

    So there you have it. As the standoff begins to take shape in east Syria, the two rival superpowers are preparing themselves for the worst. Clearly, we have reached the most dangerous moment in the six year-long war.

    MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

    TG > , September 23, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

    An intelligent and well-argued commentary, as usual from this source.

    But here is something that nobody is talking about: sure oil is important. But Syria is mostly an arid plateau. Water is more important. Why is nobody talking about that?

    It gets zero press coverage, but the real trigger for Syria's nasty civil war was the deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion. The population doubled and doubled and then the aquifers had been drained, and the mostly agrarian economy fell apart Even without idiotic foreign meddling, one way or the other, good things would not have happened to Syria.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    So here's my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers? What has the war and the exodus of refugees done to the rate of population increase? I heard recently that one faction opened the spillgates on a dam to slow an enemy river crossing: how much water was wasted? What happens if one faction decides to drain the reservoirs before retreating?

    You say that Syria will want oil money to rebuild: but you can't buy water, at least not enough to grow crops on a substantial scale. Sure, in theory networks of nuclear power plants running desalinization plants might work, but that would take about all the money in the world just to keep 30 million Syrians fed. Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    The mainstream press may not be talking about water, but I assure you, the Syrian government and the Syrian people very much aware of the issue.

    DESERT FOX > , September 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

    ISIS aka AL CIADA is a creation of the U.S. and Israel and Britain and is supplied with men and weapons and equipment by them and the U.S. airforce acts as the ISIS airforce and most of all, the U.S. has no legal right to be in SYRIA where as Russia was invited in by the Syrian government.

    Russia and Syria are going to destroy ISIS and kick the U.S. the hell out of Syria and the Kurds will have to accept defeat as of now they are being used as a proxy army of the U.S. and the Kurds will be betrayed by the U.S. in the end in any event as this is what the U.S. does.

    GOD BLESS SYRIA AND RUSSIA.

    Janis > , September 23, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

    The U.S. has no strategic national interest in Syria. I am convinced the only reason we are there is in the behest of Israel. We no longer have Perle, Wolfowitz or Feith impacting U.S. foreign policy, but we have other Israel firsters in government who have taken their place. Dual loyalty is a farce. I like what Barry Goldwater said on the subject in his book, "Goldwater." He said: "I was never put under greater pressure than by the Israeli lobby, nor has the Senate as a whole. It's the most influential crowd in Congress and America by far. The Israelis can come up with 50 votes or more on almost any bill in the Senate that affects their interests. They went to extraordinary lengths to get me to vote for them, even sending some of my dearest and closest Arizona friends, like Harry Rosenzweig, to lobby me in Washington. The Israelis never raised the fact of my being half Jewish, but they stressed protecting Israel in the event of war. I told them over and over, without a treaty we've already promised to go to war to protect Israel. And the United States is not getting all that much out of the deal. I think Israel is doing pretty well. I don't worry about Israel when I go to sleep at night. I worry about the U.S. Constitution, which I've sworn to uphold–not Israel's Constitution, not that of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon or anybody else in the Middle East or the world. That usually shut them up, but they often went away mad because I was not about to support everything they wanted." That quote is from "Goldwater" page 16-17.

    Would to God we had more Goldwaters back in the day or now for that matter!

    [Sep 23, 2017] Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy. NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessary platform for future wars

    Notable quotes:
    "... Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy. ..."
    "... NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessary platform for future wars . Another Sarin gas? Another Harriri death? Another picture of beheadings ? Another story of North Korean supplying nukes ? Wrongful consequences from falsehood will not cost NYT excepting a correction years later somehere in the 5 th page. A conspiracy to hatch is something that has no consequences for the plotters . ..."
    "... NYT will be there claiming for the right to crow – how it has prepared the ground. All are done openly. When resistance is mounted, Bernie Sander supporters are sent home with flowers and a reminder to vote for Clinton because in this age all over the world America is the exception that has heard them. With that satisfaction they can go home and vote as expected. They are not allowed to know how the campaign marginalized Sander's chances from the get go. ..."
    www.unz.com
    KA , September 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm GMT

    "HANGZHOU, China : The image of a 5-year-old Syrian boy, dazed and bloodied after being rescued from an airstrike on rebel-held Aleppo, reverberated around the world last month, a harrowing reminder that five years after civil war broke out there, Syria remains a charnel house.

    But the reaction was more muted in Washington, where Syria has become a distant disaster rather than an urgent crisis. President Obama's policy toward Syria has barely budged in the last year and shows no sign of change for the remainder of his term. The White House has faced little pressure over the issue,

    That frustrates many analysts because they believe that a shift in policy will come only when Mr. Obama has left office. "Given the tone of this campaign, I doubt the electorate will be presented with realistic and intelligible options, with respect to Syria," said Frederic C. Hof, a former adviser on Syria in the administration."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/world/middleeast/obama-syria-foreign-policy.html

    Spinning by NYT can and will form the base of a conspiracy.

    The world we see are not festooned with the morbid pictures and the world has not one echo chamber among its 7 billions that are reverberating with his sad cry .
    No American taxpayer is piling pressure on Obama.

    Tone of the election doesn't and shouldn't provide option on Syria . Electorates are not asking to know what America should do.

    Next president will introduce something that he wont share w and making them known before the voters will destroy his chances. Someone shared and was evisecrated by NYT and other as Putin's Trojan horse .

    NYT is lying . But this lies can help build the necessary platform for future wars . Another Sarin gas? Another Harriri death? Another picture of beheadings ? Another story of North Korean supplying nukes ? Wrongful consequences from falsehood will not cost NYT excepting a correction years later somehere in the 5 th page. A conspiracy to hatch is something that has no consequences for the plotters .

    If Dulles were hanged for role in all the illegal things he had done in Guatemala and Iran, may be Kennedy would have survived. But his earlier political escapades were also built on something that were way earlier . Conspiracy keeps on coming back begging for one more round ,for one more time .

    NYT will be there claiming for the right to crow – how it has prepared the ground. All are done openly. When resistance is mounted, Bernie Sander supporters are sent home with flowers and a reminder to vote for Clinton because in this age all over the world America is the exception that has heard them. With that satisfaction they can go home and vote as expected. They are not allowed to know how the campaign marginalized Sander's chances from the get go.

    Neither NYT explains how reckless Trump with nuclear code will start a nuclear war with Putin's Russia despite being his co conspirator .

    Chalabi s daughter exclaimed in early part of 2004 – We are heroes in mistakes. She won't say it now . Conspirators would love to get the credit and be recognized . It all depends on the success . First Iraq war, if went bad from beginning, Lantos wouldn't have been reelected . But again who knows what media can deliver. They delivered Joe Liberman .

    [Sep 22, 2017] America Can Never Be Trusted! by Stephen LENDMAN

    Sep 22, 2017 | www.strategic-culture.org

    Time and again throughout its history, America breached treaties and other agreements – proving it doesn't negotiate in good faith. Just the opposite!

    According to Russian official Zamir Kabulov, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Alice Wells expressed "willingness to cooperate with us on Afghanistan, while realizing that the area of cooperation is very narrow."

    The only thing Washington wants from Russia is compliance with its imperial agenda – its endless wars of aggression, in Afghanistan and everywhere else.

    Does Russia really believe it has a partner in America? Do Putin, Lavrov and other top officials think improved bilateral relations are possible?

    Do they publicly express views they don't believe privately? Do they realize after a century of US hostility toward their country, things are worse today than ever – with no prospect for improvement?

    How can there be when Washington wants regime change, sovereign Russia eliminated, US vassal state subservience replacing it – puppet governance, not democratic rule.

    Chances for improved bilateral relations are nil. America considers Russia an adversary, not a partner. Getting along is not an acceptable option in Washington.

    Illegal sanctions on Russia alone prove it. So does closing, seizing and inspecting its San Francisco consulate and other diplomatic properties in Washington and New York, flagrantly breaching international law in both instances.

    US cooperation with Russia in Syria is illusory. On Tuesday, US-supported al-Nusra terrorists attacked Syrian troops and Russian police in Idlib's de-escalation zone – after Washington agreed to observe ceasefire in all Syrian de-escalation zones.

    According to head of Russia's General Staff Gen. Sergey Rudskoi:

    "Despite agreements signed in Astana on September 15, (hundreds of) gunmen of Jabhat al-Nusra (together with allied terrorists) launched a large-scale offensive against positions of government troops north and northeast of Hama in the Idlib de-escalation zone on September 19."

    "According to available data, the offensive was initiated by American intelligence services to stop a successful advance of government troops east of Deir Ezzor."

    Russian aerial operations thwarted the attack, killing hundreds of terrorists, destroying their heavy weapons and equipment, aided by Syrian Assault Corp troops deployed to the area and Russian special forces.

    This incident and numerous others shows Washington wants endless war, not peace. It wants Assad toppled, US-controlled puppet rule replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

    Nothing in prospect suggests a change in US policy. Sergey Lavrov admitted Washington supports al-Nusra terrorists – "shield(ing) and spar(ing) them from (US) airstrikes."

    "This is inadmissible," he stressed. Eliminating their fighters, along with ISIS, is Russia's top military objective in Syria. Washington's aim is polar opposite, supporting the scourge it claims to oppose.

    The agendas of both countries are in conflict with no prospect for change. Nor is there any possibility for improved relations.

    They remain dismal, likely worsening ahead, not improving. Nothing Russia can do diplomatically will change things. Chances for eventual confrontation between both countries is ominously real.

    Differences between them are irreconcilable, Washington fully responsible, not Moscow.

    A Final Comment

    So-called US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attacked government positions at least twice in Deir Ezzor with mortar and rocket fire. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov warned US commanders "it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed." "Fire from positions in regions (they control) will be suppressed by all means necessary," he stressed, adding:

    "SDF militants work to the same objectives as IS terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between IS and the 'third force,' the SDF."

    They're colluding with each other in Deir Ezzor. "More than 85% percent of (its) territory is under the full control of Syrian troops. Over the next week the city will be liberated completely," Konashenkov explained.

    stephenlendman.org

    [Sep 21, 2017] Trump Slams US and Saudi Foreign Policy in Fiery UN Speech

    Sep 21, 2017 | theantimedia.org

    ( ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) In a bold move, President Trump condemned the violent, oppressive behavior and policies of the U.S. and its allies while speaking at the U.N. this week.

    We're revolutionizing the news industry, but we need your help! Click here to get started.

    He described the decline of " a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos ."

    His description accurately fits the United States, which has devolved from a country with high-minded (if not fully realized ) ideals, courageous struggles for human and civil rights, and a strong sense of independence into a nationalistic, militant nation with a fledgling economy and an increasingly impoverished population whose government has spent its wealth arming radical extremists and waging endless war. The U.S. government has sowed chaos around the world over the years, from Iran to Iraq to Libya to Chile and Guatemala, spilling the blood of countless innocents as it plays geopolitical chess to favor its own hegemonic interests.

    Sad!

    Trump also called out the despicable behavior of U.S. allies, blasting entities that use their oil profits to support " terrorists that kill innocent Muslims." He asserted that such wealth is used to " fuel Yemen's civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East ," an apt description of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom.

    " We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities , " he bravely said.

    Further, apparently condemning the behavior of both the U.S. and its allies , Trump warned that evildoers " must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving [their] own people, and respect the sovereign rights of [their] neighbors. "

    It is easy to make the case that the Saudis themselves are engaging in terrorism by directly targeting civilians in Yemen for a political purpose .

    Find Out More > 44,130

    During his speech at the U.N., Trump described all of the behavior displayed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia ! but he wasn't talking about either. In all of the excerpts listed above, he was unironically talking about Iran, condemning the admittedly repressive regime for the exact same crimes the U.S. government and its allies commit.

    The U.S. is responsible both for war crimes and for arming radical Islamists ! who Trump loves to condemn ! from the mujahideen in the 1980s to "moderate" (read: al-Qaeda-affiliated) rebels in Syria. The U.S. and its allies have grotesquely violated the "sovereign rights" of countries around the world for decades, and the Saudis are actively violating the rights of their neighbor, Yemen, using American-made weapons to maintain power for their murderous regime while they destabilize the region.The Saudis have been documented supporting ISIS and using their oil profits to export radical ideologies while beheading , flogging , and attempting to crucify political dissidents at home (candidate Trump condemned the Saudis' alleged support for terrorism before selling them billions of dollars in arms as president; he also criticized their human rights record while before he rose to power).

    Laughably, in his speech he bragged about the U.S.' success in battling ISIS in Syria, completely ignoring Iranian-backed militias' contributions to defeating the terror group while actually respecting Syria's sovereignty (Iran is an ally of the Syrian government whereas the U.S. does not have official authorization to be there).

    Further, Trump's own administration has admitted Iran is complying with the nuclear deal Trump vehemently condemns. " No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles ," he said at the U.N.

    He bemoaned the possibility of other countries like Iran and North Korea having nuclear weapons while his own war criminal government holds one of the largest caches of nukes in the world and is the only country to have ever intentionally used them on civilian populations.

    Even worse, Trump's claims about Iran's undemocratic government may be true, but this modern reality did not come about absent American influence. The Iranian regime is repressive. It does support terror groups like Hezbollah (though Hezbollah is far less globally influential than ISIS, which, again, the Saudis have been exposed for fostering and funding). Iran's government is no friend to freedom, but how did Iran get to this point?

    Might it have something to do with, yet again, the U.S. government's own flagrant disrespect for the sovereignty of other nations? Its own proliferation of bloodshed and chaos? Is toppling Iran's democratically elected government for the sake of oil profits in 1953 ! installing the ousted leader with an autocratic shah ! supposed to qualify as 'respecting sovereign rights'? Is the world supposed to pretend that over two decades of such an oppressive, American-installed monarch were entirely unrelated to the reactionary Iranian revolution that broke out against that ruler in 1979 and the political conditions that have developed since?

