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Color revolutions -- Neoliberalism adaptation of Trotskyism idea of "permanent revolution" 

It is easy to mobilize large crowds with slogans which one cannot but characterize as crowd pleasers – for democracy, against corruption, etc.  Add to this money infusion from G7 embassies distributed as cash and the targeted government has real problems; when color revolution succeeds people soon realize that what really bothered them (lack of freedom, humiliation, poverty, social corruption, lack of prospects of a decent life) goes on with doubled intensity under a new neoliberal regime.

News Fifth column Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Venezuela: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya? Syria civil war Civil war in Ukraine Yemen war Looting pays dividends to empire War and Venture Capitalism
Methods used for destabilization of the society in color revolutions Bombing country with dollars Government snipers on rooftops false flag operation "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for color revolutions undermining government in developing and xUSSR countries Role of State Department and western embassies NGOs and think tanks as brain trust of color revolutions
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The World as the Grand Chessboard of the American empire
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Delegitimization of Ruling Party Parasitism on Human rights: children of Lieutenant Schmidt Human right activists or globalism fifth column The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Sect of fraudulent election witnesses
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoconservatism Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Deep State Compradors  
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014 EuroMaidan Russian Color Revolution of 2012 Ukrainian orange revolution
Frustrated underachievers Russian neoliberal compradors Net Hamsters as a part of fifth column Exploiting Revolutionary Romantics as polit-technology IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligentsia and it usage in fifth column in Russia Gene Sharp Recipes and Russian Experience
Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Two Party System as polyarchy Foreign Agents Registration Act Attack of Think Tanks Destruction by the USA of international law

Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few

Predator state The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
American Exceptionalism Non-Interventionism Hypocrisy of British ruling elite Politically Incorrect Humor Russian Fifth column Humor Etc
NOTE: Due to the size introduction was converted to a separate page. Introduction to color revolution strategy and tactic
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"The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, as charity, as historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone raised on traditional ethical concepts. But for the Christian who builds his life on the word of God, it merely confirms the fundamental perversity of evil."

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[Jan 25, 2020] Trump opened a modern Pandora box in the Middle East

Jan 25, 2020 | www.theatlantic.com

In 1958, U.S. leaders stood at the threshold of an American era in the Middle East, conflicted about whether it was worth the trouble to usher in.

... ... ...

More than half a century later, the future of the United States' military presence in the Middle East is once again up for discussion, as Iraq calls on the U.S. to end its roughly 5,000-strong troop presence in the country and Trump struggles to remove American forces from Syria and Afghanistan as well. U.S. politicians are now grappling with the possibility of a post-American period in the region.

... ... ..

And even if Trump doesn't get his way entirely, he will undoubtedly seize on additional opportunities to reduce the American military presence in the Middle East, as fed-up Americans and progressive presidential candidates push in the same direction. When Eisenhower elected to open that "Pandora's Box" back in 1958, his justification was that it would be "disastrous" if "we don't."

Perhaps nothing signals the coming post-American era in the Middle East more than the fact that so many U.S. leaders these days fear the disastrous consequences of leaving the box open.

[Jan 24, 2020] They Killed King For The Same Reason They Killed Kennedy Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... Amidst all the anti-Russia brouhaha that has enveloped our nation , we shouldn't forget that the U.S. national-security establishment -- specifically the Pentagon, CIA, and FBI -- was convinced that Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist agent who was spearheading a communist takeover of the United States. ..."
"... State-sponsored assassinations to protect national security were among the dark-side practices that began to be utilized after the federal government was converted into a national-security state . As early as 1953, the CIA was developing a formal assassination manual that trained its agents in the art of assassination and, equally important, in the art of concealing the CIA's role in state-sponsored assassinations. ..."
"... Why did they target Kennedy? For the same reason they targeted all those other people for assassination -- they concluded that Kennedy had become a grave threat to national security and, they believed, it was their job to eliminate threats to national security. ..."
"... After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy achieved a breakthrough that enabled him to recognize that the Cold War was just one great big racket for the national-security establishment and its army of defense contractors and sub-contractors. ..."
"... That's when JFK announced an end to the Cold War and began reaching out to the Soviets and the Cubans in a spirit of peace, friendship, and mutual coexistence. Kennedy's Peace Speech at American University on June 10, 1963, where he announced his intent to end the Cold War and normalize relations with the communist world, sealed President Kennedy's fate. ..."
Jan 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Amidst all the anti-Russia brouhaha that has enveloped our nation , we shouldn't forget that the U.S. national-security establishment -- specifically the Pentagon, CIA, and FBI -- was convinced that Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist agent who was spearheading a communist takeover of the United States.

This occurred during the Cold War, when Americans were made to believe that there was a gigantic international communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world. The conspiracy, they said, was centered in Moscow, Russia. Yes, that Russia!

That was, in fact, the justification for converting the federal government to a national-security state type of governmental structure after the end of World War II. The argument was that a limited-government republic type of governmental structure, which was the national's founding governmental system, was insufficient to prevent a communist takeover of the United States. To prevail over the communists in what was being called a â€cold War, a€ it would be necessary for the federal government, they said, to become a national-security state so that it could wield the same type of sordid, dark-side, totalitarian-like practices that the communists themselves wielded and exercised.

The conviction that the communists were coming to get us became so predominant, primarily through official propaganda and indoctrination, especially in the national's public (i.e., government) schools, that the matter evolved into mass paranoia. Millions of Americans became convinced that there were communists everywhere. Americans were exhorted to keep a careful watch on everyone else, including their neighbors, and report any suspicious activity, much as Americans today are exhorted to do the same thing with respect to terrorists.

Some Americans would even look under their beds for communists. Others searched for communists in Congress and within the federal bureaucracies, even the Army, and Hollywood as well. One rightwing group became convinced that even President Eisenhower was an agent of the Soviet government.

In the midst of all this national paranoia, the FBI, the Pentagon, and the CIA became convinced that King was a communist agent. When King began criticizing U.S. interventionism in Vietnam, that solidified their belief that he was a communist agent. After all, they maintained, wouldn't any true-blue American patriot rally to his government in time of war, not criticize or condemn it? Only a communist, they believed, would oppose his government when it was committed to killing communists in Vietnam.

Moreover, when King began advocating for civil rights, especially in the South, that constituted additional evidence, as far as the FBI, CIA, and Pentagon were concerned, that he was, in fact, a communist agent, one whose mission was to foment civil strife in America as a prelude to a communist takeover of America . How else to explain why a black man would be fighting for equal rights for blacks in nation that purported to be free?

The website kingcenter.org points out:

After four weeks of testimony and over 70 witnesses in a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, twelve jurors reached a unanimous verdict on December 8, 1999 after about an hour of deliberations that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. Mrs. Coretta Scott King welcomed the verdict saying, there is abundant evidence of a major high level conspiracy in the assassination of my husband Martin Luther King Jr. The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal governments were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband.”

And why not? Isn't it the duty of the U.S. national-security state to eradicate threats to national security? What bigger threat to national security than a person who is supposedly serving as an agent for the communists and also as a spearhead for an international communist conspiracy to take over the United States?

State-sponsored assassinations to protect national security were among the dark-side practices that began to be utilized after the federal government was converted into a national-security state . As early as 1953, the CIA was developing a formal assassination manual that trained its agents in the art of assassination and, equally important, in the art of concealing the CIA's role in state-sponsored assassinations.

In 1954, the CIA targeted the democratically elected president of Guatemala for assassination because he was reaching out to Russia in a spirt of peace, friendship, and mutual co-existence. In 1960-61, the CIA conspired to assassinate Patrice Lumumba, the head of the Congo because he was perceived to be a threat to U.S. national security. In the early 1960s, the CIA , in partnership with the Mafia, the worldâ's premier criminal organization, conspired to assassinate Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba, a country that never attacked or invaded the United States. In 1973, the U.S. national-security state orchestrated a coup in Chile, where its counterparts in the Chilean national-security establishment conspired to assassinate the democratically elected president of the country, Salvador Allende, by firing missiles at his position in the national palace.

The mountain of circumstantial evidence that has accumulated since November 1963 has established that foreign officials werenâ't the only ones who got targeted as threats to national security. As James W. Douglas documents so well in his remarkable and profound book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters , the U.S. national-security establishment also targeted President John F. Kennedy for a state-sponsored assassination as well.

Why did they target Kennedy? For the same reason they targeted all those other people for assassination -- they concluded that Kennedy had become a grave threat to national security and, they believed, it was their job to eliminate threats to national security.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy achieved a breakthrough that enabled him to recognize that the Cold War was just one great big racket for the national-security establishment and its army of defense contractors and sub-contractors.

That's when JFK announced an end to the Cold War and began reaching out to the Soviets and the Cubans in a spirit of peace, friendship, and mutual coexistence. Kennedy's Peace Speech at American University on June 10, 1963, where he announced his intent to end the Cold War and normalize relations with the communist world, sealed President Kennedy's fate.

Thet's also what had sealed the fate of President Arbenz in Guatemala and what would seal the fate of President Allende in Chile. (See FFFâ's bestselling book JFKâ's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated  by Douglas P. Horne, who served on the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. Also see FFFâ's bestselling book The Kennedy Autopsy  by Jacob Hornberger and his recently published The Kennedy Autopsy 2 .”)

But what many people often forget is that one day after his Peace Speech at American University, Kennedy delivered a major televised address to the nation defending the civil rights movement, the movement that King was leading.

What better proof of a threat to national security than that â€" reaching out to the communist world in peace and friendship and then, one day later, defending a movement that the U.S. national-security establishment was convinced was a spearhead for the communist takeover of the United States?

The loss of both Kennedy and King constituted conclusive confirmation that the worst mistake in U.S. history was to abandon a limited-government republic type of governmental system in favor of a totalitarian governmental structure known as a national-security state. A free nation does not fight communism with communist tactics and an omnipotent government. A free nation fights communism with freedom and limited government.

There is no doubt what both John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought about a type of totalitarian-like governmental structure that has led our nation in the direction of state-sponsored assassinations, torture, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, coups, alliances with dictatorial regimes, sanctions, embargoes, regime-change operations, and massive death, suffering, and destruction, not to mention the loss of liberty and privacy here at home.

[Jan 21, 2020] US Officials Admit Covert Tech Program Is Fueling Iran Protests

Notable quotes:
"... Image source: Zuma Press/DW.com ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
"... "We work with technological companies to help free flow of information and provide circumvention tools that helped in [last week's] protest ," ..."
"... they were actively assisting in organizing recent protests ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

US Officials Admit Covert Tech Program Is Fueling Iran Protests by Tyler Durden Mon, 01/20/2020 - 21:55 0 SHARES

After major protests hit multiple cities across Iran in November following a drastic government slash in gasoline subsidies which quickly turned anti-regime, broad internet outages were reported -- some lasting as long as a week or more nationwide -- following Tehran authorities ordering the blockage of external access.

And during smaller January protests over downed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, more widespread internet outages were reported recently, likely as Iranian security services fear protest "crackdown" videos would fuel outrage in western media , and after months ago Mike Pompeo expressly urged Iranians in the streets to send the State Department damning videos that would implicate Tehran's leaders and police.

But now Washington appears to have initiated the "Syria option" inside Iran: covertly fueling and driving "popular protests " to eventually create conditions for large-scale confrontation on the ground geared toward regime change.

Image source: Zuma Press/DW.com

Financial Times reports Washington's 'covert' efforts are now increasing, and are more out in the open :

US government-funded technology companies have recorded an increase in the use of circumvention software in Iran in recent weeks after boosting efforts to help Iranian anti-regime protesters thwart internet censorship and use secure mobile messaging .

The outreach is part of a US government program dedicated to internet freedom that supports dissident pressure inside Iran and complements America's policy of "maximum pressure" over the regime. A US state department official told the Financial Times that since protests in Iran in 2018 -- at the time the largest in almost a decade -- Washington had accelerated efforts to provide Iranians more options on how they communicate with each other and the outside world .

Similar efforts had long been in place with anti-Assad groups prior to the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011, WikiLeaks cables previously revealed.

The US State Department is now openly boasting it's enacted this program for Iran , which includes "providing apps, servers and other technology to help people communicate, visit banned websites, install anti-tracking software and navigate data shutdowns," according to FT .

Confirmed: Drop in internet connectivity registered at #Sharif University, Tehran from 11:50 UTC where students are protesting for colleagues and alumni killed on flight #PS752 ; national connectivity remains stable despite sporadic disruptions on third day of #Iran protests📉 pic.twitter.com/LjaNNd4Ut2

-- NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) January 13, 2020

And dangerously, many Iranians may not even realize they could be in some instances relying on such US-funded countermeasures to circumvent domestic internet blockages:

"Many Iranians rely on virtual private networks (VPNs) that receive US funding or are beamed in with US support , not knowing they are relying on Washington-backed tools."

Iran is on occasion known to round of citizen-journalists and accuse them of being CIA assets -- thus the State Department's open boasting about its program, which is further connected to a broader $65.5 million "Internet Freedom program" in troubled spots throughout the world -- could only serve to increase this trend.

"We work with technological companies to help free flow of information and provide circumvention tools that helped in [last week's] protest ," one US state department official told the FT. "We are able to sponsor VPNs -- and that allows Iranians to use the internet."

So there it is: US officials explicitly admitting they were actively assisting in organizing recent protests which followed Soleimani's killing and the Ukrainian airliner shoot down.

I have asked the Iranian protestors to send us their videos, photos, and information documenting the regime's crackdown on protestors. The U.S. will expose and sanction the abuses. https://t.co/korr5p0woA

-- Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 21, 2019

At least one circumvention software is actually identified in the report as being produced by Canada-based Psiphon, which receives American government funds. Of course the company sees its role more as facilitating "free flow of information" and less as essentially a willing asset in pursuing covert regime change in Tehran.

Interestingly, the revelation comes just as other US-funded propaganda campaigns related to Iran are coming to light:

One of the most viral videos about Iran last week -- and a reason #IraniansDetestSoleimani was trending -- was made by a lobbyist who had worked for a militia group in Libya https://t.co/fN7v6Vztyo

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 17, 2020

All of this suggests neocons in Washington could be a big step closer to fulfilling their long-term dream of seeing US-sponsored regime change come to Iran -- a policy plan which goes back to at least the 1990's and was given greater impetus and urgency under the Bush administration.


VodkaInKrakow , 6 hours ago link

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" - Wm. Casey, former Director of the CIA under President (and Iranian arms dealer) Ronald Reagan(R).

So, when does Trump send ISIS to Iran? Oh, MEK is already there.

I remember when Trump supporters pointed out how Hillary supported a coup in Honduras. Well, Trump has Bolivia.

Then Obama created ISIS. Well, ISIS has been around since about 2000. And Trump signed NDAA's that sent money to "freedom fighters" in Syria.. .guess who...

Obama is a loser in Afghanistan and so are the Generals. Well, there was Bush. And now? Trump... going on 4 years of losing in Afghanistan with his own Generals.

Hillary and Libya. Trump and Libya.

Obama and NK? Trump and NK.

Obama and Venezuela? Trump and Venezuela. And what threat does Venezuela pose to The US? No one can answer that question.

Trump says "no more wars", is engaged in wars and trying to start one with Iran.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY REMAIN THE SAME.

The Program is complete...

QABubba , 9 hours ago link

And are the protesters in Iran getting a paycheck too?
Those in the Ukraine did. Those in Libya did. Those in Syria did.

Put's the lie to indigenous protest.

Son of Captain Nemo , 10 hours ago link

"The outreach is part of a US government program dedicated to internet freedom that supports dissident pressure inside Iran and complements America's policy of "maximum pressure" over the regime. A US state department official told the Financial Times that since protests in Iran in 2018 -- at the time the largest in almost a decade -- Washington had accelerated efforts to provide Iranians more options on how they communicate with each other and the outside world ."...

VOA LIVE$...

Sure wish somebody in our government could have alerted Bobby McIIlvaine ( https://www.ae911truth.org/get-involved/bobby-mcilvaine-act ) with "emergency" internet services to his phone nearly 18 1/2 years ago to what his own government was about to do to him before he went into the office that day along with the other 2,976 victims?!!!

One thing I'll say for the American government since the banker bailouts, they "don't hide what they are doing" when it comes to subverting governments for looting purposes ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o )!... At least the Iranian leadership knows what is coming before it happens these days!...

Davidduke2000 , 15 hours ago link

The Iranian people are not stupid to commit suicide , they have seen the us handy work in 1953 when Iran had the first democracy in the middle east to be bamboozled by the cia who removed their elected prime minister and installed the shah.

of course some university students want a sexual revolution like in the us are revolting but they are a handful and they are being subdued .

mark1955 , 13 hours ago link

Agree 100%!

The Iranian people lived through CIA/MOSSAD style "Democracy" from 1953-1980 and will fight "Tooth and nail" not to return to those Horrific days of the Shah!

MARDUKTA , 15 hours ago link

BEHIND IT ALL:

https://truthernews.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/10-reasons-why-switzerland-is-home-to-the-cia-central-intelligence-agency/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Thinking123 , 18 hours ago link

Yes, this is what US government has been doing all over the world "Wars and Regime Changes".. Bowing down to Israel to accomplish "The Greater Israel Project". : https://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815

STR88 , 18 hours ago link

How naive do you have to be to think the US is just giving out free internet for the sake of the Iranian people? even after they've done the same thing all throughout the middle east to cause mass riots and civil unrest.

The last thing you will ever get from the US government is the truth.

[Jan 21, 2020] Given that the US military has known capabilities to alter or mask IFF transponder signals, as does the Israeli regime, it is entirely possible that this tragedy, which led some protesters to blame the Iranian government, may have been deliberately caused by the US in collusion with its Zionist ally in hopes of triggering their goal of regime change

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Smith , Jan 21 2020 18:53 utc | 36

An update for Flight 752 storey from Press TV:

"The accidental and most regrettable downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS-752, may involve more than human error under incredibly tense conditions. With the plane's IFF transponder switched off, the Tor missile defense system, which had reverted to manual operation because of an unknown source jamming communications, would have automatically identified the plane as "hostile". The Iranian missile operator, unable to contact higher-ups for verification due to the disrupted communications and given the high level of alert, had little basis to question the hostile tag applied by Tor to the aircraft.

Given that the US military has known capabilities to alter or mask IFF transponder signals, as does the Israeli regime, it is entirely possible that this tragedy, which led some protesters to blame the Iranian government, may have been deliberately caused by the US in collusion with its Zionist ally in hopes of triggering their goal of regime change.

While no clear evidence of tampering with the transponder has surfaced as yet, it is known that the 737-800, whose registration or "tail number" was UR-PSR, was photographed at the Israeli entity's Ben Gurion Airport five times since March of 2017, the last time being on October 18, 2019 at approximately 2:40 in the afternoon."


ADKC , Jan 21 2020 19:02 utc | 38

According to Reuters, Iran have confirmed that two Tor missiles were fired at PS752.

Iran Seeks Help Reading Downed Planes Black Boxes in New Standoff

PavewayIV , Jan 21 2020 19:39 utc | 45
Smith@36 - PressTV: "..With the plane's IFF transponder switched off,..."

Civilian aircraft have ATC SSR radar transponders, not military IFF transponders.

IFF aircraft interrogations are ALWAYS military only and ALWAYS encrypted. Their only job, if used by the TOR, is to confirm that a radar target was an Iranian military aircraft. PS752 1) couldn't understand encrypted TOR IFF interrogations, 2) wouldn't be able to provide encrypted replies to any TOR IFF interrogations, and 3) would still be considered "not an Iranian military aircraft" by the TOR. PS752's transponder would need a military IFF encoder/decoder which it does not have.

Likewise, TORs and their acquisition radars DO NOT have civilian ATC SSR radar capabilities to identify civilian aircraft. They do NOT interrogate civilian aircraft for ID, altitude, GPS or any other information, nor do they listen for civilian aircraft ADS-B broadcasts which also provide that information.

Surveillance radars higher up in the air defense network may have civilian aircraft ID capability and can assign appropriate IDs to radar targets BEFORE they appear on the TORs radar screen, but that requires a good data link to the network. That encrypted data link (also used for voice communications) was down at the time, and any ID information that may have been assigned by higher layers of the Iranian AD network wouldn't have appeared on the TOR or been considered by its classification and targeting software.

Sorry - I don't know how else to explain this. PressTV doesn't understand the distinction, nor does it understand the TORs capabilities.

Hausmeister , Jan 21 2020 22:26 utc | 58
"Sorry - I don't know how else to explain this. PressTV doesn't understand the distinction, nor does it understand the TORs capabilities."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 21 2020 19:39 utc | 45

But 7 civilian planes had passed that area before. How to explain that?

/div> schroedingersrat 11 hours ago remove Share link Copy Key Architect of 2003 Iraq War Is Now a Key Architect of Trump Iran Policy

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/16/david-wurmser-iran-suleimani-iraq-war/

schroedingersrat 11 hours ago remove Share link Copy Key Architect of 2003 Iraq War Is Now a Key Architect of Trump Iran Policy

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/16/david-wurmser-iran-suleimani-iraq-war/ /div

[Jan 21, 2020] At the start of a new decade, Merkel seems to be on the wrong side of history

Neoliberals are mostly neocons and neocons are mostly neoliberals. They can't understand the importance of Brexit and the first real crack in neoliberal globalization facade.
She really was on the wrong side of history: a tragedy for a politician. EU crumles with the end of her political career which was devoted to straightening EU and neoliberalism, as well as serving as the USA vassal. While she was sucessful in extracting benefits for Germany multinationals she increased Germany dependency (and subservience) on the USA. She also will be remembered for her handing of Greece crisis.
Notable quotes:
"... The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. ..."
"... Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets. ..."
"... its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective". ..."
"... Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.ft.com

It's a grim winter's day in Berlin, and the political climate matches the weather. Everywhere Angela Merkel looks there are storm clouds, as the values she has upheld all her career come under sustained attack. At the start of a new decade, Europe's premier stateswoman suddenly seems to be on the wrong side of history.Shortly, the UK will leave the EU. A volatile US president is snubbing allies and going it alone in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is changing the Russian constitution and meddling in Libya and sub-Saharan Africa. Trade tensions continue, threatening the open borders and globalised value chains that are the cornerstones of Germany's prosperity.

Ms Merkel, a former physicist renowned for her imperturbable, rational manner is a politician programmed for compromise. But today she faces an uncompromising world where liberal principles have been shoved aside by the law of the jungle.

Her solution is to double down on Europe, Germany's anchor. "I see the European Union as our life insurance," she says. "Germany is far too small to exert geopolitical influence on its own, and that's why we need to make use of all the benefits of the single market."

Speaking in the chancellery's Small Cabinet Room, an imposing wood-panelled hall overlooking Berlin's Tiergarten park, Ms Merkel does not come across as under pressure. She is calm, if somewhat cagey, weighing every word and seldom displaying emotion.

But the message she conveys in a rare interview is nonetheless urgent. In the twilight of her career -- her fourth and final term ends in 2021 -- Ms Merkel is determined to preserve and defend multilateralism, a concept that in the age of Trump, Brexit and a resurgent Russia has never seemed so embattled. This is the "firm conviction" that guides her: the pursuit of "the best win-win situations . . . when partnerships of benefit to both sides are put into practice worldwide". She admits that this idea is coming "under increasing pressure". The system of supranational institutions like the EU and United Nations were, she says, "essentially a lesson learnt from the second world war, and the preceding decades". Now, with so few witnesses of the war still alive, the importance of that lesson is fading.

Of course President Donald Trump is right that bodies like the World Trade Organization and the UN require reform. "There is no doubt whatsoever about any of that," she says. "But I do not call the world's multilateral structure into question. "Germany has been the great beneficiary of Nato, an enlarged EU and globalisation. Free trade has opened up vast new markets for its world-class cars, machines and chemicals. Sheltered under the US nuclear umbrella, Germany has barely spared a thought for its own security. But the rise of "Me First" nationalism threatens to leave it economically and politically unmoored. In this sense, Europe is existential for German interests, as well as its identity.

Ms Merkel therefore wants to strengthen the EU -- an institution that she, perhaps more than any other living politician, has come to personify. She steered Europe through the eurozone debt crisis, albeit somewhat tardily: she held Europe together as it imposed sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea; she maintained unity in response to the trauma of Brexit.

The UK's departure will continue to hang over Brussels and Berlin -- the countdown for a trade deal will coincide with Germany's presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. Berlin worries a post-Brexit UK that reserves the right to diverge from EU rules on goods, workers' rights, taxes and environmental standards could create a serious economic competitor on its doorstep. But Ms Merkel remains a cautious optimist. Brexit is a "wake-up call" for the EU. Europe must, she says, respond by upping its game, becoming "attractive, innovative, creative, a good place for research and education . . . Competition can then be very productive." This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union -- a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks -- and advancing capital markets union to integrate Europe's fragmented equity and debt markets.

In what sounds like a new European industrial policy, Ms Merkel also says the EU should identify the technological capabilities it lacks and move fast to fill in the gaps. "I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers and that it should be possible to produce battery cells," she says. It must also have the confidence to set the new global digital standards. She cites the example of the General Data Protection Regulation, which supporters see as a gold standard for privacy and proof that the EU can become a rulemaker, rather than a rule taker, when it comes to the digital economy. Europe can offer an alternative to the US and Chinese approach to data. "I firmly believe that personal data does not belong to the state or to companies," she says. "It must be ensured that the individual has sovereignty over their own data and can decide with whom and for what purpose they share it."

The continent's scale and diversity also make it hard to reach a consensus on reform. Europe is deeply split: the migration crisis of 2015 opened up a chasm between the liberal west and countries like Viktor Orban's Hungary which has not healed. Even close allies like Germany and France have occasionally locked horns: Berlin's cool response to Emmanuel Macron's reform initiatives back in 2017 triggered anger in Paris, while the French president's unilateral overture to Mr Putin last year provoked irritation in Berlin. And when it comes to reform of the eurozone, divisions still exist between fiscally challenged southern Europeans and the fiscally orthodox new Hanseatic League of northern countries.

