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Nuremberg Trials - World War II

HISTORY.com

There were many legal and procedural difficulties to overcome in setting up the Nuremberg trials. First, there was no precedent for an international trial of war criminals. There were earlier instances of prosecution for war crimes, such as the execution of Confederate army officer Henry Wirz (1823-65) for his maltreatment of Union prisoners of war during the American Civil War (1861-65); and the courts-martial held by Turkey in 1919-20 to punish those responsible for the Armenian genocide of 1915-16. However, these were trials conducted according to the laws of a single nation rather than, as in the case of the Nuremberg trials, a group of four powers (France, Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S.) with different legal traditions and practices.

The Allies eventually established the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials with the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), issued on August 8, 1945. Among other things, the charter defined three categories of crimes: crimes against peace (including planning, preparing, starting or waging wars of aggression or wars in violation of international agreements), war crimes (including violations of customs or laws of war, including improper treatment of civilians and prisoners of war) and crimes against humanity (including murder, enslavement or deportation of civilians or persecution on political, religious or racial grounds). It was determined that civilian officials as well as military officers could be accused of war crimes.


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[Sep 23, 2020] Never Forget- Smoking Gun Intel Memo From 1990s Warned Of Frankenstein The CIA Created

Notable quotes:
"... knew and bluntly acknowledged ..."
"... War on The Rocks ..."
"... The U.S. State Dept.'s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com
SOURCE: ZEROHEDGE

As Americans pause to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001 which saw almost 3,000 innocents killed in the worst terror attack in United States history, it might also be worth contemplating the horrific wars and foreign quagmires unleashed during the subsequent 'war on terror'.

Bush's so-called Global War on Terror targeted 'rogue states' like Saddam's Iraq, but also consistently had a focus on uprooting and destroying al-Qaeda and other armed Islamist terror organizations (this led to the falsehood that Baathist Saddam and AQ were in cahoots). But the idea that Washington from the start saw al-Qaeda and its affiliates as some kind of eternal enemy is largely a myth.

Recall that the US covertly supported the Afghan mujahideen and other international jihadists throughout the 1980's Afghan-Soviet War, the very campaign in which hardened al-Qaeda terrorists got their start. In 1999 The Guardian in a rare moment of honest mainstream journalism warned of the Frankenstein the CIA created -- among their ranks a terror mastermind named Osama bin Laden .

But it was all the way back in 1993 that a then classified intelligence memo warned that the very fighters the CIA previously trained would soon turn their weapons on the US and its allies. The 'secret' document was declassified in 2009, but has remained largely obscure in mainstream media reporting, despite being the first to contain a bombshell admission.

A terrorism analyst at the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research named Gina Bennett wrote in the 1993 memo "The Wandering Mujahidin: Armed and Dangerous," that --

"support network that funneled money, supplies, and manpower to supplement the Afghan mujahidin" in the war against the Soviets, "is now contributing experienced fighters to militant Islamic groups worldwide."

The concluding section contains the most revelatory statements, again remembering these words were written nearly a decade before the 9/11 attacks :

US support of the mujahidin during the Afghan war will not necessarily protect US interests from attack.

...Americans will become the targets of radical Muslims' wrath. Afghan war veterans, scattered throughout the world, could surprise the US with violence in unexpected locales.

There it is in black and white print: the United States government knew and bluntly acknowledged that the very militants it armed and trained to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars would eventually turn that very training and those very weapons back on the American people .

And this was not at all a "small" or insignificant group, instead as The Guardian wrote a mere two years before 9/11 :

American officials estimate that, from 1985 to 1992, 12,500 foreigners were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and urban guerrilla warfare in Afghan camps the CIA helped to set up .

But don't think for a moment that there was ever a "lesson learned" by Washington.

Instead the CIA and other US agencies repeated the 1980s policy of arming jihadists to overthrow US enemy regimes in places like Libya and Syria even long after the "lesson" of 9/11. As War on The Rocks recounted :

Despite the passage of time, the issues Ms. Bennett raised in her 1993 work continue to be relevant today. This fact is a sign of the persistence of the problem of Sunni jihadism and the "wandering mujahidin." Today, of course, the problem isn't Afghanistan but Syria. While the war there is far from over, there is already widespread nervousness, particularly in Europe, about what will happen when the foreign fighters return from that conflict.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1304385396692914177&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blacklistednews.com%2Farticle%2F77999%2Fnever-forget-smoking-gun-intel-memo-from-1990s-warned-of-frankenstein-the-cia.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=219d021%3A1598982042171&width=550px

On 9/11 we should never forget the innocent lives lost, but we should also never forget the Frankenstein of jihad the CIA created .

* * *

The U.S. State Dept.'s own numbers at the height of the war in Syria: access the full report at STATE.GOV

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[Aug 02, 2020] Modern jihadism was co-invented in 1979 by Saudi Prince

Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

LuBa , Aug 1 2020 7:13 utc | 77

"Modern jihadism was co-invented in 1979 by Saudi Prince"

Yes after the Mecca siege they found the potential of wahabi islam(redefined by Qutb teachings in the previous years) to be used against the enemy of zionism.Without 20 November 1979 (not in Teheran but in Mecca) there wouldn't have been any suicide bomber in the years after.Those men with long beards and strong motivations were a great threat to the saudi family..they had no fear to die for their struggle because the struggle was all their life...They had a genuine hatred for usa and saudi corrupted state.It was only a matter of annihilating them internally and at the same time promoting their birth everywhere in the Sunni Islamic world...to serve the zionist scum.

[Jul 29, 2020] How Modern Jihadism Became Co-Invented by the U.S. and Saudi Governments -- Strategic Culture

Jul 29, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Modern jihadism was co-invented in 1979 by Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, and U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, working together, and here is the background for it, and the way -- and the reasons -- that it was done:

Back in the later Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church and its aristocracies had used religious fervor in order to motivate very conservative and devout people to invade foreign countries so as to spread their empire and to not need to rely only on taxes in order to fund these invasions, but also to highly motivate them by their faith in a heavenly reward. It was far cheaper this way, because these invading forces wouldn't need to be paid so much; the reason why they'd be far cheaper is that their pay would chiefly come to them in their afterlife (if at all). That's why people of strong faith were used. (Aristocracies always rule by deceiving the public, and faith is the way.) Those invaders were Roman Catholic Crusaders, and they went out on Crusades to spread their faith and so 'converted' and slaughtered millions of Muslims and Jews, so as to expand actually the aristocracies' and preachers' empire, which is the reason why they had been sent out on those missions (to win 'converts'). This was charity, after all. (Today's large tax-exempt non-profits are no different -- consistently promoting their aristocracy's invasions, out of 'humanitarian' concern for the 'welfare', or else 'souls', of the people they are invading -- and, if need be, to kill 'bad people'. This has been the reality. And it still is. It's the way to sell imperialism to individuals who won't benefit from imperialism -- make mental slaves of them.)

The original Islamic version of the Christian Crusades, Islamic Holy War or "jihad," started on 14 November 1914 in Constantinople (today's Istanbul) when the Sheikh Hayri Bey, the supreme religious authority in the Ottoman Empire , along with the Ottoman Emperor, Mehmed V , declared a Holy War for their Muslim followers to take up arms against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro in World War I. They were on Germany's side, and lost. (That's the reason why the Ottoman Empire ended.) Both the Sheikh and the Emperor had actually been selected -- and then forced -- by Turkey's aristocracy, for them to declare Islamic Holy War at that time. In fact, the sitting Sheikh, Mehmet Cemaleddin Efendi , in 1913, was actually an opponent of the pro-German and war-oriented policy of the Union and Progress Party, which represented Turkey's aristocrats, and so that Sheikh was replaced by them, in order to enable a declaration of Islamic Holy War. Jihad actually had its origin in Turkey's aristocracy -- not in the Muslim masses, and not even in the Muslim clergy. It resulted from an overly ambitious Turkish aristocracy, hoping to extend their empire. It did not result from the public. And, at that time, relatively few Muslims followed this 'Holy' command, which is one reason why the Ottoman Empire soon thereafter ended.