    As the president grandstands to the world, boasting of American compassion and spewing American exceptionalism while condemning his enemies for the exact same behavior of the empire he now rules over, it is clear the emperor has no clothes.

    [Sep 21, 2017] Donald Trump yesterday spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences

    Notable quotes:
    "... His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea. ..."
    "... But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster. ..."
    Sep 21, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    That's essentially what Donald Trump did yesterday. He spoke from the gut without thinking through the consequences.

    His threat to wipe out North Korea reminded me of Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the UN. Great theater but makes one thing that the shoe banger is crazy. There is no acceptable military option in North Korea.

    But Trump is not the only one spouting such madness. We've heard the same delusional threats from SecDef Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster.

    I learned a long time ago that you do not make threats you are not will to carry out. In fact, I'm a firm believer in the sucker punch. Why tell someone what you are going to do and how you are going to do it? That stuff only works in Hollywood.

    Remember this clip from Billy Jack?

    [Sep 20, 2017] The Politics of Military Ascendancy by James Petras

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities. ..."
    "... We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition. ..."
    "... The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. ..."
    "... The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. ..."
    "... The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures. ..."
    "... The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China. ..."
    "... After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'. ..."
    "... Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones. ..."
    "... The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price. ..."
    "... While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders. ..."
    "... The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. ..."
    "... Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses. ..."
    "... The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons: ..."
    "... the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. ..."
    "... Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees. ..."
    "... Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains. ..."
    "... Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities. ..."
    "... American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. ..."
    "... They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter. ..."
    "... How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ... ..."
    "... It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself ..."
    Sep 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Introduction

    Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ' the Generals' to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

    In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ' the Generals' have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

    We will discuss the military's ascendancy over Trump's civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

    The Prelude to Militarization: Obama's Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

    The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency. Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

    The massive increase of US troops in Afghanistan and their subsequent failures and retreat weakened the Obama-Clinton regime and increased animosity between the military and the Obama's Administration. As a result of his failures, Obama downgraded the military and weakened Presidential authority. The massive US-led bombing and destruction of Libya, the overthrow of the Gadhafi government and the failure of the Obama-Clinton administration to impose a puppet regime, underlined the limitations of US air power and the ineffectiveness of US political-military intervention. The Presidency blundered in its foreign policy in North Africa and demonstrated its military ineptness. The invasion of Syria by US-funded mercenaries and terrorists committed the US to an unreliable ally in a losing war. This led to a reduction in the military budget and encouraged the Generals to view their direct control of overseas wars and foreign policy as the only guarantee of their positions. The US military intervention in Iraq was only a secondary contributing factor in the defeat of ISIS; the major actors and beneficiaries were Iran and the allied Iraqi Shia militias. The Obama-Clinton engineered coup and power grab in the Ukraine brought a corrupt incompetent military junta to power in Kiev and provoked the secession of the Crimea (to Russia) and Eastern Ukraine (allied with Russia). The Generals were sidelined and found that they had tied themselves to Ukrainian kleptocrats while dangerously increasing political tensions with Russia. The Obama regime dictated economic sanctions against Moscow, designed to compensate for their ignominious military-political failures.

    The Obama-Clinton legacy facing Trump was built around a three-legged stool: an international order based on military aggression and confrontation with Russia; a ' pivot to Asia' defined as the military encirclement and economic isolation of China – via bellicose threats and economic sanctions against North Korea; and the use of the military as the praetorian guards of free trade agreements in Asia excluding China.

    The Obama 'legacy' consists of an international order of globalized capital and multiple wars. The continuity of Obama's 'glorious legacy' initially depended on the election of Hillary Clinton.

    Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for its part, promised to dismantle or drastically revise the Obama Doctrine of an international order based on multiple wars , neo-colonial 'nation' building and free trade. A furious Obama 'informed' (threatened) the newly-elected President Trump that he would face the combined hostility of the entire State apparatus, Wall Street and the mass media if he proceeded to fulfill his election promises of economic nationalism and thus undermine the US-centered global order.

    Trump's bid to shift from Obama's sanctions and military confrontation to economic reconciliation with Russia was countered by a hornet's nest of accusations about a Trump-Russian electoral conspiracy, darkly hinting at treason and show trials against his close allies and even family members.

    The concoction of a Trump-Russia plot was only the first step toward a total war on the new president, but it succeeded in undermining Trump's economic nationalist agenda and his efforts to change Obama's global order.

    Trump Under Obama's International Order

    After only 8 months in office President Trump helplessly gave into the firings, resignations and humiliation of each and every one of his civilian appointees, especially those who were committed to reverse Obama's 'international order'.

    Trump was elected to replace wars, sanctions and interventions with economic deals beneficial to the American working and middle class. This would include withdrawing the military from its long-term commitments to budget-busting 'nation-building' (occupation) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and other Obama-designated endless war zones.

    Trump's military priorities were supposed to focus on strengthening domestic frontiers and overseas markets. He started by demanding that NATO partners pay for their own military defense responsibilities. Obama's globalists in both political parties were aghast that the US might lose it overwhelming control of NATO; they united and moved immediately to strip Trump of his economic nationalist allies and their programs.

    Trump quickly capitulated and fell into line with Obama's international order, except for one proviso – he would select the Cabinet to implement the old/new international order.

    A hamstrung Trump chose a military cohort of Generals, led by General James Mattis (famously nicknamed ' Mad Dog' ) as Defense Secretary.

    The Generals effectively took over the Presidency. Trump abdicated his responsibilities as President.

    General Mattis: The Militarization of America

    General Mattis took up the Obama legacy of global militarization and added his own nuances, including the 'psychological-warfare' embedded in Trump's emotional ejaculations on 'Twitter'.

    The ' Mattis Doctrine' combined high-risk threats with aggressive provocations, bringing the US (and the world) to the brink of nuclear war.

    General Mattis has adopted the targets and fields of operations, defined by the previous Obama administration as it has sought to re-enforce the existing imperialist international order.

    The junta's policies relied on provocations and threats against Russia, with expanded economic sanctions. Mattis threw more fuel on the US mass media's already hysterical anti-Russian bonfire. The General promoted a strategy of low intensity diplomatic thuggery, including the unprecedented seizure and invasion of Russian diplomatic offices and the short-notice expulsion of diplomats and consular staff.

    These military threats and acts of diplomatic intimidation signified that the Generals' Administration under the Puppet President Trump was ready to sunder diplomatic relations with a major world nuclear power and indeed push the world to direct nuclear confrontation.

    What Mattis seeks in these mad fits of aggression is nothing less than capitulation on the part of the Russian government regarding long held US military objectives – namely the partition of Syria (which started under Obama), harsh starvation sanctions on North Korea (which began under Clinton) and the disarmament of Iran (Tel Aviv's main goal) in preparation for its dismemberment.

    The Mattis junta occupying the Trump White House heightened its threats against a North Korea, which (in Vladimir Putin's words) ' would rather eat grass than disarm' . The US mass media-military megaphones portrayed the North Korean victims of US sanctions and provocations as an 'existential' threat to the US mainland.

    Sanctions have intensified. The stationing of nuclear weapons on South Korea is being pushed. Massive joint military exercises are planned and ongoing in the air, sea and land around North Korea. Mattis twisted Chinese arms (mainly business comprador-linked bureaucrats) and secured their UN Security Council vote on increased sanctions. Russia joined the Mattis-led anti-Pyongyang chorus, even as Putin warned of sanctions ineffectiveness! (As if General ' Mad Dog' Mattis would ever take Putin's advice seriously, especially after Russia voted for the sanctions!)

    Mattis further militarized the Persian Gulf, following Obama's policy of partial sanctions and bellicose provocation against Iran.

    When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US's Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ' negotiated settlements' .

    Militarization: An Evaluation

    Trump's resort to ' his Generals' is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump's appointment of ' Mad Dog' Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any 'finding' of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump's maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ' their international order' – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

    The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ' Mad Dog' Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

    While the military junta may protect Trump's foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump's proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party's leaders.

    In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ' Mad Dog' Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta's threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang's commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinksmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US 'regime change' invasion.

    Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

    At most, ' Mad Dog' managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Hailey and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called 'military option' without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

    The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow's conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called 'partners' in the Trump regime.

    The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

    The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis' short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

    Mad Dog's military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.

    Conclusion

    The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinksmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

    Domestically Trump's nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media's passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

    But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

    Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General 'Mad Dog' Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour 'pep-talks' and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family's next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

    The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

    First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

    Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

    High intensity military brinksmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a pyrrhic victory!

    In sum:

    Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

    Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.

    Raffler, September 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

    American actions in Europe, Asia and the middle east appear increasingly irrational to many international observers. Their policy thrusts are excused as containment of evildoers or punishment of peoples who think and act differently. Those policy thrusts will accomplish the opposite of the stated intention.

    They will drive into a new detente such incompatible parties as Russia and Iran, or China and many countries. America risks losing its way in the world and free peoples see a flickering beacon that once shone brighter.

    nsa, September 16, 2017 at 4:03 am GMT

    Anyone with military experience recognizes the likes of Mad Poodle Mattis arrogant, belligerent, exceptionally dull, and mainly an inveterate suck-up (mil motto: kiss up and kick down).

    Every VFW lounge is filled with these boozy ridiculous blowhards and they are insufferable. The media and public, raised on ZioVision and JooieWood pablum, worship these cartoonish bloodletters even though they haven't won a war in 72 years .not one.

    How about this comic book tough guy quote: "I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes: if you fuck with me, I'll kill you all" notice the first person used repetitively as he talks down to hapless unarmed tribesman in some distant land. A real egomaniacal narcissistic coward. Any of you with military experience would immediately recognize the type ...

    KA, September 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm GMT

    It seems that the inevitable has happened. Feckless civilians have used military adventures to advance their careers , ensure re- elections, capturr lucrative position as speaker, have a place as member of think tank or lobbying firm or consultant . Now being as stupidly greedy and impatient as these guys are, they have failed to see that neither the policies nor the militaries can succeed against enemies that are generated from the action and the policy itself .

    Now military has decided to reverse the roles . At least the military leaders don't have to campaign for re employment . But very soon the forces that corrupt and abuse the civilian power structure will do same to military .

    The Alarmist, September 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

    Never met him at any of the parties I attended in the '70s and '80s, so I don't know much about Mad Dog, but I can say that only in America can the former commander of a recruiting station grow up to pull the strings of the President.

    [Sep 20, 2017] The hubris, ignorance and stupidity in face of the failure of "regime change" operation in Syria

    Notable quotes:
    "... The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years. ..."
    "... The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination. ..."
    "... And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe ..."
    Sep 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

    In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

    When I heard these words I felt embarrassed for Trump. First, it is absolutely pathetic that Trump has to claim as his success the victories with the Syrians, the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah have achieved against the Wahabi-crazies of Daesh/al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/etc, especially since the latter are a pure creation of the US CIA!

    The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years.

    The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination.

    And now that a tiny Russian contingent has achieved infinitely better results that all the power of the mighty CENTCOM backed by the Israeli and Saudi allies of the US in the region, The Donald comes out and declares victory?!

    Pathetic is not strong enough a word to describe this mind-bogglingly counter-factual statement.

    And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe

    [Sep 20, 2017] Sovereign Nations Is Main Theme Of Trump's UN Speech

    Sovereignty is oppose of neoliberal globalization, so in a way this is an some kind of affirmation of Trump election position. How serious it is is not clear. Probably not much as Imperial faction now controls Trump, making him more of a marionette that a political leader of the USA.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. ..."
    "... The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in. ..."
    "... There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told". ..."
    "... "The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in" ..."
    "... The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had. ..."
    "... He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion. ..."
    "... Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011. ..."
    "... How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces. ..."
    "... Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology ..."
    "... I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open. ..."
    "... Trump - the Republican Obama ..."
    "... "The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality. ..."
    "... The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?" ..."
    "... it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. ..."
    "... Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are ..."
    "... baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking. ..."
    "... In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. ..."
    Sep 20, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Today the President of the United States Donald Trump spoke (rush transcript) to the United Nations General Assembly. The speech's main the me was sovereignty. The word occurs 18(!) times. It emphasized Westphalian principles .

    [W]e do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties, to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation

    All leaders of countries should always put their countries first, he said, and "the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition ."


    The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 - bigger

    Sovereignty was the core message of his speech. It rhymed well with his somewhat isolationist emphasis of "America first" during his campaign. The second part of the speech the first by threatened the sovereignty of several countries the U.S. ruling class traditionally dislikes. This year's "axis of evil" included North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Syria and Cuba:

    The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary."

    Many people will criticize that as an outrageous and irresponsible use of words. It is. But there is nothing new to it. In fact the U.S., acting on behalf of the UN, totally destroyed Korea in the 1950s. The last U.S. president made the same threat Trump made today:

    President Barack Obama delivered a stern warning to North Korea on Tuesday, reminding its "erratic" and "irresponsible" leader that America's nuclear arsenal could "destroy" his country.

    The South Korean military sounds equally belligerent :

    A military source told the Yonhap news agency every part of Pyongyang "will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosives shells". ... The city, the source said, "will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map".

    Trump labeled the Syrian government "the criminal regime of Bashar al Assad." The "problem in Venezuela", he said, is "that socialism has been faithfully implemented." He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos." He forgot to mention pistachios . The aim of such language and threats is usually to goad the other party into some overt act that can than be used as justification for "retaliation". But none of the countries Trump mentioned is prone to such behavior. They will react calmly - if at all. There was essentially nothing in Trump's threats than the claptrap the last two U.S. presidents also delivered. Trump may be crazy, but the speech today is not a sign of that.

    The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in.

    Posted by b on September 19, 2017 at 01:05 PM | Permalink

    somebody | Sep 19, 2017 1:32:33 PM | 2
    There is no emphasis on sovereignty b. Trump says that Russia's and China' threat to the sovereignty of countries is bad but the sovereignty of small countries the US does not like is somehow threatened by these countries themselves. Which I interpret as a threat - "you endanger yourself if you don't do as told".
    If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfill our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders, and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.