Ms Merkel remains to a degree hostage to German public opinion. Germany, she admits, is still "slightly hesitant" on banking union, "because our principle is that everyone first needs to reduce the risks in their own country today before we can mutualise the risks". And capital markets union might require member states to seek closer alignment on things like insolvency law. These divisions pale in comparison to the gulf between Europe and the US under president Donald Trump. Germany has become the administration's favourite punching bag, lambasted for its relatively low defence spending, big current account surplus and imports of Russian gas. German business dreads Mr Trump making good on his threat to impose tariffs on European cars.

It is painful for Ms Merkel, whose career took off after unification. In an interview last year she described how, while coming of age in communist East Germany, she yearned to make a classic American road trip: "See the Rocky Mountains, drive around and listen to Bruce Springsteen -- that was my dream," she told Der Spiegel.

The poor chemistry between Ms Merkel and Mr Trump has been widely reported. But are the latest tensions in the German-US relationship just personal -- or is there more to it? "I think it has structural causes," she says. For years now, Europe and Germany have been slipping down the US's list of priorities.

"There's been a shift," she says. "President Obama already spoke about the Asian century, as seen from the US perspective. This also means that Europe is no longer, so to say, at the centre of world events."She adds: "The United States' focus on Europe is declining -- that will be the case under any president."The answer? "We in Europe, and especially in Germany, need to take on more responsibility."

Germany has vowed to meet the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the start of the 2030s. Ms Merkel admits that for those alliance members which have already reached the 2 per cent goal, "naturally this is not enough". But there's no denying Germany has made substantial progress on the issue: its defence budget has increased by 40 per cent since 2015, which is "a huge step from Germany's perspective".

Ms Merkel insists the transatlantic relationship "remains crucial for me, particularly as regards fundamental questions concerning values and interests in the world". Yet Europe should also develop its own military capability. There may be regions outside Nato's primary focus where "Europe must -- if necessary -- be prepared to get involved. I see Africa as one example," she says.

Defence is hardly the sole bone of contention with the US. Trade is a constant irritation. Berlin watched with alarm as the US and China descended into a bitter trade war in 2018: it still fears becoming collateral damage.

"Can the European Union come under pressure between America and China? That can happen, but we can also try to prevent it. "Germany has few illusions about China. German officials and businesspeople are just as incensed as their US counterparts by China's theft of intellectual property, its unfair investment practices, state-sponsored cyber-hacking and human rights abuses in regions like Xinjiang.

Once seen as a strategic partner, China is increasingly viewed in Berlin as a systemic rival. But Berlin has no intention of emulating the US policy of "decoupling" -- cutting its diplomatic, commercial and financial ties with China. Instead, Ms Merkel has staunchly defended Berlin's close relationship with Beijing. She says she would "advise against regarding China as a threat simply because it is economically successful".

"As was the case in Germany, [China's] rise is largely based on hard work, creativity and technical skills," she says. Of course there is a need to "ensure that trade relations are fair". China's economic strength and geopolitical ambitions mean it is a rival to the US and Europe. But the question is: "Do we in Germany and Europe want to dismantle all interconnected global supply chains . . . because of this economic competition?" She adds: "In my opinion, complete isolation from China cannot be the answer."Her plea for dialogue and co-operation has set her on a collision course with some in her own party.

China hawks in her Christian Democratic Union share US mistrust of Huawei, the Chinese telecoms equipment group, fearing it could be used by Beijing to conduct cyber espionage or sabotage. Ms Merkel has pursued a more conciliatory line. Germany should tighten its security requirements towards all telecoms providers and diversify suppliers "so that we never make ourselves dependent on one firm" in 5G. But "I think it is wrong to simply exclude someone per se," she says.

The rise of China has triggered concern over Germany's future competitiveness. And that economic "angst" finds echoes in the febrile politics of Ms Merkel's fourth term. Her "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats is wracked by squabbling. The populist Alternative for Germany is now established in all 16 of the country's regional parliaments. A battle has broken out for the post-Merkel succession, with a crop of CDU heavy-hitters auditioning for the top job.

Many in the political elite worry about waning international influence in the final months of the Merkel era.While she remains one of the country's most popular politicians, Germans are asking what her legacy will be. For many of her predecessors, that question is easy to answer: Konrad Adenauer anchored postwar Germany in the west; Willy Brandt ushered in detente with the Soviet Union; Helmut Kohl was the architect of German reunification. So how will Ms Merkel be remembered?

Vladimir Putin: liberalism has 'outlived its purpose'

She brushes away the question. "I don't think about my role in history -- I do my job." But what about critics who say the Merkel era was mere durchwurschteln -- muddling through? That word, she says, in a rare flash of irritation, "isn't part of my vocabulary". Despite her reputation for gradualism and caution, Ms Merkel will doubtless be remembered for two bold moves that changed Germany -- ordering the closure of its nuclear power stations after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, and keeping the country's borders open at the height of the 2015 refugee crisis. That decision was her most controversial, and there are some in Germany who still won't forgive her for it. But officials say Germany survived the influx, and has integrated the more than 1m migrants who arrived in 2015-16.

She prefers to single out less visible changes. Germany is much more engaged in the world: just look, she says, at the Bundeswehr missions in Africa and Afghanistan. During the Kohl era, even the idea of dispatching a ship to the Adriatic to observe the war in Yugoslavia was controversial. She also mentions efforts to end the war in Ukraine, its role in the Iran nuclear deal, its assumption of ever more "diplomatic, and increasingly also military responsibility". "It may become more in future, but we are certainly on the right path," she says.

The Merkel era has been defined by crisis but thanks to her stewardship most Germans have rarely had it so good. The problem is the world expects even more of a powerful, prosperous Germany and its next chancellor.Letter in response to this article:At last, I understand Brexit's real purpose / From John Beadsmoore, Great Wilbraham, Cambs, UK

[Jan 21, 2020] The Geopolitics Of Epistemological Warfare From Babylon To Neocon

Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Geopolitics Of Epistemological Warfare: From Babylon To Neocon by Tyler Durden Tue, 01/21/2020 - 00:00 0 SHARES

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

I think any sane human being can agree that while war was never a good idea, war in the 21st century is an absolutely intolerable one. The problem we currently face is that many of the forces driving world events towards an all-out war of "Mutually Assured Annihilation" are anything but sane.

While I'm obviously referring here to a certain category of people who fall under a particularly virulent strain of imperial thinking which can be labelled "neo-conservative" and while many of these disturbing figures honestly believe that a total war of annihilation is a risk worth taking in order to achieve their goals of total global hegemony, I would like to make one subtle yet very important distinction which is often overlooked.

What is this distinction?

Under the broad umbrella of "neo-conservative" one should properly differentiate those who really believe in their ideology and are trapped under the invisible cage of its unexamined assumptions vs. that smaller yet more important segment that created and manages the ideology from the top. I brushed on this grouping in a recent 3 part study called Origins of the Deep State and Myth of the Jewish Conspiracy .

To re-state my meaning: This group doesn't necessarily believe in the ideological group they manage any more than a parent believes in that tooth fairy which they promote in order to achieve certain behavioral patterns in their children.

While belief in the tooth fairy is slightly less destructive than belief in a misanthropic neocon worldview of a Bolton, Pompeo or Cheney, the analogy is useful to communicate the point.

Cult Managers: Ancient Babylon and Now

Modern ideology-shapers serve the same role as those ancient high priests of Babylon, Persia and Rome who managed the many cults and countless pagan mystery religions recorded throughout the ages. It is well documented that any cult could comfortably exist under Rome's control, as long as said cult denied any claim to objective truthfulness- making the rise of Abrahamic monotheistic faiths more than a little antagonistic to empire.

Did the high priests necessarily BELIEVE in those dogmas which they created and managed?

Hell no.

Was it politically necessary to create them?

Of course.

Why?

Because an Empire, like everything in the world, exist as a whole with parts but since they deny any principle of natural law (justice, love, goodness, etc) , empires are merely a sum of parts and their rules of organization can be nothing but zero sum. Each cultish group may coexist as an echo chamber alongside other groups sacrificing to whatever deity they wish without judgement of moral right or wrong bounded only by a common blind faith in their group's beliefs- but nothing universal about justice, creative reason, or human nature is otherwise permitted. Here the a-moral "peace" of "equilibrium" can be achieved by an oligarchy which wishes to lord over the slaves. Whether we are dealing with Caesar Augustus, Lord Metternich's Congress of Vienna, Aldous Huxley, Sir Henry Kissinger, or Leo Strauss (father of modern neo-conservativism), "Peace" can never be anything more than a mathematical "balancing of parts".

Now it is a good moment to ask: What does this phenomenon look like in our modern age?

To answer this, let us leap over a couple of millennia and take a look at something a bit more personal: Adam Smith and the doctrine of free trade.

Smith at Her Majesty's Service

Do Smith's modern followers sincerely believe in the "self-regulating forces of the free market"?

Sure they do.

Did Adam Smith actually believe in his own system?

Whether he did or not, according to recent research conducted by historian Jeffrey Steinberg, Smith received his commission to compose his seminal book Wealth of Nations (published 1776) while riding with Lord Shelburne himself in a carriage ride from Edinburgh to London in 1763. The date 1776 is not a coincidence as this was the same Lord Shelburne who essentially managed the British Empire during the American Revolution and who always despised all colonial aspirations to use protective tariffs, emit productive credit or channel said credit towards internal improvements as Benjamin Franklin had championed in his 1729 Necessity of Paper Currency and Colonial Script.

Why develop Industry, asked Smith, when the new "Law" of "absolute advantage" demanded that everyone just do what they are good at for the best price possible? America has a lot of land, so they should stick with agriculture and slave-driven cotton. Britain had a lot of industry (don't ask how that happened because it wasn't through free trade), so they should stick with that! India had advanced textiles, but Britain had to destroy that so that India could then have a lot of opium fields so she could do that which China could then smoke to death under the watch of British Gunships. "Free Trade" demanded it so.

Let's look at another example: Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection

A Not-too-Natural Selection

Darwin's theory published in his Origins of Species (1859) was based on the assumption that all changes in the biosphere are driven by "laws" of "survival of the fittest" within an assumed closed ecosystem of diminishing returns. Just as Smith asserted that an "invisible hand" brought creative order to the chaos of unregulated vice and self-interest, Darwin asserted that creative order on the large scale evolution of species could be explained by chaotic mutations on the micro level beyond a wall that no power of reason, free will or God could pass.

Did Charles Darwin believe his system? Probably.

But how about Thomas Huxley (aka: "Darwin's Bulldog") whose efforts to destroy all competing theories which included "purpose", "meaning", or "design" were crushed and ridiculed into obscurity? Huxley himself was on record saying he did not believe in Darwin's system. So why was this theory promoted by forces (like Huxley's X Club ) who recognized its many flaws? Well, here again it helps to refer to Darwin's own account of his discovery from his autobiography where he wrote:

"In October 1838, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic inquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on, from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result would be the formation of a new species. Here then, I had at last got a theory by which to work".

Malthus's 'Dismal Science'

And here we have it! Reverend Thomas Malthus (the cold hearted "Man of God" who taught economics at the British East India Company's Haileybury College) provided the very foundation upon which Darwin's system stood! Thomas Huxley and the other "high priests" of Huxley's X Club were always Malthusian (even before there was Malthus) since empires have always been more focused on monopolizing the finite resources of an age, rather than encouraging creative discoveries and new inventions which would bring new resources into being- overcoming nature's "limits to growth" (a dis-equilibrium not to be tolerated). Whether Malthus actually believed in the system which bears his name, as generations of his adherents sincerely do, remains to be seen. However his own awareness of the needed extermination of the "unfit" by the Ubermenschen of the British Aristocracy preceded Social Darwinism by a full century when he coldly called for the encouragement of the plague and other "natural forms of destruction" to cull the herd of the unfit in his Essay on the Principle of Population ( 1799):

"We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague."

A little later, Malthus even argued for the early extermination of poor babies who were of low value to society when he said:

"I should propose a regulation to be made, declaring that no child born from any marriage taking place after the expiration of a year from the date of the law, and no illegitimate child born two years from the same date, should ever be entitled to parish assistance The infant is, comparatively speaking, of little value to society, as others will immediately supply its place."

The neo-Malthusian revivalists such as Princes Bernhardt, Philip Mountbatten and Huxley's own grandson Sir Julian who birthed the misanthropic deformity today called the Green New Deal were not ignorant to this tradition. The disastrous effect of this worldview upon races deemed "unfit" in the global south should also not be ignored. It is no coincidence that those three neo-Malthusian oligarchs founded the World Wildlife Fund, 1001 Nature Trust and Club of Rome which imposed a technological apartheid upon the third world over the bodies of countless statesmen during the Cold War.

The Danger of Creative Thought to an Empire

Encouraging creative thought and cooperation among diverse nations, linguistic, religious and ethnic groups tends to result in new uncontrolled systems of potential as humanity increases its capacity to sustain itself while imperial systems lose their ability to parasitically drain their host. In Lincoln's great 1859 speech , the martyred leader stood up against this Malthusian paradigm endemic of the British Empire when he said:

"All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner. The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself, in his physical, moral, and intellectual nature, and his susceptibilities, are the infinitely various "leads" from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions."

Lincoln's economic commitments to protective tariffs, state credit (greenbacks) and internal improvements are inextricably linked to this view of man also shared by the earlier Ben Franklin.

Today, the positive paradigm which Lincoln died to defend is most clearly represented by the leaders of such nations as Russia and China- both of whom have come out repeatedly attacking the post-truth neo-liberal order and also the win-lose philosophy of Hobbesian geopolitics. The folly of America's new dance with impeachment and the neocon hand shaping Trump's disastrous foreign policy agenda is tied to the oligarchy's absolute fear of losing America to a new Eurasian partnership which Trump has promoted repeatedly since entering office in 2017.

Xi Jinping and Putin have not only responded to this obsolete system by creating an alternative system of win-win cooperation driven by unbounded scientific and technological progress but they have also managed to expose the Achilles heal of the empire. These statesmen have demonstrated a clear recognition that those ideologies ranging from neo-liberalism to neo-conservativism are entirely unsustainable, and defeatable (but not militarily) . Xi expressed this insight most clearly during his recent trip to Greece.

Even though leaders like Putin and Xi understand this, citizens of the west will continue to be woefully unequipped to either make sense of these chaotic systems of belief, extract them from their own hearts if they are so contaminated or resist them effectively, without understanding that those who fabricated and manage these belief structures never truly believed in them.

Neoconservative founding fathers such as Leo Strauss, Sir Henry Kissinger and Sir Bernard Lewis absolutely never believed in the ideologies their cultish golems like Bolton, Cheney or Kristol have adhered to so religiously. Their belief was only that the sum-of-parts called humanity must ultimately be governed by a Hobbesian Leviathan (aka: a new globalized Roman Empire), and that Leviathan could only be created in response to an intolerably painful period of chaos which their twisted tooth fairies would usher into this world.

[Jan 21, 2020] Goldstein 2.0 ISIS has a new big bad leader

Notable quotes:
"... For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil. ..."
"... There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

For starters, don't be surprised if his "fortification" of ISIS means Donald Trump can't pull out of Syria after all. Or maybe if ISIS attacks on Iraqi civilians/militias result in the Iraqi parliament revoking their request for the US to remove their troops from Iraqi soil.

There's the possibility that ISIS will start a resurgence in Libya, meaning that NATO has to get in there and sort things out. Maybe some furious ISIS fighters will be the ones who assassinate Iranian generals in future. It's much less messy that way.

Or, hell, maybe we'll return to the hits of the 90s and early 2000s, and Islamic jihadists will get back to work in Chechnya.

Whatever happens, ISIS are back baby. And that means that some way, somehow, Mr al-Salbi is about to make the foreign policy goals of the United States much easier.

That's what Goldsteins are for.

harry law ,

.... The US have used Islamic state against both Syria and Iraq, [the enemy of my enemy is my friend].

There can be no doubt that the US are going to use Islamic state to disrupt Iraq, just as they had no qualms about watching [from satellites and spotter aircraft] Islamic state travel 100's of kilometres from Syria to Northern Iraq [Mosul] across the desert, whipping up tons of dust in their Toyota jeeps to put pressure on the Iraqi government. Also as they watched on with equanimity when the Islamic state transported thousands of tanker loads of oil from Syria to Turkey, that is until the Russians bombed those convoys, the US must think everyone is as stupid as they are. If the Iraqis don't drive the US out using all means including violence, they deserve to be slaves.

"Sergey Lavrov earlier called the US-led coalition's refusal to combat al-Nusra "absolutely unacceptable."

"Iraqi security expert Kazim al-Haaj said "US Army troops are preparing and training the ISIL militants in al-Qadaf and Wadi al-Houran regions of Al-Anbar province with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks and restarting insecurity in Iraq." https://stephenlendman.org/2020/01/trump-regime-shifting-isis-terrorists-from-syria-to-iraq/

[Jan 21, 2020] Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 5:19 pm GMT

@anonymous

The US depends upon continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Were that to be lost the US likely would descend into chaos without end. When the USSR came apart it was eventually able to downsize into the Russian state. We don't have that here; there is no core ethnicity with it's own territory left anymore, it's just a jumble. For the US it's a matter of survival.

Possession of a core ethnicity doesn't invariably guarantee stability or even constitute a nation and I don't believe this is why Russia survives as a nation today. Russia itself is a country with a great many nationalities, and there are almost as many Asian as European faces in the country. Furthermore, the Ukraine was part of the USSR, has what you term a core ethnicity, and yet has descended into chaos without end since the collapse of the USSR. Clearly, a nation consists of something other than ethnic identity, language or even religion.

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future. It presupposes a past; it is summarized, however, in the present by a tangible fact, namely, consent, the clearly expressed desire to continue a common life .

"Man is a slave neither of his race nor his language, nor of his religion, nor of the course of rivers nor of the direction taken by mountain chains. A large aggregate of men, healthy in mind and warm of heart, creates the kind of moral conscience which we call a nation."

A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography. Whether or not a nation or nations survive the collapse of the American Empire will depend on the willingness of the people to live together with a shared collective memory of the past. Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs. The chaos that will surely follow the Empire's collapse will become part of the shared trauma, out of which a new nation or nations will arise, if the people so will.

https://web.archive.org/web/20110827065548/http://www.cooper.edu/humanities/core

EliteCommInc. , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:02 pm GMT
"I see you have successfully internalized The Cuck's Credo."

I won;t speak to the explication of what nationhood is as described. But clearly skin color is not a cohesive enough glue. The white colonists comprised of varying ethnic cultures went to war against whites in great britain. And by all indications of history the whites in Europe spent more than 1800 years killing each other in country and out --

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm GMT
@Weston Waroda

The 19th century French historian Ernest Renan in a famous lecture at the time "What is a Nation" stated: "A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle

Why was the lecture famous? Was it because Renan decided to redefine nation?
https://www.etymonline.com/word/nation

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 12:32 am GMT
@Daniel.I Oh, are you ever missing the point. What Renan wrote elsewhere, "that which makes a nation is the willingness of its members to live together," (ce qui fait une nation c'est la volunté de ses membres de vivre ensemble) cuts both ways. It not only expains why Russia successfully transitioned the fall of the USSR, while the Ukraine has not yet: the Russians chose to live together. It also explains why nationalists like you continue to choose by your own volition to identify as American despite your pissing and moaning. You and the Russians and the Ukrainians are making your own volitional choices about the nation you choose to be a member of. Those choices multiplied by the millions of inhabitants demonstrate how this is an organic process. Furthermore, Renan wrote well before the current idea of globalism had developed any traction, and he is writing from observation of history as a historian. He had no globalist agenda to promote. I have read quite a lot of what the hard right nationalists have had to say in their comments on the Unz Review, and frankly, the arguments are unconvincing. I would suggest reading the Renan lecture I posted the link to, it clears up the mess and shows a third way between you and the globalists, the way of how things really come down. It shows reality.
Oscar Peterson , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 1:55 am GMT
@EliteCommInc.

So any claim that whiteness is a cohesive glue or embodies a cohesive glue cementing nationality is thoroughly rejected by history. That anyone contends it against the evidence is peculiar.

No matter what the core identity of a society, there will be at least episodic internal violence. But that doesn't mean that people don't need identity.

What identity, in your view, should the people focusing on whiteness as symbolic of their sense of belonging, be adopting?

It's obvious that being "an American" is becoming less and less psychologically satisfying. So what is the answer?

Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 9:56 am GMT
@Weston Waroda I am Eastern European living in my homeland.
So I can see right through your ZOG-manufactured bullshit.
Daniel.I , says: Show Comment January 19, 2020 at 10:01 am GMT
@EliteCommInc. You have no idea how satisfying it is to watch the Anglo – after having forced liberalism down the throat of everyone else – finding himself on the receiving end of it.

Keep celebrating your own dissolution, cuck.

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
@Polemos The nation in Renan's thinking transcends consideration of the one and the many through a kind of political metaphysic: the nation is spiritual, the nation is a mystery. The national myth of shared trauma creates a past while organic human volition results in a spiritual recognition of both the individual and others as participants in this mystery, this nation, this Gestalt . Charles de Gaulle touched this in his benediction "vive la France eternelle," as did Ronald Reagan with the metaphor from the Gospels, "a city on a hill."
Wizard of Oz , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Daniel.I I get the general use by Americans to use "liberal" for what the rest of the Anglophone countries would probably call "left wing" (although I think Americans also say "neo liberalism" mraning something quite different). But I struggle to understand what you mean by "liberalism". Derived from which lot of Anglos? Thrust down throats by which lot of Anglos? I would like to learn more from you about the ideology or philosophy or political movement you are referring to.

As a prompt to leap out of a narrowly based view I note that the main conservative right of centre party which often forms Australian governments is the Liberal Party.

Vojkan , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
@Weston Waroda "A nation is an organic entity not dependent on a common language, religion or bounded by geography."

Is it to say that the German, the English, the Swede, the Polish, the Norwegians, the Danes, the Czech, the Slovak, the Italian, the Greek, the Hungarian, the Romanian, the Bulgarian, the Portuguese, the Irish, the various nations that emerged from the former Yugoslavia or the USSR are not organic entities but only the Belgian are? Is it to say that African states with borders drawn across ethnicities by colonial powers are nations? Today's France is proof of the contrary to your statement and Renan's theory. You are the one disconnected from reality as your idea of what constitutes a nation is a pure abstract disproven by empirical evidence.

Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 9:02 am GMT
@Weston Waroda

Renan makes the point that national traumas are more unifying than national triumphs.

It's interesting that the places that the Empire has been unable to control are often ex-Communist (Russia, China, Eastern Europe) which experienced national trauma, but were also outside of the Zio-Glob Empire in its critical post 1945 growth period (the map of US overseas bases).

Also, Imperial institutions like NATO are looking irrelevant. European leaders may well wonder why they're necessary. In 1945, the US was the world's leading industrial economy/ international creditor with a legitimate reserve currency – now not so much – with the US clinging onto power using violence, threats and sanctions and generally alienating everyone.

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 2:14 pm GMT
Israel is a very successful example of a strongly ethnocentric state that has its endless internal squabbles between the various groups within that identity, but yet remain fairly united against potential threats from outsiders (i.e., the"others"). This most definitely applies to the critical matter of immigration.

Wisely, they do not easily accept immigrants, except those who are proven to be of their own ilk, and they are currently exploring, via internal public dialog, whether their already relatively stringent standards are not restrictive enough. (See here: https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/6-out-of-7-immigrants-to-Israel-not-Jewish-611842 )

They know they will be internally weakened, displaced, and ultimately, replaced if they do otherwise. They 'see the writing on the wall'.

Jews are not stupid people. It would seem equally wise for the US, Canada, and the European states to emulate their example, preserving their shared heritages and commonalities, which provide strength and unity in the face of adversities and against foreign enemies, both abroad and domestically.

What is sauce for the (jewish) goose is sauce for the (goyim) ganders .

[Jan 20, 2020] Fake Investigations... Designed To Fool by Bryce Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance."
Notable quotes:
"... For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence. ..."
"... When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that. ..."
"... The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want. ..."
"... Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election ..."
"... Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing. ..."
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,

Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.

Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.

There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
  1. The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.

    For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.

  2. The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.

    There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.

    When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.

    The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.

    The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.

    IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.

    To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.

  3. The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.

    Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .

    Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.

The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.

We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.


insanelysane , 9 minutes ago link

The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:

1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.

2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.

DonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link

Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sight

East Indian , 23 minutes ago link

A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':

"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."

- reader ricocat1

hardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link

his name was Seth Rich!

hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link

The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.

buckboy , 57 minutes ago link

We, the People are free to bitch and moan.

marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link

The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.

The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

Trump's Non-Crimes

Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine

Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending

Trump Obstruction:

Trump Abuse of Power:

Trump...

Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link

They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.

HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link

I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,

monty42 , 1 hour ago link

Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.

HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link

True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...

[Jan 20, 2020] The Iraqis want American out, and one day American will leave.

Jan 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Ko , says: Show Comment January 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm GMT

American interests are to protect oil companies, and fight the inevtible douche (british definition) American's will feel once the dollar is deflated. In a lesser way, wars and interventions are indeed to protect americans – from a massive, sudden, econimic depression of the likes the world has never seen. China and the rest of the world no American empire is going to retract. I only hope we have a sensible leader who can parlay Ameria's role in the world to become a partner in the BRI – ion some way.

The Asia Pivot was never destined to be anything but bluster. Asia is lost, the Asian nations will satellite around China. Southeast Asia is even more lost, Cambodia mioght as well fly the Chinese flag, Thailand will pretend, as it always has, to never have been colonized. Well, Thailand was/is a dog of a nation that's laid down on its back for every nation advancing on it's border.

Myanmar just signed on to the BRI and has given China its derired dams. It's already full of Chinese. The only thing holding China back in Myanmar is the amount of money it has to give spoon to the military, generals, cronies,etc. China already owns almost all of Manadaly and thousands of square milies surrounding Mandalay. It has gas and oil fields in a warm water where those pesky Bengali Jihadis once tried to dominate.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-china-sign-dozens-deals-bri-projects-cooperation-xis-visit.html

Indial too has bought into Myanmar.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/opinion/guest-column/india-many-reasons-engage-myanmar.html

So, it's no wonder Iraq is the last stop of the retreat from the Middle East. The Chinese are moving forward with only the Saudis standing in the way. And who the hell really likes the House of Saud? They're doomed soon, and good riddence. The Iraqis want American out, and one day American will leave.