Incidentally, so as to clarify how Turkey's aristocracy ran the show, at that time, Taner Akçam's September 2006 "The Ottoman Documents and the Genocidal Policies of the Committee for Union and Progress toward the Armenians in 1915" reported that:

The fact that the decision about the Armenians was made after a great deal of thought, based on extensive debate and discussion by the Central Committee of the CUP [Committee for Union and Progress] , can be understood by looking at other sources of information as well. The indictment of the Main Trial states as follows: ''The murder and annihilation of the Armenians was a decision taken by the Central Committee of the Union and Progress Party.'' These decisions were the result of ''long and extensive discussions.'' In the indictment are the statements of Dr. Nazım to the effect that ''it was a matter taken by the Central Committee after thinking through all sides of the issue'' and that it was ''an attempt to reach a final solution to the Eastern Question .'' 54 In his memoirs, which were published in the newspaper Vakit, Celal, the governor of Aleppo, describes the same words being spoken to him by a deputy of the Ottoman Parliament from Konya, coming as a ''greeting of a member of the Central Committee .'' This deputy told Celal that if he had ''expressed an opinion that opposed the point of view of the others, [he would] have been expelled .'' 55

(And, consequently, when Hitler allegedly -- on 22 August 1939 , right before his invasion of Poland which started WW II, and it is on page 2 here , but the sincerity and even the authenticity of that alleged private 'speech' by him should be questioned and not accepted outright by historians -- cited Turkey's genocide against Armenian Christians as being proof that genocide is acceptable, Hitler would actually have been citing there not only a Muslim proponent of genocide, but an ally of Germany who had actually done it, because the Ottoman Empire's aristocracy had been both Muslim and German-allied. Hitler would, in that 'speech', if he actually said it, have been citing that earlier ally of Germany, which had actually genocided Christians. The genocide happened, even if that speech mentioning it was concocted by some propagandist during WW II.)

The new jihad, or Islamic version of the Crusades, is, however, very different from the one that had started on 14 November 1914. It wasn't Turkish, it instead came straight from Turkey's top competitor to lead the world's Muslims, the royal family who owned Saudi Arabia, the Sauds. But they partnered with America's aristocracy, in creating it.

Today's jihadism started in 1979, when U.S. President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski (a born Polish nobleman), and his colleague Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, re-created jihad or Islamic Holy War, in order to produce a dirt-cheap army of Pakistani fundamentalist Sunni students or "mujahideen," soon to be renamed Taliban ( Pashto & Persian ṭālibān, plural of ṭālib student, seeker, from Arabic ) so as to invade and conquer next door to the Soviet Union the newly Soviet-allied Afghanistan, and to turn it 'pro-Western', now meaning both anti-Soviet, and anti-Shiite. (The Saud family hate Shiites , and so do America's aristocrats, whose CIA had conquered Shiite Iran in 1953, and who became outraged when Shiites retook Iran in 1979. And, from then on, America's aristocracy, too, have hated Shiites and have craved to re-conquer Iran. By contrast, the Sauds had started in 1744 to hate Shiites.) So, modern Islamic Holy War started amongst fundamentalist Sunnis in Pakistan in 1979, against both the Soviets and the Iranians (and now against both Russia and Iran ). Here is a video of Brzezinski actually doing that -- starting the "mujahideen" (subsequently to become the Taliban) onto this 'Holy War':

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A9RCFZnWGE0?feature=oembed

Brzezinski , incidentally, had been born a Roman Catholic Polish aristocrat whose parents hated and despised Russians, and this hostility went back to the ancient conflicts between the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox Churches.

So: whereas on the American end this was mainly a Roman Catholic versus Orthodox operation, it was mainly a Sunni versus Shiite operation on the Saudi end.

Here's more of the personal background regarding the co-creation, by the aristocracies of America and of Saudi Arabia, of today's jihadism, or "radical Islamic terrorism":

Whereas Nelson Rockefeller in the Republican Party sponsored Harvard's Henry Kissinger as the geostrategist and National Security Advisor, David Rockefeller in the Democratic Party sponsored Harvard's and then Columbia's Zbigniew Brzezinski as the geostrategist and National Security Advisor. The Rockefeller family was centrally involved in controlling the U.S. Government.

According to pages 41-44 of David B. Ottaway's 2008 The King's Messenger: Prince Bandar , U.S. President Jimmy Carter, whose National Security Advisor was Brzezinski, personally requested and received advice from a certain graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, regarding geostrategy. At the time, Brzezinski commented favorably on Bandar's graduate thesis. But that's not all. "Secretly, Carter had already turned to the kingdom for help, calling in Bandar and asking him to deliver a message to [King] Fahd pleading for an increase in Saudi [oil] production. Fahd's reply, according to Bandar, was 'Tell my friend, the president of the United States of America, when they need our help, they will not be disappointed.'13 The king was true to his world." However, Bandar's advice went beyond oil. And the re-creation, of the fundamentalist-Sunni movement (amongst only fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, both in 1914 and in 1979), that now is called "jihadism," was a joint idea, from both Brzezinski and Bandar.

On 2 July 2014, Akbar Ganji headlined at Huffington Post, "U.S.-Jihadist Relations (Part 1): Creating the Mujahedin in Afghanistan" , and he noted that :

It was the United States that, together with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan, dispatched the jihadists to Afghanistan. Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia played a key role in those operations, with Saudi Arabia providing the key financial, military and human support for them. The kingdom encouraged its citizens to go to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet army. One such citizen was Osama bin Laden. Saudi Arabia agreed to match, dollar for dollar, any funds that the CIA could raise for the operations. The U.S. provided Pakistan with $3.2 billion , and Saudi Arabia bought weapons from everywhere, including international black markets, and sent them to Afghanistan through Pakistan's ISI.

That was then, and this is now, but it is merely an extension of that same operation, even after the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact military alliance all ended in 1991, and Russia ended its side of the Cold War but the United States secretly continued its side , as is shown here, by an example. This example, of America's continuing its Cold War, is America's longstanding effort, after the death of FDR in 1945, to overthrow and replace Syria's pro-Russian Government and install instead a Syrian Government that will be controlled by the Sauds:

U.S. President Barack Obama was warned in 2012 by U.S. DOD intelligence that if he would try to overthrow and replace Syria's secular, non-sectarian (and predominantly Shiite) Government (as the Sauds had been urging every U.S. President ever since Truman to do -- to replace those secular Shiites by fundamentalist Sunnis ), he would be able to do it only with the support of Syria's minority of fanatically Sunni fundamentalists , who were especially concentrated in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, bordering Turkey. Obama went for the idea , and promoted it as being his attempt to 'liberate' Syria, from being led by the "barbaric" secular, non-sectarian, Shiite, Bashar al-Assad. As far back as 2009, Obama had been informed that an intense drought was ripening Syria for overthrow (regime-change), but Obama wanted to wait for his second term before he'd go all-out for this conquest. Obama didn't want his re-election chances to be clouded by possible accusations that he would be arming Al Qaeda. But, anyway, he needed to do it that way because only as late as December 2012 did Syria's domestic jihadists make clear to him that they'd go along with his plan to wage war against Assad only if they would be led by Syria's Al Qaeda, called "Al Nusra." So, this invasion began only in his second term, starting in January 2013. But the planning for the 'rebellion' -- the "Arab Spring" in Syria -- actually began in 2009 , and the U.S. State Department, under Hillary Clinton, was centrally involved . Turkey "began operations in April-May 2011" to overthrow Assad, but Obama had actually started it, Erdogan didn't. Turkey merely cooperated with it. Altogether, throughout the U.S.-initiated war in Syria, something on the order of around a hundred thousand jihadists have come into Syria from around the world so as to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Virtually all of them entered through Turkey, to its north. The influx was a trickle as late as 2013, escalated in 2014, approximately doubled in 2015, and continued escalating , but no reliable count of the incoming jihadists exists. Though Turkey was the pathway, this invasion started actually in Washington.

So, in this new 'Islamic holy war', to overthrow Syria's non-sectarian Government, the fighters entered Syria through Turkey, and they were welcomed mainly in Syria's province of Idlib, which adjoins Turkey.

On 13 March 2012, the Al Jazeera TV station, of the pro-jihad Thani royal family of Qatar, headlined "Inside Idlib: Saving Syria" , and opened

The Syrian government crackdown on the dissenting northern city of Idlib has continued for a third day, with casualties from random shelling and sniper fire mounting, and growing concerns for many citizens detained by government forces. "I can't tell you what an unequal contest this is . The phrase that we felt yesterday applied to it was 'Shooting fish in a barrel' – these people can't escape, they can't help themselves, they have very little weaponry, what can they do but sit there and take it?"