    And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threatens us with chaos, turmoil, and terror. The score of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle that the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

    b | Sep 19, 2017 1:51:10 PM | 3
    @1 somebody - thanks - link corrected.

    @2 somebody - yes, unaimed hostile prose from the speechwriter. Such is in the speech of every U.S. president. But it is not the general theme of the Trump speech when one reads it as one piece. The weight is put in the other direction (though the media will likely point to the threats instead of reading the more extraordinary parts where Trump pushes national sovereignty.)

    Luther Blissett | Sep 19, 2017 1:53:43 PM | 4

    If there is more to this than the usual US double-speak, I don't see it.

    james | Sep 19, 2017 1:57:07 PM | 5
    thanks b... ''the criminal regime of donald trump'' is much more on target....
    Perimetr | Sep 19, 2017 2:02:47 PM | 6
    "The stressing of sovereignty and the nation state in part one was the point where Trump indeed differed from his interventionist predecessors. But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in"

    It appears that his generals are instructing him what to "believe in". At least, he certainly doesn't seem to "believe in" most of his campaign promises, not unlike his recent predecessors. The whole "democracy and freedom" thing in the US is just a charade, as far as I am concerned.

    financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
    The word sovereignty has taken on different and sinister implications with the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005. The US pushed for this and it squeaked by and they used it to justify the invasion of Libya in 2011. I think Libya was a major turning point. I don't think Russia and Iran are going to back off easily. (I originally posted this in 2015 at another site) The US also seems to have pretty much lost what humanitarian clout they may have had.

    I think this was a very good interview of Vijay Prashadby by Chris Hedges

    Prashad

    He talks about the period from 1989 when we had the Panama invasion and collapse of the Soviet Union as leading to an unleashing of US military power leading to the Iraq War in 2003. This war serious dented the image of the US as being a humanitarian actor and the US pushed for the UN Responsibility to Protect Act in 2005 which was used to justify the Libya invasion.

    Prashad sees the results of that invasion and what is going on now in Syria as reflecting that the period 2011-2015 is seeing the end of this US unipolarism that lasted from 1989 to 2011.

    --------

    The good news is that Syria is turning out much different than Libya. Would be great to see the US cooperate with the China/Russia etc economic goals rather than stirring up trouble in the Phillippines, Myanmar etc. The first test will be to see if Trump can deliver single payer health care to the US. :) ie start to back off on the anti socialism rhetoric

    Jeff Kaye | Sep 19, 2017 2:24:19 PM | 8
    The "nation state" brought us the millions slaughtered in World War 1. The nation states threatened by the internationalist communist ideology of the USSR (in its early days) ultimately brought us World War 2. The hypertrophied nation state that is the United States of America will bring us World War 3 in its drive to secure its total supremacy. Luckily for us, there will be no World War 4.
    Christophe Douté | Sep 19, 2017 2:27:49 PM | 9
    How can a country A be "forced to defend itself" by a country B so weak comparatively to country A it can actually be "totally destroyed" by country A?

    How can Trump believe in defending Westphalia Treaty principles, sovereignty and the nation state, when US policy in the Arab world consists in destroying all these? This is rather like Warren Buffett lamenting that American billionaires are so rich, and pay less taxes than their secretaries. They are just laughing at us in our faces.

    Robert Beal | Sep 19, 2017 2:34:28 PM | 10
    beyond hypocrisy, refined doublespeak
    OJS | Sep 19, 2017 2:40:10 PM | 11
    Sound more or less like Hussein Obomo address at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24, 2013 - America is exceptional ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT5BjNDg5W0 No wonder Putin and Xi did not care to attend. Anyway Putin winning in Syria and Xi gaining in economic, science and technology
    Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 2:43:24 PM | 12
    The United Nations is based upon the equal sovereignty of nations.
    --from the UN Charter --
    Article 2
    The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
    1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
    2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
    3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
    4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
    Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 2:46:18 PM | 13
    Trump's speech seemed to represent an ignorant mouthy bully with a big stick who is threatening any nation he is told to hate. I have to agree with Paveway IV that Trump is just the announcer. The "national sovereignty" comments were just for internal consumption for his base of supporters.

    The "Trump world: appears to be getting very crazy given the agendas of the people who handle Trump:
    http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_77417.shtml
    http://www.unz.com/jpetras/who-rules-america-2/

    To a major extent Trump's focus on the "great leader" of countries opposed to the US helps simplify the hate for the "little people" in the US. They have not noticed that the US (as in most other Western countries) has many mini "great leaders" who work toward the same goals while distracting the "little people" with political theatre.

    Linda O | Sep 19, 2017 3:05:11 PM | 14
    I really don't know what the purpose of this rambling threat to the rest of the world was supposed to accomplish.

    Yes, it really was nothing new. The fundamental material of the speech was the very same garbage written by the same Washington establishment of previous administrations - essentially the nuclear armed US regime is 'special' and reserves the right to attack and destroy any country it chooses to.

    While the Trump speech is rightly being both ridiculed around the world, what is very scary is the humiliated Trump base is seizing on it.

    The Trump base is begging for their failed 'God Emperor' to attack someone to feel better about their own humiliation.

    Very, very scary.

    Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 3:10:41 PM | 15
    Sovereignty is also an excuse for US intervention, get it? . . .Trump does....
    America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests, and their well-being, including their prosperity.
    duplicitousdemocracy | Sep 19, 2017 3:27:35 PM | 16
    His speechwriters deserve to be fired and the text size on both teleprompters should have been increased. Alternatively, he should wear glasses (along with a more suitably fitted toupee). Sarah Palin would seem like Einstein at the side of this clown.
    Ort | Sep 19, 2017 3:32:27 PM | 17
    Trump's speech is Orwellian! Not just generally-- it is arguably an elaboration of a close paraphase of an Orwell quote, to wit: "All nations are sovereign, but some nations are more sovereign than others."

    I have a strongly ambivalent reaction to Trump's UN appearance-- although I confess that I can only stand to watch and listen to him for brief time periods. It's appalling and embarrassing to watch any of the US's seemingly inexhaustible supply of lizard-brained degenerates at the UN. But part of me thinks it's better to have the quintessential Ugly Amerikan beating his chest and engaging in rhetorical feces-flinging. At least the rest of the world won't be bamboozled, the way they might be by a smooth, silver-tongued liar.

    likklemore | Sep 19, 2017 3:50:54 PM | 18
    @OJS 11

    Putin, Xi and other leaders did not attend this year's UN gathering. They are busy attending the affairs of their citizens.

    We are being distracted from the game changer ahead – de-dollarization now on the fast track.
    While the toothless dog barks,

    Putin orders to end trade in US dollars at Russian seaports

    https://www.rt.com/business/403804-russian-sea-ports-ruble-settlements/

    This is on the heels of Trump's threatening to exclude China from use of SWIFT (the USD) and China's gold yuan oil futures contract coming mid October as opposed to USD. The petro-yuan is a game changer; hitting the petro-dollar hegemony that keeps the dollar in worldwide demand.

    The toothless dog has only his bark. Are Americans prepared for hyper-inflation?

    psychohistorian | Sep 19, 2017 4:08:53 PM | 19
    I agree with other commenters about the Orwellian nature of the speech. Sovereignty is an interesting word to abuse and I expect we will see more abuse of it. How can the US ever be a sovereign nation when it does not own its own financial system? But in the interim all other aspects of sovereignty will be examined but not global private finance.....unless the China/Russia axis hand is forced into the open.

    The abuse of the term sovereignty by Trump is part of a crafted Big Lie message. Just like Trump linking to the poster of him, with a rope over his shoulder, dragging a barge of companies back to America......the internationalism genie will never go completely back into the bottle and is counterproductive to all.

    Christian Chuba | Sep 19, 2017 4:46:02 PM | 20
    John Bolton and the moron, Sean Hannity, love the speech. That should be all anyone needs to know. It was Orwellian, super-villain, double-speak.
    If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph.
    Madman. How has Iran violated the U.N. charter? They were invited into Iraq and Syria by the UN recognized govts. Okay, they make veiled threats against Israel, they get a demerit for that. Even if you argue that they are 'predicting' rather can 'threatening to cause' Israel's demise, I'd take that as a veiled threat. But Israel makes equally hostile comments towards Iran albeit, in a passive / aggressive manner. Netanyahu, 'We recognize Iran's right to exist but truth be told the planet, no wait, the entire universe itself would be better off if they disappeared'.
    Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:02:50 PM | 21
    Trump - the Republican Obama
    Jackrabbit | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:32 PM | 22
    If you like your sovereignty, you can keep your sovereignty.
    Andy | Sep 19, 2017 5:12:41 PM | 23
    Well, it has finally arrived at the U.N. speech. Trump is showing his real colors, whether they are forced or were originally his own. It doesn't matter. He is spouting the same nonsenze as the neocons and the rest of them. He has crossed over - he maybe never knew the way through, but was only parroting other's views. He is clearly a chameleon, willing to change his stripes on a dime. The man is darkly lost in the woods, or is it the swamp?
    chet380 | Sep 19, 2017 5:26:05 PM | 24
    Sorry, somewhat off-topic --

    While there have been hints that the Rohingya "rebels" are receiving funds from expatriates in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is there anything concrete that connects the CIA to the rebels?

    Laguerre | Sep 19, 2017 5:42:58 PM | 25
    Frankly Trump is a big mouth, but there's no evidence that he's more than that. If he wanted war, we'd already be there. It's different from Saddam in the old days, who went to war within a year of becoming leader, or the Saudi crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, who launched the war against Yemen.

    59 Tomahawks, that's the style. I haven't seen different from then.

    Taxi | Sep 19, 2017 5:46:38 PM | 26
    Hypocrisy - huuuge hypocrisy, believe me it was tremendous hypocrisy!
    mcohen | Sep 19, 2017 5:47:45 PM | 27
    trump is mr thunder thump
    Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:50:25 PM | 28
    He called Iran "an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violent, bloodshed and chaos."

    Like the pundits who shadow him, he really has no understanding of irony.

    Bart in VA | Sep 19, 2017 5:52:58 PM | 29
    #4 - "Failed State" - A country too poor for us to exploit.
    Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:01:13 PM | 30
    The advantage of having Trump around is that he seems to diffuse energy. He is not building a case against N. Korea like Bush did with Iraq, but instead he is big on bluster. There is no appeal to the emotions of people and their fears and as such he is not marketing it, something he knows a lot about. In his own way I believe he is defusing the situation by talking big but remebering Bannon's comments when he left. And as a consummate player at the table of power (unlike the novice Obama) he has his status.

    What interests me is Tillerson and the State Department and its attitude to Israel. Syria is where Israel met its match and was soundly thrashed. The world will never be the same again, And the State Department is recognizing this reality. I think there is a recognition in certain powerful quarters that whole neocon-Zionist shit has got America nowhere. As Talking Heads said, "We're on the road to nowhere."

    Extra | Sep 19, 2017 6:12:58 PM | 31
    Andy@23
    It's the swamp. Sounds like Pete Seeger's 'Waist deep in the Big Muddy' all over again.
    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:15:58 PM | 32
    The speech (it reminds me on movie The Kings Speech https://youtu.be/PPLIw64rLJc TERRIBLE MOVIE) is for internal the US purpose, for Amerikkaans. Majority of them, according to the Gov. media outlets, support military action against DPRK and mostly likely against Iran (the most hatred nation by far) as well. Amerikkaans will support any crime anywhere and probably destruction of whole planet Earth.

    In the same time his words and deeds are the most irrelevant of any US presidents. I bet he never heard of that word "sovereignty" before nor for "nation state". This morning when Trump woke up some member of National Security Council put sheet of paper with the speech on his desk and tell him "Read this!". Just as they did to Obama in many occasions, one of example is this: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2016/may/04/obama-drinks-flint-water-video

    There some people in the US who knows what is going on:

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

    For all the very considerable expense, however, the American military does not have a very impressive record of achieving victory. It has won no wars since 1945!especially if victory is defined as achieving an objective at acceptable cost!except against enemy forces that essentially didn't exist.
    james | Sep 19, 2017 6:24:49 PM | 33
    @7 financial matters.. good comment and relevant.. i agree with you.. unipolar no more.. however, not quite multipolar yet either... we are still in a transitional place.. syria is no libya fortunately.. but causing this kind of shit around the globe is what the usa is known for.. they will continue to make war projects, especially if you believe as b notes a couple of threads ago - trump is no longer calling the shots.. it is military guys full on..
    Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34
    @ 52

    I rather liked the film "The King's Speech because it was about speech. Your English is fucking awful Chancey, not good enough for this forum. Get some lessons and come back.

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:28:50 PM | 35
    @Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

    Read this Nazi. https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

    "The sanction game is over. It's only the dying empire of the Federal Reserve, ECB, Wall Street, City of London and their military strong arm operating in the Pentagon that have yet to accept this new reality.

    The days of bullying nations and simply bombing them into submission is over as well. Russia and China have made it very clear this is no longer acceptable and Russia has all but shut down the operations in Syria. The "ISIS" boogeyman is surrounded and fleeing into Asia and recently showed up in the Philippines. The fact that a group of desert dwellers acquired an ocean going vessel should be enough evidence to even the most brain-dead these desert dwellers are supported by outside forces – like the CIA. Otherwise, from where did the ship(s) materialize?"

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:29:56 PM | 36
    Lochearn | Sep 19, 2017 6:26:51 PM | 34

    You like a movie. Of course, it is for morons.

    Lozion | Sep 19, 2017 6:38:33 PM | 37
    Comment @4 is spot on..
    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:39:43 PM | 38
    @Lochearn aka Nazi

    I recognize you from before, but how do you like these links?

    https://www.sprottmoney.com/Blog/actions-of-a-bully-child-or-dying-empire-sanctions-and-threats-rory-hall.html

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/redefining-winning-afghanistan-22176

    Where have you raised, under rock or in cave?