[Jan 20, 2020] Important clarification about MadCow disease

Jan 15, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

DC_rez , January 16, 2020 at 16:08

Are you insinuating Rachel Maddow is a journalist?

[Jan 19, 2020] Gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 19 2020 5:20 utc | 83

@ Peter AU1 78

Tom Luongo, who frequently cites b, has coined a new word for Trump's and his minions tactics. Tom asks:

Does Gangsternomics Meet its End in the Iraqi Desert?

In the aftermath of the killing of Iranian IRGC General Qassem Soleimani a lot of questions hung in the air. The big one was, in my mind, "Why now?"

There are a lot of angles to answer that question. Many of them were supplied by caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi who tried to let the world know through official (and unofficial) channels of the extent of the pressure he was under by the U.S.

In short, President Trump was engaged in months of what can best be described as gangsternomics in directing the course of Iraq's future economic and political development.[/]

Iraq's importance goes much farther than just protecting the petrodollar to the U.S. It is the fulcrum now on which the entire U.S. defense against Eurasian integration rests. The entire region is slipping out of the grasp of the U.S.

And this started with Russia moving into Syria in 2015 successfully. We are downstream of this as it has blown open the playbook and revealed it for how ugly it is.

Trump's crude gangster tactics in Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia and to a lesser extent in Syria cannot be hidden behind the false veil of moral preening and virtue signaling about bringing democracy to these benighted places.[/]

What began in Syria with Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and China standing up together and saying, "No," continues today in Iraq. To this point Iran has been the major actor. Tomorrow it will be Russia, China and India.

And that is what is ultimately at stake here, the ability of the U.S. to employ gangsternomics in the Middle East and make it stick.[.]

By the time Trump is done threatening people over S-400's and pipelines the entire world will be happy to trade in yuan and/or rubles rather than dollars.[.]

full article here

[Jan 19, 2020] The once oppressed have become oppressors.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Jan 19 2020 3:31 utc | 72

@71 said in part; "The once oppressed have become oppressors."

A succinct description of the Israelis..

[Jan 19, 2020] In Bullying Iraq, America is Starting to Look Like the New Evil Empire

Jan 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The U.S. has occasionally exerted pressure on democratic allies, but never treated them like servile pawns. Until now. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (C) and his wife Susan (R) wait to board a helicopter to the US embassy at the terminal at Baghdad International Airport on January 9, 2019.(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

January 17, 2020

|

12:01 am

Ted Galen Carpenter A policy statement that the State Department issued on January 10 asserts that "America is a force for good in the Middle East." It adds, "We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq." Yet the Trump administration's recent conduct toward Iraq indicates a very different (and much uglier) policy. Washington is behaving like an impatient, imperial power that has concluded that an obstreperous colony requires a dose of corrective discipline.

Washington's late December airstrikes on Iraqi militia targets, in retaliation for the killing of an American civilian contractor working at a base in northern Iraq, greatly provoked the Iraqi government and population. Massive anti-American demonstrations erupted in several cities, and an assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad forced diplomats to take refuge in a special " safe room ."

The drone strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad a few days later was an even more brazen violation of Iraq's sovereignty. Carrying out the assassination on Iraqi territory when Soleimani was there at the invitation of Prime Minister Adel Abdull Mahdi to discuss a new peace feeler from Saudi Arabia was especially clumsy and arrogant. It created suspicions that the United States was deliberately seeking to maintain turmoil in the Middle East to justify its continued military presence there. The killing of Soleimani (as well as two influential Iraqi militia leaders) led Iraq's government to pass a resolution calling on Mahdi to expel U.S. forces stationed in the country, and he promptly began to prepare legislation to implement that goal.

Trump's initial reaction to the prospect that Baghdad might order U.S. troops to leave was akin to a foreign policy temper tantrum. He threatened America's democratic ally with harsh economic sanctions if it dared to take that step. As Trump put it, "we will charge them sanctions like they've never seen before, ever. It'll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame."

Over the following days, it became apparent that the sanctions threat was not just a spontaneous, intemperate outburst on the part of President Trump. Compelling Iraq to continue hosting U.S. forces was official administration policy. Senior officials from the Treasury Department and other agencies began drafting specific sanctions that could be imposed. Washington explicitly warned the Iraqi government that it could lose access to its account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Such a freeze would amount to financial strangulation of the country's already fragile economy.

U.S. arrogance towards Baghdad seems almost boundless. When Mahdi asked the administration to " prepare a mechanism " for the exit of American forces and commence negotiations towards that transition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flatly refused . Indeed, the State Department's January 10 statement made it clear that there would be no such discussions: "At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East."

Throughout the Cold War, U.S. leaders proudly proclaimed that NATO and other American-led alliances were voluntary associations of free nations. Conversely, the Warsaw Pact alliance of Eastern European countries formed in response to NATO was a blatantly imperial enterprise of puppet regimes under the Kremlin's total domination. Moscow's brutal suppression of even modest political deviations within its satellite empire helped confirm the difference. Soviet tanks rolled into East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, and Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush reform factions and solidify a Soviet military occupation. Even when the USSR did not resort to such heavy-handed measures, it was clear that the "allies" were on a very short leash.

Although the United States has occasionally exerted pressure on its allies when they've opposed its objectives, it has not attempted to treat democratic partners as servile pawns. That is why the Trump administration's current behavior towards Iraq is so troubling and exhibits such unprecedented levels of crudeness. America is in danger of becoming the geopolitical equivalent of a middle school bully.

If Washington refuses to withdraw its forces from Iraq, defying the Baghdad government's calls to leave, those troops will no longer be guests or allies. They would constitute a hostile army of occupation, however elaborate the rhetorical facade.

At that point, America would no longer be a moral "force for good" in the Middle East or anywhere else. The United States would be behaving as an amoral imperial power imposing its authority on weaker democratic countries that dare adopt measures contrary to Washington's policy preferences. America might not yet have replaced the Soviet Union as (in Ronald Reagan's words) the "evil empire," but it will be disturbingly far along the path to that status.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative , is the author of 12 books and more than 850 articles on international affairs.


me 2 days ago

"America is in danger of becoming the geopolitical equivalent of a middle school bully"?

Its not a mere prospect, its history. The US has been a bully for many years, at least for the last 20 years, if not more.

It is 100% irrelevant what American think of their "moral standing" in the world. In terms of foreign policy, it only matter what OTHER countries think, right or wrong. The rest of the world already think the US govt is a bully. The fact that Trump, became president is simply the icing on the big reveal cake. Yes, foreign powers helped Trump win the election, but that was simply an effect on the margin. The majority of Trump supporters do not need Russian interference to be swayed by him. Trump action embodies that which his supports wanted for many many years.

What Trump has done is give foreign allies something tangible, indisputable proof to point to, every time the US come knocking on their door ask for help on "this", "that" and the "other thing". From now on, they will make sure the get favorable terms in writing, rather than verbal agreements.

Gary Sellars me a day ago
Upvoted, even though you repeat the BS allegations of Russian "interference". Social media traffic mining by a privately-owned clickbait operation and an email leak to Wikileaks from the DNC by a disgruntled insider is not "Russian interference". A handful of FB ads taken out both before and after the elections, and slamming BOTH trump and Shrillary is likewise evidence of nothing.

"Russiagate" is a hoax, a monumental LIE foisted onto the US public by a vengeful Democrat party, their political-appointees within government agencies, the corporate media and the Deep State reptiles who need eternal hostility to Russia to justify the $1T per annum gravy train that so enriches them.

John Mann Gary Sellars a day ago
Upvoted, even though your choice of description for the idiotic allegations of Russian interference is not appropriate for genteel society.
Aker John Mann 20 hours ago • edited
Russiagate and other forms of Anti-Russian yapping are but an effort for a risingly dysfunctional society to blame outsiders for failure and dysfunction.

[Jan 16, 2020] US Attack on Soleimani is a Signal to Russia-Iran-China Triumvirate to Cease Cooperation by Ekaterina Blinova

Jan 07, 2020 | sputniknews.com

The US is trying to stop Eurasia's economic and political integration in order to delay its own demise, say international observers, explaining what message the US sent to the Russia-China-Iran "triumvirate" by killing Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani. The assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of the Quds Force, in a targeted US air strike on 3 January came on the heels of joint naval exercise launched by Russia, Iran and China in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman.

The "growing Russia-China-Iran trilateral convergence", as The Diplomat dubbed it in late December, is seemingly hitting a raw nerve in Washington : speaking to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on 2 January, Rear Admiral Khanzadi, the Iranian navy commander, said that Washington and its allies had held an emergency meeting aimed at disrupting the drills.

US Opposes Rapprochement of Russia, China and Iran Amid Policy of 'Maximum Pressure'
"Recent violent US attacks against Iranian allies in Iraq and Syria, culminating in the killing of Iran's Major General Qasem Soleimani, are, in the wider geopolitical sense, meant to send signals to the building Eurasian triumvirate to cease their collaborative activities, let alone longer-term strategic and Belt and Road Initiative-linked designs," says Pye Ian, an American economic analyst and private equity executive.

According to Ian, the US decision to step up pressure on Tehran might be stemming from Washington's apparent belief that Iran is "the 'weakest link' in the strengthening Eurasian alliance".

However, "Russia, China and Iran cannot be attacked overtly, let alone invaded, occupied or 'regime changed'," the economic analyst highlights.

Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations, echoes the American economist.

"It is in response to the close relationship between Russia, Iran and China and it is no coincidence that this murder took place just as the joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf came to an end," he said. "Further, it is a threat to Russian strategic interests in Syria and to Syria itself."

Apart from this, the move indicates that "one of the reasons for US pressure on Iran is to control the oil supply to China in order to cripple China's development," Black suggests.

Russia and its military successes in the region have become yet another irritant for Washington, according to Max Parry, an independent American journalist and geopolitical analyst.

"The US likely feels the need to re-assert itself as a hegemonic power in the region, considering it is Moscow that emerged as the new honest peace broker in the Middle East with the Syrian conflict," Parry notes. "Russia completely outmanoeuvred Washington and by the end of the war, Turkey was practically in Moscow's camp. Trump has reset US foreign policy with the withdrawal from Syria and the targeting of Iran."

By killing Soleimani, the US "has completely overplayed its hand and this could be the beginning of the end for Washington because a war with Iran would be no cakewalk", he emphasises.

© AFP 2019 / ALY SONG / POOL Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attend the Expo Center before the opening ceremony at the Expo Center at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai on May 21, 2014 Eurasian 'Triumvirate' is Moving Away From the US Dollar

According to Ian, in addition to being a thorn in Washington's flesh, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran have something else in common: the three nations have increasingly been drifting away from the US dollar.

The trend followed the Trump administration's:

· unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA) in May 2018;

· trade war waged against the People's Republic of China by Washington since March 2018;

· series of anti-Russian sanctions imposed against Moscow under the pretext of the latter's interference in the US 2016 presidential elections, something that Russia resolutely denies.

The economic analyst explains that "the dollar's universal confidence trick requires uniform adherence, by natural adoption or by force". While the US allies remain obedient to the dollar- dominated system, those who resisted it such as Iraq under Saddam, Libya under Gaddafi and Venezuela under Chavez "triggered some Atlanticist force, either overtly or clandestinely, in order to try and put those nations back on a compliant page."

However, "the current state of dollar printing by the US Fed ad infinitum cannot last forever," Ian stresses.

"The global East and South are already ahead of Transatlantic banking, in a sense, by shifting further out of the dollar and Treasury securities into their own, or bilateral, currency exchanges, gold, and/or domestic or collaborative cryptocurrency endeavours," he says.

Russia, China, Iran, as well as India and some other Eurasian nations are switching to trading in local currencies and continuing to amass gold at a steady pace . Thus, for instance, Russia produced over 185.1 tonnes of gold in the first six months of 2019; the country's bullion reserves reached 72.7 million troy ounces (2,261 tonnes) as of 1 December 2019. For its part, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has accumulated 1,948.3 tonnes of the precious metal as of December 2019, according to World Gold Council.

Ian foresees that if the world's nations continue to shift out of US Treasury obligations and choose alternative currencies for energy pricing, trading and reserves recycling, it may "cause US interest rates to fly higher, cratering consumer, institutional and public debt obligations and re-importing an obscene level of inflation back into the US".

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

[Jan 16, 2020] The US extorted their own "allies" to get them to betray Iran and destroy their own reputations

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

b , Jan 15 2020 19:40 utc | 175

woah

WaPo: Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25% tariff on European autos if they didn't

The U.S. effort to coerce European foreign policy through tariffs, a move one European official equated to "extortion," represents a new level of hardball tactics with the United States' oldest allies, underscoring the extraordinary tumult in the transatlantic relationship.
...
U.S. officials conveyed the threat directly to officials in London, Berlin and Paris rather than through their embassies in Washington, said a senior European official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations.

Kadath , Jan 15 2020 20:05 utc | 179

Yes the US extorted their own "allies" to get them to betray Iran and destroy their own reputations. I must say the one thing i begrudgingly like about Trump is his honest upfront thuggist actions. After the backroom betrayals of Obama bush clinton merkel and the rest its almost refreshingly honest. Also i can think of no quicker way of destroying the US empire than by threatening your own allies the MIC must be desperate to start a new never ending war, although perhaps they should be careful of what they wish for

[Jan 12, 2020] Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism -- Strategic Culture

Jan 12, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Strategic Culture

Search History Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism Michael Jabara Carley March 9, 2018 © Photo: Public domain

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral "peace keeper", pursuing a so-called policy of "multilateralism" and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite -- Liberal or Conservative did not matter -- was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman's club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. "If Hitler invaded Hell," Winston Churchill famously remarked, "I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a "truce", as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the "truce", or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government -- Mackenzie King was still prime minister -- should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 "displaced persons", including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators , responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Chrystia Freeland, the current Canadian minister for external affairs

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak , a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the "Ukrainian-Canadian" Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a "victim" of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer , amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) , one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community . Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most "Ukrainian-Canadians" were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

The Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) president Paul Grod

After the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian "regime change" operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of "aggression" against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded "charitable status" to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military "advisors" to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. "Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy," according to Minister Freeland : "Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth." For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, "democracy" is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: "Does your party support listing the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as terrorist organizations?" The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d'état in Kiev. They are most certainly not "terrorist" organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

Some Canadians harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, "SlavaUkraini!" , to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour". Ukrainian "nationalists" summon up the memory of the "Holodomor", a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. "Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin's policies of forced collectivization ,"Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. "Similarly, there was no 'Ukrainian' famine," according to Kotkin, "the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]" ( Stalin , 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 "advisors" to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars -- it is true a pittance by American standards -- for "non-lethal" military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian "democracy". Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. " Any country sending representatives to Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler," warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, "will be blacklisted by Ukraine."

"The further a society drifts from the truth," George Orwell once said, "the more it will hate those that speak it." Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Canada Chrystia Freeland Print this article Michael Jabara Carley March 9, 2018 | History Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism

Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral "peace keeper", pursuing a so-called policy of "multilateralism" and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite -- Liberal or Conservative did not matter -- was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman's club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany

Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. "If Hitler invaded Hell," Winston Churchill famously remarked, "I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a "truce", as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the "truce", or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government -- Mackenzie King was still prime minister -- should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 "displaced persons", including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators , responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Chrystia Freeland, the current Canadian minister for external affairs

The most notorious of the Nazi collaborators who immigrated to Canada was Mykhailo Chomiak , a mid-level Nazi operative in Poland, who came under US protection at the end of the war and eventually made his way to Canada where he settled in Alberta. Had he been captured by the Red Army, he would quite likely have been hanged for collaboration with the enemy. In Canada however he prospered as a farmer. His grand-daughter is the "Ukrainian-Canadian" Chrystia Freeland, the present minister for external affairs. She is a well-known Russophobe, persona non grata in the Russian Federation, who long claimed her grandfather was a "victim" of World War II. Her claims to this effect have been demonstrated to be untrue by the Australian born journalist John Helmer , amongst many others.

In 1940 the Liberal government facilitated the creation of the Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) , one of many organisations used to fight or marginalise the left in Canada, in this case amongst Canadian Ukrainians. The UCC is still around and appears to dominate the Ukrainian-Canadian community . Approximately 1.4 million people living in Canada claim full or partial Ukrainian descent though generally the latter. Most "Ukrainian-Canadians" were born in Canada; well more than half live in the western provinces. The vast majority has certainly never set foot in the Ukraine. It is this constituency on which the UCC depends to pursue its political agenda in Ottawa.

The Canadian Ukrainian Congress (UCC) president Paul Grod

After the coup d'état in Kiev in February 2014 the UCC lobbied the then Conservative government under Stephen Harper to support the Ukrainian "regime change" operation which had been conducted by the United States and European Union. The UCC president, Paul Grod, took the lead in obtaining various advantages from the Harper government, including arms for the putschist regime in Kiev. It survives only through massive EU and US direct or indirect financial/political support and through armed backing from fascist militias who repress dissent by force and intimidation. Mr. Grod claims that Russia is pursuing a policy of "aggression" against the Ukraine. If that were true, the putschists in Kiev would have long ago disappeared. The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group, through two organisations in Canada including the UCC, and even accorded "charitable status" to one of them to facilitate their fund raising and arms buying. Harper also sent military "advisors" to train Ukrainian forces, the backbone of which are fascist militias. The Trudeau government has continued that policy. "Canada should prepare for Russian attempts to destabilize its democracy," according to Minister Freeland : "Ukraine is a very important partner to Canada and we will continue to support its efforts for democracy and economic growth." For a regime that celebrates violence and anti-Russian racism, represses political opposition, burns books, and outlaws the Russian language, "democracy" is an Orwellian portrayal of actual realities in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, late last year the Canadian government approved the sale of arms to Kiev and a so-called Magnitsky law imposing sanctions on Russian nationals.

The Harper government allowed fund raising for Pravyi Sektor , a Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group

There is no political opposition in the House of Commons to these policies. Even the New Democratic Party (NDP), that burnt out shell of Canadian social democracy, supported the Harper government, at the behest of Mr. Grod, a Ukrainian lobbyist who knows his way around Ottawa. In 2015 the UCC put a list of questions to party leaders, one of which was the following: "Does your party support listing the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic as terrorist organizations?" The Lugansk and Donetsk republics are of course anti-fascist resistance movements that emerged in reaction to the violent coup d'état in Kiev. They are most certainly not "terrorist" organisations, although they are subjected to daily bombardments against civilian areas by Kiev putschist forces. Nevertheless, the then NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, who would have agreed to almost anything to win power, answered in the affirmative. This must have been a moment of dismay for Canadians who still harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties. How could it support a US/EU installed putschist regime which governs by intimidation and violence? In fact, it was a Conservative electoral strategy to obtain the votes of people of Ukrainian and East European descent by backing putschist Kiev and denouncing Russia. Mulcair was trying to outflank Harper on his right, but that did not work for he himself was outflanked on his left.

Some Canadians harboured illusions about the NDP as a progressive alternative to the Liberal and Conservative parties

In the 2015 federal elections the Liberals under Justin Trudeau, outwitted poor Mr. Mulcair and won the elections. The NDP suffered heavy electoral losses. Mulcair looked like someone who had made a Faustian bargain for nothing in return, and he lost a bid to remain as party leader. The Liberals campaigned on re-establishing better relations with the Russian Federation, but that promise did not hold up. The minister for external affairs, Stéphane Dion, tried to move forward on that line, but appears to have been stabbed in the back by Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland guiding his hand in the fatal blow. In early 2017 Dion was sacked and Freeland replaced him. That was the end of the Liberal promise to improve relations with the Russian government. Since then, under Freeland, Russian-Canadian relations have worsened.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket. There are photographs of him side by side with Mr. Harper and then with Mr. Trudeau, with Ms. Freeland on his left. Mr. Grod has been a great success in backing putschist Kiev. Last summer Mr. Trudeau even issued a traditional Ukrainian fascist salute, "SlavaUkraini!" , to celebrate the anniversary of Ukrainian independence. The prime minister is a great believer in identity politics.

The influential Mr. Grod appears to keep the Canadian government in his hip pocket

The latest gesture of the Canadian government is to approve $1.4 million as a three year grant to promote a "Holodomor National Awareness Tour". Ukrainian "nationalists" summon up the memory of the "Holodomor", a famine in the Ukraine in 1932-1933, deliberately launched by Stalin, they say, in order to emphasise their victimisation by Russia. According to the latest Stalin biographer, Steven Kotkin, there was indeed a famine in the USSR that affected various parts of the country, the Ukraine amongst other regions. Kazakhstan, not the Ukraine suffered most. Between five and seven million people died. Ten millions starved. "Nonetheless, the famine was not intentional. It resulted from Stalin's policies of forced collectivization ,"Kotkin writes, himself no advocate of the Soviet Union. Compulsion, peasant rebellion, bungling, mismanagement, drought, locust infestations, not targeting ethnicities, led to the catastrophe. "Similarly, there was no 'Ukrainian' famine," according to Kotkin, "the famine was [a] Soviet[-wide disaster]" ( Stalin , 2017, vol. 2, pp. 127-29). So the Liberal government is spending public funds to perpetuate a politically motivated myth to drum up hatred of Russia and to support putschist Kiev.

Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II

The Canadian government also recently renewed funding for a detachment of 200 "advisors" to train Ukrainian militias, along with twenty-three million dollars -- it is true a pittance by American standards -- for "non-lethal" military aid, justified by Ms. Freeland to defend Ukrainian "democracy". Truly, we live in a dystopian world where reality is turned on its head. Fascism is democracy; resistance to fascism is terrorism. Identity politics and Canadian multiculturalism are now invoked to defend Ukrainian fascism celebrated in the streets of Kiev with torchlight parades and fascist symbols, remembering and celebrating Nazi collaborators and collaboration during World War II. " Any country sending representatives to Russia's celebration of the 70th anniversary of their victory against Adolf Hitler," warned putschist Kiev in April 2015, "will be blacklisted by Ukraine."

"The further a society drifts from the truth," George Orwell once said, "the more it will hate those that speak it." Well, here is one truth that Mr. Trudeau and Ms. Freeland will not want to hear, hate it or not: 42,000 Canadian soldiers, not to mention 27 million Soviet citizens, died during the war against the Axis. Memories must be fading, for now we have come to this pass, where our government is supporting a violent, racist regime in Kiev directly descended from that very enemy against which Canada and its allies fought during World War II. © 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Also by this author Michael Jabara Carley Professor of history at the Université de Montréal. He has published widely on Soviet relations with the West What Poland Has to Hide About the Origins of World War II The Canadian Prime Minister Needs a History Lesson The Russian V-Day Story (Or the History of World War II Not Often Heard in the West) The Skripal Affair: A Lie Too Far? Lament for Canada Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


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© 2010 - 2020 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. <div><img src="https://mc.yandex.ru/watch/10970266" alt=""/></div>

[Jan 12, 2020] MIC along with Wall Street controls the government and the country

Highly recommended!
Jan 12, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , January 12, 2020 5:30 pm

    Everyone keeps dancing around it: Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi has reported that Soleimani was on the way to see him with a reply to a Saudi peace proposal. Who profits from Peace? Who does not?

    The killing of Soleimani, while a tragic even with far reaching consequences, is just an illustration of the general rule: MIC does not profit from peace. And MIC dominates any national security state, into which the USA was transformed by the technological revolution on computers and communications, as well as the events of 9/11.

    The USA government can be viewed as just a public relations center for MIC. That's why Trump/Pompeo/Esper/Pence gang position themselves as rabid neocons, which means MIC lobbyists in order to hold their respective positions. There is no way out of this situation. This is a classic Catch 22 trap.

    The fact that a couple of them are also "Rapture" obsessed religious bigots means that the principle of separation of church and state does no matter when MIC interests are involved.

    The health of MIC requires maintaining an inflated defense budget at all costs. Which, in turn, drives foreign wars and the drive to capture other nations' resources to compensate for MIC appetite. The drive which is of course closely allied with Wall Street interests (disaster capitalism.)

    In such conditions fake "imminent threat" assassinations necessarily start happening. Although the personality of Pompeo and the fact that he is a big friend of the current head of Mossad probably played some role.

    It's really funny that Trump (probably with the help of his "reference group," which includes Adelson and Kushner), managed to appoint as the top US diplomat a person who was trained as a mechanic engineer and specialized as a tank repair mechanic. And who was a long-time military contractor. So it is quite natural that he represents interests of MIC.

    IMHO under Trump/Pompeo/Esper trio some kind of additional skirmishes with Iran are a real possibility: they are necessary to maintain the current inflated level of defense spending.

    State of the US infrastructure, the actual level of unemployment (U6 is ~7% which some neolibs call full employment ;-), and the level of poverty of the bottom 33% of the USA population be damned. Essentially the bottom 33% is the third world country within the USA.

    "If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans

    The 894 people that earn more than $20 million make more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year. "

    ( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/income-inequality-crisis_n_4221012 )

[Jan 11, 2020] In Iraq The U.S. Is Again An Occupation Force As It Rejects To Leave As Demanded

Jan 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

In Iraq The U.S. Is Again An Occupation Force As It Rejects To Leave As Demanded

Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is following Iraq's Parliament decision to remove all foreign forces from Iraq. But his request for talks with the U.S. about the U.S. withdrawal process was answered with a big "F*** You":

Iraq's caretaker prime minister asked Washington to start working out a road map for an American troop withdrawal, but the U.S. State Department on Friday bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to "recommit" to their partnership.

Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in the capital and southern Iraq, many calling on both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting anger and frustration over the two rivals -- both Baghdad's allies -- trading blows on Iraqi soil.

The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In a phone call Thursday night, he told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of their security agreements, his office said.

He asked Pompeo to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism" to carry out the Iraqi Parliament's resolution on withdrawing foreign troops, according to the statement.

"The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements," the statement added.

