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Syria civil war: attempt of the USA to create Sunny Theocracy instead of secular Assad government

The testing ground for false flag poisonings: White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings

News War is racket Recommended Links Downing of IL-20 reconnaissance plane Israeli support of headchoppers and air raid on Syria military infrastructure Yugoslav wars
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White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA American Imperialism American Exceptionalism Wolfowitz Doctrine
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  “Control over the production and distribution of oil is the decisive factor in defining who rules whom in the Middle East.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

“Anything that can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”
Windsor Mann, The Quotable Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism--The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

 

The key idea behind unleashing civil war in Syria using Weapons from Libya and jihadist volunteers from several Arab countries is to reverse the geopolitical gift to Iran which Bush Iraq war created.

Installation of fundamentalist government in Syria also is in the best interests of Israel as this is by definitely a weak sectarian government that terrorizes its own population.  That's why they openly supported head choppers during Syrian civil war.  Politics make strange bedfellows: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Political Islam emerges are a reaction to colonialism but now it serve as a puppet of neoliberals to weaken and destroy secular governments in Arab countries and to weaken territorial integrity of Russia.  So Russia in an indirect way is interested in preservation of secular government in Syria as creation of another large training camp for jihadism is not in their best interest.

The problem is that the US elite lost people who participated in WWII who understood the consequences of WWIII. now the US is represented by chickenhawks such as Trump, Bolton and the whole gallery of female chickenhawks (which were flourishing in Obama administration) such as Haley.

This generation of the US elite is indoctrinated is the "sole superpower" status and has difficulties to adapting to new realities when economically china will be larger then the USA in 2020 and military Russia is on par in some major categories, returning the situation of mutual assured destruction (MAD) that the USA tried to destroy (and for some succeeded in 1991-2000 due to collapse of the USSR and Yeltsin marionette government ) since Reagan.

Chemical attacks false flag as a standard method of pursuing civil war by West-connected islamists

Poisoning false flag are the  favorite trick used by British intelligence  services and it became an important tool for MI6 supported organizations such as White Helmets.  They proved to be  perfectly suitable for Islamists barbarians (aka "head choppers")  who do not care much about human cost and can kill children and woman in cold blood to achieve their goals.

One of the most interesting features of Syria civil war is the extent of the chemical attacks false flags by islamists to inflict the damage on Assad forces.  They usually resort to it when they are against the wall and need some time to prepare a counterattack,  of escape, or surrender on more favorable conditions.

In this sense political Islam is a national liberation movement that "took the wrong turn on the road"  and which was co-opted by the neoliberals to serve as their geopolitical ram.  Instead of fighting Western neoliberal neo-imperialism they are helping them.

Ghouta 2013 This was Aug 21.2013 false flag disguised as a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assadsee  "Murder in the Sun Morgue" by Dr. Denis O'Brien (neuropharmacology expert):

  • "The primary conclusion of this study, based on a pharmacological analysis of the video and photographic evidence, is that the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug 21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."

    288 pp. analysis. Also, some had slit throats:

    https://www.scribd.com/document/230748990/Murder-in-the-SunMorgue


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    [Oct 24, 2020] Syria: Six Million Displaced People Have Returned Home

    Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    arby , Oct 23 2020 13:34 utc | 104

    Syria

    "As the country tries to overcome aggression and sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union, the government plans to create more homes and announces that 11 new artisanal zones were established in Tartous, Quneitra, Homs, and Hama provinces. Also, with China's support is has imported transportation, including buses and 708 vehicles for the cleaning sector."


    Syria: Six Million Displaced People Have Returned Home

    [Oct 24, 2020] Immiration from Syria to Europe as The Trojan Horset of Muslim brothhood

    Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Majority of One , says: October 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm GMT

    @RoatanBill slim Brotherhood mania. The MB was founded in the '20's by British intelligence bodies in Egypt in order to form a counter-balance to the growth of Arab nationalism. So we have a bunch of losers who refused to abide in a Syria which the government of that nation wished to remain NOT under sectarian control and remain a home for all the faiths which have lived side-by-side in that land for many centuries.

    The logical destination for that moth-eaten bunch of fanatics and their dupes would be to the lands occupied by the Wahabist Saudi crime clan as well as those of the Gulf Dictatorships. Such brothers in fanaticism should be very welcome at those totally logical destinations.

    [Oct 24, 2020] A small Marine artillery battalion fired more rounds into Ragga than any artillery battalion since Vietnam. Many of the victims are still buried there in the rubble caused by indiscriminate indirect fire.

    Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Don Bacon , Oct 22 2020 21:29 utc | 27

    @ arby 8
    Syria: "Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble. [11]"

    According to news reports, Raqqa was devastated by the U.S.-led airstrikes that accompanied the SDF's four-month offensive to drive out the Islamic State, and a year later the city is still in ruins.
    It's worse than that. The "so-called fight against ISIL" included the US military firing indirect fire weapons (artillery, rockets, mortars) into a civilian-occupied city. Many of the victims are still buried there in the rubble caused by indiscriminate indirect fire.

    Feb 6, 2018 -- A small Marine artillery battalion fired more rounds than any artillery battalion since Vietnam. "They fired more rounds in five months in[to] Raqqa, Syria, than any other Marine artillery battalion, or any Marine or Army battalion, since the Vietnam war," said Army Sgt. Major. John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "In five months they fired 35,000 artillery rounds on ISIS targets, killing ISIS fighters by the dozens," Troxell told Marine Corps Times during a roundtable discussion Jan. 23. "We needed them to put pressure on ISIS and we needed them to kill ISIS." . . here

    [Oct 24, 2020] Put me in charge, and I could stop the illegals in a matter of days. One easy policy: -- All fighting age males will be turned over to Assad for conscription as expendable shock troops.

    Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

    A123 , says: October 22, 2020 at 10:21 pm GMT

    @RoatanBill days. One easy policy:

    -- All fighting age males will be turned over to Assad for conscription as expendable shock troops.

    It is a win-win-win.

    With that much additional manpower, Assad would be able to drive Turkish interlopers and Iranian al'Hezbollah terrorists out of his Syria.

    It would open the door to Russia-U.S.-Syria cooperation. Once Iran is 100% gone, Deep State obstructionists in the U.S. establishment would not be able to interfere with Trump pulling troops out of " ahem .. oil field defense " positions.

    Alas, Greek leaders are not willing to go that far. Yet

    PEACE

    [Oct 24, 2020] Wasn't all that long ago when b and many of the barflies were kind of celebrating the fact that the Yankees lost in Syria and were getting the boot. Turns out that is not what has happened at all.

    Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    arby , Oct 22 2020 23:09 utc | 38

    Don Bacon @ 27

    Yes. Wasn't all that long ago when b and many of the barflies were kind of celebrating the fact that the Yankees lost in Syria and were getting the boot.
    Turns out that is not what has happened at all.

    [Oct 24, 2020] Here are the consequences of the war for the people of Syria

    Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    arby , Oct 22 2020 19:00 utc | 8

    "Here are the consequences of the war for the people of Syria.

    The economy has contracted by two-thirds since 2011 [1], the year the United States and its Western allies, along with the Turks, Saudis, Emiratis, and Qataris, assisted by the Israelis, fanned the embers of an Islamist insurgency that has burned since the 1960s into a conflagration.
    Over 80 percent of Syrians now live below the poverty line. [2]
    Once classified as a lower middle income country, the World Bank in 2018 reclassified Syria as a low-income country. [3]
    According to the country's president, Bashar al-Assad, Syrians are trapped "between hunger and poverty and deprivation [created by the long war] on one side and death [from the coronavirus] on the other." [4]
    Food prices have increased more than 23 times over the past decade. [5]
    The World Food Program warns of an impending famine. [6]
    Syria's healthcare system, once one of the finest in the region, is in disarray. The country suffers a dearth of doctors, drugs and medical equipment. [7]
    Dams and oil fields barely function. [8]
    Industrial areas have been completely devastated. [9]
    Schools and hospitals lie in ruins. [10]
    Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble. [11]

    Washington's Long War on Syria: An Update

    [Oct 21, 2020] US Seeks to Prolong Terrorism in Syria, Not Defeat It - Global ResearchGlobal Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

    Oct 21, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

    Recent attacks on Syrian positions from terrorists of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (ISIS) and the release of thousands of prisoners in US-occupied eastern Syria illustrate how Washington is demonstratably prolonging instability in Syria as part of its promise to transform the nation into a "quagmire" for Russia and Iran.

    Newsweek itself, in an article titled , "US Syria Representative Says His Job Is to Make the War a 'Quagmire' for Russia," had admitted earlier this year that:

    The US special representative for Syria has urged continued American deployment to the war torn country in order to keep pressure on US enemies and make the conflict a "quagmire" for Russia.

    The article further elaborated:

    Assad -- who now controls the majority of the country -- is backed by Russia and Iran, both of which the US is trying to undermine. Jeffrey said Tuesday that the US strategy will both weaken America's enemies while avoiding costly mission creep.

    "This isn't Afghanistan, this isn't Vietnam," he explained. "This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    Toward that end – efforts in US-occupied eastern Syria to properly deal with ISIS prisoners and their family members has been neglected – creating conditions aimed at breeding extremism rather than defusing it. Even the Washington Post – in a recent article titled , "Kurdish-led zone vows to release Syrians from detention camp for ISIS families," would admit:

    Conditions inside al-Hol displacement camp, a sprawl of tents perched in the desert west of Hasakah city, have alarmed humanitarian groups and in some cases aided the radicalization of women and children who spent years under Islamic State rule.

    The "release" is depicted by the Western media as lacking planning – however – if the goal of the US is to compound Syria's crisis rather than help resolve it – releasing thousands of prisoners – many of whom are likely only further radicalized – is the plan.

    US media also reported on a major and recent clash between Syrian forces and ISIS militants requiring the use of Russian airpower to repel.

    How Washington Found Itself in Bed with ISIS

    Western headlines like Defense Post's article , "90 Dead as Syria Govt Forces Clash With IS: Monitor," claimed:

    Clashes in the Syrian Desert between pro-government forces and holdouts of the Islamic State group have killed at least 90 combatants this month, a war monitor said on Wednesday.

    Russian aircraft carried out strikes in support of their Syrian regime ally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    The militants are alleged to be based in Syria's desert regions just west of the Euphrates River. However, in order to sustain ISIS' fighting capacity in an otherwise desolate region, weapons and supplies need to be continuously brought in.

    Since it is unlikely the Syrian government is supplying ISIS fighters determined to kill Syrian troops and move westward toward government-held territory – it is the US and its regional allies supplying them instead.

    The combination of the deliberately destructive administration of US-occupied territory in eastern Syria and the continued supply and arming of militants – including those affiliated with ISIS – are clear components of Washington's strategy of creating a "quagmire" for Syria and its allies in addition to the continued US military occupation itself and ongoing efforts to maintain crippling sanctions aimed at Syria's economy.

    The US has made "quagmires" for Russia in the past. This included its support of militants in Afghanistan through the supply of weapons and training via Pakistan.

    The Syrian conflict – since 2011 – has been the result of similar efforts by the US to create, arm, supply, and otherwise back militants attempting to overthrow the government in Damascus. Having failed this primary objective and after having spent whatever credibility the US had upon the international stage – Washington has now moved toward openly obstructing peace and hampering Syria's recovery from the ongoing conflict – admittedly to spite its international competitors including Russia, Iran, and even China.

    When comparing America's "rules-based international order" with the emerging multipolar world presented by nations like Russia and China as an alternative – it is difficult to believe Washington sees its continued destabilization of nations and even entire regions of the world as a selling point for its world view rather than the primary reason nations around the globe should both oppose it and back desperately needed alternatives to it.

    Attempts by Washington to continue depicting itself as a partner for combating global terrorism rather than a source of global terrorism seems to have fully run its course with the US all but admitting its presence in Syria is aimed at prolonging conflict rather than contributing to efforts to end it. This has been repeatedly illustrated by America's confrontation with Russia in Syria – including a recent incident in which US military vehicles unsuccessfully attempted to block a Russian military patrol.

    It was Russia's 2015 entry into the conflict on Syria's behalf that decisively turned the tide of the conflict – using its superior airpower to target ISIS and Al Qaeda supply lines leading out of NATO-member Turkey's territory into Syria, collapsing their respective fighting capacities and allowing Syrian forces to restore order to nearly all major population centers of the country.

    Today, remaining hostilities are centered on both Turkish and US-occupied territory inside Syria – the resolution of which will mark the conclusion of the conflict – a conclusion and resulting peace Ankara and Washington appear opposed to.

    While Western pundits have argued that a US withdrawal would lead to a resurgence of ISIS – it is clear that ISIS thrives everywhere Syrian forces have been prevented from retaking because of America's illegal presence inside the country. A US withdrawal would be the first true step toward eliminating ISIS from both Syria and the region.

    *

    Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

    Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

    Featured image is from NEO

    The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Tony Cartalucci , Global Research, 2020

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    [Oct 21, 2020] How Trump Got Played By The Military-Industrial Complex by Akbar Shahid Ahmed

    Highly recommended!
    Tramp was essentially the President from military industrial complex and Israel lobby. So he was not played. That's naive. He followed the instructions.
    Oct 21, 2020 | www.huffpost.com

    On March 20, 2018, President Donald Trump sat beside Saudi crown prince Muhammed bin Salman at the White House and lifted a giant map that said Saudi weapons purchases would support jobs in "key" states -- including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Ohio, all of which were crucial to Trump's 2016 election victory .

    "Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment but if you look, in terms of dollars, $3 billion, $533 million, $525 million -- that's peanuts for you. You should have increased it," Trump said to the prince, who was (and still is) overseeing a military campaign in Yemen that has deployed U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

    Trump has used his job as commander-in-chief to be America's arms-dealer-in-chief in a way no other president has since Dwight Eisenhower, as he prepared to leave the presidency, warned in early 1961 of the military-industrial complex's political influence. Trump's posture makes sense personally ― this is a man who regularly fantasizes about violence, usually toward foreigners ― and he and his advisers see it as politically useful, too. The president has repeatedly appeared at weapons production facilities in swing states, promoted the head of Lockheed Martin using White House resources, appointed defense industry employees to top government jobs in an unprecedented way and expanded the Pentagon's budget to near-historic highs ― a guarantee of future income for companies like Lockheed and Boeing.

    Trump is "on steroids in terms of promoting arms sales for his own political benefit," said William Hartung, a scholar at the Center for International Policy who has tracked the defense industry for decades. "It's a targeted strategy to get benefits from workers in key states."

    In courting the billion-dollar industry, Trump has trampled on moral considerations about how buyers like the Saudis misuse American weapons, ethical concerns about conflicts of interest and even part of his own political message, the deceptive claim that he is a peace candidate. He justifies his policy by citing job growth, but data from Hartung , a prominent analyst, shows he exaggerates the impact. And Trump has made clear that a major motivation for his defense strategy is the possible electoral benefit it could have.

    Next month's election will show if the bargain was worth it. As of now, it looks like Trump's bet didn't pay off ― for him, at least. Campaign contribution records, analysts in swing states and polls suggest arms dealers have given the president no significant political boost. The defense contractors, meanwhile, are expected to continue getting richer, as they have in a dramatic way under Trump.

    Playing Corporate Favorites

    Trump has thrice chosen the person who decides how the Defense Department spends its gigantic budget. Each time, he has tapped someone from a business that wants those Pentagon dollars. Mark Esper, the current defense secretary, worked for Raytheon; his predecessor, Pat Shanahan, for Boeing; and Trump's first appointee, Jim Mattis, for General Dynamics, which reappointed him to its board soon after he left the administration.

    Of the senior officials serving under Esper, almost half have connections to military contractors, per the Project on Government Oversight. The administration is now rapidly trying to fill more Pentagon jobs under the guidance of a former Trump campaign worker, Foreign Policy magazine recently revealed ― prioritizing political reasons and loyalty to Trump in choosing people who could help craft policy even under a Joe Biden presidency.

    Such personnel choices are hugely important for defense companies' profit margins and risk creating corruption or the impression of it. Watchdog groups argue Trump's handling of the hiring process is more evidence that lawmakers and future presidents must institute rules to limit the reach of military contractors and other special interests.

    "Given the hundreds of conflicts of interest flouting the rule of law in the Trump administration , certainly these issues have gotten that much more attention and are that much more salient now than they were four years ago," said Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, a nonpartisan good-government group.

    The theoretical dangers of Trump's approach became a reality last year, when a former employee for the weapons producer Raytheon used his job at the State Department to advocate for a rare emergency declaration allowing the Saudis and their partner the United Arab Emirates to buy $8 billion in arms ― including $2 billion in Raytheon products ― despite congressional objections. As other department employees warned that Saudi Arabia was defying U.S. pressure to behave less brutally in Yemen, former lobbyist Charles Faulkner led a unit that urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to give the kingdom more weapons. Pompeo pushed out Faulkner soon afterward, and earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general criticized the process behind the emergency declaration for the arms.

    Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention cente MOHAMED AL-SAYAGHI / REUTERS
    Red Crescent medics walk next to bags containing the bodies of victims of Saudi-linked airstrikes on a Houthi detention center in Yemen on Sept. 1, 2019. The Saudis military campaign in Yemen has relied on U.S. weaponry to commit scores of alleged war crimes.

    Even Trump administration officials not clearly connected to the defense industry have shown an interest in moves that benefit it. In 2017, White House economic advisor Peter Navarro pressured Republican lawmakers to permit exports to Saudi Arabia and Jared Kushner, the president's counselor and son-in-law, personally spoke with Lockheed Martin's chief to iron out a sale to the kingdom, The New York Times found.

    Subscribe to the Politics email. From Washington to the campaign trail, get the latest politics news.

    When Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to develop medical supplies as part of this year's coronavirus relief package, most of the money went to defense contractors for projects like jet engine parts instead, a Washington Post investigation showed .

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    "It's a very close relationship and there's no kind of sense that they're supposed to be regulating these people," Hartung said. "It's more like they're allies, standing shoulder to shoulder."

    Seeking Payback

    In June 2019, Lockheed Martin announced that it would close a facility that manufactures helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, and employs more than 450 people. Days later, Trump tweeted that he had asked the company's then-chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, to keep the plant open. And by July 10, Lockheed said it would do so ― attributing the decision to Trump.

    The president has frequently claimed credit for jobs in the defense industry, highlighting the impact on manufacturing in swing states rather than employees like Washington lobbyists, whose numbers have also grown as he has expanded the Pentagon's budget. Lockheed has helped him in his messaging: In one instance in Wisconsin, Hewson announced she was adding at least 45 new positions at a plant directly after Trump spoke there, saying his tax cuts for corporations made that possible.

    Trump is pursuing a strategy that the arms industry uses to insulate itself from political criticism. "They've reached their tentacles into every state and many congressional districts," Scherb of Common Cause said. That makes it hard for elected officials to question their operations or Pentagon spending generally without looking like they are harming their local economy.

    Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, a Democrat who represents Coatesville, welcomed Lockheed's change of course, though she warned, "This decision is a temporary reprieve. I am concerned that Lockheed Martin and [its subsidiary] Sikorsky are playing politics with the livelihoods of people in my community."

    The political benefit for Trump, though, remains in question, given that as president he has a broad set of responsibilities and is judged in different ways.

    "Do I think it's important to keep jobs? Absolutely," said Marcel Groen, a former Pennsylvania Democratic party chair. "And I think we need to thank the congresswoman and thank the president for it. But it doesn't change my views and I don't think it changes most people's in terms of the state of the nation."

    With polls showing that Trump's disastrous response to the health pandemic dominates voters' thoughts and Biden sustaining a lead in surveys of most swing states , his argument on defense industry jobs seems like a minor factor in this election.

    Hartung of the Center for International Policy drew a parallel to President George H.W. Bush, who during his 1992 reelection campaign promoted plans for Taiwan and Saudi Arabia to purchase fighter jets produced in Missouri and Texas. Bush announced the decisions at events at the General Dynamics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis that made the planes. That November, as Bill Clinton defeated him, he lost Missouri by the highest margin of any Republican in almost 30 years and won Texas by a slimmer margin than had become the norm for a GOP presidential candidate.

    President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July MANDEL NGAN VIA GETTY IMAGES
    President Donald Trump greets then-Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson at the Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019. Trump does not appear to be winning his political bet that increased defense spending would help his political fortunes.

    Checking The Receipts

    The defense industry can't control whether voters buy Trump's arguments about his relationship with it. But it could, if it wanted to, try to help him politically in a more direct way: by donating to his reelection campaign and allied efforts.

    Yet arms manufacturers aren't reciprocating Trump's affection. A HuffPost review of Federal Election Commission records showed that top figures and groups at major industry organizations like the National Defense Industrial Association and the Aerospace Industries Association and at Lockheed, Trump's favorite defense firm, are donating this cycle much as they normally do: giving to both sides of the political aisle, with a slight preference to the party currently wielding the most power, which for now is Republicans. (The few notable exceptions include the chairman of the NDIA's board, Arnold Punaro, who has given more than $58,000 to Trump and others in the GOP.)

    Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that's the case for contributions from the next three biggest groups of defense industry donors after Lockheed's employees.

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    One smaller defense company, AshBritt Environmental, did donate $500,000 to a political action committee supporting Trump ― prompting a complaint from the Campaign Legal Center, which noted that businesses that take federal dollars are not allowed to make campaign contributions. Its founder told ProPublica he meant to make a personal donation.

    For weapons producers, backing both parties makes sense. The military budget will have increased 29% under Trump by the end of the current fiscal year, per the White House Office of Management and Budget. Biden has said he doesn't see cuts as "inevitable" if he is elected, and his circle of advisers includes many from the national security world who have worked closely with ― and in many cases worked for ― the defense industry.

    And arms manufacturers are "busy pursuing their own interests" in other ways, like trying to get a piece of additional government stimulus legislation, Hartung said ― an effort that's underway as the Pentagon's inspector general investigates how defense contractors got so much of the first coronavirus relief package.

    Meanwhile, defense contractors continue to have an outsize effect on the way policies are designed in Washington through less political means. A recent report from the Center for International Policy found that such companies have given at least $1 billion to the nation's most influential think tanks since 2014 ― potentially spending taxpayer money to influence public opinion. They have also found less obvious ways to maintain support from powerful people, like running the databases that many congressional offices use to connect with constituents, Scherb of Common Cause said.

    "This goes into a much bigger systemic issue about big money in politics and the role of corporations versus the role of Americans," Scherb said.

    Given its reach, the defense industry has little reason to appear overtly partisan. Instead, it's projecting confidence despite the generally dreary state of the global economy: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has said he expects similar approaches from either winner of the election, arguing even greater Democratic control and the rise of less conventional lawmakers isn't a huge concern.

    In short, whoever is in the White House, arms dealers tend to do just fine.

    [Oct 20, 2020] US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics -- RT USA News

    Oct 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

    Cover up of OPSW fiasco with Douma false flag ?

    US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics 19 Oct, 2020 21:24 Get short URL US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich announces charges against 'six Russsian intelligence officers' at the Department of Justice, October 19, 2020. © Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS 14 Follow RT on RT The US Justice Department has announced charges against six alleged officers of Russian military intelligence, accusing them of cyber attacks against Georgia, France, the UK, the OPCW, Ukraine and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

    A grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted the six men for "conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false registration of a domain name," the DOJ announced on Monday, describing them as officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU.

    The indictment identifies them as Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318242413597642758&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F503953-six-russians-indicted-hacking%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

    According to the charges, they used malware like KillDisk, Industroyer, NotPetya and Olympic Destroyer to attack everything from networks in Ukraine and Georgia to the Olympics held in PyeongChang two years ago – in which Russian athletes were not allowed to participate under their national flag, due to doping allegations made by a disgruntled doctor.

    The six are also accused of undermining "efforts to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok, on foreign soil" – referring to the March 2018 claims by the British government that Russia "highly likely" used the toxin against a former spy and his daughter, an accusation Moscow repeatedly denied.

    Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers has claimed that "No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite."

    ALSO ON RT.COM 'State actor' behind NotPetya cyberattack, expect 'countermeasures' – NATO experts

    Monday's indictment is hardly a surprise, considering that NATO and US officials have blamed the 2017 NotPetya outbreak on Moscow for years, even though the malware struck numerous Russian companies – from the central bank to the oil giant Rosneft and metal-maker Evraz – as well.

    The October 2019 Georgia attack was "in line with Russian tactics," declared CrowdStrike, the same security company that was tasked with dealing with the 2016 "hack" of the Democratic National Committee. CrowdStrike's president had secretly admitted to Congress that they had no actual evidence of the hack itself.

    The indictment also accuses the "GRU officers" of trying to breach the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The international body faced a scandal after whistleblowers revealed that a report blaming chemical attacks in Syria on the country's government omitted details that did not fall in line with the narrative pushed by the US and the UK.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318254380555141123&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F503953-six-russians-indicted-hacking%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

    In announcing the indictment, the DOJ thanked the authorities in Ukraine, Georgia, New Zealand, South Korea, and UK "intelligence services" – as well as Google, Facebook and Twitter – for "significant cooperation and assistance" with the investigation.

    The same "GRU unit" and Kovalev specifically were previously indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for alleged "meddling" in 2016 US elections. As with Mueller's indictments, Monday's charges have largely symbolic value; the accused are not likely to ever see the inside of a US courtroom. The only indictment that was actually contested in court – against the so-called IRA troll farm – was dropped by the DOJ in March, due to lack of evidence.

    Russia's military intelligence has not gone by the name of GRU since 2010.

    Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

    14

    [Oct 19, 2020] Under Trump it especially cheats its friends, because they are the easiest marks

    Notable quotes:
    "... Of course the quick objection is that Turkey is getting a crap deal on every single aspect mentioned. This is especially true of Erdogan personally, whose true existential need is to win the war against the Kurds he re-started in Turkey. For instance, the US covertly helps Turkey stay in Syria but simultaneously it "supports" Rojava. And so on and so forth. Yes, the US government is a bully and cheats even its friends. Under Trump it especially cheats its friends, because they are the easiest marks. ..."
    Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    steven t johnson , Oct 17 2020 20:58 utc | 54

    james@30 asks "what is the usa offering Turkey here??"

    Offering continued intervention in Syria, de facto in alliance with Turkey, which weakens the Kurds in effect; splitting the Kurds internationally by supporting the KRG; supporting the continued partition of Cyprus; supporting the effective dismantling of NATO, a very important point re Greek relations; neutrality in Libya and the disputes over eastern Mediterranean drilling; deeming Erdogan one of the good Muslims instead of pursuing a virulent regime change campaign; no economic warfare like in Venezuela.

    Of course the quick objection is that Turkey is getting a crap deal on every single aspect mentioned. This is especially true of Erdogan personally, whose true existential need is to win the war against the Kurds he re-started in Turkey. For instance, the US covertly helps Turkey stay in Syria but simultaneously it "supports" Rojava. And so on and so forth. Yes, the US government is a bully and cheats even its friends. Under Trump it especially cheats its friends, because they are the easiest marks.

    The thing is, Russia cannot bring Erdogan either victory over the Kurds or a healthy economy. Nor is it clear to me that Putin has any strategy whatsoever for any endgame.

    Josh , Oct 17 2020 21:36 utc | 59
    https://southfront.org/betrayed-in-west-kiev-regime-tries-to-find-love-in-turkish-arms/

    Wow,

    Cute couple, right???

    Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 21:56 utc | 62
    Re Turkey. Erdogan is a megalomaniac nationalist. He is neither a servant of the US nor of Putin. He does what he thinks is in the interests of Turkey.

    [Oct 15, 2020] How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian 'chemical attack' -- RT Op-ed

    Oct 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

    How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian 'chemical attack' 14 Oct, 2020 14:38 Get short URL How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian 'chemical attack' FILE PHOTO: Roger Waters at the 76th Venice Film Festival - Screening of the documentary "Roger Waters Us + Them" out of competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Venice, Italy September 6, 2019 © REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw 146 Follow RT on RT

    Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist. A leaked phone call reveals that outside pressure caused Amnesty to pull its promotion of a webinar featuring Pink Floyd's Roger Waters – a vocal skeptic of the Douma 'chemical attack' that prompted Western powers to bomb Syria.

    In August this year, environmental pressure group Amazon Watch broadcast an online panel discussion in support of Steven Donziger, a crusading attorney who dared try to hold US energy giant Chevron to account for widespread environmental destruction in the Amazon, and was left fighting for his life, livelihood and liberty as a result.

    In February 2011, Chevron was found liable by an Ecuadorian court for contamination resulting from crude oil production in the region by its subsidiary Texaco between 1964 and 1992, in a legal action that was many years in the making and led by Donziger.

    READ MORE 'Where are the headlines?' Roger Waters points to Syria gas attack 'stench' in wake of leaked report 'Where are the headlines?' Roger Waters points to Syria gas attack 'stench' in wake of leaked report

    Chevron is yet to pay a penny of the settlement though, for the landmark ruling was overturned in March 2014 by a US Federal Court on highly dubious grounds – in reaching his decision, presiding Judge Lewis A. Kaplan relied heavily on the evidence of a former Ecuadorian justice who subsequently admitted to fabricating his testimony. Donziger has since been charged with contempt of court and sat under house arrest for over a year awaiting trial.

    Dozinger himself was present on the Amazon Watch webinar that August evening, and was joined by a number of prominent campaigners, including Simon Taylor, founder of NGO Global Witness, and Roger Waters, co-founder of rock institution Pink Floyd.

    The talk was widely promoted in advance by a number of prominent human rights activists, and NGOs, perhaps most prominently Amnesty International.

    However, the organization's endorsement triggered a deluge of criticism on social media from a number of notorious advocates for regime change in Syria. This led to a post advertising the webinar published by Amnesty USA's official Twitter account the day before broadcast to mysteriously disappear without explanation.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1290928644370595845&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F503461-roger-waters-douma-syria%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

    In response to one critic , Amnesty UK Campaigns Manager Kristyan Benedict said promoting the talk was "not good at all" and confirmed that the offending tweet had "been deleted."

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291000848798056450&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F503461-roger-waters-douma-syria%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

    A leaked recording of a September 25 phone call between Waters and two senior staffers at Amnesty International USA – Matt Vogel , head of artist relations, and Tamara Draut , chief impact officer – sheds fascinating light on the episode.

    At the start of the conversation, Waters recalls he was not only informed Amnesty would promote the panel discussion on Twitter in advance, but also personally retweeted the endorsement so it reached his circa 375,000 followers at the organization's express request.

    However, an associate informed him just before the webinar began that they couldn't locate the post. When the talk was over, he went about getting to the bottom of the tweet's absence.

    READ MORE Susan Sarandon, Pamela Anderson & Roger Waters question silence on OPCW report on Douma 'attack' Susan Sarandon, Pamela Anderson & Roger Waters question silence on OPCW report on Douma 'attack'

    After conducting "a bit of sleuthing," he determined that the removal followed pressure being brought to bear by a number of individuals, in particular his "old adversary" Eliot Higgins, founder of controversial website Bellingcat, due to Waters' views on the Syrian Civil Defense, aka White Helmets. Seeking answers, he attempted to reach out to Amnesty, but was repeatedly stonewalled before finally being put in touch with Vogel and Draut.

    In response, Draut confirmed that the tweet's removal was indeed prompted by a "difference of opinion" on the White Helmets. "We believe they're really champions for human rights, and have fought for their protection and freedom. When the tweet went up on our end, it wasn't fully vetted as it should've been, and immediately we heard from folks in the White Helmets, asking why we were promoting you, due to comments you've made about them. We also heard from other Syrian human rights activists, who were quite hurt by our support of you " she began, before Waters interrupts, asking what relevance his views on the group has to "the plight of rainforest dwellers in northern Ecuador."

    "People interpreted our promotion of an event at which you were speaking as promoting your position on the White Helmets. I got involved in this process too late, I wouldn't have taken down the tweet, that's not the policy I like to follow, I would've much rather dealt with this openly and honestly..." Draut explains.

    Waters made headlines the world over in April 2018, when he stopped mid-set during a concert in Barcelona to talk about a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, which had allegedly taken place six days earlier.

    Branding the White Helmets a "fake organization" creating "propaganda for jihadists and terrorists," he suggested that Western public opinion was being manipulated in order that "we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people." Mere hours later , his prediction came to pass, as France, the UK and US carried out a series of military strikes against multiple government sites in the country.

    ALSO ON RT.COM 'How do they sleep?' Roger Waters calls out US, UK & France over 'faked' Douma chemical attack

    In May 2019, Waters was again the subject of intense criticism when he claimed on his official Facebook page that a leaked document had vindicated his position. The file in question was an engineering report produced by an Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding team that visited Douma in the days following the contested strike, which concluded there was a "higher probability" that cylinders found at two locations in Douma, alleged by the White Helmets to have been dropped from Syrian Air Force helicopters, were "manually placed rather than being delivered from aircraft."

    Photos of the cylinders circulated widely in the Western media and on social networks in the wake of the claimed incident. Such images, along with footage of Douma residents being hosed down in hospitals, children seemingly foaming at the mouth, and piles of dead bodies in a housing complex – all produced and disseminated by the White Helmets – were all damning evidence offered in favor of the idea that the Syrian government had targeted civilians with chemical weapons, a notion which in turn provided Paris, London and Washington with a pretext for military intervention.

    The OPCW team's dissenting appraisal was, for reasons unclear, entirely unmentioned in the organization's final report on Douma , published two months prior to Waters' Facebook post.

    Despite making few if any public comments about the White Helmets or the ongoing crisis in Syria since, Waters has nonetheless been subject to an unending deluge of online abuse from their Western supporters.

    Back on the call, an indignant Waters cites a since-deleted tweet from Eliot Higgins, which stated that Amnesty International "needs to explain why Roger Waters is an appropriate person to talk about human rights." Rather than responding constructively to the question, the organization opted to simply yield to critical pressure.

    READ MORE 'Disgusting joke' & mockery of the law: Julian Assange has ZERO chance of fair trial if extradited to US, Roger Waters tells RT 'Disgusting joke' & mockery of the law: Julian Assange has ZERO chance of fair trial if extradited to US, Roger Waters tells RT

    Waters said: "Why am I an appropriate person? Because I've been a great advocate for human rights all my life. The White Helmets were clearly involved in something really dodgy. Amnesty has never come out and said, 'It's been brought to our attention the video the White Helmets made in Douma was absolutely fake.'

    "Doctors there have said not only were there no deaths that we know about that day, but the people in the hospital were complaining of dust inhalation, not being gassed. Do you still believe that video, do you believe that was real?"

    Draut responded: "I appreciate your desire to defend your opinion, I don't think it's productive all I can tell you is you asked why the tweet was taken down, and it was taken down because of the immediate backlash we received, which is in direct opposition to our position on the White Helmets, and is very hurtful the position of Amnesty wasn't that you don't have any right or expertise or commitment to human rights to speak on that panel."

    Waters then countered: "Why didn't you explain why I am an appropriate person, and say you weren't going to delete the tweet, because the webinar was important?!

    "When I was growing up, you pretended to care about human rights – you've demonstrated to me in this conversation that you don't, particularly by refusing to answer my simple question about the video made by the White Helmets in Douma!" he said.

    In response, Vogel hurriedly stepped in, reassuring Waters that Amnesty supports Donziger's "very critical case," and he personally considered the webinar "a very important conversation to have."

    ALSO ON RT.COM Roger Waters: Neoliberal propaganda keeping voters 'asleep' like Orwellian sheep

    "So this is just a blacklisting of me?! This is you blacklisting me on the basis of evidence given by a scumbag like Eliot Higgins! That's what you're telling me now!" Waters contended.

    "You've made a special exception in my case?! To blacklist me, and take a tweet mentioning me down, on the basis of trolls sending in their negative feelings about me – because I don't subscribe to their opinions about regime change in Syria, and the non-existent chemical attack in Douma, Amnesty International will blacklist me and prevent me from acting for the people of Ecuador, in my capacity as a human rights activist. Wow! What a terrible indictment of your organization, if you don't mind me saying!"

    Draut then returns to the conversation, apologizing outright for the tweet's removal, and claiming Waters is "in no way" blacklisted by Amnesty, despite the organization "disagreeing" with his position on the White Helmets.

    Thanking her, Waters asked whether Amnesty was willing to publicly explain how and why its promotion of the webinar was retracted, an act that was "entirely outside the boundaries that Amnesty International pretends to hold sacred," and apologize to Stephen Donziger and the Ecuadorian people. No commitment to do so was forthcoming from either Amnesty representative on the call, and no explanation or apology for the deletion has been offered by the organization as of October 12.

    READ MORE The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head

    While Waters' public comments in April 2018 have clearly made him a target for public vilification and censorship, a great many documents leaked since then strongly suggest his original suspicions were highly adroit – and the OPCW's conclusions that there were "reasonable grounds" to believe a chemical weapons attack had occurred in Douma, and "the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine," were directly contrary to the overwhelming majority of the evidence which its investigators collected.

    A vast number of the organization's previously suppressed internal files are now in the public domain, and while they've been universally ignored by mainstream journalists, they tell a damning story.

    For instance, the documents demonstrate that in July 2018, OPCW chiefs secretly removed all staff from the investigation who had actually visited Douma, bar a single paramedic. Responsibility for completing the probe was handed to an entirely separate team, which had instead traveled to Turkey, and exclusively taken witness statements and soil samples hand-picked by the White Helmets, and staff who hadn't participated in either mission.

    The conclusions drawn from this evidence differed sharply from evidence collected in Syria, and this incongruity was repeatedly noted in a draft report – references absent entirely from the version presented to the public.

    Other key facts from the draft also indicate OPCW investigators quickly ruled out that a chemical attack of any kind had taken place. For one, no samples of any nerve agent – which the White Helmets, Syrian American Medical Society, Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and British and American governments all claimed had been employed in the attack – were found anywhere on the site, and this had been established by June 2018.

    ALSO ON RT.COM OPCW head FALSELY described Syria whistleblower inspectors to discredit them, new documents show

    Moreover, at the OPCW's request, four chemical weapons experts conducted a toxicology review of available evidence from the incident. They concluded that the observed symptoms of alleged victims in Douma, as depicted in White Helmets-provided footage from the incident, "were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine" and "no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified."

    Further undermining the OPCW's public conclusions, the organization's tests of samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were detected overwhelmingly at trace quantities , in the parts-per-billion range – a finding referenced in the aforementioned draft, again absent from the version deemed fit for public consumption.

    At a January 2020 meeting of the United Nations Security Council, former OPCW inspection team leader Ian Henderson, an 11-year veteran of the organization who was part of the Douma fact-finding mission's inspection team , testified that the investigation into the alleged incident unambiguously concluded that no chemical attack had taken place, and suggested it was likely staged by the Syrian opposition, in order to trigger Western military intervention.

    That the White Helmets are a Western construct disseminating propaganda to facilitate governments dropping bombs on people, as per Roger Waters' phrase, was amply confirmed by the recent release of internal UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) files by hacktivist collective Anonymous.

    READ MORE 'False and fabricated': Syria slams OPCW report blaming it for 2017 chemical weapons attacks 'False and fabricated': Syria slams OPCW report blaming it for 2017 chemical weapons attacks

    Among other things, the documents expose a vast and extremely well-funded multi-year operation to produce propaganda targeted both at Syrians and Western populations, forging perceptions of a coherent, credible, moderate opposition to the government of Bashar Assad and extremist groups such as Islamic State alike, and to cultivate support for British-facilitated regime change in the country.

    Under the auspices of this project, ARK International – a "conflict transformation and stabilization consultancy" founded by Alistair Harris, a veteran FCO diplomat – developed and ran an "internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness" of the White Helmets.

    "ARK created and continues to run a Twitter feed and Facebook page on behalf of the Syrian Civil Defense teams, posting photos and updates on their activities in English throughout the day. This has received high-profile recognition from international websites and commentators New York-based advocacy group, the Syria Campaign, reached out to the civil defenders through their Twitter feed, and following subsequent discussions with ARK, selected the civil defense to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news [emphasis added]," a leaked internal document states.

    Intriguingly, ARK also extensively trained and equipped over 150 "activists" in Syria on "camera handling, lighting, sound, interviewing, filming a story," post-production techniques including "video and sound editing and software, voice-over, scriptwriting," and "graphics and 2D and 3D animation design and software."

    Students were even instructed in practical propaganda theory – namely "target audience identification, qualitative and quantitative techniques, media and media narrative analysis and monitoring,""behavioral identification/understanding," "campaign planning," "behavior, behavioral change, and how communications can influence it [emphasis added]," and more.

    Content produced by trainees was then fed to ARK's "well-established contacts" at media outlets including Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, the New York Times and Reuters, in some cases the firm's students were hired directly as on-the-ground 'stringers' by these organizations, producing reports and conducting interviews.

    The files offer no indication that ARK's trainees were further schooled in how to stage chemical weapons attacks for a Western audience. However, the techniques they learned could clearly so easily be used and abused for such a purpose – making the question of whether they did so worthy of intensive further investigation.

    Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


    NANCY 12 hours ago I have to ask, why is Amnesty International still considered an organization advocating for human rights and political prisoners? They have shown themselves to be hypocritical phonies in the case of Julian Assange and now, the White Helmets and who knows how many other issues. Kudos to Roger Waters for his courage on calling them out. He is a true humanitarian. Reply 103 2 Show 3 previous replies Blue8ball713 NANCY 5 hours ago Amnesty is tainted and hollowed out to be a tool for the war criminals. Reply 24 1 Show 1 more replies Fred Dozer NANCY 7 hours ago They would not let the leader of the WH into the US , to accept an humanitarian documentary award. Why ? His name is on the Terrorist and No_Fly list. Reply 16 1 13Englander 6 hours ago I'm ashamed to say that this is more evidence that the West is now rotten to the core and will pressure any organisation to cooperate in maintaining the fake veneer of decency. It's a sign that the West is desperate for survival. Reply 17 TheRealElDee 9 hours ago There has been a burning desire by the US and UK to get 'boots on the ground' in Syria and for this to result in regime change. Prior to the CIA pushing for and funding this Civil War, Syria was peaceful, stable and able to export it's oil AND have good relations with both US and UK. BUT, Russia uses Syria as a base for it's navy and therefore this (in addition to all that lovely oil) is the premise they can presen to their own people for pushing the Civil War. At every step the public, and many parliaments, have spoke out to prevent war. At every step the US & UK have come up with further premise for going to full out war. 'Barrel Bombs', Chemical Weapons, indiscriminate fire on civilians and hsopitals etc etc. Likewise at every step this has, so far, been debunked - chemical weapons have been shown by our own investigators to have been placed, the inspectors were subsequently removed from being able to report. Previous to that old stock of chemical weapons had been made safe in conjunction with outside help from Russia, the only country that has any right, legally, to be in Syria militarily. The is another part of the jigsaw that wants to restart the Cold War and to close off dialogue whilst having never ending war in the middle east destabilising countries with oil and other assets. There is no other reason for it and that this should be contemplated is criminal - literally.. Reply 18 2 faireymagic 12 hours ago excellent work by Roger Waters, standing up for truth and human decency Reply 73 Tengmo 11 hours ago Amnesty was compromised long ago, so was Greenpeace, Reply 34 shadow1369 12 hours ago Almost all NGOs, originally set up by altruistic people, have been hijacked by NATO regimes. Amnesty is a stooge supporting crimes against humanity. Reply 49 1 Hazmat Fuhrer shadow1369 6 hours ago It's important for the Kremlin to obfuscate it's almost constant attrocities in Syria and those of the Gassad trtr mrdr disaster Reply 1 18 Show 1 more replies Michael Chan shadow1369 9 hours ago Many news media suffered the same fate., They too have been hijacked by the NATO regimes. The most conspicuous of them are Al Jazeera and Asia Times. Both were excellent news sources until they were bought by Western tycoons and turned into propaganda mouthpieces for the NATO regimes. Reply 25 Show 1 more replies GottaBeMe 5 hours ago No further donations to that group from me! I truly believed they were a force for good. I'm with Roger Waters. He has proven time after time that he cares about people. Bellingcat? Never! Reply 12 Wasey Cerner 8 hours ago << ...the documents demonstrate that in July 2018, OPCW chiefs secretly removed all staff from the investigation who had actually visited Douma, bar a single paramedic. Responsibility for completing the probe was handed to an entirely separate team, which had instead traveled to Turkey, AND exclusively taken witness statements and soil samples hand-picked by the White Helmets,... >> Navalny's team followed the same script from the motel to Mass. Reply 8 Sinalco 11 hours ago [1] He was telling the TRUTH [2] Bellingcat is an Establishment Creation, used to push the establishment narrative. [3] Amnesty just swallowed the lies about the White-Helmets - what shame... Reply 29 Blue8ball713 Sinalco 5 hours ago 3 Amnesty is part of this Reply 5 Truthfrees 11 hours ago All those clowns pushing for regime change have no problem with millions killed and multiple nations destroyed for the regime change whim of the day. Cowards that sit in their air conditioned living room pushing for evil destruction on nations and people they know nothing about. Reply 24 frostyboy Truthfrees 3 hours ago Madeleine Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová) "Yes, we think it was worth it" regarding civilian lives sacrificed during the US invasions of Iraq. Why is it that these people care nothing for innocence, and only crave blood ? Is this tribal ? DavidChu 11 hours ago Let's face it: Amnesty and Human Rights Watch are just too naked tools of Yankee Imperialism and Hegemony! Reply 24 decided 12 hours ago the logic of it, assad used chemical bomb , so to help the people we will bomb their country use all types of bombs and many of them as help, and im to think these politicians are not insane yea ok. Reply 9 Rustofur decided 9 hours ago It's much more humanitarian to blow children to bits than gas them. Reply 4 1 Show 1 more replies Truthfrees decided 11 hours ago Syria is a construction delay for Israel's land expansion projects. They already secured thousands of bulldozers and construction contracts and are losing money every day Syria is not falling. Poor chicken little Israeli leaders and pork project partners. Reply 11 Show 1 more replies UBV76 12 hours ago "Bellingcrap" Funded via HMG to hide-bury the truth and pedal untruths misleading "The Daily Sheep". Higgins just a "Lady's Pantyhose" seller with no experience except for telling lies..! Reply 22 frankfalseflag 9 hours ago L O L . Human Rights Watch, just another outfit, like Greenpeace, with admirable words in its name, whose agenda has been co opted by the US CIA. Another Goody two-shoes organization whose major work is to get on and off the CIA propaganda train when they are told to. You remember in 2013 when Greenpeace boarded the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Arctic? Greenpeace was so concerned about the environmental impact on the Arctic Ocean. That was 2013, before the West - and by the West, I mean Washington DC - realized that they had a vital interest in the Arctic and they would be steaming through there looking to drop anchor and start drilling for oil. Same with Human Rights Watch, who cares very little for the human lives lost in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc. Lives that were lost by the murderous invasions of the Lord Defenders of Capitalism. Reply 5 Sancho Panza 10 hours ago White helmets, Brown noses and Black hearts. Reply 9 Carl Cuckproof 10 hours ago he has been a thorn in their side for a long time. the impact of goys like him can never be measured. not just another brick in the wall Reply 8 Tinkerbell_Pan 10 hours ago Thank you and good night, NO MORE MONEY for Amnesty. Reply 7 apothqowejh 7 hours ago Amnesty International is just another sell-out ngo. Reply 5 Midnight10 4 hours ago Sorry Roger, but Amnesty International has become just another tool in the US Administration's propaganda program. Although you were tight about the White Helmets as villagers from the area told the UN regarding the chemical attack, it wasn't in the script Amnesty gets from the US. Just lackeys willing to give up their integrity and the organization's reputation to get their "Atta boys" from Trump. Reply 3 White Elk 12 hours ago Their modern way to execution. Time changes, hypocrisy and envy remain the same. Possessed people at the helm, blind guiding the blind, sure shame and disaster. Reply 4 neeon9 4 hours ago This is, as always, American lies. They think the world is stupid, and blind to the endless garbage spewed forth from Washington! We all know they use torture , we all know they are guilty of war crimes, and are trying to kill Assange by slow emotional torment, for outing them for the callous killers they truly are, and that has only served only to make him a martyr. We all know it was Bush and his cronies, who bombed the twin towers to cover the theft of and 7 trillion off the US tax payers, and make their M.I.C. cohorts, many fortunes off the dead children their endless, lie based wars have killed, after fabricating an enemy, that did not exist, until they murdered their families. We all know that no claim, or attempt to over throw another foreign government, is backed up by nothing more than empirical greed, and the constant nagging fear the US has, that it is slipping into decay, and will loose it's evil grip on the world economy, and it's Ziocorp masters will will stop funding the lunacy that is US domestic politics, and the 'cult of cash' that has poluted the planet. Thank gods there are Ppl like Waters who are still brave enough to call them out for the festering boil they are, on the backside of humanity. As it stands, they are getting what they deserve . The American dream has become the worlds nightmare, and I for one, am happy to see the mourning. Reply 4 Kiro919 5 hours ago Amnesty are worse than compromised these days. Reply 3 dunkie56 8 hours ago They lied now they have to discredit those who would uncover those lies so now they lie to do this and need to lie again to cover up those lies as well and lie again to cover the latest batch of lies.........trick is can they remember the lie that got them here in the first place lying..hmmmm! Reply 4 TrishArch 5 hours ago Amnesty International is Dodgy. Reply 3 fuser 8 hours ago Amnesty and Human Rights, but some humans are more humans than the others. Reply 2 Stranded 1 hour ago Roger is forever my hero for defending Assange Reply 1 frostyboy 3 hours ago Eliot Higgins came from obscurity, and rose into Atlantic Counsel pimphood as a tool to contaminate evidence over MH17. He has only become more discredited since. Higgins is the very last level of State actor puppet - a credulous simp who takes the Kings Shilling and bends over. Reply 1 ahmed nazmy habel 4 hours ago . When the talk was over, he went about getting to the bottom of the tweet's absence Reply 1 1demeneye 7 hours ago From a psychological perspective, you have to wonder what motivates people such as Elliot Higgins. Just money? More money? Is there no point at which people like Higgins have enough money and make a decision to come clean? Has he had his life threatened if he doesn't co-operate? Has he been caught doing something that they are holding over him? Have they threatened to just make stuff up and destroy his life if he tells the truth? Is he just evil? Is he fueled by hate for someone or something? Reply 1 frostyboy 1demeneye 2 hours ago Higgins, as you already appreciate, is a shop window dummy. His 'startup' went from zero to hero under the auspices of the Atlantic Council. Bellingcat is 'trendy' and Hipster-friendly, very much cosmeticized to appeal to anew young adult generation of political naifs. The latte set. The smashed avocado grazers. Higgins is a nobody who parlayed a weak mind into the figurehead of a classic Western propaganda sewerpipe. The damage he did to the honest investigations over MH17 will not be forgotten. Reply 1 Jimbo_jones 3 hours ago Amnesty International is a joke organization controlled by Washington. Always has and always will be, Reply 1 Opus111 5 hours ago Amnesty International is a Fake News bureaucracy controlled by liberal fanatical ruling classes. Reply 2 David9220 4 hours ago follow Money Know Truth Reply 1 Head like a rock 5 hours ago not a huge fan of the music, but Roger makes Bono look like trump Reply MiloDiddlbomb 7 hours ago It still comes down to Waters getting bit by his own dog. You don't follow their rules and say the proper Woke words - seeeeeeeya. They eat their own Reply Richland Yabitches" 13 hours ago Water's being and a Man of his age should've realized by now that his Musical Talent 'Alone' didn't get him to where's he at and in fact he Participated in the Mind Altering of Social Engineering of Zombies, LSD and Dead-Beat Societies which is Awesome for those Lib-miserables, drug/alcohol rehab, mental homes and the likes however, Criticize their Destabilizing Missions and you're fuct" Reply 12 KrautMan Richland Yabitches" 10 hours ago Pretty obvious who the LSD zombie is on this thread, bubba. Reply 5 Show 1 more replies natrep 2 hours ago Just proves that NGO's like amnesty international are fake...