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 6:51:12 PM | 39
    For a Nazi. A question, do you believe in science? Here is one. But does one need to be scientist to figure this out?"The Rise of Incivility and Bullying in America"

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201207/the-rise-incivility-and-bullying-in-america

    you are lost case anyway but here is good text from fellow Amerikkaan. But "Rise" from where? I would argue not from Zero but from 60 on scale of 100.

    Agree?

    karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40
    Violating the sovereign sanctity of nations is what the Outlaw US Empire has done without parallel since the United Nation's formation. One of those nations was Vietnam, and a somewhat respected documentary film maker looks like he's going to try--again--to pull wool over the eyes of his intended audience by trying to legitimate the Big Lie that provided the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's illegal war against Vietnam. The detailed argument regarding Ken Burns's effort to "correct" the actual historical record can be read here, https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/19/getting-the-gulf-of-tonkin-wrong-are-ken-burns-and-lynn-novick-telling-stories-about-the-central-events-used-to-legitimize-the-us-attack-against-vietnam/ and it is probably the sort of history Trump would enjoy since he doesn't seem to know any better.
    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:09:16 PM | 41
    @Lochearn aka Nazi

    How many nick/names do you have? You may hide under this and that stupid but your associations are still here. You stay stupid. I know, I know the truth hurts. You Amerikkaans are not used to it. Go and watch a porn, before de-dollarization is in full swing. Than you are going to stave to death, no more credit cards and quantitative easing. That's is Trump's speech for.

    https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Happened-to-All-Those-by-Jim-Hightower-Banksters_Homeownership_Housing-170819-119.html

    Wall Street bought them -- and is now leasing them out and driving up rents.

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:13:05 PM | 42
    Oh my terrible English. Forgive me, would you?

    Instead "stave" should be "starve".

    All this has to do with shitty Europe, Germany first and foremost.

    MadMax2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:14:02 PM | 43
    Posted by: financial matters | Sep 19, 2017 2:22:58 PM | 7
    Nice interview from a couple of years back. Prashad's worldview is worthy of reposting. Enjoyable. Cheers.

    US Americans might have proved themselves very adept at destroying both nation states and the English language, though it will be Syria who restores true meaning to the word 'sovereign' - with some collective help of course.

    The almost failed state will emerge from this steeled with a sense of identity, pride and purpose. The minnow that refused to buckle.

    The Don putting together some performances that finally warrant the unified, rabid reaction from the press....

    Oilman2 | Sep 19, 2017 7:42:50 PM | 44
    "But its still difficult to judge if that it is something he genuinely believes in."

    Are you serious? Everything coming out of DC is still the same - sanctions against other sovereign countries who do not tow the line the US demands, cruise missiles for the little guys, disavowing and de-legitimizing the JCPOA, unrelenting 'freedom of navigation' patrols, threats to cut nations off from the SWIFT system, every word out of Nikki Haleys' mouth... It's really easy to go on and on, and his first year isn't even done.

    The amount of disrespect for other sovereign nations by the USA is mind boggling, and that is only the official stuff. Throw in CIA ops and NGO ops and there you have an entire other level of the failure to recognize sovereignty.

    Can you send me some of what you are smoking? Because it obviously makes you oblivious to the obvious, and that may help my mood...

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:48:40 PM | 45
    Obviously, the UN has became an arena of the one country show and that country puppets. Zionist PM, the West most "faithful ally" on Middle East, and his speech. Mix of infantilism, rhetoric and implicit racism of "God Chosen People". And sea of self-congratulating lies.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47844.htm

    In par with Trump's speech.

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 7:56:52 PM | 46
    Oilman2!

    is that you?

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:05:13 PM | 47
    What is Trump's speech for?

    Senate backs massive increase in military spending
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-defense-congress/senate-backs-massive-increase-in-military-spending-idUSKCN1BT2PV

    V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:32 PM | 48
    karlof1 | Sep 19, 2017 6:56:49 PM | 40

    Great comment re: Vietnam. The Ken Burns documentary is just one more fairy tale of the U.S. involvement/war in Vietnam.
    Among the many myths, foremost is that Ho Chi Minh was a communist; he most assuredly was not. Yes, he was a member of the party in France, but it is irrelevent to history (Ho was a nationalist).
    Did you know he tried to engage FDR?
    Below is a remarkable interview with John Pilger on the real history of the U.S. and Vietnam; it ain't pretty. Even Mao tried to engage the U.S., which the U.S. duly ignored.

    https://www.rt.com/shows/watching-the-hawks/403760-nuclear-standoff-crisis-china/

    PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49
    Why is everyone hating on Trump? Be realistic: sometimes you have to genocide 25 million people to save them. We're the God damn hero here - you bastards should be thanking the USA.

    Well, I guess we're really not trying to save the North Koreans at all. But they refuse to leave the buffer zone (all of North Korea) that is protecting the world from red Chinese expansion south. Worse than that, the North Koreans insist on protecting themselves BY FORCE from the US. How evil is that?

    Reminds me of those evil Syrians and Iraqis who refuse to vacate the buffer zone protecting Israel from Iran. The nerve!

    Only US lapdog nations have the right to defend themselves - as long as its with US-made weapons and they're protecting themselves from anybody except the US. And we get to build US bases on their soil. Who wouldn't want that? Because the US is... what did Trump say... RIGHTEOUS. You know:

    "...good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent; ethical, principled, moral, high-minded, law-abiding, honest, honorable, blameless, irreproachable, noble; saintly, angelic, pure..."

    Tell me which one of those synonyms DOES NOT apply to the US? I prefer 'angelic'.

    The first thing psychopaths do when they attain any measure of power and control is to redefine evil as anything that threatens their power and control. Then constantly hammer that threat into the minds of the little people so the little people don't think too hard about stringing them up from the lamp posts.

    Everything the US has done in my lifetime has been about preserving and protecting the US government no matter how corrupt, evil or immoral it acts. Protecting the people is only given lip service when it can be used to justify further protections for the state. Creation of the Department of Homeland Security Stazi is probably the end stage for full-spectrum dominance over the little people - it is slowly morphing (as planned) into a federal armed force to protect the US government FROM the little people. I guess the FBI wasn't up to the task.

    "The government you elect is the government you deserve" Thomas Jefferson, Founding Terrorist.

    V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 8:14:56 PM | 50
    PavewayIV | Sep 19, 2017 8:12:34 PM | 49

    Spot on...

    Krollchem | Sep 19, 2017 8:26:44 PM | 51
    Chauncey Gardiner@ 32

    Do you agree that to point of National Interest article seem to be that the US is not capable of invading and controlling non-European countries?

    I did find the Cato Institute author to be very poorly informed about the US invasions of Granada and Panama, the Balkan wars, the Kosovo invasion and the Syrian war.

    As for ISIS, the author does not know anything about the incubation of ISIS by the US administrations and the Libyan war (Hillary/Obama/Sarkozy) connection . He also does not discuss the billions in military hardware that the US allowed ISIS to capture in Iraq.

    As for the US efforts they are more about preventing the formation of an integrated economic sphere between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanese Republic. The war efforts by the US in fighting ISIS are minimal compared to the Syrian and Russian efforts, yet he lies by omission to pump up the US efforts. At least he didn't attempt to praise Turkey (sic) for their efforts in cutting off aid to ISIS and Al Qaeda (under all its names).

    Remember that the Cato Institute is another flavor of the NGO spider supporting the deep state!

    Please understand that this is not a personal attack as I am here to learn and share.

    John Gilberts | Sep 19, 2017 8:44:57 PM | 52
    Canada's Trudeau will follow Trump at the UN on Thursday. Today he received an award from the Atlantic Council: 'Worldwide the long established international order is being tested..' And obviously the sexy northern selfie-king knows his place in it...
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=Kp49TFRMR8g
    Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 8:51:24 PM | 53
    @ 49
    Yes, to save the 25 million North Koreans the US must destroy them!

    "No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more."
    . ..but there are limits. . .

    "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

    So give me that "no more contempt" line again, Donald? (Personally, I can't imagine Hillary doing any less. So much for elections.)

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 8:56:49 PM | 54
    "Why is everyone hating on Trump?" Preposterous. You give him too much importance. He is rather the object of ridicule.

    "The word occurs 18(!) times."

    While the word Sovereignty

    Maybe by accident maybe not just conspicuous coincidence. But it seems to me with Trump an era of so-called globalization has come to its end. With self-inflicted wounds ($20T Gov. debt) and new president who is (initially) inward looking, it is time to talk about old stuff. As if the US statehood has been in question for a moment. Old trick of capitalist class.

    Chauncey Gardiner | Sep 19, 2017 9:04:30 PM | 55
    I was looking for Putin and Sovereignty and I've found this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-uses-putins-arguments-to-undermine-the-world
    nonsense factory | Sep 19, 2017 9:21:01 PM | 56
    File under "propaganda for domestic consumption"

    Targeting Iran was never about nuclear weapons (the U.S. let Pakistan expand its nuclear weapons program without interfering, despite knowing all about the AQ Khan network, because Pakistan was cooperating with the U.S. agenda in Afghanistan and elsewhere), it was about the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (during the GW Bush era) and the expansion of economic ties with Syria (during the Obama era).

    Now, with the easing of sanctions, Iran's pipeline deals have been revived, such as Iran-Pakistan, or Iran-India (undersea) , Iran-Europe, with China and Russia and Turkey as potential partners. Meanwhile, the proposed TAPI pipeline backed by the Clinton, Bush & Obama State Departments, as well as Chevron and Exxon, from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean, is still held up due to instability in Afghanistan (i.e. the Taliban would immediately blow it up). Obama's 30,000 troop surge to 100,000 couldn't solve that, and the recent Trump troop surge (much smaller) will have little effect on that either.
    TAPI pipe dreams continue, Sep 17 2017

    There's no way Trump or Tillerson would ever be honest about this in an international forum, any more than Obama and Clinton would, or Bush and Condi Rice, but it's the same old "great game" for Central Asian oil and gas that's dominated U.S. regional foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.

    Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 9:26:11 PM | 57
    @ 54/55
    Of course countries subjected to senseless US sanctions, like Russia, are concerned with sovereignty. They are subject to baseless economic attacks by the country that controls world banking.
    b4real | Sep 19, 2017 10:12:08 PM | 59
    [throws meat to the lions] Orlov has a great read up
    Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60
    It is foolish to consider the trumpet's lunatic ravings in isolation, according to that organ of empire foreign policy dot com , the amerikan airforce is ready and rearing to go and blast the bejeezuz outta North Korea.
    Sure it may be bluster when they come out with seeming tosh like:
    ""We're ready to fight tonight," Gen. Robin Rand, commander of the Air Force's Global Strike Command, told reporters at an Air Force conference in Washington on Monday. "We don't have to spin up, we're ready.""

    Because everyone knows that a manned tactical airforce is on the way out, that bombing a population has only ever served to strengthen resolve within that population, but the first point that the airforce of jocks n fighters is verging on obsolescence, might just drive the generals of middle management, concerned that their career is about to hit a brick wall, to go for one last roll of the dice. Blow some shit up, create a few heroes and maybe the inevitable can be staved off for long enough for their scum to rise to the surface, jag a great gig with a contractor, then retire in luxury. I mean to say it's gotta be worth a shot right? The alternative of layoffs and all the sexy fighting stuff being done by unsexy drones, is just too awful to consider.

    So what if Guam gets wasted, a good memorial at Arlington will balance that shit and when it is all said and done, most of the people who will get nuked by DPRK aren't amerikans - but here's the best bit, we can sell them to the idjits just like they were, while we build the anger and bloodlust, then backpedal on that when it comes down to lawsuits, compensation or whatever it is those whale-fuckers whine about - right?

    A pre-emptive attack based on the possibility that DPRK hasn't yet developed nuke tech sufficiently, but will do so "if we continue to sit on our asses" would be an easy sell to an orange derp whose access to alternative points of view has been cut off.
    The only real question is whether the rest of the military (the non-airforce parts) go for it.
    The navy likely will because they are in the same boat (pun intended) as the airforce when it comes down to usefulness as a front line conflict agent and they too will likely get a role to play in the destruction of North Korea - at the very least as a weapons platform (just like with the mindless Syria aggression) and may even get to be the forward C&C base since South Korea isn't mobile and may cop a fair amount of DPRK reaction.

    Only the army for whom a pre emptive attack on the people of North Korea has little upside, but lots of downside, may oppose this insane butchery. The army will be tasked with neutralising a population whose innate loathing of all things amerikan has just been raised by about ten notches. So soon after the Iraq debacle, they may see an attack as all negative in that once again they will cop the blame and even worse the old enemies - the airforce and navy - will come out smelling like roses. It is true that the bulk of the yellow monkey's 'advisors' are army types, so under normal circumstances they would obstruct any such bullshit grabs for the brass ring by the navy & airforce upstarts - but there is a high probability that the army leadership will do no such thing.
    The reason for that is as old as humanity itself and I was sad to see that it copped little mention in the last thread about the 'soft' coup at the whitehouse.

    Many people were cheering the takeover by the military doubtless the same people who imagine that "amerika could be great again - if only we go back to the way it was in the 1950's and 60's". What they miss is that everything is fluid; nothing is held in stasis as a proof that perfection has been reached. The 'eisenhower/johnson years were merely steps on the path, the world was never gonna stay in white bourgeois contentment no matter whether unwhites kicked up or not. There are diverse reasons for that from ambitious careerism forcing change so a lucky few can ascend one more rung on the ladder, to the reality that it is impossible for all humans to be content all the time -some groups will be disadvantaged, advertise that then be 'adopted' by careerists as an excuse for forcing change. That is inevitable - as inevitable as the reality that once the military gained power, their next move would be to consolidate it and to try ensure that they kept it for ever.