The UK Government had given Qatar to the Thanis in 1868. On 12 September 1868 , Mohammed Bin Thani signed "an agreement with the British Political Resident Col. Lewis Pelly, which was considered as the first international recognition of the sovereignty of Qatar"; so, on that precise day, Britain's Queen Victoria gave Qatar to his family, which owns it, to the present day. The Thanis are the leading financial backers of the Muslim Brotherhood, which spreads Thani influence to foreign countries. (At least up till 9/11, the Saud family have been the main financial backers of Al Qaeda .) The Thanis have been, along with the Sauds, the main financial backers of replacing the non-sectarian Syrian Government by a fundamentalist-Sunni Syrian Government. Whereas the Sauds want to control that new government, also the Thanis do, and this is one reason for the recent falling-out between those two families. America's aristocracy prefers that Syria's rulers will be selected by the Saud family, because they buy more weapons from the U.S. than does any other country. However, everything is transactional between aristocracies, and, so, international alliances can change. It's always a jostling, everyone grabbing for whatever they can get: aristocracies operate no differently than crime-families do, because FDR's dream of an anti-imperialistic U.N., which would set and enforce international laws, died when he did; we live instead in an internationally lawless world -- he died far too soon. In a sense (at least ideologically), Hitler won, but, actually, Churchill did (he was as much an imperialist as Hitler and Mussolini were).

Anyway, uncounted tens of thousands of jihadists from all over the world descended upon Syria, funded by the Sauds and the Thanis, and armed and trained by the United States, to conquer Syria. At the Syrian Government's request, Russia started bombing the jihadists on 30 September 2015 . That air-support for the Syrian Army turned the war around. By the time of 4 May 2018, Britain's Financial Times headlined "Idlib offers uncertain sanctuary to Syria's defeated rebels" ("rebels" being the U.S. and UK Governments' term for jihadists who were serving as the U.S., Saud and Thani, proxy-forces or mercenaries to conquer Syria) and reported (stenographically transmitting what the CIA and MI6 told them to say) that, "more than 70,000 rebels and civilians" -- meaning jihadists and their families -- who were "fleeing the last rebel holdout near the capital," had been given a choice, and this "choice was die in Ghouta, or leave for Idlib," and chose to get onto the Government-supplied buses taking them to Idlib. So, perhaps unnumbered hundreds of thousands of jihadists did that, from all over Syria, and collecting them in Idlib.

As I reported on 10 May 2018:

On May 8th, Syria's Government bannered, "6th batch of terrorists leave southern Damascus for northern Syria" and reported that "During the past five days, 218 buses carrying terrorists with their families exited from the three towns to Jarablos and Idleb under the supervision of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent." Jarablos (or " Jarabulus ") is a town or "District" in the Aleppo Governate; and Idleb (or " Idlib ") is the capital District in the adjoining Governate of Idlib, which Governate is immediately to the west of Aleppo Governate; and both Jarabulus and Idlib border on Turkey to the north. Those two towns in Syria's far northwest are where captured jihadists are now being sent.

The Government is doing that because at this final stage in the 7-year-long war, it wants civilian deaths and additional destruction of buildings to be kept to a minimum, and so is offering jihadists the option of surviving instead of being forced to fight to the death (which would then require Syria's Government to destroy the entire area that's occupied by the terrorists); this way, these final clean-up operations against the terrorists won't necessarily require bombing whole neighborhoods -- surrenders thus become likelier, so as to end the war as soon as possible, and to keep destruction and civilian casualties at a minimum.

The Syrian and Russian Governments had planned to finish them off there in Idlib, so that none of them could escape back into their home countries to continue their jihad. However, the U.S. and its allies raised 'humanitarian' screams at the U.N. and other international organizations, in order to protect the 'rebels' against the 'barbarous dictator' of Syria, its President, Bashar al-Assad -- just in order to create more anti-Assad (and anti-Russian, and anti-Iranian) propaganda. And, so, on 9 and 10 September 2018, Putin and Erdogan and Rouhani met in Rouhani's Tehran to decide what to do. By that time, Erdogan was riding the fence between Washington and Moscow. On 17 September 2018, I headlined "Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ as I Recommended" and reported that Putin and Rouhani entrusted Idlib to Erdogan, with the expectation that Erdogan would keep the jihadists penned-up there, so that Putin and Assad would be able to bomb them to hell after the 'humanitarian crisis' in Idlib would be no longer on front pages.

As things turned out, Erdogan double-crossed Putin and Rouhani, and just grabbed the territory .

The role of the United Nations in this has been to stand aside and pretend that it's a 'humanitarian crisis' (as the U.S. regime wanted it to be called) instead of a U.S.-and-allied invasion, aggressive war, and consequently a vast war-crime such as Hitler's top leaders were prosecuted and executed for at Nuremberg. As Miri Wood wrote, at Syria News, on 28 February 2018 :

Members of the General Assembly must be in good financial standing to vote. Dues are on a sliding scale but do not factor in draconian sanctions against targeted members, nor crimes of war involved in their destruction. As such, CAR, Libya, Venezuela and Yemen have been stripped of their voting rights. The non-permanent SC members function as obedient House Servants to the P3 bullies, ever mindful of placing self-preservation above moral integrity .

So Truman's U.N. turns out to be on the side of the new Nazism, against its victims.

Erdogan wants to be with the winners. He evidently believes that whatever empire he'll be able to have will be just a vassal nation within the U.S. Empire. He had been extremely reluctant to accept this viewpoint , but, apparently, he now does. And so, now, Erdogan has become so confident that he has the backing of Christian-majority America and of Christian-majority Europe, so that Turkey's Hagia Sophia , which had been "the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520," has finally become officially declared by the Turkish Government to be, instead, a mosque. He feels safe enough to insult the publics in the other NATO countries so as to be able now to assert publicly his support for Islam against Christianity, because he knows that NATO's other aristocracies -- all of them majority-Christian, and all of these aristocrats ruling their respective Christian-majority countries -- don't really give a damn about that. Amongst themselves, the concern for 'heaven' is all just for show, because they are far more interested to buy Paradise in the here-and-now, for themselves and for their families. As for any possible 'afterlife', it will be reflected in the big buildings and charities that will bear their names, after they're gone. Erdogan feels safe, knowing that they're all psychopaths. And, as for the publics anywhere -- Syria, Libya, even in Turkey itself -- they don't matter, to him, any more than they do to the leaders of those other NATO countries.

Consequently, too, on July 18th, the American Herald Tribune headlined "As It Did in Libya, Turkey Recruits Syrian Militants to Fight in Azerbaijan" , and Khaled Iskef, a journalist for Beirut's Almaydeen TV, reported, based on unnamed "private sources in the northern countryside of Aleppo," that

Turkish forces started recruiting numbers of its armed fighters to send them to Azerbaijan in order to assist the Azerbaijani forces in confronting the Armenian army.

According to sources, Turkey opened special promotion offices in different parts of Afrin northern Aleppo, to attract the militants and encourage them to sign contracts by which they would move to fight in Azerbaijan for a period of six months, renewable in case they wanted to.

According to the contract, the militants receive a monthly salary of $2500, while the advantage of granting Turkish citizenship to the families of the militants in case they died is absent, contrary to the contracts that Turkey had signed with the armed men who wanted to move to Libya.

The sources said that Turkey has designated centers for registering militants wishing to fight in Azerbaijan within the towns of Genderes and Raju, along with Afrin city, and these centers have already started receiving requests by the militants.

Armenia is virtually 100% Christian, and, according to Wikipedia :

The Armenian Genocide [c] (also known as the Armenian Holocaust ) [13] was the systematic mass murder and expulsion of 1.5 million [b] ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey and adjoining regions by the Ottoman government between 1914 and 1923. [14] [15] The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the region of Angora ( Ankara ), 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders , the majority of whom were eventually murdered.

So, the recruitment of fundamentalist-Sunni mercenaries in the areas of Syria that Turkey has captured, and sending those men "to assist the Azerbaijani forces in confronting the Armenian army," is likewise consistent with the NATO member-country Turkey's restoration of its former Ottoman Empire. Using these jihadist proxy-soldiers, NATO is now invading Christian Armenia.