The Associated Press errs when it says that the move was "stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani". The move was stoked five days earlier when the U.S. killed 31 Iraqi security forces near the Syrian border despite the demands by the Iraqi prime minister and president not to do so. It was further stoked when the U.S. assassinated Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes , the deputy commander of the Popular Militia Forces and a national hero in Iraq.

The State Department issued a rather aggressive response to Abdul-Mahdi's request:

Cont. reading: In Iraq The U.S. Is Again An Occupation Force As It Rejects To Leave As Demanded

[Jan 11, 2020] America's Other Dark Legacy In Iraq by Joy Gordon

Mar 25, 2013 | fpif.org
coalition-provisional-authority-cpa-iraq-oil-looting-contracts-corruptWhen the United States, the United Kingdom, and the "coalition of the willing" attacked Iraq in March 2003, millions protested around the world. But the war of "shock and awe" was just the beginning. The subsequent occupation of Iraq by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority bankrupted the country and left its infrastructure in shambles.

It's not just a question of security. Although the breathtaking violence that attended Iraq's descent into sectarian nightmare has been well documented in many retrospectives on the 10-year-old war, what's often overlooked is that by far more mundane standards, the United States did a spectacularly poor job of governing Iraq.

It's not that Iraq was flourishing before the occupation. From 1990 to 2003, the UN Security Council imposed economic sanctions on Iraq that were the harshest in the history of global governance. But along with the sanctions, at least, came an elaborate system of oversight and accountability that drew in the Security Council, nine UN agencies, and General Secretary himself.

The system was certainly imperfect, and the effects of the sanctions on the Iraqi people were devastating. But when the United States arrived, all semblance of international oversight vanished.

Under enormous pressure from Washington, in May 2003 the Security Council formally recognized the occupation of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Resolution 1483. Among other things, this resolution gave the CPA complete control over all of Iraq's assets.

At the same time, the Council removed all the forms of monitoring and accountability that had been in place: there would be no reports on the humanitarian situation by UN agencies, and there would be no committee of the Security Council charged with monitoring the occupation. There would be a limited audit of funds, after they were spent, but no one from the UN would directly oversee oil sales. And no humanitarian agencies would ensure that Iraqi funds were being spent in ways that benefitted the country.

Humanitarian concerns

In January 2003, the UN prepared a working plan anticipating the impact of a possible war. Even with only "medium impact" from the invasion, the UN expected that humanitarian conditions would be severely compromised.

Because the Iraqi population was so heavily reliant on the government's food distribution system (a consequence of international sanctions), the UN anticipated that overthrowing the Iraqi regime would also undermine food security. And because the population already suffered from extensive malnutrition, this disruption would be quite lethal, putting 30 percent of Iraqi children under five at risk of death. The UN noted that if water and sewage treatment plants were damaged in the war, or if the electrical system could not operate, Iraqis would lose access to potable water, which would likely precipitate epidemics of water-borne diseases. And if electricity, transportation, and medical equipment were compromised, then the medical system would be unable to respond effectively to these epidemics.

During the occupation, much of this came to pass. A June 2003 UN report noted that the postwar water and sewage systems for Baghdad and other central and southern governorates were "in crisis." In Baghdad alone, the report estimated that 40 percent of the city's water distribution network was damaged, leading to a loss of up to half of the city's potable water through leaks and breaks in the system. And direr still, the UN reported that neither of Baghdad's two sewage treatment plants was functional, leading to a massive discharge of raw sewage into the Tigris River.

The food situation was similar. The UN found that farming had collapsed due to "widespread insecurity and looting, the complete collapse of ministries and state agencies -- the sole providers of essential farming inputs and services -- together with significant damages to power supplies."

Likewise, the health system deteriorated dramatically. Less than 50 percent of the Iraqi population had access to medical care, due in part to the dangers associated with travel. Additionally, the report estimated that 75 percent of all health-care institutions were affected by the looting and chaos that occurred in the aftermath of the war. As of June 2003, the health system as a whole was functioning at 30-50 percent of its pre-war capacity. The impact was immediate. By early summer, acute malnutrition rates had doubled, dysentery was widespread, and little medical care was available. In August, when a power outage blacked out New York, the joke going around Baghdad was "I hope they're not waiting for the Americans to fix it."

The CPA gave responsibility for humanitarian relief to the U.S. military -- not to agencies with experience in humanitarian crises -- and marginalized the UN's humanitarian relief agencies. Over the 14-month course of the CPA's administration, the humanitarian crisis worsened. Preventable diseases like dysentery and typhoid ran rampant. Malnutrition worsened, claiming the lives of ever more infants, mothers, and young children. All told, there was an estimated 100,000 "excess deaths" during the invasion and occupation -- well above and beyond the mortality rate under Saddam Hussein, even under international sanctions.

The CPA's priorities were clear. After the invasion, during the widespread looting and robbery, occupation authorities did little to protect water and sewage treatment plants, or even pediatric hospitals. By contrast, they provided immediate protection for the oil ministry offices, hired a U.S. company to put out oil field fires, and immediately provided protection for the oil fields as well.

Corruption

In addition, the U.S.-led CPA was deeply corrupt. Much of Iraq's revenues, from oil sales or other sources, went to contracts with U.S. companies. Of contracts for more than $5 million, 74 percent went to U.S. companies, with most of the remainder going to U.S. allies. Only 2 percent went to Iraqi companies.

Over the course of the occupation, huge amounts of money simply disappeared. Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, received over 60 percent of all contracts paid for with Iraqi funds, although it was repeatedly criticized by auditors for issues of honesty and competence. In the last six weeks of the occupation, the United States shipped $5 billion of Iraqi funds, in cash, into the country, to be spent before the Iraqi-led government took over. Auditor reports indicated that Iraqi funds were systematically looted by the CPA officials: "One contractor received a $2 million payment in a duffel bag stuffed with shrink-wrapped bundles of currency," read one report . "One official was given $6.75 million in cash, and was ordered to spend it one week before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds."

U.S. officials were apparently unconcerned about the gross abuses of the funds with which they were entrusted. In one instance, the CPA transferred some $8.8 billion of Iraqi money without any documentation as to how the funds were spent. When questioned about how the money was spent, Admiral David Oliver, the principal deputy for financial matters in the CPA, replied that he had "no idea" and didn't think it was particularly important. "Billions of dollars of their money?" he asked his interlocutor. "What difference does it make?"

In the end, none of this should be terribly surprising -- the corruption, the indifference to human needs, the singular concern with controlling Iraq's oil wealth. It was obvious from the moment that the Security Council, under enormous pressure from the United State, passed Resolution 1483.

By systematically removing nearly every form of oversight from their self-imposed administration of Iraq, the United States and its allies laid the foundation for the looting of an entire nation's wealth, abetted by their own wanton indifference to the needs and rights of Iraqis. Ten years after the start of the war, the CPA's disastrous governance of Iraq stands alongside the country's horrifying descent into violence as a dark legacy in its own right.

[Jan 10, 2020] In Iraq The U.S. Is Again An Occupation Force As It Rejects To Leave As Demanded

Notable quotes:
"... Shorter Pompeo: "Our troops will stay and you better do what we say." A foreign force that is asked to leave a country and does not do so is an occupation force. It must and will be opposed. ..."
"... The murder of the 31 security forces and the assassination of al-Mahandes have still not been avenged. The PMU will do their moral duty and fight the foreign occupation forces until they leave. ..."
"... After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I still refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event I did not cooperate and do as he asked ..."
"... Iraq is again negotiating with Russia to acquire S-300 air defense systems. It will need them as the U.S. will have to leave and leave it will. The only choice for its soldiers is between leaving horizontally or vertically, dead or alive. ..."
"... In 2006 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously celebrated Israel's assault on Lebanon as "the birth pangs of a new Middle East." The child she dreamed of was never born. Israel lost that war against Hizbullah and the Resistance Axis has been winning ever since while the U.S. has lost again and again. It is time for the U.S. to end that useless engagement and to withdraw from the Middle East. ..."
Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is following Iraq's Parliament decision to remove all foreign forces from Iraq. But his request for talks with the U.S. about the U.S. withdrawal process was answered with a big "F*** You":

Iraq's caretaker prime minister asked Washington to start working out a road map for an American troop withdrawal, but the U.S. State Department on Friday bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to "recommit" to their partnership.

Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in the capital and southern Iraq, many calling on both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting anger and frustration over the two rivals -- both Baghdad's allies -- trading blows on Iraqi soil.

The request from Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pointed to his determination to push ahead with demands for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In a phone call Thursday night, he told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of their security agreements, his office said.

He asked Pompeo to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism" to carry out the Iraqi Parliament's resolution on withdrawing foreign troops, according to the statement.

"The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements," the statement added.

The Associated Press errs when it says that the move was "stoked by the American drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani". The move was stoked five days earlier when the U.S. killed 31 Iraqi security forces near the Syrian border despite the demands by the Iraqi prime minister and president not to do so. It was further stoked when the U.S. assassinated Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes , the deputy commander of the Popular Militia Forces and a national hero in Iraq.

The State Department issued a rather aggressive response to Abdul-Mahdi's request:

America is a force for good in the Middle East. Our military presence in Iraq is to continue the fight against ISIS and as the Secretary has said, we are committed to protecting Americans, Iraqis, and our coalition partners. We have been unambiguous regarding how crucial our D-ISIS mission is in Iraq. At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East. Today, a NATO delegation is at the State Department to discuss increasing NATO's role in Iraq, in line with the President's desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts. There does, however, need to be a conversation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership. We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq.

Shorter Pompeo: "Our troops will stay and you better do what we say." A foreign force that is asked to leave a country and does not do so is an occupation force. It must and will be opposed.

The murder of the 31 security forces and the assassination of al-Mahandes have still not been avenged. The PMU will do their moral duty and fight the foreign occupation forces until they leave.

The demonstrators in Baghdad will not be able to prevent that from happening. It is interesting, by the way, that the Washington Post bureau chief in Baghdad thought she knew what they would demand even before they came together:

Louisa Loveluck @leloveluck - 9:48 UTC · Jan 10, 2020
Activists have called for fresh rallies in Baghdad's Tahrir Square today, and crowds expected to build after midday prayers. The demonstrators are rejecting parliament's decision to oppose a US troop presence, fearing repercussions that might follow.

A few hours later Loveluck had to admit that she was, as usual, wrong:

Louisa Loveluck @leloveluck - 11:13 UTC · Jan 10, 2020
"No to Iran, no to America" say signs and chants in Baghdad's Tahrir Square as crowds start to swell. Protesters say they are fed up of their country being someone else's battlefield. "We deserve to live in peace," says 21 year old Zahraa.
...
Rejecting a narrow parliamentary vote backed by Shiite political elites is not the same as openly supporting the US. Chants in Tahrir today reject both the US and Iran.

The U.S. will need to pay better Iraqi 'activists' if it wants them to demand what Donald Trump wishes.

As the Iraqi Prime Minister explained (also here ):

After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I still refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event I did not cooperate and do as he asked

Iraq is again negotiating with Russia to acquire S-300 air defense systems. It will need them as the U.S. will have to leave and leave it will. The only choice for its soldiers is between leaving horizontally or vertically, dead or alive.

As Elijah Magnier say in his summarization of the last week's events: A New Middle East "made in Iran" is about to be born

The US President – who promised to end the " endless wars " – killed the Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes and the Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani believing he could win control of Iraq and achieve regime change in Iran. On the brink of triggering a major war, Trump has spectacularly lost Iran and is about to lose Iraq.

" Beautiful military equipment doesn't rule the world, people rule the world, and the people want the US out of the region", said Iran Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif. President Trump doesn't have many people in the Middle East on his side, not even among his allies, whose leaders have been repeatedly insulted . Iran could not have dreamt of a better President to rejuvenate its position domestically and regionally. All Iran's allies are jubilant, standing behind the "Islamic Republic" that fulfilled its promise to bomb the US. A "New Middle East" is about to be born; it will not be "Made in the USA" but "Made in Iran". Let us hope warmongers' era is over. The time has come to recognise and rely on intelligent diplomacy in world affairs.

In 2006 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice famously celebrated Israel's assault on Lebanon as "the birth pangs of a new Middle East." The child she dreamed of was never born. Israel lost that war against Hizbullah and the Resistance Axis has been winning ever since while the U.S. has lost again and again. It is time for the U.S. to end that useless engagement and to withdraw from the Middle East.

Posted by b on January 10, 2020 at 19:09 UTC | Permalink


Jen , Jan 10 2020 19:30 utc | 1

The sheer arrogance and wilful blindness expressed in the US State Department press statement and WaPo staffer Louisa Loveluck's tweets are astounding beyond belief. It's as if the entire capital city of the US has become a mental asylum / Hotel California, where one can enter but never leave spiritually and morally, though one can take many physical trips in and out of the madhouse.

Iraq definitely does need the S-300 missile defence systems. The most pressing issue though is whether the Iraqis will suffer the delays Syria suffered in acquiring those systems even after paying for them. Time now is of the essence. Iraqi operators need to be trained in those systems. Syria may be able to supply some training but at the risk of letting down its guard in sending some of its operators to Baghdad and exposing them to US drone attacks.

Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 19:39 utc | 2
Thanks b, for your continuing coverage and insights.

the u.s'. leadership believes it can do the same thing over, and over, and over with different results. They will need a very long ladder with the upcoming repeat of Saigon 1975.

They have always underestimated the will and cultures of people they would make subservient.

How is this working for the Iran Puppet Master: Pompous one?

Here is the big mighty with world's powerful military; on their bended knees -

We want to discuss Return to Strategic Partnership With Iraq Instead of Troop Withdrawal

[.]The press release further noted that Washington seeks to be "a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq", while stating that the US military presence in the country will persist in order to fight Daesh* and protect Americans, Iraqis, and US-led coalition partners.[.]

Yes, some friend and partner eh? Insults and thuggery. Exiting will be horizontal.
Go pound sand.


In other news, tomorrow Iran will announce cause of UAI plane crash.

Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 19:43 utc | 3
From the US State Dept's 'aggressive response' link,

"not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East. Today, a NATO delegation is at the State Department to discuss increasing NATO's role in Iraq, in line with the President's desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts. "

"BUT OUR RIGHT" ??

...


"President's desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts."

https://www.state.gov/the-u-s-continued-partnership-with-iraq/


Seems like just yesterday that man trump was jabbering on about how the US should get out of NATO and leave those 'losers' to defend themselves.

Geopolitics in the Shining City of the Hill has come to this?

Grabs roll of tinfoil..are the Globalists using this buffoon to makes people yearn for some normalcy only they can provide?

Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 19:50 utc | 4
And with such liars who needs a stick. Narrative changes depending the hour.

Last night: Pompeo told Foxnews-

Pompeo Says US Had No Information on Date, Place of Possible Attack Allegedly Planned by Soleimani
LINK

US President Donald Trump earlier claimed that Washington had eliminated the top Iranian military commander to halt Tehran's plans to blow up the US Embassy in Baghdad.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on a national broadcast that the United States possessed no information about the date and place of an alleged attack planned by assassinated General Qasem Soleimani.[.]

"We don't know precisely when - and we don't know precisely where. But it was real ...

Today
Trump Claims Soleimani Was Planning Attacks on 4 US Embassies


US President Donald Trump in an interview with Fox News said that top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani was plotting attacks on four American embassies in the Middle East region before being assassinated by US forces.
"I can reveal that I believe it probably would've been four embassies," Trump said when asked whether large-scale attacks were planned against other embassies.

The House of Fools. Something is out of focus if they have to keep making justifications for the killing.


psychohistorian , Jan 10 2020 19:51 utc | 5
Thanks for focus on the Iran front of the civilization war humanity is in. I find the Ukraine plane crash to be distracting from the bigger picture.

The piece from the US State Department is quite the lie. Bottom line is that Iran is currently sovereign but would cease to be so is they became the "normal" country that private finance empire wants. Iran would then live under the dictatorship of global private finance like the rest of us that mythically believe we are sovereign nations and individuals.

I am pleased to see that humanity is at this juncture in spite of the threat of extinction. Our species is crippled by the cult that owns global private finance in the West and even if this process seems quite indirect to me, at least the socialism/barbarism war is being fought.

Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 19:52 utc | 6
USA stays - as predicted by MoA commenters.

b foresees an eventual win by Iraq and Iran but that is uncertain and years away.

USA is not leaving. They believe UN 2249 gives them the right to stay in Syria and Iraq - despite USA claim that ISIS is defeated.

We will likely see a rebranding of USA troops to NATO, an " ISIS resergence", and a civil war in Iraq.

!!

dadoronron , Jan 10 2020 19:55 utc | 7
A few days ago I saw a tweet that Russia was going to sell S-400s to Iran. Has anyone seen confirmation?
Abe , Jan 10 2020 20:00 utc | 8
Good. Iran will star escalating (via proxy force, or maybe even directly if they are feeling bold and determined) and US will start to have casualties. Being nice to bully never works.
nemo , Jan 10 2020 20:04 utc | 9
"A force for good!!??" How Orwellian can you get? If you are truly a force for good, then get out as you have been asked to do!
Sammy , Jan 10 2020 20:09 utc | 10
The sooner Tehran is glass, the sooner the US can pull out of the ME.
Zanon , Jan 10 2020 20:13 utc | 11
Iraq, every parliament party, could start themselves showing they want the americans to leave. They have not done this,
and this is the reason US give not to leave:

US is not willing to withdraw troops from Iraq, says Pompeo

The US argues that the Iraqi parliamentary vote was non-binding, and that its legitimacy was undermined by neither Iraqi Kurds or Sunnis participating.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/10/us-not-willing-to-withdraw-troops-from-iraq-mike-pompeo

At the same time, that will never occur since kurds and sunnis support the americans.
Quid pro quo.

pretzelattack , Jan 10 2020 20:16 utc | 12
why do sunnis support the americans? i can see it with kurds, who have been playing this game for a long time.
pretzelattack , Jan 10 2020 20:17 utc | 13
lofl at "a force for good". same old shit, same old bottle.
Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 20:17 utc | 14
New Rome suffers the same maladies as the first. Uprisings in the Provinces.

Lest we forget, Rome's demands;


" "First, Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity."

"Second, Iran must stop uranium enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing. This includes closing its heavy water reactor."

"Third, Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country."

"Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems."

"Iran must release all U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of our partners and allies, each of them detained on spurious charges."

"Iran must end support to Middle East terrorist groups, including Lebanese Hizballah [Hezbollah], Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad."

"Iran must respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi Government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias."

"Iran must also end its military support for the Houthi militia and work towards a peaceful political settlement in Yemen."

"Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria."

"Iran, too, must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region, and cease harboring senior Al Qaida leaders."

"Iran, too, must end the IRG [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] Qods Force's [Quds Force's] support for terrorists and militant partners around the world."

"And too, Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors – many of whom are U.S. allies. This certainly includes its threats to destroy Israel, and its firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It also includes threats to international shipping and destructive – and destructive cyberattacks."

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/20989/pompeos-12-demands-for-iran-read-more-like-a-declaration-of-war-than-a-path-to-peace


Saudi millions/ billions for spreading Wahhabi 7th Century violent ideology around the world is A OK though.

What? It's all about MAGA, right?

james , Jan 10 2020 20:17 utc | 15
thanks b... i share jens view on how outrageous usa official words on this are...

"At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership -- not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East." they just don't give a fuck... everyone here knew that already... as a few of us have been saying - there is no way the usa is going to leave.. they are intent up the same agenda they have been intent on for what seems like forever...

@ 4 Likklemore quote - "Something is out of focus if they have to keep making justifications for the killing." the liar in command saying he was going to cause trouble at 4 embassies.. jesus what a liar and retard trump is if he thinks anyone who has a brain would believe that b.s.

@ 10 sammy... the sooner washington d.c. is glass the sooner americans can wake the fuck up..

Fernando Martinez , Jan 10 2020 20:19 utc | 16
The Iraquis voted on a non-binding resolution. So by being wishy washy, they won't force the USA to leave anywhere.
Linda Jean Doucett , Jan 10 2020 20:25 utc | 17
Who dares to stop them?
Surely no sane country wants to stand against JUSA.

Israel is shaking in its boots so its American poodle must stay to protect them. The sooner the world gets rid of the Jewish infestation from their governments the safer the world will be.

Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 20:29 utc | 18
Fernando 16

"The Iraquis voted on a non-binding resolution. So by being wishy washy, they won't force the USA to leave anywhere."


You should walk a mile in their shoes.

Then opine.

powerandpeople , Jan 10 2020 20:30 utc | 19
As always with the USA President, this is about 2 aspects:
1. Cutting costs to USA
2. Making money for USA

This is the 'leverage' (blackmail, if you prefer)to obtain 'good deals' on the way out the door.

China (Russia to a limited extent) is providing up-front funding for repair to 'war' damaged infrastructure done by the USA.

In return, China gets hydrocarbons.

These are big, expensive projects that China excels at, cutting out the corruption to officials standing in the middle.

Revamping and extending rail infrastructure in Iraq connecting to Iran and also towards Central Asia and beyond.

Big oil pipeline projects taking Iraqi oil to Jordan. Later projects taking hydrocarbons through Syria to the Med, and into Turkey as well.

https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Is-Iraq-About-To-Become-A-Chinese-Client-State.html

That's why Pres. Trump is jockeying for a small bite of the pie. He has a good chance of getting it. But small.

Evelyn , Jan 10 2020 20:42 utc | 20
#10
Turning Tehran [ substitute : North Korea/Iraq/other designated U.S. enemy] "to glass" in some quarters seems popular.

Facile, reckless, terrorism run amok.

Probably the same gene pool spouting "They hate us for our freedoms."

Lurk , Jan 10 2020 20:43 utc | 21
@ Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 19:52 utc | 6
We will likely see a rebranding of USA troops to NATO

Some of their NATO vassals still care about the rule of law and international law. Mikey and Donny might discover that these backward states are "not very helpful" to their cause of rules based order.

USA runs a serious risk of overplaying its hand and alienating some of their european allies. Likely not all, but almost certainly some. That would create a rift in NATO and possibly the EU and compromise USA control over these organizations and their members.

PavewayIV , Jan 10 2020 20:45 utc | 22
Fernando Martinez@16 - You're misunderstanding the situation. The Iraqi parliament did get the majority they needed to pass the resolution as specified in their constitution. They will turn it over to the existing or new PM for implementation. Nothing wishy-washy about it. It's a done deal despite the terrified Kurds and Sunnis not voting to save their own butts from reprisal - either by Iraqi Shia or by the US. I would have done the same thing.

It is the US that is claiming the resolution is nonbinding (in their 'legal' opinion) because the vote wasn't sufficiently representative (in the mind of the US dual-citizen chickenhawk neocons) - despite the fact that two-thirds of Iraqis are Shia and there was more than enough votes to pass the resolution despite the Sunni and Kurd representatives' absence. The US is pouting and will hold its breath until the Iraqis defy their constitution and obey the will of their American masters. In the meantime, the US has refused to recognize the vote and will oppose any efforts for implementation by the Iraqi PM. Trump or Pompeo or one of those idiots stated that clearly and unambiguously - the US has no plans to leave no matter what.

I guess we'll see. Plan B for the US is probably to agitate for the original plan of uprisings to partition Iraq into Kurd, Sunni and Shia statelets. The obedient Kurd and Shia leaders will allow eternal US presence and as many bases as the US wants. It will be enough territory to block the feared 'Shia Crescent' - the US will insist the Kurd and Sunni statelets extend from Turkey down the Syrian border to Jordan, blocking any attempts to connect the Shia statelet to Syria. That's the US plan B for this problem if they can't use 'other means' to stay in present-day Iraq for 'anti-ISIS' operations.

Peter AU1 , Jan 10 2020 20:45 utc | 23
US was hitting Iraqi militias even back when ISIS still held territory and the militias where driving ISIS back.
Then the recent strike on the militia's formally incorporated into Iraqi military and the strike that killed the Iraqi and Iranian.... but then the Iraqi's declare Iran's strike on the US base a breach of sovereignty. Iraqi's that should be allied with Iran for the purpose of driving the US out. US will be in Iraq and the Syrian oilfields for quite some time.
There was the same talk about militia's and whatever hitting US in Syria but that hasn't eventuated and I doubt any thing serious against US will happen in Iraq either. US will have proxies out and about - using its bases as fire support bases with air and artillery to back up its proxies.
karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 20:56 utc | 24
a narrow parliamentary vote...

The vote count I saw was unanimous. Clearly, the Evil Outlaw US Empire is throwing as much bullshit at everything in the hopes that some sticks and clogs peoples's minds. The 737 crash is similar in pointing over there instead of looking at what's just occurred at your feet. Now Trump says four embassies were going to be attacked as he further demonstrates he's losing his mind. Lies and Bluster are the hallmarks of a Paper Tiger.

Meanwhile, what stands for genuine Progressives and the Left are clearly gaining ground as numerous Anti-war rallies took place yesterday and an article appeared in my local rag saying the D-Party Establishment is afraid of a Sanders nomination--2016 in play all over again except no HRC and we know more about the DNC's evilness in not at all being responsive to the public or voting results. IMO, the Political Fight required for genuine change has finally begun and will escalate.

Globally, the current battles are a new phase of a 3 millennial-long war between the Current Oligarchy and the 99% as to who will be the Sovereign--the people collectively or those who've stolen their wealth. Class War--You Bet! We now have definitive proof of how it works and how long it's been ongoing. What we've yet to see is if the 99% have enough brains and solidarity to undo 3,000+ years of Tyranny.

Within this article is a photo of Iranian general Ali Amir Hajizadeh standing at a podium in front of a phalanx of 9 flags belonging to the Axis of Resistance. We need to add our own flags to that Alliance for the enemies of Iran are the enemies of all Earth's people and employ the likes of sammy and other Terrorists to do their bidding.

Kali , Jan 10 2020 20:58 utc | 25
The Iranians attacked by the US in this episode was always about Iraq being seen as moving out of the American-Euro orbit and into the China-Iran-Russia orbit. So of course they will not voluntarily leave, instead they will either be forced out by attacks or more likely they will force either a change in leadership of Iraq or threaten the leadership or bribe the leadership into accepting permanent occupation for "their safety" ala a Mob Protection Racket. This is exposed here Pax Americana: Between Iraq and A Hard Place
ben , Jan 10 2020 21:04 utc | 26
Well, I'm shocked, just shocked, that the U$A won't be leaving as per Iraq's request...NOT!