    In other words the initial coup may have been largely bloodless (altho several million dead mid easterners would strongly disagree if they could) but any study of human behavior reveals that it is the need to hold on to power which is what really incites oppression violence and mass murder.
    The Pennsylvania Avenue generals understand that the simplest way of retaining control is gonna be if the orange 'whipped* gains re-election. If the orange chunder is gonna win the next one he needs to hit some home runs and have a lot less ties or outright defeats.

    At this stage it doesn't matter what turkey kicked up the Korea bizzo, or even it it has any moral dimension at all, what matters is that the trumpet has made it a major issue and if he doesn't 'prevail' in the short-term, the odds of him retaining support much less gaining more support, are gone - very likely for the duration of the tangerine prezdency. It's not as if the ME situation offers the slightest chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Syria is history now and that Iran thing has a good chance of dividing europe from amerika, just as climate change has. I reckon that the junta who, individually & institutionally have a big investment in Nato, will be looking to steer the orange nit away from inciting a confrontation over the nuke deal. Korea could be the alternate shiny thing the junta draws trumpet's attention to in order to distract the dingbat.

    So even though it is a total cleft stick that the junta is in, I reckon it is extremely probable that the army branch of the amerikan government will allow the airforce and possibly the navy as well, their moment in the sun.

    The way this fuckwittery is shaping up, people of Korea are more likely to be enduring Predators up their jacksies than not, before the end of "the summer of '18'

    *anyone who doesn't see that the trumpet displays all the signs (boasting of alleged performance, number of 'conquests' size of penis etc) of a man who is unable to have his voice heard above the demands of the women around him, doesn't comprehend the nature of inter-gender relationships (doncha love 'inter-gender' it sounds exactly like the type of pallid word the identity-ists would use heheh).

    Forest | Sep 19, 2017 10:45:08 PM | 61
    Ah sovereignty vs. solvency.

    There's the rub.

    V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 10:47:15 PM | 62
    Debsisdead | Sep 19, 2017 10:16:10 PM | 60

    The main problem I have with your post is China. You do not say anything about China. The Chinese made it clear that if the U.S. pre-emptively attacks the DPRK; China will get involved; and I should think Russia will be somehow involved as well. Moon Jae-In has told the U.S. it (SK) will be the one to decide on an attack, as it should.

    But, I do get your drift; I just hope the U.S. will not act...for once. That said; I do think the U.S. lost its tether decades ago...

    V. Arnold | Sep 19, 2017 11:00:10 PM | 63
    The other possiblity the U.S. won't attack DPRK is that the U.S., cowardly as it is; hasn't attacked a country of any military consequence since WWII.
    Don Bacon | Sep 19, 2017 11:36:48 PM | 64
    There's one little factor about getting it on with DPRK, besides the ones mentioned, and that is that SecDef Gates several years ago declared that Korea was safe enough to allow it to be an accompanied tour, i.e. soldiers could have their families join them in the Land of the Morning Calm. This coincided with the consolidation of US bases, with a ten billion dollar expansion of Camp Humphreys about seventy miles south of the DMZ. So now we have high-rise apartments with wives, kids, pets, etc. in this "safe" place, now 35,000 strong including all. They practice evacuation. From a recent report --

    The noncombatant evacuation operations, or NEO, are aimed at making sure everybody knows their roles in the event of a noncombatant evacuation, which may be ordered in the event of war, political or civil unrest, or a natural or man-made disaster. "I liken the NEO operation to being a scaffolding. It's not a fully fleshed out plan because it's preparing for a million different worst-case scenarios," 1st Lt. Katelyn Radack, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, told Stars and Stripes. ... Brandy Madrigal, 32, was participating in her third NEO -- so she knew exactly what to pack when she got the call to report to the Assembly Point at the main gym at Camp Humphreys on June 5. She ticked off the list -- clothes, food for the kids, documents, phone, toiletries -- before driving with her two children from their first-floor apartment to the base to be processed.

    Imagine that -- all those people assembling in one place for "processing." They'd get processed, all right. So the US Army won't be red-hot for the mighty US Air Force to (again) conduct its aerial murder in North Korea, with their loved ones being in rocket range of a counter-attack. That's in addition to any feelings people have for the ten million plus South Koreans in Seoul, close to the border.

    Stumpy | Sep 19, 2017 11:54:05 PM | 65
    Karlof @ 40

    re: Ken Burns Viet Nam -- one only has to look at the sponsors. Burns will cleave to the line only more so. Darling of the aristocratic charities. Somehow reaching the glory 50 years later. Now that Agent Orange has nearly completed the harvest.

    Action against Iran and NK, could it really be termed "war", anymore?

    ben | Sep 20, 2017 12:16:54 AM | 66
    Luther Blissett @ 4 said:"sovereign nation" = a country that obeys the US over its own interests

    "rogue nation" = a country that has actual sovereignty

    Succinct but true..

    The fucking hypocrisy in that UN speech takes my breath away. Trump and his mannerisms sure do remind me of "il Duce".

    Debsisdead | Sep 20, 2017 12:19:55 AM | 67
    @ V Arnold # 62

    I deliberately left China outta the equation because the conflict with DPRK will be engineered to be kicked off with a provocation allegedly committed by DRPK, amerika will 'respond' andthe war will quickly escalate. Yes PRC may become involved, but getting into a war with amerika right now is not great for the PRC either, if the most vital concern is the proximity of amerikan troops to the China border, amerika can give an agreement signed in blood that amerikan military will pull back behind the 38th parallel once the 'regime has been changed' and that only Korean men and equipment will remain.

    Of course China would be smart to distrust that but sold correctly with incentives and maybe even the use of some mutually trusted referee, China might decide that is a superior option to kicking off ww3.

    As for the enlisted mens families somehow I doubt that the military cares any more about them than it does the men and women they have in their forces - so not very much - smart officer class types will be considering the need to 'further their children's education back home' right now, whether or not the trump decides to go for broke. As I pointed out before, the plan will require that DRPK feels trapped into committing some type of really egregious provocation, or false flagging such a provocation.

    Imagine Guam got nuked and all initial evidence pointed to DRPK, China is in a tough spot plus most amerikans will be of the opinion that protecting the families in South Korean barracks comes second to vengeance. That would be an easy sell on fox and msnbc.

    Amerika seemingly being attacked is also gonna end msnbc & the rest's potshots at the orange derp, just as 911 halted just about all reference to the view shrub stole the election from Gore in the MSM.

    Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 12:20:32 AM | 68
    Ignoring Trump.

    What scares me the most about the US regime's threats to attack and destroy North Korea is I had naively assumed that all the talk was just the standard game theory back and forth. There never was any real threat beyond the occasional minor incident like there have been in the past few decades.

    And I didn't understand why China would so openly and absolutely support North Korea with any sort of attack by the US regime.

    But then I read some of the neocon online postings or writings about North Korea and it was a sickening shock to realize that I had been so foolish to believe the Korean crisis was not about Korea, but China.

    Getting the US regime's military directly on the Chinese border is something the neocons are perfectly willing, and most likely gleefully happy, to trade millions to tens of millions of North and South Korean lives for.

    I can't imagine the revulsion and horror the rest of the world must be feeling towards the United States right now.

    Nuff Sed | Sep 20, 2017 12:33:07 AM | 69
    Talking of Westphalia... Here is an excerpt from an article of mine which which appeared in the Vineyard of the Saker's site earlier this year:
    https://thesaker.is/sacred-communities-and-the-emergent-multipolar-landscape/

    The German philosopher and sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies (1855 – 1936) distinguished between two types of social groupings. Gemeinschaft (often translated as community or left untranslated) and Gesellschaft (often translated as society). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft describe the crucial distinction between community and "Civil Society"; community being characterized by a dispensationalist consensus or a sacred communal consensus on a dispensation sent down from on high, and the latter being characterized as a consensus to "agree to disagree" and to agree that a consensus in any meaningful form can no longer be reached, paving the way to a "conventional" polity (agreed to by secular-humanist convention). This "agreement to disagree" which crystalized between the Peace of Augsburg (1555) and the Peace of Westphalia (1644 – 1648) was, in effect, the West's long and excruciating decision to throw out the baby of Community with the bathwater of the Church's malfeasance in the revolutionary fervor of the Reformation and the "Enlightenment" that followed in its wake. But whereas the integrality of church and state was lost with the Peace of Westphalia circa 1648 whereat pre-Westphalian communities gave way to the Westphalian order of "Civil Societies", the Islamic Revolution of 1979 restored community to the Moslem nation of Iran.

    psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 12:49:38 AM | 70
    I posted this comment over in the latest Syria summary thread but then thought that it belongs here as an example of the craven duplicity of empire about Syria sovereignty.

    The following is a link and article quote from China news that says Russia is accusing the US of chickenshit (my term) tactics in Syria

    "He said the advancing Syrian government troops supported by the Russian Air Force managed to break the fierce resistance and liberate
    more than 60 square km of territory on the left bank of the Euphrates River in the last 24 hours.

    But their advance was hampered by a sudden rise of the water level in the Euphrates and a two-fold increase of the speed of its current
    after the government troops started crossing the river, Konashenkov said.

    In the absence of precipitation, the only source of such changes in the water level could be a man-made discharge of water at the dams
    north of the Euphrates, which are held by the opposition formations controlled by the international coalition led by the United States, he said.
    "

    Russia accuses U.S., opposition of hampering Syrian gov't troops' advance

    ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:02:39 AM | 71
    What's worries me the most in Trumps speech, sounds actually ominously, is the phrases "dead Poles, fighting [???!!!] French, strong[!] English" ... Is this what's planned for the near future? I'm not liking it a bit.

    What about Syria's sovereignty? VoltaireNet predicts launching a big campaign to carve out AnloZio run "Kurdistan" (a la Kosovo) from her right after illegal Sep 25th referendum organized by the Barzani mob. Was the speech (written by Jewish ) hinting to POTUS support for that? Meyssan says that Trump could go both ways. I concur, confusing the enemy has been the name of his game so far.

    Orwellian "two minutes of hate" against Trump in the lame-scream media does it stop either:

    Situation in the US is getting worse, seems that this Fall big changes are coming, and no lies can hide the truth: LIES, LIES & OMG MORE LIES Who is the enemy? Some names can be found here (and in a recent Eric Zuesse piece):

    Southern Poverty Law Center Transfers Millions in Cash to Offshore Entities

    ProPeace | Sep 20, 2017 1:08:39 AM | 72
    Hitlary Killton just can't go away:

    Hillary Clinton May Challenge Legitimacy of Presidential Election

    The Borg, the AngloZio pedo-satanic cabal of the City of London Crown Corporation, the web of merchants of death and corporate oligarchy have been doing whatever possible to help her stay relevant and expand information war, blame Russia:

    Amazon Censor Bad Reviews of Hillary Clinton's New Book

    Why Is Google Hiring 1,000 Journalists To Flood Newsrooms Around America?

    Hysterical US Lawmakers Breach Time and Space Limits in Fight With Radio Sputnik

    james | Sep 20, 2017 1:43:12 AM | 73
    @59 b4real.. thanks.. great article.. here it is again for anyone interested..

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2017/09/military-defeat-as-financial-collapse.html

    psychohistorian | Sep 20, 2017 3:10:44 AM | 74
    @ james #72 with Orlov link

    Nice summary but I disagree with the dedollarization part. To me, ending the US dollar as reserve Currency is just a part of the issue. If that occurs American paper money becomes worthless as the article states. While this bankrupts the US, what will it do to the global world of private finance, BIS, SWIFT, IMF, etc.? Does private finance, private property and inheritance all get dealt with in this adjustment? How long will the adjustment period take?

    What is clear though now is that there are two factions that are moving in "opposite" directions and the implications will lock up global commerce at some point....fairly soon (weeks/months)......and hopefully adults from all sides will work things out peacefully.

    dirka dirka | Sep 20, 2017 4:15:13 AM | 75
    Pistachio imperialism -- Bring it on --
    john | Sep 20, 2017 5:25:11 AM | 76
    these 16 years of bin laden wars constitute the most concerted assault on sovereignty since time out of mind. conspicuously in the cradle of civilization...cultural harmonies undermined and religious sects set at each others throats, tribes ripped from their roots, their facilities and systems desecrated, their families ravaged by rack and ruin and displacement, an alien scourge unleashed on their landscape.

    but as someone upstream suggested, the window on these destructive incursions might be closing, what with Russia and China being unconquerable and all.

    of course there are other dark forces gnawing at sovereignty , possibly even more stealthily treacherous ones...

    like the alien scourge of mass tourism.

    b | Sep 20, 2017 5:35:41 AM | 77
    Others pointing out the "sovereignty" contradictions: Obama lover and liberal (zionist) interventionist Peter Beinart:

    A Radical Rebuke of Barack Obama's Foreign Policy Legacy - Donald Trump used his first address at the United Nations to redefine the idea of sovereignty.

    On the one hand, Trump defended sovereignty as a universal ideal. On the other, he demanded that America's enemies stop mistreating their people. The result was gobbledygook.
    ...
    to make his incoherence even more explicit, Trump declared that "our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being." That's like saying that my respect for your right to do whatever you want in your garden should be a call to action for you to stop growing weed.
    ...
    For Trump, by contrast, sovereignty means both that no one can tell the United States what to do inside its borders and that the United States can do exactly that to the countries it doesn't like. That's not the liberal internationalism that Obama espoused. Nor is it the realism of some of Obama's most trenchant critics. It is imperialism. General Pershing, in the Philippines, would have approved.