    [Oct 11, 2020] Western Allies Block Ex-OPCW Chief's Explosive Testimony On Syria Chemical Weapons -

    Oct 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

    This past Monday at the UN Security Council, the US, the UK, France, and allies blocked testimony from a former director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Jose Bustani is a Brazilian diplomat and was the first director-general of the OPCW, which was formed in 1997.

    Bustani was pushed out of the organization in 2002 by the Bush administration for his efforts to negotiate with Saddam Hussein. The Brazilian was prepared to deliver testimony to the UN Security Council on Monday over the OPCW's investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria , in April 2018.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1313197827712049158&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fwestern-allies-block-ex-opcw-chiefs-explosive-testimony-syria-chemical-weapons&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

    The US, UK, and France responded to the alleged Douma attack with airstrikes on Syrian government targets. After the strike, OPCW inspectors arrived in Douma to investigate.

    Since the OPCW released its final report on the alleged Douma attack in March 2019, a trove of leaked documents have surfaced . The leaks, along with whistleblower testimony, suggest the OPCW suppressed evidence and ignored the findings of senior inspectors to fit the narrative that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack in Douma.

    In October 2019, Bustani attended a panel hosted by the Courage Foundation that heard testimony from an OPCW whistleblower who presented evidence that the Douma investigation was corrupted. After hearing the evidence, the panel released a statement urging the OPCW to revisit its investigation into the Douma incident.

    The Grayzone published Bustani's prepared statement that he was blocked from delivering at the UN Security Council. In his statement, Bustani urges Fernando Arias, the current OPCW director-general, to hear out the inspectors who were on the ground in Douma and had their findings suppressed:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZgIDlgD_txM

    https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

    "I would like to make a personal plea to you, Mr Fernando Arias, as Director General of the OPCW. The inspectors are among the Organization's most valuable assets. As scientists and engineers, their specialist knowledge and inputs are essential for good decision making."

    "Most importantly, their views are untainted by politics or national interests. They only rely on the science. The inspectors in the Douma investigation have a simple request – that they be given the opportunity to meet with you to express their concerns to you in person, in a manner that is both transparent and accountable."

    NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

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    Read the full transcript of Bustani's testimony here .

    [Sep 29, 2020] Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks

    Sep 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com : Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-idlib-tensions-turkey-russia-talks-failed

    Turkish officials are preparing for the worst case scenario as talks in Ankara made clear that Moscow doesn't want a new deal
    ####

    This is a Turkey sympathetic piece but may be one reason for current events between Armenia and Azerbaidjan. As for Syria, Turkey has been claiming to keep the north/Idlib under control which is has until the last few weeks at it has used the previous time to reinforce its military presence ('observation posts') – vis Vinyard the Saker – and now claims it is not reponsible and its not fair that Russia reacts to attacks by its re-dressed (literally) jihadists. Turkey's preference is of course to do nothing despite the all the attacks, and that in itself explains a lot. Turkey is now publicly putting out its argument in advance that it is 'Russia wot broke the agreement' and thus 'we are not responsible for any of the consequences.' Erd O'Grand is due another significant spanking. Would he call NATO to his defense as he did before? Certainly. Will it happen? No. Not to mention his current intreagues around Cyprus and pissing of the French, Greeks and others. Trouble t'mill.

    ET AL September 27, 2020 at 9:48 am

    But here's a much better article again via Antiwar.com

    AL Monitor: Turkey's military deterrence breaks down in Syria's last rebel stronghold
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-syria-russia-idlib-escalation-inevitable-m4-highway.html

    Despite Turkey's efforts to maintain the status quo in Idlib, a Russian-backed Syrian assault seems increasingly likely.
    ####

    In short, Turkey has not kept up its side of the deal of bringing the rebels under control and the supposed opening and joint patrols of the M4 & M5 highways has been suspended by Russia because of the attacks by rebadged jihadis. Turkey has clearly used the agreement to simply buy time for another 'cunning plan' and as no interest in fulfiling the agreement with Russia. The latter's patience is almost gone.

    [Sep 28, 2020] No wonder Pompey and his friend Jeffries won't give up on Syria! No wonder

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it. ..."
    Sep 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    "Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network."

    "Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.

    Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

    The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

    US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile . These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.

    More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

    Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV .

    These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and "influencers," and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

    Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to "re-brand" Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by "softening its image ." ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that "aired almost every day on" major Arabic-language TV networks."

    "The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

    The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

    ARK took credit for developing "an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work."

    ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign , a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

    It was apparently "following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams" that The Syria Campaign "selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news," the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office." thegreyzone

    --------------

    Using really basic intelligence analytic tools; Occam's Razor, Walks like a duck, Smileyesque back azimuth's, etc. it has been clear that the UK government has been deeply involved in sponsoring and influencing the Syrian/ jihadi opposition in that miserable country. The wide spread British Old Boys network of aspirants to the tradition of imperial manipulation has been visible just below the surface if you had eyes to look and a brain to think.

    A lot of the money for this folly came right out of USAID.

    pl

    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syria-leaks-uk-contractors-opposition-media/


    ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PM

    Dear Colonel agreed.

    I object to the line in the article that they "played the media like a fiddle" - as it implies the mainstream media is a victim as opposed to willing accomplice.

    The American public very strongly told Obama they didn't want another invasion and war in the middle east (red lines or not) so rather ineffective propaganda.

    Moreover, I suspect that given the US public inattention to overseas events that do not involve much US blood (in places they can not find on a map). Today's mess would be where more or less the same if the entire IO had never happened - though maybe with less cynicism of US/UK gov'ts and media.

    OTH, it is curious how well the British Old Boys network (and US) aligns with Israeli interests (and runs counter to US or British interests). Maybe grayzone will investigate that (impressive) IO campaign. I think a small country in the middle east played US and UK elites like a fiddle.

    The Twisted Genius , 27 September 2020 at 04:48 PM

    I've only given this article a cursory reading so far and it is clear that the Brits are going balls to the wall on the PSYOPS/perception management front. This campaign flows naturally from the strong material support for the Syrian "moderate rebels" provided by the US, the Brits and probably others for years. We may still be blowing up IS jihadis, but we're also supporting our own brand of jihadis around Al-Tanf, giving free hand to Erdogan's jihadis along the Turkish-Syrian border and doing our best to stymie R+6 efforts to crush the remaining jihadis and unite Syria.

    The article focuses on the contractors role in PSYOP. I'm not sure if it mentions the British government's role in this. The GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) probably manages most of those contractors. The British Army also has the 77th Brigade. This brigade's slogan is: "behavioural change is our unique selling point". Gordon MacMillan, a reserve officer with the 77th Brigade, is now Twitter's head of editorial operations for the Middle East.
    The 77th was formed in 2015 and subsumed the 15th Psychological Operations Group which was headed by Steve Tathan, who went on to head the defence division of SCL, the now defunct parent of Cambridge Analytica. I'm sure the 77th is capable of managing some of those contractors, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of contractors were also reservists in the 77th.

    I bet we're not letting the Brits have all the fun. The CIA Special Activities Center (formerly SAD) includes the Political Action Group for PSYOP, economic warfare and cyberwarfare. That dovetails nicely with what CENTCOM is doing in Syria. I knew some of those guys a while back. I remember scaring them with some of my own anarchist hacker rantings when I was penetrating those hackers.

    Our Army has fours PSYOP groups brigade-sized), two active and 2 reserve. I would think they have advanced their methodology since I took the course at Bragg. For a few years, they were called military information support operations (MISO) groups rather than PSYOP groups. They have since reverted to their PSYOP name although their activities are referred to as MISO. I don't know what the difference is.

    Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM

    ISL

    No, no, no.

    There is no such small country as you describe in the Near East.

    There is an self-disciplined proxy force masquerading as a state which is mostly funded by the United States to further the religious policies of the WASP Culture Continent.

    It is no accident that in this context, the names of US and UK occur often in the same sentences; one declared a crusade to wrestle control of Plastine from Muslims, and the otber one carried out that crusade and escalated it.

    That is also the reason that US cannot end the war over Palestine or leave Islamdom

    (Oil, Geostrategic considerations, arms sales, Realpolitik are just pseudo-rationications to obscure the real war.)

    Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM

    Where is Candide (aka Voltaire) when we need him?

    BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM

    Ishmael Zechariah

    How WASP-dom has arrived in this crusade is not, in my opinion, as significant as that it has been waging it for more than a hundred years.

    fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM

    "WASP Culture" is into golfing, not crusading. Erik Prince and the religious fundamentalists, maybe, but they don't drive US policy.

    Russia and/or Chinese dominion over Eurasia cannot be permitted. Their means to achieve that would be less ethical, not that the US or UK have been prince among men and salts of the earth, as noted in the article.

    The US has tried in vain to win over hearts and minds. It has been a mostly noble effort to bring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan into the 21st century, but it was always more of a losing game. The problem lies too much in Islam and tribal rivalries.

    [Sep 26, 2020] Galloway- Lying industry may be the only sector of Western economies still in full production TAXPAYERS pay for it

    Highly recommended!
    Sep 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

    If you have ever wondered why Syrian jihadists, or so-called 'moderate opposition', got support from the woke liberal West, a recent leak by Anonymous reveals it's because Western governments funded this propaganda.

    In the end, it is the sheer childishness of the propaganda which amazes me most, not that our rulers lie about other countries – I have always known that. But somehow there was a kernel of truth around which the web of lies was spun, for example about life in the old Soviet Union.

    I began to realise the scope of Western ability to literally invent the most baseless lies only in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003, and only because I knew more about Iraq than any politician in Britain or America and ten times more than the average made-up telly-dolly chuntering through their auto-cued war propaganda. The women presenters weren't any better.

    This all came flooding back to me when I received an email from Anonymous earlier this week and then read Ben Norton's excellent analysis of it all in The GrayZone.

    If anyone ever wondered how the hordes of head-chopping throat-cutting heart-eating gay-murdering women-hating 'Jihadists' of the Syrian War ever managed to get a fair press in a 'woke' liberal West that gets hot under the lace collar about JK Rowling novels, the answers are all in the Anonymous leak . The principle answer is that you, the taxpayer, paid for it.

    That's right. The blizzard of 'White Helmets' (who made it right up to the Oscars to thank everyone who'd helped them except those that had helped them the most), "chemical-weapons attacks" and all the paraphernalia of a newly "moderate opposition" in Syria – was all paid for by YOU. Millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money was revealed to have been spent secretly on UK support for the throat-cutting coalition of chaos, which for a decade massacred its way across Syria wearing a snow-white Western beard of respectability.

    It would appear that while the US (or rather its milk-cows in the Gulf) was paying for the lethal-weapons, perfidious Albion was doing what it does best – lying through its teeth whilst making those being lied to, pay for the privilege. Now that – thanks to the leaks – we know this, it should put us on guard for the next one. Yet somehow it doesn't, at least not for the purveyors of the news.

    The Lazarus-like resurrection (and photo-shoot) of Russia's opposition figure and Western darling Alexey Navalny after yet another alleged Novichok (believed to be 5-8 times more toxic than VX nerve agent) attack without so much as a tracheostomy to show for it is swallowed whole in yet another anti-Russian public relations offensive.

    ALSO ON RT.COM Caitlin Johnstone: MSM smear merchants target critics of Establishment China narratives

    Grown sane men call my television show to talk about 'concentration camps' in China in which, we are told, "a million Uighur Muslims" are being held and forcibly sterilised. This is despite the allegations being largely based on studies backed by the American government and statements by Western media favourite, German researcher Adrian Zenz. Zenz, who is part of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a US-backed advocacy group, believes that he is "led by God" on his "mission" against China. Meanwhile, according to China's official statistics the Uighur population in Xinjiang province increased by over 25 percent between 2010 and 2018, while the Han Chinese rose by only two percent.

    The lying industry may be the only sector of the Western economies still in full production. No need for furlough or bounce-back loans. The lie-machines never still. No smoke is usually detected from their chimneys, but inside, their pants are well and truly on fire.

    Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


    [Sep 23, 2020] Mattis Told Intel Chief They May 'Have to Take Collective Action' Against 'Unfit' Trump -- Woodward

    Notable quotes:
    "... Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria. ..."
    "... Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit." ..."
    "... Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak . ..."
    Sep 10, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

    SOURCE: CHRIS MENAHAN, INFORMATION LIBERATION

    Former defense secretary Jim Mattis appears to have been plotting a coup with then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after growing furious with President Trump for banning transgenders from the military and moving to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria.

    From The Washington Post :

    Mattis quietly went to Washington National Cathedral [in May 2019] to pray about his concern for the nation's fate under Trump's command and, according to Woodward, told Coats, "There may come a time when we have to take collective action" since Trump is "dangerous. He's unfit."

    Translation: we may have to stage a coup to get him out of power. Plenty of Democrats and former and current intelligence officials are working on a Color Revolution come November as we speak .

    In a separate conversation recounted by Woodward, Mattis told Coats, "The president has no moral compass," to which the director of national intelligence replied: "True. To him, a lie is not a lie. It's just what he thinks. He doesn't know the difference between the truth and a lie."

    Mattis doesn't know the difference between a male and a female. Trump reportedly accurately said his generals were a "bunch of pussies."

    "Not to mention my f**king generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals," Trump told White House trade adviser Peter Navarro at one point, according to Woodward.

    No lie detected!

    Ann Coulter, who has repeatedly tried to tell Trump today's generals have nothing in common with those of the past like Trump-favorite Gen. George Patton, responded to the news on Wednesday by saying Trump has won her back!

    And he wins me back! https://t.co/7nhtSuC4k9

    -- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 10, 2020

    [Sep 18, 2020] New Documents Reveal Secret British Efforts To Arm, Assist And Propagandize 'Moderate Rebels' In Syria

    Notable quotes:
    "... Integrity Initiative ..."
    "... Integrity Initiative ..."
    "... Moon of Alabama ..."
    "... Integrity Initiative ..."
    "... Integrity Initiative ..."
    "... Moon of Alabama ..."
    Sep 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    New Documents Reveal Secret British Efforts To Arm, Assist And Propagandize 'Moderate Rebels' In Syria

    In November 2018 some anonymous people published a number of documents that had been liberated from a clandestine British propaganda organization, the Integrity Initiative .

    The same group or person who revealed the Integrity Initiative papers has now released several dozens of documents about another 'Strategic Communication' campaign run by the British Foreign Office. The current release reveals a number of train and assist missions for 'Syrian rebels' as well as propaganda operations run in Syria and globally on behalf of the British government.

    Moon of Alabama , as well as other sites , had published a series of pieces about the Integrity Initiative . There were also connections between the Integrity Initiative and the Skripal 'novichok poisoning' affair.

    They newly released documents about British operations in Syria are accessible under:

    All the now published documents archived in one file are available for download under:

    Most of the documents are detailed company responses to several solicitations from the Foreign Office for global and local campaigns in support of the 'moderate rebels' who are fighting against the Syrian government and people.

    The documents lay out large scale campaigns which have on-the-ground elements in Syria, training and arming efforts in neighboring countries, command and control elements in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, as well as global propaganda efforts. These operations were wide spread.


    bigger

    Most of the documents are from 2016 to 2019. They detail the organization of such operations and also portrait persons involved in these projects. They often refer back to previous campaigns that have been run from 2011/2012 onward. This is where the documents are probably the most interesting. They reveal what an immense effort was and is waged to fill the information space with pro-rebel/pro-Islamist propaganda.

    The documents are not about the 'White Helmets' which were a separate British run Strategic Communication campaign financed by various governments. While the operations described in the new documents were coordinated with U.S. efforts they do not reference the CIA run campaigns in Syria which included similar efforts at a cost of $1 billion per year.

    The various projects and the detailed commercial offers to implement them from various notorious companies are roughly described in the above two links. I will therefore refrain from repeating that here. Some of the documents' content will surely be used in future Moon of Alabama posts. But for now I will let you rummage through the stash.

    Please let us know in the comments of the surprising bits that you might find.

    Posted by b on September 18, 2020 at 15:51 UTC | Permalink


    james , Sep 18 2020 16:22 utc | 1

    thanks b... i will look at them and get back on this..
    Red Ryder , Sep 18 2020 16:32 utc | 2
    Documents the "war crimes industry" of the UK, and others, as expressed in Libya and Syria.

    Assad has indicated he will pursue reparations from the nations that have killed 400,000 citizens, destroyed or stolen his industrial infrastructure (whole factories broken down and trucked into Turkey).

    One reason why the US and UK and France want Assad dead is the tens of billions of dollars they will have to pay the Syrian people for the genocidal war waged for a decade in order to kill Assad and break Syria into pieces.

    vk , Sep 18 2020 16:53 utc | 3
    This confirms the UK has essentially kept the same military doctrine it adopted by necessity in 1945, which is: attach itself to the USA, focus on intelligence, punch above your weight. Ideologically, they rationalize that by attributing themselves the role of the cultured province of the USA; "Greece to the USA's Rome".

    The British were always fascinated with intelligence/paramilitary forces. In their vision, it gives you (a nation) an air of sophistication, a civilizing aspect to the nation that wages this kind of warfare.

    After the Suez fiasco of 1956, the UK gave up direct interventions in the Middle East. It now only intervenes there under the skirt of the USA. Of course, whenever they can, they do that with their weapon of choice, which is intelligence. So, yeah, these documents don't surprise me.

    [Sep 18, 2020] Middle East Peace and Trump's New Art of the Deal by Larry Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

    Notable quotes:
    "... He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish? ..."
    "... And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries? ..."
    "... My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. ..."
    "... Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank. ..."
    "... If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots. ..."
    "... The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades. ..."
    "... Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan. ..."
    "... The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it. ..."
    "... There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones. ..."
    "... I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern. ..."
    "... Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy. ..."
    "... When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause. ..."
    "... But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice. ..."
    "... the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables ..."
    "... The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. ..."
    Sep 18, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    turcopolier , 16 September 2020 at 08:52 AM

    All

    It is clear that the heat has gone away in the fabled "Arab Street" over the issue of Israel. If that were not so, the rulers would not have dared to do this. That being so ... It will be very interesting to see how many people from these two countries go to Israel to visit holy sites like the al-Aqsa Mosque. There have not been many religious tourists from Egypt and Jordan. This is what the Israelis call pilgrims. Trump thinks that he can bring Saudi Arabia into such a deal? Good! Let's see it. He thinks that Iran can be brought into such a deal? Wonderful! Let's see it.

    He thinks the Palestinians will accept permanent helot status? Maybe so... But is that something we should relish?

    And what of Syria? What of Syria? Evidently Trump considered murdering President Assad two years ago. Is he going to abandon regime change now? is he going to abandon the policy of Pompeo and Jeffries?

    I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE.

    eakens , 16 September 2020 at 10:03 AM

    I suspect this has less to do with peace and more to do with lining up a coalition against Iran. He's signing peace deals at the white house the same day he not only threatens Iran for a make believe assassination plot against our South African Ambassador, but admits he wanted to assassinate Assad.

    He's making a big mistake though if he thinks Iranians will behave and respond similarly to the Arabs, and they are certainly not North Koreans.

    He's being frog marched into a war with Iran while his ego is being stroked under the guise of a Nobel peace prize.

    nbsp; tjfxh , 16 September 2020 at 11:17 AM

    What say about Alastair Crooke's "Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: 'Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems'" at Strategic Culture Foundation?

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/09/14/maintaining-pretence-over-reality-simply-put-iranians-outfoxed-us-defence-systems/

    A.I.S. , 16 September 2020 at 11:49 AM

    @ turcopolier:

    Excellent questions.

    My guess is that the acceptability for Helot status of Palestinians will depend on how much worse it is compared to the status of Palestinian equivalents elsewhere. Syria and Lebanon certainly look far less attractive. The other issue is the degree with which Arab elites can "reroute" Anti Israeli into Anti Iranian sentiments on the Arab street.

    Also, from my admittedly limited experience, Palestinians aren't exactly homogenous, Gaza =! West Bank.

    If the Israelis are smart (and I think they are), they will continue to exploit Palestinian disunity by not having one helot status but several, with privileges to repress and boss around the lesser helots (perhaps even some less desirable Israelis) awarded to the higher helots.

    I think this will be fairly hard though. Various Historical, religion and cultural issues specific to the situation make it quite hard for Arabs to actually assimilate into Israeli society. There is also a lack of a unifying foe to unite against. If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause.

    Leith , 16 September 2020 at 12:01 PM

    "I suggest that security should be very tight on airline flights from Bahrein and the UAE."

    Bingo! I won't be flying on Gulf Air or FlyDubai.

    Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:12 PM

    The neocons have been firmly ensconced in ME policy since Reagan. At least Trump made a little bit of lemonade. Nothing earth shattering IMO but moved the ball forward 10 yds and away from own goals under the so-called experts & strategists of the past decades.

    The TDS afflicted media couldn't bear that some lemonade was made. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Jared Kushner was all about pandemic nothing about the implications or process to having couple gulf sheikhs recognize Israel. The fact is that these gulf sheikhs only paid lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in any case. This formalizes what was reality. The "Arab Street" have always been a manifestation of whatever were powerful manipulations. The manipulators have been coopted in the current lemonade making. In any case Bibi must be very pleased. He didn't have to give up anything in his difficult domestic political predicament.

    Jack , 16 September 2020 at 02:44 PM

    https://twitter.com/partynxs/status/1306015487273377792?s=21

    Support for Israel and its maximalist dreams has always been bipartisan.

    Serge , 16 September 2020 at 05:18 PM

    The arabs simply do not care anymore, from Morocco to Oman. Their spirit totally broken by the "Arab spring", youth disillusioned and jobless. The only dream left for most is to ape the western lifestyle. The others are fighting in wars.

    I can see one of two futures, a Clean Break: Securing the Realm-style one in which all of the arabs live life as helots under the thumb of a Greater Israel. This would bring relative economic prosperity to most of the helots.

    Yeah, Right , 16 September 2020 at 06:03 PM

    I think I see the flaw in this article: ..."If that turns out to be the case and this maneuver succeeds in ultimately bringing about a two state solution for Israel and the Palestinians,"...

    Surely you don't believe that these maneuvers are intended to bring about a Palestinian state?

    The colonel has a much more realistic take on this: the intention is to co-opt the Arab states into forcing the Palestinians to accept permanent helot status. Not quite slaves but closes to it.

    There would be many ways to describe that, but I suspect "peace plan" would rank amongst the less accurate ones.

    Polish Janitor , 16 September 2020 at 06:14 PM

    One running theme that I have been seeing from the former so-called neocon critics and ME wars opponents (Michael Scheuer comes to mind) is their uncontrollable exhilaration for any terrible so-called F.P. 'success' that the Trump admin achieves in the ME.

    I also remember when the Trump admin killed the Gen. Suleimani late last year the same people also touted it a national security success. This is shameful pattern.

    Just because Jared Kushner, Berkowitz (Kushner's mini-me), David Friedman and the Zionist anti-American paid shills of Christians United For Israel et.al put Israel's interest first does not make it a success for American interests abroad. Trump does not know two things about the ME. He just obeys orders from this outside 'advisors' when it comes to ME policy.

    It it exactly what it is. Israel normalized relations with the most notorious dictatorships and wants to implement Pegasus spying program and wide-scale surveillance (among other nefarious things) in UAE and Bahrain. How is that a success for America? America should stay out of these Israeli-first trouble making schemes and stay neutral or out of there.

    Let me tell you what a F.P. success is, OK? It would have been a huge success if America was able to lure Iran into its orbit to fend of the Chinese communists out of the region and out of our lives and have a stronger alliance with regards to its upcoming Cold War with China.

    It would have been successful for America to balance China out with Iran, India, Turkey and Afghanistan, and not let China to invest billions in Haifa port (close to U.S. military forces there) a major hub of its Belt and Road initiative and a huge blow to U.S. new Cold war effort against China.

    Think about it.

    Allow me to raise a few points: first of all , every single one of these brutal backward Arab dictatorships has had low key but crucial relations with Israel since the Cold War and they just made it open, Big deal! Second, this joyfulness for a hostile anti-american country is quite sad for two reasons:

    1. that Larry touts it as a success for America, which is anything but a success for America. It is a success for Bibi and Trump's evangelical/zionist sugar daddies to cough up some Benjamins for Trump's campaign and his GOP/Likudniks. I guess nowadays our judgement is so clouded and inverted that MAGA and MIGA are considered inseparable.

    2. The delusion that dems are bitterly angry and anti-Israel (because they are anti-Trump) and therefore it automatically becomes an issue of partisan support for Trump and whatever he does. This idea is so absurd that I won't get into it. Dems were the first to congratulate Israel.

    I would like Larry to tell me what he thinks of H.R. 1697 Israel Anti-Boycot Act which punishes American citizens for practicing their god-given 2nd Amendment rights. or the 3.8 billion of aid, or the the gifting of Golan heights to Bibi? Are these big foreign policy success too?

    What the Arab-Israeli normalization means:

    *The U.S. wants out of the ME to focus on China, a wet dream that Israel favors especially post Cold War. It does not want secular, (semi) democratic sovereign states around it, and if anyone pays attention close enough they do whatever they can to prevent any kind of political reform and change of government to occur among Arab nations. Israelis are staunch supporters of Saudi, Bahraini, UAE, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships in the MENA region.

    Israel will now be better positioned to roll-back any kind of grassroots reform in the ME with the help of their now openly pro-Israeli Arab rulers by directing policies to these backward rulers to divest from human development and political reform and instead invest more in security, tech, surveillance.

    This trend also explains Israeli constant opposition to the Iran Deal, which would have had further ramifications for political reform and accelerated weakening of Hardliners in Tehran and a better position for America to pivot to China with the help of a moderated Iran. Israel does not want a powerful democratic nation near its borders, and especially not in Iran. Just take a look at Israel's neighbors and tell me how many of them are democratic and friendly with Israel and how does Israel behave when there are secular Arab democratic states around it?

    • There is a developing coalition of powerful states as a reaction to the Arab-Israeli normalization that observers call "the rejectionists". They are, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan (impending), Malaysia (impending), Iran, and EU (impending).
    • It is true that Iran has now a target on its back and if it were smart, it would try its best to develop some kind of alliance with the secular democratic humanists in EU to try to remove itself from isolation, save what is left of the Iran Deal, and try to isolate and condemn Israelis, Arab dictators and their cohorts internationally and through diplomacy back portraying them as illiberal and anti-democratic or similar things. Although I am not too hopeful that Iran is be able to do this for a number of obvious reasons.
    • This Arab-Israeli normalization is a MIGA (Make Israel Great Again) vision of very tightly controlled development for the MENA region and extremely' special' attention has been given to the cyber tech development (call it surveillance) to control the 'Arab Street' from social revolt and the prevention of next rounds of Arab Springs, which again goes back to Israel's long-standing regional doctrine of propping pro-U.S. and now pro-Israeli Arab dictatorships in the region.
    John Merryman , 16 September 2020 at 10:17 PM

    In the end, it's all just tribal superstition. Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The fact we are aware, than the myriad details of which we are aware.

    One of the reasons we can't have a live and let live world is because everyone thinks their own vision should be universal, rather than unique. So the fundamentalists rule.

    The reason nature is so diverse and dense is because it isn't a monoculture. Irrespective of our technology, we are still fairly primitive, in the grand scheme of things.

    different clue , 17 September 2020 at 02:42 AM

    A.I.S.,

    When I read that " If you look at relatively successful integration/assimilations in history, jointly overcoming something that was threatening to both typically ranked pretty highly as a cause." I think that The Islamic Republic of Iran is what is being offered or used as that cause.

    If this all ends up in the longest run leading to today's and tomorrow's Israelis accepting the lesser Israel that Rabin ended up deciding would be necessary for a lesser-but-still-real Palestine to emerge as a real country resigned with both resigned enough to that outcome that they would tolerate eachother's separate independence over the long term, then this will go somewhere good.

    But if the present and future Israelis believe this means that the total advantage is totally theirs to press, then present and future Palestinians will continue searching for ways to make their unhappiness felt. But that outcome would not be Trump's fault. That outcome would be the majority-likudnic Israelis' choice.

    Mathias Alexander , 17 September 2020 at 04:53 AM

    To have a two state solution Israel will have to leave enough of Palestine without Jewish settlement for there to be room for another state. Their actions show that they have no intention of doing that.

    Matthew , 17 September 2020 at 09:26 AM

    Larry: the problem with "outside in" strategy is that implies that if conditions are bad enough for the Palestinians, they will agree to any deal Trump can force down their throats. Instead, Palestinians have been offered terrible deals since 2000 (ie., a state that is never going to be a real state with permanent Israeli control over its borders, air space, and water tables)

    The smarter plan is to acknowledge that the Zionists killed the Two-State Solution, and Palestinians might as well push this into an anti-Apartheid struggle. The gerontocracy that rules the PA will soon pass away. The younger generation of Palestinians are much more sophisticated.

    As a trial lawyer, I see this type of behavior all the time. If you offer someone essentially nothing, they lose nothing by rejecting it. The Arab dictators will not be around forever. And before Camp David, the Palestinians have suffered far worse than they are suffering now.

    BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 09:55 AM

    Matthew:

    For any kind of Peace in Palestine, Jerusalem must revert back to Muslim Sovereignty.

    It is all about who calls the shots there; just as it was 800 years ago.

    Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 10:35 AM

    Matthew: Your description of Trump's strategy is no different from Vladimir Jabotinsky's 1923 Iron Wall doctrine
    http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/ironwall.htm
    and
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/quot-the-iron-wall-quot

    In short: "We Jews know that Arabs (Palestinians) will never, ever voluntarily give up hope of resisting Jewish demands, and Jews will never stop with Jewish demands: that all of Palestine become Jewish.
    Since 'voluntary' will not work, only force -- an Iron Wall -- will suffice.
    Jabotinsky defines "Iron Wall" as the enforcement capacity of an outside power:

    "we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say "no" and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

    Not only must this be so, it is so whether we admit it or not. What does the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate mean for us? It is the fact that a disinterested power committed itself to create such security conditions that the local population would be deterred from interfering with our efforts."

    Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion, was Jabotinsky's administrative assistant, then replacement, in New York; that Bibi is very much heir to the ideological fervor of Jabotinsky & of Benzion; and that Benzion and Benjamin laid out the blueprint for the GWOT at the Jerusalem Conference July 4, 1979
    https://www.amazon.com/International-Terrorism-Challenge-Benjamin-Netanyahu/dp/0878558942

    Trump plays only a walk-on role in this carefully scripted 150 year old zionist drama.

    turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 10:58 AM

    Babak

    To "Muslim Sovereignty?" No. It should be an international city.

    turcopolier , 17 September 2020 at 11:30 AM

    james

    "there isn't a lot of difference between KSA and these fiefdoms of uae and bahrain.." A total crock. you obviously have never been to either of these places.

    BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 17 September 2020 at 11:46 AM

    Col. Lang:

    Who or what Legitimate Authority would administer such an International City?

    None has ever existed.

    Artemesia , 17 September 2020 at 12:00 PM

    Jews can have Jerusalem if they return Washington, DC to full USA sovereignty.

    [Sep 17, 2020] Military desperados and Mattis "military messiah syndrome" by Scott Ritter

    Highly recommended!
    I always assumed that Trump was the candidate of MIC in 2016 elections, while Hillary was the candidate of "Intelligence community." But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts.
    But it looks like US military is infected with desperados like Mattis and Trump was unable fully please them despite all his efforts. Military desperados are not interested in how many American they deprived of decent standard of living due to outside military expenses. All they want is to dominate the word and maintain the "Full Spectrum Dominance" whatever it costs.
    Sep 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

    ... ... ...

    It is Trump's tortured relationship with the military that stands out the most, especially as told through the eyes of former Secretary of Defense Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, a retired marine general. It is clear that Bob Woodward spent hours speaking with Mattis -- the insights, emotions and internal voice captured in the book show a level of intimacy that could only be reached through in-depth interviews, and Woodward has a well-earned reputation for getting people to speak to him.

    The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the US' standing as the defender of a rules-based order -- built on the back of decades-old alliances -- that had been in place since the end of the Second World War.

    It also makes it clear that Mattis and the military officers he oversaw placed defending this order above implementing the will of the American people, as expressed through the free and fair election that elevated Donald Trump to the position of commander-in-chief. In short, Mattis and his coterie of generals knew best, and when the president dared issue an order or instruction that conflicted with their vision of how the world should work, they would do their best to undermine this order, all the while confirming to the president that it was being followed.

    This trend was on display in Woodward's telling of Trump's efforts to forge better relations with North Korea. At every turn, Mattis and his military commanders sought to isolate the president from the reality on the ground, briefing him only on what they thought he needed to know, and keeping him in the dark about what was really going on.

    In a telling passage, Woodward takes us into the mind of Jim Mattis as he contemplates the horrors of a nuclear war with North Korea, and the responsibility he believed he shouldered when it came to making the hard decision as to whether nuclear weapons should be used or not. Constitutionally, the decision was the president's alone to make, something Mattis begrudgingly acknowledges. But in Mattis' world, he, as secretary of defense, would be the one who influenced that decision.

    Mattis, along with the other general officers described by Woodward, is clearly gripped with what can only be described as the 'Military Messiah Syndrome'.

    What defines this 'syndrome' is perhaps best captured in the words of Emma Sky, the female peace activist-turned adviser to General Ray Odierno, the one-time commander of US forces in Iraq. In a frank give-and-take captured by Ms. Sky in her book 'The Unravelling', Odierno spoke of the value he placed on the military's willingness to defend "freedom" anywhere in the world. " There is, " he said, " no one who understands more the importance of liberty and freedom in all its forms than those who travel the world to defend it ."

    Ms. Sky responded in typically direct fashion: " One day, I will have you admit that the [Iraq] war was a bad idea, that the administration was led by a radical neocon program, that the US's standing in the world has gone down greatly, and that we are far less safe than we were before 9/11. "

    Odierno would have nothing of it. " It will never happen while I'm the commander of soldiers in Iraq ."

    " To lead soldiers in battle ," Ms. Sky noted, " a commander had to believe in the cause. " Left unsaid was the obvious: even if the cause was morally and intellectually unsound.

    his, more than anything, is the most dangerous thing about the 'Military Messiah Syndrome' as captured by Bob Woodward -- the fact that the military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present, driven by precepts which have nothing to with what is, but rather by what the military commanders believe should be. The unyielding notion that the US military is a force for good becomes little more than meaningless drivel when juxtaposed with the reality that the mission being executed is inherently wrong.

    The 'Military Messiah Syndrome' lends itself to dishonesty and, worse, to self-delusion. It is one thing to lie; it is another altogether to believe the lie as truth.

    No single general had the courage to tell Trump allegations against Syria were a hoax

    The cruise missile attack on Syria in early April 2017 stands out as a case in point. The attack was ordered in response to allegations that Syria had dropped a bomb containing the sarin nerve agent on a town -- Khan Shaykhun -- that was controlled by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic militants.

    Trump was led to believe that the 59 cruise missiles launched against Shayrat Airbase -- where the Su-22 aircraft alleged to have dropped the bombs were based -- destroyed Syria's capability to carry out a similar attack in the future. When shown post-strike imagery in which the runways were clearly untouched, Trump was outraged, lashing out at Secretary of Defense Mattis in a conference call. " I can't believe you didn't destroy the runway !", Woodward reports the president shouting.

    " Mr. President ," Mattis responds in the text, " they would rebuild the runway in 24 hours, and it would have little effect on their ability to deploy weapons. We destroyed the capability to deploy weapons " for months, Mattis said.

    " That was the mission the president had approved, " Woodward writes, clearly channeling Mattis, " and they had succeeded ."

    The problem with this passage is that it is a lie. There is no doubt that Bob Woodward has the audio tape of Jim Mattis saying these things. But none of it is true. Mattis knew it when he spoke to Woodward, and Woodward knew it when he wrote the book.

    There was no confirmed use of chemical weapons by Syria at Khan Shaykhun. Indeed, the forensic evidence available about the attack points to the incident being a false flag effort -- a successful one, it turns out -- on the part of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists to provoke a US military strike against Syria. No targets related to either the production, storage or handling of chemical weapons were hit by the US cruise missiles, if for no other reason than no such targets could exist if Syria did not possess and/or use a chemical weapon against Khan Shaykhun.

    Moreover, the US failed to produce a narrative of causality which provided some underlying logic to the targets that were struck at Khan Shaykhun -- "Here is where the chemical weapons were stored, here is where the chemical weapons were filled, here is where the chemical weapons were loaded onto the aircraft." Instead, 59 cruise missiles struck empty aircraft hangars, destroying derelict aircraft, and killing at least four Syrian soldiers and up to nine civilians.

    The next morning, the same Su-22 aircraft that were alleged to have bombed Khan Shaykhun were once again taking off from Shayrat Air Base -- less than 24 hours after the US cruise missiles struck that facility. President Trump had every reason to be outraged by the results.

    But the President should have been outraged by the processes behind the attack, where military commanders, fully afflicted by 'Military Messiah Syndrome', offered up solutions that solved nothing for problems that did not exist. Not a single general (or admiral) had the courage to tell the president that the allegations against Syria were a hoax, and that a military response was not only not needed, but would be singularly counterproductive.

    But that's not how generals and admirals -- or colonels and lieutenant colonels -- are wired. That kind of introspective honesty cannot happen while they are in command.

    Bob Woodward knows this truth, but he chose not to give it a voice in his book, because to do so would disrupt the pre-scripted narrative that he had constructed, around which he bent and twisted the words of those he interviewed -- including the president and Jim Mattis. As such, 'Rage' is, in effect, a lie built on a lie. It is one thing for politicians and those in power to manipulate the truth to their advantage. It's something altogether different for journalists to report something as true that they know to be a lie.

    On the back cover of 'Rage', the Pulitzer prize-winning historian Robert Caro is quoted from a speech he gave about Bob Woodward. " Bob Woodward ," Caro notes, " a great reporter. What is a great reporter? Someone who never stops trying to get as close to the truth as possible ."

    After reading 'Rage', one cannot help but conclude the opposite -- that Bob Woodward has written a volume which pointedly ignores the truth. Instead, he gives voice to a lie of his own construct, predicated on the flawed accounts of sources inflicted with 'Military Messiah Syndrome', whose words embrace a fantasy world populated by military members fulfilling missions far removed from the common good of their fellow citizens -- and often at conflict with the stated intent and instruction of the civilian leadership they ostensibly serve. In doing so, Woodward is as complicit as the generals and former generals he quotes in misleading the American public about issues of fundamental importance.

    Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

    Scott Ritter

    is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

    See also:

    Whose side are generals on? As Joint Chiefs chairman APOLOGIZES for standing by Trump, Biden confident of military support The military is trapped in an inherited reality divorced from the present

    Caitlin Johnstone: Tens of millions of people displaced by the 'War On Terror', the greatest scam ever invented Misleading the American public


    Jewel Gyn 21 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 12:23 AM

    Whichever construct you want to believe, the fact remains that US has continued to sow instability around the world in the name of defending the liberty and freedom. Which brings to the question how the world can continue to allow a superpower to dictate what's good or bad for a sovereign country.
    Johan le Roux Jewel Gyn 18 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:42 AM
    The answer you seek is not in the US's proclaimed vision of 'democracy' ot 'rescuing populations from the clutches of vile dictators.' They just say that to validate their actions which in reality is using their military as a mercenary force to secure and steal the resources of countries.
    Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 04:57 PM
    Bob Woodward was enshrined as a great, heroic like journalist by the Hollywood propaganda machine, but reality is he is a US Security agent pretending to be a well informed/connected journalist. And indeed, he is well informed/connected, since he was a Naval intelligence man, part responsible of the demise of the Nixon administration when it fell out of grace with the powerful elites, and the Washington Post being well connected with the CIA, the rest is history. And as they say, once a CIA man, always a CIA man.
    DukeLeo Joaquin Montano 22 hours ago 16 Sep, 2020 11:36 PM
    That is correct. Woodward is a Naval intelligence man. The elite in the US was not happy about Nixon's foreign policy and his detante with the Soviet Union. Watergate was invented, and Nixon had nothing to do with it. However, it brought him down, thank's to Woodward.
    NoJustice Joaquin Montano 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:48 PM
    But he also exposed Trump's lies about Covid-19.
    lectrodectus 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:45 AM
    Another first class article by ....Scott .. The book makes it clear that Mattis viewed Trump as a threat to the Us' standing as the defender of a " rules -based order -built on the back of decades -old alliances-that had been in place since the end of the second World War". It also makes it clear that " Mattis and the Military officials he oversaw placed defending this order above the implementing the will of the American People " These old Military Dinosaurs simply can't let go of the past, unfortunately for the American people / the World I can't see anything ever changing, it will be business as usual ie, war after War after War.
    Jonny247364 lectrodectus 5 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:53 PM
    Just because donny signs a dictact it does not equate to the will of the americian people. The americian people did not ask donny to murder Assad.
    neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:56 PM
    "a threat to the US’ standing as the defender of a rules-based order –" Who made that a thing? who voted for the US to be the policeman of the planet? and who said their "rules" are right? I sure didn't, nor did anyone I know, even my american friends don't know whose idea it was!
    fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
    It's interesting to note that every president since J.F.K. has got America into a military conflict, or has turned a minor conflict into a major one. Trump is the exception. Trump inherited conflicts (Afghanistan, Syria etc) but has not started a new one, and he has spent his three years ending or winding down the conflicts he had inherited.
    NoJustice fezzie035fezzm 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:34 PM
    Trump increased military deployment to the Middle East. He increased military spending. He had a foreign general assassinated. He had missiles fired into Syria. He vetoed a bill that would limit his authority to wage war. Trump is not an exception.
    T. Agee Kaye 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:59 PM
    Good op ed. 'Rage is built on a lie' applies to many things.
    E_Kaos T. Agee Kaye 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:46 PM
    True, the beginning of a new narrative and the continuation of an old narrative.
    PYCb988 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 07:25 PM
    Something's amiss here. Mattis was openly telling the press that there was no evidence against Assad. Just Google: Mattis Newsweek Assad.
    erniedouglas 12 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:14 AM
    What was Watergate? Even bet says there were tapes of a private relationship between Nixon and BB Rebozo.
    allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:03 PM
    Continuation of a highly organized and tightly controlled disinformation campaign to do one singularly the most significant and historically one of the most illegal act of American betrayal... overthrow American elections at any and all costs to install one of the most deranged, demoralized sold out brain dead Biden and his equally brown nosing Harris only to unseat a legally and democratically elected US president according to our Constitution! Will their evil acts against America work? I doubt it! But at a price that America has never before seen. Let's sit back and watch this Rose Bowl parade of America's dirtiest of the dirty politics!
    E_Kaos allan Kaplan 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:49 PM
    "brown nosing harris", how apropos with the play on words.
    Bill Spence allan Kaplan 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:29 PM
    Both parties and their politicians are totally corrupt. Why would anyone support one side over the other? Is that because you believe the promises and lies?
    custos125 17 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:35 AM
    Is there any evidence that both Mattis and Woodward knew that the allegations of a Syrian use of chemical weapons by plane were not true, a false flag? On the assumption of this use, the capacity to fly such attack and deploy such weapons was destroyed for some time. I recommend reading of Rage, it is quite interesting, even if some people will not like it and try to keep people away from the book.
    E_Kaos custos125 7 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:58 PM
    My observations were: 1 - where were the bomb fragments 2 - why use rusted gas cylinders 3 - how do you attach a rusted gas cylinder to a plane 4 - were the rusted gas cylinders tossed out of a plane 5 - how did the rusted gas cylinders land so close to each other My conclusion - False Flag Incident
    neeon9 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:58 PM
    The is only one threat to peace in the world, and it's the US/Israeli M.I.C.. War mongering children, who actually believe, against all reason, that they are the most worthy and entitled race on earth! they are not. The US has been responsible for more misery in the world than any other state, which isn't surprising given how many Nazi's were resettled there by the Jews. They are also the only Ppl on the planet who think a nuclear war is winnable! How strange is that!
    NoJustice 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:22 PM
    So everything is a lie because Woodward didn't mention that there was no evidence found that linked the Syrian government to the chemical attack?
    Strongbo50 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:58 PM
    The left is firing up the Russian Interference narrative again, how Russia is trying to take the election. The real truth is in plain sight, The main stream media is trying to deliver Biden a win, along with google yahoo msn facebook and twitter. I say, come on Russia, if you can help stem that tide of lies please Mr Putin help. That's a joke but the media is real. And Woodward in his old age wants one more trophy on his mantle.
    CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:41 PM
    Trump has become the great white whale. Seems like there are Ahab's everywhere willing to shoot their hearts upon the beast to bring it down whatever the cost. I think it was this kind of rage and attitude that got Adolf off to a good start.
    NoJustice CuttySark 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 05:44 PM
    He's an easy target because he keeps screwing up.
    Gryphon_ 1 day ago 16 Sep, 2020 06:59 PM
    The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Never in my life have I seen a newspaper that lies as much as the post. Bob Woodward works for the post.