However, Iskef was reporting without paying any attention to the aristocratic interests which were actually very much involved in what Erdogan was doing here. On July 19th, Cyril Widdershoven at the "Oil Price" site bannered "The Forgotten Conflict That Is Threatening Energy Markets" and he reported the economic geostrategic factors which were at stake in this now-emerging likely hot war, which is yet another "pipeline war," and which pits Turkey against Russia. In this particular matter, Turkey has an authentic economic reason to become engaged in a possible hot war allied with Muslim Azerbaijan against Christian Armenia. Russia, yet again, would be backing Christian soldiers. Of course, NATO, also yet again, would be on the Muslim side, against the Christians. But, this time, NATO would be backing Azerbaijan, which is 85% Shiite. Consequently, in such a conflict, the U.S. could end up on the same side as Iran, and against Russia.

If history is any guide, aristocratic interests will take precedence over theocratic interests, but democratic interests -- the interests of the publics that are involved -- will be entirely ignored. The sheer hypocrisy of the U.S. regime exceeds anything in human history.

How can anybody not loathe the U.S. regime and its allies? Only by getting one's 'news' from its 'news'-media -- especially (but not only) its mainstream ones.

[May 03, 2020] Obama's Muslim Brotherhood Strategy, the 'War' Against Jihadism, and Russia's Syria Intervention Parts 1 and 2 Russian Eu

May 03, 2020 | gordonhahn.com

by Gordon M. Hahn

Part 1: The Obama Administration and the Muslim Brotherhood at Home

Introduction

Under a misguided illusion that Islamists can be regarded as moderates worthy of partnership with democracies and other civilized states in the war against jihadism, the Barack Obama administration has undertaken a series high-stakes, ideologically-driven and naive policy gambits driven by the U.S. president's dangerous sympathy for Islam. In and of itself such a sympathy is not necessarily a problem if it is moderate and indirectly influences a few, non-strategic policies. However, when it becomes the ideological foundation for U.S. foreign policy and strategy across the Muslim world, it is downright dangerous and a potentially catastrophic miscalculation. The upshot of Obama's miscalculation has been the simultaneous destabilization of whole regions of the world, the weakening of key allies, the alienation of potential ones, and the possibility that for the first time since World War Two the West and Eurasia will be riven by violence, terrorism and war.

The catastrophic failure of Obama's pro-Islamic foreign policy is shaping the perceptions and calculus of friends, enemies, foes, and 'frenemies' alike. For great powers, his policies offer risks and opportunities but, more importantly, they demand a complete re-thinking of what U.S. foreign policy goals are and a rapid policy response to the picture that comes out of such re-thinking. This has become especially true when it comes to the single great power the expanse of which stretches along the most of the Muslim world's northern periphery – Russia. Therefore, Moscow is in the grips of a major revamping and reinvigoration of its foreign policy activity along its southern periphery. In each case the need to do so can be reasonably argue to have been necessitated by American mistakes and failures–from South and Central Asia in the east to North Africa in the west.

Here I will focus on the most recent cases of the Arab Spring and demonstrate that the Obama administration has attempted to make alliances with Islamists as a buffer against global jihadism and a battering ram for destroying secular authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world despised by many liberals and the left, despite their use as a bulwark against radical political Islam. In three key cases of the so-called Arab Spring–Egypt, Libya, and Syria–the Obama administration has supported the radical global Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The Egyptian case is well-known and will not be discussed here.

The pro-MB policy has been a fundamental miscalculation for several reasons. First, it assumed that democratic, moderately Islamic states led by the MB would follow secular authoritarian regimes. Instead, as the short-lived MB regime in Egypt demonstrated, an Islamist MB regime is no better and likely much worse than secular, even military-led regimes. The rise of Islamist authoritarianism after the fall of secular regimes is even better demonstrated by the upper hand that jihadist totalitarian groups have in the chaos of post-secular regimes across those parts of the Muslim world thrown into chaos with the help of U.S. policy.

Second, it assumed an impermeable line between the global Islamist revolutionary movement, led by groups such as the MB and Hizb ut-Tahrir Islami (HTI), and the global jihadi revolutionary movement, led by the Islamic State or IS (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) and Al Qa`ida (AQ). The former type of group is often a half-way house for radicalized Muslims heading towards the path of jihad. Like their jihadi counterparts, the MB and other radical Islamist revolutionary groups favor a global caliphate based on the rule of Shariah law. The difference lies in the strategies and tactics for getting there. By backing the MB, the U.S. facilitated jihadi agitation and propaganda, recruiting, and arms acquisition fueling the global jihadi revolutionary movement.

Part 1: The Obama Administration and the Muslim Brotherhood at Home

There is a logic President Obama's policy bias in favor of the MB. President Obama's biographical and radical leftist background lends him a great pro-Muslim feeling that often attains absurd proportions. After all, he spent many of his most formative childhood years in Indonesia, went to a madrassah school there, and stated in his autobiography that the most beautiful sound he ever heard is the Islamic azan or call to prayer. The president apparently believes that Islam and Muslims have been an instrumental part of America since its founding. In his 2009 Cairo speech, which the administration claimed sparked the MB-led Egyptian revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in September 2012, President Obama claimed to "know" that "Islam has always been a part of America's story" (www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-cairo-university-6-04-09). In a 2010 speech marking the end of Ramadan, Obama asserted: "Islam has always been part of America" (www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/08/11/statement-president-occasion-ramadan). In February 2015 he stated: "Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding" ( http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/obama-islam-has-been-woven-fabric-our-country-its-founding ). In short, President Obama has a bias in favor of Islam–indeed, a hyper-empathy that goes over the line into fantasy. Given these realities, it might be expected that this sentiment would be reflected in the American President's foreign policy. In fact, it is.

There is now a boat load of evidence that the Obama administration has brought in officials and advisors from radical Muslim circles–in particular those from groups fronting for, or tied to the MB–who espouse Islamist, anti-semitic, and anti-American points of view similar to those MB proposes. Until Hillary Clinton's resignation as US Secretary of State, MB links connected two high-ranking Obama administration officials: Clinton's chief of staff Huma Abedin and current special assistant to the National Security Council Chief of Staff for the military's Islamic chaplain program Mehdi K. Alhassani. The specific link is the Muslim World League (MWL), indicted for financing Al Qa`ida (AQ) front groups. MWL successor groups have been officially designated terrorist organizations by both the State Department and the United Nations (Aaron Klein, "White House aide linked to al-Qaida funder," Counter Jihad Report , 9 May 2014, http://counterjihadreport.com/tag/mehdi-k-alhassani/ ).

A link between these two and MB is the Muslim Student Association (MSA) with branches in hundreds of universities across America. The nationwide umbrella organization MSA has extensive proven ties to the MB ("The Muslim Students Association and and the Jihadi Network," Terrorism Awareness Project, 2008 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/MSA%20and%20Jihad%20Network%20v5b-1.pdf ). The MSA's official anthem restates MB's credo:

Allah is our objective

The Prophet is our leader

The Quran is our law

Jihad is our way

Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

Abedin served on the board of the MSA at George Washington University in 1997 ( http://shoebat.com/2014/05/03/distribution-list-smoking-gun-benghazi-email-included-muslim-brotherhood-agent/ ). The GWU MSA was founded by Muslim Brotherhood activists with start-up funding provided by the Saudi Arabian charity the Muslim World League or MWL founded in Mecca in 1962. From 2005 to 2006 Alhassani was the GWU MSA's president (Aaron Klein, "White House aide linked to al-Qaida funder," Counter Jihad Report , 9 May 2014, http://counterjihadreport.com/tag/mehdi-k-alhassani/ ). In 2001 AQ in the Arabian Peninsula's American leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who inspired Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan, became the chaplain for the GWU MSA chapter ( http://shoebat.com/2014/05/03/distribution-list-smoking-gun-benghazi-email-included-muslim-brotherhood-agent/ ).

Huma worked with Abdullah Omar Naseef on the editorial board of her father's Saudi-financed think tank, the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). Huma was there from 2002-2008, and Naseef was there from December 2002 – December 2003. Naseef left the JMMA editorial board at a time when various charities led by Naseef's MWL were declared illegal terrorism fronts worldwide, including by the U.S. and U.N. Naseef is still the MWL's secretary-general. Huma's mother, Saleha, is the editor of the IMMA's Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), the publication of Syed's institute ( http://shoebat.com/2014/05/03/distribution-list-smoking-gun-benghazi-email-included-muslim-brotherhood-agent/ ). Its latest issue (Vol. 35, Issue 4, 2015) features the lead article "Muslims in Western Media: New Zealand Newspapers' Construction of 2006 Terror Plot at Heathrow Airport and Beyond," a study of alleged Islamophobia, in which the institute specializes ( www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjmm20/current ). Saleha Abedin is also a MWL representative.