    The Saker at UNZ: Listening to the Donald at the UN

    In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the USA. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their "bitch" the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet because it allows everybody else to get things done.
    ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:57:26 AM | 78
    Pressure will be intense on U S business in east coast China to refrain from converting their 'yuan' profits into gold .
    What a contradictory set of pressures much
    ashley albanese | Sep 20, 2017 5:59:47 AM | 79
    what a contradictory set of pressures much U S business will be under . That's the nature of Capitalism , isn't it ?
    anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 80
    Wtf? Actor Morgan Freeman featuring in cold war warmongering propaganda campaign directed against Russia and Putin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz9PNoecNxU
    notlurking | Sep 20, 2017 7:10:22 AM | 81
    anonymus | Sep 20, 2017 6:49:13 AM | 79

    I would think that most of Hollywood is neolib heavy on foreign policy.....

    Linda O | Sep 20, 2017 8:03:48 AM | 82
    My god... That Morgan Freeman video is bizarre and sickening. I see that dimwitted lowlife Rob Reiner was one of the people who funded that garbage.

    [Sep 19, 2017] The myth of pro-Israeli groups defining the US foreign policy

    Highly recommended!
    The US foreign policy is defined by interests of neoliberals and neocons, or to be exact by interests of multinational corporations, who are not necessary led by Jews ;-). The whole discussion of the US foreign policy via the lens of Jew/non-Jew dichotomy is far from the best approach to this problem.
    While it is true that a large number of neocons end even some "economic nationalists" like Steve Bannon identify with Israel. But the real allegiance of neocons is not to Israel. It is to many from American MIC. In this sense, neither chickenhawk Michael Ledeen (a second rate figure at best, without much political influence), no chickenhawk Bill Kristol (third rate figure, with little or no political influence at all), but Senator McCain and Dick Cheney are proper examples of really dangerous neocons.
    Yes, neocons has a large, sometimes decisive influence on the US foreign policy. But this is because they are neoliberals with the gun, political prostitutes serving MIC interests, not so much because some of them are "Israel-firsters" (this term is not without problems, although it denotes Jewish nationalists pretty well, see an interesting discussion in The Volokh Conspiracy )
    Notable quotes:
    "... I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business". ..."
    "... This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud. ..."
    "... Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s. ..."
    "... Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. ..."
    "... Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout. ..."
    "... The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted. ..."
    "... I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism. ..."
    "... You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan. ..."
    "... Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down. ..."
    "... A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM. ..."
    "... So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them. ..."
    "... Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel. ..."
    "... There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it.. ..."
    "... Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"? ..."
    "... I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad? ..."
    "... Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it). ..."
    "... Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba). ..."
    "... How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"? ..."
    "... "The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard? ..."
    Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

    Originally from: America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars by Philip Giraldi September 19, 2017 - The Unz Review

    Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm GMT

    @Brabantian Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel:

    US alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, appeared on Israeli TV last month to call himself a "white Zionist"
    The above from an interesting article by British activist and Nazareth, Palestine resident Jonathan Cook , speaking of how Israel's Netanyahu is making an alliance with even the anti-Semitic Western alt-right, with the instinct to show all other Jews that Israel is their only home & safe haven ... and hence the 'progressive' Jews should abandon any support for boycott of Israel or for Palestinian rights:
    The Israeli prime minister has repeatedly called on all Jews to come to Israel, claiming it as the only safe haven from an immutable global anti-semitism. And yet, Mr Netanyahu is also introducing a political test before he opens the door.

    Jews supporting a boycott of Israel are already barred. Now, liberal Jews and critics of the occupation like Mr Soros are increasingly not welcome either. Israel is rapidly redefining the extent of the sanctuary it offers – for Jewish supremacists only.

    For Mr Netanyahu may believe he has much to gain by abandoning liberal Jews to their fate, as the alt-right asserts its power in western capitals.

    The "white Zionists" are committed to making life ever harder for minorities in the West in a bid to be rid of them. Sooner or later, on Mr Netanyahu's logic, liberal Jews will face a reckoning. They will have to accept that Israel's ultra-nationalists were right all along, and that Israel is their only sanctuary.

    Guided by this cynical convergence of interests, Jewish and white supremacists are counting on a revival of anti-Semitism that will benefit them both.

    Yet, in a classic, paradox-tinged pro-Israel loop-back, the 'alt-Right' and 'white nationalist' movement, is increasing positive links with security-fence-building, also-ethnic-nationalist Israel

    Steve Bannon and his supposed alt-right rag Breitbart are incredibly pro-Israel. I supposed it has something to do with its founder Andrew Breitbart being a Jew. Every time Trump or Nikki Haley says something nasty about Iran, you'll get plenty of Breitbart commenters echoing their sentiment egging them on, you can tell by their inane comments many have no idea why they should hate Iran, other than Breitbart told them to.

    They've fully bought into the Breitbart narrative that Iran is evil and must be destroyed. The Trump fan boys/girls who continue to blindly support him despite all his betrayals are every bit as stupid as the libtards they claim to hate.

    jamsok , September 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm GMT

    @Tom Welsh "And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht..."

    I suppose Ledeen still believes what he said fifteen years ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still young and dewy-fresh: "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business".

    This even became known as "The Ledeen Doctrine"; I am sure he is very proud.

    Perhaps today he thinks Iran is a suitable "small crappy little country". If so, he is very badly mistaken. Ledeen was involved with CIA & overthrow of Allende, I believe. I refer you to Louis Wolfe's "Counterspy," the magazine of the 1970′s.

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

    @Randal

    I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.
    Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

    In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

    What gives?

    Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.
    Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

    That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The Jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy Jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

    "What gives" is that I think lunatic screeds about "America's Jews" (like Noam Chomsky?) manipulating foreign policy do damage to the anti-war cause. I think solidarity and internationalism are the best weapons against militarism and imperialism.

    Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just Jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

    That's slightly better than the 1-dimensional Joo-paranoia, but it doesn't begin to describe the problem.

    You'd be on the right track if you started paying attention to the central American goal since 1945 of keeping Middle Eastern oil in the hands of obedient governments within the American orbit, so it can serve as a non-Russian/non-Soviet, American-controlled source of energy for American allies (and economic competitors) in Europe and Japan.

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm GMT

    @Sam Shama

    I am glad you think Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Yet it doesn't square with your earlier statement which reads " I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them ". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

    Before you decide to label as sociopath, anyone who proposes a worldview grounded in reality, you might think long and hard about the multitude of paths this world can take under the scenario of a wholesale withdrawal of U.S. presence in the Gulf. Most one hears on this forum, including your own, reduce to precious nothing over virtue signaling.

    Like it or not the world is never going to assume the shape of a collection of nations equal in power, interests and endowments. Hoping for that is to live in a state of delusion.

    U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran . Far from it; yet facilitating her allies' aspirations to join the American vision isn't one we are about to walk away from. That is not chest beating. It is eminently in evidence from the number of nations wishing to join the Western economic and cultural model. I am keenly aware of the lunatics on this forum who believe they'd be perfectly happy to embrace other cultures, I can only invite them to make haste.

    Spare me the rest of your sanctimony.

    "I'm glad they have the capability, if need be, to destroy the hostile military bases that encircle them". There are no scenarios in which Iran could destroy US bases without changing the meaning of the word "suicidal", is there?

    In the case of a defensive war with United States, there sure would be. At that point Iran would not have much hope but to inflict as much damage as possible on the aggressor. Although Iran does not nearly have the ability to fully reciprocate the harm the US can inflict on it, it hopefully has the capability to inflict enough damage so that an offensive war against it would be intolerable to the US. That's how deterrence works.

    U.S. does not wish to go on an offensive mission against Iran.

    If that's true, and I sincerely hope it is, it's because Iran has sufficient deterrent capacity, which includes not only the anti-ship missiles in the Gulf, but also Hezbollah's arsenal of ~130,000 short, medium and long-range rockets capable of reaching every square inch of Israeli territory.

    Believe me, I'm a realist. You don't have to lecture me on the reality of aggressive rogue nations.

    anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

    @Tom Welsh Nope. As far as I know, he was being perfectly serious.

    And that is exactly the way the power elite think - although they are usually much more cautious about speaking their mind in public.

    Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed - not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir. Politicians continually rely on that undercurrent of nationalist chuavinism, and it never lets them down.

    Anyway, the American public has shown many times that it really doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed or maimed – not three of them, not three million of them. Foreigners might as well be bugs. What really matters is that feeling of power and superiority: their country is Top Nation and can whip anyone else, yes sir.

    True words sir!

    The evil empire sustains itself primarily through this attitude of its people. It does not matter how the Jews connive to shape it. Only thing that matters is that they buy into it without exercising their conscience.

    Americans, remember, such glory has a cost. You will find soon enough that a cancerous soul is too high a price to be "Top Nation," for essentially a blink in cosmic time.

    Dump Trump , September 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT

    A courageous article and spot on. Once again I'm thankful for Ron Unz and the Unz Review. You would never read such an article in the MSM.

    The late Samuel Huntington said in his amazing book Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order that Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting for supremacy in the Islamic world. Syria is a proxy war between the two countries. Now Israel has become BFF with Saudi Arabia because they too want a piece of Syria, for the oil reserve in the Golan Heights. So now US troops are suddenly bombing "ISIS" in Syria while supplying "rebels" with arms, even though by the CIA's own admission most of the arms supplied have fallen into the hands of ISIS since the rebels joined forces with them.

    Make no mistake Jews and Arabs run this country. That is why Trump went to Israel and SA for his first foreign trip, he knows who America's daddy is, even if most Americans are still in the dark.

    His entire administration is crawling with Israel loving Jews, starting with his son-in-law the most loyal son of Israel. Even Steve Bannon and Breitbart are crazy gung ho pro-Israel. Nikki Haley might as well be renamed Israel's ambassador to the UN. Every time that daft woman opens her mouth the US is in danger of going to war with somebody, usually on behalf of Israel.

    When was the last time Iran conducted a jihad against the west? All the Muslim terrorists now attacking the west are Sunnis, funded by Saudi Arabia. The only time Iran had direct armed conflict with the US was when they kicked us out of Tehran, for trying to steal their oil. All their beef is with Israel, not with the US. Why are we taking up Israel's cause? Trump is a moron of the first order and has no understanding of what really goes on in the mideast. He surrounds himself with pro-Israel neocons and Jews and is easily manipulated. He's stupid and dangerous. I voted for him because he presented himself as someone completely different, someone anti-war and anti-immigration, now he's a neocon globalist libtard, the worst of all worlds. Someone needs to primary him out in 2020.

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

    @iffen as sociopaths like you

    Speaking of unhinged I'd say the sentiment that America has the right to threaten and/or attack other countries to maintain its "economic interests" is sociopathic. What would you call it? And I didn't say that he personally was in charge of US/Israeli/Saudi policy towards Iran, if that's what you thought I meant. That would be unhinged. I just said that sociopaths like him are.

    Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm GMT

    @KBRO [In comments, allcaps is shouting. Stop shouting or your comments will be trashed.]

    RE:
    BUSH-CHENEY-CLINTON-TRUMP--MCMASTER--KELLY---AND THE LOT OF THEM ALL AIN'T JEWS:

    WELL PUT. GIRALDI IS A MIXED BAG, WRITES SOME GOOD STUFF, BUT IT MISIDENTIFIES THE PROBLEM--THE ENEMY-- BY LABELING IT AS "THE JEWS". THE NEO-CONS--AND NEO-LIBERALS--WHO DRIVE U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD COME IN MANY FLAVORS.
    I'M AN ANTI-ZIONIST, AND IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST.

    IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE THAT DISTINCTION AND I DON'T QUITE GET WHY GIRALDI DOESN'T USE THE TERM ZIONIST

    There's a place for using the term "Zionist" and a place for using the term "Jew" (the two are most certainly not interchangeable). The wider Zionist Israel Lobby in the US is certainly a big problem, but there is also the problem of Jewish nationalists being disproportionately represented in the US foreign policy, media and political elites, while their likely nationalist ulterior motives are not mentioned and are largely unnoticed because of the prevailing taboo against mentioning it..

    Giraldi is discussing the latter and not the former, and doing a service to the American nation by his taboo-busting.

    Brooklyn Dave , September 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm GMT

    I wonder where Mr. Giraldi would put David Horowitz on the list? Although Horowitz is not a public policy maker, but rather an author and blogger, but definitely is a known Jewish voice. I respect Horowitz tremendously because of his background as an ex-Communist and his dead-on criticism of the American Left, both historically and currently. Although rather knee-jerk in his defense of Israel, I would not doubt his loyalty to this country one iota.

    I do not know if David Horowitz is a dual Israeli-American citizen, but he is not a legislator nor a government policy maker, so as far as I am concerned, the issue is moot. If one questions the loyalty to America, of Jews or any other group for that matter, the issue of holding dual citizenship while holding certain government offices should be something of concern. Once out of public office or service, then they can resume their dual citizenship. It makes the issue of loyalty less questionable.

    wayfarer , September 19, 2017 at 6:05 pm GMT

    @bjondo Regarding jew and war:

    Bill Kristol appearing on c-span to push, agitate for the 2nd Iraq war was asked by a caller if he had served in the (U.S.) military. Kristol said he had not served but had a friend(s) who had and that he served in other ways. When a country drafts into the military, can one get out of service by saying, "My friend served"?

    reckon his serving in other ways was/is lying and pushing for wars for his real country israel. Truth hurts, America.

    Of the 58,220 Americans who were sacrificed during the Vietnam War, 270 were Jewish. That's approximately 0.46 percent or less than a half of one-percent.

    Guess they were too busy partying in college, while pursuing their law degrees.

    During the Vietnam war the U.S. selective service system gave deferments to those attending college, which delayed their eligibility for conscription.

    "Among partners of the top law firms in New York, I estimate that at least 25% are Jews."

    source: https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

    source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/4726694_Going_to_College_to_Avoid_the_Draft_The_Unintended_Legacy_of_the_Vietnam_War [accessed Sep 19, 2017].

    source: http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/6/5/is-lack-of-diversity-at-big-law-firms-a-crisis

    Randal , September 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

    @matt I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

    I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself.