    [Sep 11, 2020] MSM's attempts to spin Trump's attacks on senseless wars as disrespect for military at large are a dismal distortion of reality -- RT Op-ed

    Notable quotes:
    "... By Tony Cox , a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers. ..."
    "... "Trump has lost the right and authority to be commander in chief," ..."
    "... "despicable comments" ..."
    "... "Killing generals could get to be a habit with me." ..."
    "... "right and authority" ..."
    "... "when it's required for national security and a last resort." ..."
    "... "pattern of public statements ..."
    "... Like this story? Share it with a friend! ..."
    Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

    MSM's attempts to spin Trump's attacks on senseless wars as disrespect for military at large are a dismal distortion of reality 11 Sep, 2020 12:06 Get short URL © Getty Images / David Dee Delgado 29 Follow RT on RT

    By Tony Cox , a US journalist who has written or edited for Bloomberg and several major daily newspapers. The New York Times and CNN are desperate to paint Donald Trump as an enemy of the military, due to his desire not to get involved in pointless wars. But this is simply not true, and Trump has the backing of many soldiers.

    Someone should tell the New York Times, CNN and other mainstream media outlets that soldiers don't actually like getting killed or maimed for no good reason. Nor do they like generals and presidents who spill their blood in vain.

    Alas, ignorance of these obvious truths probably isn't the issue. This is likely just another case of the biggest names in news pretending to not get the point so they can take the rest of us along for a ride in their confidence game of alternative reality.

    The latest example is the New York Times spinning President Donald Trump's critique this week of Pentagon leadership and the military industrial complex as disrespect for the military at large. "Trump has lost the right and authority to be commander in chief," the Times quoted retired US Marines General Anthony Zinni as saying. Zinni cited Trump's alleged "despicable comments" about the nation's war dead – reported last week by The Atlantic , citing anonymous sources – as one of the reasons Trump "must go."

    ALSO ON RT.COM After Trump helps crush ISIS, end Korea nuke tests and avoid new wars, Republican haters warn he 'imperiled America's security'

    Never mind that Trump and all on-the-record administration sources denied The Atlantic's report. The Times couldn't resist when the pieces seemed to fit so well together for the military's latest propaganda campaign against Trump. First the president disses the troops, calling them "losers" and "suckers," then he has the temerity to say Pentagon leaders want to fight wars to keep defense contractors happy.

    Except the pieces don't fit. The many people who occupy so-called boots on the ground don't have the same interests as the few people who send them to war. In fact, combat troops are given reason to hate the generals who send them to die when there's not a legitimate national security reason for the war they're fighting. And the US has fought a long line of wars that didn't serve the nation's national security interests. Even when a war is justified, the interests of top brass and front-line soldiers often clash.

    Remember that great 1967 war movie, ' The Dirty Dozen' ? A group of 12 soldiers who were condemned to long prison sentences or execution in military prison for their crimes were sent on a 1944 suicide mission to kill high-ranking German officers at a heavily defended chateau far behind enemy lines. After succeeding in the mission and escaping the Germans, the lone surviving convict, played by tough-guy actor Charles Bronson, told the mission leader, "Killing generals could get to be a habit with me."

    ALSO ON RT.COM NATO cannot survive a second Trump term

    So no, New York Times, speaking out against ill-advised wars does not equal bashing the military. And sorry, General Zinni, but generals, defense contractors and their media mouthpieces don't get to decide who has the "right and authority" to be commander in chief. The voters decided that already, and they expressed clearly that they don't want senseless and endless wars and foreign interventions.

    The Times cited General James McConville, the Army's chief of staff, as saying Pentagon leaders would only recommend sending troops to combat "when it's required for national security and a last resort." And no, it wasn't a comedy skit. What's the last US war or combat intervention that measured up to that standard? Let's just say the late Bronson, who died in 2003 at the age of 81, was a young man the last time that happened.

    CNN tried a similar ploy on Sunday, while trying to sell the "losers" and "suckers" story in an interview with US Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. Host Dana Bash said the allegations fit a "pattern of public statements " by the president because Trump called US Senator John McCain a "loser" in 2015 and said McCain shouldn't be considered a hero for being captured in the Vietnam War. She repeatedly suggested to Wilkie, who didn't take the bait, that Trump's attacks on McCain, who died in 2018, showed disrespect for the troops.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1302611067995074561&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F500455-trump-military-media-lies%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

    Apparently, this follows the same line of propagandist thought which told us that saying there are rapists among the illegal aliens entering the US from Mexico – which is undeniably true – equals saying all Mexicans are rapists. In CNN land, a bad word about McCain is a bad word about all soldiers.

    McCain was a warmonger who didn't mind getting US troops killed or backing terrorist groups in Syria. If he had his way , many more GIs would be dead or disabled, because the intervention in Syria would have been escalated and the US might be at war with Iran. Soldiers wouldn't want their lives wasted in such conflicts.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=339455679800700928&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F500455-trump-military-media-lies%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

    All wars are hard on the people who have to fight them, but senseless wars are spirit-crushing. An average of about 17 veterans commit suicide each day in the US, according to Veterans Administration data . Veterans account for 11 percent of the US adult population but more than 18 percent of suicides.

    The media's deceiving technique of trying to pretend that ruling-class chieftains and front-line grunts are in the same boat reflects a broader campaign of top-down revolution against populism. The military is just one of several pro-Trump segments of the population that must be turned against the president. Other pro-Trump segments, such as police , are demonized and attacked.

    Trump has managed to keep the US out of new wars and has drawn down deployments to Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan – despite Pentagon opposition. His rival, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, can be expected to rev up the war machine if he takes charge. His foreign policy adviser, Antony Blinken, lamented in a May interview with CBS News that Trump had given up US "leverage" in Syria.

    Trump also has turned around the VA hospital system, ending decades of neglect that left many veterans to die on waiting lists.

    Like past campaigns to oust Trump, the notion that he's not sufficiently devoted to the troops might be a tough sell. No matter how good their words may sound, the people who promote endless wars without clear objectives aren't true supporters of the rank and file.

    Like this story? Share it with a friend!

    [Sep 01, 2020] Are We Deliberately Trying to Provoke a Military Crisis With Russia by Ted Galen Carpenter

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative. ..."
    "... Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country. ..."
    "... Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation. ..."
    "... The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. ..."
    "... I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all? ..."
    "... they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. ..."
    "... the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country. ..."
    "... The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop. ..."
    "... if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia. ..."
    "... Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? ..."
    "... The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe. ..."
    "... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities). ..."
    "... I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly. ..."
    "... Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed. ..."
    "... Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc. ..."
    "... I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain. ..."
    "... We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself. ..."
    "... Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy. ..."
    "... The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul. ..."
    Aug 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Tensions are becoming dangerous in Syria and on Russia's back doorstep. US soldiers stand near US and Russian military vehicles in the northeastern Syrian town of al-Malikiyah (Derik) at the border with Turkey, on June 3, 2020. (Photo by DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

    A dangerous vehicle collision between U.S and Russian soldiers in Northeastern Syria on Aug. 24 highlights the fragility of the relationship and the broader test of wills between the two major powers.

    According to White House reports and a Russian video that went viral this week, it appeared that as the two sides were racing down a highway in armored vehicles, the Russians sideswiped the Americans, leaving four U.S. soldiers injured. It is but the latest clash as both sides continue their patrols in the volatile area. But it speaks of bigger problems with U.S. provocations on Russia's backdoor in Eastern Europe.

    A sober examination of U.S. policy toward Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union leads to two possible conclusions. One is that U.S. leaders, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, have been utterly tone-deaf to how Washington's actions are perceived in Moscow. The other possibility is that those leaders adopted a policy of maximum jingoistic swagger intended to intimidate Russia, even if it meant obliterating a constructive bilateral relationship and eventually risking a dangerous showdown. Washington's latest military moves, especially in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, are stoking alarming tensions.

    There has been a long string of U.S. provocations toward Russia. The first one came in the late 1990s and the initial years of the twenty-first century when Washington violated tacit promises given to Mikhail Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders that if Moscow accepted a united Germany within NATO, the Alliance would not seek to move farther east. Instead of abiding by that bargain, the Clinton and Bush administrations successfully pushed NATO to admit multiple new members from Central and Eastern Europe, bringing that powerful military association directly to Russia's western border. In addition, the United States initiated "rotational" deployments of its forces to the new members so that the U.S. military presence in those countries became permanent in all but name. Even Robert M. Gates, who served as secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was uneasy about those deployments and conceded that he should have warned Bush in 2007 that they might be unnecessarily provocative.

    As if such steps were not antagonistic enough, both Bush and Obama sought to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The latter country is not only within what Russia regards as its legitimate sphere of influence, but within its core security zone. Even key European members of NATO, especially France and Germany, believed that such a move was unwise and blocked Washington's ambitions. That resistance, however, did not inhibit a Western effort to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs to help demonstrators unseat Ukraine's elected, pro-Russia president and install a new, pro-NATO government in 2014.

    Such provocative political steps, though, are now overshadowed by worrisome U.S. and NATO military moves. Weeks before the formal announcement on July 29, the Trump administration touted its plan to relocate some U.S. forces stationed in Germany. When Secretary of Defense Mike Esper finally made the announcement, the media's focus was largely on the point that 11,900 troops would leave that country.

    However, Esper made it clear that only 6,400 would return to the United States; the other nearly 5,600 would be redeployed to other NATO members in Europe. Indeed, of the 6,400 coming back to the United States, "many of these or similar units will begin conducting rotational deployments back to Europe." Worse, of the 5,600 staying in Europe, it turns out that at least 1,000 are going to Poland's eastern border with Russia.

    Another result of the redeployment will be to boost U.S. military power in the Black Sea. Esper confirmed that various units would "begin continuous rotations farther east in the Black Sea region, giving us a more enduring presence to enhance deterrence and reassure allies along NATO's southeastern flank." Moscow is certain to regard that measure as another on a growing list of Black Sea provocations by the United States.

    Among other developments, there already has been a surge of alarming incidents between U.S. and Russian military aircraft in that region. Most of the cases involve U.S. spy planes flying near the Russian coast -- supposedly in international airspace. On July 30, a Russian Su-27 jet fighter intercepted two American surveillance aircraft; according to Russian officials, it was the fourth time in the final week of July that they caught U.S. planes in that sector approaching the Russian coast. Yet another interception occurred on August 5, again involving two U.S. spy planes. Still others have taken place throughout mid-August. It is a reckless practice that easily could escalate into a broader, very dangerous confrontation.

    The growing number of such incidents is a manifestation of the surging U.S. military presence along Russia's border, especially in the Black Sea . They are taking place on Russia's doorstep, thousands of miles away from the American homeland. Americans should consider how the United States would react if Russia decided to establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

    The undeniable reality is that the United States and its NATO allies are crowding Russia; Russia is not crowding the United States. Washington's bumptious policies already have wrecked a once-promising bilateral relationship and created a needless new cold war with Moscow. If more prudent U.S. policies are not adopted soon, that cold war might well turn hot.

    Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security 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. His latest book is NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur (2019).


    Tradcon 5 days ago • edited

    I mean, I think this has been bipartisan policy since at least 1947. Unlikely to change anytime soon, even with realists gaining ground. Perhaps expanding NATO east, sending support to Ukraine, and intervening in Syria (despite attempts to leave, the best we can get at this point are small troop reductions that most likely are redeployed to neighboring countries) aren't the best idea after all?

    Mike P Tradcon 4 days ago

    This is a very anti American article! Patriots know that where the U.S. gives political or economic ground Russia and other adversaries will fill the vacum with policies intended to destroy American peoeple. So no, it is not a bad idea to be involved in Syria and Ukraine in fact it is a very good idea.

    northernobserver Mike P 4 days ago

    The entire framing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood as "pro American" and those who oppose them as "anti American" is delusional.
    Russia is a weak state trying to maintain its natural spheres of influence along the Curzon line. Why has the State Department/ Pentagon decided to try and roll this back? How the F to they expect Russia to react. How would America react if a foreign power tried to turn Mexico into a strategic asset. So why is it ok to make Ukraine into a Nato member? It's reckless and ultimately it is pointless. Weakening Russia further serves little strategic purpose and potentially threatens to destabilize the Balkans and mid east with Turkish adventurism. What will America do if the Turks seize Rhodes under some pretext?

    Syria is another case of State Department midwits not understanding the results of their regime change. What purpose does it serve to put a Sunni extremist government in Damascus. How hateful do you have to be to subject Syria's minorities to genocide at the hands of an ISIS sympathetic government? How do you delude yourself that such a regime will serve America's interests in the long run? So you can own Iran before the election? You are trading victory today for permanent loss tomorrow. It's insane.

    Aen Elle northernobserver 4 days ago
    How the F to they expect Russia to react.

    Just like you, they think Russia is a weak state and can do nothing therefore they are free to do as they please. Also, since Turkey is a NATO member and as such an ally to the U.S. shouldn't you be cheering in good faith for Turkey and against Russia?

    Bianca Aen Elle a day ago

    You got that one. Because Turkey is a thorn in NATO side. It has massive economic interests in Russia, China and the rest of Asia. The "adventure" in Syria is coordinated with Russia to the last detail, while playacting tensions. US problem in Syria is not Russia or Turkey, but Russia AND Turkey.

    As US is frowning at Egypt Al-Sisi , or Saudi MBS -- it is because they frown at Egypt AND Russia, as well as Saudi Arabia AND Russia.
    Basically, countries nominally counted in OUR camp are frowned upon when collaborating with the ENEMY countries.
    Our foreign policy is stuck in Middle East -- and cannot get unstuck. Cannot be better illustrated then Pompeo addressing Republican convention from Jerusalem.

    The only way Russia can challenge encirclement is by challenging US in its home away from home -- Middle East. And creating new realities in the ground by collaborating with the countries in the region -- undermining monopoly.

    And as the entire world is hurting from epidemic related economic setbacks, Russia and China are economies that are moving forward. And nobody in the Middle East can afford to ignore it.

    J Villain northernobserver 4 days ago

    I agree with you with the exception of Russia being weak. One day the US which has never seen any thing in advance will push Russia one time to many and find the Russian Army in Poland and Romania. That is if China doesn't take out some thing precious to the US in the mean time like a U2, aircraft carrier etc.

    There are two things at play here. The first is the US leadership wants ether country to take a shot at some thing US. Then then can scream and stomp their feet that no one on earth is allowed to trade with ether country and the US can block all trade with ether country.

    The other thing at play is Americans love it when their leaders act like gangsters. That's why leaders do it. Nothing will get you votes faster in the US than saying your going to kill people. I see US citizens try that non-sense about it's all Washington we don't want that. But you keep voting for people that are going to give you the next war fix. When you stop they will stop.

    PJ London J Villain a day ago

    I agree with your assessment except Russia will not put troops into any country without the express request from the legitimate government. They are not going into Poland and especially not Romania (Transnistria maybe) why would they? The countries do not have any resources that Russia wants. The only reason to put troops into Belarus is to maintain a distance between Poland and the borders.

    Russia needs nothing from the rest of the world except trade. Un-coerced, free trade. This drives the US corporations crazy as no one will trade with the US anymore without coercion.

    PS the same goes for China with the proviso that Taiwan is part of China and needs to be reabsorbed into the mainstream. It will take +20 years but China just keeps the pressure on until there will be no viable alternative.

    Bianca northernobserver a day ago

    It has never meant to serve American interests. Ever. Once you put it in perspective, it makes sense.

    But if people are convinced that Russia is a weak state -- then it is easier to approve adventures abroad -- including ringing Russia.

    The problem for never satiated Zealots is the following -- regional powers in the Middle East are hitching their wagons to Eurasian economic engine. That is definitely true of Turkey, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. The tales of Moslem Brotherhood are here to interpret something today from the iconography from the past. And to explain today what an entirely different set of leaders did -- be that few years ago or one hundred years ago. Same goes for iconography of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Communism, Socialism, authoritarianism, and other ISMS.

    Those icons serve the same purpose as icons in religion or in cyber-space. You look at them, or you click -- and the story and explanation is ready made for your consumption. Time to watch actions -- not media iconography to tell us what is going on.

    Tradcon Mike P 4 days ago

    If we're being purely ideological here those with an overtly internationalist disposition (barring leftists) are those who want to be involved overseas, hardly ones to go on about national interest or pride. Its been a common stance associated with American Nationalism and Paleoconservatives to be anti-intervention, these people (of which I consider myself a part) can hardly be bashed for holding unpatriotic views.)

    Russia has a declining population, and an economy smaller than that of Spain. Its hardly a threat and our involvement in Eastern Europe was relatively limited pre-2014 and even so the overall international balance of power hasn't shifted after Russian annexation of Crimea, and the Ukrainians proved quite capable of defending their nation (though not so capable as to end retake separatist strongholds.

    Alexandr Kosenkov Mike P 3 days ago

    Please explain to me, a Russian person, what kind of anti-American policy Russia is spreading in countries? If we exclude acts of counteraction against American expansion and aggression against Russia? What ideological foundations does Russia have after 1991? Isn't Russia's actions a guerrilla war on the communications of the self-proclaimed "Empire of Good", which is pursuing a tough offensive policy? And is it not because the Russians support a significant part of Putin's initiatives (despite a number of Putin's obvious shortcomings) precisely because they have experience of cooperation with the "Empire of Good" in the 90s: give loans, corrupt officials and deputies, put Russian firms under control big American companies, and then just give orders from the White House.
    PS. I beg your pardon my google english

    Bianca Mike P a day ago

    Another Zealot in Patriot garb. The only people that are destroying Americans are within our borders, wielding power to fulfill their mission -- enrich themselves, keep the borders open, and our military all over the globe.

    kouroi 4 days ago • edited

    It would be interesting to read the minds of the US pilots engaged in these activities. My guess is that the cognitive dissonance energy in those heads is equivalent to the biggest nuclear bomb ever exploded...

    Vhailor 4 days ago

    Hmmm... I think there is a third option besides escalation and deescalation - exhaustion. Projecting power across the globe is expensive, it is a slow but steady drain on US resources, which are needed elsewhere (for example to quell the riots in major US cities).

    In a major crisis this could lead to a breaking point. What if some US adversary decides to double down and attack (directly or by proxy) US troops and the US will not be able to respond? A humiliating defeat combined with an exhausted public decidedly set against military adventures abroad could cause a rapid retrenchment and global withdrawal.

    Kent Vhailor 4 days ago

    I see it as exhaustion by corruption. The US military is increasingly bureaucratic, political and ineffectual. Our weapons are gold-plated, hyper-tech focused and require highly-skilled people to maintain them, which means we can't quickly train new people up. The weapons themselves are so complex and expensive that there is no way to manufacture them at scale quickly.

    The DOD today is only about personal political position, and grubbing tax-payer dollars for self-aggrandizement. In any real war with a real adversary, we wouldn't stand a chance.

    Vhailor Kent 4 days ago

    I wouldn't be so pessimistic regarding US military capabilities and I'm neither a US citizen or a fan of US global hegemony.

    The US armed forces are made up of professionals. There are some universal advantages and disadvantages of such forces. A professional army is good at fighting wars but bad at controlling territory because of its limited size and higher costs-per-soldier. In order to control territory you need "boots on the ground" in great numbers, standing at checkpoints and patrolling the countryside. They didn't have to be trained to the level of Navy SEALS, for them it is enough if they can shoot straight and won't be scared from some fireworks and the US lacks such forces.

    kouroi Vhailor 4 days ago

    So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft? Provide a pathway for US citizenship for any foreigner that joins, establishing a US Foreign Legion?

    And then, how you'll have enough boots on the ground to pacify Russia or China. It took more than a month to establish and secure the beach heads in Bretagne in France in 1944. How do you think you can even get those boots to land in Russia or China, when you know that the ICBMs are going to start flying towards the continental US if something like this will ever happen?

    Vhailor kouroi 4 days ago

    So how is one going to get the millions of manpower to fulfill these tasks? Pauperize the masses so that joining the army becomes the only viable solution? Introduce the Draft?

    It is no longer possible to introduce the draft in the US - even mentioning it would lead to social unrests.

    Baruch Dreamstalker Vhailor 4 days ago

    The idea of a soft-mandatory year of service with a military option has been floated. It generates neither unrest nor interest.

    alan Vhailor 21 hours ago

    Read Jean Lartegy's "The Centurions." That is the direction where the tactically brilliant, but strategically incompetent US military leadership is headed.

    Scaathor Kent 4 days ago

    In addition, those gold-plated weapon systems often do not work as advertised. Look how the multi-billion IADS of the Saudis couldn't protect their refinery complex from a cruise missile attack from Yemen. Look at the embarrassing failures of the LCS and Zumwalt ship classes, and the endless problems with the Ford CVN. The F35 is proving a ginormous boondoggle that will massively enrich LM shareholders but will do squat for US military capabilities.

    kouroi Vhailor 4 days ago

    It will go on as long as the US is able to benefit of its present ability to print money and have the world use that money...

    Baruch Dreamstalker William Toffan 15 hours ago

    The alternative is an incumbent who runs against the condition of his own country as an outsider. It take an idiot to support that.

    PJ London Feral Finster a day ago

    He already did and the Military ignored him.
    He backtracked with endless excuses and conditionals.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/new...
    **
    Bill Clinton once reportedly told senior White House reporter Sarah McClendon, "Sarah, there's a government inside the government, and I don't control it."
    **
    Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
    – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
    **
    Do you really think that the adults with so much to lose would allow an idiot like Trump (or Clinton or Obama or Bush) to actually run things?

    Feral Finster PJ London a day ago

    And then, like the cuck he is, Trump knuckled under. "I like oil!"

    Dan Greene bumbershoot 3 days ago

    Stop focusing on what Trump says and look at what his administration does. Troops in Poland and Eastern Europe, Nord Stream 2, intrusive US reconnaissance flights along Russia's borders, support of Ukraine, interference with Russian patrols in Syria, the continuing attempt to destabilize Assad in Syria, the destruction of JCPOA, global sanctions campaign on Russia among others, withdrawal from arms control treaties, accusation that Russia was cheating on INF treaty, hiring dozens of anti-Russia hardliners, etc, etc.

    I'll repeat: Focus on what Trump does, not what he says, and then total up the pro-Russia and anti-Russia actions of this administration and see what that reveals.

    peter mcloughlin 4 days ago

    A danger with this "new Cold War" is the assumption it will end like the first one – peacefully. If this is the thinking among policy-makers we are in a very perilous situation. History shows that fatal miscalculations contributed to the First World War, and as a consequence the second. Today there is no room for miscalculation, which will set off unstoppable escalation into a third.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory...

    I Don't Matter 4 days ago

    Russians deliberately repeatedly ram an American vehicle, but I'm sure it's all our fault. Shouldn't have worn that skirt I guess.
    Before y'all armchair Putin experts say all your loving things: you have nothing to contribute unless you speak fluent Russian. I watched the video taken and published by the Russians and it was pretty clear what they were doing.

    Feral Finster I Don't Matter 4 days ago

    The United States is not invited in Syria or wanted. Russian troops are in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate and recognized government.

    Whatever happens to American troops there is deserved.

    dba12123 . I Don't Matter 3 days ago • edited

    Something critical is being missed entirely. The United States has invaded Syria without a mandate from the UN. Its' president has explicitly stated that it is the intention of the US to take Syria's oil. Both are violations of international law. Any hostile action taken against the illegal US presence in Syria is justifiable as self defense. While the US presence in Syria is illegal, Russia's presence is not. Russia was invited into Syria by the UN recognized Syrian government to assist it in defending against the US regime change by Al Qaeda proxy operation..

    hooly 4 days ago

    establish a major naval and air presence in the Gulf of Mexico, operating out of bases in such allied countries as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

    What would happen if China or Russia established bases in the Caribbean and Latin America? Trump joked about selling Puerto Rico, what if the Chinese bought it?

    L RNY 4 days ago

    If the Israeli's have a problem with Russia being in Syria then Israel should deal with it. Its not our problem and Russia is not our enemy. Infact India is bringing closer relations between Russia and Japan. Which do you want? Russian antagonism because Israel doesn't want Russians in Syria or Russian partnership with India, Japan, Australia and the US dealing with China? Remember....you could spend 1000 years in the middle east and not make a dent in the animosities between peoples there...so one is a futile endeaver...while the other has great benefit.

    Carlton Meyer 4 days ago

    Note that Russian soldiers are in Syria at the request of its government to help fend off foreign invaders. The American troops are there illegally, with no UN or even Congressional authorization.

    Also note the USA risks another Cuban missile crisis by withdrawing from the INF treaty after illegally building missile launch complexes in Romania and Poland that can hit Russia with nuclear cruise missiles.

    The USA did much more than "meddle" in Ukraine. The Obama/Biden team openly organized a coup to overthrow its elected President because he didn't want to join NATO and the EU.

    https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FnW7lNABfDVk%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnW7lNABfDVk&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FnW7lNABfDVk%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

    Hrant Carlton Meyer 4 days ago

    Is that guy in the middle of the left seated Vlad Klitschko? I great boxer no doubt, but also known for his stunning stupidity. Is he part of the new Ukrainian political elite? Poor Ukraine.

    Aen Elle Hrant 4 days ago

    Klichko has been the mayor of Ukrainian capital city Kiev since the victory of Euromaidan in 2014 until present day.

    longlance 4 days ago

    Russia has been threatened & attacked by military powers to its West, East & South for 1000 years. Russia is now lean & mean, but still standing.

    Baruch Dreamstalker 4 days ago • edited

    A Russian vehicle sideswipes an American vehicle, injuring two US soldiers, and that's an American provocation? An American spy plane claims to be in international waters, and you tack in a "supposedly" in that sentence? "Violating" a tacit promise, really? Russia aggression against Georgia and Crimea is OK because Sphere of Influence? This article is loaded with Blame America First crap usually associated with the Left (much to this liberal's disgust). Never expected to find it here.

    Yes, the expansion of NATO east must have looked to Russia like something coming at their borders entirely too fast. I thought it was a terrible idea at the time, and wrote it off to the wheels of a fifty-year-old bureaucracy not knowing how to slow down. Your eye-straining gaze at the tea-leaves for Deeper State motives is unpersuasive, even without your odious prejudices.

    kouroi Baruch Dreamstalker 4 days ago

    Maybe some play of Rashomon would be in order here. That is your perspective.

    Now your honor, what I have seen is that Georgia attacked first and hoped to occupy a certain area that Russian Federation was protecting, As a side comment, I have to point to an Orwellian use of the word "aggressive" and "attack". It seems that anything that the US cannot wantonly control or bomb is inherently aggressive and attacking either directly or indirectly the "rules based order".

    Crimea had Russian assets that became endangered. Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when was donated in an unsanctioned manner to Ukraine. The majority Russian population in Crimea has been persecuted by the Ukrainian state since at least 1994. The Euromaidan would have exacerbated that. A referendum was carried on and just considering ethnic lines, Russians won in their desire to re-unite with the Russian Federation. There aren't many legal arguments against that referendum and that process, if one looks for them...

    So the above perspectives have nothing to do with just "sphere of influence" but with direct core interests of the Russian state and its core security...

    The deep state is a tool that is trying to fulfill one objective: integration of Russian economy under the control of US and its Oligarchy. Otherwise it will always be a threat. A Nationalist, democratic (but not oligarchic) and sovereign Russia will always be considered an enemy of the world hegemon...

    And the provocation is the actual presence in Syria of US troops. Ramming the US military vehicle is not a provocation from Russians, it is a simple eviction notification. End of story!

    Hannibal Jubal 4 days ago

    Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America. That is remarkable dexterity even for this paper. I am used to them suggesting that we should leave the people of Eastern Europe to the tender mercies of the whims and wishes of a dictator in Moscow - because they are in his backyard. But to be able to switch from that incident to their regular theme is an achievement one can recognize, though not respect. The people of those countries should have a choice about who they associate, and they certainly have a right not to align with people they fear. Calling us for not respecting he rights of other people to decide their fates is right and proper. I enthusiastically support this paper when they do. But when they turn right around and castigate us for not respecting Russia's right to do it - I am flabbergasted.

    Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal 3 days ago

    "Isn't it just amazing how this writer gets to turn an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers into a story of persistent provocation by America."

    How do you know it's an incident of provocation by Russian soldiers? It almost certainly is almost the exact opposite.

    Dan Greene 3 days ago • edited

    This piece spends too much time re-hashing everything Russia-US since 1990 and fails to focus on the key current issues.

    The vehicle incidents in Syria are distinct from the European issue -- see below in this post -- that is generating some of the other tensions the author lists. Syria is really part of the larger Middle East issue.

    His brief summary of the latest Syria mishap is inadequate to convey what actually happened.

    If you actually look at the video, it does NOT appear to be the case that a Russian vehicle simply "sideswiped" a US vehicle. It appears that the US was maintaining a checkpoint on a road that in effect blocked Russian passage. Given the terrain, the Russians could of course bypass such a checkpoint, which is what they appear to have done. Then, however, other US vehicles left the checkpoint and attempted to block and turn back the Russian bypass movement, and this led to the collision. So the incident is part of a larger US policy to impede Russian operations in NE Syria.

    Almost two years ago, Trump ordered US forces out of Syria, and Russia, in agreement with that plan, sent patrols to the NE to ensure that provisions of an stability agreement with Turkey and the Kurds were maintained. But then Trump was almost immediately convinced--by whom is not clear, but ultimately Israel in all probability--to do a 180 and keep US forces in NE Syria, the superficial rationale being to take control of oil, the kind of pirate operation that Trump likes. In fact, the goal of those who influence Trump is to keep Syria weak and unable to rebuild with the expectation that Assad can still be overthrown at some future point. This is the desire of Israel and its operatives in the US.

    Trump's zag after the zig of planned withdrawal left the US-Russian understanding in chaos. Now both the US AND the Russians were operating in NE Syria. And over time the US has become more and more aggressive about impeding Russian operations. The Russians claim--credibly--that we are demanding that they, in moving their patrols up to the area of the Syria-Turkey border area not use the M4 highway, the main and direct route and instead follow a secondary route that circuitously follows the border. The Russians don't accept that demand. And the vehicle incidents that we are seeing are the outcome of that disagreement. The Russians are driving up Highway 4 and when they get to the US checkpoint are bypassing and then continuing up the highway. We are aggressively trying to deter them from that route choice.

    Not sure why this article does not go into detail on this issue in order to clarify it.

    Much of the other stuff the author is talking about here--intrusive air ops in the Black Sea, etc--is really a separate, European issue. The US is highly concerned about the economic interactions between Russia and Europe--especially the big economies of Western Europe and most especially Germany. We are worried that over time Russian-European economic integration will erode our strategic control and dominance over Europe in general.

    Hence, we are making common cause with the anti-Russian elements in "the New Europe," i.e., Eastern Europe to try, in essence, to place a barrier between Russia and Western Europe, playing off Poland, the Baltics and Romania, among others, against Russia, Germany, France et al. Moving more US forces into Poland and the so-called "Black Sea Region"; impeding Nord Stream 2 and other Russian pipeline initiatives; indulging in recurrent anti-German propaganda for not maintaining a more robust anti-Russian military posture; fomenting (behind the scenes) the recent disturbances in Belarus; and promotion of the so-called "Three Seas Initiative" intended to weld Eastern and Central Europe together into a reliable tool of US policy are all part of this plan to retain US strategic control of Europe over the long term.

    That's what the heightened tensions in Europe are about.

    As I said, the Syria issue, part of the larger Middle East struggle, is separate from the parallel struggle for mastery in Europe.

    It's all an important topic, but this article doesn't really capture the salient points.

    Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal 3 days ago • edited

    You're living in a dreamland.

    And you're playing word games. Syria's oil is effectively under US control. Yes, we are deriving strategic benefit from it in that we are denying it to the Syrian government in order to further destabilize it. It's not a good policy, but the policy does benefit from denying Syria its oil.

    The problem is that most of the oil is on Arab land, not Kurdish land, and the Arabs of the Northeast are now realigning themselves with Assad, so holding on to the oil is likely to get more difficult in the future.

    I have no idea what you mean by "slander." Guess that means truths you find inconvenient. Sorry--not in the business of coddling the faint of heart. Trump likes the idea of taking resources which he imagines to be payment for services we have rendered--like leaving the country in a state of ruin. He talked about Iraqi oil that way too, but taking that would be much harder.

    Time for you to stop dismissing every reality you don't like as unpatriotic.

    dba12123 . Hannibal Jubal 3 days ago

    The "Assad regime" is the UN recognized government of Syria. That is the only entity entitled to the country's resources. How is it "the property of the Syrian nation" if the Syrian government and its people no longer have access to it? To whom is the oil being sold? Who is receiving the proceeds of the oil sales?

    Here are some of Trump's own words with respect to Syria's oil. "I like oil. We are keeping the oil." 4/11/2019. "The US is in Syria solely for the oil." "We are keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for oil." "The US military is in Syria only for oil." What part of Trump's public assertion that "We are keeping the oil" are you having difficulty in understanding? How can you say the US "did not take possession of the oil" when Trump could not have been more explicit in saying precisely the opposite? Do you not comprehend that the US presence in Syria has no mandate either from the UN or from the US Congress. Do you not understand that the US presence in Syria is illegal under international law? Do you not understand that "Keeping the oil" is a violation of international law? Your post is one of the most ridiculous I have even read.

    Dan Greene Hannibal Jubal 2 days ago • edited

    1. It's quite clear from the video that the US had set up a checkpoint on the road at left in the video. (Indeed, we are open about the fact that we are doing so in general in NE Syria.) And it's equally clear that Russian vehicles are seen bypassing those checkpoints. The encounter between US and Russian vehicles takes place off the road. There is only one logical interpretation of what happened. What is your alternative explanation?

    2. "No one reading this can believe that Eastern Europeans have genuine cause to fear Russia, or that these countries continually request more military and political involvement than we are willing to provide or that we are not inducing them to do anything or manipulating them."

    First of all, there are no current indications of any Russian intent to do anything in regard to Eastern Europe. Yes, one can understand the history, which is why there is anti-Russian sentiment in Eastern Europe, but aside perhaps from the Baltic states in their unique geographic position, there is no country that has any basis in reality to worry about Russian aggression in the present.

    Of course, this does not stop the Poles from doing exactly that. And perhaps the Romanians to a much lesser extent. So yes, there is fear in a few key countries based on past history, Poland being the keystone of the whole thing, and yes, we are indeed manipulating that fear in an attempt to block/undermine any economic integration between Germany and Russia. We are also trying to use the "Three Seas Initiative" to block Chinese commercial and tech penetration of Eastern Europe--5G and their plan to rebuild the port of Trieste to service Central and NE Europe.

    Do you actually believe Russia, which has lately been cutting its defense budget, is actually going to invade Europe? That really is a fantasy. The only military operations they will take are to prevent further expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Belarus. The real game today is commercial and tech competition. Putin knows it would be disastrous for Russia to start a war with NATO. Not sure why that's hard for you to see.

    Your notion of the Russian threat--as it exists today--is wildly exaggerated.

    Dr.Diprospan 3 days ago

    Once President Putin remarked that there are forces in the United States trying to use Russia for internal political struggle. He added that we will nevertheless try not to be drawn into these confrontations.

    A scene from a Hollywood action movie rises before my eyes, when two heroes of the film are fighting and a circular saw is spinning nearby, and each of the heroes is trying to shove a part of the enemy's body under this saw.

    The relationship between Russian and American servicemen, I would compare with two hockey teams, when the tough behavior of the players on the ice does not mean that the players of one team would be happy with the death of the entire opposing team, say in some kind of plane crash, since the presence of a strong opponent is a necessary condition for getting a good salary.

    Still, I would not completely deny the possibility of a "hot war".

    Since the times of the Roman Empire, the West of Europe has been trying to take control of the territory of Europe, Eurasia, and Eurasia, in turn, dreams of mastering the technologies of the West.

    The defeat of the 3rd Reich provided the Soviet Union with a breakthrough in the nuclear industry and space...

    It's hard to imagine that Russia is capable of defeating NATO, but I can imagine that in the current situation, President Putin can offer China to build military bases in western Russia for a million Chinese servicemen, for 100 thousand on the Chukchi Peninsula, for 500 thousand on Sakhalin...

    The extra money for renting military bases in a coronavirus crisis will not hurt anyone.

    stevek9 3 days ago • edited

    Of all the things about Hillary Clinton to despise, her selfish attempt to explain her loss, and to attack the President (to whom she never conceded the election!) by blaming Russia, is at the top of the list. To generate a completely unnecessary conflict with a nuclear super-power that could burn this country to ashes in minutes, out of personal vindictiveness, ... is lower than it can get.

    Denmark002 3 days ago

    We are totally messing with fire... we will need Europe but Russia as well to defeat the Chinese.

    Dan Greene LostForWords 2 days ago • edited

    I don't think US-Russian cooperation is doable at this point--or any time soon. Given how erratic US policy is--yawing violently from one direction to another--Russia has no reason to accept the damage to its relationship with China that shifting to a strategic arrangement with the US would entail. The risk is too high and the potential rewards too uncertain.

    We have pretty much alienated the Russian state under Putin, and now we're trying to wait him out, with the expectation that there is no one of his capabilities to maintain the strategic autonomy of the Russian state in the longer term and that once he exits the scene, some Yeltsin-like stooge will present himself.

    We thought we were dealing with the main threats to our global hegemony sequentially--Russia "defeated" in the Cold War, and then on to a defeat of "militant Islam" in the Greater Middle East and finally to a showdown with China. But now, the sequencing has fallen apart, and we're trying to prosecute all three simultaneously.

    We're in serious trouble.

    Ram2017 LostForWords a day ago

    Hizbollah arose as a defensive militia because of an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is not a terrorist group even though labelled so by the US.

    William H Warrick III MD a day ago

    You have inverted the facts. The video evidence shows the Americans side-swiped the Russian vehicle and claimed "American soldiers had 'concussions'". A concussion requires loss of consciousness or significant changes in mental function. In football, you have your "Bell rung". You can't add 2+2 correctly. There is no evidence to support that.

    Mark Thomason a day ago

    No, we are just trying to outdo each other with "Putin-under-the-bed" and all-powerful-Putin causing all the world's evils.

    Jamie a day ago

    Everyone is focusing on Russia because of the Russia hoax. Dems started a new cold war based on an irrational fear that Russia was threatening our democracy.

    Along with Dems, I also blame Putin; he bribed Hillary millions for uranium -- that doesn't lend to good relations.

    alan a day ago

    The foreign policy elite dislikes Russia, always has, and will do anything to keep this "adversary" front and center because their prospects for prestige, power and position depend upon the presence of an enemy. As an example see Strobe Talbot and Michael McFaul.

    [Aug 29, 2020] To Capture and Subdue- America's Theft of Syrian Oil Has Very Little To Do With Money by Steven Chovanec

    Aug 29, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org


    undefined

    Near the end of July, one of the most important recent developments in US foreign policy was quietly disclosed during a US Senate hearing. Not surprisingly, hardly anybody talked about it and most are still completely unaware that it happened.

    Answering questions from Senator Lindsey Graham, Secretary of State Pompeo confirmed that the State Department had awarded an American company, Delta Crescent Energy, with a contract to begin extracting oil in northeast Syria. The area is nominally controlled by the Kurds, yet their military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was formed under US auspices and relies on an American military presence to secure its territory. That military presence will now be charged with protecting an American firm from the government of the country that it is operating within.

    Pompeo confirmed that the plans for implanting the firm into the US-held territory are "now in implementation" and that they could potentially be "very powerful." This is quite a momentous event given its nature as a blatant example of neocolonial extraction, or, as Stephen Kinzer puts it writing for the Boston Globe, "This is a vivid throwback to earlier imperial eras, when conquerors felt free to loot the resources of any territory they could capture and subdue."

    Indeed, the history of how the US came to be in a position to "capture and subdue" these resources is a sordid, yet informative tale that by itself arguably even rivals other such colonial adventures.

    To capture and subdue

    When a legitimate protest movement developed organically in Syria in early 2011, the US saw an opportunity to destabilize, and potentially overthrow, the government of a country that had long pushed back against its efforts for greater control in the region.

    Syria had maintained itself outside of the orbit of US influence and had frustratingly prevented American corporations from penetrating its economy to access its markets and resources.

    As the foremost academic expert on Middle East affairs, Christopher Davidson, wrote in his seminal work, "Shadow Wars, The Secret Struggle for the Middle East," discussing both Syria and Libya's strategic importance, "the fact remained that these two regimes, sitting astride vast natural resources and in command of key ports, rivers, and borders, were still significant obstacles that had long frustrated the ambitions of Western governments and their constituent corporations to gain greater access."

    " With Syria ," Davidson wrote, "having long proven antagonistic to Western interests a golden opportunity had presented itself in 2011 to oust [this] administration once and for all under the pretext of humanitarian and even democratic causes."

    The US, therefore, began organizing and overseeing a militarization of the uprising early on , and soon co-opted the movement along with allied states Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar. Writing at the end of 2011, Columbia University's Joseph Massad explained how there was no longer any doubt that "the Syrian popular struggle for democracy [has] already been hijacked," given that "the Arab League and imperial powers have taken over and assumed the leadership of their struggle."

    Soon, through the sponsoring of extremist elements, the insurgency was dominated by Salafists of the al-Qaeda variety.

    According to the DIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff , by 2013 "there was no viable 'moderate' opposition to Assad" and "the US was arming extremists." Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that "although many in the American intelligence community were aware that the Syrian opposition was dominated by extremists," still "the CIA-sponsored weapons kept coming."

    When ISIS split off from al-Qaeda and formed its own Caliphate, the US continued pumping money and weapons into the insurgency, even though it was known that this aid was going into the hands of ISIS and other jihadists. US allies directly supported ISIS.

    US officials admitted that they saw the rise of ISIS as a beneficial development that could help pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give in to America's demands.

    Leaked audio of then-Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that "we were watching and we know that this [ISIS] was growing We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage -- that Assad would then negotiate." As ISIS was bearing down on the capital city of Damascus, the US was pressing Assad to step down to a US-approved government.

    Then, however, Russia intervened with its air force to prevent an ISIS takeover of the country and shifted the balance of forces against the jihadist group. ISIS' viability as a tool to pressure the government was spent.

    The arsonist and the firefighter

    So, a new strategy was implemented: instead of allowing Russia and Syria to take back the territories that ISIS captured throughout the war, the US would use the ISIS threat as an excuse to take those territories before they were able to. Like an arsonist who comes to put out the fire, the US would now charge itself with the task of stamping out the Islamist scourge and thereby legitimize its own seizure of Syrian land. The US partnered with the Kurdish militias who acted as their "boots on the ground" in this endeavor and supported them with airstrikes.

    The strategy of how these areas were taken was very specific. It was designed primarily to allow ISIS to escape and redirect itself back into the fight against Syria and Russia. This was done through leaving " an escape route for militants " or through deals that were made where ISIS voluntarily agreed to cede its territory. The militants were then able to escape and go wreak havoc against America's enemies in Syria.

    Interestingly, in terms of the oil fields now being handed off to an American corporation, the US barely even fought ISIS to gain control over them; ISIS simply handed them over .

    Syria and Russia were quickly closing in on the then-ISIS controlled oilfields, so the US oversaw a deal between the Kurds and ISIS to give up control of the city. According to veteran Middle East war correspondent Elijah Magnier, "US-backed forces advanced in north-eastern areas under ISIS control, with little or no military engagement: ISIS pulled out from more than 28 villages and oil and gas fields east of the Euphrates River, surrendering these to the Kurdish-US forces following an understanding these reached with the terrorist group."

    Sources quoted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that ISIS preferred seeing the fields in the hands of the US and the Kurds rather than the Syrian government.

    The rationale behind this occupation was best described by Syria expert Joshua Landis, who wrote that the areas of northern Syria under control of the Kurds are the US' "main instrument in gaining leverage" over the government. By "denying Damascus access to North Syria" and "controlling half of Syria's energy resources" "the US will be able to keep Syria poor and under-resources." So, by "promoting Kurdish nationalism in Syria" the US "hopes to deny Iran and Russia the fruits of their victory," while "keeping Damascus weak and divided," this serving "no purpose other than to stop trade" and to "beggar Assad and keep Syria divided, weak and poor."

    Or, in the words of Jim Jeffrey, the Trump administrations special representative for Syria who is charged with overseeing US policy, the intent is to "make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it."

    Anchoring American troops in Syria

    This is the history by which an American firm was able to secure a contract to extract oil in Syria. And while the actual resources gained will not be of much value (Syria has only 0.1% of the world's oil reserves), the presence of an American company will likely serve as a justification to maintain a US military presence in the region. "It is a fiendishly clever maneuver aimed at anchoring American troops in Syria for a long time," Stephen Kinzer explains , one that will aid the policymakers who hold "the view that the United States must remain militarily dominant in the Middle East."

    This analysis corroborates the extensive scholarship of people like Mason Gaffney, professor of economics emeritus at the University of California, who, writing in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, sums up his thesis that throughout its history "US military spending has been largely devoted to protecting the overseas assets of multinational corporations that are based in the United States The US military provides its services by supporting compliant political leaders in developing countries and by punishing or deposing regimes that threaten the interests of US-based corporations."

    In essence, by protecting this "global 'sprawl' of extractive companies" the US Department of Defense "provides a giant subsidy to companies operating overseas," one that is paid for by the taxpayer, not the corporate beneficiaries. It is hard to estimate the exact amount of money the US has invested into the Syria effort, though it likely is near the trillion dollar figure . The US taxpayer doesn't get anything out of that, but companies that are awarded oil contracts do.

    What is perhaps most important about this lesson however is that this is just a singular example of a common occurrence that happens all over the world. A primary function of US foreign policy is to " make the world safe for American businesses ," and the upwards of a thousand military bases the US has stationed across the globe are set up to help protect those corporate investments. While this history is unique to Syria, similar kinds of histories are responsible for US corporation's extractive activities in other global arenas.

    So, next time you see headlines about Exxon being in some kind of legal dispute with, say, Venezuela, ask yourself how was it that those companies became involved with the resources of that part of the world? More often than not, the answer will be similar to how this US company got involved in Syria.

    Given all of this, it perhaps might seem to be too mild of a critique to simply say that this Syria enterprise harkens back to older imperial eras where conquerors simply took what they wished: the sophistication of colonialism has indeed improved by leaps and bounds since then.

    Reprinted with permission from Mint Press News .


    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/27/to-capture-and-subdue-america-s-theft-of-syrian-oil-has-very-little-to-do-with-money/#.X0htOc1QUu4.twitter

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    [Aug 09, 2020] NYT as an amplifier for the mislabeled US 'Intelligence' Agencies rumor and baseless claims about foreign interferences in US elections

    The first and the most important fact that there will no elections in November -- both candidates represent the same oligarchy, just slightly different factions of it.
    Look like NYT is controlled by Bolton faction of CIA. They really want to overturn the results of 2020 elections and using Russia as a bogeyman is a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal.
    Neocons understand very well that it is MIC who better their bread, so amplifying rumors the simplify getting additional budget money for intelligence agencies (which are a part of MIC) is always the most desirable goal.
    Notable quotes:
    "... But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr. ..."
    "... The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process." ..."
    "... But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections? ..."
    "... But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn? ..."
    "... Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence. ..."
    "... Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China? ..."
    "... If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them? ..."
    "... Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget. ..."
    "... Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose. ..."
    Aug 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
    No Evidence Of Foreign Interference In U.S. Elections, U.S. Intelligence Says

    Yesterday the mislabeled U.S. 'Intelligence' Agencies trotted out more nonsense claims about foreign interferences in U.S. elections.

    The New York Times sensationally headlines:

    Russia Continues Interfering in Election to Try to Help Trump, U.S. Intelligence Says
    But a new assessment says China would prefer to see the president defeated, though it is not clear Beijing is doing much to meddle in the 2020 campaign to help Joseph R. Biden Jr.