The MWL and its various offshoots, including the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and Al Haramain, have been accused of having terrorist ties. Al Haramain was declared a terror-financing front organization by the U.S. and U.N. with direct ties to Osama bin Laden and banned both in the U.S. and worldwide. The Anti-Defamation League accuses the MWL of proselytizing a "fundamentalist interpretation of Islam around the world through a large network of charities and affiliated organizations" and notes that "several of its affiliated groups and individuals have been linked to terror-related activity." In 2003, U.S. News and World Report documented "a blizzard of Wahhabist literature" accompanied MWL's donations ( http://shoebat.com/2014/05/03/distribution-list-smoking-gun-benghazi-email-included-muslim-brotherhood-agent/ ).

Both Abedin and Alhassani were links in the Obama's administration's strategic communications (propaganda) operation to pin the 11 September 2012 Bengazi attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three CIA operatives on an Internet film instead of an AQ affiliate's attack. In an email obtained under a Judicial Watch lawsuit sent to Alhassani and other officials from Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communication sent an email to Alhassani and several other administration officials three days after the three days after the Benghazi attack indicating the need to "underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." Another email indicates that US Ambassador to the UN Susana Rice was prepped on the Saturday before her Sunday tour of talk shows where she repeated the video story and other elements cantained in the email's talking points (See p. 14 of the PDF of several documents at, http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/1919_production-4-17-14.pdf#page=14 ).

An Egyptian newspaper claimed in December 2012 that six Muslims in particular have direct ties to the MB or are even MB members. Four are adiminstration officials or semi-officials, and three of these deserve scrutiny: assistant secretary for policy development at the Homeland Security Department (HSD) Arif Alikhan; HSD Advisory Council member Mohammed Elibiary; and U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain ( www.investigativeproject.org/3608/dawud-walid-the-quran-and-jews and Ahmed Shawki, "A man and 6 of the Brotherhood in the White House!," Rose El-Youssef, 22 December 2012, www.rosa-magazine.com/News/3444/%D8%B1%D8%AC%D9%84%D9%886-%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%81%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B6 ). To be sure, the Egyptian article appears to be overstated in claiming these persons' MB membership. The piece was likely part of a strategic communications operation carried out by opponents of the MB regime that overthrew Mubarak and backed the post-MB Egyptian government of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi counter-revolution. Nevertheless, the Obama administration's appointment of these officials or plenipotentiaries as well as several other Muslim-American leaders -- in particular, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) president Imam Mohamed Magid and and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) co-founder Salam al-Marayati -- is disturbing given their indirect MB associations and MB-like Islamist political and theological views.

The biggest knock against DHS assistant secretary for policy development Arif Alikhan has been the endorsement by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of his appointment. CAIR has defended terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah as liberation movements. It also was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas terrorism funding case, and several of its former officials have been convicted of terrorism-related charges. A lesser rap is that Alikhan attended a fundraiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) just days before his appointment. MPAC has a similar history of defending Hamas ( http://www.jihadwatch.org/2009/07/new-dhs-official-linked-to-muslim-public-affairs-council-which-calls-hizballah-a-liberation-movement ). The Egyptian publication claimed that Alikhan is a founder of the World Islamic Organization (WIO), which it characterizes as a Brotherhood "subsidiary" ( www.investigativeproject.org/3869/egyptian-magazine-muslim-brotherhood-infiltrates# ). These indictments of Alikhan seem less than convincing as evidence of MB ties.

Much more disturbing was the appointment in 2010 to the DHS Advisory Council (HSAC) member of Mohammed Elibiary, released from his position in September 2014 amidst reports of a coverup involving his misuse of secret documents ( http://freebeacon.com/issues/controversial-dhs-adviser-let-go-amid-allegations-of-cover-up/ ). Before his HSAC appointment Elibiary was known to have publicly praised the MB's leading philosopher Sayyid Qutb, the leader of Iran's Islamist revolution Ayatollah Khomeini, and a radical New York imam Siraj Wahhaj, who was an unindicted co-conspiratr in the World Trade bombing case and was a defense character witness for the jihadist 'Blind Sheikh' Omar Abdel Rahman ( www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/mohamed-elibiary-homeland-security/ and www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/712.pdf ).

While on the HSAC Elibiary was caught having tweeted that it is "onevitable that the caliphate returns" ( http://freebeacon.com/national-security/senior-dhs-adviser-brags-inevitable-that-caliphate-returns/ ). His tweets were later used by ISIL for propaganda and recruitment purposes ( http://freebeacon.com/national-security/isil-celebrates-dhs-advisers-anti-american-tweets-on-return-of-caliphate/ ). Echoing his appointer, Pressident Obama, Elibiary claimed in November 2013 that America is "an Islamic country with an Islamically compliant constitution" and that the Muslim Brotherhood poses no threat to the U.S. ( http://freebeacon.com/national-security/dhs-adviser-tweets-america-an-islamic-country/ ).

The funding for Elibiary's own community organizing activity has been shrouded in secrecy. He is co-founder, president and CEO of the Freedom and Justice Foundation (FJF), founded in November 2002 "to promote government relations and "interfaith community relations for the organized Texas Muslim community." The IRS revoked the FJF's nonprofit status in May 2010 for failure to file the requisite forms that would have revealed its source of funding. Moreover, his FJF has never filed a Texas Franchise Tax Public Information Report. He also has ties to CAIR. The North Texas Islamic Council (NTIC) or Texas Islamic Council (TIC) is a FJF affiliate, and Elibiary is a registered NTIV agent for the NTIC. One of the NTIC's directors is H. Mustafaa Carroll, who is the executive director of CAIR's Houston chapter. Elibiary has described the writings of Qutb, the chief ideologist of the MB and a major source for global Islamist and jihadist revolutionaries alike, as having ""the potential for a strong spiritual rebirth that's truly ecumenical allowing all faiths practiced in America to enrich us and motivate us to serve God better by serving our fellow man more" ( www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/712.pdf ).

According to an investigation by the Washington Free Beacon, Elibiary was at the center of a scandal involving the "inappropriate disclosure of sensitive law enforcement documents" resulting from his access to DHS's secure HS-SLIC system, according to a DHS letter. The case has been "shrouded in mystery, with various officials providing unclear and at times contradictory answers about whether DHS ever properly investigated." The allegation was that Elibiary "inappropriately accessed classified documents from a secure site and may have attempted to pass them to reporters." As part of his role on the HSAC, Elibiary "was provided access to a network containing sensitive but unclassified information," according to the July 2014 DHS letter U.S. congressman Louis Gohmert (Republican from Texas). DHS claimed that its 2011 investigation "found no credible information" that Elibiary "disclosed or sought to disclose 'For Official Use Only' information to members of the media." Nor did DHS "find any indication that he sought to disclose any other internal OHS [Office of Homeland Security] information to anyone apart from official use of information within the scope of his role for the Homeland Security Advisory Council," according to the letter states.

However, DHS's denials are contradicted by documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, which indicate that there was never a proper investigation into Elibiary's actions. In a September 2013 letter DHS informed Judicial Watch in fact that it could not find investigation records connected to the matter. This conflicting information suggests a cover up of the fact that there was no investigation, as congressman Gohmert notes, and that Elibiary was let go from the HSAC to lock in the cover up. Terrorism expert Patrick Poole concluded that any DHS investigation that might have occurred was "phony," since it failed to contact him and his source, which led to the first public allegations of Elibiary's misuse of documents. "(W)hen DHS couldn't provide a single email or document in response to the Judicial Watch FOIA to prove this investigation ever took place, the jig was up," Poole noted ( http://freebeacon.com/issues/controversial-dhs-adviser-let-go-amid-allegations-of-cover-up/ ; see also www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/mohamed-elibiary-homeland-security/ ).

President Obama's originally appointed Rashad Hussain as his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). In February 2015 Hussain was promoted to the position of director of the U.S. State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (www.jewsnews.co.il/2015/02/26/obama-appoints-muslim-brotherhood-linked-muslim-to-head-center-for-strategic-counterterrorism-communications/). Hussain previously served on Critical Islamic Reflections program organizing committee with the founder of Zaytuna College, Imam Zaid Shakir ( http://www.yale.edu/cir/2004/about.html ). Shakir's co-founder is Hamza Yusuf, who has said that jihadist Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in the Al Qa`ida conspiracy to bomb New York landmarks in the 1990s, was tried unjustly ( www.investigativeproject.org/2778/ipt-profiles-hamza-yusuf ).