    Which certainly doesn't mean there isn't a particular problem, exactly as Giraldi describes it with plenty of sound supporting examples, of dual loyalty jews pushing wars that favour Israel.

    In fact, the reality is that Giraldi might be guilty of, at most, overstatement, but since a large part of the problem is precisely that any reference at all to the problem is suppressed, one might expect an honest opponent of the US's military interventionism to temper his criticism of Giraldi's piece appropriately. For whatever reason, instead, you seem to feel the need to hysterically accuse it as though it contains no truth whatsoever.

    What gives?

    Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews.

    Of course, the Israel Lobby is much bigger than just jews, and stupid American Christians manipulated by their church leaders into believing fatuous ideas about Israel based upon dubiously interpreted biblical nonsense has historically provided a lot of its political clout.

    That's another problem, but it doesn't make the problem highlighted by Giraldi not a problem. The jewish individuals named by Giraldi still massively disproportionately dominate the foreign policy media and political debate on ME wars, and the wealthy jewish Israel supporters mentioned by him still massively disproportionately influence who gets heard and which opinions are suppressed and which promoted.

    anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

    @matt I'm strongly against any war with Iran, but this comes of as an unhinged and bigoted rant. Not nearly everyone who is pushing for war with Iran is Jewish, and this narrative perpetuates the myth, beloved by alt-right types and paleocons, of a well-intentioned but naive Trump administration that was hijacked by Jewish neocons. In reality, despite differences within the administration, Iran was always something they could all agree on. H.R. McMaster and James Mattis are well known Iran hawks, and neither are Jewish. Nikki Haley isn't Jewish, nor is Rex Tillerson. Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn wouldn't have stopped Trump from going to war if they hadn't been forced out of the administration, as both, especially the latter, were absolute lunatics when it came to Iran. On that subject, they were worse than neocons. And of course there's Trump himself, whose bloodlust regarding Iran has always been on full display from the beginning, if you were paying attention. Hostility toward Iran might in fact be the most consistent theme of the Trump administration and of Trump himself, who has been known to vacillate on virtually every issue, except this one.

    If you supported Trump because you thought he might be some sort of isolationist dove, you have only yourself to blame. Evil Jewish neocons didn't force you to ignore the massive evidence that was always right in front of your face. The fact that there are so many who profess to the Christian faith, who are as evil as those Joo neocons, such as those you mentioned, simply cannot be denied. Even if hypothetically speaking the Joos were to vanish overnight, the wars of aggression by the Evil Empire will continue unabated.

    The Evil Empire and its Evil b!tch both share the same satanic vision of world domination. Two evil nations, made for each other, in a match made in Hell.

    Btw, the orange scumbag was hilariously evil at the UN.

    Both N.Korea and Iran should simply call this bastard's bluff, by literally giving him the finger. I say, let the chips fall where they may. Let's see how the American, Japanese, S.Korean, Israeli & "Royal" pussies like the consequences.

    To you N.Koreans, its been written that you will target the thousands of American Terrorists stationed in the south. I am counting on that, so don't you miss chaps.

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm GMT

    @Anonymous

    They should. If Raimondo starts blaming the Jews, he can avoid taking responsibility for his idiotic and embarrassing cheerleading for the current warmonger-in-chief.
    I supported and voted for Trump as well. I don't like his neocon turn now, but which candidate in that election (save for Rand Paul and possibly Jill Stein) wouldn't have declared a non-fly zone in Syria and actively supported the overthrow of Assad?

    And started plans for attacking Iran? Who? Hillary? Hahahaha. Ted Cruz? Hahahaha. Etc.

    Bernie Sanders (a scary Jew!) wasn't nearly as anti-imperialist as I would have liked him to be, but I doubt he would have attacked Assad regime forces 6 times like Trump has by this point, and certainly not without Congressional approval (which he probably wouldn't have gotten, even if he had wanted it).

    Even under Hillary, the Iran deal would have stood a better chance, since she was at least verbally committed to it (unlike even Rand Paul), and there would have been Obama loyalists within the Clinton administration who would have been desperate to preserve Obama's signature foreign policy achievement (and one of the only worthwhile ones, in my opinion, along with restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba).

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm GMT

    @Randal

    If an article titled "America's Jews are Behind America's Wars" isn't unhinged and bigoted, I'd like you to tell me what is.
    How is the article's factual content fundamentally different from the similar content of the Haaretz article linked by Greg Bacon in post 21 above? Is the Haaretz piece "unhinged and bigoted"?

    Or is it not the statement of the facts that you are outraged by, but merely the proposed solutions? If so, then what solutions to the problem identified by Giraldi and by Haaretz would you propose?

    If Trump's insane rhetoric on Iran and push for war isn't an example of bloodlust, why don't you tell me what it is?
    Good examples might be the desperate attempts to prevent the deal with Iran that hopefully will prove to have cauterised the longstanding efforts to use the spurious nuclear weapons issue to push the US towards confrontation and war with Iran:

    KEY JEWISH DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS SAY THEY WILL VOTE AGAINST IRAN DEAL

    Or when Israel's primary agents of political influence in the US went "all out" to try to get the US to attack Syria and hand yet another country to (even more) jihadist-ridden chaos:

    AIPAC to go all-out on Syria

    But hey, I suppose for you those are just more examples of "unhingedness" and "bigotedness".

    It must be strange living in the world you inhabit, so far removed from basic reality by a desperate need to avoid being seen as any kind of badwhite. I didn't say there weren't any Jews pushing for a war with Iran, I said there are plenty of non-Jews pushing for one too, including Trump himself. Hostility toward Iran (and imperialism generally) is deeply rooted in the American foreign policy establishment (which isn't close to being all or mostly Jewish), and can't be explained by naive WASPs being manipulated by clever Jews. It's not just bigoted, it's a cartoonishly stupid "explanation".

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

    @Sam Shama They can certainly try, and, I suppose you'd require the U.S. to stay her hand as a matter of fair principle while watching said bases destroyed. Nice idea, but I'd stick to reality. U.S. has vast interests, including economic ones; those which benefit every U.S. citizen, and, to be practical, all her allies. Iran isn't stupid or suicidal. Its anti-ship missiles are for deterrence, which Iran has plenty of need for, as sociopaths like you populate the American, Israeli, and Saudi governments and are itching to attack.

    matt , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

    @WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

    I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

    In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

    Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

    You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

    Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

    In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

    Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

    After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

    I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

    US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

    Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

    Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

    And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

    Heather Heyer's Ghost , September 19, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

    @Thomm Jews are white. Ashkenazi Jews, and those are the ones we are mainly dealing with, are an endogamous caste of bankers, progressive journalists, lawyers, and social scientists (including, now, education), that have migrated all over Europe, but never identifying as European, with exceptions that prove the rule.

    As a tribe, once can read Kevin MacDonald's work to see how they work in remarkable ethnic cohesion–not necessarily as an "organized conspiracy" (though that certainly happens), but as an ethnic drive.

    Being neither European as such, nor Christian, and although their skin is white, they are not White.

    Stan d Mute , September 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm GMT

    Dual loyalty is an avoided and career-ending subject for a couple reasons. One must never, ever, criticize Jews (a third rail at complete odds with) and one may not criticize immigrants' behavior.

    The obvious problem is Treason. Just how much Treason is the result of so-called "dual loyalty"? And isn't Treason subject to some rather serious legal sanctions?

    ...

    just an internet commenter , September 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm GMT

    I just want to point out, being a (fake) "news" consumer, I hear about Israel all the time, all while not hearing a lot of follow-up detail about Israel and its interests. Isn't that a clever sleight of hand? According to the pro-Israel (by extension jews) propaganda I'm required to care about, despite it having nothing to do with my life, my family's life, my neighbors' lives, and my community's lives Israel is that big of a deal. Actually, I hear more about Israel in the media than I hear about my home state of Michigan. Michigan is probably a lot more important to the US economy, US security, US tourism industry, Midwestern industrial technology industry, US engineering industry, and the Midwestern Farming economy, than Israel is. Then there are the people who live here, who are Americans. Israel first, then Americans? Okay, got it.

    If the public were exposed to as much emotionally captivating propaganda about Michigan as they were about Israel, I'd posit the public would see a far better investment in Michigan than they would in Israel. That includes an emotional investment.

    I don't know what can be politely said or how it would shape up, but Midwesterners desperately need to understand the Israel (by extension jewish) problem. They're bleeding us and getting away with it, all while getting away with incessantly calling us racists and anti-semites. Because again, caring about Michigan and its people first is just morally irreprehensible. Israel first, then Israel second, etc Got it bigot? That sleight of hand, it's just always there. I don't fully grasp how this large scale agit-prop psychology works. I do understand jewish solidarity. I'll hand it to jews, they have the strongest ethnic/religious/cultural solidarity I've ever seen. If Midwesterners realized the value of this level of solidarity, they wouldn't enlist their sons in the military to serve jewish interests overseas.

    Anonymous , Disclaimer September 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

    From Money Manipulation And Social Order (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1944) by Fr. Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., Professor of Philosophy and Church History, Holy Ghost Missionary College, Dublin:

    When the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, created in 1913 by Mr. Paul Warburg, a German Jew belonging to the Banking Firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had been a few years in existence, in 1916 to be precise, President Woodrow Wilson thus summed up the situation in U.S.A.: "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. . .

    We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world!no longer a Government by conviction and the free vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." From the similar testimonies quoted by Christopher Hollis in The Two Nations, let us take one. "Behind the ostensible government," ran Roosevelt's policy, " sits enthroned an invisible government owning no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."

    https://archive.org/details/FaheyDenisMoneyManipulationAndSocialOrder

    Corvinus , September 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

    @Che Guava

    Bullshit.

    Anyone who reads knows that Israel (and its agents, where not dual citizens, the Jewish ones effectively all are, and the goyim dupes and toadies, who are not, 'cept sometimes with marriage) have been the tail that wags the US dog for many years, starting over a century ago, in finance, commerce, and law in NYC, in a small way the scope is ever wider and the effects more and more blatant.

    The USA is a colony of Israel, everybody is knowing it, but some lie and deny.

    From my reading of history, I would placing the tipping point from 'excessive power' to 'colonial masters' at the 1967 war of Israel and its neighbours.

    Others may dating it to the end of the Third Reich, with all sorts of Jewish DPs and US Jews who had never seen combat running around in US military and MP uniforms to persecuting and killing Germans, under the command of Eisenhauer, the Morgenthau plan, etc.

    Others may picking a different time.

    It is funny that you are posting as Anonymous on this, can only mean that you are a more subtle pro-Israel troll with your usual u-name. "So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews."

    Certainly SOME Israelis and American Jews are involved in developing policy designed to generate hostility to the point of potential war.

    But Dick Cheney and Erik Prince, among other prominent non-Jews, bear mentioning.

    Regardless, the Jew fixation here is duly noted. Boo! Goes the Joo!

    "The USA is a colony of Israel". Fake News Story. Now, let us assume that to be true. What are personally doing about this situation? What active measures are you taking to free yourself from the shackles of your oppressor? Or, are simply impotent while taking it good and hard?

    [Sep 19, 2017] Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group

    Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

    liam > , Website September 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

    ... The entire Syrian war is being misreported in the US media. Israel and the US are on the same side with Saudi Arabia and are pumping billions of dollars to terrorist factions in the warzones. That fact is continually being covered up by the CIA infiltrated US mainstream media. The proof of such is here:

    Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/02/27/massive-white-helmets-photo-cache-proves-hollywood-gave-oscar-to-terrorist-group/

    Father of Invention: Media Portrayed Grief Stricken Dad Turns Out To Be al-Nusra Front Terrorist

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/05/02/father-of-invention-media-portrayed-grief-stricken-dad-turns-out-to-be-al-nusra-front-terrorist/

    [Sep 19, 2017] Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times

    Notable quotes:
    "... Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about). ..."
    Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

    matt > , September 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm GMT

    @WJ Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

    I remember the debate between Pence and the hideous Tim Kaine where the Democrat vowed that there would be No Fly Zone over Syria which would certainly have allowed the head chopping rebels to gain a stronger foothold.

    In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic. US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

    Outside of an almost symbolic launch of cruise missiles into Syria in April, how has Trump been a warmonger?

    You haven't been paying attention. Since the initial strike in April, the Trump administration has deliberately attacked regime or allied forces an additional five times. ( one , two , three , four , five ).

    Including the Tomahawks in April, that's a total of 6 deliberate attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic or its allies (so far), which is already 6 more than Obama carried out during his entire presidency. And it's not like this is the end of Trump's tenure, either; it's the 9th goddamn month since he's been in office. I'm sure the war hawks in Wahington are quite pleased with his progress, as they should be.

    In addition to all that, Trump has also cut off aid to the Syrian rebels. His Afghanistan policy /escalation is also symbolic.

    Anyone could tell by that point that Assad isn't going to be overthrown. The aim now is to limit the Assad regime's territorial gains as much as possible, and the "rebels" proved they were useless at doing that when Shia militia reached the Iraqi border at al-Tanf, and cut them off from reaching Deir ez-Zor back in May (which was what one of the attacks mentioned above was about).

    After that, the Trump administration put all its eggs in the "Syrian Democratic Forces/People's Protection Units (SDF/YPG) basket, the mainly Kurdish (with some Arab fighters) militia that the US has been using to fight ISIS since 2015 (it's also, ironically, a hard left socialist organization. Think Kurdish Antifa. Though I doubt Trump knows or cares or could do anything about it even if he did). Trump has given the SDF <a title="" https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ; https://sputniknews.com/amp/middleeast/201709141057402885-america-weaponry-deir-ez-zor/&quot ;heavy weaponry with the aim of confronting Assad and limiting his territorial gains. They've also been pressuring the rebel groups they formerly supported to join the SDF.