    But when one reads the piece itself one finds no fact that would support the 'Russia Continues Interfering' statement:

    Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

    At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

    But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

    The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

    The authors emphasize the scaremongering hearsay from "officials briefed on the intelligence" - i.e. Democratic congress members - about Russia but have nothing to back it up.

    When one reads the statement by Evanina one finds nothing in it about Russian attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections. Here is the only 'evidence' that is noted:

    For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden's candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television.

    After a request from Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, a Ukrainian parliamentarian published Ukrainian evidence of Biden's very real interference in the Ukraine. Also: Some guest of a Russian TV show had an opinion. How is either of those two items 'evidence' of Russian interference in U.S. elections?

    The statement then claims: "Ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections, foreign states will continue to use covert and overt influence measures in their attempts to sway U.S. voters' preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, increase discord in the United States, and undermine the American people's confidence in our democratic process."

    But how do the 'intelligence' agencies know that foreign states want to "sway preferences", "increase discord" or "undermine confidence" in elections?

    As a recent piece in Foreign Affairs noted :

    The mainstream view in the U.S. media and government holds that the Kremlin is waging a long-haul campaign to undermine and destabilize American democracy. Putin wants to see the United States burn, and contentious elections offer a ready-made opportunity to fan the flames.

    But ascribing motive and intent is a tricky business, because perceived impact is often mistaken for true intent. [...] Where is the evidence that Russia actually wants to bring down the liberal world order and watch the United States burn?

    Well there is none. And that is why the 'intelligence' agencies do not present any evidence.

    Even the NYT writers have to admit that there is nothing there:

    The release on Friday was short on specifics, ...

    and

    Intelligence agencies focus their work on the intentions of foreign governments, and steer clear of assessing if those efforts have had an effect on American voters.

    How do 'intelligence' agencies know Russian, Chinese or Iranian 'intentions'. Is there a secret policy paper by the Russian government that says it should "increase discord" in the United States? Is there some Chinese think tank report which says that undermining U.S. people's confidence in their democratic process would be good for China?

    If the 'intelligence' people have copies of those papers why not publish them?

    Let me guess. The 'intelligence' agencies have nothing, zero, nada. They are just making wild-ass guesses about 'intentions' of perceived enemies to impress the people who sign off their budget.

    Nowadays that seems to be their main purpose.

    Posted by b on August 8, 2020 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

    [Aug 08, 2020] -No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams-- Iran FM -

    Aug 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    "No Difference Between John Bolton, Brian Hook Or Elliott Abrams": Iran FM


    by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 22:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

    "There's no difference between John Bolton, Brian Hook or Elliott Abrams," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a tweet with the hashtag #BankruptUSPolicy on Friday.

    "When U.S. policy concerns Iran, American officials have been biting off more than they can chew. This applies to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump and their successors," Mousavi added.

    Indeed in perhaps one of the greatest symbols or representations of the contradictions and absurdity inherent in US foreign policy of the past few decades, and a supreme irony that can't be emphasized enough: the new US envoy to Iran who will oversee Pompeo's 'maximum pressure' campaign remains the most publicly visible face of the 1980's Iran-Contra affair .

    Elliott Abrams has been named to the position after Brian Hook stepping down. This means the man who will continue to push for the extension of a UN arms embargo against Iran once himself was deeply involved in illegally selling weapons to Iran and covering it up .

    Most famously, or we should say infamously, Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 following years of the Iran-Contra scandal engulfing the Reagan administration; however, he was also pardoned by outgoing president George H.W. Bush at around the same time.

    "Pardoned by George H.W. Bush in 1992, Abrams was a pivotal figure in the foreign-policy scandal that shook the Reagan administration, lying to Congress about his knowledge of the plot to covertly sell weapons to the Khomeini government and use the proceeds to illegally fund the right-wing Contras rebel group in Nicaragua ," NY Mag reviews.

    Some are noting this heightens the chances that Washington could get dragged into a war involving Israel and Iran.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291802541223809025&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fno-difference-between-john-bolton-brian-hook-or-elliott-abrams-iran-fm&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px

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    Recall too that Abrams has been Trump's point man for ousting Maduro from Venezuela, and it appears he'll remain in the post of special envoy for Venezuela as well.

    https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1291783763945574402&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fno-difference-between-john-bolton-brian-hook-or-elliott-abrams-iran-fm&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=223fc1c4%3A1596143124634&width=550px NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

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    The Grayzone journalist, Anya Parampil, who has frequently reported from Venezuela, alleged this week that Abrams will "try and destroy Venezuela and Iran at the same time".

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    Wild Bill Steamcock , 14 hours ago

    Abrams is a disgrace. This Administration should be dying in it's own shame bringing this swine back into government.

    He's a leach. He's about lining his own pockets. He can't even own a .22 single shot, yet he's shaping international policy.

    This country is dead. And the fact Trump has democrat and zionist Kushner as advisor, bringing in guys like Bolton and Abrams, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster and that Ukranian pet goblin of his, in not firing Comey et. al day 1 means he's not the answer. Face it.

    And to be fair, it doesn't matter anymore who is POTUS. It hasn't really mattered in quite some time. The Plan rolls along.

    Kinskian , 15 hours ago

    Trump is a clumsy and transparent Zionist stooge.

    PT , 14 hours ago

    Gotta admit, if you're going to have a Zionist stooge then you are better off having a clumsy and transparent one.

    Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago

    Elliott Abrams is a moron. He's been running the exact same stupid coup strategy for decades, and can't conceive of a world where the enemy has worked out how to defeat that.

    Venezuela was set to be US foreign policies most embarrassing failure--but maybe Iran will be worse.

    Dank fur Kopf , 14 hours ago

    Let's predict what Abrams will attempt:

    Running out of the US/UK embassies, Abrams will attempt to identify a potential alternative leader who is corrupt and controllable. They'll throw political support behind this false leader, and try and find enough military to support him. Then, protests in the streets, and the small faction of the military--supported by foreign forces--will attempt to establish control.

    Counter: China and Russia will import anti-coup specialists. Individuals in the Iranian military will pretend to be on board claiming to have thousands at call, and when the false leader gives the call, they won't answer. All the conspirators will be caught out on the street, and have to flee to embassies for political asylum. Like what happened in Venezuela recently, and Turkey in 2016. This will allow Iran to do a purge of all the real threats (remembering that Iran has the death penalty for sedition), and give them enough justification to end diplomatic missions in the country that are being used as launch pads.

    [Aug 02, 2020] The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria signed a deal to market oil to US-based Delta Crescent Energy LLC "with the knowledge and encouragement of the White House."

    Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Peter AU1 , Aug 2 2020 14:35 utc | 2

    I put these comments on the open thread about the same time b started this one

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1289724554982629377
    The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria signed a deal to market oil to US-based Delta Crescent Energy LLC "with the knowledge and encouragement of the White House."

    Trump a few months back "We've kept the oil". Well, he hasn't had a problem hanging onto it and getting an American company involved.

    Delta Crescent Energy. Formed beginning of 2019 and nothing else on it. I guess Trump and a few mates divvying up the spoils.
    https://www.bizapedia.com/de/delta-crescent-energy-llc.html

    Laguerre , Aug 2 2020 15:00 utc | 6

    The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria signed a deal to market oil to US-based Delta Crescent Energy LLC "with the knowledge and encouragement of the White House."

    Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 14:35 utc | 2

    Very likely the Kurds were under pressure from Trump, and the act wasn't voluntary. It's not even the Kurds' oil to sign a deal on (except one well). We'll see whether the operation actually succeeds. At the moment, everybody is waiting to see whether Trump is re-elected in November. Signing a piece of paper now is of no significance.

    [Aug 02, 2020] The only reason the US hasn't attacked Syria is because Putin out-maneuvered the US six times: 3 times in the UNSC and 3 times on the ground during Obama

    Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Richard Steven Hack , Aug 2 2020 0:13 utc | 140

    Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 16:47 utc | 121 The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons
    states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

    Which is precisely my point: the US had to say this because if they did it the geopolitical heat would be to great.

    I've had further thoughts:

    1) The only reason the US hasn't attacked Syria is because Putin out-maneuvered the US six times: 3 times in the UNSC and 3 times on the ground during Obama. The third time Russia explicitly said that anyone attacking Syrian military would be shot down. The reason that held was because Russia troops were *already* on the ground in Syria with the capability to do just that. Obama recognized that was a non-starter for him and he backed down from his contemplated "no-fly zone".

    And when Trump launched his cruise missiles, that's exactly what Russia did - they used their ECM to degrade or down most of those missiles.

    2) Now, if Putin were to figure out some way to *actually* threaten the US with nuclear retaliation - whether directly or *implied* (more so than anything you've quoted so far), that might actually work as a deterrent. The best way to do that would be what Putin did in Syria - put Russian boots on the ground. If Putin could work a deal with Iran that put a significant number of Russian forces on the ground inside Iran, thus making any US or Israeli attack on important Iranian assets an attack on Russian forces, that would likely be a deterrent.

    The problem is that Iran didn't even want Russian planes based in Iran for use in Syria (except one time IIRC). No country wants someone else's military inside their borders, especially in large numbers, so Iran is unlikely to agree to basing large numbers of Russian troops inside Iran. A few nuclear technicians wouldn't be enough of a deterrent - it would require significant Russian assets. I don't see it happening, but it is possible.

    3) Putin's responses to the US Nuclear Posture Review relate to Russia and the former Soviet states. Apparently no one can figure out that the word "ally" has more significant meanings depending on context, and as I've said before, nothing Putin has said has put that context in military alliance terms with regard to Iran.

    4) Apparently, as US and Israeli provocations against Iran continue to grow, signaling a continuing intent to get a war started, everyone's cognitive dissonance has apparently grown with it, so now everyone is hiding behind the notion that Putin will launch WWIII over Iran as an excuse to believe that an Iran war is "impossible".

    Dream on. We'll see. As I've said elsewhere many times, once the Iran war starts, I expect to see abject apologies from everyone who doubted the possibility.

    [Aug 01, 2020] Did MI6 created White Helmets?

    Notable quotes:
    "... Perhaps he was even the initiator of the White Helmets? My take away from those reports is that Cummings and Johnson have commenced a transition strategy within the UK and that the future of Integrity Initiative and its bogan crew may be limited. ..."
    "... They have also restrained the MI6 manipulators that would conspire and contrive the overt 'Hate Russia' policy. Not that Bojo and Cummings will necessarily change anything other than a superficial rearrangement in their favour (for a month or two anyway). ..."
    "... Caitlin Johnston has recently posted an astute analysis of the current distraction politics and why we should not be distracted by Covid19 rants from seeing the immediate rendition of the great game. ..."
    "... I guess the UK will be less overt re Russia but expect the Libyan war to escalate as UKUSAI use Turkey in Libya to push back against Russia and even Sisi in Egypt. ..."
    "... The UK could stage yet another 'Suez incident' with this mendacious confluence of opportunities. ..."
    "... The USA has become the patsy for these thugs, when will they rise? ..."
    Aug 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    uncle tungsten , Aug 1 2020 0:39 utc | 39

    Jackrabbut #3

    Thank you for those John Helmer reports. I note that the new head of MI6 is a lover of all fine Turkish things including Erdoghan. "Richard Moore, currently a third-ranking official of the Foreign Office, an ex-Ambassador to Turkey; an ex-MI6 agent; and a Harvard graduate".

    Perhaps he was even the initiator of the White Helmets? My take away from those reports is that Cummings and Johnson have commenced a transition strategy within the UK and that the future of Integrity Initiative and its bogan crew may be limited.

    They have also restrained the MI6 manipulators that would conspire and contrive the overt 'Hate Russia' policy. Not that Bojo and Cummings will necessarily change anything other than a superficial rearrangement in their favour (for a month or two anyway).

    AtaBrit #9 includes an excellent link to a National Interest report on Turkey and is worth the read in this context of the rise and rise of Richard Moore. Thank you AtaBrit.

    Caitlin Johnston has recently posted an astute analysis of the current distraction politics and why we should not be distracted by Covid19 rants from seeing the immediate rendition of the great game.

    I guess the UK will be less overt re Russia but expect the Libyan war to escalate as UKUSAI use Turkey in Libya to push back against Russia and even Sisi in Egypt. They have a willing US president now and likely continuing in the next few years (be it Trump or Biden). The UK could stage yet another 'Suez incident' with this mendacious confluence of opportunities.

    The USA has become the patsy for these thugs, when will they rise?

    [Aug 01, 2020] Syrian Army Uncovers Organ Trading Hub Of Turkish-Backed Militants In Southern Idlib -

    Aug 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Syrian Army Uncovers Organ Trading Hub Of Turkish-Backed Militants In Southern Idlib by Tyler Durden Sat, 08/01/2020 - 19:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

    Submitted by South Front,

    The joint Russian-Turkish patrol set to be held in southern Idlib on July 29 was delayed due to increased military tensions and the inability of Ankara to ensure the security of the patrol in its area of responsibility. And the situation does not seem to be improving.

    According to pro-militant sources, on the evening of July 29th and morning of July 30th, the Syrian Army launched over 500 shells at militants' positions in the Zawiya Mount area, including Kansafra, al-Bara, Kafar Aweed, Fatterah and Erinah. In response, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies struck Syrian Army checkpoints at Kafr Nabl, As Safa, Hakoura and in nearby areas.

    https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Fsyrian-army-uncovers-organ-trading-hub%2F&pid=1995

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    In the last few days, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkistan Islamic Party reinforced their positions on the contact line with the Syrian Army, south of the M4 highway. Their forces reportedly remain on high alert. Pro-government sources say that the inability of Ankara to secure another joint patrol in southern Idlib is a signal that the militants are preparing for offensive actions there.

    Meanwhile, the Syrian Army uncovered a hideout that had been used by militants working as organ traders in the village of al-Ghadfah in southern Idlib. According to Syria's state-run news agency SANA, government forces found human organs, including hearts, livers and heads in the hideout. The organs were preserved in jars with chloroform. The jars carried the names of the victims. Personal IDs of the victims, men and women, were also found in the hideout.

    The hideout included a room designated for religious studies with radical ideological publications. This indicates that the site had belonged to one of the multiple militant groups that still operate in Greater Idlib thanks to the Turkish opposition to counter-terrorism operations there.

    Al-Ghadfah is located in the vicinity of the city of Maarat al-Numan and for a long time it has been controlled by Turkey's main partner in Idlib – Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The town was liberated by the Syrian Army and its allies in January 2020.

    Lt. Sharif al-Nazzal of the Syrian Military Intelligence Directorate (MID) was assassinated in the town of Sahem al-Golan in western Daraa on July 29. The lieutenant was with another intelligence officer known as "Abu Haider", when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen. Both officers were shot dead on the spot.

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    Opposition sources claimed that al-Nazzal, a native of Sahem al-Golan, was close to Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iranian forces. The officer headed a detachment of the MID in the western Daraa countryside. No group has claimed responsibility for the assassination. Nonetheless, in previous stages of the conflict Israel was extensively supporting militant groups in southern Syria. It is possible that Tel Aviv may have access to cells of these groups for support with particular operations.

    Two members of the US-backed Revolutionary Commando Army militant group based in al-Tanf were detained by the Syrian Army near the US-controlled zone. The detained persons were moving on a motorcycle and possessed assault rifles and night-vision goggles. They were reportedly involved in an information gathering operation about civilian and military facilities in the Homs desert.

    In the past, Damascus has repeatedly claimed that the US was planning to use its proxies in al-Tanf for destabilizing operations in the government-controlled area.

    [Aug 01, 2020] Executed Turkish general exposed misuse of Qatari funds for Syria extremists- Report - Al Arabiya English

    Highly recommended!
    Aug 01, 2020 | english.alarabiya.net

    Executed Turkish general exposed misuse of Qatari funds for Syria extremists: Report Semih Terzi, a general within the Turkish army, was executed on the night of the 2016 Turkish coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Photo via the stockholmcf) Ismaeel Naar, Al Arabiya English Friday 31 July 2020 Text size A A A

    me title=

    The Turkish army executed a senior general within its ranks after he had discovered the embezzlement of illicit Qatari funding for extremists in Syria by public officials, according to a 2019 court testimony unveiled in a report by the Nordic Monitor.

    Semih Terzi, a general within the Turkish army, was executed on the night of the 2016 Turkish coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

    The new allegations unveiled in court testimonies from a hearing March 20, 2019at Ankara 17th High Criminal Court were made by Col. Fırat Alakuş, an army officer working within Turkey's Special Forces Command's intelligence section.

    According to the Nordic Monitor, Terzi is said to have been executed after discovering that Lt. Gen. Zekai Aksakallı, in charge of the Special Forces Command at the time, was working covertly with Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) "in running illegal and clandestine operations in Syria for personal gain while dragging Turkey deeper into the Syrian civil war."

    Read more:

    Qatar, Turkey, Muslim Brotherhood leading campaign to 'vilify' UAE: Gargash

    Turkey leans on Qatar for $15 billion deal as economy stutters amid coronavirus

    Syrian refugees file law suit against Qatar's Doha Bank for terror funding

    "[Terzi] knew how much of the funding delivered [to Turkey] by Qatar for the purpose of purchasing weapons and ammunition for the opposition was actually used for that and how much of it was actually used by public officials, how much was embezzled," Col. Alakuş was quoted as saying by the Nordic Monitor via his court testimony.

    The Nordic Monitor said in its report published on Friday that Alakuş testified that Aksakallı had run a gang outside of the chain of command within the Turkish intelligence that was involved in illicit activities.

    The report further alleged that Terzi was aware of public officials involved in oil-smuggling operations with ISIS from Syria.

    "[Terzi] was aware of who in the government was involved in an oil-smuggling operation from Syria, how the profits were shared, and what activities they were involved in," Alakuş said in his testimony.

    [Jul 30, 2020] Bolton is a typical crazy neocon who wants to dominate the world

    Jul 30, 2020 | www.amazon.com

    Pseudo D 3.0 out of 5 stars , June 24, 2020

    superhawk

    Ambassador John Bolton hinted that he doesn't like being called a hawk, since foreign policy labels are simplistic.

    But first of all, he labeled libertarian Sen. Rand Paul an isolationist, rather than say, a non- interventionist. And after nearly 500 pages (all but the epilogue), what you will absorb is absolutely the worldview of a geopolitical hawk. He is not technically a neoconservative (like, say, Paul Wolfowitz) because the latter were more focused on nation building and spreading democracy. Bolton sees what he's promoting as defense, but it requires a constant offense.

    Bolton is very bright, as Jim Baker noted decades ago, and very well-read, even endorsing his fellow Baltimorean and my teacher Steve Vicchio's book on Lincoln's faith. But his intelligence is all put into an ideological reading of situations. As Aristotle would put it, the problem is not lack of theoretical wisdom, but the deficiency in practical wisdom and prudential judgment. Certainly there are bad actors in the world, and vigilance is required. But when is aggressive action called for, and when is it better to go with diplomacy? In this book, I find few cases of such restraint. For Bolton, it seems that the goal of peace and security requires the constant threat of war and presence on every continent. All this intervention around the world requires troops, soldiers, real men and women and their lives and those of their families, requiring lots of sacrifice. At times, his theorizing seems distant from these realities on the ground.

    So Bolton is critical of the "axis of adults" in the Trump administration, the "generals", but not Kelly and not much on his predecessor McMaster, much less the eccentric Flynn. So his beef is with Mattis, another fine student of history. Bolton says he went by the rules, as James Baker had said that Bush 41 was "the one who got the votes". He tried to influence Trump within the rules, while Mattis, Tillerson and Haley pursued their own foreign policy. I'm sure that Mattis was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but I would trust his prudential judgment above that of the equally bright Bolton, because of his life experience, being the one on the ground and knowing what war is like.

    When Bolton was considered for secretary state right after the 2016 election, I said, well I don't care for the guy, but at least I've heard of him and we know what we're dealing with. His opponent in GOP foreign policy is the libertarian and non-interventionist Sen. Rand Paul. What does Bolton say about the big players in the Trump administration? Nikki Haley is dismissed as a lightweight who was posing for her political future. Well, that's basically what Trump, "the one that got the votes", put her there for. But it's interesting that Bolton is so anti-Haley, when she was for Rubio and the more hawkish platform.

    Tillerson's successor Mike Pompeo had sort of a love-hate relationship with Bolton.

    Steve Mnuchin is the epitome of the globalist establishment, along with Javanka. Jared Kushner is dismissed as no Kissinger, but when it comes to China, his soft stance is blamed on Kissinger! While Bolton didn't testify in the impeachment, Fiona Hill is mentioned only with respect in this book.

    Everybody's flaw, from Bolton's point of view, is being less belligerent than Bolton. (Even in the Bush administration, the only name I can think of would be Michael Ledeen). He even defends the concept of Middle Eastern "endless wars" on the grounds that we didn't start them and can't dictate when they end. Obama was a dove, but in 2016 the GOP marked a shift, with Trump, Paul, Ben Carson and even Ted Cruz opposing the "invade every country on earth" philosophy that this book promotes. It's true that Trump is not an ideologue and thinks in terms of individual transactions. But the movement I see is a dialectic of alternating between aggression and diplomacy, or as he sees it, friendly relationship among leaders.

    Bolton is a superhawk on North Korea and Iran throughout, while China and Russia are our hostile rivals. Other matters are Syria, Iraq and ISIS, Venezuela, Afghanistan and finally Ukraine, which by the end of the book I had almost forgotten. If Bolton is dovish anywhere, it's on the Saudis, the rivals with Iran in the Sunni-Shiite dispute chronicled recently in the book "Black Wave".

    You can learn a lot from this book, but just keep in mind that it's filtered through the mind of a strong ideologue, so other people's faults are seen through that lens. But he has great knowledge of the details of policy. Bolton would like to be an inter-generational guru like Henry Kissinger or Dean Acheson, but both parties have turned away from the "endless wars" philosophy.

    If you are looking for anti-Trump material, I don't really see the point of investing this time and intellectual effort. The more sensational parts have been reported-the exchanges involving Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, and to a lesser extent Erdogan. As most reviewers have said, it's about 100 pages too long, but Bolton is looking for a scholarly work like Kissinger's Diplomacy or World Order, and this is the one that he hopes people will read.

    C Wm (Andy) Anderson

    Not Only is Bolton's Take on Trump Being Dangerous; Bolton Himself is a Danger to America

    #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER 3.0 out of 5 stars Not Only is Bolton's Take on Trump Being Dangerous; Bolton Himself is a Danger to America Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2020 Verified Purchase Two reviewers did better at explaining why this book is not rated by me as a must-read. Linda Galella and gammyjill. Bolton laid out some truly explosive allegations but let his own ego cloud his message.

    John Bolton, on some fundamental level, is a brilliant, dedicated conservative intent on improving the future of the country he and I love. THAT similarity is probably the only point we share.

    I wanted to love this book, because I knew it would be jam-packed with juicy tidbits that justify me derision of the biggest failure ever to assume the office of POTUS. Instead, quite early on, I realized the reason Trump became President was the enormous ineptitude of those otherwise brilliant people who, in short, simply felt that somebody opposing those the person they despise, on principle, was better for America than the other guy or gal.

    Throughout this book, Bolton reminds us of Trump's inability to focus attention on the information provided by his handlers. Yes, Trump is naive and intellectually lazy. Yes, so, too, are many of those aiding and abetting Mr. Trump. But, yes, Mr. Bolton also suffers from gross naïveté, and, is just plain foolish. His ego led him to join the Trump Administration, as he admits in "The Room Where It Happened."

    Bolton's greatest error, however, was in refusing to tell the country what he chose to sell to the public through this book.

    The writing is, mechanically, quite good. But, Bolton comes across as thinking he is the only person of intelligence. That becomes clear by page two, and never changes, except for his insight that he was wrong about Trump.

    Unfortunately, Bolton also was wrong about Bolton.

    Whoa. Hold on. Just about everyone in both political parties is no better than Bolton. A few exceptions would be Former governor John Kasick and Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Oh, and former Vice President Joe Biden, I believe. Yet, to be honest, I need to see him prove me right. I would hate to make the same mistake regarding Biden as Bolton did regarding Trump.

    Americans need to take a good, hard look at how we are governed and at those whom we support.

    BOTTOM LINE

    Writing quality, passable. But don't expect to gain a great deal of new knowledge.

    Three stars out of five.

    [Jul 28, 2020] Turkey On The Warpath

    Putin decision to save Erdogan from the coup in retrospect looks like a blunder...
    Jul 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,

    Turkey is currently involved in quite a few international military conflicts -- both against its own neighbors such as Greece, Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Cyprus, and against other nations such as Libya and Yemen. These actions by Turkey suggest that Turkey's foreign policy is increasingly destabilizing not only several nations, but the region as well.

    In addition, the Erdogan regime has been militarily targeting Syria and Iraq, sending its Syrian mercenaries to Libya to seize Libyan oil and continuing, as usual, to bully Greece. Turkey's regime is also now provoking ongoing violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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    Erdogan leads first Muslim prayer after Hagia Sophia mosque reconversion

    Istanbul's Hagia Sophia reconversion to a mosque, 'provocation to civilised world', Greece says

    Turkish top court revokes Hagia Sophia's museum status, 'tourists should still be allowed in'

    Erdogan: Interference over Hagia Sophia 'direct attack on our sovereignty'

    Libya's GNA says Egypt's warning on Sirte offensive a 'declaration of war'

    Erdogan says 'agreements' reached with Trump on Libya

    What Turkish Election Results Mean for the Lira

    Erdogan Sparks Democracy Concerns in Push for Istanbul Vote Rerun

    Since July 12, Azerbaijan has launched a series of cross-border attacks against Armenia's northern Tavush region in skirmishes that have resulted in the deaths of at least four Armenian soldiers and 12 Azerbaijani ones. After Azerbaijan threatened to launch missile attacks on Armenia's Metsamor nuclear plant on July 16, Turkey offered military assistance to Azerbaijan.

    "Our armed unmanned aerial vehicles, ammunition and missiles with our experience, technology and capabilities are at Azerbaijan's service," said İsmail Demir, the head of Presidency of Defense Industries, an affiliate of the Turkish Presidency.

    One of Turkey's main targets also seems to be Greece. The Turkish military is targeting Greek territorial waters yet again. The Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported :

    "There have been concerns over a possible Turkish intervention in the East Med in a bid to prevent an agreement on the delineation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Greece and Egypt which is currently being discussed between officials of the two countries."

    Turkey's choice of names for its gas exploration ships are also a giveaway. The name of the main ship that Turkey is using for seismic "surveys" of the Greek continental shelf is Oruç Reis , (1474-1518), an admiral of the Ottoman Empire who often raided the coasts of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean that were still controlled by Christian powers. Other exploration and drilling vessels Turkey uses or is planning to use in Greece's territorial waters are named after Ottoman sultans who targeted Cyprus and Greece in bloody military invasions. These include the drilling ship Fatih "the conqueror" or Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who invaded Constantinople in 1453; the drilling ship Yavuz , "the resolute", or Sultan Selim I, who headed the Ottoman Empire during the invasion of Cyprus in 1571; and Kanuni , "the lawgiver" or Sultan Suleiman, who invaded parts of eastern Europe as well as the Greek island of Rhodes.

    Turkey's move in the Eastern Mediterranean came in early July, shortly after the country had turned Hagia Sophia, once the world's greatest Greek Cathedral, into a mosque. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then linked Hagia Sophia's conversion to a pledge to "liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque" in Jerusalem.

    https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

    On July 21, the tensions arose again following Turkey's announcement that it plans to conduct seismic research in parts of the Greek continental shelf in an area of sea between Cyprus and Crete in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.

    "Turkey's plan is seen in Athens as a dangerous escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, prompting Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to warn that European Union sanctions could follow if Ankara continues to challenge Greek sovereignty," Kathimerini reported on July 21.

    Here is a short list of other countries where Turkey is also militarily involved:

    In Libya , Turkey has been increasingly involved in the country's civil war. Associated Press reported on July 18:

    "Turkey sent between 3,500 and 3,800 paid Syrian fighters to Libya over the first three months of the year, the U.S. Defense Department's inspector general concluded in a new report, its first to detail Turkish deployments that helped change the course of Libya's war.

    "The report comes as the conflict in oil-rich Libya has escalated into a regional proxy war fueled by foreign powers pouring weapons and mercenaries into the country."

    Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when an armed revolt during the "Arab Spring" led to the ouster and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Political power in the country, the current population of which is around 6.5 million, has been split between two rival governments. The UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), has been led by Prime Minister Fayez al Sarraj. Its rival, the Libyan National Army (LNA), has been led by Libyan military officer, Khalifa Haftar.

    Backed by Turkey, the GNA said on July 18 that it would recapture Sirte, a gateway to Libya's main oil terminals, as well as an LNA airbase at Jufra.

    Egypt, which backs the LNA, announced , however, that if the GNA and Turkish forces tried to seize Sirte, it would send troops into Libya. On July 20, the Egyptian parliament gave approval to a possible deployment of troops beyond its borders "to defend Egyptian national security against criminal armed militias and foreign terrorist elements."

    Yemen is another country on which Turkey has apparently set its sights. In a recent video , Turkey-backed Syrian mercenaries fighting on behalf of the GNA in Libya, and aided by local Islamist groups, are seen saying, "We are just getting started. The target is going to be Gaza." They also state that they want to take on Egyptian President Sisi and to go to Yemen.

    "Turkey's growing presence in Yemen," The Arab Weekly reported on May 9, "especially in the restive southern region, is fuelling concern across the region over security in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandeb.

    "These concerns are further heightened by reports indicating that Turkey's agenda in Yemen is being financed and supported by Qatar via some Yemeni political and tribal figures affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood."

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    In Syria , Turkey-backed jihadists continue occupying the northern parts of the country. On July 21, Erdogan announced that Turkey's military presence in Syria would continue. "Nowadays they are holding an election, a so-called election," Erdogan said of a parliamentary election on July 19 in Syria's government-controlled regions, after nearly a decade of civil war. "Until the Syrian people are free, peaceful and safe, we will remain in this country."

    Additionally, Turkey's incursion into the Syrian city of Afrin, created a particularly grim situation for the local Yazidi population:

    "As a result of the Turkish incursion to Afrin," the Yazda organization reported on May 29, "thousands of Yazidis have fled from 22 villages they inhabited prior to the conflict into other parts of Syria, or have migrated to Lebanon, Europe, or the Kurdistan Region of Iraq... "

    "Due to their religious identity, Yazidis in Afrin are suffering from targeted harassment and persecution by Turkish-backed militant groups. Crimes committed against Yazidis include forced conversion to Islam, rape of women and girls, humiliation and torture, arbitrary incarceration, and forced displacement. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2020 annual report confirmed that Yazidis and Christians face persecution and marginalization in Afrin.

    "Additionally, nearly 80 percent of Yazidi religious sites in Syria have been looted, desecrated, or destroyed, and Yazidi cemeteries have been defiled and bulldozed."

    In Iraq , Turkey has been carrying out military operations for years. The last one was started in mid-June. Turkey's Defense Ministry announced on June 17 that the country had "launched a military operation against the PKK" (Kurdistan Workers' Party) in northern Iraq after carrying out a series of airstrikes. Turkey has named its assaults "Operation Claw-Eagle" and "Operation Claw-Tiger".

    The Yazidi, Assyrian Christian and Kurdish civilians have been terrorized by the bombings. At least five civilians have been killed in the air raids, according to media reports . Human Rights Watch has also issued a report , noting that a Turkish airstrike in Iraq "disregards civilian loss."

    Given Turkey's military aggression in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Armenia, among others, and its continued occupation of northern Cyprus, further aggression, especially against Greece, would not be unrealistic. Turkey's desire to invade Greece is not exactly a secret. Since at least 2018, both the Turkish government and opposition parties have openly been calling for capturing the Greek islands in the Aegean, which they falsely claim belong to Turkey.

    If such an attack took place, would the West abandon Greece?


    Gaius Konstantine , 10 hours ago

    If such an attack took place, it will get real messy, real fast. The Turkish military is only partially adept at fighting irregular forces that lack heavy weaponry while Turkey has absolute control of the sky. Even then, the recent performance of Turkish forces has been lacklustre for "the 2nd largest Army in NATO".

    Turkey should understand that a fight with Greece will mean that the advantages she enjoyed in her recent adventures will not be there. Nor should Turkey look to the past and expect an easy victory, the Greek Army will not be marching deep into Anatolia this time, (which was the wrong type of war for Greece).

    So what happens if they actually take it to war?

    The larger Greek islands are well defended, they won't be taken, but defending the smaller ones is hard and Turkey will probably grab some of those. The Greeks, who have absolute control and dominance in the Aegean will do several things. Turkish naval and air bases along the Aegean coastline will be attacked as will the bosphorus bridges, (those bridges WILL go down). The Greek army, which is positioned well, will blitz into eastern Thrace and stop outside Istanbul where they will dig in and shell the city, thereby causing the civilians to flee and clogging up the tunnels to restrict military re-enforcement.

    That's Greece acting alone, a position will be achieved where any captured islands will be traded for eastern Thrace. Should the French intervene, (even if it's just air and naval forces), it gets a lot more interesting.

    The mighty Turkish fleet was just met by the entire Greek navy in the latest stand-off, it was enough to cause Turkey to reconsider her options. There will be no Ottoman empire 2.0

    OliverAnd , 9 hours ago

    The Greeks need their navy for surgically precise attacks against Turkey's navy. Every island, especially the large ones are unsinkable aircraft carriers. No one has mentioned in any article that Turkey's navy is functioning with less than minimum required personnel. No one has mentioned that their air force is flying with Pakistani pilots. The only way Turks will land on Greek uninhabited islands is only if they are ship wrecked and that for a very very short period of time. Turkey's population is composed of 25% Kurds... that will also be very interesting to see once they awaken from their hibernation and realize their great and holy goal of Kurdistan. Egypt will not waste the opportunity to join in to devastate whatever Turkish navy remains. Serbian patriots will not allow the opportunity to go to waste and will attack Kosovo and indirectly Albania composed primarily of Turkish descendants... realize the coverage lately of how the US did wrong for supporting these degenerate Muslim Albanians.

    I have no doubt Greeks will make it to Aghia Sophia but will not pass Bosporus. The result will be a Treaty that is a hybrid of the Treaty of Lausanne and the Treaty of Sevron. If the Albanians decide to support the Turks by attacking Greeks in the North and in Northern Epeirus they should expect annexation of Northern Epeirus to Greece. Erdogan bases his bullying on Trump's incompetences and false friendship. This is why America is non existent in any of these regions. If Trump wins the election it will be a long war and very destabilized for the region. If Trump loses the war will be much much quicker. The outcome will remain the same. The Russians will not allow Turkey to dictate in the area. Israel will not allow Turkey to dictate in the area. Egypt will not allow Turkey to dictate in the area. Not even European Union. UK is the questionable.

    bobcatz , 2 hours ago

    And the US in the Middle East is not????????

    ALL MidEast terrorism, shenanigans, and warmongering are for APARTHEID Israhell.

    Joy Division , 7 hours ago

    The West has Turkey's back otherwise the Turkish currency the Turkish Lira would have collapsed by now under attacks from the City of London Freemasonic Talmudic bankers.

    Remember what happened to the Russian Rouble when Russia annexed Crimea?

    The Fed and the ECB in cahoots with the usual Talmudic interests, are supporting the Turkish Lira and propping up the Erdogan regime.

    There is NO OTHER explanation.

    The Turks have NO foreign currency reserves, no net positive euro nor dollar reserves. Their tourism industry and main hard currency generator has COLLAPSED (hotels are 95 percent empty). The Turkish central bank has resorted to STEALING Turkish citizens' dollar-denominated bank accounts via raising Turkish Banks' foreign currency reserve requirements which the Turkish central bank SPENDS upon receipt to buy TLs and prop up the Turkish Lira.

    This is utter MADNESS and FRAUD and LARCENY.

    London-based currency traders would be all over the Turkish Lira and/or Turkish bonds and stocks by now UNLESS they had been instructed by the Fed and the ECB or the Talmudic bankers that own and control both, to lay off the Turkish Lira.

    Despite the noise on TV or the press,

    BY DEFINITION,

    Erdogan and the Turks are only doing the bidding of the TRIBE hence Erdogan has the blessing and the protection of the people ZH censors the name.

    BUT

    You know how those parasites treat their host and what the inevitable outcome is, right?

    Indeed,

    Erdogan and the Turks are being set up to be thrown under the proverbial bus at the appropriate time.

    The Neo-Ottoman Sultan has inadvertently set up his (ill begotten) country for eventual destruction and partition. The Kurds will get a piece of it. Who knows, maybe even the Armenians will be able to recover some bits of their ancient homeland.

    Greeks in Constantinople? Nothing is impossible thanks to the hubris and chutzpah of Erdogan who is purported to have "Amish" blood himself.

    Know thyself , 5 hours ago

    Good for the UK that they have left the EU.

    Apart from the Greeks, who would be fighting for their lives and homeland, the only EU forces capable of acting are the French. German does not have an operative army or navy; Italy, Spain and Portugal have neglected their armed forces for many years, and the Baltic and Eastern Nations are unlikely to want to get involved. The Netherlands have very good forces but not many of them.

    MPJones , 7 hours ago

    We can live in hope. Erdogan certainly seems to need external enemies to hold the country together. Let us also hope that Erdogan's adventurism finally wakes up Europe to the reality of the ongoing Muslim invasion so that the necessary Muslim repatriation can get going without the bloodshed which Islam's current strategy in Europe will otherwise inevitably lead to.

    Know thyself , 5 hours ago

    The Turkish army is a conscript army. They will need to be whipped up with religious fervour to perform. Otherwise they will look after their own skins.

    But remember that the Turks put up a good defence in the Dardanelles in the First World War.

    HorseBuggy , 9 hours ago

    What do you expect? He killed Russian fighter pilots and he survived, this empowers terrorists like him. Those pilots were the only ones at that time fighting ISIS. May they RIP.

    Max.Power , 9 hours ago

    Turkey is in a "proud" group of failed empires surrounded by nations they severely abused less than 100 years ago.

    Other two are Germany and Japan. Any military aggression from their side will be met with rage by a coalition of nations.

    US position will be irrelevant at this point, because local historical grievances will overweight anything else.

    monty42 , 10 hours ago

    "Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when an armed revolt during the "Arab Spring" led to the ouster and murder of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Political power in the country..."

    Kinda gave yourself away there. The coordinated assault on Libya by the US, Britain, France, and their Al-CiA-da allies on the ground resulted in the torture, sodomizing, and murder of Gaddafi, as well as his son and grandchildren killed in bombings by the US.

    Also, let's not forget that Turkey is still in NATO, and their actions in Syria were alongside the US regime and terrorist proxies labeled "moderate rebels". The same terrorists originally used in Libya, then shipped to destroy Syria, now flown back to Libya. The attempt to paint all of those things as Turkey's actions alone is not honest.

    When Turkey isn't in NATO anymore, let me know.

    TheZeitgeist , 10 hours ago

    Don't forget that Hiftar guy Turks are fighting in Libya was a CIA toadie living in Virginia for a decade before they gave him his "chance" to among other things become a client of the Russians apparently. Flustercluck of the 1st order everywhere one looks.

    monty42 , 10 hours ago

    Then they put on this whole production where it's the CIA guy or the terrorist puppet regime they installed, so that the rulers win regardless of the outcome. The victims are those caught up in their sick game.

    GalustGulbenkyan , 9 hours ago

    Turkish population has been recently getting ****** due to the economic contractions and devaluation of the Lira. Once Turkey starts fighting against a real army the Turks will realize that they are going to be ****** by larger dildos. In 1990's they sent thousands of volunteers to Nagorno Karabagh to fight against irregular Armenian forces and we know how that ended for them. Greeks and Egyptians are not the Kurds. Erdogan is a lot of hot air and empty threats. You can't win wars with Modern drones which even Armenians have learned how to jam and shoot down with old 1970's soviet tech.

    Guentzburgh , 5 hours ago

    Greece should be aligned with Russia, EU and USA are a bad choice that Greece will regret.

    Greece needs to pivot towards Russia which will open huge opportunities for both countries

    KoalaWalla , 6 hours ago

    Greeks are bitter and prideful - they would not only defend themselves if attacked but would counter attack to reclaim land they've lost. But, I don't know that Erdogan is clever enough to realize this.

    60s Man , 9 hours ago

    Turkey is America's Mini Me.

    currency , 3 hours ago

    Erdogan is in Trouble at home declining economy and his radical conservative/Thug type policies. Turks are moving away from him except the hard core radicals and conservatives. He and his family are Corrupt - they rule with threats and use of THUGS. Sense his constant wars may be over stretched Time for a Turkish Spring.

    Time for US, Nato and etc. to say goodbye to this THUG

    OrazioGentile , 7 hours ago

    Turkey seems to be on a warpath to imploding from within. Erdogan looks like a desperate despot with a failing economy, failing political clout, and failing modernization of his Country. Like any despot, he has to rally the troops or he will literally be a dead man walking.

    HorseBuggy , 9 hours ago

    The world fears loud obnoxious tyrants and Erdogan is the loudest tyrant since Hitler. Remember how countries pandered to Hitler early on? Same thing is happening with Erdogan.

    This terrorist will do a lot more damage than he has already before the world wakes up.

    By the time Hitler was done, 70 million people were dead, what will Erdogan cause?

    OliverAnd , 9 hours ago

    Turkey is not Germany. Not by far. Erdogan may be a bigger lunatic than Hitler, but Turkey is not Germany of the 30's. Without military equipment/parts from Germany, Italy, Spain, France, USA, and UK he cannot even build a nail. Economies are very integrated; he will be disposed of very very quickly. He has been warned. He is running out of lives.

    NewNeo , 9 hours ago

    You should research a lot more. Turkey is a lot more power thank Nazi Germany of the 1930's. Turkey currently have brand new US made equipment. It even houses the nuclear arsenal of NATO.

    You should probably look at information from stratfor and George Friedman to give you a better understanding.

    The failed coupe a few years ago was because the lunatic had gone off the reservation and was seen as a threat to the region. Obviously the bankers thought it in their benefit to keep him going and tipped him off.

    OliverAnd , 8 hours ago

    Clearly the lockdown has hindered your already illiteracy. Turkey has modern US equipment. Germany did not need US equipment. They made their own equipment; in fact both the US and USSR used Grrman old tech to develop future tech.

    The coup was designed by Erdogan to bring himself to full power. When this is all done he will be responsible for millions of Turkish lives; after all he is not a Turk but a Muslim Pontian.

    [Jul 20, 2020] The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media.

    Jul 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    A former British officer and gentleman, no less!

    PATIENT OBSERVER July 19, 2020 at 11:29 am

    http://syriapropagandamedia.org/james-le-mesurier-a-reconstruction-of-his-business-activities-and-covert-role

    The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media. There is little doubt in my mind that these murders were viewed as standard business practice with the only concern being related to complication from being caught. Of course, being "caught" was a minor inconvenience that the MSM could easily manage into oblivion.

    Mr. Le Mesurier may have been killed as the White Helmets no longer had value and dead men rarely talk:

    https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/12/10/british-spy-le-mesurier-was-likely-running-away-from-someone-before-his-death

    His wife was not very helpful in the investigation having changed her story several times.

    Winberg said she looked for her husband inside the house and saw his lifeless body when she looked out of the window. Police are investigating now how she was able to wake up about half an hour after she took a sleeping pill and why she stacked a large amount of money inside the house into bags immediately after Le Mesurier's body was found.
    Among questions that are needed to be addressed in the case is why Le Mesurier, who intended to sleep, did not change his clothes, did not even loosen his belt or remove his watch. It is also not known why he did not choose a definitive suicidal action to kill himself, instead of jumping from a relatively low height and why he chose to walk along the roof, passing around the air conditioning devices on the roof, instead of jumping to the street directly from the section of the roof closer to his window.

    Mr. Le Mesurier was previously active in Kosovo.

    [Jul 17, 2020] There is no honor among propagandists: White Helmets co-founder stole aid money destined for Syria

    Jul 17, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    MOSCOWEXILE July 17, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Well waddya know!

    White Helmets co-founder stole aid money destined for Syria – report

    A former British officer and gentleman, no less!

    https://www.rt.com/news/495092-white-helmets-founder-fraud/

    MARK CHAPMAN July 17, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Honour among thieves – he says he didn't mean to steal, it was a mistake, and they conduct an investigation on the down-low so the press doesn't get wind of it, or is warned that it should not. The same cooperative that solemnly preaches western morality, and screeches 'Russia!!!' as soon as anything happens before it can be attributed to someone else. I think I understand Russia a little better every time something like this happens – it's a honour to be hated by such a crooked and wretched entity, and approbation by the same would be an implication that one has as little a sense of values.

    [Jul 15, 2020] Erdogan never ceases to amaze. He's the weakest standing strongmen who can barely cling on to power domestically yet he still makes big dawg moves in Syria and Egypt.

    Jul 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Gorgeous George , says: July 15, 2020 at 6:37 am GMT

    Erdogan never ceases to amaze. He's the weakest standing strongmen, the midget giant on glass legs. He can barely cling on to power domestically yet he still makes big dawg moves in Syria and Egypt. He needed this Hagia Sophia conversion like he needed a bullet to his head.

    On one level I'm sure that he's aware of all this, which just means that his ego is of galactic proportions.
    Also I don't see him allowing a peaceful power transfer to happen, he knows that anyone that defeats him in election will do so not only on the merits he might have as a candidate, but also because of anti-Erdo sentiments that grow. So someone will run on "lock him up" platform and win, maybe not this year but soon, and when that happens there will be blood.

    [Jul 11, 2020] Pounding to nothing - Patrick Porter - The Critic Magazine

    Jul 11, 2020 | thecritic.co.uk

    Pounding to nothing

    Patrick Porter reviews The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, by John Bolton ARTILLERY ROW BOOKS 4 July, 2020

    By

    Share

    P resident Donald Trump's third National Security Advisor opens his memoir with this quote from the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo: 'Hard Pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest.' And pound for pound, that's the (nearly) 500 page memoir in a nutshell. Unremitting pounding is both the theme and the style. As John Bolton urged the White House to take a 'harder line" on Iran and North Korea, Trump's chief of staff "urged me to keep pounding away in public, which I assured him I would.' China 'pounded away during my tenure, sensing weakness at the top.' As with Bolton's mission, so too with America's statecraft, that must 'keep moving and keep firing, like a big grey battleship.'

    From his infamous unsubtle moustache to his bellicosity, Bolton traffics on a self-image of straight shooter who sprints towards gunfire. He does not set out to offer a meditation on a complex inner life. This image is also slightly misleading. For all the barrage, Bolton turns out to be a more conflicted figure, especially when his supporting fire is most called upon.

    The Room Where it Happened is Bolton's account of his part in the power struggles within Trump's almost medieval court, his attempt to steer the executive branch towards the right course, unmasked supremacy everywhere, and his failure and disillusion with Trump's chaotic, self-serving and showbiz-driven presidency.

    The room where it happened: A White House memoir, by John Bolton

    The memoir itself is a non-trivial political event. Other reviewers have assailed it for being turgid. Bolton, though, has at least done the state some service by habitually recording and recounting every meeting. This is an important record of an important eighteen months packed with the escalating brinksmanship with Iran, an impeachment inquest, the return of great power competition and a fierce struggle to control the policy levers in Washington itself. For that detail, especially when contrasted with the exhausting melodrama of the era, Bolton deserves a little credit. The Trump administration's determined effort to suppress it on the grounds of classified information suggests there is substance to Bolton's allegations of corruption and turmoil at the heart of government.

    It is also, though, a work of self-vindication. Bolton's life is an adversarial one. A former attorney, he became a policy advocate and a Republican Party institution, consistently taking the hardest of lines. He was ever drawn to aggressive combatants – like Hillary Clinton, in his formative years he supported Barry Goldwater. He interned for Vice-President Spiro Agnew, the "number one hawk." As a measure of Bolton's faith that war works and that co-existence with "rogue states" is impossible, he advocated attacking a heavily (and nuclear)-armed North Korea in 2018, an adversary that lies in artillery range of Seoul and thousands of Americans as effective hostages, and offered up a best-case scenario in doing so.