Speaking at a MSA conference in 2004 Hussain condemned the U.S. Justice Department for "politically motivated persecutions" in prosecuting the soon-to-be convicted terrorism supporter Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida computer engineering professor. He also called the legal process "sad commentary on our legal system," "a travesty of justice," and "atrocious" (www.politico.com/story/2010/02/islam-envoy-retreats-on-terror-talk-033210#ixzz0g5R9A5gl). One wonders what legal system Hussain would prefer to the American system of justice. In 2006 the good professor pleaded guilty to one count of "(c)onspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian jihadist organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a U.S. State Department 'Specially Designated Terrorist organization'" and was sentenced to 57 months in prison (www.investigativeproject.org/profile/100/sami-al-arian). The judge in the case said there was evidence that Al-Arian served on PIJ's governing board. Al-Arian successfully had lied about his ties to the terrorist group for ten years. For his part, Hussain lied in 2006 about the fact that he made the noted 2004 remarks condemning the Justice Department for 'persecutions', only to be forced to admit he had lied after being subjected to media scrutiny in the wake of his appointment. (www.investigativeproject.org/1809/how-are-these-not-considered-lies). According to the watchdog group Global Mulsim Brotherhood Watch, Hussain has a long record of attending MB-tied conferences, including a May 2009 conference organized by MB-tied groups like the MSA (www.globalmbwatch.com/2010/02/20/breaking-news-rashad-hussain-admits-making-controversial-comments-and-asking-for-deletion/).

In addition such to appointments, Obama administration grant-giving has rewarded radical Muslims, including open anti-Semites. Director of the Michigan branch of MB front group CAIR, Dawud Walid, has traveled abroad at least twice on U.S State Department funds, using a 2010 trip to Mali to criticize America's treatment of Muslims after 9/11. But it gets worse. In a 25 May 2012 sermon at the Islamic Organization of North America mosque in Warren, Michigan, Walid asked rhetorically: "Who are those who incurred the wrath of Allah?" Walid answered: "They are the Jews, they are the Jews." He also has stated: "One of the greatest social ills facing American today is Islamophobia, and anti-Muslim bigotry. And if you trace the organizations and the main advocates and activists in Islamophobia in America, you will see that all those organizations are pro-Israeli occupation organizations and activists." Walid's anti-American bias is reflected in his view that the 2009 shooting death of a Detroit imam was unjust, despite the imam's refusal of police orders to lay down his weapon and surrender and his fire at police first ( www.investigativeproject.org/3608/dawud-walid-the-quran-and-jews ).

Obama's ties to Muslims with anti-American and radical leanings predate his election to the presidency. The Obama campaign's Muslim outreach adviser Mazen Asbahi was forced to resign in August 2008 after Wall Street Journal article unmasked his indirect radical and MB ties. In 2000, Asbahi served on the board of the Islamic investment fund Allied Assets Advisors Fund (AAAF), a Delaware-registered trust. Asbahi also has been a frequent speaker before several U.S.-based groups that scholars associate with the MB. AAAF is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), which receives funding from the government of Saudi Arabia and holds the title to many U.S. mosques in the U.S. NAIT promotes fundamentalist Islam compatible with both the ideology of MB and Saudi Arabian Wahhabism. Other AAAF board members at the time included one Jamal Sayid, the imam at a fundamentalist mosque in Illinois the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridgeview, Ill., outside Chicago. Sayid served on the AAAF board until 2005. The Justice Department designated the imam an unindicted co-conspirator in a 2007 racketeering trial of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. Sayid has been identified as a leading Hamas member in numerous news reports since 1993. (www.wsj.com/articles/SB121797906741214995 and http://www.globalmbwatch.com/2008/08/06/breaking-news-obama-advisor-resigns-after-wall-street-journal-report/ ). Asbahi reportedly has connections to two other MB-linked organizations, the Institute For Social Policy And Understanding and SA Consulting. One of the latter's three managers is Omer Totonji, the apparent son of Iraqi-born U.S. Muslim Brotherhood founder Ahmed Totonji (www.globalmbwatch.com/2008/08/01/breaking-news-obama-top-muslim-adviser-part-of-two-more-organizations-tied-to-us-muslim-brotherhood/).

The White House's 'go to' imam is Mahomed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to which Asbahi also has ties (www.globalmbwatch.com/2008/08/01/breaking-news-obama-top-muslim-adviser-part-of-two-more-organizations-tied-to-us-muslim-brotherhood/). Although Magid has been involved in outreach to Jews at the US Holocaust Museum and the gay community, he has also awarded an American Muslim who has verbally attacked Jews on an Islamist ideo-theological basis. Magid is often invited to attend administration speeches on US Middle East policy at the State Department, has advised the FBI and the Justice Department to criminalize defamation of Islam, and is a member of the Department of Homeland Security's Countering Violent Extremism Working Group. He also advises other federal agencies. In 2012 Magid's ISNA organized a "Diversity Forum" at which Magid gave a diversity award to CAIR Michigan branch director Dawud Walid, just weeks after Walid's sermon at the Islamic Organization of America (IOA) mosque in Warren, Michigan, in which he claimed Jews had incurred the wrath of Allah (www.investigativeproject.org/3608/dawud-walid-the-quran-and-jews and https://pjmedia.com/blog/obamas-shariah-czar-mohamed-magid-hands-diversity-award-to-jew-hater-dawud-walid ).

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) co-founder and director Salam al-Marayati is a frequent White House visitor and administration consultant (www.mpac.org/programs/government-relations.php). Marayati has said that Israel should have been added to the "suspect list" for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks ( http://theblacksphere.net/2013/04/devout-muslims-in-key-positions-in-the-white-house/ ). MPAC has stated Muslims should be "confronting a nation of cowards," speaking of the United States in the words of former U.S. Attorney General ( www.mpac.org/programs/government-relations/ferguson-confronting-a-nation-of-cowards.php ). Marayati's MPAC spokeswoman in 2007, one Edina Lekovic, was editor of Al-Talib: The Muslim News Magazine at UCLA , for its July 1999 issue which praised Osama bin Laden as a "glorious mujahed" and in 2007 lied on national television about it, for which she was later fully exposed by Investigative Project director Stephen Emerson (www.investigativeproject.org/293/ms-lekovica-dozen-printing-mistakes). By the early 2000s, if not much during Ms Lekovic's years at UCLA, the UCLA MSA was engaged in Islamist and anti-Semitic propaganda and agitation, including support for the publication (www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/MSA%20and%20Jihad%20Network%20v5b-1.pdf). CAIR was affiliated with the university paper, with its southern California chapter's director sitting on Al-Talib 's editorial board (www.investigativeproject.org/271/mpac-cair-and-praising-osama-bin-laden). The UCLA MSA was also intimately involved with the newspaper's publishing and protest activity attacking Jews (www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/MSA%20and%20Jihad%20Network%20v5b-1.pdf and www.danielpipes.org/blog/2003/06/cairs-legal-tribulations ).

Given all of the above, it is certainly not unreasonable to suspect that President Obama's Cairo speech was intended to lend support to the world's most powerful MB branch -- that in Egypt. The Obama administration's warm support for Egypt's MB-led revolution and short-lived regime and cold shoulder to Gen. Sisi's government is well-known and speaks for itself.

Part 2: The Obama Administration and the MB Abroad

Abroad, President Obama's sympathy for semi-Islamist, MB-like elements at home was soon reflected in his foreign policy. In 2011 Obama issued a secret directive called Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11, which, according to the Washington Times, outlined a strategy for backing the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East as a strategy for supporting reform and blocking jihadism's advances in the region ( https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/3/inside-the-ring-muslim-brotherhood-has-obamas-secr/ ).

It appears to have been the foundation of the Obama administration's overall strategy in the Middle East and North Africa and the war against jihadism. It would be evident in the administration's policy failures in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Those failures would influence U.S. relations with allies and competitors, especially the other major powers in the region – Russia and Turkey – putting them on a collision course as they attempted a region in free-fall collapse as a result, for the most part, of American policies.