Did any serious person believe they would?

Empire uber alles...

And still, many will support this regime of cretinous grifters..

Stonebird , Jan 10 2020 21:08 utc | 27
Couple of small points;
1) 32-35 soldiers (4-5 commanders and their command posts - US dixit) were killed in the earlier US attacks, which were heavier in Syria and against the Herzbollah, than those against Iraqian forces on the Syria-Iraqi border. The command posts were eliminated very accurately. This is possibly because they had previously collectively stated that they wanted to eliminate the terrorists in the Anbar desert. (Thought; those "terrorists" may have included embedded "special forces" or mercenaries which the US wanted to protect.)
2) I believe that Iraq was trying to get the S400, (The one that can "see" F35's) rather than the S300.

3) OT? Just who gets the profits from the Oil stolen from Syria, and would have a kickback from the oil that was demanded from Iraq (Al-Mahdi statement)? Conventionally we attribute the money going to the "Pentagon" or "CIA". But I seem to remember that the complete Erdogan family was benefitting before they were kicked out. Is it possible that the Syrian oil is now going straight into a slush fund for some Generals or members of the administration? Is that really why the US doesn't want leave? Profits not geo-politics?

karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:09 utc | 28
PavewayIV @22 & Peter AU 1 @23--

Well, we shall soon see what the Iraqis are made of and where their will lies. I expect we'll begin getting that answer this weekend. It does appear Iraqi Patriots will need to drag their fellows along with them, but IMO none will get a better future unless the Outlaw US Empire is driven from Southwest Asia.

Das Kommentariat , Jan 10 2020 21:12 utc | 29
@Lurk | Jan 10 2020 20:43 utc | 21

I expect some spineless eastern European countries (Romania, Poland, etc.) will lend themselves for this. The other members will tacitly accept the NATO branding ...

uncle tungsten , Jan 10 2020 21:14 utc | 30
The last Make America Go Away event was in Ho Chi Minh city.

It was decisive, the only non binding aspect was the ability of the USA to win.

What is it about GO AWAY that the USA elite dont understand? I guess, like Joe Biden a fist full of oil makes it comprehensible. Neandertals.

Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 21:15 utc | 31
@10 sammy

Very telling, but you will envy the dead.

The sooner Iran No. more likely

the sooner Israhell, stripped to its 1948 boundaries, is glass we will have peace on planet earth. Fighting Israhell's wars have daily cost in blood and treasure. In $ 7 trillions and counting.

Hmm. Why? running scared.

Reuters: but Russia denies.
Russian navy ship 'aggressively approached' U.S. destroyer in Arabian Sea: U.S. Navy
"DUBAI (Reuters) - A Russian navy ship "aggressively approached" a U.S. Navy destroyer in the North Arabian Sea on Thursday, the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said in a statement on Friday.
[.]
"The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course and the two ships opened distance from one another," the statement said."

JB , Jan 10 2020 21:19 utc | 32
There will be blood.

No one should cheer this. The people of the Middle East have been bleeding way too long.
The million dollar question is: how tostop a serial killer on the loose, operating in plain sight, when everyone else is either afraid, in a deal or trying to avoid blowing up the whole place (world).

It's tough because the serial killer, (together with his partners in crime EU/NATO), have dismantled the existing world order, however fragile it was. The law is no more.

You would expect that in a situation like this the nations of the world, through the UN, would say - now you must leave Iraq because the Iraqi parliament has spoken. That's the only way the weaker can enforce their decisions agains the stronger peacefully, with the support of the global community. But that doesn't happen because the worst offenders, the serial killers, are members of the UN Security Council. And, the UN General Assembly almost never meets to discuss events crucial for world peace, justice, fairness and equality, such as these.

When all hinges on force, chaos and blood are in store. It is absolutely immoral, unjust and heinous that the people of Iraq, Iran Syria, Lebanon and others should again fight to their death to set themselves free from the deadly claws of parasitic states that are veto-holding members of the UN body entrusted with maintaining world peace, law and order!!! This entire theatre of the absurd is unbearable and should be a call to action for every single decent human being on this beautiful planet.

Here's a rarely excellent, succinct piece:' Why the War never Ends" :
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52828.htm

ben , Jan 10 2020 21:19 utc | 33
Stonebird @ 27 asked; "Is that really why the US doesn't want leave? Profits not geo-politics?"


IMO, in this new age of corporate ascendancy, profits drive Geo-Politics

Peter AU1 , Jan 10 2020 21:22 utc | 34
karlof1

Magnier has a few comments on the Iraqi divides at his twitter thread and is exactly what I have thought for the last month or so. Those Iraqi groups that are solidly allied with Iran in the fight against ISIS and US are a small minority and US and Israel have been hitting them with impunity for several years now. Most Iraqi's including Shia seem tied up in small time domestic disputes. No Nasrallah's or Kharmenei's in Iraq. Only Muqtada al-Sadr types. Perhaps Sistani may do something but he also seems very much small time domestic - not interested or not capable in the big picture.

ben , Jan 10 2020 21:27 utc | 35
JB @ 32; Kudos JB, an absolutely on target rant. Thanks for the link...
karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:28 utc | 36
JB @32--

Yes, you're quite correct, there will be blood, just as there's been blood flowing for the last 3,000 years. That's why I wrote our flags must join those of the Axis of Resistance--this War isn't theirs alone; it's every Earthling's War whether they realize it or not.

james , Jan 10 2020 21:29 utc | 37
@31 likklemore.. in the videos clearly the usa ship is in the wrong...

https://www.rt.com/news/477976-us-russian-ships-aggressive-approach/

Eudoxia , Jan 10 2020 21:30 utc | 38
What if the government of Iraq asks Russia to assist it in safeguarding its airspace from unauthorized entry? The Russians will bring the equipment and the operators & they are already just across in Syria.
PJB , Jan 10 2020 21:31 utc | 39
Totally Orwellian.

Empire of Chaos, Lies and Deceit.

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." George Orwell in '1984'.

Could any statement better sum up the world we now live in?

karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:37 utc | 40
Peter AU 1 @34--

Thanks for your reply! The rhetorical counter to the non-Patriot Iraqis will be that the Evil Outlaw US Empire intends to treat them just like the Zionists treat their Palestinian slaves and have demonstrated so already. There are essentially three choices: Fight, help others to fight, pack up and move to another nation as you're no longer an Iraqi.

William Gruff , Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 41
I have often stated that the United States is suffering from mass insanity and violent psychosis.

This is not hyperbole. This is a simple factual statement.

You cannot reason with a rabid dog, and that is what America is right now.

Bubbles , Jan 10 2020 21:39 utc | 42
27

"Just who gets the profits from the Oil stolen from Syria, "

Best estimates I've seen say the oil fields trump is so bent on denying the Assad government from accessing are so damaged they produce 31,000 bpd at best. Whatever discount price comes from that after it's trucked to some market in Turkey or maybe Iraq, it would be less profitable than trump's Taj mahal casino venture.

But hey, he's the greatest business man ever. Just ask him?

It's not about profit, it's about making a dollar here and there to give to the Kurds and keep their America is our friend dreams alive and denying Assad that oil.

It would cost a great deal of money to return the fields east of the Euphrates to their previous production levels.

The Netanyahu plan is to deny the Syrian gov't and it's people the revenue from those wells they used to access to pay for their needs. Only the needs of trump and his people matter.

Joshua , Jan 10 2020 21:43 utc | 43
The current regime in the United States seems to believe that people are only able to believe what the regime tells them to believe. This is not the case. Even the American people want the US military to withdraw from Iraq, from Syria, from the Middle East.
Joshua , Jan 10 2020 21:46 utc | 44
This has been illustrated repeatedly. But, after every 'election', and after every 'poll', the regime chews on the results and rolls it over until they come up with a 'storyline' that says they can do whatever the hell they feel like anyway. More and more people are catching on to this.
Annie , Jan 10 2020 21:48 utc | 45
Elijah Magnier in a Tweet today seemed to imply that Al Mahdi didn't stand up to the US forcefully enough and that there is a split between shia and Sunni as to US presence. Some want the US to stay. He also said Iraq needs a stronger PM that will implement US kicking out of Iraq. He also mentioned that Al Mahdi did not give the ok for PMU forces to go up against US in Iraq.
We will have to see. But if the Iraqi people are demanding US is kicked out then Al Mahdi may be forced to act.
Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 21:50 utc | 46
PavewayIV @22

Yeah, that's right.

As in virtual every representative democracy, the Iraqi government carries out the will of the people as expressed through their representatives. So the vote by the Iraqi Parliament is binding on the Iraqi government, not a foreign government .. duh!

AFAIK USA is in Iraq at invitation of the Iraqi government but there's no formal agreement (aka SOFA). So the Iraqi government can ask USA to leave at any time.

Iraq was being nice and diplomatic to invite USA to provide input that helps the Iraqi government determine the timetable for USA to leave. Since USA has refused, we should expect the Iraqi government to demand that USA leave immediately.

Of course, USA has already stated their reasons for remaining despite any lawful demand that they do so.

!!

Cortes , Jan 10 2020 21:51 utc | 47
ben @33

Corporate ascendancy's was accurately described in perhaps the greatest novel of the pomp of the USA:


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Merchants

Pohl's sequel takes it to a terrestrial conclusion.

Likklemore , Jan 10 2020 21:52 utc | 48
@ james 37

Thanks james. Give the u.s. uniformed boys and girls some slack. They are running scared, having to look over their shoulders knowing they are targets and that now things have changed - U.S. stands alone without friends. It's vassal states waiver. after Soleimani killing suddenly, except for IL, the U.S. is alone . article from earlier comment posting is a good read.

Manny , Jan 10 2020 21:55 utc | 49
This site is a mountain of bs.
karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 21:56 utc | 50
james @37--

Here's b's Tweet on the matter:

"'Power-driven vessel A approaches the port side of power-driven vessel B. Vessel A is considered the give-way vessel. As the give-way vessel, A must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear and avoid crossing the stand-on vessel B.'
Farragut (A) should have passed behind B."

As b notes, this is almost an exact repeat of what happened last year. The idiots commenting on the USN's twitter thread are pathetic and clearly don't know squat.

And speaking of the Russian Navy, Putin's business today began with "a meeting with the Defence Ministry leadership and the Russian Navy commanders to discuss the key areas of short- and long-term development of the Navy. The meeting was held while the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was visiting the Nakhimov Black Sea Naval Academy" after observing/participating in the previous day's naval exercises on the Black Sea. Currently, the USN is rated as "weak and marginal" by the Heritage Institute, a patriotic think tank, which is outwardly displayed by the lack of navigation skills.

Jackrabbit , Jan 10 2020 21:58 utc | 51
Annie !45: He also said Iraq needs a stronger PM ...

I don't think Mahdi's being a caretaker' PM should matter.

Any democratic government is supposed to carry out the wishes of the people as express by Parliament.

USA is trying to muddy the waters and throw up BS because they fundamentally WILL NOT LEAVE.

!!

Joshua , Jan 10 2020 22:02 utc | 52
And another thing...
Did anybody notice how the 'goodguy badguy show' (impeachment dog & pony show) got shoved to the back burner all of a sudden? Now I guess they are going to wait and see how this 'breakout' aggression move is going to pan out for them.
Ben Zanotto , Jan 10 2020 22:04 utc | 53
"America is a force for good in the Middle East."

Recall that the phrase "for good" also has the second meaning of "permanently, forever, or perpetually."

Surely this was unintentional phrase selection on part of the Imperial spokesman.

jayc , Jan 10 2020 22:18 utc | 54
ISIS was the means - the Trojan horse - to justify the permanent garrisoning of NATO in Iraq and Syria. Before Russia's intervention, NATO and politicians from NATO countries were uniform in proclaiming the "fight" against ISIS would be a "generational struggle" which would take at least 20-30 years to achieve victory. Even after major fighting has reduced the organization to almost nothing, this rationale lives on in the guise of a "continuing threat" represented by ISIS' ideology or aspirations. Permanent NATO garrisons in Iraq and Syria remains the extant policy (ISIS always just the pretext). If the European NATO members balk at the Iraq civil war which the US will quietly propose in the interest of supporting this policy, then it is likely the Kurd regions will suffice as a breakaway NATO protectorate.
ChasMark , Jan 10 2020 22:21 utc | 55
This information was in a comment on Unz.com
Can anyone verify?

("Iris" = the prequel; the Erebus comment tells a story totally different from what Pompeo, congressmen, MSM etc. are reporting.)

Killing Inside Iraq to Punish Iran
Trump-Pompeo foreign policy is not only incoherent, it is insane
PHILIP GIRALDI • JANUARY 7, 2020 •

Iris says:
https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/killing-inside-iraq-to-punish-iran/#comment-3650417

January 8, 2020 at 1:37 pm GMT •
Iris responded to:

Now Trump will be able to deescalate and Iran will save its face by claiming 80 or so American soldiers dead

with:

"It is good to gather facts, information and try to cross-check it before making educated assumptions on subjects ordinary citizens are not privy to.
Countless insightful American commenters propose very well-supported cases, but come to opposite conclusions with regard to President Trump's real intentions. How could we then know Iran's strategic roadmap?
The Iranian reaction was long coming. The writing was on the wall when Hassan Nasrallah, following one too many Israeli strike on Syria, detailed in his Sept 2019 address that the "Resistance Axis" had the capability to hit strategic Israeli targets that he named.
It is not normal that US sources have not communicated any detail of the consequences of the strikes, so many hours after they took place. The Danes have stated there were "no casualties amongst them", which hints there were casualties amongst other Western nationalities.
Your cynicism is justified by how real-politik is actually conducted. However, it is also very possible that we are living a cornerstone moment in ME's History, a reverse moment of the 2003 invasion of Iraq."

• Replies: @Erebus

Erebus says:
January 9, 2020 at 10:20 am GMT •
@Iris

"Some of what's come out suggests the US has gone full Mafia in response to the last few years' developments in the M.E. There's no geo-political strategy. There's only (bad) gangsterism.
Countless insightful American commenters propose very well-supported cases, but come to opposite conclusions with regard to President Trump's real intentions.

Russia's textbook demonstration of how to combine diplomatic acumen and military efficiency in sorting problems has given impetus to a Russian authored, Chinese backed regional security and development proposal that's been making the rounds through the region's capitals since late summer (at least). Promoted by Iran (mostly via Oman) as a new paradigm in M.E. affairs, it's been well received everywhere except Saudi Arabia who've apparently cited their inability to throw off the American yoke as the primary impediment to their overt support. Notwithstanding, the Saudis have been talking quietly with all parties and have reportedly even sent emissaries to Tehran for "informal" talks on the hush-hush. Soleimani was a significant player in these talks, which were being mediated by Iraq.

In his speech to the Iraqi parliament subsequent to Soleimani's murder, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi revealed an astonishing tale of the sort of strongarming tactics America has employed in response. His speech was to be carried live on Iraqi TV, but the feed was cut immediately after he started by the Speaker.

Nevertheless, his words have leaked to the public. In it he told that Trump had demanded 50% of Iraq's oil revenues, or the US wouldn't go ahead with promised infrastructure rebuilding of the country they destroyed. Mahdi refused that proposal and headed to China where he promptly made a deal to rebuild the country. When the US learned of it, Trump called him to demand that the deal be rescinded and when Mahdi refused Trump threatened to unleash violent protests against Mahdi's rule.

Sure enough, violent protests began shortly thereafter. Again Trump called and when Mahdi again refused to rescind the China deal, Trump threatened him with Maidan-style snipers. Again Mahdi refused, and Iraq's Minister of Defence spoke publicly of "third party" provocateurs killing both protestors and police, threatening to drive the country back into civil war.
Again Trump called, and Mahdi reports that this time he threatened Mahdi and the Defence Minister with assassination if they didn't shut up about "third party" provocateurs. Meanwhile, Mahdi continued to mediate Iranian-Saudi talks and Soleimani was carrying Iran's response to the latest Saudi message. He was to meet Mahdi later the morning of his assassination.

The upshot of all that is that the intent behind Soleimani's gangland slaying was to send the US' message to Mahdi specifically, but also to Iran, the Saudis, and anyone else contemplating M.E. rapprochement that murder awaited them if they continued to work towards peace in the region.
It is not normal that US sources have not communicated any detail of the consequences of the strikes, so many hours after they took place.

Details are emerging re the Al Assad Air Base attack, and if you're an American strategist they ain't pretty. The lack of casualties notwithstanding, satellite photos show that the Iranian salvo hit targets with a very high level of combat efficiency. Any damage assessment will reveal that technically, Iran can hit whatever it wants to hit.

Qiam missiles were used. They're a cheap 'n cheerful derivative of the Soviet SCUD, and Iran has 1,000s of them. Hezbollah likely has 1,000s as well, so the picture is even less pretty if you're an Israeli strategist. Furthermore
Iran informed the Swiss Embassy in Tehran (who represent American interests in Iran) an hour or more before the attack. More than enough time to get personnel out of harm's way. FARS' reports of 80 killed and ~200 injured, frankly look to be a narrative for domestic consumption. It's hard to believe that with the hour+ warning that that many people were hanging around in the line of fire.

My guess about the delay is that the US is simply stunned.

However, it is also very possible that we are living a cornerstone moment in ME's History, a reverse moment of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

I believe that's true regardless of what got hit and the number of casualties. This was a message sending exercise. As unimaginative as it may appear, the salvo sent an unmistakeable signal that went through the region's capitals and beyond. Here's why they're all paying attention

1. Iran struck American assets directly, in a brazenly overt manner. No plausible deniability, proxies or non-state actors involved. It was a State attack on another State's assets. If there is any doubt that the hit on Suleimani was an act of war, there can be no doubt about Iran's response. The bully got punched in the nose in front of his entourage and they're now waiting to see what he'll do. However

2. The IRGC's very high level of confidence in its missiles & missile corps is obviously warranted. If the US and its satraps expected amateur hour, they got the diametric opposite – the equivalent of getting your knife shot out of your hand – and that puts the US in a bad spot.

3. The Qiam salvo was no Kalibrs-from-the-Caspian demonstration of technical prowess, but so far as I can currently tell, more than half of the missiles targetting Al Assad hit bull's eyes and American AD failed to intercept any of them. This stands in stark contrast to Syria's success at knocking down Tomahawks. The Americans claim that the Al Assad airbase had no missile defence systems installed, which seems incredible, but with the silence of the Patriot batteries of Abqaiq looming in the background, all of the USM's regional assets have been exposed as ducks in a barrel. The US simply can't defend them.

It is clear that with its S300 systems and indigenous air defence in place, Iran can destroy American assets while minimizing its own losses. What's more, Iran's S300s have reportedly been networked into Russia's regional air defence systems, and that installing S400s is being actively considered. With either development, Iran's air space is effectively closed. Iran's status as the pre-eminent regional power has been cemented into place, and with the Kremlin's backing there is no way to dislodge it. Every capital must now run its calculus and begin re-thinking its role in the region, or its relationship with it.
Without high efficiency air defence, CENTCOM can't defend even itself, never mind the region's oil infrastructure and perverse allied monarchies. That is now plain as day. Remaining perceptions of its ability to provide security guarantees to its satraps are now gone, and so the US' options have been reduced to a choice between escalation, or going home. There's no there there, and everybody now knows it. The message couldn't be clearer.

Iran has opened the exit door and we're all waiting to see what heads prevail in Washington as the facts settle into them. To keep the Americans focussed, one can expect to see the Iraqi militias begin ratcheting up attacks on American assets in Iraq, and in collaboration with domestic militia's in Syria as well.

The question now revolves around whether the US needs a thousand cuts to absorb the message that its dominance of the M.E. is over.


ADKC , Jan 10 2020 22:25 utc | 56
If the US withdraws from the Middle East the Petrodollar will come to an end and the whole US and the Western financial system collapses. The US and West are trapped by their stupidity in abusing the financial system to fund their wars and build up a level of debt that can never and will never be paid. How can the US leave even if they wanted to?
Pft , Jan 10 2020 22:25 utc | 57
Well, the sun rose in the East again today, so why would anyone be surprised the US wont leave Iraq and all that black gold. Heck, we never left Germany, Japan and South Korea and they got nothing but location going for them (as does Iraq)

As for losing. Wars are not fought with an ending as the principle goal, at least not since WWII. Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. Welcome to Orwells 1984, sans the boot in Oceania (thus far). Cold War followed by GWOT. When the GWOT began to fizzle a mini Cold War with Russia was started by Obama and AQ was replaced with ISIS. Those are fizzling so Trumps pulled Iran from Obamas dust bin.

Empires need enemies to hold them together so they can keep feed the MIC beast and keep it from devouring the hand that feeds them. If an enemy does not exist one is created.

It helps that the majority can be made to believe anything. Ignorance and effective propaganda, the elimination of a free press, and control of education and entertainment make that possible. Nothing can reverse this. Sure, a few might break out of the matrix but they are of no consequence unless they become too visible.

winston2 , Jan 10 2020 22:34 utc | 58
27
The S300 can see F35s just fine.Its not at a fixed model,the appellation is a generic, and denotes a class of missile with a range of 300km.Radars and c&c systems are updated constantly.
They are not your daddys S300s that Greece never updated, you're in for a rude surprise if you think so.
Really?? , Jan 10 2020 22:47 utc | 59
Jen @ 1
"The sheer arrogance and wilful blindness expressed in the US State Department press statement and WaPo staffer Louisa Loveluck's tweets are astounding beyond belief. "
+++++++

One is left gobsmacked and speechless.
An interloper is told to get the hell out of your house and he retorts: "No, we are here to stay and renew our marriage vows with you!"
This is insane.
Surely the world can see that Pompeo and others at State are deranged, out of touch with reality.

Honestly, one is at a loss for words.

As ever, more thanks to b for keeping up with all of this.

chet380 , Jan 10 2020 22:51 utc | 60
@ Sammy 10

The sooner Tel Aviv is glass, the sooner the US WILL pull out of the ME.

Formerly T-Bear , Jan 10 2020 22:57 utc | 61
@ karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 20:56 utc | 24

Referring your observations here concerning DNC may be problematic, instead it might have better standing to fact if DLC (Democratic Leadership Committee) is used as it is a construct of the Clintons in their takeover of the D-party for the 1992 election. It is highly unlikely Hillary replaced that organisation for her attempts at high office. It is also highly unlikely Obama had the interest or motive to replace the Clinton organisation in his Presidency, he hardly replaced Bush 43's administration at the end of eight years. All too much of this information has gone down memory holes and no longer carries sufficient significance to matter for the public but should definitely matter to those interested in modern historical developments. Verification may likely be found by analysing the membership of the D-party's financial committee (membership should be matter of public record) and determine their political allegiances
YMMV

Really?? , Jan 10 2020 22:59 utc | 62
"Iraqi's declare Iran's strike on the US base a breach of sovereignty. Iraqi's that should be allied with Iran for the purpose of driving the US out."

One Iraqi. Two Iraqis .

No apostrophe for plural.

Just for possessive, e.g., "Iran's."

Is that so hard?

No, it is not hard.

Abe , Jan 10 2020 22:59 utc | 63
On completely unrelated note, b, you are aware that your website, as set as it is, gives us government technical ability to identify each and every one of posters here? Regardless where you host your website.

You website imports contents from ajax.googleapis.com. It is spyware used for tracking users across whole internet, every site that uses google api is voluntarily enabling google to track people so they can build surfing history/profile for everyone.

google shares that info with us government.

government compares timestamps of posts here, and can identify people.

HTTPS website doesn't protects anyone here in this regard.

Just for posters to know there is technical possibility.

bjd , Jan 10 2020 23:12 utc | 64
Subvert, Sabotage, Eliminate.
bjd , Jan 10 2020 23:19 utc | 65
Iraq has Trump by the short hairs.
In a few months the election circus will really get underway. If they're smart and patriottic, the PMF will slowly start hitting US targets, forcing Trump's hand. An increased campaign of pressure.
Like Tet '68. The Bagdad Olympics.
Really?? , Jan 10 2020 23:26 utc | 66
karlof1 @50
""'Power-driven vessel A approaches the port side of power-driven vessel B. Vessel A is considered the give-way vessel. As the give-way vessel, A must take EARLY and SUBSTANTIAL action to keep clear and avoid crossing the stand-on vessel B.'
Farragut (A) should have passed behind B."

Video was taken on the US ship, right (voice? Looks to me like the Russian ship (top left) was crossing the US ship's bow from port to starboard of US (closer) ship. I.e., from the port side. Not "approaching the port side." So, as far as I can see, the US vessel had the right of way; the Russian ship should have given way/changed course.

Cf. "1. If another vessel is approaching you from the port -- or left -- side of your boat, you have the right of way and should maintain your speed and direction."

J-Dogg , Jan 10 2020 23:32 utc | 67
I am going to go out on a limb and say the reason for all the western obfuscation is that Boeing is already in trouble due to the 737MAX issues. Boeing being a major component in USA economy needs to be protected from the fact they just lost another plane to mechanical/design error.
karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 23:35 utc | 68
ChasMark @55--

There's lots of info to verify in those comments. For the most part, they're all correct. The exception comes to Iranian air defences, their indigenous designed S-400 equivalent, overall radar net, EW capabilities, and independent internet communications. The overall conclusion is Iran is far better prepared and equipped than Outlaw US Empire/NATO knew. It should also be reiterated that Iran's under Russia's nuclear aegis, which was publicly stated by Putin and an adjutant and clearly repeated to Pompeo and Trump by both Lavrov and Putin. Furthermore as publicly stated, China has Iran's back fiscally. In other words, Iran and its allies have more oomph collectively than the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals, many of the latter actually desire better relations with the CRI troika.