    Bolton brought to government a world view that was dug-in and entrenched. For Bolton, the world is hostile, and to survive America must be strong (wielding and brandishing overwhelming force) at all times. Enemy regimes cannot be bargained with or even co-existed with on anything less than maximalist terms dictated by Washington. The US never gives an inch, and must demand everything. And if those regimes do not capitulate, America must topple or destroy them: Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen and North Korea, and must combat them on multiple fronts at once. In doing so, America itself must remain unfettered with an absolutely free hand, not nodding even hypocritically to law or custom or bargaining.

    If Bolton's thoughts add up to anything, it is a general hostility, if not to talking, certainly to diplomacy – the art of giving coherence and shape to different instruments and activities, above all through compromise and a recognition of limits. The final straw for Bolton was Trump's cancelling an airstrike on Iran after it shot down a drone. An odd hill to die on, given the graver acts of corruption he as witness alleges, but fitting that the failure to pull the trigger for him was Trump's most shocking misdemeanour.

    What is intended to be personal strength and clarity comes over as unreflective bluster

    This worldview is as personal as it is geopolitical. Importantly for Bolton, in the end he fights alone, bravely against the herd. He fights against other courtiers, even fellow hawks, who Bolton treats with dismissive contempt – Nikki Haley, Steve Mnuchin, Mike Pompeo, or James Mattis who like Bolton, champions strategic commitments and views Iran as a dangerous enemy, but is more selective about when to reach for the gun. The press is little more than an "hysterical" crowd. Allies like South Korea, who must live as neighbours with one of the regimes Bolton earmarks for execution, and who try conciliatory diplomacy occasionally, earn slight regard. Critics, opponents or those who disagree are 'lazy,' 'howling' or 'feckless.'

    For a lengthy work that distils a lifetime's experience, it is remarkably thin regarding the big questions of security, power and order. The hostile world for him contains few real limits other than failures of will. He embraces every rivalry and every commitment, but explanations are few and banal. 'While foreign policy labels are unhelpful except to the intellectually lazy,' he says, 'if pressed, I like to say my policy was "pro-American".' Who is lazy, here?

    The purpose of foreign policy, too, is largely absent. Armed supremacy abroad, and power-maximisation, seems to be the end in itself, regardless of what is has wrought at home. This makes his disdain for Trump's authoritarian ways especially obtuse: what does he think made possible an imperial presidency in the first place?

    There's little room for principled or reasonable disagreement. What is intended to be personal strength and clarity comes over as unreflective bluster, in a town where horse-trading and agility matter. Unintentionally, it is a warning to anyone who seeks to be effective as well as right, and to those of us who debate these questions.

    The most provocative part of the book comes at the end, and points to a man more conflicted than his self-image of the straight shooter. Bolton issues an extended, uneasy defence of his decision not to appear as a witness before the House impeachment inquiry against a president he believed to be corrupt. Having celebrated the need to "pound away" with inexhaustible energy, it turned out his ammunition was low. 'I was content to bide my time. I believed throughout, as the line in Hamilton goes, that "I am not throwing away my shot".' Drawing on a characteristic claim to certainty, 'it would have made no significant difference in the Senate outcome.' How can he know this? And even if the odds were long, was there not – for once – a compelling basis in civic virtue to be that relentless grey battleship, pounding away? He now hopes "history" will remember Trump as a one-term president. History needs willing agents.

    Other reviews have honed in on Bolton's decision to delay his revelations for a book pay-day. But consider another theme – the war-hawk who is in fact torn and agonised around combat when it comes to himself. It echoes his retrospective rationale for not fighting in Vietnam, a war he supported, and (as he has recorded) the detailed efforts he made to avoid service in that tragic theatre after being drafted. It was, he decided, bound to fail given that the anti-war Democrats would undermine the cause, a justification he later sheepishly regretted.

    So twice the advocate of forceful confrontation refused the call to show up, generously awarding to himself a rationale for non-intervention that relieves him of commitment. He refuses to extend that same exonerating, prudential logic to his country, when it debates whether to wade in to conflict abroad. Neither does he extend it to other Americans who think the nation, like Bolton, might be better off sometimes holding its fire, biding its time, dividing its enemies, and keeping its powder dry.

    Given that Bolton failed in the end to attend the "room where it happened", his title is unwittingly ironic. In his favour, Bolton's testy defence of his absence at least suggests something. In contrast with the front cover of another forthcoming, Trump-era memoir , he retains a modest capacity for embarrassment.

    [Jul 06, 2020] US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous - The Grayzone

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer. ..."
    "... That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped. ..."
    "... They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable. ..."
    "... And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. ..."
    "... the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do. ..."
    "... What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real. ..."
    "... just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. ..."
    "... And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate. ..."
    "... This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller. ..."
    Jul 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

    US claim of 'Russian Bounty' plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous

    Max Blumenthal breaks down the "Russian bounty" story's flaws and how it aims to prolong the war in Afghanistan -- and uses Russiagate tactics to continue pushing the Democratic Party to the right

    Multiple US media outlets, citing anonymous intelligence officials, are claiming that Russia offered bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, and that President Trump has taken no action.

    Others are contesting that claim. "Officials said there was disagreement among intelligence officials about the strength of the evidence about the suspected Russian plot," the New York Times reports. "Notably, the National Security Agency, which specializes in hacking and electronic surveillance, has been more skeptical."

    "The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War," Blumenthal says.

    Guest: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone and author of several books, including his latest "The Management of Savagery."

    TRANSCRIPT

    AARON MATÉ: Welcome to Pushback, I'm Aaron Maté. There is a new supposed Trump-Russia bombshell. The New York Times and other outlets reporting that Russia has been paying bounties to Afghan militants to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump and the White House were allegedly briefed on this information but have taken no action.

    Now, the story has obvious holes, like many other Russiagate bombshells. It is sourced to anonymous intelligence officials. The New York Times says that the claim comes from Afghan detainees. And it also has some logical holes. The Taliban have been fighting the US and Afghanistan for nearly two decades and never needed Russian payments before to kill the Americans that they were fighting; [this] amongst other questions are raised about this story. But that has not stopped the usual chorus from whipping up a frenzy.

    RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Vladimir Putin is offering bounties for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not only offering, offering money [to] the people who kill Americans, but some of the bounties that Putin has offered have been collected, meaning the Russians at least believe that their offering cash to kill Americans has actually worked to get some Americans killed.

    FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Donald Trump has continued his embarrassing campaign of deference and debasing himself before Vladimir Putin. He had has [sic] this information according to The Times, and yet he offered to host Putin in the United States and sought to invite Russia to rejoin the G7. He's in his entire presidency has been a gift to Putin, but this is beyond the pale.

    CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

    SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER: I was not briefed on the Russian military intelligence, but it shows that we need in this coming defense bill, which we're debating this week, tough sanctions against Russia, which thus far Mitch McConnell has resisted.

    Joining me now is Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery . Max, welcome to Pushback. What is your reaction to this story?

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, it just feels like so many other episodes that we've witnessed over the past three or four years, where American intelligence officials basically plant a story in one outlet, The New York Times , which functions as the media wing of the Central Intelligence Agency. Then no reporting takes place whatsoever, but six reporters, or three to six reporters are assigned to the piece to make it look like it was some last-minute scramble to confirm this bombshell story. And then the story is confirmed again by The Washington Post because their reporters, their three to six reporters in, you know, capitals around the world with different beats spoke to the same intelligence officials, or they were furnished different officials who fed them the same story. And, of course, the story advances a narrative that the United States is under siege by Russia and that we have to escalate against Russia just ahead of another peace summit or some kind of international dialogue.

    This has sort of been the general framework for these Russiagate bombshells, and of course they can there's always an anti-Trump angle. And because, you know, liberal pundits and the, you know, Democratic Party operatives see this as a means to undermine Trump as the election heats up. They don't care if it's true or not. They don't care what the consequences are. They're just gonna completely roll with it. And it's really changed, I think, not just US foreign policy, but it's changed the Democratic Party in an almost irreversible way, to have these constant "quote-unquote" bombshells that are really generated by the Central Intelligence Agency and by other US intelligence operations in order to turn up the heat to crank up the Cold War, to use these different media organs which no longer believe in reporting, which see Operation Mockingbird as a kind of blueprint for how to do journalism, to turn them into keys on the CIA's Mighty Wurlitzer. That's what happened here.

    AARON MATÉ: What do you make of the logic of this story? This idea that the Taliban would need Russian money to kill Americans when the Taliban's been fighting the US for nearly two decades now. And the sourcing for the story, the same old playbook: anonymous intelligence officials who are citing vague claims about apparently what was said by Afghan detainees.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: This story has, as I said, it relies on zero reporting. The only source is anonymous American intelligence officials. And I tweeted out a clip of a former CIA operations officer who managed the CIA's operation in Angola, when the US was actually fighting on the side of apartheid South Africa against a Marxist government that was backed up by Cuban troops. His name was John Stockwell. And Stockwell talked about how one-third of his covert operations staff were propagandists, and that they would feed imaginary stories about Cuban barbarism that were completely false to reporters who were either CIA assets directly or who were just unwitting dupes who would hang on a line waiting for American intelligence officials to feed them stories. And one out of every five stories was completely false, as Stockwell said. We could play some of that clip now; it's pretty remarkable to watch it in light of this latest fake bombshell.

    JOHN STOCKWELL: Another thing is to disseminate propaganda to influence people's minds, and this is a major function of the CIA. And unfortunately, of course, it overlaps into the gathering of information. You, you have contact with a journalist, you will give him true stories, you'll get information from him, you'll also give him false stories.

    OFF-CAMERA REPORTER: Can you do this with responsible reporters?

    JOHN STOCKWELL: Yes, the Church Committee brought it out in 1975. And then Woodward and Bernstein put an article in Rolling Stone a couple of years later. Four hundred journalists cooperating with the CIA, including some of the biggest names in the business.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: So, basically, I mean, you get the flavor of what someone who was in the CIA at the height of the Cold War I mean, he did the same thing in Vietnam. And the playbook is absolutely the same today. These this story was dumped on Friday in The New York Times by "quote-unquote" American intelligence officials, as a breakthrough had been made in Afghan peace talks and a conference was finally set for Doha, Qatar, that would involve the Taliban, which had been seizing massive amounts of territory.

    Now, it's my understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Taliban had been fighting one of the most epic examples of an occupying army in modern history, just absolutely chewing away at one of the most powerful militaries in human history in their country for the last 19 years, without bounties from Vladimir Putin or private-hotdog-salesman-and-Saint-Petersburg-troll-farm-owner Yevgeny Prigozhin , who always comes up in these stories. It's always the hotdog guy who's doing everything bad from, like, you know, fake Facebook ads to poisoning Sergei Skripal or whatever.

    But I just don't see where the Taliban needs encouragement from Putin to do that. It's their country. They want the US out and they have succeeded in seizing large amounts of territory. Donald Trump has come into office with a pledge to remove US troops from Afghanistan and ink this deal. And along comes this story as the peace process begins to advance.

    And what is the end-result? We haven't gotten into the domestic politics yet, but the end-result is you have supposedly progressive senators like Chris Murphy of Connecticut attacking Trump for not fighting Russia in Afghanistan. I mean, they want a straight-up proxy war for not escalating. You have Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, someone who's aligned with the Democratic Party, who supported the war in Iraq and, you know, supports just endless war, demanding that the US turn up the heat not just in Afghanistan but in Syria. So, you know, the escalatory rhetoric is at a fever pitch right now, and it's obviously going to impact that peace conference.

    Let's remember that three days before Trump's summit with Putin was when Mueller chose to release the indictment of the GRU agents for supposedly hacking the DNC servers. Let's remember that a day before the UN the United Nations Geneva peace talks opened on Syria in 2014 was when US intelligence chose to feed these shady Caesar photos, supposedly showing industrial slaughter of Syrian prisoners, to The New York Times in an investigation that had been funded by Qatar. Like, so many shady intelligence dumps have taken place ahead of peace summits to disrupt them, because the US doesn't feel like it has enough skin in the game or it just simply doesn't want peace in these areas.

    So, that's what happened here. That's really, I think, the essential backdrop for the timing of this story. It really reveals how completely decayed mainstream media is as an institution, that none of these reporters protested the story, didn't see fit to do any independent investigation into it. At best they would print a Russian denial which counts for nothing in the US, or a Taliban denial which counts for nothing in the US. And then and this gets into the domestic political angle because so much of Russiagate, while it's been crafted by former or current intelligence officials, depends on the Democratic Party and it punditocracy, MSNBC and mainstream media as a projection megaphone, as its Mighty Wurlitzer.

    That took place in this case because, according to this story, Donald Trump had been briefed on Putin paying bounties to the Taliban and he chose to do nothing. Which, of course Trump denies, but that counts for nothing as well. But, again, there's been no independent confirmation of any of this. And now we get into the domestic part, which is that this new Republican anti-Trump operation, The Lincoln Project, had a flashy ad ready to go almost minutes after the story dropped.

    THE LINCOLN PROJECT AD: Now we know Vladimir Putin pays a bounty for the murder of American soldiers. Donald Trump knows, too, and does nothing. Putin pays the Taliban cash to slaughter our men and women in uniform and Trump is silent, weak, controlled. Instead of condemnation he insists Russia be treated as our equal.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, maybe they're just really good editors and brilliant politicians who work overtime. They're just, like, on meth at Steve Schmidt's political Batcave, just churning this material out. But I feel like they had an inkling, like this story was coming. It just the coordination and timing was impeccable.

    And The Lincoln Project is something that James Carville, the veteran Democratic consultant, has said is doing more than any Democrat or any Democratic consultant to elect Joe Biden. They're always out there doing the hard work. Who are they? Well, Steve Schmidt is a former campaign manager for John McCain 2008. And you look at the various personnel affiliated with it, they're all McCain former McCain aides or people who worked on the Jeb and George W. Bush campaigns, going back to Texas and Florida. This is sort of the corporate wing of the Republican Party, the white-glove-country-club-patrician Republicans who are very pro-war, who hate Donald Trump.

    And by doing this, by them really taking the lead on this attack, as you pointed out, Aaron, number one, they are sucking the oxygen out of the more progressive anti-Trump initiatives that are taking place, including in the streets of American cities. They're taking the wind out of anti-Trump more progressive anti-Trump critiques. For example, I think it's actually more powerful to attack Trump over the fact that he used, basically, chemical weapons on American peaceful protesters to do a fascistic photo-op. I don't know why there wasn't some call for congressional investigations on that. And they are getting skin in the game on the Biden campaign. It really feels to me like this Lincoln campaign operation, this moderate Republican operation which is also sort of a venue for neocons, will have more influence after events like this than the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has an enormous amount of delegates.

    So, that's what I think the domestic repercussion is. It's just this constant it's the constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base that's moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War that only serves, you know, people who are associated with the national security state who need to justify their paycheck and the budget of the institutions that employ them.

    AARON MATÉ: Let's assume for a second that the allegation is true, although, you know, you've laid out some of the reasons why it's not. Can you talk about the history here, starting with Afghanistan, something you cover a lot in your book, The Management of Savagery, where the US aim was to kill Russians, going right on through to Syria, where just recently the US envoy for the coalition against ISIS, James Jeffery, who handles Syria, said that his job now is to basically put the Russians in a quagmire in Syria.

    JAMES JEFFREY: This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, I mean, it feels like a giant act of psychological and political projection to accuse Russia of using an Islamist militia in Afghanistan as a proxy against the US to bleed the US into leaving, because that's been the US playbook in Central Asia and the Middle East since at least 1979. I just tweeted a photo of Dan Rather in Afghanistan, just crossing the Pakistani border and going to meet with some of the Mujahideen in 1980. Dan Rather was panned in The New York in The Washington Post by Tom Toles [Tom Shales], who was the media critic at the time, as "Gunga Dan," because he was so gung-ho for the Afghan mujahideen. In his reports he would complain about how weak their weaponry was, you know, how they needed more how they needed more funding. I mean, you could call it bounties, but it was really just CIA funding.

    DAN RATHER: These are the best weapons you have, huh? They only have about twenty rounds for this?

    TRANSLATOR: That's all. They have twenty rounds. Yes, and they know that these are all old weapons and they really aren't up to doing anything to the Russian weaponry that's around. But that's all they have, and this is why they want help. And he is saying that America seems to be asleep. It doesn't seem to realize that if Afghanistan goes and the Russians go over to the Gulf, that in a very short time it's going to be the turn of the United States as well.

    DAN RATHER: But I'm sure he knows that in Vietnam we got our fingers burned. Indeed, we got our whole hands burned when we tried to help in this kind of situation.

    TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: Your hands were burned in Vietnam, but if you don't agree to help us, if you don't ally yourself with us, then all of you, your whole body will be burnt eventually, because there is no one in the world who can really fight and resist as well as the as much and as well as the Afghans are.

    DAN RATHER: But no American mother wants to send her son to Afghanistan.

    TRANSLATOR [translating to the Afghan man and then his reply]: We don't need anybody's soldiers here to help us, but we are being constantly accused that the Americans are helping us with weapons. What we need, actually, are the American weapons. We don't need or want American soldiers. We can do the fighting ourselves.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: And a year or several months before, the Carter Administration, at the urging of national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski, had enacted what would become Operation Cyclone under Reagan, an arm-and-equip program to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Saudis put up a matching fund which helped bring the so-called Services Bureau into the field where Osama bin Laden became a recruiter for international jihadists to join the battlefield. And, you know, the goal was, in the words of Brzezinski, as he later admitted to a French publication, was to force the Red Army, the Soviet Red Army, to intervene to protect the pro-Soviet government in Kabul, which they proceeded to do.

    And then with the introduction of the Stinger missile, the Afghan mujahideen, hailed as freedom fighters in Washington, were able to destroy Russian supply lines, exact a heavy toll, and forced the Red Army to leave in retreat. They helped create what's considered the Soviet Union's Vietnam.

    So that was really but the blueprint for what Russian for what Russia is being accused of now, and that same model was transferred over to Syria. It was also actually proposed for Iraq in the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998. Then Senate Foreign Relations chair Jesse Helms actually said that the Afghan mujahideen should be our model for supporting the Iraqi resistance. So, this kind of proxy war was always on the table. Then the US did it in Syria, when one out of every $13 in the CIA budget went to arm the so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria, who we later found out were 31 flavors of jihadi, who were aligned with al-Qaeda's local affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and helped give rise to ISIS. Michael Morell, I tweeted some video of him on Charlie Rose back in, I think, 2016. He's the former acting director for the CIA, longtime deputy director. He said, you know, the reason that we're in Syria, what we should be doing is causing Iran and Russia, the two allies of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, to pay a heavy price.

    MICHAEL MORELL: We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price. The other thing

    CHARLIE ROSE: We make them pay the price by killing killing Russians?

    MICHAEL MORELL: Yes.

    CHARLIE ROSE: And killing Iranians.

    MICHAEL MORELL: Yes, covertly. You don't tell the world about it, right? You don't stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this, right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: What he means is by basically paying bounties, which the US was literally doing along with its Gulf allies, to exact the toll on the allies of Assad, Russia. So, let's just say it's true, according to your question, let's just say this is all true. It would be a retaliation for what the United States has done to Russia in areas where it was actually legally invited in by the governments in charge, either in Kabul or Damascus. And that's, I think, the kind of ironic subtext that can hardly be understated when you see someone like Dan Rather wag his finger at Putin for paying the Taliban as proxies. But, I mean, it's such a ridiculous story that it's just hard to even fathom that it's real.

    AARON MATÉ: Let me read Dan Rather's tweet, because it's so it speaks to just how pervasive Russiagate culture is now. People have learned absolutely nothing from it.

    Rather says, "Reporters are trained to look for patterns that are suspicious, and time and again one stands out with Donald Trump. Why is he so slavishly devoted to Putin? There is a spectrum of possible answers ranging from craven to treasonous. One day I hope and suspect we will find out."

    It's like he forgot, perhaps, that Robert Mueller and his team spent three years investigating this very issue and came up with absolutely nothing. But the narrative has taken hold, and it's, as you talked about before, it's been the narrative we've been presented as the vehicle for understanding and opposing Donald Trump, so it cannot be questioned. And now it's like it's a matter of, what else is there to find out about Trump and Russia after Robert Mueller and the US intelligence agencies looked for everything they could and found nothing? They're still presented as if it's some kind of mystery that has to be unraveled.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: And it was after, like, a week of just kind of neocon resistance mind-explosion, where first John Bolton was hailed as this hero and truthteller about Trump. Then Dick Cheney was welcomed into the resistance, you know, because he said, "Wear a mask." I mean, you know, his mask was strangely not spattered with the blood of Iraqi children. But, you know, it was just amazing like that. Of course, it was the Lincoln project who hijacked the minds of the resistance, but basically people who used to work on Cheney's campaign said, "Dick Cheney, welcome to the resistance." I mean, that was remarkable. And then you have this and it, you know, today as you pointed out, Chuck Todd, "Chuck Toddler", welcomes on Meet the Press John Bolton as this wise voice to comment on Donald Trump's slavish devotion to Vladimir Putin and how we need to escalate.

    CHUCK TODD, NBC: Let me ask you this. Do you think that part of the that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn't want to make him mad for 2020?

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: I mean, just a few years ago, maybe it was two years ago, before Bolton was brought into the Trump NSC, he was considered just an absolute marginal crank who was a contributor to Fox News. He'd been forgotten. He was widely hated by Democrats. Now here he is as a sage voice to tell us how dangerous this moment is. And, you know, he's not being even brought on just to promote his book; he's being brought on as just a sober-minded foreign policy expert on Meet the Press . That's where we're at right now.

    AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and when his critique of Trump is basically that Trump was not hawkish enough. Bolton's most the biggest critique Bolton has of Trump is, as he writes about in his book, is when Trump declined to bomb Iran after Iran shot down a drone over its territory. And Bolton said that to him was the most irrational thing he's ever seen a president do.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, Bolton was mad that Trump confused body bags with missiles, because he said Trump thought that there would be 150 dead Iranians, and I said, "No, Donald, you're confused. It will be 150 missiles that we're firing into Iran." Like that's better! Like, "Oh, okay, that makes everything all right," that we fire a hundred missiles for one drone and maybe that wouldn't that kill possibly more than 150 people?

    Well, in Bolton's world this was just another stupid move by Trump. If Bolton were, I mean, just, just watch all the interviews with Bolton. Watch him on The View where the only pushback he received was from Meghan McCain complaining that he ripped off a Hamilton song for his book The Room Where It Happened , and she asked, "Don't you have any apology to offer to Hamilton fans?" That was the pushback that Bolton received. Just watch all of these interviews with Bolton and try to find the pushback. It's not there. This is what Russiagate has done. It's taken one of the most Strangelovian, psychotic, dangerous, bloodthirsty, sadistic monsters in US foreign policy circles and turned him into a sober-minded, even heroic, truthteller.

    AARON MATÉ: And inevitably the only long-term consequence that I can see here is ultimately helping Trump, because, if history is a pattern, these Russiagate supposed bombshells always either go nowhere or they get debunked. So, if this one gets forcefully debunked, because I think it's quite possible, because Trump has said that he was never briefed on this and they'll have to prove that he's lying, you know. It should be easy to do. Someone could come out and say that. If they can't prove that he's lying, then this one, I think, will blow up in their face. And all they will have done is, at a time when Trump is vulnerable over the pandemic with over a hundred thousand people dead on his watch, all these people did was ultimately try to bring the focus back to the same thing that failed for basically the entirety of Trump's presidency, which is Russiagate and Trump's supposed―and non-existent in reality―subservience to Vladimir Putin.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: But have you ever really confronted one of your liberal friends who maybe doesn't follow these stories as closely as you do? You know, well-intentioned liberal friend who just has this sense that Russia controls Trump, and asked them to really defend that and provide the receipts and really explain where the Trump administration has just handed the store to Russia? Because what we've seen is unprecedented since the height of the Cold War, an unprecedented deterioration of US-Russia relations with new sanctions on Russia every few months. You ask them to do that. They can't do it. It's just a sense they get, it's a feeling they get. And that's because these bombshells drop, they get reported on the front pages under banners of papers that declare that "democracy dies in darkness," whose brand is something that everybody trusts, The New York Times , The Washington Post , Woodward and Bernstein, and everybody repeats the story again and again and again. And then, if and when it gets debunked, discredited or just sort of disappears, a few days later everybody forgets about it. And those people who are not just, like, 24/7 media consumers but critical-minded media consumers, they're left with that sense that Russia actually controls us and that we must do something to escalate with Russia. So, that's the point of these: by the time the disinformation is discredited, the damage has already been done. And that same tactic was employed against Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to the point where so many people were left with the sense that he must be an antisemite, although not one allegation was ever proven.

    AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and now to the point where, in the Labour Party―we should touch on this for a second―where you had a Labour Party member retweet an article recently that mentioned some criticism of Israel and for that she was expelled from her position in the shadow cabinet.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: Yeah, well, you know, as a Jew I was really threatened by that retweet [laughter]. I don't know about you.

    I mean, this is Rebecca Long Bailey. She's one of the few Corbynites left in a high position in Labour who hasn't been effectively burned at the stake for being a, you know, Jew hater who wants to throw us all in gas chambers because she retweets an interview with some celebrity I'd never heard of before, who didn't even say anything that extreme. But it really shows how the Thought Police have taken control of the Labour Party through Sir Keir Starmer, who is someone who has deep links to the national security state through the Crown Prosecution Service, which he used to head, where he was involved in the prosecution of Julian Assange. And he has worked with The Times of London, which is a, you know, favorite paper of the national security state and the MI5 in the UK, for planting stories against Jeremy Corbyn. He was intimately involved in that campaign, and now he's at the head of the Labour Party for a very good reason. I really would recommend everyone watching this, if you're interested more in who Keir Starmer really is, read "Five Questions for [New Labour Leader] Sir Keir Starmer" by Matt Kennard at The Grayzone. It really lays it out and shows you what's happening.

    We're just in this kind of hyper-managed atmosphere, where everything feels so much more controlled than it's ever been. And even though every sane rational person that I know seems to understand what's happening, they feel like they're not allowed to say it, at least not in any official capacity.

    AARON MATÉ: From the US to Britain, everything is being co-opted. In the US it's, you know, genuine resistance to Trump, in opposition to Trump, it gets co-opted by the right. Same thing in Britain. People get manipulated into believing that Jeremy Corbyn, this lifelong anti-racist is somehow an antisemite. It's all in the service of the same agenda, and I have to say we're one of the few outlets that are pushing back on it. Everyone else is getting swept up on it and it's a scary time.

    We're gonna wrap. Max, your final comment.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, yeah, we're pushing back. And I saw today Mint Press [News], which is another outlet that has pushed back, their Twitter account was just briefly removed for no reason, without explanation. Ollie Vargas, who's an independent journalist who's doing some of the most important work in the English language from Bolivia, reporting on the post-coup landscape and the repressive environment that's been created by the junta installed with US help under Jeanine Áñez, his account has been taken away on Twitter. The social media platforms are basically under the control of the national security state. There's been a merger between the national security state and Silicon Valley, and the space for these kinds of discussions is rapidly shrinking. So, I think, you know, it's more important than ever to support alternative media and also to really have a clear understanding of what's taking place. I'm really worried there just won't be any space for us to have these conversations in the near future.

    AARON MATÉ: Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, author of The Management of Savagery , thanks a lot.

    MAX BLUMENTHAL: Thanks for having me.

    [Jul 06, 2020] Bolton Changes Tune- Now Refuses To Answer 'Russian Bounties' Questions After Stoking The 'Scandal' -

    Jul 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    By middle of last week we observed of the Russian bounties to kill American troops in Afghanistan story that "at this point this non-story looks to be dead by the weekend as it's already unraveled."

    Indeed by Thursday and Friday, as more Congressional leaders received closed door intelligence briefings on the allegations which originated with an anonymously sourced NY Times report claiming Trump supposedly ignored the Russian op to target Americans, the very Democrat and Republican lawmakers previously hyping it as a 'major scandal' went conspicuously silent .

    Recall too that John Bolton, busy with a media blitz promoting his book, emerged to strongly suggest he had personal knowledge that Trump was briefed on the matter . The former national security adviser called the Trump denial of being briefed "remarkable". Well, look who is now appearing to sing a different tune. A week ago Bolton was all too wiling to voluntarily say Trump had "likely" been briefed and that was a big scandal. The whole story was indeed dead by the weekend:

    NOW PLAYING

    Other reports said Bolton has been telling people he had personally briefed the president :

    Former national security adviser John Bolton told colleagues that he personally briefed President Donald Trump about intelligence that Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops , U.S. officials told the Associated Press .

    Bolton briefed Trump on the matter in March of 2019, according to the report, a year earlier than previously reported by The New York Times . The information was also included in at least one presidential Daily Brief, according to the AP, CNN and The Times . The AP earlier reported that it was also included in a second presidential Daily Brief earlier this year and that current national security adviser Robert O'Brien discussed the matter with Trump.

    His Sunday refusal to even address the question - again after he was all too willing to speak to the issue a week ago when it was driving headlines - speaks volumes.

    Via The Daily Mail

    Now that even The Washington Post awkwardly walked back the substance of much of its reporting on the 'Russian bounties' story, Bolton has conveniently gone silent .


    [Jul 04, 2020] It's Time to Stop Defending the Status Quo of Foreign Policy Failure by Daniel L. Davis

    Notable quotes:
    "... These failures have not been merely "policy mistakes" but have had profound consequences for our country, both in terms of blood unnecessarily wasted and trillions of dollars irretrievably lost. The very last thing we should do is defend a failed status quo and subvert new thinking. McMaster does both in his essay. ..."
    "... We had won all that was militarily winnable on the ground in Afghanistan by the summer of 2002 and we should have withdrawn. Instead, we have refused to accept reality for eighteen additional years and we have lost thousands of American service members and trillions of American tax dollars to finance permanent failure. ..."
    "... our interests are far better served by being an exemplar to the world rather than trying to force it to behave a certain way. ..."
    "... The time has come to admit our foreign policy theories of the past two decades have utterly failed in their objective. We have not been made safer because of them and the price continually imposed on our service members is unnecessary and unacceptably high. ..."
    Jul 04, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    In February 1991 I fought as a green 2 nd Lieutenant under then-Captain H.R. McMaster, who would go on to win combat fame in 2005 Iraq and as Trump's National Security Advisor. I watched McMaster provide exceptional leadership of our unit prior to war and watched him perform brilliantly under fire during combat. It gives me no pleasure, therefore, to note that his most recent work in Foreign Affairs has to be one of the most flawed analyses I've ever seen.

    McMaster's essay, " The Retrenchment Syndrome ," is an attempted take-down of a growing number of experts who argue American foreign policy has become addicted to the employment of military power. I, and other likeminded advocates, argue this military-first foreign policy does not increase America's security, but perversely undercuts it.

    We advocate a foreign policy that elevates diplomacy, promotes the maintenance of a powerful military that can defend America globally, and seeks to expand U.S. economic opportunity abroad. This perspective takes the world as it is, soberly assesses America's policy successes and failures of the past decades, and recommends sane policies going forward that have the best chance to achieve outcomes beneficial to our country.

    Adopting this new foreign policy mentality, however, requires an honest recognition that our existing approach -- especially since 9/11 -- has at times been catastrophically bad for America. The status quo has to be jettisoned for us to turn failure into success.

    These failures have not been merely "policy mistakes" but have had profound consequences for our country, both in terms of blood unnecessarily wasted and trillions of dollars irretrievably lost. The very last thing we should do is defend a failed status quo and subvert new thinking. McMaster does both in his essay.

    McMaster grievously mischaracterizes the positions of those who advocate for a sane, rational foreign policy. He tries to pin a pejorative moniker on restraint-oriented viewpoints via the term "retrenchment syndrome."

    Advocates for a restrained foreign policy, he says, "subscribe to the romantic view that restraint abroad is almost always an unmitigated good." McMaster claims Obama's 2011 intervention in Libya failed not because it destabilized the country but because Washington didn't "shape Libya's political environment in the wake of Qaddafi's demise." And he claims Trump's desire to withdraw from Afghanistan "will allow the Taliban, al Qaeda, and various other jihadi terrorists to claim victory."

    In other words, the only policy option is to keep doing what has manifestly failed for the past two decades. Just do it harder, faster, and deeper.

    But the reality of the situation is rather different.

    We had won all that was militarily winnable on the ground in Afghanistan by the summer of 2002 and we should have withdrawn. Instead, we have refused to accept reality for eighteen additional years and we have lost thousands of American service members and trillions of American tax dollars to finance permanent failure.

    We should never have invaded Iraq in 2003. But once we realized the justification for the war had been wrong, we should have rapidly withdrawn our combat troops and diplomatically helped facilitate the establishment of an Iraqi-led state. Instead, we refused to acknowledge our mistake, fought a pointless eight-year insurgency, and then instead of allowing Iraq to solve its own problems when ISIS arose in 2014, unnecessarily went back to help Baghdad fight its battles.

    Likewise, the U.S. continues to fight or support never-ending combat actions in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Niger, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and other lesser-known locations. There is no risk to American national security in any of these locations that engaging in routine and perpetual combat operations will solve.

    Lastly, large portions of the American public -- and even greater percentages of service members who have served in forever-wars -- are against the continuation of these wars and do not believe they keep us safer. What would make the country more secure, however, is adopting a realistic foreign policy that recognizes the world as it truly is, acknowledges that the reason we maintain a world-class military is to deter our enemies without having to fight, and recognizing that our interests are far better served by being an exemplar to the world rather than trying to force it to behave a certain way.

    The time has come to admit our foreign policy theories of the past two decades have utterly failed in their objective. We have not been made safer because of them and the price continually imposed on our service members is unnecessary and unacceptably high. It is time to abandon the status quo and adopt a new policy that is based on a realistic view of the world, an honest recognition of our genuinely powerful military, and realize that there are better ways to assure our security and prosperity.

    Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after 21 years, including four combat deployments. Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

    [Jul 03, 2020] Podcast- Empire Has No Clothes, Episode 9, Foreign Policy Dissent Is Patriotic by DANIEL LARISON

    Bolton is just "yet another MIC puppet", who has complete vacuum in his head as for morality and decency. In other words he is a typical Washington psychopath. Like many sociopaths he is a compulsive liar, undeniable careerist and self-promoter.
    Jul 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    This week on Empire Has No Clothes, we spoke with Elizabeth Shackelford, a former Foreign Service Officer and author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age . Kelley Vlahos, Matt Purple and I talked about demoralization in the department, the reasons for her resignation, U.S. policy in South Sudan and Africa, and the need for greater accountability in our foreign policy. We also covered John Bolton's new book, his outdated foreign policy views, and whether anything he says can be trusted.

    Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.

    [Jul 01, 2020] Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban Bounty Story by Barbara Boland

    Highly recommended!
    This is an attempt to move Trump in the direction of more harsher politics toward Russia. So not Bolton's but Obama ears are protruding above this dirty provocation.
    Notable quotes:
    "... According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action. ..."
    "... Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee. ..."
    "... "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false. ..."
    "... This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe. ..."
    "... The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves. ..."
    "... Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway). ..."
    "... Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they? ..."
    "... Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country. ..."
    "... As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time. ..."
    "... the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so. ..."
    "... Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. ..."
    "... And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military. ..."
    "... Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump. ..."
    "... The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's. ..."
    Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

    The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

    According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

    Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report -- or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

    Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President's Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence "were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday."

    On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible."Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP" Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

    Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration's lack of response.

    "He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it," said Bolton.

    Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

    The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump's blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was "unconfirmed." She didn't say the intelligence wasn't credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was "no consensus" and that the "veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated," which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House's National Security Council.

    Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had "not been briefed on the matter."

    "He was not personally briefed on the matter," she said. "That is all I can share with you today."

    It's difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany's statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

    Let's take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

    1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

    The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed "American intelligence officials." The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles "confirming" the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like "if true" or "if confirmed."

    Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based "on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals."

    That's a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. "When you capture a prisoner, and you're interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear," he said in an interview with The American Conservative . "There's no evidence here, there's no proof."

    "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

    Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

    "We don't know who the source is for this. We don't know if they've been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?"

    If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

    With this story, it's important to start at the "intelligence collection," said Kiriakou. "This information appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn't put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB."

    "If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn't have been briefed to Trump. It's not vetted, and it's not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold."

    2. What purpose would bounties serve?

    Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

    "He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times," he said. "So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we're about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?"

    That's leaving aside Russia's own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

    If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

    The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

    "These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless -- our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times . "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."

    The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."

    While the Russians are ruthless, "it's hard to fathom what their motivations could be" here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. "What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don't know. I can't string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I'm not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing."

    3. Why is this story being leaked now?

    According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House "were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans" in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

    This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

    The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

    The stories "are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective," writes McGovern. "There [Trump] goes again -- not believing our 'intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.'"

    "I don't believe this story and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President," said Kiriakou. "Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states."

    If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

    But the timing here, "kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump," he said. "It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did."

    The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

    Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .


    Tomonthebeach 9 hours ago • edited

    Caitlin Johnstone was the first journalist to question this NYT expose' several days ago in her blog. After looking into it, I had to agree with her that the story was junk reporting by a news source eager to stick it to Trump for his daily insults. NYT must love the irony of a "fake news" story catching fire and burning Trump politically. After all, paying people to kill their own enemies? That is a "tip," not a bounty. It is more of an intel footnote than the game-changer in international relations as asserted by Speaker Pelosi on TV as she grabbed her pearls beneath her stylish COVID mask.

    I was surprised that Ms. Boland could not think of any motivation for leaking the story right now given recent grousing on the Hill about Trump's inviting Putin to G7 over the objections of Merkel and several other NATO heads of state. I even posted a congratulatory message in Defense One yesterday to the US Intel community for mission accomplished.

    Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway).

    Connecticut Farmer Tomonthebeach 3 hours ago

    That "bounty" story never passed the smell test, even to my admittedly untrained nose. My real problem is that it's a story in the first place, given that Trump campaigned on a platform that included bringing the boys home from sand hills like Afghanistan; yet here we are, four years later, and we're still there.

    Lavinia 6 hours ago

    Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they?

    Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country.

    This whole story is completely ridiculous. Totally bogus.

    Wally 5 hours ago

    As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time.

    Of course people are trying to kill US military in Afghanistan. If I lived in Afghanistan, I'd probably hate them too. And let's not forget that just a few weeks ago the 82nd airborne was ready to kill American civilians in DC. The military is our enemy too!

    If you are in the US military today, please quit.

    https://www.washingtonpost....

    Don't ever forget how they lied to us.

    Feral Finster 4 hours ago

    Moreover, the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so.

    The purported bounty program doesn't help Russia, but the anonymous narrative does conveniently serve several CIA purposes:
    1. It makes it harder to leave Afghanistan.
    2. It keeps the cold war with Russia going along.
    3. It damages Trump (whose relationship with the CIA is testy at best).

    Then there's the question of how this supposed intelligence was gathered. The CIA tortures people, and there's no reason to believe that this was any different.

    Feral Finster Sidney Caesar 2 hours ago

    1. Russia wants a stable Afghanistan. Not a base for jihadis.

    2. The idea that Russia has to encourage Afghans to kill Invaders is a hoot. They don't ever do that on their own.

    3. Not only do Afghans traditionally need no motivation to kill infidel foreign Invaders, but Russia would have to be incredibly stupid to bring more American enmity on itself.

    Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

    Either that, or you're just cynical. You'll espouse anything, however absurd and full of lies, as long as it damages Trump.

    I detest Trump, but I am not a list.

    Wally Feral Finster 3 hours ago

    I don't have a clue if this bounty story is correct, but I can imagine plenty of reasons why the Russians would do it. It's easy enough to believe it or believe it was cooked up by CIA as you suggest.

    Feral Finster Feral Finster 2 hours ago

    And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military.

    FND 4 hours ago

    There will be one of these BS blockbusters every few weeks until the election. There are legions of buried-in democrat political appointees that will continue to feed the DNC press. It will be non-stop. The DNC press is shredding the 1st amendment.

    former-vet FND 2 hours ago

    Not shredding the First Amendment, just shining light on the pitfalls of a right to freedom of speech. There are others ramifications to free speech we consider social goods.

    Kent FND 2 hours ago

    These aren't buried-in democrats. These people could care less which political party the President is a member of. They only care that the President does what they say. Political parties are just to bamboozle the rubes. They are the real power.

    Connecticut Farmer 4 hours ago

    "U.S. Intelligence"-lol--a contradiction in terms. Just repeat three times: "George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet."

    Sidney Caesar Connecticut Farmer 3 hours ago

    Tenet knew his role- he said what his superiors wanted to hear: https://www.motherjones.com... The Iraq debacle was a top-down con job.

    Stephen R Gould 3 hours ago • edited

    The best defence that the WSJ and Fox News could muster was that the story wasn't confirmed as the NSA didn't have the same confidence in the assessment as the CIA. "Is there anything else to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the denial from the White House", "There was no denial from the White House". "That was the curious incident".

    I note that Fox News had buried the story "below the scroll" on their home page - if they had though the story was fake, the headlines would be screaming at MSM.

    maxsnafu 3 hours ago

    I was suspicious when I saw it originated in Walter Duranty's newspaper.

    The Derp State 3 hours ago

    "What if Obama...." #4,267

    former-vet 2 hours ago • edited

    Pravda was a far more honest and objective news source than The New York Times is. I say that as someone who read both for long periods of time. The Times is on par with the National Enquirer for credibility, with the latter at least being less propagandistic and agenda-driven.

    SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago

    Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump.

    The extent to which the contemporary Left is driven by a level of Russophobia unseen even by the most stalwart anti-Communists on the Right during the Cold War is truly something to behold. I think at bottom it comes down to not liking Putin or Russia because they refuse to get on board with the Left's social agenda.

    James SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago • edited

    The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's.

    The Contempary left wants Russia to be Woke, Broke, Godless, and Gay.

    The democrats are now the cheerleaders of the warfare -welfare state,, the marriage between the neolibs-neocons under the Democrat party to ensure that President Trump is defeated by the invade the world, invite the world crowd.

    WilliamRD TheSnark 44 minutes ago

    "The Trumpies are right in that this was obviously a leak by the intel community designed to hurt Trump. But what do you expect...he has spent 4 years insulting and belittling them. They are going to get their pound of flesh."

    Intel community was behind an attempted coup of Trump. He has good reason not to trust them and insulting is only natural. Hopefully John Durham will indict several of them

    Kent an hour ago

    I honestly don't find "unnamed officials", the CIA, the NSA, the NYT, John Bolton, or President Trump to be credible sources.

    Sidney Caesar Kent an hour ago • edited

    I've found myself to be the only honest and trustworthy person- everyone should just listen to me.

    WilliamRD 42 minutes ago • edited

    Montage: Mainstream Media Hype About Russia Collusion https://twitter.com/ggreenw...

    WilliamRD 36 minutes ago

    Russiagate's Last Gasp https://consortiumnews.com/...

    phreethink 20 minutes ago • edited

    Interesting take. I certainly take anything anyone publishes based on anonymous sources with a big grain of salt, especially when it comes from the NYT...

    [Jul 01, 2020] Madcap Militarism- H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack on Restraint -

    Notable quotes:
    "... The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules. ..."
    "... The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. ..."
    "... While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds ..."
    "... just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi... ..."
    Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Home / Articles / Realism & Restraint / Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint REALISM & RESTRAINT Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint

    Anyone looking for new grand strategy won't find it in the retired general's latest 'think piece.' Gen. H.R. McMaster in 2013. By CSIS/Flickr

    JUNE 29, 2020

    |

    12:01 AM

    ANDREW J. BACEVICH

    H.R. McMaster looks to be one of those old soldiers with an aversion to following Douglas MacArthur's advice to "just fade away."

    The retired army three-star general who served an abbreviated term as national security adviser has a memoir due out in September. Perhaps in anticipation of its publication, he has now contributed a big think-piece to the new issue of Foreign Affairs. The essay is unlikely to help sell the book.

    The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules.

    Yet if not madcap militarism, what term or phrase accurately describes post-9/11 U.S. policy? McMaster never says. It's among the many matters that he passes over in silence. As a result, his essay amounts to little more than a dodge, carefully designed to ignore the void between what assertive "American global leadership" was supposed to accomplish back when we fancied ourselves the sole superpower and what actually ensued.

    Here's what McMaster dislikes about restraint: It is based on "emotions" and a "romantic view" of the world rather than reason and analysis. It is synonymous with "disengagement" -- McMaster uses the terms interchangeably. "Retrenchers ignore the fact that the risks and costs of inaction are sometimes higher than those of engagement," which, of course, is not a fact, but an assertion dear to the hearts of interventionists. Retrenchers assume that the "vast oceans" separating the United States "from the rest of the world" will suffice to "keep Americans safe." They also believe that "an overly powerful United States is the principal cause of the world's problems." Perhaps worst of all, "retrenchers are out of step with history and way behind the times."

    Forgive me for saying so, but there is a Trumpian quality to this line of argument: broad claims supported by virtually no substantiating evidence. Just as President Trump is adamant in refusing to fess up to mistakes in responding to Covid-19 -- "We've made every decision correctly" -- so too McMaster avoids reckoning with what actually happened when the never-retrench crowd was calling the shots in Washington and set out after 9/11 to transform the Greater Middle East.

    What gives the game away is McMaster's apparent aversion to numbers. This is an essay devoid of stats. McMaster acknowledges the "visceral feelings of war weariness" felt by more than a few Americans. Yet he refrains from exploring the source of such feelings. So he does not mention casualties -- the number of Americans killed or wounded in our post-9/11 misadventures. He does not discuss how much those wars have cost , which, of course, spares him from considering how the trillions expended in Afghanistan and Iraq might have been better invested at home. He does not even reflect on the duration of those wars, which by itself suffices to reveal the epic failure of recent U.S. military policy. Instead, McMaster mocks what he calls the "new mantra" of "ending endless wars."

    Well, if not endless, our recent wars have certainly dragged on for far longer than the proponents of those wars expected. Given the hundreds of billions funneled to the Pentagon each year -- another data point that McMaster chooses to overlook -- shouldn't Americans expect more positive outcomes? And, of course, we are still looking for the general who will make good on the oft-repeated promise of victory.

    What is McMaster's alternative to restraint? Anyone looking for the outlines of a new grand strategy in step with history and keeping up with the times won't find it here. The best McMaster can come up with is to suggest that policymakers embrace "strategic empathy: an understanding of the ideology, emotions, and aspirations that drive and constrain other actors" -- a bit of advice likely to find favor with just about anyone apart from President Trump himself.

    But strategic empathy is not a strategy; it's an attitude. By contrast, a policy of principled restraint does provide the basis for an alternative strategy, one that implies neither retrenchment nor disengagement. Indeed, restraint emphasizes engagement, albeit through other than military means.

    Unless I missed it, McMaster's essay contains not a single reference to diplomacy, a revealing oversight. Let me amend that: A disregard for diplomacy may not be surprising in someone with decades of schooling in the arts of madcap militarism.

    The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. Here's the truth: Those who support the principle of restraint believe in vigorous engagement, emphasizing diplomacy, trade, cultural exchange, and the promotion of global norms, with war as a last resort. Whether such an approach to policy is in or out of step with history, I leave for others to divine.

    Andrew Bacevich, TAC's writer-at-large, is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


    kouroi2 days ago

    Surveys show over and over that the Americans overwhelmingly share Dr. Bacevich's views. There was even hope that Trump will reign on the US military adventurism.

    The fact that all this continues unabated and that the general is given space in the Foreign Affairs is in our face evidence of the glaring democratic deficit existent in the US, and that in fact democracy is nonexistent being long ago fully replaced by a de facto Oligarchy.

    Doesn't matter what Dr. Bachevich writes or says or does. Unless and until the internal political issues in the US are not addressed, the world will suffer.

    libertarianlwyr kouroi2 days ago

    only idiots and fools were under any delusion that Trump would "reign in US military adventurism".

    kouroi libertarianlwyr2 days ago

    While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds...

    and the tragedy is that even if Biden is elected, that direction will not be reversed, or not likely. While I cannot vote, just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi...

    [Jul 01, 2020] Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

    Highly recommended!
    Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

    No Friend Of The Devil , says:

    Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

    ...They suffer from god-complexes, since they do not believe in God, they feel an obligation to act as God, and decide the fates of over 7 billion people, who would obviously be better off if the PICs were sent to the Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Tyrants!

    [Jun 26, 2020] Don't forget the Oscar given to the Netflix "documentary" on the White Helmets.