Egypt

The Obama administration first encouraged the MB-led overthrow of Hosni Mubarak's secular Arab nationalist regime in Egypt, and then openly supported the new MB 'democracy.' Thus, the U.S. was backing the overthrow of the leader who had repressed the MB in the wake of the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in October 1981, in which the some MB members were involved but not the main actors. Thus, President Obama invited MB leader and new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to the White House, a strong endorsement from any U.S. president. After President Obama's November 2012 meeting with the MB's now Egyptian President Morsi, Obama told his aides that he "sensed an engineer's precision with surprisingly little ideology" (www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/world/middleeast/egypt-leader-and-obama-forge-link-in-gaza-deal.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4&src=un&feedurl=http:/json8.nytimes.com/pages/world/middleeast/index.jsonp&pagewanted=all&). This was at a time when the Israeli incursion in Gaza was at its peak and Egyptian MB officials were issuing the most harsh and sometimes jihadist and racist statements in relation to Israel and Jews. Just days before Obama met with Morsi, the latter declared in Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque: "The leaders of Egypt are enraged and are moving to prevent the aggression on the people of Palestine in Gaza. We in Egypt stand with Gaza," he said. "[W]e are with them in one trench, that he who hits them, hits us; that this blood which flows from their children, it, it is like the blood flowing from the bodies of our children and our sons, may this never happen." At the same time, the chairman of Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party, Saad Katatni was making threats of jihad against Israel: "We are with you (Gaza) in your jihad. We have come here to send a message from here to the Zionist entity, to the Zionist enemy. And we say to them, Egypt is no longer. Egypt is no longer after the revolution a strategic treasure for you. Egypt was and still is a strategic treasury for our brothers in Palestine; a strategic treasure for Gaza; a strategic treasure for all the oppressed" (www.investigativeproject.org/3827/obama-administration-oversells-morsi).

MB officials and its official website in fact issued a series of anti-Semitic and jihadi calls. During one MB-organized protest at the time, preacher Muhammad Ragab called on Muslims "to raise the banner of jihad against the tyrannical, invading and wicked sons of apes and pigs [i.e., the Jews], and to unite against the enemies of Allah." MB website articles described "Zionists" as "apes and pigs," "scum of the earth," "prophet murderers," or "infidels." For example, MB General Guide Dr. Muhammad Badi issued various jihidist and anti-Semitic calls and motifs, including a quote of the hadith of "the rocks and the trees" – a well-known Islamic antisemitic motif–also found in Hamas's founding charter–according to which the Muslims will fight and kill the Jews before the Day of Judgment. The MB also repeatedly thanked God for the deaths of Israeli civilians during the killed by rockets (www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/6836.htm).

The Obama administration has never criticized the Egyptian MB or any other MB branch for pro-Hamas and pro-jihad rhetoric whether from Morsi, Katatni, or their 'ikhwan' associates. In addition, he nor any U.S. official ever threatened sanctions as the new MB regime allowed Islamist elements to attack Coptic Christians, and he was reluctant to support the overthrow of the MB regime and the return to power of the now military-backed Arab nationalist rule under Gen. Sisi.

Indeed, when confronted by a journalist on the issue, then State Department spokeswoman and architect of State's remarkably similarly failed Ukraine policy, Victoria Nuland responded: "Well, I'm obviously not, from this podium, going to characterize the Egyptian view, nor am I going to speak for them and characterize our private diplomatic conversations. We all agree on the need to de-escalate this conflict, and the question is for everybody to use their influence that they have to try to get there" (www.investigativeproject.org/3827/obama-administration-oversells-morsi). This pro-MB policy orientation was mirrored in the events in Libya and elsewhere that soon followed.

Libya

The administration then directly intervened to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi regime in Libya–another country with a considerable MB presence–in violation of a UN resolution limiting NATO action to establishing a no-fly zone backed by Russia by its abstention in the UN Security Council vote. The overthrow of Qaddafi first led to minimal change after elections and eventually anarchy and a civil war, which rages to this day. The parliamentary elections of July 2012 saw National Transition Council president Mustafa Abdul Jalil's party take the most votes, but Jalil represented limited change having been the economic advisor of Qaddafi's son. The elections also provided an opening for the MB, which finished in second place. But these elections failed in strengthening regime or consolidating democracy, and the country soon melted down into civil war, with jihadi elements supplementing the Islamist trend represented by the MB.

The Obama administration pattern of supporting MB and, unwittingly through it, jihadi elements such as AQ first emerged in Libya in 2011. In the words of the Citizens' Commission on Benghazi (CCB) -- founded in September 2013 and including among its members former US Congressman Peter Hoekstra and numerous former CIA and military officers -- the Obama administration "switched sides in the war on terrorism" ( www.aim.org/benghazi/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CCB-Interim-Report-4-22-2014.pdf ). CCB member and former CIA officer Clare Lopez concludes that "the Qaddafi opposition was led by the Muslim Brotherhood and the fighting militia was dominated by al-Qaida. That's who we helped" ( http://counterjihadreport.com/tag/mustafa-abdul-jalil/ ).

A December 2015 FOIA release of emails of then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton show that from the outset of protests in Libya the Obama administration was aware of AQ's presence in the U.S. backed opposition and anti-Qaddafi rebels' war crimes and had sent special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of the protests, and concerned regarding oil access for Western firms, Qaddafi's gold and silver reserves and his plans for a gold-backed currency that might weaken Western currencies. Thus, Clinton's unofficial advisor and envoy to the region, Sidney Blumenthal refers in one email to "an extremely sensitive source" who confirmed that British, French, and Egyptian special ops forces were training the Libyan rebels along the Egyptian-Libyan border and in Benghazi's suburbs within a month of the first ant-Qaddafi protests which began in Benghazi in mid-February 2011. By March 27 what was repeatedly being referred to as a popular revolt involved foreign agents "overseeing the transfer of weapons and supplies to the rebels" of the National Libyan Council (NLC) opposition front, including "a seemingly endless supply of AK47 assault rifles and ammunition." Blumenthal then notes that "radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC and its military command." Moreover, Blumenthal reported to her that "one rebel commander stated that his troops continue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries captured in the fighting." The commander was using a label–'foreign mercenaries'–used by opposition forces for the black Libyans favored under his regime and apparently was not referring to the Western special forces training and backing the rebels, whose atrocities of Libyan blacks were well-documented at the time by human rights groups the U.S. government often cites. Furthermore, Blumenthal states that the stories of Qaddafi's forces engaging in mass rape and his distributing Viagra to encourage them were only rumors, and yet these rumors became a charge leveled officially by Clinton in a State Department statement, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice at the UN itself, and numerous Western officials and media. The claims were shown in July 2011 by Amnesty International to have been very likely false and initiated by the rebels ( www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/01/06/new-hillary-emails-reveal-true-motive-for-libya-intervention/ with links to original sources). The above-mentioned CCB investigation, based on interviews with sources in U.S. intelligence agencies and the military, concludes that the U.S. facilitated delivery of weapons and military support to Libyan rebels from the MB who were linked to AQ, including the AQ cell that undertook the Bengazi consulate attack that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three CIA operatives.( www.aim.org/benghazi/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CCB-Interim-Report-4-22-2014.pdf ).

A New York Times investigation confirms the interpretation supported by the recently disclosed documents and CCB investigation. Secretary of State Clinton, whose ear Huma Abedin had, provided the pivotal support convincing the president first to back a UN resolution on a no-fly zone and disabling Qaddafi's command and control. Clinton also led the push inside the administration to upgrade from that policy to one of pursuing a rebel victory and a strategy of letting its allies supply weapons to the rebels and knowingly and willfully exceed the UN resolution's legal writ. Almost immediately after the UN resolution's adoption and well before Qadaffi was killed, the U.S. was providing assistance that went far beyond that necessary to secure a no-fly zone. According to former CIA Director, General David Petraeus, the United States was then already providing "a continuing supply of precision munitions, combat search and, and surveillance." Throughout spring 2011, the Obama administration looked the other way as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates supplied the rebels with lethal weapons, according to the Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others, and Clinton knew and was ostensibly "concerned that Qatar, in particular, was sending arms only to militias from the city of Misurata and select Islamist brigades." The State Department's Libya policy adviser Daniel Shapiro acknowledged to the NYT that the goal no longer was enforcing a no-fly zone but "winning" and "winning quickly enough," the latter goal perhaps connected with U.S. domestic politics and the presidential election little more than a year away. US State Department's Policy Planning Director Anne-Marie Slaughter confirmed in the NYT article that the U.S. "did not try to protect civilians on Qaddafi's side" (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "The Libya Gamble, Part 1: Hillary Clinton's 'Soft Power' and a Dictator's Fall," New York Times , 27 February 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/us/politics/hillary-clinton-libya.html?emc=edit_th_20160228&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=59962778&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2ASituation%20Report&_r=0).