Perhaps the key point made is the supposed inability of Saudi to free itself from the Empire's shackles, which actually does make sense when one thinks long term. The logic of Iran's HOPE Proposal is impeccable and is the only genuine route out of the current dilemma. Clearly, it's been determined the Outlaw US Empire is the sole impediment to implementing HOPE and thus must be ousted from its ability to impede. I wrote back in September when HOPE was introduced at the UNGA that Trump would be a fool not to embrace it instead of oppose it as he could then call the Empire a partner in the project. Clearly, he was advised not to do so.

james , Jan 10 2020 23:40 utc | 69
@ likklemore and karlof1.. i liked the comment on moa twitter feed - "This was an american driving school marked with a very big "L" means "learner". Please drive carefully with max. consideration."

@ 66 really? the other video is better then the one shown in b's twitter feed clip.. check it out in the first video of 2 shown on the rt link.. cheers..

Tony , Jan 10 2020 23:41 utc | 70
The sooner that fat, lying, smirking terrorist thug Pompeo is sacked or killed, the better. He is a huge liability to our world.
karlof1 , Jan 10 2020 23:48 utc | 71
Really?? @66--

That's the impression you'd get when the USN is crossing the oncoming RuN path. I run into those sorts of helmsmen all the time on the ocean outside of Newport, Oregon. Additionally, with all the incidents of terrible navigation abilities seen over the past 3+ years and the lies made to cover them, the USN has zero credibility just like its parent organization the Outlaw US Empire.

Figleaf23 , Jan 10 2020 23:53 utc | 72
It occurs to me that a host country that is no in conflict with an over-staying force can make their life very challenging without having to actually fight them.

Outlaw any commerce between occupying forces and local businesses. Cut the roads to and from the bases. Fly unarmed drones in the path of their aircraft. Delay, deny, defy any requests for cooperation. Divert streams to flood their bases. Get really creative and make their life hell.

William Gruff , Jan 11 2020 0:01 utc | 73
The US Navy never backs down from any challenge! [ video ]
karlof1 , Jan 11 2020 0:07 utc | 74
Formerly T-Bear @61--

Thanks for your reply! From what I observe, there's a lot of political angst within the Empire that Trump's actions and subsequent BigLies have enhanced and brought to the surface. The Act of War was the biggest domestic political error he could have committed, which shows he has zero sense. Sanders is now the #1 D-Party candidate, and he and Gabbard with a genuinely Progressive & Anti-war platform ought to win handily if allowed to.

You may have seen these one two links I've previously posted dealing with the beginnings of the 2020 election season. The first is the initial episode of a series in which I've seen the second, which is here . The second of the three is very entertaining, and all are just shy of 30 min.

Hope you're doing well in post-Brexit Ireland!

ebolax , Jan 11 2020 0:13 utc | 75
Sadly and unfortunately, the US will only withdrawal after it has suffered another catastrophic loss, similar to what befell the soldiers in Lebanon. This is a criminal enterprise sitting atop the US Military. You would figure people putting their ass on the line would try and understand what they're really fighting for, but alas, most do not find out until after they come home.
DFC , Jan 11 2020 0:18 utc | 76
The US has started the chess game in a very poor position, with the pawns and horses deployed too forward in the chessboard (only 5.200 soldiers in Iraq and 10.000 in Kuwait), and the USA military leadership are in a very bad situation, if they try to send massive troops and equipment reinforcement Iran will not be iddle waiting how US is preparing to destroy them as the stupid Saddam did in 1991 and again in 2003, no, Iran will start the war with any pretext before new troops & equipment is deployed in significant amounts.

On the other hand, if Iran escalate, the CENTCOM cannot support the "lost" garrison in Iraq and Kuwait, they do not have enough forces deployed in the theater, and an airlift operation of this magnitude under fire is very dangerous and a ride through hundreds of miles through hostile terrain under harassment from Iranians and PMU troops "Hezbollah style" (as IDF suffer in 2006), and without heavy armor scort and close air support will be almost suicidal.

Iranian have been preparing for a war with USA from 1979, but now the situation is better than ever, I do not give a cent on USA now if they do not retreat quickly from Syria and Iraq (if Trump is enough intelligent it will order soon, but I am afraid he wants to play poker once more), and stop to make threats and provocations.
But they "cannot" retreat, you know, is an electoral year and Trump want to be re-elected above all.

Checkmate!

div> Those oil deals Iraq made with China in exchange for Iraqi electrical infrastructure projects are something Trump will not allow and has threatened Iraq with the terrors of the earth. As Karloff1 suggests the Iraqis have few choices, Trumps State department have been blunt... you are vassals and you will do as you are told or you will be punished. That's plain and we can all be thankful for Trumps honesty. The ball is now in the Iraqi court, either refuse to be vassals and fight for your sovereignty or bow your heads and vacate the field.

Posted by: Harry law , Jan 11 2020 0:30 utc | 77

Those oil deals Iraq made with China in exchange for Iraqi electrical infrastructure projects are something Trump will not allow and has threatened Iraq with the terrors of the earth. As Karloff1 suggests the Iraqis have few choices, Trumps State department have been blunt... you are vassals and you will do as you are told or you will be punished. That's plain and we can all be thankful for Trumps honesty. The ball is now in the Iraqi court, either refuse to be vassals and fight for your sovereignty or bow your heads and vacate the field.

Posted by: Harry law | Jan 11 2020 0:30 utc | 77

juliania , Jan 11 2020 0:33 utc | 78
I am seeing the position of Iraq against Iran as being very similar to the position of Ukraine vis a vis Russia -- as 'younger' to 'elder brother'. Not as lesser to greater, but as family, the ones nearby. Crimea grabbed onto that lifeline - as well they might!

Now a new element of the multipolar world is at early stages of being born. And this was put in effect, if we go back and look, immediately up the invasion of Iraq by Bush Jr. But, clearly, Iraq went through more horror, more destabilization than did Ukraine. The latter had a governmental coup resulting in internal strife; Iraq had a military invasion. So, hopefully the Resistance will be patient with it - like Syria, it is in great need of aid, comfort, and reassurance that no further hegemony will be visited upon it. Sovereignty is the issue and rightfully so.

There are lessons to be learned, after we finish mourning the murders of men who were apparently engaged in the diplomatic efforts to establish this new multipolarity, or at least lay some groundwork for future talks along that line. You don't murder diplomats. Case closed; invaders out! And that is more difficult, more delicate, if up till now you have only yourself survived as a nation by clinging to the skirts of the American empire. Difficult but inevitable.

Iraq now can look toward Ukraine. Has that country done well taking the unipolar path? Hardly. Did South Vietnam? Hardly. But as spring approaches, how are each changing course? The dust is settling; you can see better. Travel with Pepe over the great mountains following real trading routes, of the centuries past. Bring your own unique assets to the fore and let friends visit and see what it is that makes you you. Another name for the Axis of Resistance is Peace and Prosperity. Mutual benefit. It's coming.

In this country, the US, long ago there was a mighty empire, the empire of the Anasazis, in the center of the Southwest. They caused to be built mighty edifices and they suborned the surrounding farming peoples because they had power to predict the seasonal changes and supposedly command rain to fall. Everyone believed it and everyone obeyed. For a time. There was no alternative. Until it didn't rain, and it didn't rain. So, the people left, they went where there were rivers, they abandoned the great Anasazi centre. It is in ruins today. But the people have survived.

We are suddenly in another pivotal moment. And it will be difficult for those of us who willingly or not have benefited from empire. But many of us say with you - invaders out! Peace and blessings to all!

Walter , Jan 11 2020 0:36 utc | 79
: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 21:15 utc | 31

The COLREGS do not apply to the exceptionals...

US destroyer blatantly violated international rules for preventing collisions at sea by making a manoeuvre to cross the Russian ship's course in the North Arabian Sea - @MoD_Russia🇷🇺

ben , Jan 11 2020 0:44 utc | 80
Cortes @ 47; Thanks for the link. Interesting Si-Fi. Maybe not that far fetched after all..

Manny @ 49; Welcome. Keep reading, and once you get through middle-school, maybe you'll change your mind.

Pft @ 57; Good read, thanks!

Walter , Jan 11 2020 0:58 utc | 81
Bearing in mind that Pravda ain't what it used to be this policy, described bluntly in article title : "If NATO strikes Kaliningrad, Russia will seize Baltic in 48 hours" if real, would probably extend to the prevention of similar build-up in the matter of the Iraqi and Iranian "MAGA" programs now developing.

Quote from Pravda> "As soon as we can see the concentration of American aircraft on airfields in Europe - they cannot reach us in any other way - we will simply destroy those airfields by launching our medium-range ballistic missiles at those targets. Afterwards, our troops will go on offensive in the Baltic direction and take control of the entire Baltic territory within 48 hours. NATO won't even have time to come to its senses - they will see a very powerful military buildup on the borders with Poland. Then they will have to think whether they should continue the war. As a result, all this will end with NATO losing the Baltic States," Mikhail Alexandrov told Pravda.Ru describing one of the scenarios for a possible development of events in case of Russia's response to NATO aggression.
Another variant for the breakthrough of the missile defense system in Kaliningrad provides for a massive cruise missile attack on the Russian territory. According to the expert, Russia has cruise and ballistic missiles that it can launch on the territory of the United States.
"If the Americans launch a missile attack on Kaliningrad, then we will strike, say, Seattle, where largest US aircraft factories are located. Having destroyed those factories we will deprive the Americans of the possibility to build their aircraft. They will no longer be able to build up their fleet of military aircraft," said Mikhail Alexandrov.
Russia has efficient air defense systems to intercept cruise missiles. If it goes about a ballistic missile strike, the expert reminded that Russia has a missile defense area in Moscow that can intercept at least 100 missiles and maybe even more, since there are no restrictions associated with the ABM Treaty.


One might assume the same policy would apply for all Ru, and Iran too, as Iran is critical to the survival of Ru.

Paul Damascene , Jan 11 2020 1:01 utc | 82
On the topic of Iran not waiting for a military build up as a precursor to a US assault on Iran...

I wonder if an intermediate step for Iran might be, in cooperation with the PMU, to threaten to attack any new forces coming into Iraq, taking this to be escalation prior to an invasion, and therefore a threat that must countered before it worsens.

Medusa - Perseus , Jan 11 2020 1:14 utc | 83
Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 10 2020 20:30 utc | 19

you might be interestted in Gordon Hahn's take:

https://gordonhahn.com/2020/01/07/russia-the-eurasian-triangle-and-the-soleiman-assassination/

January 7, 2020
Russia, the Eurasian Triangle, and the Soleiman Assassination

***********************

Likklemore , Jan 11 2020 1:14 utc | 84
@ Walter 79

but there is this query: what are the consequences of taunting? A review of the past year saw the u.s. losing stature and, since 2014, its dollar as world reserve currency being shunned.

Once that goes. Hmmm, and in the Gulf:

2015: Reuters Qatar launches first Chinese yuan clearing hub in Middle East

2017: China will 'compel' Saudi Arabia to trade oil in yuan and that will affect the dollar

FF
2019: Abqaig - After the Houthis take down of KSA oil facilities, and failure of US defenses does KSA still feel secure?

Working closely with Russia, Soleimani was instrumental in the battles for Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Trump, the braggart, stunned the world. Even their special relationship Brits!
It is reported when Boris was told of Soleimani's murder he said, O, F**K.

January 3, 2020 everything changed and they know not what they have done on behalf of Israel.

jiri , Jan 11 2020 1:18 utc | 85
The attack on al Assad airbase was the US's Suez Moment.

What remains now is to decide how to dismantle the Empire.

Harry law , Jan 11 2020 1:20 utc | 86
An exit from Iraq would make the occupation and theft of oil from Syria untenable,and the land route from Iran to Syria and Lebanon less hazardous. This would be fatal for Israel and will insist the US stay in Iraq. Unfortunately for the US 5,000 will not cut the mustard, how many US troops could Trump put into Iraq to quell an uprising in election year? US bases in the Gulf are extremely vulnerable especially the largest base Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar who many regard as being located in enemy territory. Trump is gambling and many shrinks think he's nuts, I agree..... Psychiatrists: Urgent action must be taken against Trump for creating Iran crisis
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/10/615852/Trump-is-%E2%80%98dangerous-and-incapacitated%E2%80%99-Psychiatrists
Really?? , Jan 11 2020 1:24 utc | 87
James @ 69

The two videos don't look like the same situation.
The first appears to have been shot from the Farragut's port side; the second, from her starboard side.

And in the first the Russian ship appears to be bearing down on the Farragut off the Farragut's port bow. In the second the Russian ship appears to be overtaking the Farragut, coming up from the starboard side. I don't see how the videos can have been taken at the same time. The rule that seems to apply to the situ in video 1 is:

"Crossing Situation.

When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel."

Since the Russian vessel appears to have the Farragut on her starboard side, the Russian vessel should change course and presumably deflect to starboard. (Once the two vessels were as close as they were, both should have deflected to starboard.) But instead it looks as though the Russian vessel at the last minute deflected to port.

However, video 2 looks like a totally different situ. So to me it remains unclear what the actual disposition of the vessels was. The videos must have been taken at two different points in the encounter.

diveshopingoa , Jan 11 2020 1:26 utc | 88
Thank you b for these great articles and allowing comments.

I want to nod out to ChasMark | Jan 10 2020 22:21 utc | 55 for a great comment.

For decades the US has controlled the world through petro dollars and counterinsurgency warfare. They lost every time at this but its more about the money spent and keeping fluidity within economic circles.

With Iran's missile attack being an eye opener I hope the US is smart enough to know they have lost. MIC spokes person when asked why the base did not protect itself. He said they did not have the hardware to do it. No Patriots because they owned the sky up to that point. What is a Patriot to counterinsurgency. They had a M-901 (TEL) which they got rid of years ago supposedly. It is loaded with six TOW missiles and would generally be used to disable bomb laden vehicles approaching the gate. Counterinsurgency again.

Those days are over. It is the day of the missile and belt and road economic plans. No longer can air craft carriers hang off the coast to control the skies. How will the stunned US MIC bring in additional troops and equipment. Planes or ships are small targets but highly valuable ones. It is not always easy to know how things happen. Like the ships struck this past year in the gulf or KSA oil infrastructure hit, who did it and how is hard to determine.

I imagine the MIC is burning the mid-night oil with the realization that they are now in a war they are totally unprepared to fight. They have 15,000 soldiers strung out in Iraq unprotected from missile attack and no way to protect them. They will talk all BS but it is empty and they know it. They do have two things. One is fear and the other nukes.

There is much talk of weak knees among the Iraqi people and government. That is with good reason. The destruction of city after city. Some they find through the birth of deformed children that some of their cities are radioactive. Of course they are afraid the USA killed a million of them and turned 24 million into refugees. As time goes on they will realize that the bully is not what it was and every new strike by Iran will build the confidence to push the Americans out.

I wonder if the day of the nuke is coming to an end as well. Temper tantrum Trump decides to nuke either Iran or Iraq the world will speak up. Perhaps strike back as the Russians have said. If the point is the oil and gas in the area and the control of it then nukes will destroy that value.

If there was a time that America wet itself it is now. If the 9 flags stand together then move as one their cries will drive the heathen from their home. I also believe that if it happens then the USA is done. Played out.

Richard Steven Hackr , Jan 11 2020 1:27 utc | 89
"Iran could not have dreamt of a better President to rejuvenate its position domestically and regionally."

The problem is that Israel could not have dreamt of a better President to get a war with Launched. In fact, Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli Minister of Justice (some irony there), once said as much explicitly, albeit over the issue of the West Bank, not Iran.

Ayelet Shaked urges Israel to take advantage of Trump and annex West Bank
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/aylet-shaked-urges-israel-take-advantage-trump-presidency-annex-west-bank

Quote:

In a tweet following a Jerusalem Post conference in New York on Sunday, Ayelet Shaked said it was time for Israel to "establish facts on the ground".
"There is no better time than now," Shaked, who earlier this month was sacked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as justice minister, wrote on Twitter.
"Do not miss Trump's reign - that's what I just said at the Jerusalem Post in New York."

End Wuote

This is because Trump is devoted to Israel and devoted to an antipathy to Iran. The more Iran gains ground in the Middle East, the more Israel will push Trump (and any successor to Trump) to attack Iran. And he will do it - either deliberately or out of incompetence - and the difference doesn't matter.

Really?? , Jan 11 2020 1:31 utc | 90
It occurs to me that a host country that is no in conflict with an over-staying force can make their life very challenging without having to actually fight them.

. . .

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 10 2020 23:53 utc | 72

++++++++++++++
Change all the road and street signs! OK, there are fewer signs in Iraq than there were in Czechoslovakia, but it would still be worth a shot.

William H Warrick , Jan 11 2020 1:40 utc | 91
Condo, Dubya's "House Negro", got a Stillborn baby instead.
Really?? , Jan 11 2020 1:42 utc | 92
That's the impression you'd get when the USN is crossing the oncoming RuN path. . . .

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 23:48 utc | 71
++++++++++

Well, when two ships are approaching each other at an angle, they are both crossing each other's path. What counts is, who is going faster and thus will cross the other's bow sooner. It sure looks to me like when they got close the Ru vessel had the Farragut on her (Ru's) starboard side. If the two vessels were going opposite directions but on parallel tracks, they would pass same side to same side (i.e., port to port; starboard to starboard). If they are approaching at an angle, the relative relationship of the two sides will change with the speed of the vessels. You must visualize the situ from each vessel, not one, and gauge speed and relationship when the two courses cross. However, both vessels in proximity have the obligation to take action to avoid a collision. In that situ I believe the default is for both to deflect to starboard.

Wait to see who says uncle first at sea is a stupid game of chicken. Basically IMO both captains broke the rule of avoiding collisions and endangered their crews and their vessels.

Lurk , Jan 11 2020 1:45 utc | 93
Abe | Jan 10 2020 22:59 utc | 63

The "decentraleyes" addon for firefox mitigates some of these data leaks. Apple IOS users are probably fucked any which way.

Jen , Jan 11 2020 1:51 utc | 94
Really @ 66, 87:

In the video where the Russian ship is in the top left-hand corner, the USS Farragut is moving away from the Russian ship. In that video, the Russian ship is travelling behind the US ship and crosses from the

Harry law , Jan 11 2020 1:53 utc | 95
Here is a wonderful and witty must read article by Gary Brecher [the War Nerd] which puts the US predicament in the Gulf into perspective
"Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack."
That's right: no defense at all. The truth is that they have very feeble defenses against any attack with anything more modern than cannon. I've argued before no carrier group would survive a saturation attack by huge numbers of low-value attackers, whether they're Persians in Cessnas and cigar boats or mass-produced Chinese cruise missiles. But at least you could look at the missile tubes and Phalanx gatlings and pretend that you were safe. But there is no defense, none at all, against something as obvious as a ballistic missile.
http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/
Jen , Jan 11 2020 1:55 utc | 96
Sorry, accidentally posted too early @ 94 after being interrupted. I meant to say that the Russian ship, travelling behind the Farragut, crossed from that ship's starboard side to its portside. This suggests that the Farragut did not give way in the first video when the Russian ship first approached but steamed on ahead and went in front of the Russian ship.
ben , Jan 11 2020 1:56 utc | 97
Medusa-Perseus @ 83: Thanks for the link. Despite the authors speaking, in the first paragraph, about Iran's "provocations", it's an informative and well written piece.

An excerpt;

"Again, it is high time that Washington get off its high horse and begin to negotiate a new world order with globe's major powers. The prospects for this, however, appear less likely than ever. Unfortunately, when there was still an opportunity to use American power to reshape rather than destabilize the world, the Obama administration chose the latter. With the opportunity to shift course in a mode more imposed by, rather than imposed on the U.S. virtually dissipated, the Trump administration is continuing in the Obama mode of destabilization while falling back on the one-sidedness of the military option–with all the predictable consequences."

imo , Jan 11 2020 2:14 utc | 98
For what it is worth...

An American (a professor at that, but not of culture) once asked back around 2011 the following: "Why do people in the Middle East talk so frequently about humiliation and dignity? Other countries were colonized or lost wars, yet they do not speak about humiliation and dignity. I assume that an answer to this question will help me understand Middle Eastern culture."

The differences between shame and guilt based cultures are interesting.
The terminology was popularized by Ruth Benedict in The Chrysanthemum and the Sword , who described American culture as a "guilt culture" and Japanese culture as a "shame culture." The Islamic Middle East is generally a shame based culture.

In east-west interactions these two distinct worldviews and values systems operate -- i.e. guilt vs shame. For example:

"Loyalty: All Arabs belong to a group or tribe. Loyalty to the family tribe is considered paramount to maintaining honor. One does not question the correctness of the elders or tribes in front of outsiders. It is paramount that the tribe sticks together in order to survive. Once again, Arab history and folklore are full of stories of heroes who were loyal to the end."

http://www.islam-watch.org/Others/Honour-and-Shame-in-Islam.htm

In the Eastern view (well Islamic anyway), there is a stronger sense that one has 'it' (honor) by birth and then risks losing it through various shameful actions etc. As distinct from a work ethic stance where working towards something is the goal.

The main issue at play in the recent Iran-US-Iraqi dynamic from this point of view is not the surface level simpleton MSM narrative of who was the good & bad guys etc. Leave that for the childish unsophisticated 'super hero' mentalities raised on comics.

Rather, in this case, it is the fact/perception that the Arab Iraqi 'host' failed to uphold the accepted ancient honor codes of protecting an invited guest (well at least for three days). Only barbarians do not understand and play by this value system.

So, the USA, as the said culturally ignorant actors, is actually not really the core issue in this case. That is just an inconvenient fact of history.

What is more real and politically charged is the fact that the Iraqi Arab nation (leadership) invited an Iranian (Persian) guest -- allegedly to talk peace deals with the Wahhabi gang -- and failed to uphold/honor the ancient host-guest codes. Even if there was no duplicity involved, the fact remains scratched into the historical record that they failed -- ergo, shame must now be dealt with.

Therefore, the future events will more than likely unfold one way or another according to the honor-shame etiquette process.

Now, of course some in the US hierarchy may well know and understand this dynamic and apply it -- and Gregory Bateson used the term "Schismogenesis" in the 1930s and played his part in WW2 within the (then) Office of Strategic Services (OSS), an institutional precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), against Japanese held territories in the Pacific. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schismogenesis )

Likklemore , Jan 11 2020 2:19 utc | 99
They went for two:

AP reports: US tried to take out another Iranian leader, but failed

LINK
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military tried, but failed, to take out another senior Iranian commander on the same day that an American airstrike killed the Revolutionary Guard's top general, U.S. officials said Friday.

The officials said a military airstrike by special operations forces targeted Abdul Reza Shahlai, a high-ranking commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps but the mission was not successful. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a classified mission.[.]

Officials said both Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Shahlai were on approved military targeting lists, which indicates a deliberate effort by the U.S. to cripple the leadership of Iran's Quds force, which has been designated a terror organization by the U.S. Officials would not say how the mission failed.[.]

Shocked I am. NOT.

Parisian Guy , Jan 11 2020 2:20 utc | 100
There has been a similar incident between US and Russian navies a few months ago.

Same claims from the USN against the Russians.
Guess what? The video clearly showed the Russians on the starboard side of the USN ship.

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[Jan 09, 2020] The USA Has Been Bombing Iraq For 29 Years

Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The USA Has Been Bombing Iraq For 29 Years by Tyler Durden Wed, 01/08/2020 - 21:05 0 SHARES

Over the past days while little real debate over the Iran crisis has happened in Washington or Congress (instead it's merely the default drones and "bombs away" as usual), the American public has been busy online and in living rooms debating the merits or lack thereof of escalation and potential war with Iran.

However, like with many other instances of US foreign policy adventurism, this is typically a "debate" lacking in necessary recent historical context or appreciation for how the domino effect of disasters now facing American security were often brought on by prior US action in the first place. As a case in point, it's not recognized often enough in public discourse that it was the United States under the neocon Bush administration which handed Iraq over to "Iranian influence" and the Shia clerics in the first place .

It must be remembered that Saddam Hussein was a secular Sunni dictator presiding over a Shia majority population, and he was enemy #1 of Iran. Team USA's short-sighted and criminal 2003 invasion and overthrow of Saddam based on WMD lies had the immediate benefit to Tehran of handing the Ayatollah the greatest gift that Iran waged a nearly decade-long war to accomplish, but couldn't (the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War).

U.S. bombing of Baghdad in 2003.

And the neocons within the bowels of the national security state have ever since been attempting to salvage their failed legacy in Iraq by the futile effort of trying to contain Iran and roll back Shia dominance in Baghdad, as Seymour Hersh detailed in his famous 2006 New Yorker piece The Redirection , which accurately predicted the 'long war' against the Hezbollah-Damascus-Baghdad-Tehran axis which would unfold, and did indeed unfold, especially in Syria of the past eight years.

To "situate" the past week's dramatic events, it's also crucial to understand, as The Libertarian Institute's Scott Horton has pointed out , that "The U.S.A. has been bombing Iraq for 29 years. And it looks like it's not over yet."

Below is an essential timeline compiled by Horton of that nearly three decade long history where Iraq has been consistently subject to American bombs and intervention -- yet ironically (and some might say predictably) the situation is still getting worse, more unstable, and more dangerous.

* * *

The U.S.A. has been bombing Iraq for 29 years. And it looks like it's not over yet:

Iraq War I : January -- February 1991 (aka The Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, liberation of Kuwait)

Iraq War I 1/2 : February 1991 -- March 2003 (The rest of Bush I, Bill Clinton years, economic blockade and no-fly zone bombings)

Iraq War II : March 2003 -- December 2011 (aka Operation Iraqi Freedom, W. Bush's invasion and war for the Shi'ite side)

Iraq War III : August 2014 -- December 2017 (aka Operation Inherent Resolve, the war against the Islamic State, which America had helped to build up in Syria but then launched this war to destroy, on behalf of the Shi'ite government in Baghdad, after ISIS had seized the predominately Sunni west of the country in the early summer of 2014 and declared the Islamic State "Caliphate")

Iraq War III 1/2 : December 2017 -- January 2020 (The "mopping-up" war against the remnants of ISIS which has had the U.S. still allied with the very same Shi'ite militias they fought Iraq War II and III for, but are now attacking)

Iraq War IV : Now -- ?

NEW from me: We asked folks to identify Iran on an unlabeled map.