    Jun 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    S , Apr 22 2018 1:16 utc | 14

    @Michael Murry: Don't forget the Oscar given to the Netflix "documentary" on the White Helmets.

    Laura Roslin , Apr 22 2018 15:13 utc | 73

    2 things:

    1) R/e Netflix and The White Helmets propaganda.
    Expect more like this. Consider - Susan Rice Added to Netflix Board of Directors
    CEO Reed Hastings says streaming service will benefit from former Obama administration official's "experience and wisdom"
    https://www.thewrap.com/susan-rice-added-netflix-board-directors/

    2) DO watch this new interview by Jimmy Dore with Carla Ortiz. You won't regret it.
    Carla Ortiz Shocking Video From Syria Contradicts Corp. News Coverage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCu8mNC1JyE

    Ortiz spent 2 years in Syria, she had originally intended to make a documentary about how women of Syria are coping, she also was naive about the White Helmets. She filmed the human corridors, she talked to regular people, she has lots of great footage.

    Comedian Jimmy Dore has been demonetized on any youtube videos that talk about Syria or war. CNN did a smear piece on him and other youtubers.

    kabobyak , Apr 22 2018 12:48 utc | 57
    Someone mentioned the Netflix documentary White Helmets winning the Oscar, and that jogged memories from a couple years ago when the movie was released. While browsing Netflix looking for movies, I came across it and clicked on to watch, quickly discovering it to be a one-sided propaganda piece glorifying White Helmets and demonizing The Syrian "regime". I went to the Netflix reviews for the film expecting to see posts exposing this, but was shocked with what I saw. There were 61 reviews at that time, and 57 of them were rated 5-star, two 4-star, one 3-star, with one 1-star review (it had been posted that day) which brought truth to the issue. I had never seen any film ever which got that percentage of 5-star ratings.

    I posted a review (giving 1-star) pointing out who funded White Helmets, and informed viewers that there was a lot of information available which countered the film's narrative (including Beeley and Bartlett's first-hand reporting from Syria). My review (like the other critical one) was mild with no content which would violate any standards. I checked my posting for the next two days to check response, and was happy to see it listed at the top as the "most helpful" review (based on reviewer clicks). And guess what happened the next day? Both my review and the other 1-star had just disappeared; it was back to 100% positive reviews. Looking for Netflix policy about deleting reviews, I could find no way an ordinary subscriber could do it, and guidelines for management to do it were only if a review was extremely offensive (racist, profanity, etc.).

    I was disgusted with the whole thing and never checked back. I assume there are plenty of critical reviews there now. But there is no question the reviews were manipulated during the critical time period when the film was "hot", just released and leading up to the Oscars, with Hollywood celebrities singing the praises.

    It may seem a trivial affair, but what it did for me was inform me of the depth and extent this propaganda happens, even in the most unlikely of places. Even with a limited diet of MSM consumption, I'm amazed at how many times a day I encounter it, with NPR being just awful. I am both frustrated with how many friends and acquaintances have swallowed this totally, but also encouraged to see the growing number of folks seeking the truth from sources like MOA, Consortium, Saker, etc. I agree with many who see what's happening in Syria as crucial for both the warmongers and for us in exposing it. My little experience with Netflix is just a small piece of a huge and widespread campaign.

    jacobo , Apr 23 2018 2:12 utc | 85
    Laura, thanks for the link to Carla Ortiz's videos. What a contrast to the video clips (Al Jazeera, especially) featured in Sonali Kolhatkar's post at Truthdig.com. These confirm what eyewitnesses told Robert Fisk - that someone burst into a room, yelled 'gas attack' Not heard), after which the video cameras started rolling, as White Helmeteers grabbed children and started hosing them down with water, even though nobody appeared ill, although the children did seem annoyed. Presumably extemporaneous speeches were delivered by (1) a White Helmeteer and (2) a representative of the Syrian American Medical, both organizations CIA funded. Staged events, if ever there was one. Why truthdig allowed such obvious fake news on its website? Well, they simultaneously featured a story by Frank Ritter that challenged the triple alliance (USA, GB & France) of evil's Assad did it line, so perhaps Sonali's piece was published so that when the censors come aknockin,the editors can say, "look, we did provide balance (ie cover their asses).

    [Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton's Mission was to Destroy Donald Trump's Detente with North Korea

    Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    Bolton, of course, dismissed the entire concept of diplomacy from the very start. He never bought into the notion that North Korean officials could be talked to sensibly because they were, well, insane. Bolton's version of North Korea diplomacy was to tighten the economic screws, brandish the U.S. military, and wait until one of two things happened: 1) the Kim regime surrendered its entire nuclear weapons program like Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, or 2) the Kim regime continued to spur Washington's demands, in which the White House would have no option but to use U.S. military force. Bolton's record is analogous to a stereotypical linebacker on an obscene amount of steroids -- smash your opponent to pieces and don't think twice about it. Top Beauty Surgeon Says "Forget Facelifts, This at Home Tip is My #1 Wrinkle Red Del Mar Laboratories Dr: This May Be the Best CBD Ever for Arthritis, Aching Joints & Inflammation Mirror News Online Enlarged Prostate Gone - Just Do This Before Bed (Watch) Newhealthylife 3 Ways Your Cat Asks for Help Dr. Marty The content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view our Privacy Policy and your opt out options here . Got it, thanks! Remove Content Link?

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    The only problem: North Korea isn't some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It's a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors. This is one of the prime reasons Bolton's obsession with the Libya-style North Korea deal, in which Pyongyang would theoretically discard its entire nuclear apparatus and allow U.S. weapons inspectors to take custody of its nuclear warheads before flying them back to the U.S. for destruction, was unworkable from the start. The Libya-model trumpeted by Bolton was a politically correct way of demanding Pyongyang's total surrender -- an extremely naive goal if there ever was one. When one remembers the fate of Qaddafi 8 years after he traded sanctions relief for his weapons of mass destruction -- the dictator was assaulted and humiliated before being executed in the desert -- even the word "Libya" is treated by the Kim dynasty as a threat to its existence. As Paul Pillar wrote in these pages more than two years ago, "Libya's experience does indeed weigh heavily on the thinking of North Korean officials, who have taken explicit notice of that experience, as a disincentive to reaching any deals with the United States about dismantling weapons programs."

    One can certainly take issue with Trump's North Korea policy. Two years of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un have yet to result in the denuclearization Washington seeks (denuclearization is more of a slogan than a realistic objective at this point, anyway). But Trump's strategy aside, Bolton's alternative was worse. The president knew his former national security adviser's public insistence on the Libya model was dangerously inept. He had to walk back Bolton's comments weeks later to ensure the North Koreans didn't pull out of diplomacy before it got off the ground. Trump hasn't forgotten about the experience; on June 18, Trump tweeted that "Bolton's dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, "what the hell were you thinking?"

    [Jun 23, 2020] Chickenhawk B olton May Be a Beast, But He's Washington's Creature by Richard Hanania

    Personally he is a bully and as such a coward: he can attack only a weaker opponent. His new book shows that however discredited and intellectually thin his foreign policy views are, they always rise to the top. To Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry. ..."
    "... Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation. ..."
    "... Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
    "... The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government. ..."
    Jun 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, John Bolton, Simon & Schuster, 592 pages

    The release of John Bolton's book today has become a Washington cultural event, because he is, by all measures, Washington's creature.

    Those who dislike the Trump administration have been pleased to find in The Room Where It Happened confirmation in much of what they already believed about the Ukraine scandal and the president's lack of capacity for the job. Some accusations in the book, such as the story about Trump seeking reelection help from China through American farm purchases, are new, and in an alternative universe could have formed the basis of a different, or if Bolton had his way, more comprehensive, impeachment inquiry.

    While Bolton's book has been found politically useful by the president's detractors, the work is also important as a first-hand account from the top of the executive branch over a 19-month period, from April 2018 to September 2019. It also, mostly inadvertently, reveals much about official Washington, the incentive structures that politicians face, and the kind of person that is likely to succeed in that system. Bolton may be a biased self-promoter, but he is nonetheless a credible source, as his stories mostly involve conversations with other people who are free to eventually tell their own side. Moreover, the John Bolton of The Room Where It Happened is no different from the man we know from his three-decade career as a government official and public personality. No surprises here.

    There are three ways to understand John Bolton. In increasing order of importance, they are intellectually, psychologically, and politically -- that is, as someone who is both a product of and antagonist to the foreign-policy establishment -- in many ways typical, and in others a detested outlier.

    On the first of these, there simply isn't much there. Bolton takes the most hawkish position on every issue. He wants war with North Korea and Iran, and if he can't have that, he'll settle for destroying their economies and sabotaging any attempts by Trump to reach a deal with either country. He takes the maximalist positions on great powers like China and Russia, and third world states that pose no plausible threat like Cuba and Venezuela. At one point, he brags about State reversing "Obama's absurd conclusion that Cuban baseball was somehow independent of its government, thus in turn allowing Treasury to revoke the license allowing Major League Baseball to traffic in Cuban players." How this helps Americans or Cubans is left unexplained.

    Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry.

    Anyone who picks up Bolton's over 500-page memoir hoping to find serious reflection on the philosophical basis of American foreign policy will be disappointed. The chapters are broken up by topic area, most beginning with a short background explainer on Bolton's views of the issue. In the chapter on Venezuela, we are told that overthrowing the government of that country is important because of "its Cuba connection and the openings it afforded Russia, China, and Iran." The continuing occupation of Afghanistan is necessary for preventing terrorists from establishing a base, and, in an argument I had not heard anywhere before, for "remaining vigilant against the nuclear-weapons programs in Iran on the west and Pakistan on the east." Iran needs to be deterred, though from what we are never told.

    Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation.

    The more time one spends reading Bolton, the more one comes to the conclusion that the guy just likes to fight. In addition to seeking out and escalating foreign policy conflicts, he seems to relish going to war with the media and the rest of the Washington bureaucracy. His book begins with a quote from the Duke of Wellington rallying his troops at Waterloo: "Hard pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest." The back cover quotes the epilogue on his fight with the Trump administration, responding "game on" to attempts to stop publication. He takes a mischievous pride in recounting attacks from the media or foreign governments, such as when he was honored to hear that North Korea worried about his influence over the President. Bolton is too busy enjoying the fight, and as will be seen below, profiting from it, to reflect too carefully on what it's all for.

    Bolton could be ignored if he were simply an odd figure without much power. Yet the man has been at the pinnacle of the GOP establishment for thirty years, serving appointed roles in every Republican president since Reagan. The story of how he got his job in the Trump administration is telling. According to Bolton's account, he was courted throughout the transition process and the early days of the administration by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, ironic considering the reputation of the former as a populist opposed to forever wars and the latter as a more liberal figure within the White House. Happy with his life outside government, Bolton would accept a position no lower than Secretary of State or National Security Advisor. Explaining his reluctance to enter government in a lower capacity, Bolton provides a list of his commitments at the time, including "Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Fox News contributor; a regular on the speaking circuit; of counsel at a major law firm; member of corporate boards; senior advisor to a global private-equity firm."

    Clearly, being an advocate for policies that can destroy the lives of millions abroad, and a complete lack of experience in business, have proved no hindrance to Bolton's success in corporate America.

    Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Ricardel resigned after a dispute over preparations for the First Lady's trip to Africa, an example of how too often in the Trump administration, nepotism and self-interest have been the only checks on bad policy or even greater corruption ("Melania's people are on the warpath," Trump is quoted as saying). Another is when Trump, according to Bolton, was less than vigorous in pursing destructive Iranian sanctions due to personal relationships with the leaders of China and Turkey. At the 2019 G7 summit, when Pompeo and Bolton try to get Benjamin Netanyahu to reach out to Trump to talk him out of meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Jared prevents his call from going through on the grounds that a foreign government shouldn't be telling the President of the United States who to meet with.

    The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government.

    In the coverage of Bolton, this is what should not be lost. The former National Security Advisor is the product of a system with its own internal logic. Largely discredited and intellectually hollow, and without broad popular support, it persists in its practices and beliefs because it has been extremely profitable for those involved. The most extreme hawks are simply symptoms of larger problems, with the flamboyant Bolton being much more like mainstream members of the foreign policy establishment than either side would like to admit.

    Richard Hanania is a research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

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    [Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton Tells How Iran Hawks Set Up Trump's Syrian Kurdish Disaster

    Notable quotes:
    "... Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control. ..."
    Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    The drama eventually ended with President Donald Trump pulling U.S. peacekeepers out of Syria -- and then sending them back in . One hundred thousand Syrian civilians were displaced by an advancing Turkish army, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces turned to Russia for help. But U.S. forces never fully withdrew -- they are still stuck in Syria defending oil wells .

    Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control.

    Pompeo issued a statement on Thursday night denouncing Bolton's entire book as "a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods."

    [Jun 22, 2020] Does John Bolton deserves a Nobel peace Price? In our perverted world why not.

    Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

    It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?

    JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23

    Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

    This is the most intelligent post so far.

    Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

    Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

    [Jun 22, 2020] MoA community discussion of Bolton book

    Notable quotes:
    "... let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda. ..."
    "... Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years. ..."
    "... Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons. ..."
    "... The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children. ..."
    Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

    let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.

    Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15

    Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
    Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
    The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

    So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barton

    Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

    AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
    @ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

    Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

    Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

    The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

    Jpc , Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18
    Why was he appointment made in the first place anyone,?
    Ian2 , Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
    Jpc | Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18:

    My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.

    james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
    let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
    Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
    At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
    jen , Jun 17 2020 23:42 utc | 22
    Jpc @ 18, Ian2 @ 19:

    Personal interest on DJT's part? :-)

    JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23
    Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

    This is the most intelligent post so far.

    Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

    Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

    Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
    @ Jpc
    When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
    A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
    re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
    who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
    Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
    He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
    Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
    He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
    Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

    It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
    When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

    div> Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

    Posted by: Ribbit , Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

    Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

    Posted by: Ribbit | Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

    Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 27
    Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

    Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

    Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

    DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 28
    Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people
    jadan , Jun 18 2020 1:30 utc | 29
    Did John Bolton put his personal interests above the will of congress in an attempt to extort the Ukrainian government? You're making a false equivalence. You seem to have a soft spot for Trump. Bolton is an in-your-face son of a bitch, but Trump, Trump is just human garbage.
    Kay Fabe , Jun 18 2020 2:27 utc | 30
    Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got. Just a distraction. Trumps outrage just meant help Bolton sell some books. Lol. People are so easy to fool.

    I still think Bolton managing the operations as COG in Cheneys old bunker. Coming out for a vacation while next phase is planned

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 2:56 utc | 31
    Kay Fabe @Jun18 2:27 #29
    Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got.

    You underestimate the craftiness of this kayfabe.

    The tiff with Bolton makes Trump look like a peace-loving moderate so that he's acceptable to Independent voters.

    !!

    Den lille abe , Jun 18 2020 3:03 utc | 32
    Bolton is just another American arsehole. Nothing new. When they do not get their way, the y always turn on their superiors, or those in charge. Bolton is just another "Anhänger" personal gain is what motivates him.
    He should have been a blot on his parents bedsheets or at least a forced abortion, but unfortunately that did not happen...
    Piotr Berman , Jun 18 2020 3:53 utc | 33
    The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him (Trump) and his voters.

    Posted by: bob sykes | Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11

    Trump thwarted Trump. Before he got elected, Trump mentioned his admiration of Bolton more than once. Voters of Trump elected a liar and an incoherent person -- at time, incomprehensible, a nice bonus. But it is worth noticing that Trump never liked being binded by agreement, like, say, an agreement to pay money back to creditors, or whatever international agreement would restrict USA from doing what they damn please.

    Superficially, it is mysterious why Trump made an impression that he wants to negotiate with North Korea with some agreement at the end. Was he forced to make a mockery from the negotiation by someone sticking knife to his back?

    Some may remember that Trump promised to abolish Affordable Care Act and replace it with "something marvelous". The latest version is that he will start thinking about it again after re-election. If you believe that...

    Granted, Trump is more sane than Bolton, but just a bit, unlike Bolton he has some moments of lucidity.

    In conclusion, I would advocate to vote for Biden. If you need a reason, that would be that Biden never tweets, or if he does, it is forgettable before the typing is done. Unlike the hideous Trumpian productions.

    jason , Jun 18 2020 3:55 utc | 34
    "men fit to be shaved," Tiberius, on Bolton and Friedman.

    he is the best & brightest we have. when a dreadful mouth is called for. his insights into the Trump WH are probably as deep as his knowledge of VZ, Iran, Cuba, etc. he's a useful idiot, a willing fool. like Trump, he's the verbal equivalent of the cops on the street, in foreign "policy." another abusive father figure

    reading the imperial steak turds - an American form of reading the tea leaves or goat livers or chicken flight or celestial what have you. an emperor craps out a big hairy one like Bolton and the priests and hierophants and lawyers and scribes come for a long, close up inspection and fact-gathering smell of another steaming pile of gmo-corn-and-downer-cow-fed, colon cancer causing, Kansas feed-lot raised, grade A Murkin BEEF. guess what they in their wisdom find? Trump stinks.

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 4:20 utc | 35
    Scotch Bingeington @ 6 -- "Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

    At last, someone who notices physionomy!

    That face drips with false modesty, kind of trying to make his face say, "... look at harmless old me..."

    That walrus bushiness points at an attempt to hide, to camouflage his true thoughts, his malevolence.

    That pretended stoop, with one hand clutching a sheaf of briefing papers, emulating the posture of deferential court clerks, speaks to a lifetime of a snake in the grass "fighting" from below for things important to himself.

    But those of us who have been around the block a couple times will know to watch our backs around this type. Poisoned-tipped daggers are their fave weapons, and your backs are their fave "battle space". LOL

    This statement by Jeffrey Sachs may as well also describe America's leadership crisis: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite."

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 5:29 utc | 36
    GeorgeV @ 8 -- "It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk."

    And the US "leadeship" sends these types out to lecture other peoples on "values"? on how to become "normal nations"? on how to "contain" old civilisations such as Iran, Russia, China?

    It is axiomatic that the stupid do not know they are stupid. Same goes for morals. The immoral do not know they are immoral. Or, perhaps, as Phat Pomp-arse shows, they know they are immoral, but do not care. Which makes one rightly guess that people like Bolt-On and him must be depraved.

    Yes, it may take centuries before the leadership in this depraved Exceptionally Indispensable Nation to become truly normal again.

    snake , Jun 18 2020 5:38 utc | 37
    Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters. by: bob sykes 11

    I wondered about He King claims that Trump actually attempted to do those awful things, . .. , I looked for evidence to prove the claim.. I asked just about every librarian I could find to please show me evidence that confirms the deep state over rode Mr. Trump's actual attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan and Syria. thus far, no confirming or supporting facts have been produced. to support such a claim. Mr. Trump could easily have tweeted to his supporters something to the effect that the damn military, CIA, homeland security, state department, foreign service, federal reserve, women's underwear association and smiley Joe's hamburger stand in fact every militant in the USA governed America were holding hands, locked in a conspiracy to block President Trumps attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan or Syria.. If Mr. Trump has asked for those things, they would have happened. The next day there would have been parties in the streets as the militant agency heads began rolling as Mr. Trump fired them each and everyone.. No firings happened, the party providers were disappointed, no troops, USA contractors or privatization pirates left any foreign place.. as far as I can tell. 500 + military bases still remain in Europe none have been abandoned.. and one was added in Israel. BTW i heard that Mr. Trump managed to get 17 trillion dollars into the hands of many who are contractors or suppliers to those foreign operations. I can't say I am against Trump, but i can ask you to show me some evidence to prove your claim.

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 5:50 utc | 38
    snake @Jun18 5:38 #36

    As always, watch what they do, not what they say.

    Trump is the Republican Obama. A faux populist 'insider' who pretends to be an 'outsider'.

    Trump was selected to be the nationalist President that meets the challenge from Russia and China. And serves all the usual interests while doing so.

    Americans fools keep electing these establishment stooges and then wonder why nothing seems to get any better.

    !!

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:25 utc | 39
    Sack cartoon: Trump's 'swamp'

    https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-trump-s-swamp/401964365/

    https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-the-swamp/420668223/

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:39 utc | 40
    Trump searches for new slogan as he abandons Keep America Great amid George Floyd and covid turmoil

    The president has taken to inserting the term 'Transition to Greatness' into his remarks. His 2016 slogan was 'Make America Great Again'. After election he polled audiences on whether to go with 'Keep America Great'. He told CPAC this year and said at the State of the Union 'The Best is Yet to Come'. Tweaks come as he trails Biden in new NBC and CNN polls, as the nation struggles with the coronavirus and protests over police violence.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8398993/Donald-Trump-searches-new-slogan-amid-cratering-polls-against-Joe-Biden.html

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:44 utc | 41
    Rudy W. Giuliani @RudyGiuliani

    Ukrainian police seize $6 Million in bribes paid to kill the new case into crooked Burisma.

    This money is a Followup to the multi-millions in bribes Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and President Poroshenko earned to leverage their offices to kill the original case.

    All covered up!

    https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1273298170966159366

    Ghost Ship , Jun 18 2020 7:28 utc | 42
    Christian J. Chuba @ 3
    goals that you consider important are different from personal interests.

    What personal interests has Trump actually advanced during his time as president. Leaving out the fake allegations, I'm hard put to think of any. If you look at Trump's actual behaviour rather than his bullshit or the bullshit aimed at him, I'm also hard put to think of anything illegal he's done while in office that wasn't done by previous administrations.
    Mao , Jun 18 2020 7:41 utc | 43
    US President Donald Trump sought help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election, "pleading" with the Chinese president to boost imports of American agricultural products, according to a new book by former national security adviser John Bolton. The accusations were included in an excerpt from The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, which is set to be released on June 23. Bolton also wrote that Trump demonstrated other "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour", including privately expressing support for China's mass interment of Uygur Muslims and other ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang.*This video has been updated to fix a spelling mistake.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agk61kyDS1k

    Yeah, Right , Jun 18 2020 8:35 utc | 44
    @42 Mao I'm struggling to see how "pleading" with any country for it to purchase more US goods is "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" from a US President.

    Pleading to Xi for China to give, say, Israel preferential access to markets, sure.

    Down South , Jun 18 2020 9:56 utc | 45
    The Saker takes an interesting look at this "spontaneous or popular" revolt taking place in America

    https://thesaker.is/what-kind-of-popular-revolution-is-this/#comments

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 10:35 utc | 46
    The Saker:

    I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

    * Racism or "White privilege"
    * Police violence
    * Social alienation and despair
    * Poverty
    * Trump
    * The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
    * The infighting of the US elites/deep state

    They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

    It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of "cause" and "pretext". And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

    https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-systemic-collapse-of-the-us-society-has-begun/

    Steve , Jun 18 2020 10:57 utc | 47
    The only time I'd be interested in anything Bolton had to say is if he were saying it from the docket at The Hague
    Matt , Jun 18 2020 11:40 utc | 48
    Don't really want to take sides between those two odious characters, but I think there's a difference in what the paper is saying.

    One is about someone pursuing policy goals they favour, the other "personal interest". From what I have seen so far, Bolton's main definition of Trump's "personal interest" is his chances for re-election (rather than any personal business interest).

    I think Bolton was happy for Trump to pursue the policy goals he favoured, at least when they coincided with Bolton's!

    Tadlak Davidovitsh , Jun 18 2020 12:04 utc | 49
    In modern Italy, mentioning Jupiter (Jove) and the ox (Bove) in the same sentence usually implies a demand that the two be treated the same.
    450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:07 utc | 50
    How many people have cashed in on Trump so far? Countless numbers of them. An ocean of them. Scathing books about Trump is one way to cash in on thr Trump effect, and the authors, many of whom don't even write the book themselves, get promoted and their books promoted in the mainstream media and elsewhere.

    There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to Trump. We know everything there is to know about Trump. Some of us knew everything there was to know about him before he became POTUS. And yet, there he is, sitting like the Cheshire Cat in the Oval Office, untouchable and beyond reproach. Meanwhile, even more scathing books are in the pipeline because there's money, so much money, to be made don't you know.

    Bolton is a shitbird every bit as much as Trump is and in fact an argument can be made Bolton is even worse and even more dangerous than Trump because if Bolton had his druthers, Iran would be a failed state right about now and America would be bogged down in a senseless money-making (for the defense contractors owned by the extractive wealthy elite) quagmire in Iran just as it was in Iraq and still is in Afghanistan.

    Colbert is all into the Bolton book because he and his staff managed to secure an interview with Bolton. Bolton, of course, has agreed to this because it's a great way to promote his book to the likes of Cher who is the perfect example of the demographic Colbert caters to with his show. Some of the commercials during Colbert's show last night? One was an Old Navy commercial where they bragged about how they're giving to the poor. The family they used for the commercial, the recipients of this beneficence, was a black family. Biden is proud of Old Navy because don't you know, poor and black are one and the same. In otherwords, there are no poor people except black people. No, that's not racist. Not at all. Also, another commercial during Colbert's show was for the reopening of Las Vegas amidst the spreading pandemic. This is immediately after a segment where Colbert is decrying Republican governors for opening southern states too early. The hypocritical irony is so stark, you can cut it with a chainsaw.

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:24 utc | 51
    Mao @ 45 quoting The Saker -- ".... the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society."

    And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

    In my 50 years of studying American society, I have learned to watch what US leaders do, not what they preach. More profitable is to look at what declassified US documents tell us about the truth, not what the presstitudes of the day pretend to dish up. Also, what other world leaders might, in a candid moment, tell us about America.

    450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52
    @50
    And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

    I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem. Afterall, a system that allows for creeping entrenched endemic corruption, is a crappy system. It's the system that's the root of this and it's not just isolated to the United States. It's civilization itself that's the root and what enabled civilization -- the spirit in our genes as Reg asserts.

    450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:47 utc | 53
    @4
    I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

    I agree. They would, because they already have and continue to do so, coddle and provide apologia for any and all monsters who decry Trump. Hell, I'm convinced they would clamor for Derek Chauvin's exoneration if he vocally decried Trump. Chauvin would make the rounds on the media circuit excoriating Trump and telling the world, contritely of course, that it was Trump who made him do it and now he sees the error of his ways. He'd be on Morning Joe and Chris Cuomo's and Don Lemon's shows not to mention Ari Melber and Anderson Cooper and Lawrence O'Donnell. The conservatives and their networks, who have provided apologia for Chauvin thus far, would now be his worst enemy. Colbert and Kimmel would have him on and guffawing with him asking him how it felt to choke the life out of someone, laughing all the way so long as he hates Trump and tells the world how much he hates Trump.

    This world is an insane asylum, especially America. All under the banner and aegis of progress. And to think, humanity wants to export this madness to space and the universe at large. Any intelligent life that would ever make its way to Planet Earth, if ever, would be well-advised to exterminate the species human before it spread its poison to the universe at large. Not that that is possible, but just in case the .000000000001% chance of that does miraculously manifest.

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:48 utc | 54
    Mao @ 42

    Concerning Trump "pleading" with Xi, it is only right for a leader to request others to buy more US farm produce. We have only Bolton's word that the request was a plea. We also have only Bolton's word that the request / plea was to seek "help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election". Too early to believe Bolton. Wait till we see the meeting transcripts.

    Bolton also alleged that Trump exhibited "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" concerning the Uygurs. Again, only Bolton's word. Even so, saying it is "unacceptable behavior" presumes that China does wrong to incarcerate Uygurs. If not, ie, China either does not incarcerate them, or if China has good moral grounds to do so, then Bolton is wrong to disagree with his boss for uttering the right sentiment. Judging by how the anglo-zios shout about China's "crime", I tend to think the opposite just might be the truth, and that says that Bolton is simply mudslinging to sell books; score brownie points with the anglo-zios, virtue-signalling for his next gig.

    Sabine , Jun 18 2020 12:56 utc | 55
    so is Trump or Biden the Yeltsin of the US? And who is gonna be the US version of Putin? Mr. Cotton from Arkansas?
    vk , Jun 18 2020 13:00 utc | 56
    The American people must decide if Trump is anti-China or Xi's bff. He can't be both at the same time.
    murgen23 , Jun 18 2020 13:04 utc | 57
    I don't see a contradiction with both sentences.

    NYT writes Bolton direct US policy to fit his own political agenda,
    while Bolton emphasizes Trump direct US policy in the way that pocket him most money.

    Politician Bolton is consistent with his politician job (like it or not), Trump is corrupted.

    This is how I understand.

    450.org , Jun 18 2020 13:14 utc | 58
    @56, I would argue that if one person could be both at the same time, that one person would be Donald Trump. He's already proven, like Chauncey Gardner, he can walk on water. Seriously, that excellent movie, Being There , starring the incomparable Peter Sellers, was about Donald Trump's ascension to the Oval Office.

    There Are No Limits Except The Limits We Invent And Impose

    augusto , Jun 18 2020 13:44 utc | 59
    Using this 'quod licet jovi ...' the author apparently knows quite a bit of Latin, the dead language!
    But seriously, the nomination of Bolton who had always behaved like 2nd rate advisor, a 3rd rate mcarthist cold warrior was a surprise to me. Such a short sighted heavily biased person could be, yes, chosen a Minister or advisor in a banana Republic but was picked up by the United states.
    One can only conclude such a choice was driven by very specific interests of the deep state.They needed a bulldog and got it for one year and half and threw the stinky perro soon as the job was done.
    BM , Jun 18 2020 14:05 utc | 60
    And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.
    I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem.
    Posted by: 450.org | Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52

    The primary cause of corrupt leadership is corrupt and corruption-accepting population.

    Without a population that is fundamentally corrupt and immoral, corrupt leadership is unstable. Conversely - and this is important to recognise as the same phenomenon - democracy cannot exist if the population accepts and takes for granted corruption, as the two are mutually exclusive. In other words if you root out the corrupt leadership without dealing with the mentality of the population, the corruption will quickly come back and any democratic experiment will collapse very quickly.

    There is one important qualifier - an overwhelming external influence (since WWII always the USA, either directly or as secondary effect) can leverage latent corruption so that it becomes more exaggerated than it normally would be.

    Down South , Jun 18 2020 14:48 utc | 61
    What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

    https://m.journal-neo.org/2020/06/16/america-s-own-color-revolution/

    michael888 , Jun 18 2020 15:53 utc | 62
    Bolton pretended to be President, screwing up negotiations with his Libya Model talk, threatening Venezuela (and anywhere generally) and directing fleets all over the world (including Britain's to capture that Iranian oil tanker). Vindman revered "Ambassador" Bolton because he was keeping the Ukraine corruption in Americans (and Ukrainian Americans') hands, and daring the Russians to "start" WWIII. Bolton might have been a bit more bearable if he had ever been elected, but was happy to see him go. Trump seemed mystified by him.
    juliania , Jun 18 2020 16:29 utc | 63
    b has presented us (knowingly or not, but I wouldn't put it past him) with the Socratic question of the presumed identity between the morality of the State and personal morality, as best encountered in Plato's dialogue, 'The Republic' ['Politeia' in the Greek] That dialogue begins by examining personal morality, but changes to an examination of what would bring into being a perfect state. In doing the latter, however, it is how to create public spirited persons, in the best sense, which is the actual concern, and the conversation ranges far and wide, becoming more and more complex.

    I've always thought that to consider the perfect state had to be an impossibility if the individual, the person him or herself isn't up to the task - and that is the point of the Politeia enterprise. Like the ongoing relay race on horseback that is happening at the same time in the Piraeus, the passing of the argument one person to another that happens in the dialogue demonstrates that what is most crucial for the state as well as for the individual is personal integrity.

    I take as an example the message of Saker's essay, linked by Down South and commented on above by others. Saker is pointing out that the protests have been seized upon by the anti-Trumpists who have been disrupting things from the beginning of his administration. But he also says:

    "My personal feeling is that Trump is too weak and too much of a coward to fight his political enemies"

    Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The discussion of different kinds of states, which we often have here pursued, or the discussion of what makes a person able to function in one or another state? I don't think Plato was saying that Greece had it made, that Greece needed to throw its weight around more to be great. He's pointing out that it had lost greatness, the same way every empire loses when it forgets that individual spark that is in a single person, his virtue. And the sad thing is it all comes down to the education of our young people in the values, the virtues that apply both to his own personal life and to the life of the state.

    At its heart, the protests which are beginning, only beginning, and which are peaceful, may be politeia vs. republic, the 'polis' itself against 'things political'. A new and true enlightenment, multipolar.

    karlof1 , Jun 18 2020 16:39 utc | 64
    BM @60--

    Corruption's been a fact of life in North America ever since it was "discovered." Bernard Bailyn captured it quite well in his The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century , that is during the very first stages of plantation, with most corruption taking place in Old England then exported to the West. Even the Founders were corrupt, although they didn't see themselves as such. Isn't Adam & Eve's corruption detailed in Genesis merely an indicator of a general human trait that needs to be managed via culture? That human culture has generally failed to contain and discipline corruption speaks volumes about both. John Dos Passos in his opus USA noted that everyone everywhere was on the "hustle"--from the hobo to the banker. "Every child gots to have its own" are some of the truest lyrics ever written. Will humanity ever transcend this major failure in its nature?

    Allen Edmundson , Jun 18 2020 23:30 utc | 65
    Who is behind the claim that China is imprisoning vast numbers of Uighurs in concentration camps and what evidence has been presented? See the Greyzone for its recent report on this.

    Edmundson

    Jpc , Jun 18 2020 23:39 utc | 66
    Thanks to all of you for your insights on Bolton.
    I still don't see anything to explain why he got a second gig in the Whitehouse.
    Or anything that he did that enhanced US security long term.
    And another guy who dodged active service.
    Strange angry dude,!
    Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 19 2020 14:47 utc | 67
    Pat Lang believes that Bolton has breached a law requiring US Officials with access to Top Secret Stuff to submit personal memoirs for scrutiny before publishing. Col Lang is awaiting similar approval for a memoir of his own and thinks Bolton didn't bother waiting for the Official OK.
    There's a diverse range of comments. Most commentators like the idea of Bolton being tossed in the slammer. Others speculate that as a Swamp Creature, Bolton will escape prosecution. It's interesting that no-one has asked to see the publisher's copy of the USG's signed & dated Approval To Publish document, relevant to Bolton's book.
    arby , Jun 19 2020 19:34 utc | 68
    Jut a little thread on Bolton and his book.

    It is amazing the way these clowns sit around and talk about countries and people as if they were so much dirt. The arrogance and power is disgusting.

    link

    [Jun 21, 2020] Leaker fell victim of the leak: The neocon-warhawk may not see a penny for his book as the PDf was leaked online

    MIC eventually will pay this neocon prostitute for services, anyway
    Jun 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
    As Ben Garrison recent noted, in an interview Bolton stated that it was OK for the government agencies to lie to the American people if national security is at stake. And it always seems to be at stake for dominant men who want secrecy and power. Bolton is a dangerous liar and his anti-Trump screed cannot be trusted.

    It's time to slam the book shut on Bolton.

    [Jun 21, 2020] Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace'.

    Highly recommended!
    Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Christian J. Chuba , Jun 21 2020 14:18 utc | 78

    Re: the Nuremberg trials , I became fascinated by the writings of Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace' . This is when one country sets up an environment for war against another country. I'll grant you that this is vague but if this is applicable at all how is this not an accurate description of what we are doing against Iran and Venezuela?

    In both cases, we are imposing a full trade embargo (not sanctions) on basic civilian necessities and infrastructures and threatening the use of military force. As for Iran, the sustained and unfair demonization of Iranians is preparing the U.S. public to accept a ruthless bombing campaign against them as long overdue. We are already attacking the civilian population of their allies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

    How Ironic that the country that boasts that it won WW2 is now guilty of the very crimes that it condemned publicly in court.

    [Jun 19, 2020] Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes

    Jun 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    Security screening of manuscripts I t is the law in the United States that those who have had legal access to the secrets of the government must submit private manuscripts for removal of such secrets BEFORE they are published or even presented to a potential publisher. Every department of government has an office charged with such work.

    I know this process well because my memoir "Tattoo" has been in the hands of the appropriate Defense Department office for nigh on six months. The book is long, and I was so unlucky as to have DoD shut down its auxiliary services during my wait. I have thought of withdrawing it from screening but, surprisingly, the screeners tell me it has some worth for those who will come after. So, I will wait.

    All this applies to John Bolton, a career State Department man whose adult life has been soaked in government secrets. I first noticed Bolton as a glowering presence at briefings I gave to selected State Department people with regard to national command authority projects I was running. His attitude was consistent. If the idea was not his, it was simply wrong.

    Bolton's "kiss and tell" book about Trump is IMO as much caused by wounded ego as a desire to make money. He submitted the book for security review to DoD and the CIA. Why not State? Ah, Pompeo would tear it to pieces. Bolton evidently grew impatient with the pace of clearance and decided to go ahead with publication without clearance

    To do this is a felony. The release of the book today completes the elements of proof for the crime.

    Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes. pl


    Jack , 18 June 2020 at 11:56 AM

    Sir,

    Let's see what Trump does with Bolton now that he has committed a felony.

    My bet is that other than crying on Twitter, he'll not do much. His previous actions/inactions on these matters show weakness.

    In any case bitching on Twitter makes him look like an executive with poor hiring judgement as he was the one that hired him. Just like he hired Mattis and Kelly as well as Rosenstein and Wray.

    Barbara Ann , 18 June 2020 at 12:03 PM
    Bolton being successfully charged with violations associated with his sour grapes hit piece memoir is analogous to Al Capone finally going down for tax evasion. But if that's the way it goes I will not be sad.

    Re "Tattoo", your Memorial Day "Ap Bu Nho" extract alone makes "some worth" an amusingly ludicrous understatement. I wish you luck with the censors & very much look forward to one day reading "Tattoo".

    eakens , 18 June 2020 at 12:05 PM
    Who can we rely on to uphold the rule of law anymore? It's starting to appear we are living in a failed state.
    Artemesia , 18 June 2020 at 01:22 PM
    AIS

    He was a convert to the neocon faith early in life and all else was mischief.

    Posted by: turcopolier | 18 June 2020 at 12:21 PM

    "He was a convert - - -"
    I was going to ask what went wrong with Bolton: was he dropped on his head as an infant? No father in the home? The Dulles brothers spent their childhoods being harangued by their bible-thumping Calvinist grandfather (reports Kinzer in his useful bio on the brothers).

    In Jeff Engel's book about the decision-making behind G H W Bush's decision to wage war against Saddam re Kuwait, he recounts that an argument by Brent Scowcroft was significant, AND that "Scowcroft, who was very short," confronted taller-than-average Bush while knees-to-knees in an airplane.
    Bolton is shorter than the average American male. Does he have 'short-person' compulsion to compensate?

    People psychologize Trump constantly, usually from ignorance and malice. But something is very wrong with Bolton. Pompeo as well. What is it?
    "What huge imago made a psychopathic god?" (Auden, Sept. 1939)

    Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:11 PM
    Col Lang,

    #1 I read this WaPo article that argued because the recent DOJ's lawsuit against the release of the book is based on "prior restraint on speech before it occurs", meaning the Trump administration cannot censor speech before it happens, therefore there is no 1st amendment breach against the Trump admin by Bolton. As the court elaborated in Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, prior restraints are "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights" and "one of the most extraordinary remedies known to our jurisprudence."

    #2 Bolton took all of his notes containing classified intelligence with him after he was fired and nobody took an issue. How is that possible?

    #3 The Wapo article says his manuscript was reviewed for four months by one Ellen Knight, an official (doesn't mention which department) responsible for reviewing publishing material and she gave it the green light for publication on April 27th.

    #4 During a press conference, Bill Barr gave an unusual take on Bolton's book as if he was giving publicity to the book. He said he had never seen a book being written on Trump with such pace and in such quick time and that it had a lot of sensitive information and stuff. It sounded really odd what Bill Barr said. I dunno maybe I am reading to much between the lines...

    #5 With regards to Pompeo, back in September during a press conference at the State, when asked by a reporter about Bolton's firing I specifically remember watching him on TV giving a big meaningful chuckle and a smile... it was revealed later that they clearly did not get along with each other and Pompeo had complained on numerous times that Bolton as NSA, who does not have executive authorities, had been doing a lot of policy stuff and running his own show in shadow.

    On a final note, I don't think Bolton is a neocon in the mold of Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Kagan, Kristol etc...There is this long piece by New Yorker published last year that really gets into detail of how and why Bolton is not a neocon, but adheres to a more hawkish Jacksonian nationalism approach rather than the liberal idealism of arch neocons I mentioned above. However, he does have quite similar F.P. views with neocon oldies such as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick.

    JohnH , 18 June 2020 at 04:39 PM
    If Bolton does NOT get the book thrown at him, it will be pretty good evidence of the existence of the Deep State allowing those it favors to write their own rules. Of course, we already knew that after Clapper lied with impunity to Wyden when he was under oath.
    TV , 18 June 2020 at 04:49 PM
    He'll never be prosecuted and neither will Comey, Clapper and the rest of the swamp scum.
    Strozk (lower on the food chain) might be the human sacrifice (with a sentence of "community service") but no one of any significance (or "royal" title) is ever prosecuted in the swamp.
    Trump has tried, but his miserable lack of hiring experience and skill has not made a dent
    Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:53 PM
    Artemisia,

    I feel like I have a few words to say about Bolton if I may,

    IMHO Bolton's view of the world is very dark and extremely Hobbesian. He is no slouch by any stretch of imagination, in fact he is extremely knowledgeable and masterful when it comes to policy-making and that basically how things are done in D.C. He has made a brand for himself as the most hawkish national security expert in all of America in my opinion. Honestly I cannot think of anyone else who espouses more hawkishness and zero diplomacy than Bolton, ever... maybe Tom Cotton or Liz Cheney but still not close. This is the reason why Trump hired him. In fact Trump did not want to hire him as the top brass in first place, citing his mustache as one reason that would not look good on TV and wanted to give him 2nd tier jobs at the State or as NSA early on, but Bolton refused. Trump, wanted to hire Bolton's "brand" not his policies or hawkishness to intimidate Nkorea, Iran, and China to force them come into making deals with him and him personally.

    IMO Trump found out after the first Kim summit that Bolton was
    such an ambitious and counterproductive foreign policy maker and one-man-team that if he allowed Bolton to get his way, there would be world war III (Trump's own words) and his most important promise to keep America out of forever wars which was his wining platform over neocons such as Hilary, Jeb and Rubio during 2016 election would disappear into thin air.

    So, Trump found ways to check Bolton and keep him out of the loop in sensitive and crucial moments by Mattis, Kelly, Joe Dunford, Pompeo and even Melania (in the case of getting rid of Bolton's close confidant and neocon Mira Ricardel when she called for bombing Iranian forces back in September 2018 in respone to several rockets by iraqi militias hitting the ground close to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad), and even sent him to Mongolia last year on a goose chase to make an embarrassing example of him for undermining him (i.e. Trump's) authority in the case of sitting down with the Taliban in Camp David to discuss military pullout from Afghanistan back in Sep. whereas at the same time Pompeo was smart enough to tow the same line as Trump and survive.

    I few years ago I came across this interesting but odd piece by B on the Moon of Alabama on Bolton. I honestly dunno what to make of it.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2006/02/a_glasshouse_in.html

    ked , 18 June 2020 at 05:11 PM
    The book is already released in the hundreds. It will be on-line soon enough regardless of the niceties of Barr's attempt to slam shut the barn door, or what the legal system does with Bolton going fwd.
    Those close to Trump know his emotional state must be appeased or they will soon be departing - unless there's a DNA match.
    Reaction to it will be a test of one's ability to distinguish Bolton from the events he describes & their veracity. Is there anything of Trump's statements & acts (released so far) that surprises anyone... that rings untrue?
    Those ideologically (or religiously) dependent upon the Trump Phenomenon for validating their core beliefs will demonstrate how creative true believers can be when attached to a personality.
    A.I.S. , 18 June 2020 at 05:34 PM
    For what its worth I am looking forward to buying it, should scratch that Peter Scholl Latour itch.

    Another thing is that I just dont get the Neocons.
    Their politics are bad both from a Machieavellian (dilutes US forces, creates enemies, considerably restricts creative ways in which US power could be employed) and from a moral (obviously) point of view. I also dont get their power, stupid/evil tends to be competed out. Heck, even if they are stupid/evil but very good at beurocratic backbiting stuff, they are still supposedly disadvantadged against skilled beurocratic backbiters that arent stupid/evil (or at least only evil and not stupid).
    Is it internal cohesion or a much higher degree of ruthlessness that maintains their position?

    PB , 18 June 2020 at 07:05 PM
    I've for many years thought that the Bolton problem was best solved with a speedy trial and a swift execution, with remains thrown overboard somewhere in the Indian ocean.
    turcopolier , 18 June 2020 at 07:13 PM
    polish janitor

    He signed an oath to safeguard the secrecy of the information when "read on" for it and another such when he was "read off." The 1st Amendment does not come into it at all

    [Jun 19, 2020] The Imperious Caesar Act Will Crush the Syrian People by Daniel Larison

    Jun 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Broad and sweeping sanctions inevitably harm the entire population of a targeted country, and in many cases that is exactly what they are meant to do.

    When they are joined to maximalist policy goals, they are guaranteed to fail according to the standards of their supporters. The ongoing failure of sanctions is then cited as a reason to expand them and make them even more obnoxious. A piece of sanctions legislation targeting Syria is a case in point. The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act has greatly expanded the scope and reach of U.S. sanctions on the Syrian economy, and the first sanctions authorized by the law come into force this week . That practically guarantees imposing further hardship and deprivation on a country that has already been ravaged by eight years of conflict. It is just the latest piece of evidence that the U.S. needs to renounce its use of broad sanctions.

    In their recent analysis of the legislation, Basma Alloush and Alex Simon explain how the Caesar Act will likely stifle Syria's economic recovery, interfere with humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts, and drive away businesses that might be willing to invest in the country. They emphasize the legislation's "vast scope" as a reason to fear that it will simply add to the burdens that the civilian population has had to bear:

    Within that continuum, the Caesar Act's novelty lies in its vast scope. Previous measures have targeted a mix of individual actors and selected sectors, and have applied almost exclusively to Syrian and American entities. By contrast, the Caesar Act promises to slap so-called "secondary sanctions" onto businesses of any nationality that are found transacting with sanctioned actors in multiple sectors of Syria's economy -- notably energy and construction. As such, the bill aims to deepen Damascus' isolation by deterring investment by any businesses from Beirut to Dubai to Beijing.

    Sanctions are not the primary cause of Syrians' hardships, and the Syrian government bears significant responsibility for the wreckage of the economy. Even so, further strangling the Syrian economy now will succeed only in starving the country of investment and commerce for no real purpose. Sanctions will fuel inflation and make even basic necessities unaffordable for millions of people. The U.S. can choose to assist the people of Syria, or it can choose to grind them down even more. The Caesar Act is the latter. The people of Syria are being made to suffer more in the vain attempt to weaken the Syrian government.

    The Caesar Act's destructive effects won't be limited just to Syria, but are already spilling over into Lebanon:

    The ramifications of Caesar are rippling through Beirut, where traders retain lucrative ties to Syrian officials that are barely keeping Lebanese state revenues ticking over.
    "This is a disaster for the [Lebanese] government, said one Lebanese banker. "They will sanction Lebanese traders and banks. Our currency will plunge as far as theirs. One of the few places we can trade is Damascus. If that's shut down, we're doomed."

    Like any other coercive intervention, sanctions have destabilizing, negative consequences for the targeted country and all of its neighbors.

    The Syria example is a reminder that sanctions are easy to apply but remarkably difficult to remove later. It is politically advantageous for politicians to endorse sanctions bills because it allows them to claim that they are being "tough" on some despised foreign leader, and no one will hold them accountable for the destructive effects of sanctions in the years that follow. There is usually much more political risk in opposing sanctions or calling for their removal, because this is wrongly cast as "rewarding" another government's abuses. It is also often the case that sanctions legislation includes conditions for sanctions relief that are so ambitious and far-fetched that they will never be met. Alloush and Simon comment on some of the unrealistic conditions contained in the Caesar Act:

    As a result, the Caesar Act's true force may lie less in its immediate impact and more in its long-term implications. The law's five-year sunset clause means that these measures are likely to stick until 2025 -- possibly longer. In principle, the president could suspend the sanctions sooner if Damascus and its allies fulfill a set of seven criteria. However, several requirements -- including "releasing all political prisoners" and "taking verifiable steps to establish meaningful accountability" -- are so unrealistic as to render this stipulation meaningless.