    I have sympathy for the SDF/YPG and the Syrian Kurds, and it made sense to support them when they were under direct assault from ISIS (though US motives were hardly altruistic even then). But ISIS is all but beaten now, and this is a dangerous game the US is playing, which could readily lead to a military confrontation betweeen the US and Russia and/or Iran. In fact, just a few days ago, the SDF seized part of Deir ez-Zor after SAA forces reached the city, and the Pentagon is now accusing Russia (which has in the past at least had good relations with the SDF/YPG), of deliberately bombing SDF fighters, in close proximity to American special forces.

    US troops won't be in direct combat and there will only be 15000 there anyway.

    Only 15,000! I guess you wouldn't mind, then, if they Taliban, or the Afghan Army for that matter, or any other country, put 15,000 troops on American soil, as a "symbolic" gesture.

    Trump has also accelerated US collaboration in the sadistic torture of Yemen by the Saudis, past the levels under even Obama, which was already shameful.

    And again, we should also keep in mind that it's only been 9 months. For his next act, Trump might be thinking about ending the Iran deal in October.

    [Sep 19, 2017] How Trumps advisers schooled him on globalism

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump's national security team had become alarmed by the president's frequent questioning about the value of a robust American presence around the world. When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources. ..."
    "... The session was, in effect, American Power 101 and the student was the man working the levers. ..."
    "... brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview ..."
    "... In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad. ..."
    "... In the weeks since the briefing in the Tank, Trump has split with top adviser Steve Bannon, the engine of many of his nationalist, isolationist policies. He threatened war with North Korea and agreed to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, abandoning his promise to withdraw quickly. Announcing the plan, Trump acknowledged the influence of his advisers. ..."
    Sep 19, 2017 | apnews.com

    On a sweltering Washington summer day, President Donald Trump's motorcade pulled up to the Pentagon for a meeting largely billed as a briefing on the Afghanistan conflict and the fight against the Islamic State group.

    There, in the windowless meeting room known as "The Tank", Trump was to be briefed on the state of America's longest-running war as he and his top aides plotted ways ahead. But, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the meeting, it was, in reality, about much more.

    Trump's national security team had become alarmed by the president's frequent questioning about the value of a robust American presence around the world. When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson organized the July 20 session to lay out the case for maintaining far-flung outposts -- and to present it, using charts and maps, in a way the businessman-turned-politician would appreciate.

    The session was, in effect, American Power 101 and the student was the man working the levers. It was part of the ongoing education of a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview .

    In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad.

    The result of the meeting and other similar entreaties may start to become clear this week, as Trump heads to New York for his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. The annual gathering of world leaders will open amid serious concerns about Trump's priorities, his support for the body he is addressing and a series of spiraling global crises.

    Trump, who seized as his mantra "America First" and at times unnerved world leaders with his unpredictability, is expected to offer warmth to the United States' allies and warnings to its adversaries, particularly North Korea and Iran. The president's envoy to the global body suggested a presidential message that would focus on the basics on America's role in the world.

    "I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with the U.S. being very strong in the end," Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

    In the weeks since the briefing in the Tank, Trump has split with top adviser Steve Bannon, the engine of many of his nationalist, isolationist policies. He threatened war with North Korea and agreed to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, abandoning his promise to withdraw quickly. Announcing the plan, Trump acknowledged the influence of his advisers.

    [Sep 18, 2017] Nikki Haley Meltdown Assad Must Go... and War With North Korea! - Antiwar.com Original

    Sep 18, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

    Nikki Haley Meltdown: Assad Must Go and War With North Korea!

    by Daniel McAdams Posted on September 18, 2017 September 16, 2017 There must be something about being named US Ambassador to the UN that brings out the inner mass murderer in people. Madeline Albright famously admitted that she thought 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to US sanctions was "worth it." John Bolton never met a disagreement he didn't want to turn into a war. Samantha Power barked about human rights while her Administration's drones snuffed out human life in unprecedented numbers. The real "butcher of the Balkans" Richard Holbrooke sold the Yugoslavia war on lies . John "Death Squad" Negroponte sold the lie that Saddam Hussein needed to be killed and his country destroyed for democracy to flourish, and so on.

    Considering how many millions of civilians have been killed on the war propaganda of US ambassadors to the UN, perhaps the equivalent of another Holocaust could have been avoided if Ron Paul's HR 1146 has passed 30 years ago.

    But nothing could have prepared us for Nikki "Holocaust" Haley, who has thundered into the Trump Administration as US Ambassador to the UN despite hating Trump and Trump hating her . Why would President Trump pick someone for such an influential position despite her being vocally and publicly opposed to the foreign policy that provided the margin of victory for him? We can only guess. Was Trump lying on the campaign trail? Possibly. Does he not bother to notice that he has surrounded himself with people who are deeply opposed, at the DNA level, to the policies he ran and won on? Seems more likely. As Johnny Rotten famously ended the Sex Pistols run, "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

    In fact yes. One-time top Trump supporter Ann Coulter today Tweeted the question "is there anyone out there left who doesn't want Trump impeached?"

    Coulter meant the wall or something else, but she could just as well have been complaining about the foreign policy about-face. Trump ran as a Ron Paul Republican, he governs as a George W. Bush Republican. Cheated? Yes, once again.

    Which brings us back to the odious Nikki Haley. Today she no doubt thought she was being clever Tweeting in response to the predictable fact that yet another round of sanctions against North Korea did not result in Kim Jong-Un doing a Gaddafi suicide knife dance, that since the sanctions destroying the North Korean economy – such as it is – have not resulted in Kim's surrender it was time to hand the matter over to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

    Said US top UN diplomat Nikki: "We cut 90% of trade & 30% of oil. I have no problem kicking it to Gen. Mattis because I think he has plenty of options."

    We killed their trade, we destroyed their oil imports and still they have the nerve to defy us and not surrender so time for World War Three! That's Nikki. No foreign policy experience beyond the fetid breath of the neocon "experts" whispering in her all-too-willing ear.

    But Nikki was not done today. After threatening a war on North Korea that would likely leave ten or more thousand US troops dead, hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians dead, and maybe another million North Koreans dead, she decided to opine on the utterly failed six year US regime change operation in Syria. Today, as Deir Ezzor has finally been liberated by the Syrian government from the scourge of ISIS, Nikki Haley chose to go on record defending ISIS and al-Qaeda by repeating Obama's line that Assad must go.

    Ponder this for a minute: Assad has just defeated ISIS in Deir Ezzor. ISIS is the reason the US has invaded Syrian sovereignty and initiated military action. Yet according to Nikki Haley Assad's reward for wiping out ISIS is that he must be deposed – presumably in favor of US-backed rebels who have been in bed with ISIS for six years!

    Is Nikki Haley pro-ISIS? Is she pro-al-Qaeda? Is she evil or just stupid?

    You decide.

    But if she is not removed from office soon, she will be leading perhaps a million people to their graves.

    Daniel McAdams is director of the The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity . Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

    [Sep 18, 2017] How The Military Defeated Trumps Insurgency

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. ..."
    "... The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies. ..."
    "... a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview. In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad ..."
    "... It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC. They came to power over decades by shaping culture through their sponsorship of Hollywood, by manipulating the media through "embedded" reporting and by forming and maintaining the countries infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers. The military, through the NSA as well as through its purchasing power , controls the information flow on the internet. Until recently the military establishment only ruled from behind the scene. The other parts of the power triangle , the corporation executives and the political establishment, were more visible and significant. But during the 2016 election the military bet on Trump and is now, after he unexpectedly won, collecting its price. ..."
    "... Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law. ..."
    "... It is no great surprise that Trump has been drawn into the foreign policy mainstream; the same happened to President Obama early in his presidency. More ominous is that Trump has turned much of his power over to generals. Worst of all, many Americans find this reassuring. They are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation. ..."
    "... This is no longer a Coup Waiting to Happen The coup has happened with few noticing it and ever fewer concerned about it. Everything of importance now passes through the Junta's hands: ..."
    "... Thus we get a continuation of a failed Afghanistan policy and will soon get a militarily aggressive policy towards Iran . ..."
    "... Asked whether he was predicting war [with North Korea], [former defence minister of Japan, Satoshi] Morimoto said: "I think Washington has not decided ... The final decision-maker is [US Defence Secretary] Mr Mattis ... Not the president." ..."
    "... Nationalistic indoctrination, already at abnormal heights in the U.S. society, will further increase. Military control will creep into ever extending fields of once staunchly civilian areas of policy. (Witness the increasing militarization of the police.) ..."
    "... It is only way to sustain the empire. ..."
    "... It is doubtful that Trump will be able to resist the policies imposed on him. Any flicker of resistance will be smashed. The outside insurgency which enabled his election is left without a figurehead, It will likely disperse. The system won. ..."
    "... The U$A corporate empire is driven by, and according to, the dictates of the mega-corporate desires. The Generals dance to their tune. ..."
    "... I would argue that Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, and their line reports don't represent "the US military", or even its generals per se. They represent themselves as people financially beholden to major investment banks for their retirement funds; people fearful of being blackmailed and destroyed by the NSA and CIA and Mossad; people who rose to senior posts during prior administrations because they were flunkies to the establishment . ..."
    "... Trump's wealth (at least in the high hundreds of millions $) and his election victory say he's no moron. He probably knows what he is doing. He's either a guy who gave up the struggle after getting the proverbial political hell beaten out of him in the first months of his administration, or he willingly misled his electoral base when campaigning. Perhaps a little of both. He's known for being a BS merchant. Myself, I think he lied outright to the voters during his run for president. It's not a wild idea: so did Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Bigly. ..."
    "... Trump made the decisions that we criticse so much. Trump decided to let the Obama holdovers stay in the administration. He decided to hire Goldman Sachs flunkies. He decided to send cruise missiles to strike Shayrat. He decided to approve US assistance to Saudi Arabia in Yemen. H decided to let his zionist son-in-law, who is indebted to George Soros, into the White House. He decided to fire Bannon almost as soon as Bannon came out publicly against war with North Korea. (Possibly a deliberate, desperate attempt at a 'spoiler' tactic on Bannon's part, to prevent conflict.) Trump decided to renege on his promises to the electorate about immigration. He decided to sign an unprecedented, unconstitutional law that bound his hands and imposed sanctions on Russia. He decided to go along with the Russian hacking lie by saying that Russia could, maybe, have hacked the DNC and HRC and whoever else (probably including Disney, the Shriners, and my mother). He decided to employ Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, Scaramucchi and everyone else. He approved all of those things. ..."
    "... It is not especially clear to me (being an outsider to US politics) which of the groups (or combination of groups) seems to have come out on top and have their guys as the gate-keeping, information-vetting guys doing the briefing of Trump. My feel of it is that the Pentagon has gained while JSOC, the black ops contractors, and black-on-black ops contractors have lost. The CIA seems to have broken even. Is this a fair read? ..."
    "... Is the possibility of Trump as controlled opposition so far-fetched? Do you think the "power elite's political wing" only runs one candidate? Have you heard of "illusion of choice"? Do you think sheepdog Bernie was a real candidate? ..."
    "... Obama and Trump both gained greater apparent legitimacy by: 1) beating the establishment candidate; and 2) being besieged by bat-shit crazy critics (birthers; anti-Russians & antifa). ..."
    "... As soon as you choose a side, you are trapped. Two sides of the same coin. Minted in hell. ..."
    Sep 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Trump was seen as a presidential candidate who would possibly move towards a less interventionist foreign policy. That hope is gone. The insurgency that brought Trump to the top was defeated by a counter-insurgency campaign waged by the U.S. military. (Historically its first successful one). The military has taken control of the White House process and it is now taking control of its policies.

    It is schooling Trump on globalism and its "indispensable" role in it. Trump was insufficiently supportive of their desires and thus had to undergo reeducation:

    When briefed on the diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson organized the July 20 session to lay out the case for maintaining far-flung outposts -- and to present it, using charts and maps, in a way the businessman-turned-politician would appreciate

    Trump was hauled into a Pentagon basement 'tank' and indoctrinated by the glittering four-star generals he admired since he was a kid:

    The session was, in effect, American Power 101 and the student was the man working the levers. It was part of the ongoing education of a president who arrived at the White House with no experience in the military or government and brought with him advisers deeply skeptical of what they labeled the "globalist" worldview. In coordinated efforts and quiet conversations, some of Trump's aides have worked for months to counter that view, hoping the president can be persuaded to maintain -- if not expand -- the American footprint and influence abroad

    Trump was sold the establishment policies he originally despised. No alternative view was presented to him.

    It is indisputable that the generals are now ruling in Washington DC. They came to power over decades by shaping culture through their sponsorship of Hollywood, by manipulating the media through "embedded" reporting and by forming and maintaining the countries infrastructure through the Army Corps of Engineers. The military, through the NSA as well as through its purchasing power , controls the information flow on the internet. Until recently the military establishment only ruled from behind the scene. The other parts of the power triangle , the corporation executives and the political establishment, were more visible and significant. But during the 2016 election the military bet on Trump and is now, after he unexpectedly won, collecting its price.

    Trump's success as the "Not-Hillary" candidate was based on an anti-establishment insurgency. Representatives of that insurgency, Flynn, Bannon and the MAGA voters, drove him through his first months in office. An intense media campaign was launched to counter them and the military took control of the White House. The anti-establishment insurgents were fired. Trump is now reduced to public figure head of a stratocracy - a military junta which nominally follows the rule of law.

    Stephen Kinzer describes this as America's slow-motion military coup:
    Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men [...]
    ...
    Being ruled by generals seems preferable to the alternative. It isn't.
    ...
    [It] leads toward a distorted set of national priorities, with military "needs" always rated more important than domestic ones.
    ...
    It is no great surprise that Trump has been drawn into the foreign policy mainstream; the same happened to President Obama early in his presidency. More ominous is that Trump has turned much of his power over to generals. Worst of all, many Americans find this reassuring. They are so disgusted by the corruption and shortsightedness of our political class that they turn to soldiers as an alternative. It is a dangerous temptation.

    The country has fallen to that temptation