28% of them got it right. Here's where they guessed. https://t.co/XhP5OU9s2n pic.twitter.com/IQ8HYFDKxE

-- Joanna Piacenza (@jpiacenza) January 8, 2020

As Scott Horton suggests, the roots of the current crisis lie all the way back in the mid-20th century :

In 1953, the American CIA overthrew the elected prime minister of Iran in favor of the Shah Reza Pahlavi who ruled a dictatorship there for 26 years until in 1979 a popular revolution overthrew his government and installed the Shi'ite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in power.

So in 1980, President Jimmy Carter's government gave Iraq's Saddam Hussein the green light to invade Iran, a war which the U.S. continued to support throughout the Ronald Reagan years, though they also sold weapons to the Iranian side at times.

But then in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait in a dispute over debts from the recent war with Iran, with some encouragement by the U.S. government, leading to America's Iraq War I, aka the first Gulf War or Operation Desert Storm at the beginning of 1991.

And that was merely the very beginning.

Read the rest of the story and the excellent brief history of how we got here over at The Libertarian Institute .


Wahooo , 1 minute ago link

I think by now that you understand the US exists to kill people overseas or you are simply mindless and stupid.

Wahooo , 1 minute ago link

I think by now that you understand the US exists to kill people overseas or you are simply mindless and stupid.

J S Bach , 3 minutes ago link

"The USA Has Been Bombing Iraq For 29 Years"

Yep. And the initial excuse (WMDs) was proven absolutely to have been a contrived hoax. Yet, all of the people of that decimated country and surrounding nations who have a vendetta against us are labeled "terrorists". I guess the English language has evolved beyond my comprehension since the usurpation by the tribe of our media and government.

By the definition of "terrorist" - terrorist | ˈterərəst | noun a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims: - I see only the United States of Israel as befitting this word.

[Jan 08, 2020] As long as Neocons and Christian Zionists run our foreign policy we're screwed.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.unz.com

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 7, 2020 at 1:27 pm GMT

Yes, as long as Neoco hens and Christian Zionists run our foreign policy we're screwed.
BTW, Mike Pompeo or as I affectionately call him; Lard face, Plump'eo, crazed CZ-zealot fat boy, etc., is now a legitimate target of the Iranians. May Allah provide justice to the family of Soleimani. (Grin) And look, I'm wishing 'ill will' on a zealot 'goy' (gentile) instead of a typical Neo-cohen snake, how ironic. (Another grin)
A positve spin:
With the 'incorrect' memo leaked by the Pentagon about an orderly exit from Iraq this can be the silver lining in all this mess. This assassination might actually accelerate the exiting of US forces from Iraq and the surrounding quagmires. Who knows, Trump might be a genius.
Again, NO MORE WARS FOR ZION, BDS NOW, ONE STATE SOLUTION-PALESTINE.
And to really stick it to Neo cohens (My apologies to Prof. Steven Cohen ), Trump-Putin Axis Da!! Destroy the Deep State and the CABAL .

[Jan 06, 2020] But they could always find an un-scorched Iranian passport in mint condition among the debris of the explosion.

Jan 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Commentator Mike , says: Show Comment January 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm GMT

@Bookish1

Not only Mossad but probably many others would like to see a suicide bomber blow himself up somewhere in the US killing alot of people. That makes it difficult to figure out who did it and maybe impossible to figure it out. It would be a mess.

But they could always find an un-scorched Iranian passport in mint condition among the debris of the explosion.

[Jan 04, 2020] Good point Afghanistan. The newly appointed General Ghaani was active in Afghanistan. As he is famimiar with the place, that may well be where he decides to retaliate.

Jan 04, 2020 | thesaker.is

Serbian girl on January 03, 2020 , · at 5:00 pm EST/EDT

Good point Afghanistan. The newly appointed General Ghaani was active in Afghanistan. As he is famimiar with the place, that may well be where he decides to retaliate.

In case the link does not work, Elijah magnier's and Roberto Neccia's tweet.
https://mobile.twitter.com/neccia1/status/1213045008204533760

Str8arrow62 on January 03, 2020 , · at 5:18 pm EST/EDT
The introduction of manpads would be no less significant an impact on the occupying force as it was when the Soviet's were there when the SEE EYE AYE showered the Afghani's with Stingers. It completely changed the modus of the Soviet army once they were introduced. Helicopters became dangerous to be in and could no longer fly near the ground. Good observations though, the assassination of Assad could prove to be magnitudes greater a spark than any of us could imagine. I hope for the sake of, among the many, the Christians he's been protecting from the foreign merc's. that he stays safe. He must keep a low profile and let's hope the S400's will take care of any Predator drones that try to fly the Damascus airspace. ­
C. Khosta y Alzamendi on January 03, 2020 , · at 6:43 pm EST/EDT
It seems US (or perhaps Israel) didn't give you time enough to think about what could be the next move (breaking news from Sputinik, 23:30 GMT): vehicle convoy carrying Iraqi PMF leaders hit by airstrike, 6 dead at least.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202001041077936776-two-car-convoy-north-of-baghdad-under-aerial-attack -- reports/

Chad on January 03, 2020 , · at 3:34 pm EST/EDT
Thanks for posting this. I wonder if Soleimani consciously ( on many human and beyond human levels) wanted to offer the Yanks a "target" (a type of sacrifice, namely himself) that was just too big to ignore, knowing that the stupid enemy would take the bait, and having a secure knowledge that his death would set in motion a chain of events that will (underline will) result in the final terrible fall of the US, and Israel. Stupid American "leaders", right now, they are dancing in idiotic joy, saying foolish words for which we will pay, also knowing what the future holds: the death of countless people, throughout not only the Middle East, but here in the US as well. Yes, I do hate them for what they have unleashed.

Rest In Peace, Soleimani. You very well may achieve far more in death that you attained in your eventful life.

What do we know about Esmail Ghaani?

[Jan 04, 2020] Clapper's Credibility by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... What Clapper chokes on -- and avoids saying -- is that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of WMD either. Indeed, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had put him in charge of the agency responsible for analyzing imagery of all kinds -- photographic, radar, infrared, and multispectral -- precisely so that the absence of evidence from our multi-billion-dollar intelligence collection satellites could be hidden, in order not to impede the planned attack on Iraq. That's why, as Clapper now admits, he had to find "what wasn't really there." ..."
Jan 04, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Former DNI James Clapper had his own words read back to him by Ray McGovern, exposing his role in justifying the Iraq invasion based on fraudulent intelligence.

... ... ...

Clapper was appointed Director of National Intelligence by President Barack Obama in June 2010, almost certainly at the prompting of Obama's intelligence confidant and Clapper friend John Brennan, later director of the CIA. Despite Clapper's performance on Iraq, he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Obama even allowed Clapper to keep his job for three and a half more years after he admitted that he had lied under oath to that same Senate about the extent of eavesdropping on Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA). He is now a security analyst for CNN.

In his book, Clapper finally places the blame for the consequential fraud (he calls it "the failure") to find the (non-existent) WMD "where it belongs -- squarely on the shoulders of the administration members who were pushing a narrative of a rogue WMD program in Iraq and on the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn't really there." ( emphasis added ) .

So at the event on Tuesday I stood up and asked him about that. It was easy, given the background Clapper himself provides in his book, such as:

"The White House aimed to justify why an invasion of and regime change in Iraq were necessary, with a public narrative that condemned its continued development of weapons of mass destruction [and] its support to al-Qaida (for which the Intelligence Community had no evidence)."

What Clapper chokes on -- and avoids saying -- is that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of WMD either. Indeed, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had put him in charge of the agency responsible for analyzing imagery of all kinds -- photographic, radar, infrared, and multispectral -- precisely so that the absence of evidence from our multi-billion-dollar intelligence collection satellites could be hidden, in order not to impede the planned attack on Iraq. That's why, as Clapper now admits, he had to find "what wasn't really there."

Members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) who have employed Clapper under contract, or otherwise known his work, caution that he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. So, to be fair, there is an outside chance that Rumsfeld persuaded him to be guided by the (in)famous Rumsfeld dictum: "The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

But the consequences are the same: a war of aggression with millions dead and wounded; continuing bedlam in the area; and no one -- high or low -- held accountable. Hold your breath and add Joe Biden awarding the "Liberty Medal" to George W. Bush on Veteran's Day.

' Shocked'


Protection Racquet , November 17, 2018 at 02:46

When did this perjurer before Congress have any credibility? The guys a professional liar.

Mild -ly Facetious , November 18, 2018 at 17:27

The guy is a professional liar,and

a member of The Establishment

"The Anglo-American Establishment"

Copyright 1981/ Books in Focus, Inc,

Vallejo D , November 19, 2018 at 21:15

No shit. I saw the video of Clapper perjuring himself to the US Congress on national television, bald-face lying about the NSA clocking our emails.

I wouldn't believe Clapper if he the sky is blue and grass is green. EPIC liar.

PS: Erstwhile national security state "friend" actually had the nerve to claim that "Clapper lied to protect you." As if. My bet is that ONLY people on the planet who didn't know about the NSA's grotesque criminal were the American taxpayers.

Mild -ly Facetious , November 20, 2018 at 12:38

RECALL THIS EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT -- from the GW Bush administration

There was, however, one valuable insight. In a soon-to-be-infamous passage, the writer, Ron Suskind, recounted a conversation between himself and an unnamed senior adviser to the president:

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernable reality."

I nodded and murmured something about Enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off.

"That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create reality. And while you are studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Anonymot , November 16, 2018 at 20:56

Mild -ly - Facetious , November 18, 2018 at 19:33

Anonymot , Yes!

Here Is A Sequence of books for those who reside in chosen darkness:

"The Lessons of History" by Will & Edith Durant – c. 1968

"The Anglo-American Establishment" by Carroll Quigley – c. 1981

"Understanding Special Operations" by David T. Ratcliffe – c. 1989 / 99

" The Secret War Against The Jews" by John Loftus and Mark Aarons c. 1994

Douglas Baker , November 16, 2018 at 19:42

Thanks Ray. The clap merry-go-round in Washington, D.C., with V.D. assaulting brain integrity has been long playing there with James Clapper another hand in, in favor of the continuation of those that direct the United States' war on world from Afghanistan to Syria, staying the course of firing up the world as though Northern California's Camp fire sooting up much of the state with air borne particulate matter and leaving death and destruction in its wake.

JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:29

All this is fine, except it dares not touch the still taboo subject among these "professionals" of how all of this started getting justified in the first place when America attacked itself on September 11, 2001 in New York City and Washington in the most sophisticated and flawed false flag attack in history, murdering thousands of its own citizens Operation Northwoods style, blaming it on 19 Saudi hijackers with box cutters, the most grandiose of all conspiracy theory, the official 911 story.
The incriminating evidence of what happened that day in 2001 is now absolutely overwhelming, but still too incredible and controversial for even these esteemed folks to come to grips with. If we're going to take a shower and clean all this excrement off ourselves, let's do it thoroughly.

JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:46

In fact, wait! Let's ask the really important question of Clapper.
What was he doing and where was he on 9/11, the "New Pearl Harbor," and what was his role in the coverup and transformation of the CIA in the ensuing years?
Why doesn't Ray ask him about that?

GKJames , November 16, 2018 at 06:46

(1) One needn't be a Clapper fan to say that he was merely a cog in a body politic that (a) lives and breathes using military force to "solve" geopolitical problems; and (b) has always been driven by the national myth of American exceptionalism and the American love of war. The only issue ever is the story Americans tell themselves as to why a particular assault on some benighted country that can't meaningfully shoot back is justified. But for that, there are countless clever people in the corridors of power and the Infotainment Complex always eager to spread mendacity for fun and profit. Sure, hang Clapper, but if justice is what you're after, you'd quickly run out of rope and wood.

(2) What doesn't compute: Clapper is quoted as saying that he and cohort "were so eager to help that [they] found what wasn't really there". That's followed by: "Rumsfeld put him in charge so that the absence of evidence could be hidden . Clapper now admits [that] he had to find 'what wasn't really there'". While Rumsfeld's intent was exactly that, i.e., to prevent a narrative that he and Cheney had contrived, that's not the same as Rumsfeld's explicitly instructing Clapper et al to do that. Further, it mischaracterizes Clapper's admission. He doesn't admit that "he had to find" what wasn't there (which would suggest prior intent). What he does admit is that the eagerness to please the chain of command resulted in "finding" what didn't exist. One is fraud, the other group-think; two very different propositions. The latter, of course, has been the hallmark of US foreign policy for decades, though the polite (but accurate) word for it is "consensus". Everybody's in on it: the public, Congress, the press, and even the judiciary. By and large, it's who Americans are.

(3) Does this really equate the WMD fiasco with the alleged "desperate [attempt] to blame Trump's victory on Russian interference"? Yes, Clapper was present in 2003 and 2016. But that's a thin reed. First, no reasonable person says that Russian interference was the only reason that Clinton lost. Second, to focus on what was said in January 2017 ignores the US government's notifying various state officials DURING THE CAMPAIGN in 2016, of Russian hacking attempts. If, as is commonly said, the Administration was convinced that Clinton would win, how could hacking alerts to the states have been part of an effort to explain away an election defeat that hadn't happened yet, and which wasn't ever expected to happen? And, third, as with WMDs, Clapper wasn't out there on his own. While there were, unsurprisingly, different views among intelligence officials as to the extent of the Russian role, there was broad agreement that there had been one. Once again, fraud vs. group-think.

Skip Scott , November 16, 2018 at 13:46

I think there is a big difference between "group think" and inventing and cherry picking intelligence to fit policy objectives. I believe there is ample evidence of fraud. The "dodgy dossier" and the yellow cake uranium that led to Plame being exposed as a CIA operative are two examples that come immediately to mind. "Sexed up" intelligence is beyond groupthink. It is the promoting of lies and the deliberate elimination of any counter narrative in order to justify an unjust war.

The same could be said of the "all 17 intelligence agencies" statement about RussiaGate that was completely debunked but remained the propaganda line. It was way more than "groupthink". It was a lie. It is part of "full spectrum dominance".

I do agree that "Clapper wasn't out there on his own". He is part of a team with an agenda, and in a just world they'd all be in prison.
It wasn't "mistaken" intelligence, or "groupthink". You are trying to put lipstick on a pig.

GKJames , November 17, 2018 at 07:21

Fraud is easy to allege, hard to prove. In the case of Iraq, it's important to accept that virtually everyone -- the Administration, the press, the public, security agencies in multiple countries, and even UN inspectors (before the inspections, obviously) -- ASSUMED that Saddam had WMDs. That assumption wasn't irrational; it was based on Saddam's prior behavior. No question, the Administration wanted to invade Iraq and the presumed-to-exist WMDs were the rationale. It was only when evidence appeared that the case for it wasn't rock-solid that Cheney et al went to work. (The open question is whether they began to have their own doubts or whether it never occurred to them, given their obsession.) But there is zero evidence that anyone was asked to conclude that Saddam had WMDs even though the Americans KNEW that there weren't any. That's where the group-think and weak-kneed obeisance to political brawlers like Cheney come in. All he had to do was bark, and everyone fell in line, not because they knew there were no WMDs, but because they weren't sure but the boss certainly was.

In that environment, what we saw from Clapper and his analysts wasn't fraud but weakness of character, not to mention poor-quality analysis. And maybe that gets to the bigger question to which there appears to be an allergy: Shouting Fraud! effectively shuts down the conversation. After all, once you've done that, there's not much else to say; these guys all lied and death and destruction followed. But what if the answer is just as likely that the national security state created by Truman has grown into something uncontrollable, beyond legitimate oversight by the people it's supposed to serve? What if the people in that business aren't all that clever, let alone principled? After all, the CIA is headed by a torture aficionada and we haven't heard peep from the employee base, let alone the Congress that confirmed her. That entire ecosystem has been permitted to flourish without adult supervision for decades. Whenever someone asks, "that's classified". What do you do when Americans as a whole are perfectly fine with that?

Sam F , November 18, 2018 at 08:17

But fraud from the top was shown very well by Bamford in his book Pretext For War. Where discredited evidence was retained by intel agencies, as in the Iraq War II case, traitors like the zionist Wolfowitz simply installed known zionist warmongers Perl, Feith, and Wurmser into "stovepipe" offices at CIA, DIA, NSA to send the known-bad "evidence" to Rumsfeld & Cheney.

Skip Scott , November 18, 2018 at 09:27

They seem to conveniently classify anything that could prove illegality such as fraud, or in the case of the JFK assassination, something much worse. They use tools such as redaction and classification not only to protect "national security", but to cover up their crimes.

"But what if the answer is just as likely that the national security state created by Truman has grown into something uncontrollable, beyond legitimate oversight by the people it's supposed to serve?"

I believe this is very much the case, but that doesn't preclude fraud as part of their toolkit. The people at the top of the illegalities are clever enough to use those less sharp (like Clapper) for their evil purposes, and if necessary, to play the fall guy. And although the Intelligence Agencies are supposed to serve "We the People", they are actually serving unfettered Global Capitalism and the .1% that are trying to rule the world. This has been the case from its onset.

Furthermore, I am an American, and I am definitely NOT FINE with the misuse of classification and redaction to cover up crimes. The way to fix the "entire ecosystem" is to start to demand it by prosecuting known liars like James Clapper, and to break up the MSM monopoly so people get REAL news again, and wake people up until they refuse to support the two party system.

GKJames , November 19, 2018 at 10:20

(1) Assuming you could find a DOJ willing to prosecute and a specific statute on which to bring charges, the chance of conviction is zero because the required fraudulent intent can't be proved beyond reasonable doubt. All the defendant would have to say is, We thought WMDs were there but it turned out we were wrong. Besides, the lawyers said it's all legal. And if you went after Clapper only, he'd argue (successfully) that it was a highly selective prosecution. (2) If you're going to create a whole new category of criminal liability for incompetence and/or toadyism and careerism, Langley corridors would quickly empty. It's certainly one way to reduce the federal workforce. (3) The intelligence agencies ARE serving "We the People". There isn't anything they do that doesn't have the blessing of duly elected representatives in Congress. (4) That you, yourself, are "NOT FINE" overlooks the reality that your perspective gets routinely outvoted, though not because of "evil" or "fraud". A Clapper behind bars would do zero to change that. Why? Because most Americans ARE fine with the status quo. That's not a function of news (fake or real); Americans are drowning in information. Like all good service providers, the media are giving their customers exactly what they want to hear.

Skip Scott , November 19, 2018 at 11:25

GK-

(1) It is you who is "assuming" that fraud could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. What if evidence was presented that showed that they didn't really think there were WMD's, but were consciously lying to justify an invasion. I agree that it would be nearly impossible to find a DOJ willing to prosecute within our corrupted government, but if we could get a 3rd party president to sign on to the ICC, we could ship a bunch of evil warmongers off to the Hague. (2) As already discussed, I don't buy the representation of their actions as mere "toadyism". (3) As shown by many studies, our duly elected representatives serve lobbyists and the .1%, not "We the People". Here's one from Princeton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig (4) From your earlier post: "What do you do when Americans as a whole are perfectly fine with that?" Since I am part of the "whole", your statement is obviously false. And Americans are drowning in MISinformation from our MSM, and that is a big part of the problem. And please provide evidence that most Americans are fine with the status quo. Stating that I get routinely outvoted when many Americans see their choice as between a lesser of two evils, and our MSM keeps exposure of third party viewpoints to a minimum, is an obvious obfuscation.

Sam F , November 16, 2018 at 21:01

I will second Skip on that.
The groupthink of careerists is not "who Americans are."
"Broad agreement" on an obvious fraud is a group lie.

Tom Hall , November 17, 2018 at 10:49

What Clapper did was fraud. What went on in his head was group-think. The two are by no means incompatible. The man admits to outright fabrication-
"my team also produced computer-generated images of trucks fitted out as 'mobile production facilities used to make biological agents.' Those images, possibly more than any other substantiation he presented, carried the day with the international community and Americans alike."
He knew exactly what he was doing.

wootendw , November 15, 2018 at 22:41

"Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, said vehicle traffic photographed by U.S. spy satellites indicated that material and documents related to the arms programs were shipped to Syria "

Syria and Iraq became bitter enemies in 1982 when Syria backed Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. Syria even sent troops to fight AGAINST Saddam during the first Iraq War. Syria and Iraq did not restore diplomatic relations until after Saddam was captured. The idea that Saddam would send WMDs (if he had them) to Syria is ludicrous.

Zhu , November 15, 2018 at 20:54

Cheney wanted to steal the oil. Bush wanted to fulfill prophecy & make Jesus Rapture him away from his problems. Neither plan worked.

Zhu , November 15, 2018 at 20:50

Our big shots never suffer for their crimes against humanity. Occasionally a Lt. Calley will get a year in jail for a massacre, but that's it.

bostonblackie , November 16, 2018 at 13:54

Calley was placed under house arrest at Fort Benning, where he served three and a half years.

JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:16

That's like less than 2.5 days served per each defenseless My Lai villager slaughtered, massacred, in cold blood.
What kind of justice is that? Who gets away with murder that way?

Helen Marshall , November 15, 2018 at 17:41

While serving in an embassy in 2003, the junior officer in my office was chatting with the long-time local employee, after viewing the Powell Shuck and Jive. One said to the other, "the US calls North Korea part of the 'Axis of Evil' but doesn't attack it because there is clear evidence that it has WMD including nukes." And the other said "yes, and that's why the US is going to invade Iraq because we know they don't." QED

John Flanagan , November 16, 2018 at 22:25

Love this comment!

Taras 77 , November 15, 2018 at 16:36

Thanks, Ray, for an excellent article!

You are one of few who are calling out these treasonous bastards. I am still .waiting for at least some of them to do the perp walk, maybe in the presence of war widows, their children, and maimed war veterans.

Chris Fogarty , November 15, 2018 at 12:27

Clapper played the central role in deceiving America into abandoning the republic and becoming the genocidal empire now terrorizing Planet Earth. If it is too late; if the criminals have permanent control of our government, there won't be a cleansing Nuremberg Tribunal, and our once-great USA will continue along its course of death and destruction until it destroys itself.

Where are our patriots? If any exist, now is the time for a new Nuremberg.

Zhu , November 15, 2018 at 20:56

The genocidal empire goes back to 1950 the Korean War.

bostonblackie , November 16, 2018 at 13:58

How about 1945 and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

JRGJRG , November 16, 2018 at 19:08

Keep going. Further back than that.
How about the Spanish American War, justified by the false flag blowing up of the Maine in Havana Harbor, which led to the four-year genocidal war against Filipino rebels and the war against the Cubans?
How about the 19th Century genocide of Native Americans? What was that justified by, except for lust for conquest of territory and racism?
How about America's role with other western colonial powers in the 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China.
The list of American violations of international law is too long to restate here, in the hundreds.
The only way out of this moral dilemma is to turn a new page in history in a new administration, hold our war criminals in the dock, and make amends under international law, and keep them, somehow without sacrificing national jurisdiction or security. America has to be reformed as an honest broker of peace instead of the world's leading pariah terrorist state.

bostonblackie , November 17, 2018 at 16:29

How about slavery? America was founded on genocide and slavery!

Skip Scott , November 15, 2018 at 09:44

I think Ray is being a little overly optimistic about Clapper being travel restricted. Universal Jurisdiction is for the small fry. Even with Bush and Rumsfeld, their changing travel plans was probably more about possible "bad press" than actual prosecution. Maybe down the road, when the USA collapse is more obvious to our "vassals" and they start to go their own way, such a thing could happen. Even then, we've got tons of armaments, and a notoriously itchy trigger finger.

My hope is that the two party system collapses and a Green Party candidate gets elected president. He or she could then sign us on to the ICC, and let the prosecutions begin. I know it's delusional, but a guy's gotta dream.

Robert Emmett , November 15, 2018 at 08:52

It occurs to me that even given Cheney's infamous 1% doctrine, these no-goodniks couldn't even scratch together enough of a true story to pass that low bar. So they invented, to put it mildly, plausible scenarios, cranked-up the catapults of propaganda and flung them in our faces via the self-absorbed, self-induced, money grubbing fake patriots of mass media.

But, geez, Ray, it's not as if we didn't already know about fixing facts around the policy, resignations of career operatives because of politicizing intelligence, reports of Scott Ritter, plus the smarmy lying faces & voices of all the main actors in the Cheney-Rumsfeld generated mass hysteria. I doubt these types of reveals, though appreciatively confirming what we already know, will change very many minds now. After all, the most effective war this cabal has managed to wage has been against their own people.

Perhaps when these highfalutin traitors, treasonous to their oaths to protect the founding principles they swore to preserve, at last shuffle off their mortal coils, future generations will gain the necessary perspective to dismiss these infamous liars with the contempt they deserve. But that's just wishful thinking because by then the incidents that cranked-up this never-ending war likely will be the least of their worries.

In the meantime, the fact that this boiled egghead continues to spew his Claptrap on a major media channel tells you all you need to know about how deeply the poison of the Bush-Cheney era has seeped into the body politic and continues to eat away at what remains of the foundations while the military-media-government-corporate complex metastasizes.

Sam F , November 15, 2018 at 21:03

Ray knows that the well-informed know much of the story, and likely writes to bring us the Clapper memoir confession and summarize for the less informed.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , November 15, 2018 at 07:11

I am always glad to see confirmation in such matters, however, for people who work to inform themselves and think critically, there are no real surprises to be discovered about the invasion of Iraq.

It could be clearly seen as a fraud at the time because there were a number of experts, experts not working for the American government, who in effect told us then that it was a fraud.

What the whole experience with Iraq reveals is a couple of profound truths about imperial America, truths that are quite unpleasant and yet seem to remain lost to the general public.

One, lying and manipulation are virtually work-a-day activities in Washington. They go on at all levels of the government, from the President through all of the various experts and agency heads who in theory hold their jobs to inform the President and others of the truth in making decisions.

Indeed, these experts and agency heads actually work more like party members from George Orwell's Oceania in 1984, party members whose job it is to constantly rewrite history, making adjustments in the words and pictures of old periodicals and books to conform with the Big Brother's latest pronouncements and turns in policy.

America has an entire industry devoted to manufacturing truth, something the rather feeble term "fake news" weakly tries to capture.