    The U.S. tends to impose many overlapping and reinforcing sets of sanctions on the same governments, and that makes it even less likely that all sanctions on a government will ever be lifted. As a result, sanctions on another country become a permanent fixture of their economy, and the targeted government has no incentive to make any concessions on any issue. Writing at the Lawfare website, Edward Fishman makes an excellent observation about how sanctions pile up and then lead to effective policies of regime change:

    The static nature of sanctions not only makes them toothless; it also produces harmful effects on U.S. policy. Because sanctions are rarely lifted, they tend to accumulate over time at a steady, if intermittent, pace. As sanctions snowball, so do their objectives, worsening the convoluted problem outlined above. The net result is that, almost by default, nearly every sanctions program eventually aims for regime change. (It's hardly surprising that one of the only times America has ended a sanctions program in recent history -- when President Obama did so with respect to Burma in 2016 -- came after Aung San Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy won a majority of seats in Burma's parliament.) With a tortuous web of sanctions and policy objectives, most adversary regimes rightly assess that the only way out of sanctions is to call it quits. But no government will commit political suicide to undo sanctions.

    When the U.S. seeks major changes in regime behavior or the overthrow of the regime through sanctions, the policy is most likely to fail. But it will also necessarily harm the civilian population in the meantime. Fishman cuts to the heart of the matter:

    Policymakers and experts need to disabuse themselves of shibboleths that sanctions are precisely targeted at government officials and spare civilian populations and accept that America's most ambitious sanctions programs aim to cause systemic economic damage -- which, by definition, is felt by most if not all members of society.

    Sanctions advocates often cast themselves as supporters and allies of the people in the country whose economy they want to destroy. This has never been credible, and it is long past time that we stop tolerating these deceptions. If you seek to ruin another country's economy, you seek the ruin of the people living there. Sanctions advocates should be held responsible for the results of the policies they promote.

    We have seen this story unfold many times over the last three decades. First, the U.S. imposes sanctions to punish a government for its behavior. Then the government's leadership and its cronies use the economic difficulties created by the sanctions to enrich themselves and buy loyalty by controlling access to limited goods. Legitimate commerce is strangled, smuggling flourishes, and the government and its cronies exploit that to their advantage as well. Meanwhile humanitarian organizations that try to help the people find themselves bogged down in paperwork and struggling to get the simplest items approved, and humanitarian relief ends up being delayed or blocked all together. Financial transactions with the outside world become all but impossible, and essential humanitarian goods can't be brought into the country. Collective punishment strikes down the poor and infirm, and it leaves the well-connected and corrupt to prosper. The Caesar Act sanctions seem very likely to repeat the same pattern. Alloush and Simon add:

    The impact will go far beyond deterring individual companies, trickling down to ordinary Syrians seeking to get on with their lives. For instance, the Caesar Act targets Syria's construction sector, which has sparked concerns among aid organizations working to support small-scale infrastructural rehabilitation -- from fixing up damaged water networks to helping rebuild bombed-out schools or apartments.

    The U.S. increasingly relies on a coercive policy that does a terrible job of advancing American interests, but it excels at impoverishing and killing ordinary people in many countries around the world. Economic sanctions have been a favorite tool for politicians and policymakers to use against many governments in response to a range of undesirable activities, because it seems to offer a low-cost option that allows the U.S. to "do something." The record clearly shows that they fail on their own terms, and they end up costing much more than their advocates will ever admit. It would be bad enough if this were simply a matter of repeating the same error over and over and never learning anything, but the consequences of sanctions have been devastating for millions and fatal for tens of thousands of people.

    Hurting the weakest and most vulnerable people is what sanctions usually do. The broader the sanctions are, the more harm they do to innocent people. Instead of trying to "fix" or reform how the U.S. uses tools of economic warfare, our government should abandon the use of broad, sectoral sanctions entirely. Just as we have sought to limit and restrict the use of force to reduce the harm to civilians in warfare, we need to limit and restrict the use of economic coercion when it comes to sanctioning other governments. Rather than refining tools of collective punishment, the U.S. should stop trying to police the behavior of other states.

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    [Jun 19, 2020] The USG' s definition of Dictator

    Highly recommended!
    Jun 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Cyndy Tyler L RNY 8 hours ago

    The USG' s definition of Dictator.

    DICTATOR, Noun: Someone who does not let American CEOs dictate how their country is run

    [Jun 18, 2020] Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years

    Jun 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    John , Jun 17 2020 19:24 utc | 4

    I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

    karlof1 , Jun 17 2020 19:33 utc | 5

    Bolton deserves having a parasite named after him, if that.
    Scotch Bingeington , Jun 17 2020 19:57 utc | 6
    Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years, before his fellow crooks deemed him unfit for his position, again and again. Says a lot.

    I hope they will confiscate his book on some flimsy pretext, only to lose the piles of copies in storage, so they cannot possibly be released to bookstores again. Maybe some mice will make use of it to furnish their nests?

    Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

    GeorgeV , Jun 17 2020 20:25 utc | 8
    John Bolton's tell all book about his tenure with the Trump administration is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle burned. It is a fitting description of the leadership of the US government and it's capitol city as a den of backstabbing, corkscrewing and double dealing vipers. It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk.
    bob sykes , Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11
    Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters.
    uncle tungsten , Jun 17 2020 21:00 utc | 12
    karlof1 #5
    Blastocystis hominis could be renamed easily enough. It is a pain in the gut and arse.

    I will not bother to read any more on Bolton the man is beneath contempt. b has said more than enough.

    Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13
    It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?
    pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14
    let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.
    Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15
    Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
    Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
    The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

    So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barton
    Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

    AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
    @ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

    Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

    Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

    The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

    james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
    let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
    Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
    At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
    Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
    @ Jpc
    When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
    A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
    re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
    who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
    Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
    He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
    Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
    He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
    Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

    It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
    When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

    Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 26
    Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

    Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

    Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

    DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 27
    Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people

    [Jun 17, 2020] Collusion with China, wanting to stay in office forever Leaked Bolton book excerpts cash in on anti-Trump frenzy

    If we view Bolton as Adelson puppet, such a behaviour clearly does not make much sense. Or this is a single from Israel lobby to Trump "moor did his duty, moor can go"?
    Notable quotes:
    "... "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons." ..."
    "... "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," ..."
    "... "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," ..."
    "... "bombshells" ..."
    "... "exactly the right thing to do." ..."
    "... "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China." ..."
    "... "Panda Hugger." ..."
    "... The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like." ..."
    "... Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt. ..."
    "... "soft on China" ..."
    "... As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job. ..."
    Jun 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
    Former national security adviser John Bolton has leaked excerpts of his book to major newspapers, accusing President Donald Trump of colluding with leaders in China and Turkey, and obstruction of justice "as a way of life." Facing a DOJ lawsuit seeking to block the publication of his memoir for containing classified information, Bolton decided to go to the press, leaking parts of the book to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

    Breaking News: John Bolton says in his new book that the House should have investigated President Trump for potentially impeachable actions beyond Ukraine https://t.co/8lpd4xAzYu

    -- The New York Times (@nytimes) June 17, 2020

    Bolton famously refused to testify before the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump over his alleged abuse of power regarding Ukraine, but now claims that they should have expanded the probe to "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons."

    He accuses Trump of wanting to "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," bringing up companies in China and Turkey as examples, according to the Times. "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," the Times quotes him as saying.

    One of the Bolton "bombshells" is that he sought China's purchase of US soybeans in order to get re-elected, during trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping.

    SOYBEAN DIPLOMACY: The WSJ has published an excerpt of @AmbJohnBolton 's forthcoming book, revealing Trump-Xi conversation and how the American president pleaded his Chinese counterpart to buy U.S. soybeans so he could win farm states in the 2020 presidential elections | #OATT pic.twitter.com/XKAogLCCtN

    -- Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) June 17, 2020

    An excerpt in the Wall Street Journal has Trump telling Xi that – alleged – concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province were "exactly the right thing to do." It also alleges that Trump did Xi a favor by relaxing US sanctions on ZTE, a Chinese telecom company.

    WSJ excerpt of Bolton book has Trump & China bombshells. Trump told Xi building concentration camps for Muslims "was exactly the right thing to do." Trump pleaded w/ Xi to help him w/ re-election by making US farm product buys. And Trump helped Xi w/ ZTE. https://t.co/4CSflQQqcL

    -- Edward Wong (@ewong) June 17, 2020

    This comes as Trump signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, which mandates US sanctions against Chinese officials over "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China."

    Another excerpt has Bolton referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as a "Panda Hugger."

    According to Bolton, Trump told Xi to "go ahead with building the camps" for imprisoned Uighurs.

    -- Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) June 17, 2020

    As another proof of Trump's perfidy, Bolton writes that the president told Xi that he would like to stay in office beyond the two terms the US Constitution would allow him. Bolton's one-time colleague Dinesh D'Souza commented that Bolton was unable to recognize a clear joke.

    Really? This is it? John Bolton's smoking gun? Trump has been jokingly putting out memes about this for four years. This conversation, if it occurred at all, seems obviously jocular. Bolton, however, whom I knew quite well from AEI, doesn't have a jocular bone in his body pic.twitter.com/Qe8sXCAT58

    -- Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 17, 2020

    Trump has on more than one occasion shared a meme showing him staying in power forever, triggering Democrats into denouncing him as an aspiring dictator. Apparently, Bolton thought the same.

    According to John Bolton posting this meme was an impeachable offense https://t.co/q2BHlfVTEu

    -- Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸 (@willchamberlain) June 17, 2020

    The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like."

    Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt.

    Pretty telling that the episode which pissed off Bolton the most during his tenure was Trump calling off airstrikes which would have killed dozens of Iranian soldiers in June 2019 https://t.co/ruFSInj2Mu pic.twitter.com/5zO7UrxMTM

    -- Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 17, 2020

    Arguing that Trump is being "soft on China" and colluding with Xi also happens to be a Democratic Party strategy for the 2020 presidential election, outlined in April and reported by Axios.

    While Democrats and the mainstream media welcomed Bolton's bombshells as validating their position on Trump, he is unlikely to become a #Resistance hero, simply because they still remember he refused to say these things under oath during the impeachment hearings, when they – in theory – could have bolstered their case for getting Trump out of office.

    As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job.

    Do I care that Bolton is stabbing Trump in the back? Not at all. General Flynn was NSA and Trump made his choices. Being outraged on behalf of a 70+ year old man who makes poor choices is well beyond my job description.

    -- Blue Flu Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 17, 2020

    [Jun 09, 2020] ISIS is a US-Israeli creation

    Jun 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Robjil , says: June 8, 2020 at 6:12 pm GMT

    @barr ational interest in one of Untermeyer's pet projects -- the Zionist Movement."

    Others have been even more explicit about the nature of Scofield's service to the Zionist agenda. In "Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem," Prof. David W. Lutz writes, "Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas City lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter's career, including travel in Europe."

    [Jun 06, 2020] Spare Us Your 'Mad Dog' Mattis Worship by Andy Kroll

    Jun 06, 2020 | www.rollingstone.com

    James Mattis and other generals have sent the political class into delirium with their Trump criticism, but there are better voices for this moment than the authors of America's forever wars

    Andy Kroll

    Rolling Stone Washington bureau chief

    @AndyKroll Follow ,

    Here come the generals.

    A procession of decorated former U.S. military leaders has spoken out in recent days to gravely denounce President Trump and his unmistakably authoritarian response to the demonstrations against police violence and racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd.

    James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, accused Trump of shredding the Constitution with the violent removal of protesters outside the White House so that Trump could stage a photo op. Mattis, who was Trump's first secretary of defense, said Americans were "witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership."

    John Allen, a retired Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, warned that the "slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020," the day of Trump's crackdown and photo op. "Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment."

    Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking military position in the country, penned an essay titled "I Cannot Remain Silent" in which he wrote that Trump's conduct "laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces."

    [Jun 02, 2020] An Arrested Middle East The 'New Strategy for Securing the Realm' (aka Isreal) Dissipates by Alastair Crooke

    Flirtation with Muslim Brotherhood by Obama was very bad for the USA and the world, especially Syria.
    Notable quotes:
    "... "No one really knows the nature of the Brotherhood project: whether it is that of a sect, or if it is truly mainstream; and this opacity is giving rise to real fears. At times, the Brotherhood presents a pragmatic, even an uncomfortably accommodationist, face to the world, but other voices from the movement, more discretely evoke the air of something akin to the rhetoric of literal, intolerant and hegemonic Salafism. What is clear, however, is that the Brotherhood tone everywhere, is increasingly one of militant sectarian [i.e. Sunni] grievance." ..."
    "... All these supposedly popular dynamics had become tools in the "fervour for the restitution of a Sunni regional primacy – even, perhaps, of hegemony – to be attained through fanning rising Sunni militancy and Salafist acculturation". Containing Iran, of course was a primary aim (encouraged, of course, by Washington). But these forces collectively comprised a project in which Gulf leaders managed and pulled the levers – and paid the bills too. ..."
    "... The American, European and Gulf leaders (i.e. the gods) turned sharply away from the Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar was the exception) – and turned instead to ISIS and Al-Qaida. The 'gods' were set on making an example of a non-compliant Assad and increasingly, they looked to the latter – ISIS – to inject the required savagery to claw down Assad – in the face of the latter's tenacious fight-back. ..."
    "... In any event, sentiment turned violently against the MB from many quarters. Secular Arab nationalists had always heartily detested the MB, and the al-Saud and Emirate leaderships similarly detested the Muslim Brotherhood (albeit for different reasons). ..."
    "... But there was always a fundamental contradiction in the American flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood: it was that Washington's objective was never regional reform – whether secular or Islamist; the aim always was to preserve a malleable status quo in the Middle East. ..."
    "... U.S. neo-cons were then at the peak of their influence. Since 1996, they had insisted on unqualified U.S. support for the region's Kings and Emirs versus the Ba'athists and Islamists. It was they who won out easily – against CIA officers such as Graham Fuller – in the debate on whether or not to support any sort of 'Arab Awakening'. ..."
    "... The U.S. sided with Saudi Arabia and UAE in mounting the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood President in Cairo. And still today, the U.S. and its European protégés support the UAE's Crown Prince in his vendetta war against Islamists everywhere, from the Horn of Africa to the Magreb – and against Turkey too, as the Muslim Brotherhood's 'mother-ship'. ..."
    "... These 'policy papers' may have been the precursors, but in the final analysis, the 'block' simply is, and has been, Israel – both indirectly and directly. The Clean Break's full title was a New Strategy for Securing the Realm (i.e. Israel). It was a blueprint for underpinning Israel's security. Ditto for Wurmser's paper. ..."
    "... In sum, either U.S. or Israeli fears, or U.S. concerns to appease domestic U.S. constituencies, lie at the bottom of this stasis: Israeli and the U.S. élites are wholly comfortable with this malleable status quo – and fear it changing in any way that they cannot control. No reform for the Middle East – only disruption. ..."
    Jun 01, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

    Some eight years ago, I wrote about the outbreak of popular stirring in the Middle East, then labelled the 'Arab Awakening'. Multiple popular discontents were welling: demands for radical change proliferated, but above all, there was anger – anger at mountainous inequalities in wealth; blatant injustices and political marginalisation; and at a corrupt and rapacious élite. The moment had seemed potent, but no change resulted. Why? And what are the portents, as the Corona era covers the region once again with dark clouds of economic gloom and renewed discontent?

    The U.S. was conflicted, as these earlier rumblings of thunder spread from hilltop to hilltop. Some in the CIA, had perceived popular movements – such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) (although Islamist) as the useful solvent that could wash away lingering stale Ottoman residues, to usher in a shiny westernised modernity. Many over excited Europeans imagined (wrongly), that the popular Awakenings were made in their own image. They weren't.

    The facile interpretation of the Awakening as a liberal democratic 'impulse' was at best, an exaggeration, if not a pure fantasy. I wrote then (in 2012): "What genuine popular impulse there was at the outset has now been subsumed, and absorbed into three major political projects associated, rather with a push to reassert [Sunni] primacy across the region: a Muslim Brotherhood project, a Saudi-Salafist project, and a militant Salafist project [which subsequently was to evolve into ISIS]".

    The key early player was the Muslim Brotherhood. I wrote :

    "No one really knows the nature of the Brotherhood project: whether it is that of a sect, or if it is truly mainstream; and this opacity is giving rise to real fears. At times, the Brotherhood presents a pragmatic, even an uncomfortably accommodationist, face to the world, but other voices from the movement, more discretely evoke the air of something akin to the rhetoric of literal, intolerant and hegemonic Salafism. What is clear, however, is that the Brotherhood tone everywhere, is increasingly one of militant sectarian [i.e. Sunni] grievance."

    This was the common thread: All these supposedly popular dynamics had become tools in the "fervour for the restitution of a Sunni regional primacy – even, perhaps, of hegemony – to be attained through fanning rising Sunni militancy and Salafist acculturation". Containing Iran, of course was a primary aim (encouraged, of course, by Washington). But these forces collectively comprised a project in which Gulf leaders managed and pulled the levers – and paid the bills too.

    And for an early instant, those in the U.S. who had bet on the Muslim Brotherhood, glimpsed victory. Egypt fell to the MB; Syria was subject to a full-spectrum 'war', and the Muslim Brotherhood openly expressed its objective to 'take' the Gulf, where it had long established covert cells and networks.

    But it was overreach. The Muslim Brotherhood was, it seemed to interested parties, about to steal (like Prometheus), the fire which belonged exclusively to 'the gods'. Plus, the MB were revealing obvious flaws: Its leadership in Cairo was deeply unconvincing. In Syria, where the movement never had significant penetration (single digit percent support), it was being quickly displaced by war-experienced Salafists coming in from the war in Iraq.

    The American, European and Gulf leaders (i.e. the gods) turned sharply away from the Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar was the exception) – and turned instead to ISIS and Al-Qaida. The 'gods' were set on making an example of a non-compliant Assad and increasingly, they looked to the latter – ISIS – to inject the required savagery to claw down Assad – in the face of the latter's tenacious fight-back.

    In any event, sentiment turned violently against the MB from many quarters. Secular Arab nationalists had always heartily detested the MB, and the al-Saud and Emirate leaderships similarly detested the Muslim Brotherhood (albeit for different reasons).

    But there was always a fundamental contradiction in the American flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood: it was that Washington's objective was never regional reform – whether secular or Islamist; the aim always was to preserve a malleable status quo in the Middle East.

    U.S. neo-cons were then at the peak of their influence. Since 1996, they had insisted on unqualified U.S. support for the region's Kings and Emirs versus the Ba'athists and Islamists. It was they who won out easily – against CIA officers such as Graham Fuller – in the debate on whether or not to support any sort of 'Arab Awakening'.

    The U.S. sided with Saudi Arabia and UAE in mounting the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood President in Cairo. And still today, the U.S. and its European protégés support the UAE's Crown Prince in his vendetta war against Islamists everywhere, from the Horn of Africa to the Magreb – and against Turkey too, as the Muslim Brotherhood's 'mother-ship'.

    This 'war on Islamists' has provided cover for the counter-revolutionary repression of any reform of the 'Arab System' – a rearguard Gulf action initially triggered by fears that any 'Awakening' might sweep away Gulf ruling families. Today, the UAE continues to try to seed compliant strongmen, General Sisi lookalikes, in states such as Libya and now Tunisia .

    So, here we are. But, where are we going? And, above all, why no reform? Can this continue, or will the region explode under the effects of the Covid-triggered, recession?

    No reform at all, for a full decade? What's the block? Well, in the first place, the background lies with those two key neo-con policy papers: the 1996 Clean Break , and David Wurmser's follow-on, Coping with Crumbling States. These two documents laid the basis for the U.S. (and Israeli) endorsement of Gulf States acting as 'policeman' and regional strongmen (a role that the UAE has taken to a new peak), managing any rumblings of dissent (such as in Libya).

    These 'policy papers' may have been the precursors, but in the final analysis, the 'block' simply is, and has been, Israel – both indirectly and directly. The Clean Break's full title was a New Strategy for Securing the Realm (i.e. Israel). It was a blueprint for underpinning Israel's security. Ditto for Wurmser's paper.

    In sum, either U.S. or Israeli fears, or U.S. concerns to appease domestic U.S. constituencies, lie at the bottom of this stasis: Israeli and the U.S. élites are wholly comfortable with this malleable status quo – and fear it changing in any way that they cannot control. No reform for the Middle East – only disruption.

    Here is the point: There has been no reform, but there is a new dynamic at work. Power is an attribute that is based in deference and powerful illusion. So long as people are willing to defer to a leader; so long as people are persuaded by the illusion of power; so long as people fear – the leader leads. But should the illusion become evident as illusion, nothing easily can prop it up. Power is ephemeral; it dissipates like mountain mist. And the U.S. is losing it.

    [May 24, 2020] Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training

    Highly recommended!
    I wouldn't hold my breath for the slightest change in that status quo any time soon.
    May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

    anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT

    Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training

    Seems rather typical of those making policy, not knowing much about the area they're assigned to. If a person did know Arabic and had an understanding of the culture they wouldn't get hired as they'd be viewed with suspicion, suspected of being sympathetic to Middle Easterners. How and why these neocons can come back into government is puzzling and one wonders who within the establishment is backing them. Judging by the quotes her father certainly seems deranged and not someone to be allowed anywhere near any policy making positions.
    Flynn also seems to be a dolt what with his 'worldwide war against radical Islam'. Someone should clue him in that much of this radical Islam has been created and stoked by the US who hyped up radical Islam, recruiting and arming them to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was there, remember? Flynn, a general, is unaware of this? Islamic jihadists are America's Foreign Legion and have been used all over the Muslim world, most recently in Syria. Does this portend war with Iran? Possibly, but perhaps Trump wouldn't want to go it alone but would want the financial support of other countries. They've probably war-gamed it to death and found it to be a loser.

    [May 23, 2020] Leading Neocon Directs Pentagon Middle East Planning, by Philip Giraldi

    Notable quotes:
    "... The GWOT was promoted with brain-dead expressions like "there's a new sheriff in town" which, after the destruction of large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, later morphed into the matrix of the God-awful belief that something called "American Exceptionalism" existed. ..."
    "... Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts it another way, that the U.S. is a "force for good," but it was former Secretary Madeleine Albright who expressed the fantasy best , stating that " if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." ..."
    "... One aspect of the American heavy footprint that is little noted is the ruin of many formerly functioning countries that it brings with it. Iraq and Libya might have been dictatorships before the U.S. intervened, but they gave their people a higher standard of living and more security than has been the case ever since. ..."
    "... Libya, destroyed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had the highest standard of living in Africa. Iraq is currently one of the world's most corrupt countries, so corrupt that there have been massive street demonstrations recently against the government's inability to do anything good for the its own people. Electricity and water supplies are, for example, less reliable than before the U.S. intervened seventeen years ago. ..."
    "... The failures of the American foreign policy since George W. Bush have been accredited to the so-called neoconservatives, who successfully hijacked the Bush presidency. Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and the merry crowd at the American Enterprise Institute had a major ally in Vice President Dick Cheney and were pretty much able to run wild, creating a casus belli for invading Iraq that was largely fabricated and which was completely against actual U.S. interests in the region. Apparently no one ever told Wolfie that Iraq was the Arab bulwark against Iranian ambitions and that Tehran would be the only major beneficiary in taking down Saddam Hussein. Since Iraq, the chameleonlike neocons have had a prominent voice in the mainstream media and have also played major roles in the shaping the foreign and national security policies of the presidencies that have followed George W. Bush. ..."
    "... The $20 billion disbursed during the 15-month proconsulship of the CPA came from frozen and seized Iraqi assets held in the U.S. Most of the money was in the form of cash, flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 "cashpaks," each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from the Iraqi accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons. ..."
    "... Once in Iraq, there was virtually no accountability over how the money was spent. There was also considerable money "off the books," including as much as $4 billion from illegal oil exports. Thus, the country was awash in unaccountable cash. British sources report that the CPA contracts that were not handed out to cronies were sold to the highest bidder, with bribes as high as $300,000 being demanded for particularly lucrative reconstruction contracts. The contracts were especially attractive because no work or results were necessarily expected in return. ..."
    "... Many of its staff, like Michael Fleischer, were selected for their political affiliations rather than their knowledge of the jobs they were supposed to perform and many of them were not surprisingly neocons. One of them has now resurfaced in a top Pentagon position. She is Simone Ledeen , daughter of leading neoconservative Michael Ledeen. Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training, she nevertheless became in 2003 a senior advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad. ..."
    "... Simone has now been appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense (DASD) for the Middle East, which is the principal position for shaping Pentagon policy for that region. ..."
    "... Apparently Simone's gene pool makes her qualified to lead the Pentagon into the Middle East, where she no doubt has views that make her compatible with the Trump/Pompeo current spin on the Iranian threat. The neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) gushed "Simone Ledeen has worked at the Pentagon & Treasury and at a major bank. Exactly what we should want for such a position." Of course, FDD, the leading advocate of war with Iran, also wants someone who will green light destroying the Persians. ..."
    May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

    The Global War on Terror or GWOT was declared in the wake of 9/11 by President George W. Bush. It basically committed the United States to work to eliminate all "terrorist" groups worldwide, whether or not the countries being targeted agreed that they were beset by terrorists and whether or not they welcomed U.S. "help." The GWOT was promoted with brain-dead expressions like "there's a new sheriff in town" which, after the destruction of large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, later morphed into the matrix of the God-awful belief that something called "American Exceptionalism" existed.

    With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional. That is generally how Donald Trump and hardline Republicans see the world, that sovereignty exercised by foreign governments is and should be limited by the reach of the U.S. military. Surrounding a competitor with military bases and warships is a concept that many in Washington are currently trying to sell regarding a suitable response to the Chinese economic and political challenge.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts it another way, that the U.S. is a "force for good," but it was former Secretary Madeleine Albright who expressed the fantasy best , stating that " if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists. Either way, the U.S. gets to make the decisions over life and death, which, since the GWOT began, have destroyed or otherwise compromised the lives of millions of people, mostly concentrated in Asia.

    One aspect of the American heavy footprint that is little noted is the ruin of many formerly functioning countries that it brings with it. Iraq and Libya might have been dictatorships before the U.S. intervened, but they gave their people a higher standard of living and more security than has been the case ever since.

    Libya, destroyed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had the highest standard of living in Africa. Iraq is currently one of the world's most corrupt countries, so corrupt that there have been massive street demonstrations recently against the government's inability to do anything good for the its own people. Electricity and water supplies are, for example, less reliable than before the U.S. intervened seventeen years ago.

    Add Afghanistan to the "most corrupt" list after 19 years of American tutelage and one comes up with a perfect trifecta of countries that have been ruined. In a more rational world, one might have hoped that at least one American politician might have stood up and admitted that we have screwed up royally and it is beyond time to close the overseas bases and bring our troops home. Well, actually one did so in explicit terms, but that was Tulsi Gabbard and she was marginalized as soon as she started her run. Alluding to how Washington's gift to the world has been corruption would be to implicitly deny American Exceptionalism, which is a no-no.

    The failures of the American foreign policy since George W. Bush have been accredited to the so-called neoconservatives, who successfully hijacked the Bush presidency. Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and the merry crowd at the American Enterprise Institute had a major ally in Vice President Dick Cheney and were pretty much able to run wild, creating a casus belli for invading Iraq that was largely fabricated and which was completely against actual U.S. interests in the region. Apparently no one ever told Wolfie that Iraq was the Arab bulwark against Iranian ambitions and that Tehran would be the only major beneficiary in taking down Saddam Hussein. Since Iraq, the chameleonlike neocons have had a prominent voice in the mainstream media and have also played major roles in the shaping the foreign and national security policies of the presidencies that have followed George W. Bush.

    Ironically, neocons mostly were critics of Donald Trump the candidate because he talked "nonsense" about ending "useless wars" but they have been trickling back into his administration since he has made it clear that he is not about to end anything and might in fact be planning to attack Iran and maybe even Venezuela. The thought of new wars, particularly against Israel's enemy Iran, makes neocons salivate.

    The disastrous American occupation of Iraq from 2003-2004 was mismanaged by something called the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which might have been the most corrupt quasi-government body to be seen in recent history. At least $20 billion that belonged to the Iraqi people was wasted, together with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Exactly how many billions of additional dollars were squandered, stolen, given away, or simply lost will never be known because the deliberate decision by the CPA not to meter oil exports means that no one will ever know how much revenue was generated during 2003 and 2004.

    Some of the corruption grew out of the misguided neoconservative agenda for Iraq, which meant that a serious reconstruction effort came second to doling out the spoils to the war's most fervent supporters. The CPA brought in scores of bright, young true believers who were nearly universally unqualified. Many were recruited through the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute websites, where they had posted their résumés. They were paid six-figure salaries out of Iraqi funds, and most served in 90-day rotations before returning home with their war stories. One such volunteer was former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's older brother Michael who, though utterly unqualified, was named director of private-sector development for all of Iraq.

    The $20 billion disbursed during the 15-month proconsulship of the CPA came from frozen and seized Iraqi assets held in the U.S. Most of the money was in the form of cash, flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 "cashpaks," each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from the Iraqi accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons.

    Once in Iraq, there was virtually no accountability over how the money was spent. There was also considerable money "off the books," including as much as $4 billion from illegal oil exports. Thus, the country was awash in unaccountable cash. British sources report that the CPA contracts that were not handed out to cronies were sold to the highest bidder, with bribes as high as $300,000 being demanded for particularly lucrative reconstruction contracts. The contracts were especially attractive because no work or results were necessarily expected in return.

    Many of its staff, like Michael Fleischer, were selected for their political affiliations rather than their knowledge of the jobs they were supposed to perform and many of them were not surprisingly neocons. One of them has now resurfaced in a top Pentagon position. She is Simone Ledeen , daughter of leading neoconservative Michael Ledeen. Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training, she nevertheless became in 2003 a senior advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad.

    Simone has now been appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense (DASD) for the Middle East, which is the principal position for shaping Pentagon policy for that region. Post 9/11, Ledeen's leading neocon father Michael was the source of the expressions "creative destruction" and "total war" as relating to the Muslim Middle East, where "civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people." He is also a noted Iranophobe, blaming numerous terrorist acts on that country even when such claims were ridiculous. He might also have been involved in the generation in Italy of the fabricated Iraq Niger uranium documents that contributed greatly to the march to war with Saddam.

    Apparently Simone's gene pool makes her qualified to lead the Pentagon into the Middle East, where she no doubt has views that make her compatible with the Trump/Pompeo current spin on the Iranian threat. The neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) gushed "Simone Ledeen has worked at the Pentagon & Treasury and at a major bank. Exactly what we should want for such a position." Of course, FDD, the leading advocate of war with Iran, also wants someone who will green light destroying the Persians.

    Ledeen, a Brandeis graduate with an MBA from an Italian university, worked in and out of government in various advisory capacities before joining Standard Chartered Bank. One of her more interesting roles was as an advisor to General Michael Flynn in Afghanistan at a time when Flynn was collaborating with her father on a book that eventually came out in 2016 entitled The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies. The book asserts that there is a global war going on in which "We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua." The book predictably claims that Iran is at the center of what is an anti-American alliance.

    The extent to which Simone has absorbed her father's views and agrees with them can, of course, be questioned, but her appointment is yet another indication, together with the jobs previously given to John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliot Abrams , that the Trump Administration is intent on pursuing a hardline aggressive policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.

    Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.


    Beavertales , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 1:31 pm GMT

    'Maximum Pressure' is being exerted on Trump.

    How was he leveraged to order the assassination of Iran's general Qasem Soleimani?

    It's all about manufacturing new threats to his presidency, and then offering to switch them off when he trades something the neocons want. The politics of extortion.

    KA , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT
    If "??Operation Iraqi Freedom"? may accurately be regarded as Wolfowitz's War in its conception, then the aftermath of the war should be viewed as the Kissinger-Feith Occupation" and continuation of illegal sanctions by "Democrat, Bill Clinton, and his meretricious Middle East foreign policy team of Samuel "Sandy" Berger, Madeleine "??it's worth it"? Albright, Dennis Ross, and Australian import, Martin Indyk. " but it was "
    Kissinger's partner and frontman in Baghdad, Paul "??Jerry"? Bremer, which has effectively destroyed Iraq as a nation-state, " and But within weeks of the invasion, Garner's tenure as head of the post-war planning office was over: he was replaced by Paul Bremer, a terrorism expert and protege of Henry Kissinger. Bremer immediately countermanded all three of Garner's "musts". [My emphasis.] When, eventually, Garner confronted Rumsfeld, telling him: "There is still time to rectify this," Rumsfeld refused to do so. And who was assisting Dr. Kissinger to program the new U.S. proconsul in Baghdad? Who was Paul Bremer's primary contact at the Pentagon, overseeing the occupation from Washington, with the blessing of Don Rumsfeld? None other than the award winning hyperZionist zealot, Douglas "clean break" Feith, the man who had advised Likud icon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in 1996 and tear up the Oslo "peace process ". Feith is a protege of Richard Perle. Feith is on the Advisory Board of JINSA ,. Feith is a face card in the deck of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, headquartered in Jerusalem. The law office he founded in 1986, Feith & Zell, is based in Israel, catering to Jewish-American "??settlers"? on the West Bank. "

    https://www.takimag.com/article/the_kissinger_connection/

    KA , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
    If nothing else, Bob Woodward's last fat book on Iraq, State of Denial, has performed a valuable public service by ejecting the furtive Kissinger from the shadows. Woodward reports that vice president Dick Cheney confided to him (Woodward) in the summer of 2005: "I probably talk to Henry Kissinger more than I talk to anybody else. He just comes by and I guess at least once a month, Scooter [Libby] and I sit down with him." [Page 406.] Woodward goes on to state: "The president also met privately with Kissinger every couple of months, making the former secretary the most regular and frequent outside adviser to Bush on foreign affairs." https://www.takimag.com/article/the_kissinger_connection/

    We know who did what ,when and how .

    Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
    Regarding Madeleine Albright: "She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists."

    I think 'liberal interventionist' is a bit too weak for the 'lovely' Ms Albright and her (in)famous quote.

    Instead, let's try, "That is the basic credo of psychopathically sadistic zionist monsters who exquisitely enjoy the thought of Arab children dying agonizingly slow deaths of preventable diseases and starvation."

    Ah, yes. That's a much more accurate assessment of the situation ..

    Meena , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:20 am GMT
    Nixon is recorded as saying, "Any settlement will have to be imposed by both the US and the Soviet Union". Yet, as he had told the Russian ambassador to Washington, "I don't want to anger the American Jews who hold important positions in the press, radio and television".

    The Jewish lobby has enormous influence on Congress. Nixon wanted to wait until he had won his reelection and concluded the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam and then he could face down the Jewish lobby. Later he told the ambassador, "I will deliver the Israelis".

    In one of his final acts in office, he ordered a complete cutoff of assistance to Israel. It was not to be.

    Watergate consumed his presidency. https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/21/a-machiavellian-us-in-the-middle-east/

    Was this Watergate a payback? Carter lost. So did Bush Sr and Kennedys died .

    [May 22, 2020] Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists

    Notable quotes:
    "... Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest. ..."
    May 22, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

    Herman , May 17, 2020 at 09:00

    Interesting comparison between the aspirations of De Gaulle and Putin.

    "Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists."

    Agree with Johnstone.

    OlyaPola , May 19, 2020 at 11:55

    "Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. "

    Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest.

    The exceptions to such strategies lay within constructs of settler colonialism which were addressed primarily through warfare – "The United States of America", Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kenya, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola refer – to facilitate such future strategies.

    "I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar."

    As outlined elsewhere the concept of a multi-polar world is not synonymous with the concept of colonialism except for the colonialists who consistently seek to encourage such conflation through myths of we-are-all-in-this-togetherness.

    [May 21, 2020] The 'Clean Break' Doctrine OffGuardian

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ..."
    "... "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" ..."
    "... "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" ..."
    May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

    n 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then in his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, as a how-to manual on approaching regime change in the Middle East and for the destruction of the Oslo Accords.

    The "Clean Break" policy document outlined these goals:

    Ending Yasser Arafat's and the Palestinian Authority's political influence, by blaming them for acts of Palestinian terrorism Inducing the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Launching war against Syria after Saddam's regime is disposed of. Followed by military action against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

    "Clean Break" was also in direct opposition to the Oslo Accords, to which Netanyahu was very much itching to obliterate. The Oslo II Accord was signed just the year before, on September 28th 1995, in Taba, Egypt.

    During the Oslo Accord peace process, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused Rabin's government of being "removed from Jewish tradition and Jewish values." Rallies organised by the Likud and other right-wing fundamentalist groups featured depictions of Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform or in the crosshairs of a gun.

    In July 1995, Netanyahu went so far as to lead a mock funeral procession for Rabin, featuring a coffin and hangman's noose.

    The Oslo Accords was the initiation of a process which was to lead to a peace treaty based on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and at fulfilling the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination." If such a peace treaty were to occur, with the United States backing, it would have prevented much of the mayhem that has occurred since.

    However, the central person to ensuring this process, Yitzak Rabin, was assassinated just a month and a half after the signing of the Oslo II Accord, on November 4th, 1995. Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel seven months later. "Clean Break" was produced the following year.

    On November 6th, 2000 in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, who was the chief negotiator of the Oslo peace accords, warned those Israelis who argued that it was impossible to make peace with the Palestinians:

    Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism, and not in order to offer them a Jewish Sparta or – God forbid – a new Massada."

    On Oct. 5, 2003, for the first time in 30 years, Israel launched bombing raids against Syria, targeting a purported "Palestinian terrorist camp" inside Syrian territory. Washington stood by and did nothing to prevent further escalation.

    "Clean Break" was officially launched in March 2003 with the war against Iraq, under the pretence of "The War on Terror". The real agenda was a western-backed list of regime changes in the Middle East to fit the plans of the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Israel.

    However, the affair is much more complicated than that with each player holding their own "idea" of what the "plan" is. Before we can fully appreciate such a scope, we must first understand what was Sykes-Picot and how did it shape today's world mayhem.

    Arabian Nights

    WWI was to officially start July 28th 1914, almost immediately following the Balkan wars (1912-1913) which had greatly weakened the Ottoman Empire.

    Never one to miss an opportunity when smelling fresh blood, the British were very keen on acquiring what they saw as strategic territories for the taking under the justification of being in war-time, which in the language of geopolitics translates to "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" .

    The brilliance of Britain's plan to garner these new territories was not to fight the Ottoman Empire directly but rather, to invoke an internal rebellion from within. These Arab territories would be encouraged by Britain to rebel for their independence from the Ottoman Empire and that Britain would support them in this cause.

    These Arab territories were thus led to believe that they were fighting for their own freedom when, in fact, they were fighting for British and secondarily French colonial interests.

    In order for all Arab leaders to sign on to the idea of rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, there needed to be a viable leader that was Arab, for they certainly would not agree to rebel at the behest of Britain.

    Lord Kitchener, the butcher of Sudan, was to be at the helm of this operation as Britain's Minister of War. Kitchener's choice for Arab leadership was the scion of the Hashemite dynasty, Hussein ibn Ali, known as the Sherif of Mecca who ruled the region of Hejaz under the Ottoman Sultan.

    Hardinge of the British India Office disagreed with this choice and wanted Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud instead, however, Lord Kitchener overruled this stating that their intelligence revealed that more Arabs would follow Hussein.

    Since the Young Turk Revolution which seized power of the Ottoman government in 1908, Hussein was very aware that his dynasty was in no way guaranteed and thus he was open to Britain's invitation to crown him King of the Arab kingdom.

    Kitchener wrote to one of Hussein's sons, Abdallah, as reassurance of Britain's support:

    If the Arab nation assist England in this war that has been forced upon us by Turkey, England will guarantee that no internal intervention take place in Arabia, and will give Arabs every assistance against foreign aggression."

    Sir Henry McMahon who was the British High Commissioner to Egypt, would have several correspondences with Sherif Hussein between July 1915 to March 1916 to convince Hussein to lead the rebellion for the "independence" of the Arab states.

    However, in a private letter to India's Viceroy Charles Hardinge sent on December 4th, 1915, McMahon expressed a rather different view of what the future of Arabia would be, contrary to what he had led Sherif Hussein to believe:

    [I do not take] the idea of a future strong united independent Arab State too seriously the conditions of Arabia do not and will not for a very long time to come, lend themselves to such a thing."

    Such a view meant that Arabia would be subject to Britain's heavy-handed "advising" in all its affairs, whether it sought it or not.

    In the meantime, Sherif Hussein was receiving dispatches issued by the British Cairo office to the effect that the Arabs of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) would be given independence guaranteed by Britain, if they rose up against the Ottoman Empire.

    The French were understandably suspicious of Britain's plans for these Arab territories. The French viewed Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as intrinsically belonging to France, based on French conquests during the Crusades and their "protection" of the Catholic populations in the region.

    Hussein was adamant that Beirut and Aleppo were to be given independence and completely rejected French presence in Arabia. Britain was also not content to give the French all the concessions they demanded as their "intrinsic" colonial rights.

    Enter Sykes and Picot.

    ... ... ...

    Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing hundreds of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire.

    In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

    The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel's "prescription" and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police. Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

    In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews.

    Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947.

    Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

    A New Strategy for Securing Whose Realm?

    Despite what its title would have you believe, "Clean Break" is neither a "new strategy" nor meant for "securing" anything. It is also not the brainchild of fanatical neo-conservatives: Dick Cheney and Richard Perle, nor even that of crazed end-of-days fundamentalist Benjamin Netanyahu, but rather has the very distinct and lingering odour of the British Empire.

    "Clean Break" is a continuation of Britain's geopolitical game, and just as it used France during the Sykes-Picot days it is using the United States and Israel.

    The role Israel has found itself playing in the Middle East could not exist if it were not for over 30 years of direct British occupation in Palestine and its direct responsibility for the construction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which set a course for destruction and endless war in this region long before Israel ever existed.

    It was also Britain who officially launched operation "Clean Break" by directly and fraudulently instigating an illegal war against Iraq to which the Chilcot Inquiry, aka Iraq Inquiry , released 7 years later, attests to.

    This was done by the dubious reporting by British Intelligence setting the pretext for the U.S.' ultimate invasion into Iraq based off of fraudulent and forged evidence provided by GCHQ, unleashing the "War on Terror", aka "Clean Break" outline for regime change in the Middle East.

    In addition, the Libyan invasion in 2011 was also found to be unlawfully instigated by Britain.

    In a report published by the British Foreign Affairs Committee in September 2016, it was concluded that it was "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" .

    The report concluded that the Libyan intervention was based on false pretence provided by British Intelligence and recklessly promoted by the British government.

    If this were not enough, British Intelligence has also been caught behind the orchestrations of Russia-Gate and the Skripal affair .

    Therefore, though the U.S. and Israeli military have done a good job at stealing the show, and though they certainly believe themselves to be the head of the show, the reality is that this age of empire is distinctly British and anyone who plays into this game will ultimately be playing for said interests, whether they are aware of it or not.

    Originally published by Strategic Culture


    Almondson ,

    Yossi B said:

    Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism

    Ever heard of Dumbo? He's a flying elephant.

    The crusade in the ME will continue, with Israel the top dog until America's military support is no longer there. Even without the Israeli eastern european invaders, the area is primed for perpetual tribal warfare because the masses are driven by tribalist doctrines and warped metaphysics dictated by insane and inhumane parasites (priests). It is the epicenter of a spiritual plague that has infected most of the planet.

    paul ,

    There is complete continuity between the activities of Zionist controlled western countries and those of the present day.

    In the 1930s, there were about 300,000 adult Palestinian males. Over 10% were killed, imprisoned and tortured or driven into exile. 100,000 British troops were sent to Palestine to destroy completely Palestinian political and military organisations. Wingate set up the Jew terror gangs who were given free rein to murder, rape and burn, in preparation for the complete ethnic cleansing of the country.

    We see the same ruthless, genocidal brutality on an even greater scale in the present day, serving exactly the same interests. Nothing has ever come of trying to negotiate with the Zionists and their western stooges – just further disasters. It is only resolute and uncompromising resistance that has ever achieved anything. Hezbollah kicking their Zionist arses out of Lebanon in 2000 and keeping them out in 2006. Had they not done so, Lebanon would still be under Zionist occupation and covered with their filthy illegal settlements.

    They have never stopped and they never will. The objective is to create a vast Zionist empire comprising the whole of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and parts of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This plan has never changed and it never will. The Zionist thieves will shortly steal what little is left of Palestine. But the thieving will not end there. It will just move on to neighbouring countries.

    The prime reason they have been able to get away with this is not their control of British and US golems. It is by playing the old, dirty colonial games of divide and rule, with the Quisling stooge dictators serving their interests. They have always been able to set Sunni against Shia, and different factions against others. The dumb Arabs fall for it every time. Their latest intrigues are directed at the destruction of Iran, the next victim on their target list after Iraq, Libya and Syria. And the Quisling dictators of Saudi Arabia are openly agitating for this and offering to pay for all of it. Syria sent troops to join the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, though Iraqi troops fought and died in Syria in 1973 against Israel. Egypt allows Israel to use its airspace to carry out the genocidal terror bombing of Gaza.

    All this is contemptible enough and fits into racist stereotypes of Arabs as stupid, irrational, corrupt, easily bought, violent and treacherous. This of course does not apply to the populations of those countries, but it is a legitimate assessment of their Quisling dictators, with a (very) few honourable exceptions.

    Seamus Padraig ,

    Of course, Arab rulers who don't tow the Zionist line generally get overthrown, don't they? And that usually requires the efforts/intervention of FUKUS, doesn't it? So you can't really pretend that 'Arab stupidity' is the main factor.

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    The fact that, as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was bombing Lebanon 'back to the Stone Age', under Talmudic Judaism, killing civilians is not just permissible, but a mitzvah, or good deed, explains Zionist behaviour. Other doctrines allow an entire 'city' eg Gaza, to be devastated for the 'crimes' of a few, and children, even babies, to be killed if they would grow up to 'oppose the Jews'. Dare mention these FACTS, seen everyday in Israeli barbarity, and the 'antisemitism' slurs flow, as ever.

    Julia ,

    " is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

    .it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
    Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
    Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
    Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

    ''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

    I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

    Julia ,

    " is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

    .it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
    Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
    Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
    Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

    ''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

    I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    The antithesis of the truth. It is US politicians who flock to AIPAC's meeting every year to pledge UNDYING fealty to Israel, not Israeli politicians pledging loyalty to the USA. It is Israeli and dual loyalty Jewish oligarchs funding BOTH US parties, it is US politicians throwing themselves to the ground in adulation when Bibi the war criminal addresses the Congress with undisguised contempt, not Israeli politicians groveling to the USA. The master-servant relationship is undisguised.

    Pyewacket ,

    In Daniel Yergin's The Prize, a history of the Oil industry, he provides another interesting angle to explain British interest in the region. He states that at that time, Churchill realised that a fighting Navy powered by Coal, was not nearly as good or efficient as one using Oil as a fuel, and that securing supplies of the stuff was the best way forward to protect the Empire.

    BigB ,

    Yergin would be right. The precursor of the First World War was a technological arms race and accelerated 'scientific' perfection of arsenals – particularly naval – in the service of imperialism. British and German imperialism. The full story involves the Berlin to Cairo railway and the resource grab that went with it. I'm a bit sketchy on the details now: but Churchill had a prominent role, rising to First Lord of the Admiralty.

    Docherty and Macgregor have exposed the hidden history. F W Engdahl has written about WW1 being the first oil war.

    Andreas Schlüter ,

    And don´t forget which of the US Military command regions into which the US Military divided the WHOLE World is named "US CENTCOM"!
    „One Thing Must be Clear to the World: The US Power Elite Regards the Whole Globe as Their Colony!": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/one-thing-must-be-clear-to-the-world-the-us-power-elite-regards-the-whole-globe-as-their-colony/

    Antonym ,

    In 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu

    No source link for this!

    By the way 1996 was during the Clinton administration. Warren Christopher was secretary of state and John Deutch was the Director of Central Intelligence . George Tenet was appointed the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director.

    Reg ,

    Here you go, sonny boy

    http://www.dougfeith.com/docs/Clean_Break.pdf

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    Antsie, what are you going to deny next? The USS Liberty? Deir Yassin? The Lavon Affair? Sabra, Shatilla? Qana (twice)? The Five Celebrating Israelis on 9/11?Does not impress.

    [May 15, 2020] "We lied, we cheated, we stole", version 2.0

    May 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    WHY IS THE US IN SYRIA?

    Washington longer bothers to prettify – the boot is straight to the face. ISIS?

    Forget ISIS says Jeffrey : " My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians ".

    An amazing confession, in the same class as " We lied, we cheated, we stole ".

    [May 13, 2020] Dramatic change of direction for Syrian envoy

    Highly recommended!
    This is MIGA in action...
    Notable quotes:
    "... former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ). ..."
    "... Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute : ..."
    "... He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government." ..."
    May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).

    And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :

    "My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :

    Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."

    "My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery

    He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh

    -- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020

    But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).

    As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.

    * * *

    Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/OJ3fTFHQ0KA

    [May 08, 2020] US Envoy: Russia Likely More Flexible On Syria as War Drags On . Says Russia not getting a military victory in Syria

    May 08, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

    Jason Ditz Posted on May 7, 2020 May 7, 2020 Categories News Tags Russia , Syria , Trump

    US envoy on the Syrian conflict James Jeffrey said on Thursday that the US expects Russia to be increasingly willing to cooperate with the US on the future of Syria, saying he believes Russia is getting frustrated with President Assad .

    Jeffrey cited Russian media coverage as showing indication of more flexibility on Syria's post-war constitutional committee, saying that " it's very clear at this point to Russia that they're not going to get a military victory. "

    That would broadly depend on how Russia is calculating victory. The Assad government has survived the war, which is certainly something that many didn't expect earlier in the conflict. What Syria will look like in the long run ultimately depends on the new constitution.

    Which is where the US and Russia split is coming from. The US has insisted any post-war scenario would mandate full regime change, forbidding Assad and others from ever running for office. Russia, however, has said such details should be left up to Syria's voters.

    Jeffrey's comments suggest that the US is still holding out for better terms. This may also put the continued US involvement in Syria, which President Trump insists is just about oil, in a different context, one keeping the US in the conversation at the UN for when the war finally ends.

    [May 08, 2020] Avaaz and We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go... Promoting chaos....Cui bono?

    Notable quotes:
    "... Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. [17] ..."
    "... Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria. [10] [18] ..."
    "... Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. ..."
    "... It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, ..."
    "... And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? ..."
    "... Even a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street. ..."
    "... Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.) ..."
    "... What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections. ..."
    May 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    "Avaaz claims to unite practical idealists from around the world. [8] Director Ricken Patel said in 2011, "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!" [12] In practice , Avaaz often supports causes considered progressive, such as calling for global action on climate change , challenging Monsanto, and building greater global support for refugees. [13] [14] [15]

    During the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests , Avaaz set up Internet proxy servers to allow protesters to upload videos onto public websites. [16]

    Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. [17]

    Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria. [10] [18] Avaaz coordinated the evacuation of wounded British photographer Paul Conroy from Homs . Thirteen Syrian activists died during the evacuation operation. [10] [19] Some senior members of other non-governmental organizations working in the Middle East have criticized Avaaz for taking sides in a civil war. [16] As of November 2016, Avaaz continues campaigning for no-fly zones over Syria in general and specifically Aleppo . (Gen. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, has said that establishing a no-fly zone means going to war against Syria and Russia. [20] ) It has received criticism from parts of the political blogosphere and has a single digit percentage of its users opposing the petitions, with a number of users ultimately leaving the network. The Avaaz team responded to this criticism by issuing two statements defending their decision to campaign. wiki

    ----------------

    Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. BUT, OTOH, there may BE a pattern. It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, etc., etc., ad nauseam. ...

    And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? pl

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avaaz


    Outrage Beyond , 07 May 2020 at 06:41 PM

    Even a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street.

    Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.)

    Bottom line: not a leftist organization. Faux leftist, controlled opposition, Zionist. Neocons are probably delighted with Avaaz.

    Deap , 07 May 2020 at 06:46 PM
    It was a ground hog day nightmare when I read the AVAAZ website and found all the "progressive" chestnuts, alive, well and kicking into high gear. This AVAAZ agenda fuels the politics in my state, California, so I know each element well plus how each of of them has failed us so badly. They all teeter on OPM, which the state wide corona shut down has decimated.

    What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections.

    It all happened so fast - from runs on toilet paper in Australia reported on March 2 to global shutdown on March 16 due to this Imperial College model in just two weeks. Who and what communication network was behind this radical global shift that generated virtually no push back? The message quickly became one case of corona and we are all gonna die. How did that find such a willing audience?

    I keep hearing that same echo in my nightmares, never let a crisis go to waste - now with this very distinct German accent on the face of a red-lipped blonde. Too weird to see this AVAAZ "global" network is so darn interested in over-turning a US Supreme Court Citizens United ruling - the old Hilary Clinton rallying cry. What is with that - they care in Malaysia?

    Thank you for sunshining this very curious operation and its all too familiar cast of known characters lurking in its history, shadows, funding and leadership circle. Injecting them with Lysol is the better plan.

    It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations, but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's.

    It does explain where a lot of the Bernie Sanders fervor comes from and how it sustains this energy despite defeat in the US election polls. The AVAAZ agenda winning the hearts and minds of many young people around the world. It will be their world to inherit, if they go down this path; not ours. God speed to all of them. Namaste. Dahl and naan for everyone.

    Deap , 07 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
    A little internet search also questions if AVAAZ is an intelligence community funded operation, linking key Obama administration players.

    Good indoor fun during our national lockdowns - track AVAAZ in all its permutations and recurrent players. Samantha Powers and her hundreds of FISA unmasking requests comes to mind as well as her role in the AVAAZ games played in Syria.

    Some AVAAZ fodder from a random internet search: Tinfoil hat fun times - keep digging.

    ......."Curiously, however, the absence of routine information on the Avaaz website -- board of directors, contact information, etc. -- raises the possibility that the organization is one of innumerable such groups created around the world by intelligence organizations with secret funding to advance hidden agendas.

    This was the gist of a 2012 column by Global Research columnist Susanne Posel, headlined Avaaz: The Lobbyist that Masquerades as Online Activism. She alleged that Avaaz purports to be a global avenue for dissent, but channels reform energies on the most sensitive issues into such pro-U.S. positions as support for Israel and the Free Syrian Army......."

    turcopolier , 07 May 2020 at 07:11 PM
    AVAAZ

    It is interesting that AVAAZ stopped accepting foundation and corporate money years ago. So, where do they get their money?

    Harlan Easley , 07 May 2020 at 08:06 PM
    Looking at him and her. She is out of his league. He is beta soy boy material.

    You're probably right.

    Fred , 07 May 2020 at 08:16 PM
    Deap,

    "Who and what communication network ..." ... " but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's."

    Have you noticed how fast Project Veritas gets shut down, how Twitter, FB, etc silence any effective opposition to the message of the left?

    "It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations,..."
    Perhaps now that FlynnFlu is evaporating in the disinfecting sunlight some sunshine should be applied to the H1B visa holders at the aformentioned social media companies and add in Google, Bing, Oath etc. and see how many Communist operatives are there, in addition to "essential employee" non-citizen lefty's pushing the anti-American propaganda. A dinner invitation to Jeff Bezos and his paramore might provide some interesting conversation on just who at Amazon might be involved in the same type of anti-western operations; compare their corporate response to distribution operations in the US vs. France as an example.
    https://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII/status/1143127502895898625
    Furthermore, observe the Google leadership team discussion of the 2016 elections.
    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/12/leaked-video-google-leaderships-dismayed-reaction-to-trump-election/
    Minute 12:30 CFO Ruth Porat
    Minute 27:00 Q&A Sergey Brin response on matching donations to employee causes.
    Make sure to watch minute 52 on H1B visa holders. With 30,000,000 unemployed Americans just how many of those visas does Google need now? (I don't recall any organization telling China they need open borders immigration since thier hispanic/african/caucasian population percentages are effectively zero, so we might wonder who has been behind that message for the past few decades and why it is only directed at Western democracies).
    And the inevitable campaign against "low information" voters and "fake news". I wonder what their take on Russian election interference is now? (Russia cyber trolling! minute 54:44.)

    56:20 The inevitable arc of "progress". Make sure you join the fight for Hilary's values. That's the actual corporate leadership message. See the final round of applause at 1:01. Our new overlords know best. Too bad they don't own a mirror, or an ability to reflect on why someone can see the same data and come to a different conclusion of than these experts.

    That's just a scratch on the surface. How much money flowed through the Clinton Global Initiative, which NGOs got some cleansed proceeds, which elections were influenced, professors and research sponsored, local communities "organzied". There's plenty to look at and "Isreal, Soros, Zionists" are the least of it.

    J , 07 May 2020 at 09:48 PM
    State sponsorship?
    james , 07 May 2020 at 11:04 PM
    avaaz always struck me like some intel agency psyc op... maybe israel like the poster outrage beyond implies.. either way - one could read stay away based on everything about them..
    eakens , 08 May 2020 at 01:26 AM
    Avaaz means change in Farsi. Interesting.
    LondonBob , 08 May 2020 at 03:31 AM
    A friend of a friend is a research scientist at Imperial in biology, he is as lefty as they get and I think would be happy to falsify his research to serve his political goals. Besides Imperial is a hard science uni, UCL is top in the University of London for medicine.

    Soros and his organisations should be made persona non grata, as the Russians and Hungarians have. Extraordinary his influence in the EU, he has picked up where the Soviet Union left off, funding every organisation that demoralises society, from gay rights to immigration promotion to ethnic lobbies, even in Eastern European countries where there are no minorities.

    CK , 08 May 2020 at 08:34 AM
    An unusual thing happens once; it could be happenstance.
    The thing happens again; it is Reconnaissance.
    The thing happens yet again; it is war.
    turcopolier , 08 May 2020 at 08:59 AM
    J

    That is for us to learn.

    A. Pols , 08 May 2020 at 09:17 AM
    We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go...
    Promoting chaos....Cui bono?
    BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 08 May 2020 at 09:33 AM
    eaken

    Avaaz means "song" in Persian.

    Diana Croissant , 08 May 2020 at 09:35 AM
    The one woman standing up to a pompous judge who has called her "selfish" for wanting to earn the money it takes to feed her child is the heroine of this week's news.

    Hers is the story of our Democratic Republic, born in the Age of Reason. Voltaire's Candide comes to the best conclusion for the way our elected representatives should make decisions: what works best to help INDIVIDUALS tend their own gardens is the form of government we should pursue.

    It's true that young people have hearts and good intentions, but older people in most cases have brains and understand human nature better.

    This older person--even when she was young--always distrusted a popular uprising or growing movement.

    And if Obama and Hillary are for it, I know I am against it. (That's a more specific life lesson I've learned.)

    [May 07, 2020] Angry Bear " "cannot remember a single International Crisis in which the United States had no global presence at all"

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is. ..."
    "... "McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere." ..."
    "... The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern. ..."
    "... And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country. ..."
    "... Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ). ..."
    "... Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425 ..."
    "... Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. ..."
    "... And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch. ..."
    May 07, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

    likbez , May 6, 2020 11:53 pm

    Hi run75441,

    I do not share your enthusiasm about those two authors.

    Anne Applebaum is married to "Full spectrum Dominance doctrine". Like any neocon she a regular well-paid MIC prostitute

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/

    Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!" In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it's Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

    Nothing new, nothing interesting.

    Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

    As for McMaster paper see Daniel Larison take on the subject in his brilliant post "McMaster and the Myths of Empire" https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/mcmaster-and-the-myths-of-empire/

    Here is what he said:

    "McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere."

    And as a China scholar McMaster is not the best choice either:

    McMaster uses the same "paper tiger image" to portray China as an unstoppable aggressor that can nonetheless be stopped at minimal risk.

    I have heard from other colleagues that several CN scholars met w/ McMaster before he wrote this (while working on his book) and corrected him on many issues. He apparently ignored all of their views. This is what we face people: a simple, deceptive narrative is more seductive.

    -- Michael

    likbez, May 7, 2020 6:22 pm

    The main thrust here is the US abandoning the world to China and a much weaker Russia. I am calling for the US to play a much broader role in the world as it has economic and strategic value

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is definitely above my pay grade, but the problem that I see here is that it is very unclear where "a much broader role in the world" ends and where "imperial overstretch" starts.

    The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern.

    And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country.

    Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ).

    Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425

    Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. That's how he got anti-war independents to vote for him.

    And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch.

    [May 07, 2020] A Peek On The Situation In And Around Syria

    May 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    JC , May 7 2020 17:53 utc | 1

    The recent financial turbulence in the oil markets and the global depression will have a large impact on the conflicts in the Middle East.

    Iraq:

    Last night the Iraqi parliament elected a new prime minister. Mustafa al-Kadhimi is seen as a technocrat with a good track record and politically neutral to all sides. His cabinet includes a number of experienced people who are known for effective work.

    Astonishingly both, the U.S. and Iran, have supported Kadhimi.

    Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo - 1:09 UTC · May 7, 2020

    Great to speak today with new Iraqi PrimeMinister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Now comes the urgent, hard work of implementing the reforms demanded by the Iraqi people. I pledged to help him deliver on his bold agenda for the sake of the Iraqi people.

    Javad Zarif @JZarif - 9:56 AM · May 7, 2020

    Congratulations to Prime Minister @MAKadhimi, his Cabinet, the Parliament and most importantly the people of Iraq for success in forming a new Government.

    Iran always stands with the Iraqi people and their choice of administration.

    Kadhimi has lots of work waiting for him. The low oil price means that Iraq's budget will have a huge deficit. It will have to borrow a lot of money most likely from the IMF. The money may come with U.S. conditions.

    There has recently been a wave a small ISIS attacks. The Jihadis were equipped with night vision devises. There is strong suspicion that the U.S. is again using ISIS to pressure the government.

    The U.S. wants Iraq to take a position against Iran and the Iraqi militia which Iran sponsors. But Kadhimi can not do that without losing support in the parliament. Iraq also depends on Iranian energy.

    Syria:

    The military situation in Syria has changed little. The ceasefire in Idleb governorate seems to hold. Russian and Turkish troops patrol on parts of the M4 highway after Turkey had some harsh exchanges with the Jihadis from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham who had tried to prevent the patrols. Turkey will have to get rid of the Jihadis, who have led the war against Syria from its very beginning, one way or another .

    Throughout the last months Russian foreign policy grandees and oligarchs had published essays that argued that the Syrian government had to look more at the economic situation in Syria, which is very bad, instead of pushing for military solutions. It was not fully clear what they were aiming at.

    Then a conflict between President Assad and Syria's prime oligarch Rami Makhlouf broke into the open. Danni Makki digs into the whole saga . Makhlouf is a maternal cousin of Assad. Whoever wanted to do business in Syria during the war had to go through him. He sponsored his own militia and charity. Makhlouf, the richest man in Syria and owner of Syriatel and lots of other companies, has now been pushed aside. But he is fighting back.

    Makhlouf has little chance to win. In 2017 the Jabar brothers, also oligarchs with their own militia, were also getting too interested in their personal profits and power. Riam Dalati tells their story and how they were unceremoniously moved aside.

    Assad's position is now stronger then ever and Russian companies will now be happy to do business in Syria without a Mr. Five Percent in between.

    Libya:

    Turkey, working together with Qatar, has hired some 10,000 Syrian 'rebels' to fight in Libya on the side of the Government of National Accord and its Jihadi militias. The GNA troops have been trounced by the Libyan National Army under General Haftar. Turkey has also send its own troops with Turkish made drones to attack Haftar's position. But most of the drones were shot down immediately. The UAE, which supports Haftar's LNA, has now send 6 Mirage fighter jets to Egypt and uses them to bomb GNA and Turkish positions in Tripoli and Misrata.

    The 'rebels' Turkey hired have taken a lot of casualties but have not the received their promised money. That news has reached Idleb were further recruitment efforts by Turkey now fail to gain traction .

    Turkey:

    The Turkish Lira continues to fall. The Central Bank, under control of wannabe Sultan Erdogan, had spend more than $25 billion to prevent the Lira from breaking the barrier of 7 Lira per U.S. Dollar. It is now at 7.2 Lira/US$ and sinking further. The 44 year old Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is Erdogan's son in law and unqualified for the job . The Fed has rejected a request from Turkey for a swap agreement that would have provided the country with more U.S. dollar. Those are urgently needed :

    S&P Global estimated on Wednesday that Turkey's economy needs to refinance close to $168 billion over the next 12 months. That equates to 24% of the country's GDP.

    The record-low lira makes it more costly for the country's government and companies to pay back their dollar-denominated debt. That $168 billion of short-term external debt and only $85 billion in gross FX reserves means the so-called "coverage ratio" is only around 50%, one of the lowest of any emerging- market economy.

    Erdogan can (again) ask the Emir of Qatar to step in but the sum he needs is larger than what Qatar might be willing or able to provide. That leaves the IMF has the only way out. But after previous IMF loans to Turkey and the harsh austerity measures that came with them any talk of IMF loans in Turkey are political poison and a sure way to lose elections.

    Erdogan will have to cut his losses in Libya and Syria as these conflicts have become economically unsustainable.

    Lebanon:

    The Ponzi scheme the Central Bank of Lebanon had used for 30 years to bind the Lebanese Pound to the U.S. Dollar has finally fallen apart. Within months the pound fell from 1.500 per US$ to now below 4.000 per US$. Everybody who had money in a Lebanese bank has lost most of it. Lebanon's riches of the last 30 years are gone. The country needs a new business model which will be difficult to find. Ehsani explains how it came to this.

    Saudi Arabia:

    Today the U.S. announced that it is removing its Patriot missiles from the country. Two fighter squadrons in the area will also leave. The U.S. navy will recall some ships from the Persian Gulf region. In early April Trump had threatened the Saudis with such measures if they would fail to reduce their oil output and to thereby raise the global oil price. Some output was reduced but the old price is falling further for a lack of demand.

    Without U.S. protection a further Saudi war against the Houthi in Yemen will become untenable .

    All the above countries are also massively affected from the current pandemic. This probably less from death in their relatively young populations than from the economic consequences that will lead to more poverty and hunger.

    If there is a winner of all these crises in the region it is Iran.

    Posted by b on May 7, 2020 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink Thanks b hope you are correct "Makhlouf, the richest man in Syria and owner of Syriatel and lots of other companies" out of the pic... it remind me of Indonesia's Suharto mister 10%


    Likklemore , May 7 2020 18:54 utc | 9

    thanks b for revisiting a crucial area pushed off the pages by corona crisis.

    [..] "The U.S. wants Iraq to take a position against Iran and the Iraqi militia which Iran sponsors. But Kadhimi can not do that without losing support in the parliament. Iraq also depends on Iranian energy." [.]

    as usual the U.S. displays its convoluted geopolitics. Repeatedly continues to grant month to month waivers to Iraq for purchase of Iran electricity and gas while at the same time wanting Iraq to take a position against Iran.
    Exceptional idiots attempting to insert barriers between neighbours.

    May 6, 2020. WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will grant a 120-day waiver for Iraq to continue importing electricity from Iran to help the new Iraqi government succeed, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the newly installed Iraqi prime minister.

    "In support of the new government the United States will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success," the State Department said in a statement on a call between Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

    Washington had repeatedly extended the exemption for Baghdad to use crucial Iranian energy supplies for its power grid for periods of 90 or 120 days, [.]

    Michael Droy , May 7 2020 19:04 utc | 10
    Is Trump pulling protection from Saudi because they pump too much oil?
    Or simply because they can't pay the protection money no matter how much they pump?
    Stonebird , May 7 2020 19:11 utc | 11
    Excellent b. If there is one common thread going through all these, it is - If you don't have the money - you can't fight wars.

    With the double whammy of low oil pries and stalled economies we are going to see a lot of changes. I would like it to be less combat, but I fear it more likely to be undisciplined militants and troops who prey even more on local populations.
    -------

    One you could add to the above list is is the worsening situation on the Yemini island of Socotra (Houthis v US and SA, v UAE etc.) A disaster because of it's unique flora.

    and;
    (US Near Iran )
    - Two US jet fighter squadrons also have left the re­gion.
    - US will con­sider a re­duc­tion of the U.S. Navy presence in the Per­sian Gulf.
    - US officials say that Tehran no longer poses immediate threat against Saudi Arabia.

    Horatio , May 7 2020 19:12 utc | 12
    The United States and Turkey have a lot in common. Both countries are led by narcissistic and incompetent clowns nepotistically driving their countries off the proverbial cliff. Both geniuses concocted half baked colonial plans, and felt they could just grab other people property (think Venezuela, Syrian, Libyan oil) in total impunity. Soon enough, Sultan Erdogan will get his first bankruptcy star to match cretin Orange in business failure department.
    bevin , May 7 2020 19:17 utc | 13
    "..all of these tin pot dictatorship oil rich countries are really a sick bunch.... i guess it is the byproduct off having too much money and not enough brains..james@ 3
    karlofi beat me to it james - or were you referring to Alberta?
    DontBelieveEitherPr. , May 7 2020 19:56 utc | 18

    Nice Sitrep as usual.

    Some points:
    -Elijah is seeing the ISIS surge as bigger an more threatening as you. He mentioned the US just cut their intelligence sharing with Iraq when ISIS went on the offensive. PMU is mobilized, but without the intelligence from drones etc. Iraq is sadly blinded to a big extent.
    With ISIS being so well outfitted, using effective strategies, and giving PMU high casualties, this may well become the start of something very ugly. Iraq will win, but casualties in human life and economic damage plus panic on top of Corona will still be a hellish combination.

    -That Turkey will have to end its ottoman ambitions because of economic, has been said since many years. And politically it is at least equally untenable.
    Erdogan lives from his economic policy, but in the last years also from the semi-fashistic mixture of Turkish ultra-nationalism and Islamic Sunni "values" (MB style).

    He can take the IMF money and then just paint the blame on the evil western countries. But leaving Syrian territory believing to be Turkish heartland, or giving up North Syria as buffer zone against PKK would NEVER the excuseable. NEVER. Not for his voters, OR 85% of Turks, who overwhelmingly support one brand or another of Turkish Ultra Nationalism (with the Sunni Islamic ideology also supported by most).

    This mindset can not be rationalized looking through rational eyes, but it has its own kind of logic.

    And giving up even an inch of belived "Turkish soil" is not even an option for the huge majority. Be that "Turkish soil" Turkish or Syrian, or Iraq, or Greek.

    Brendan , May 7 2020 20:09 utc | 19
    It's only a few months since Trump repeatedly declared his ownership of the oil fields in north-east Syria:

    We kept the oil. I kept the oil. (...) we kept the oil. (...) we have the oil
    https://no.usembassy.gov/remarks-by-president-trump-and-nato-secretary-general-stoltenberg-after-11-meeting/

    That's not very much to boast about these days, now that oil prices are a lot less than what they were back then.

    Brendan , May 7 2020 20:14 utc | 20
    If there is a winner of all these crises in the region it is Iran.

    Yup, always, at least for the Iranian government, if not for most Iranians. And it doesn't even have to try to win - it just has to sit back and watch Washington and its puppets acting like idiots and handing victory to Teheran.

    Lurk , May 7 2020 20:21 utc | 21
    If Pompeo is so happy about the new iraqi PM, does that mean that John Bolton knows where Mustafa al-Kadhimi's children live?

    There is activity in Syria on some fronts.

    In the northeastern desert, ISIS hideouts are getting cleaned up slowly. ISIS had an easy time while the action was going on around Idlib, but now they are getting their fair share of attention. Quite possibly the resurgence in Iraq is related to this. I hope that a joint syrian, iraqi, russian and iranian effort will seriously clean out the last bits of the black plague.

    At the same time, Syria is about to root out some stay-behind Al Qaida and ISIS clusters in southern Daraa. That region was pacified by agreement a few years ago and the factions that only pretended to agree have now shown their hand. Spring time weeding time.

    I am not sure that LNA is really successful against Erdogan's brotherhood proxies in western Lybia. If GNA manages to capture the airbase in the west, that would be a very big setback for Hafter.

    H.Schmatz , May 7 2020 22:02 utc | 26
    I had to come back up to see who has written the article from RIAC, which I had not payed attention to at first, to test that it was not written by the SOHR or the Syrian opposition.

    For that travel we, and above all the Syrian people and legitimate government, did not need so many saddlebags...

    For to go now surrendering to the "recommendations" of the US, the IMF and the EU, Assad could have surrendered the country at the very first moment, as he probably was offered.

    That Syria has its own problems with its own oligarchs, is what? A discovery by these thinking brains of the Valdai Club? This guy has probaly gone bald behind his ear after the effort. Why does he not mention as a solution for the reconstruction of Syria the need of the US leaving the oil fields which it has been exploting?

    The oligarchy is very much the most accute problem everywhere, starting with Russia, still not free from that lacra dating the "reform" of the USSR, through its willing demolition, a problem the Coronavirus pandemic has not made but putting in everybody´s sight.

    Because, who are the remaining wealth of the nations being transferred to, in face of the collapse ( willing/planned, or not, I will put my hand on the fire for the first case...since this all resembles way too much the demolition of the USSR, this smells of rat all the way.. ) of the capitalist system?

    We have the German government bailing out Lufthansa under the exigence by its owners of that rescue being under no conditions. the same happens in the US with Boeing and the fracking industry..

    In Spain we have open the economy for the big business already just after Easter, under directive of the Banco de Santander in Spain, permanent guest at the Bliderberg Group meetings.... Some countries in the EU have established there will be no rescue for big corporations who evade taxes through tax havens in the EU, but we, for what it seems, are going to rescue ´em all...

    Taking a look at the state of certain EU banks previous to the pandemic, one gets the real picture on that some were going to collapse with or without Coronavirus anyway.

    Most of the population in the world is facing unemployment, misery, and highly likely hunger, and then, it is Syria who need to ongo reforms, or Lebanon for that matter?. The Lebanese Central Bank belongs to the West Banking System, as all the rest of the Central Banks. The Lebanese government ahs been ALWAYS occupied by West and Saudi puppets, just until recently, when Hezbollah and other representatives of the Lebanese people entered the government, jut when the West decided to bankrupt Lebanon.....

    All Mediterranean countries were making a living of tourism, as they own enough historical sites and good weather to offer this kind of services in the international labor order. But, why tourism was wiped out? Most probably to turn the fortunes of some in Syria and Lebanon, and also, by passing, in the EU.....

    Some were having trouble with the Brexit´s bill, the sanitzing of their biggest banks, and the growing contestation in the streets, what better way to revive themselves and their industries than ruining some southern pigs to then indebt them for the centuries to come as they did with Greece? Curiously, or not so, these are the same actors hoping to take a piece of the cake in Syria and Lebanon and allied in the US coalition...

    Some were losing the war on Syria, the Chinese were willing to invest there, and make her, along with Pakistán, part of the B&R initiative, which would had seen a flourishing Syria and also Pakistán. Instead you have the Chinese economy paralized and the chains of distriution cut off, becuase of the Coronavirus. Terrorism is being pushed against Pakistán and also, as the recent incident with some "afghans" in the border, towards Iran, all aimed at definitely destabilishing the zone and giving the shot of grace to the Chinese initiative.

    The thing is that we all need way too postponed reforms everywhere, so as to not being continuously robbed, and in a cheeky big way every ten years or so. i
    In fact, what we need is a world wide socialist revolution ( never the time was so propice, since when the same illnesses, and I am not talking here about the Covid-19, were affecting us all at unison...? ) and dust off the guillotines...We could start with all those idle people talking heads "thinking" at the clubs of the rich, like the Valdai Club, the Bilderberg Club, the Davos Summit.....and so on...those who never get untidy by any shake of "destiny"... then follow with parasitic politicians, bought and receiving direct orders from these clubs, make the great cleaning, disinfecting it all...

    When the 2008 crisis was starting to hit in Spain, and things started to paint gloom, I was learning a langauge with a charming group of colleagues. One of my peers, a woman with the voice and face of a little girl, a very good person, said once that in face of not being payed she will be willing to go out in the streets with the sawed-off shotgun...
    Of course, she was joking....although, was she really doing it? Do not think, this was not marginal people, but what you would call middle class...

    https://twitter.com/LOQUEDIGAELFMI/status/1258350041749741568

    https://twitter.com/LOQUEDIGAELFMI/status/1258343649793974273

    https://twitter.com/LOQUEDIGAELFMI/status/1258025529770467328

    Walter , May 7 2020 23:34 utc | 27
    @ H. Schmatz 26. "The oligarchy is very much the most accute problem everywhere, starting with Russia, still not free from that lacra dating the "reform" of the USSR, through its willing demolition, a problem the Coronavirus pandemic has not made but putting in everybody´s sight."

    Yes that's true, USSR was "gamed" and so are we being gamed.

    ... ... ..

    james , May 8 2020 1:38 utc | 29
    @ 7 karlof1... i am aware of that, but the money and support qatar are providing turkey is part of turkeys problem as i see it - that is one of the oil rich tin pot dictatorships i was thinking of when i said that... i hope oil stays really low and shuts down the tar sands in alberta permanently... i see oil tutures are putting on a pretty good showing since the beginning of may... the link on oligarch Rami Makhlouf is pretty fascinating...

    i am curious how iraq gets out from under usa servitude...it seems they can be manipulated easily as they are so vulnerable financially... the usa put them in this position for the very reason the usa continues to be in iraq with no interest in leaving.. they will continue to cultivate isis and iraq needs to figure out a way to get rid of them..

    james , May 8 2020 1:41 utc | 30
    @ 13 bevin... i think b was writing an article on the middle east and i happened to note qatar and uaes direct involvement in the libya dynamic.. i was referring to those tin pot dictatorships... but hey - if you want to talk about alberta and canada here - go for it, lol.. i suppose it depends on ones perspective how much of a difference there really is in all this oil money-rape...
    Jen , May 8 2020 1:51 utc | 31
    "... Throughout the last months Russian foreign policy grandees and oligarchs had published essays that argued that the Syrian government had to look more at the economic situation in Syria, which is very bad, instead of pushing for military solutions. It was not fully clear what they were aiming at ..."

    When the partners of the Russian International Affairs Council, on whose platform Aleksandr Aksenenok wrote the article from which B draws the above quote, include such luminaries as the Rand Corporation (itself funded by various beloved US government agencies like the Pentagon and DHS among assorted others), the Carngegie Endowment for International Peace and Voice of America, what these Russian government flunkies and handmaidens of oligarchs like Mikhail Khodorkovsky are advocating for Syria is a neoliberal economic regime that will push the country back into the precarious state it was in before 2011 when the Assad government was persuaded to adopt neoliberal "reforms" that had the effect of alienating people in those parts of Syria that rapidly came under ISIS domination, through the privatisation of natural resources. Doubtless Rami Makhlouf and his family must have benefited from such "reforms".

    There is the possibility that the West may see in Makhlouf the Syrian equivalent of a Khodorkovsky, and Makhlouf might play up to the West to get support. Who thinks the West might be stupid enough to throw its weight behind Makhlouf and drum him up as the legitimate successor to Assad, the worthy Syrian equivalent of ... erm, Venezuela's shining knight in armour Juan Guaido???

    [May 07, 2020] Bolton and the culture of corruption and intimidation

    May 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Sam 12123 , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT

    The OPCW is claimed to be an independent agency but we know that it suppressed the results of its own engineers when it reported that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The former head of the agency has publicly asserted that when John Bolton demanded that he step down, he added, "We know where your children live." The US has a history of corruption and intimidation. Any investigation would result in finding China responsible just as Russia was found to be responsible for the airliner that was shot down over Ukraine.

    [Apr 17, 2020] One can wonder who is really a terrorist.

    Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    alaff , Apr 15 2020 20:34 utc | 44

    Interesting (though, not surprising) news from the Russian MoD:

    On the night of 13-14 April 2020, a group of illegal armed groups trained at the United States Armed Forces base in the "Rukban" camp area attempted to withdraw from et-Tanf zone.

    The militants intended to surrender to government forces and return to peaceful life. On the border of the 55-kilometre security zone, the group was attacked by a group of radical armed gang "commandos of the revolution" - "Magavir Al-Saura," controlled by the United States.

    As a result of the fighting, the militants lost three pickup trucks. 27 people managed to escape and are currently in Palmira under guard of Syrian governmental forces. They handed over dozens of small arms, among them grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns, including Western made.

    According to the testimony passed to the government by the illegal armed group members, the weapons and cars "pickup" were provided to them by the Americans. Trainers from the United States trained them to sabotage oil and gas and transport infrastructure, as well as to organize terrorist acts in territory controlled by Syrian government forces .

    One can wonder who is really a terrorist.

    Phil , Apr 15 2020 23:22 utc | 75

    Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2020 19:30 utc | 24

    Perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks in Damascus confess details of recruitment

    may be similar or identical to your Sputnik link.

    [Apr 11, 2020] Hamish de Bretton-Gordon

    An interesting connection between Skripal false flag and Syria false flag.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Main Stream Media ..."
    "... "The same people who assured you Saddam Hussein had WMDs now assure you Russian 'Novichok' nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil." [4] ..."
    Apr 11, 2020 | sunray22b.net

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is the pretentious name used by a fellow who seems to have been a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and a chemical weapons expert. He has access to the media and markets the Party Line . Whose? The Foreign Office's version of truth, one that denies the very active role of the Israel Lobby in using American forces to make war in the Middle East.

    de Bretton Gordon's public position is that chemical weapons are nasty dangerous things being used by Bashar al Assad , the president of Syria to attack innocent civilians. Before believing this story look at what Seymour Hersh has to say; that the Syria Gas Attack Carried Out By America .

    ... ... ...

    Civilians were under fire, he went on. He failed to mention that Al-Nusra might be holding them as human shields, as they did in Eastern Aleppo. The Syrian army liberated that area in December twenty-sixteen.

    The UNHCR tweeted in October last year : 'After years of darkness, city of # Aleppo is lit at night, we hope that # Syrians find light at the end of the tunnel finally # SupportSyrians '

    We ran a report on Aleppo's liberation at the time .

    For the first time in five years the city's Christians were able to celebrate Christmas free from constant bombardment from the Al-Nusra terrorists in the east.
    Celebrating Christmas in Aleppo December 2016.
    Celebrating Christmas in Aleppo December 2016.

    The US and UK Governments and the mainstream media hated the liberation of Eastern Aleppo. They will equally bewail the liberation of Eastern Ghouta, when it comes.

    Indeed, during the BBC interview, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon came across as nothing more than a UK government sock-puppet. He confirmed this when he commended what he said were 'the peace talks in Geneva'. We shall come to that below.

    Doctors Under Fire
    Mr David Nott is a respected surgeon but blames 'Assad' for everything.

    Mr David Nott is a respected surgeon but blames 'Assad' for everything.

    But what of this man, and what of 'Doctors Under Fire'? Well, the latter has apparently just two members, De Bretton Gordon and one David Nott, a surgeon who has been in war-torn areas. Mr Nott similarly finds no good word to say about the Syrian government.

    Oddly, in a video on Vimeo from 2016 he says Doctors Under Fire will be a charity. The Charity Commission has no record of it, nor of 'Medics under Fire' which is what the Doctors Under Fire website is called. When you go to the website , at this time of writing, you're invited to a rally on 7th May. On further investigation, that is 7th May 2016. Their website is two years out of date. Of course hospitals should not be attacked in war zones, but the Doctors Under Fire platform gives Messrs De B-G and Nott credibility to advance another agenda.

    Hospital bombing scam
    Furthermore, this astonishing video collated all the times the 'last hospital' in eastern Aleppo was put out of action by 'Syrian regime airstrikes'. Can you guess how many it was? And how do the mainstream media source their footage of sick children, hospitals, and dare we add, 'doctors under fire'? They are entirely dependent on the terrorists. No western journalist can venture into their areas. Why? For fear of being kidnapped and held for ransom by the very people they champion.

    De Bretton Gordon also claimed on the BBC a hospital in eastern Ghouta had been hit. That was why they gave him a platform under his 'Doctors Under Fire' persona. But again, it was second-hand terrorist propaganda. Here, the impressive 'Off-Guardian' website exposes the Syrian totem head of the 'White Helmets', which was a British Foreign Office creation, as we investigated here . This relentless tugging at western heart-strings is a scam and the msm [ Main Stream Media ] know it.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon SecureBio spun off from Hamish De Bretton-Gordon's time in the British Army

    SecureBio spun off from Hamish De Bretton-Gordon's time in the British Army

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is a retired Colonel with an OBE. He commanded NATO's Rapid Reaction Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion. He ran a company called SecureBio with, we read on this 'military speakers' website , 'an impressive list of blue chip clients globally.' However, Companies House says SecureBio resolved to go into liquidation in June 2015.

    The Colonel now apparently works for a company which makes breathing masks, Avon Protection . His LinkedIn profile claims he is 'Managing Director CBRN' of Avon, despite not actually being a director. He also claims still to be director of SecureBio. He does not mention that company was dissolved in August 2017 with debts over £715,000.

    Call for France to drop bombs on Syria

    De Bretton-Gordon has teamed up with Avon Protection which makes breathing masks.

    De Bretton-Gordon teamed up with Avon in 2014 . Avon then took over the SecureBio name in June 2015 as SecureBio Ltd shut down. Avon did not take over SecureBio Ltd's large debts.

    De Bretton-Gordon no longer has any connection with military field-work. Nevertheless, he has continued access to the world's media when subjects like Syria and alleged chemical weapons come up.

    Securebio's YouTube channel is still online and has a number of videos of the colonel calling for 'safe havens' for terrorists. He has appeared frequently on Sunni-Muslim Qatar's Al Jazeera TV channel.

    And as this Guardian opinion piece shows , he is not slow to blame 'Assad' and 'Putin' for each and every alleged chemical attack, just as the UK Foreign Office would want him to do. In this belligerent BBC article he even calls on France to declare war by dropping bombs on Syria.

    Geneva vs Astana Peace Talks

    Finally, why did the Colonel's promotion of the Geneva peace talks raise the alarm? Because this is a UK-driven political view. In reality the Geneva talks stalled in February twenty-seventeen. The Kurds took against the inconsequential opposition in exile pompously called the High Negotiations Committee.

    The Geneva talks finally collapsed in November when the Syrians would not agree to President Assad stepping aside, a key, but stupid, UK and US demand. The Guardian's highly-respected Patrick Wintour says the talks De Bretton Gordon extols are 'perilously shorn of credibility'.

    Meanwhile, the real peace talks, unmentioned by the Colonel, have been held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. They are brokered by Russia, so the UK wants them to fail. But the UN's Staffan de Mistura says the Astana talks are making small but 'clear progress' to reducing violence in Syria. They have now moved to Sochi on the Black Sea and we need to pray for them.

    Terrorists should lay down their arms

    Make no mistake, the UK government helped start the dreadful civil war in Syria . Even now its tame media pundits cannot bear the idea that the Islamic terrorists we assisted are mercifully losing.

    They need to lay down their arms. But don't expect the Colonel to agree. The Bible says in Psalm 120:7:

    I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

    Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon will keep ringing the UK Government bell. A knighthood cannot be far away. But we must take what he and the rest of the BBC's pro-Foreign Office pundits say with a very large pinch of salt.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon ex Wikispooks
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon (born September 1963) is a chemical weapons expert and chief operating officer of SecureBio Limited . He was formerly a British Army officer for 23 years and Commanding Officer of the UK's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and NATO 's Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion. [1]

    De Bretton-Gordon is Managing Director CBRN at Avon Protection , the recognised global market leader in respiratory protection system technology specialising primarily in Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Industrial. [2]

    Novichok nerve agent
    On 4 March 2018, a Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was reported to have been poisoned in Salisbury with a nerve agent which British authorities identified as Novichok . Theresa May told Parliament that she held Russia responsible for Skripal's attempted murder.

    According to Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Novichok was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union at a laboratory complex in Shikhany, in central Russia. Vil Mirzayanov , a Russian chemist involved in the development of Novichok, who later defected to the United States , said the Novichok was tested at Nukus, in Uzbekistan . [3]

    Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray , who visited the site at Nukus, said it had been dismantled with US help. He is among those advocating scepticism about the UK placing blame on Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. In a blog post, Murray wrote:

    "The same people who assured you Saddam Hussein had WMDs now assure you Russian 'Novichok' nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil." [4]
    Deployments
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon's operational deployments included the 1st Gulf War , Cyprus , Bosnia , Kosovo , Iraq (multiple tours) and Afghanistan (2 tours) and has been in Syria & Iraq frequently in the last 3 years. This considerable experience in the field places Hamish de Bretton-Gordon as one of the world's leading and most current experts in chemical and biological counter terrorism and warfare.

    De Bretton-Gordon is a visiting lecturer in disaster management at Bournemouth University . [5]

    Doctors Under Fire
    In December 2017, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon and fellow director David Nott of Doctors Under Fire highlighted the case of seven children with curable cancer who were said to be dying in Ghouta, Syria, for want of drugs and nourishment. They claimed Union of Syrian Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM) hospitals in Ghouta were on their knees with very few medicines left, and that kind words for the dying children were the only palliative care available. [6]
    UNQUOTE
    This Christian has been abused; he does not approve of Homosexuality or abortion. In other words, he is not a heretic.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon ex Wiki
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon
    OBE (born September 1963) is a chemical weapons expert and chief operating officer of SecureBio Limited. He was formerly a British Army officer for 23 years and commanding officer of the UK's CBRN Regiment and NATO's Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion . [1] He is a visiting lecturer in disaster management at Bournemouth University . [2] He attended Tonbridge School and has a degree in agriculture from the University of Reading (1987).

    Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment ex Wiki
    A temporary formation that has been and gone.

    Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Battalion
    A NATO outfit.

    Al-Nusra Front ex Wiki
    Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra ( Arabic : جبهة النصرة ‎), known as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham ( Arabic : جبهة فتح الشام ‎, transliteration : Jabhat Fataḥ al-Šām ) after July 2016, and also described as al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, [34] [35] is a Salafist jihadist organization fighting against Syrian government forces in the Syrian Civil War , with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in the country. [36] The group announced its formation on 23 January 2012. [37]

    The United States designated Jabhat al-Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization, followed by the United Nations Security Council and many other countries. [38] It was the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda until July 2016, when it ostensibly split. [39] [40]

    In early 2015, the group became one of the major components of the powerful jihadist joint operations room named the Army of Conquest , which took over large territories in Northwestern Syria . It also operates in neighbouring Lebanon . [41] In November 2012, The Washington Post described al-Nusra as the most successful arm of the rebel forces. [[42]

    In July 2016, al-Nusra formally separated from al-Qaeda and re-branded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham ("Front for the Conquest of the Levant"). [39]

    On 28 January 2017, following violent clashes with Ahrar al-Sham and other rebel groups, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham merged with four other groups to become Their al-Sham .

    Al-Qaeda ex Wiki
    Al-Qaeda ( / æ l ˈ k aɪ d ə , ˌ æ l k ɑː ˈ iː d ə / ; Arabic : القاعدة ‎ al-qāʿidah , IPA: [ælqɑːʕɪdɐ] , translation: "The Base", "The Foundation" or " The Fundament " and alternatively spelled al-Qaida, al-Qæda and sometimes al-Qa'ida) is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 [31] by Osama bin Laden , Abdullah Azzam , [32] and several other Arab volunteers who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. [6]

    Christian Voice ex Wiki
    Christian Voice (CV) is a Christian advocacy group based in the United Kingdom . [1] Its stated objective is "to uphold Christianity as the Faith of the United Kingdom, to be a voice for Biblical values in law and public policy, and to defend and support traditional family life." [2] It is independent of religious, denominational, or political parties. [3]

    CV is led by Stephen Green, with Lord Ashburn as its patron. [3] Green is the group's spokesperson, producing scores of press releases from 2005 to 2010. According to Green, Christian Voice had in excess of 600 members in 2005. [4]

    The group has been criticised for its positions. David Peel, leader of the United Reformed Church called Christian Voice "a disgrace" [4] and described their "claim to represent Christians" in the UK as "absurd". [[5]

    Leadership
    Stephen Green
    The leader, and sole staff member, of Christian Voice is Stephen Green [6] , a former Chairman of the Conservative Family Campaign, who attends an Assemblies of God Church. In the early 1990s, Green was a prominent campaigner against homosexuality through the Conservative Family Campaign, and wrote a book called The Sexual Dead-End .

    In January 2011, Green's former wife, Caroline Green, accused him of repeatedly physically assaulting her and their children, including one incident where he allegedly beat her with a weapon until she bled, and another in which their son allegedly required hospital treatment after having been beaten with a piece of wood. The couple subsequently divorced. [7] Stating that the article was "highly defamatory" and calling it a "catalogue of smears and distortions stitched together," Green denied some of the allegations. On his blog he wrote: [8]

    I sincerely tried to lead my marriage and household in a loving and responsible way, and one which was faithful to the Lord.

    ... ... ...

    https://ww.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/08/will-chemical-weapons-attacks-like-douma-fail-punish-assad-crimes/

    Medics Under Fire - com

    Medics Under Fire - org
    Anti-Syrian government [ of 2016 ]
    The repeated targeting of healthcare workers and hospitals by the Russian and Syrian governments are war crimes. We call on you to give Syria's heroic healthcare workers and the communities they serve a zone free from bombing to ensure their protection. The international community has agreed the bombs need to stop. The resolutions are in place. They simply need to be enforced.

    Secure Bio Limited ex Companies House
    Registered office address
    Bell Advisory, Tenth Floor 3 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3H
    Company status
    Dissolved
    Dissolved on
    17 August 2017
    Company type
    Private limited Company
    Incorporated on
    29 June 2011
    Last accounts made up to 31 December 2013
    Nature of business (SIC)
    82990 - Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified

    Appointment of Hamish De Bretton-Gordon as a director View PDF Appointment of Hamish De Bretton-Gordon as a director - link opens in a new window - 3 pages (3 pages)
    05 Sep 2011 Appointment of Andrew Duckworth as a director View PDF Appointment of Andrew Duckworth as a director - link opens in a new window - 3 pages (3 pages)
    29 Jun 2011 Termination of appointment of Yomtov Jacobs as a director

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5589207/Syrian-government-intensifies-offensive-against-rebel-stronghold-Eastern-Ghouta.html awful innit?

    Syrian activists and doctors being trained to combat chemical attacks - Allegation Made By Bretton Gordon
    More Quislinggraph , more propaganda.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/08/dozens-reported-dead-chemical-attack-insyria-us-blames-russia/
    Believe it if you want.

    [Apr 01, 2020] For just $27K USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment

    Apr 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Piotr Berman , Mar 31 2020 17:22 utc | 151

    Given some time and currency, I guess Morocco would offer more value for money if you want some exotic customs and landscapes. If you have more money, you could spend them on a carbon-free cruise with stunning vistas and off-the-beaten route: North Pole on board of nuclear-powered ice breaker! It is wise to have swimming costume (a pool is on board, heated, I presume) and sensible apparel -- enough for normal winter (in Moscow). The number of places is below 150, with a little hospital on board too. In the latest ads I read about discounts, but the deal was that you can pay in rubbles with prices below the rubble plunged by 25%, still, for 27 k USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment (like mommy walrus taking care of youngsters), polar bears, seals, and landscapes of Franz Josef Land. Helicopter rides included. You can also take a plunge into the arctic water -- with safety precautions .

    [Mar 15, 2020] Free Syrian Army Deserter Reveals How the U.S. Sent Fighters to Idlib to Carry Out Sabotage and Intimidate the Population

    Mar 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    ak74 , Mar 15 2020 1:17 utc | 59

    Free Syrian Army Deserter Reveals How the U.S. Sent Fighters to Idlib to Carry Out Sabotage and Intimidate the Population
    https://syria360.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/free-syrian-army-deserter-reveals-how-the-u-s-sent-fighters-to-idlib-to-carry-out-sabotage-and-intimidate-the-population/

    [Mar 12, 2020] US now openly admits its goal in Syria is to make it 'difficult' for Moscow and Damascus to defeat terrorists

    Notable quotes:
    "... The State Department's special envoy for Syria has just admitted that the US aims to defend jihadist militants in Idlib against 'Russian aggression,' proving once again that the swamp in Foggy Bottom is a