The public's reaction to officials and agencies in Washington ought to be quite different than it generally is. It should be a presumption that they are not telling the truth, that they are tailoring a story to fit a policy. It sounds extreme to say so, but it truly is not in view of recent history.

We are all watching actors in a costly play used to support already-determined destructive policies.

Two, the press lies, and it lies almost constantly in support of government's decided policies. You simply cannot trust the American press on such matters, and the biggest names in the press – the New York Times or Washington Post or CBS or NBC – are the biggest liars because they put the weight of their general prestige into the balance to tip it.

Their fortunes and interests are too closely bound to government to be in the least trusted for objective journalism. Journalism just does not exist in America on the big stuff.

This support is not just done on special occasions like the run-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq but consistently in the affairs of state. We see it today in everything from "Russia-gate" to the Western-induced horrors of Syria. Russia-gate is almost laughable, although few Americans laugh, but a matter like Syria, with more than half a million dead and terrible privations, isn't laughable, yet no effort is made to explain the truth and bring this monstrous project – the work equally of Republicans and Democrats – to an end.

Three, while virtually all informed people know that Israel's influence in Washington is inordinate and inappropriate, many still do not realize that the entire horror of Iraq, just like the horror today of Syria, reflects the interests and demands of Israel.

George Bush made a rarely-noticed, when Ariel Sharon was lobbying him to attack other Middle Eastern countries following the Iraq invasion, along the lines of, "Geez, what does the guy want? I invaded Iraq for him, didn't I?"

Well, today, pretty much all of the countries that Sharon thought should be attacked have indeed been attacked by the United States and its associates in one fashion or another – covertly, as in Syria, or overtly, as in Libya. And we are all witnessing the ground being prepared for Iran.

It has been a genuinely terrifying period, the last decade and a half or so. War after war with huge numbers of innocents killed, vast damages inflicted, and armies of unfortunate refugees created. All of it completely unnecessary. All of it devoid of ethics or principles beyond the principle of "might makes right."

It simply cannot be distinguished, except by order of magnitude, from the grisly work of Europe's fascist governments of the 1930s and '40s.

All the discussions we read or see from America about truth in journalism, about truth in government, and about founding principles are pretty much distraction and noise, meaningless noise. The realities of what America is doing in the world make it so.

Sam F , November 15, 2018 at 20:56

Very true.

tpmco , November 16, 2018 at 02:48

Great comment.

john Wilson , November 15, 2018 at 04:47

It seems to me that showing up the blatant lies of the Iraq affair, while laudable, doesn't really get us anywhere. The guilty are never and will never be brought to account for their heinous crimes and some of the past villains are still lying, scheming, and brining about war, terror and horror today.

If the white helmets in Syria, the lies about Libya, the West engineered coupé in The Ukraine, Yemen, etc, aren't all tactics from the same play book used by the criminal cabals of the Iraq time, then we are blind. These days, the liars in the deep state, an expression which encapsulates everything from Intel to think tanks, don't even try to tell plausible lies, they just say anything and MSM cheers them on. Anyone challenging the MSM/government/deep state etc are just ridiculed and called conspiracy theorists, no matter how obvious and ludicrous the lies are.

Sam F , November 15, 2018 at 06:26

In fact "showing up the blatant lies of the Iraq affair" informs others, to whom the MSM can no longer cheer on liars, nor ridicule truth. Truth telling, like contemplation, is essential before the point of action.

Randal , November 15, 2018 at 02:38

I remember a woman reporter saying the reason we invaded Iraq was because Sadam Husien had put a bounty on the Bush family for running him out of qwait. This was a personal revenge to take out Husien before he had a chance at the Bush's. Any way the reporter was silenced very quickly. I personally believe the allegation.

Gary Weglarz , November 15, 2018 at 01:54

You have my complete and total respect Mr. McGovern. That was beautiful! Thank you.

F. G. Sanford , November 15, 2018 at 01:33

"We drew on all of NIMA's skill sets and it was all wrong."

Every time I hear the term, "skill sets", I recall a military colleague who observed, "We say skill sets so we don't have to say morons." They used to say, "The military doesn't pay you to think." Now they say, "We have skill sets." It's a euphemism for robotized automatons who perform specific standardized tasks based on idealized training requirements which evolve from whatever the latest abstract military doctrine happens to be. And, they come up with new ones all the time.

"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." This is a phrase Rumsfeld borrowed directly – and I'm not making this up – from the UFO community. It was apparently first uttered by Carl Sagan, and then co-opted by people like Stanton Friedman. He's the guy who claims we recovered alien bodies from flying saucers at Roswell, New Mexico. The scientific antidote to the "absence of evidence" argument is, of course, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." Simply put, absence of evidence really just means "no evidence". A hypothesis based on "no evidence" constitutes magical thinking.

It's probably worth going to Youtube and looking up a clip called "Stephen Gets a Straight Answer Out of Donald Rumsfeld". He admits to Colbert that, "If it was true, we wouldn't call it intelligence." Frankly, Clapper's gravest sin is heading up a science-based agency like NIMA, but failing to come to the same conclusion as General Albert Stubblebine. People who analyze reconnaissance imagery are supposed to be able to distinguish explosive ordnance damage from other factors. But, I guess Newtonian Physics is "old school" to this new generation of magical thinkers and avant-garde intelligence analysts.

Sam F , November 16, 2018 at 10:44

Part of the problem of "intelligence" is its reliance upon images that show a lot of detail but without any definite meaning, and upon guesses to keep managers and politicians happy. So "expert assessments" that milk trucks in aerial photos might be WMD labs became agency "confidence" and then politician certainties, never verified.

When suspect evidence was retained by intel agencies, as in the Iraq War II case, traitors like the zionist Wolfowitz simply installed known zionist warmongers Perl, Feith, and Wurmser into "stovepipe" offices at CIA, DIA, NSA to send the non-evidence to Rumsfeld. See Bamford's Pretext For War.

Gen Dau , November 14, 2018 at 22:20

Thank you, Ray, for a very good article that treats Clapper objectively and not as a demi-god, as most of the MSM and the Democratic establishment does. It is totally unacceptable for a government official, current or former, to answer "I don't know." That is the hideout of irresponsible scoundrels. Questioners should be allowed to ask follow-up questions such as, "If you didn't know, did you try to think about why the President's opinion on this very important question was different from yours? Is simply not knowing acceptable for an intel officer, especially one in a leadership position?" I look forward to your further reports and analyses.

Thanks also to the editors for returning at least the main text to a readable font. But why not go whole hog and make reading everything a pleasure again? Putting the headlines in a hard-to-read and distracting font is especially unfortunate, since some casual visitors to Consortium News may be turned off by the headlines and skip reading the very important articles attached to the headlines.

Daniel , November 15, 2018 at 03:13

You are right, my friend.

Mark A Goldman , November 14, 2018 at 22:17

According to my calculations (admittedly simplistic), the world has past the point of peak oil and in aggregate cannot produce enogh oil to meet present and future demand and that may very well be why the US is doing its best to destroy or damage as many economies in the world as it can even if it has to go to war to do it. Once it becomes well established that we are past peak oil no telling what our financial markets will look like. Would appreciate hearing from someone who has more expertise than I have. https://www.gpln.com

anon4d2s , November 14, 2018 at 22:23

Why are you trying to change the subject? Please desist.

Mark A. Goldman , November 15, 2018 at 13:01

I'm offering you the, or a, motive of why the deep state is pursuing the agendas we see unfolding, which is to say, the crimes, the lies, the treason that the likes of Clapper, Bush, Obama, Clinton and others are pursuing to cover up their reaction to their own fears. Of course 9/11, the false flag coup and smoking gun that proves my point is still the big elephant in the room and will eventually bring us down if the truth is never released from its chains.

Mark A. Goldman , November 15, 2018 at 14:43

I didn't change the subject. I'm offering you an answer as to the motive of why so many officials are willing to trash the Constitution in order to accomplish their insane agendas. It's all about money and power and the terrified Deep State fear of facing the blowback from the lies that have been propagated by the government and media regarding just about everything. Here's another place you might want to look in addition to my website: https://youtu.be/CDpE-30ilBY It's not just about oil. But this is where the rubber's going to meet the road. This is about what's going to hit the fan at any moment and in the absence of the Truth, we are all going to face this unprepared. 9/11 is still the smoking gun. It not just a few liars and cheats we're talking about.

Mark A. Goldman , November 15, 2018 at 23:58

I didn't change the subject. The purpose of the search for WMD was to misdirect the public's attention away from the real purpose of the invasion which was to gain control of Iraq's oil reserves primarily. Misdirection is primary skill used by those in power and very effectively.

Mark A Goldman , November 14, 2018 at 23:23

On my website you might want to review what I wrote here: "Why the Economy Can't Recover" https://www.gpln.com/audacityofhope.htm

Skip Edwards , November 14, 2018 at 22:10

Thanks, as always, go out to Ray for his continued bravery in speaking truth to power. I remember years ago when David McMichaels, Ex-CIA, gave a talk at Ft Lewis College in Durango, CO, about Ronnie Reagan's corruption in what the US was doing to the elected government in Nicaragua. Thanks to both of these men for trying to inform us all about the corruption so rampant in our government. This is further proof that Trump is only a small pimple on top of the infectous boil that is our government.

Sam F , November 14, 2018 at 21:52

Hurray for Ray McGovern! A beautiful and superbly-planned confrontation. We are lucky that Clapper admitted these things in his memoir, but we needed you to bring that out in public with full and well-selected information. You are truly a gem, whom I hope someday to meet.

Sam F , November 14, 2018 at 22:19

An astounding revelation of systematic delusion in secret agencies.

But until now my best source on the Iraq fake WMD has been Bamford's Pretext For War, in which he establishes that zionist DefSec Wolfowitz appointed three known zionist operatives Perl, Wurmser, and Feith to "stovepipe" known-bad info to Rumsfeld et al. Does the memoir shed any light there, and does your information agree?

mike k , November 14, 2018 at 19:58

Spies lie constantly, they have no respect for the truth. To trust a spy is a sign of dangerous gullibility. Spies are simply criminals for hire.

Gen Dau , November 14, 2018 at 22:30

Yes, I also hope our replies will be in a more civil and less reader-hostile font. The same font as the article text would be fine.

dfnslblty , November 15, 2018 at 09:59

I would offer that spies do not lie ~ they gather information.
Spy masters do lie ~ they prevaricate to fit the needs of their masters.

Tomonthebeach , November 15, 2018 at 23:48

To paraphrase in a way that emphasizes the deja vu. Trump lies constantly, he has no respect for the truth. To trust Trump is a sign of dangerous gullibility. Trump is simply a crook for hire, and it would seem that Putin writes the checks.

anon4d2s , November 16, 2018 at 10:48

Gosh, you fooled everyone so easily with standard Dem zionist drivel!
Why not admit that every US politician is bought, including Dems?
Don't forget to supply your unique evidence of Russian tampering.

Mild-ly - Facetious , November 18, 2018 at 16:44

"Clapper's Credibility Collapses"

as does Colin Powell's U.N.BULL Spit Yellow Cake propaganda/

all that's required is a Sales Pitch to everyday striving citizens into

how a brutal strain of aristocrat have come to rule america

and how you must delve into the Back-Stories of, for example,

GHW Bush CIA connection and his presents in Dallas, 1963

credibility collapses abound under weight of 'what really happened'

after Chaney convened summit of oil executives just PRIOR to 9/11?

[Jan 04, 2020] The USA only choice is a Sunni sandwich with Kurdish Bread and Shia Mayo

Jan 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peeps like Sen Graham saying "the Iraqi's need to choose between us or Iran."

(That choice is a Sunni sandwich with Kurdish Bread and Shia Mayo)

[Jan 04, 2020] The price of crude oil has jumped over $2 USD on the world markets since the news

Jan 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

michaelj72 , Jan 3 2020 10:05 utc | 19

The price of crude oil has jumped over $2 USD on the world markets since the news

I expect the US to fully resist being booted out of Iraq (which would also make it's two major positions in Syria highly untenable). who could now believe that US troops in Iraq and Syria won't come under sustained attack now, by the many allies Iran has in the area?

Elijah gives breaking news
https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/1213032002682867715

Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani considers "the #US attack against the #BaghdadAirport is a clear violation of #Iraq sovereignty".

That is clear support for the US withdrawal from #Iraq.

AND

S Sistani condemns the "attack against Iraqi (not Iranian-militia) position on the borders killing our Iraqi sons to the hateful attack on #BaghdadAirport is a violation and internationally unlawful (US) act against anti-#ISIS hero(s) leading to difficult times for #Iraq".


bluedotterel , Jan 3 2020 10:07 utc | 20

Really, the ball is in Iraq's court. This is an attack on Iraqi sovereignty as much as an act of war on Iran. We will now see what the Iraqi are made of.
Peter AU1 , Jan 3 2020 10:07 utc | 21
@never mind "Soleimani really the target?"

Trump was personally responsible for having the organisation Soleimani led declared a terrorist organisation. Time to quit the "Trump is a dumbfuck led by others" Trump is around 70 and has been his own boss all his life. He is now commander in chief of the US military. He gives the orders, nobody else. He doesn't give a shit about the cold war and Europe, hence people thinking he is a peacenik. What he does care about is enemies of Israel and control of energy.

Bjørn Holmgaard , Jan 3 2020 10:11 utc | 24
The best revenge the Iraninans could have would be the expulsion of US troops from Iraq and Syria, which by the way was also the overarching goal of Soleimani...

No blood but his work completed..

Russianstyle revenge.

never mind , Jan 3 2020 10:22 utc | 28
@Peter AU1

Then the US is willfully shooting itself in the foot and I have a hard time believing that.

Peter AU1 , Jan 3 2020 10:29 utc | 29
Trump doesn't give a shit about soft power. He believes in hard power. Iraq has no defence against the US, and Trump intends to attack Iran. He needs a 9 11 to take the American population with him.
Jackrabbit , Jan 3 2020 10:30 utc | 30
Bjørn Holmgaard @24:
The best revenge the Iraninans could have would be the expulsion of US troops from Iraq and Syria ...

UN resolution 2249 (2015) :
Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da'esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da'esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;

USA have made it very clear that they are not leaving Syria and the same thinking/excuses likely applies to Iraq.

Some will argue that using UN2249 as justification for over-staying and virtual occupation is wrong-headed. Nevertheless, USA claims to remain to ensure against a resurgence of ISIS. Clearly they intend to stay until their goals are met or they are forced out militarily.

!!

Jen , Jan 3 2020 10:34 utc | 31
I suspect I'm not the only MoA barfly who thinks the assassination of Hossein Soleymani could have been planned with Mossad or other organisations and individuals in Israeli society.
jared , Jan 3 2020 10:35 utc | 32
I have the impression that Israel is taking responsibility for management of Iraq/Iran situation.

Suspect Trump is delegating and is along for ride. No dought in control in his own mind.

It appears that president is obliged to accept intelligence and guidance of security state effectively tying his hands

Laguerre , Jan 3 2020 10:35 utc | 33
The Iraqis are certainly capable of making life for the US very uncomfortable in Iraq and Syria, even if not force withdrawal. The present US structure and numbers depend on Iraqi acquiescence, and that's about shot, even before the assassination. If the position is to be maintained without Iraqi acquiescence, then thousands more troops would be required, and that wouldn't go down well back home in the States. That's one of the reasons why the act was a grave miscalculation.
Kurious , Jan 3 2020 10:51 utc | 37
This was not Trump`s decision. Trump had to take responsibilty to show he is in command. He will soon realize that he was played by the CIA and the Israelis. By then it is too late.
The US and its vassals are speeding up confrontation with the Axis because they know that the showdown is inevitable. However, It will not happen according to the US timetable.
Keep a good supply of popcorn on hand. The pandora box has plenty of surprises. The question remains,

Will the state of Israel survives?

God help us.

Peter AU1 , Jan 3 2020 10:55 utc | 39
Veritas X- "He was a brilliant military strategist"

That's why Trump hit him. And I say hit because Trump has very much a US mob or movie style mafia mentality.

Laguerre , Jan 3 2020 11:04 utc | 40
I figure Iran will have to retaliate and thus this will likely escalate. The Saker initially thinks war is 80% certain, I think it's probably a bit higher than that.

Posted by: TEP | Jan 3 2020 10:49 utc | 36

The Iranians would be foolish to allow themselves to be goaded like that.

[Jan 03, 2020] Killing Soleimani Pushes the U.S. and Iran Towards War

Notable quotes:
"... Soleimani is a senior Iranian military commander, and he also happens to be one of the more popular public figures inside Iran. Killing him isn't just a major escalation that guarantees reprisals and further destabilizes the region, but it also strengthens hard-liners in Iran enormously. Trump claimed not to want war with Iran, but his actions have proven that he does. No one who wants to avoid war with Iran would order the assassination of a high-ranking Iranian officer. Trump has signaled his willingness to plunge the U.S. into a new war that will be disastrous for our country, Iran, and the entire region. American soldiers, diplomats, and citizens throughout the region are all in much greater danger tonight than they were this morning, and the president is responsible for that. ..."
Jan 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ran hawks have been agitating for open conflict with Iran for years. Tonight, the Trump administration obliged them by assassinating the top IRGC-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and the head of Kata'ib Hezbollah in a drone strike in Baghdad:

Hard to understate how big this is

• Qassem Suleimani is Iran's most powerful mil figure in Region
• He runs Iran's proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq
• Both men designated by US as Terrorist
• Muhandis was at US embassy attack protest, calls himself "Suleimani soldier"

-- Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) January 3, 2020

Source in #Iran tells me:
Senior Iranian diplomats are sharing Gen. Qasem Sulaimani's photo along w/death prayers for him. #Iraq

-- Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January 3, 2020

Confirmed officially on Iraq state TV. Both killed pic.twitter.com/toaBJyEcxe

-- Feras Kilani فراس كيلاني (@FerasKilaniBBC) January 3, 2020

U.S. officials tell Reuters that strikes have been carried in Baghdad on Friday out against two targets linked to Iran.

-- Idrees Ali (@idreesali114) January 3, 2020

Reuters reports that a spokesman for the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq also confirmed the deaths:

Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed late on Thursday in an air strike on their convoy in Baghdad airport, an Iraqi militia spokesman told Reuters.

Soleimani is a senior Iranian military commander, and he also happens to be one of the more popular public figures inside Iran. Killing him isn't just a major escalation that guarantees reprisals and further destabilizes the region, but it also strengthens hard-liners in Iran enormously. Trump claimed not to want war with Iran, but his actions have proven that he does. No one who wants to avoid war with Iran would order the assassination of a high-ranking Iranian officer. Trump has signaled his willingness to plunge the U.S. into a new war that will be disastrous for our country, Iran, and the entire region. American soldiers, diplomats, and citizens throughout the region are all in much greater danger tonight than they were this morning, and the president is responsible for that.

It is hard to convey how irrational and destructive this latest action is. The U.S. and Iran have been dangerously close to war for months, but the Trump administration has made no effort to deescalate tensions. All that it would take to push the two governments over the brink into open conflict is a reckless attack that the other side cannot ignore. Now the U.S. has launched just such an attack and dared Iran to respond. The response may not come immediately, but we have to assume that it is coming. Killing Soleimani means that the IRGC will presumably consider it open season on U.S. forces all across the region. The Iran obsession has led the U.S. into a senseless new war that it could have easily avoided, and Trump and the Iran hawks own the results.

Trump supporters have often tried to defend the president's poor foreign policy record by saying that he hadn't started any new wars. Well, now he has, and he will be responsible for the consequences to follow.

[Jan 03, 2020] I guess Trump decided had to make the 1914-vintage Hapsburgs look relatively competent

Bombing a civilian airport in another country in order to assassinate Iranian and Iraq leaders is a very bad diplomacy ;-)
It might well be that today this idiot blow up his chances fro reelection because revenge is dish that should be served cold and Iran can postpone it for 11 months or so.
What is interesting is that neoliberal MSM are glad and still talking about Zelensky and impeachment. What a country ! It looks like the decade of the twenties can be the decade of another World War. "In every war the first casualty is truth."
Jan 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

I guess somebody had to make the 1914-vintage Hapsburgs look relatively competent,

Trump think that the war with Iran will be another cake walk, like in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a proof that he is a senile idiot.

[Jan 03, 2020] In killing General Suleimani, Mr. Trump took an action that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had rejected, fearing it would lead to war between the United States and Iran.

Jan 03, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, called the killing of General Suleimani an act of "international terrorism" and warned it was "extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation."

"The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism," Mr. Zarif tweeted.

... ... ...

"From Iran's perspective, it is hard to imagine a more deliberately provocative act," said Robert Malley, the president and chief executive of the International Crisis Group. "And it is hard to imagine that Iran will not retaliate in a highly aggressive manner."

"Whether President Trump intended it or not, it is, for all practical purposes, a declaration of war," added Mr. Malley, who served as White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the gulf region in the Obama administration.

Some United States officials and Trump administration advisers offered a less dire scenario, arguing that the show of force might convince Iran that its acts of aggression against American interests and allies have grown too dangerous, and that a president the Iranians may have come to see as risk-averse is in fact willing to escalate.

One senior administration official said the president's senior advisers had come to worry that Mr. Trump had sent too many signals -- including when he called off a planned missile strike in late June -- that he did not want a war with Iran.

Tracking Mr. Suleimani's location at any given time had long been a priority for the American and Israeli spy services and militaries. Current and former American commanders and intelligence officials said that Thursday night's attack, specifically, drew upon a combination of highly classified information from informants, electronic intercepts, reconnaissance aircraft and other surveillance.

The strike killed five people, including the pro-Iranian chief of an umbrella group for Iraqi militias, Iraqi television reported and militia officials confirmed. The militia chief, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was a strongly pro-Iranian figure.

The public relations chief for the umbrella group, the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, Mohammed Ridha Jabri, was also killed.

American officials said that multiple missiles hit the convoy in a strike carried out by the Joint Special Operations Command.

American military officials said they were aware of a potentially violent response from Iran and its proxies, and were taking steps they declined to specify to protect American personnel in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.

Two other people were killed in the strike, according to a general at the Baghdad joint command, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

... ... ...

The United States and Iran have long been involved in a shadow war in battlegrounds across the Middle East -- including in Iraq, Yemen and Syria. The tactics have generally involved using proxies to carry out the fighting, providing a buffer from a direct confrontation between Washington and Tehran that could draw America into yet other ground conflict with no discernible endgame.

The potential for a regional conflagration was a basis of the Obama administration's push for a 2015 agreement that froze Iran's nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

Mr. Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, saying that Mr. Obama's agreement had emboldened Iran, giving it economic breathing room to plow hundreds of millions of dollars into a campaign of violence around the region. Mr. Trump responded with a campaign of "maximum pressure" that began with punishing new economic sanctions, which began a new era of brinkmanship and uncertainly, with neither side knowing just how far the other was willing to escalate violence and risk a wider war. In recent days, it has spilled into the military arena.

General Suleimani once described himself to a senior Iraqi intelligence official as the "sole authority for Iranian actions in Iraq," the official later told American officials in Baghdad.

In a speech denouncing Mr. Trump, General Suleimani was even less discreet -- and openly mocking.

"We are near you, where you can't even imagine," he said. "We are ready. We are the man of this arena."

[Jan 03, 2020] If you previously have doubts that Trump is senile warmonger, not you have a definite proof

Bombing a civilian airport in another country in order to assassinate Iranian and Iraq leaders is a very bad diplomacy ;-)
It might well be that today this idiot blow up his chances fro reelection because revenge is dish that should be served cold and Iran can postpone it for 11 months or so.
What is interesting is that neoliberal MSM are glad and still talking about Zelensky and impeachment. What a country ! It looks like the decade of the twenties can be the decade of another World War. "In every war the first casualty is truth."
Jan 03, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Trump think that the war with Iran will be another cake walk, like in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a proof that he is a senile idiot.

[Jan 03, 2020] A new brilliant diplomatic strategy of Trump administration: Threatening Iran by killing Iraqis

"USA clusterfuck express hurtles headlong down the track for a rendezvous with disaster: War with a united Iraq and Iran, with the latter backed by the Russians and Chinese. https://www.checkpointasia.net/iraqi-pm-told-trump-gang-they-didnt-have-permission-to-bomb-iraqi-paramilitaries-they-did-it-anyway/ "
Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al January 2, 2020 at 10:32 am

Sic Semper tyrannis: Our Embassy in Baghdad – TTG
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

For weeks, it was Iranian consulates and facilities that bore the brunt of Iraqi popular unrest. Iran reacted with restraint. With our lethal attacks on the Kata'ib Hezbollah, we changed that. Pompeo, Esper and Trump are keeping up the trash talking. Threatening Iran by killing Iraqis whose ass was that brilliant diplomatic strategy pulled from?
####

Plenty more at the link.

Have dick, will step on!

[Jan 01, 2020] A uniformed militia fighter on the scene in Baghdad told Kurdish news service Rudaw that attacks were also planned against the U.S. consulates in Erbil and Basra, with the goal of destroying the consulates and killing everyone inside.

Jan 01, 2020 | www.rudaw.net

fersur 26 minutes ago remove Share link Copy Article is at best close, Clapper was in the triad as a go-a-long, Not as smart but just as Treasonus, their ( all Three ) play was the same play as my post below, just maybe differenty colluded !

BOOM !

Militia Leader Who Led Raid on U.S. Embassy was at White House 2011.

Unedited !

LUCAS NOLAN 31 Dec 2019

Iranian militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, one of several identified as leading an attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, reportedly visited the White House in 2011 during the presidency of Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, a mob in Baghdad attacked the U.S. embassy in retaliation against last weekend's U.S. airstrikes against the Iran-backed Shiite militia Kataib Hezbollah (KH), responsible for killing an American civilian contractor. KH is one of a number of pro-Iran militias that make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU), which legally became a wing of the Iraqi military after fighting the Sunni Islamic State terrorist group.

President Donald Trump has since accused Iran of having "orchestrated" the embassy attack and stated that the government would be "held fully responsible."

Breitbart News reporter John Hayward described the attack on the embassy, writing:

The mob grew into thousands of people, led by openly identified KH