Clinton was unusually interested–on "the activist side"–in having the U.S. take part, if a clandestine part in the supply of weapons to "secular" Libyan rebels "to counter Qatar" and the threat of lost influence. However, senior military officials, such as NATO's supreme allied commander, Adm. James G. Stavridis and Obama's national security adviser Tom Donilon warned that there were signs, "flickers." of Al Qaeda within the opposition and the administration would not be able to ensure that weapons would not fall into Islamist extremists's hands. This was a 'flicker' of the tragedies in Benghazi and Syria yet to come(Becker and Scott Shane, "The Libya Gamble, Part 1: Hillary Clinton's 'Soft Power' and a Dictator's Fall").

The CCB and the NYT also concluded that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had communicated to the U.S. his willingness to resign and depart from Libya and that the U.S. facilitated the delivery of arms to Libyan MB rebels tied to AQ in the person of its North African affiliate, AQ in Maghreb or AQIM. Moreover, the investigation found that the U.S. ignored Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's called for a truce and expressed a readiness to abdicate shortly after the 2011 Libyan revolt began but was ignored or rebuffed by U.S. officials leading to "extensive loss of life (including four Americans), chaos, and detrimental outcomes for U.S. national security objectives across the region" ( www.aim.org/benghazi/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CCB-Interim-Report-4-22-2014.pdf ). There was another plan supported by State Department policy planning director Slaughter to have Qaddafi step down in favor of one his sons, but this was also rejected by Clinton in favor of supporting the rebels to victory and violating international law established by the UN resolution (Becker and Scott Shane, "The Libya Gamble, Part 1: Hillary Clinton's 'Soft Power' and a Dictator's Fall").

The CCB's broader conclusions about the Islamist revolution in U.S. counter-jihadism policy is backed up by revelations from other newly disclosed documents regarding the debacle in Syria. The Obama administration's MB policy in Libya–which was already getting out of control and would turn Libya into a failed state, a jihadi and in particular IS stronghold, and a main source of Europe's refugee deluge–would be applied to Syria as well with even more disastrous results. Documents show that the U.S. administration was well aware that no later than October 2012 weapons of the formerly Qaddafi-led Lybian army were being sent from Libyan MB and AQ rebels to the increasingly jhadist-dominated Syrian opposition.

Obama, the MB, and Jihadists in Syria

When the Syrian revolt began in Daraa on March 18, 2011, the Syrian MB only existed abroad, having been exiled by Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's father and predecessor. However, its support abroad translated into strength in the original opposition alliance, the Syrian National Council (Oct. 2, 2011-Nov. 11, 2012) or SNC, backed and 'weaponized,' literally speaking, by the West, Turkey, and the Arabs. Turkey and Qatar sponsored the Syrian MB's strong representation on the SNC, though traditionally different Syrian MB factions have had ties in Saudi Arabia and Iraq as well and more radical Salafists were stronger at home in 2011-2013 in contrast to the MB's dominance in Syria from 1979-1982 (www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2014/01/syria-muslim-brotherhood-past-present.html#). At a conference hosted by Turkey in Istanbul in October 2011, the Syrian MB became a co-founder of the SNC, which it came to dominate politically if not numerically ( http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=48370 ). Exiled Syrian MB members comprise a quarter of the SNC's 310 members, and the MB constitutes the most cohesive, well-organized and influential bloc within the SNC. Moreover, another Islamist group within the SNC, the 'Group of 74' consists of former MB members ( http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=48370 ; http://carnegie-mec.org/publications/?fa=48334 ; and www.stratfor.com/sample/analysis/more-divisions-among-syrian-opposition ).

The MB is far more clever and deceptive than some other Islamist and all jihadist groups. It attempts to portray a moderate face and join alliances that function as fronts for its activity and vehicles for its rise to power. Thus, the SNC platform professed the goal of creating a full-fledged democracy, with full individual and groups rights and freedoms, elections, and the separation of powers ( http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=48370 ). It also allowed more moderate SNC leaders to assume the mantle of leadership to present a moderate face to foreign sponsors. This is openly acknowledged by MB leaders in the SNC. Former Muslim Brotherhood leader Ali Sadr el-Din Bayanouni, the SNC's fourth most powerful leader, stated that SNC Chairman Burhan Ghalioun was chosen because he "is accepted in the West and at home and, to prevent the regime from capitalizing on the presence of an Islamist at the top of the SNC" ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk6KTU1zoTE ). In 2012 liberal members began resigning from the council precisely because they saw it functioning as a liberal front for the MB ( http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/03/14/200546.html ). One of the SNC's few secular members claimed in February 2012 that more than half of the council consisted of Islamists ( http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-syria-opposition-idUKTRE81G0VM20120217 ).

The SNC joined the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces when the coalition was founded in November 2012 but withdrew from it in January 2014 when the latter agreed to enter into talks on a ceasefire and peaceful transition sponsored by the West and Russia in Geneva. By then both the council and the coalition had been long overtaken by the Al-Qa`ida-tied Jabhat al-Nusrah and other such groups as well as by the Islamic State (IS). The National Council is also heavily influenced by the MB. Its first president (November 2012-April 2103), Moaz al-Khatib, was the former imam of the historical Sunni Umayyad Mosque, a converted Christian church which houses the remains of St. John the Baptist and is situated in the heart of old Damascus. One of his two vice presidents was Suheir Atassi, ostensibly a secularist, and Khatib has at times promised equal rights for Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians and Kurds alike, prompting optimism in the West at the time that he could be a strong counter to the growing jihadization of the Free Syria Army (FSA). However, Katib is a MB sympathizer if not clandestine operative, a declared follower of the MB's chief theologian Yusuf al-Qardawi, whom he calls "our great imam." In accordance with Islamist taqqiya -- the right to lie to non-Muslims in order to further the Islamic cause -- when communicating in Arabic, Katib's statements become more radical. He has supported the establishment of a Shariah-law based stated and his Darbuna.net website has included articles, including some of his own, which express anti-Semitic, anti-Western, and anti-Shia views ( http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/11/14/islamist-in-chief/ ). Moreover, Katib has demonstrated just how much the differences between Islamist groups such as the MB and jihadists groups like AQ and IS are differences over strategy and tactics, not the goal of restoring the caliphate and globalizing radical Islamic influence if not rule. He has also called on the U.S. to reconsider its 2012 decision to declare the AQ-allied Jabhat al-Nusrah as a terrorist organization, refusing to denounce JN and emphasizing its value as an ally in the struggle against the Assad regime (www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/1212/For-newly-recognized-Syrian-rebel-coalition-a-first-dispute-with-US-video and http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/assad-opposition-094/ ).

It is important to remember that the dividing lines between secular and Islamist groups such as the MB and even moreso those between Islamist groups like the MB and jihadi groups like AQ and IS on the ground in Syria are fluid and porous. The events in Libya demonstrated the dangers of these intersections, and now failed results would be repeated inside the Syria opposition with support for 'moderates' and Islamists leading to support for jihadists.

Recently disclosed U.S. government documents reveal the extent to which -- already by at least mid-2012 -- the Obama administration along with its European and Sunni allies were supplying financial, weapons, and training support to the SNC in its efforts to overthrow the Baathist and Alawite-led regime of Bashar al-Assad. Moreover, the documents show that the weapons were not only going to the MB-dominated SNC but also to the Al Qa`ida (AQ) Iraqi affiliate, the forerunner to ISIS. In fact, an August 2012 Defense Department/Defense Information Agency (DIA) document, which would have been based on data from the preceding months up to a year before mid-2012, emphasized that Salafists, in particular MB and AQ's affiliate in Iraq 'Al Qaida in Iraq' or AQI already dominated the Syrian opposition forces. The same document undermines the neo-con argument that if the U.S. had intervened in Syria early on– say, in 2011 -- there would have been little opportunity for jihadi groups like AQI and IS to dominate the forces fighting the Assad regime. But already in early 2012 if not sooner, elements from AQ's group in the region, AQI, immediately moved from Iraq to back the opposition in Syria, AQI already had been present in Syria for years as part of its operations in Iraq. Moreover, its strongholds were in the eastern regions of Iraq, and the religious and tribal leaders there came out strongly in support for the opposition to Syria's secular regime ( www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf ). Therefore, AQI would have had no trouble recruiting for the fight against Assad regardless of Western actions. One needs only recall the already existing AQI presence and the open desert terrain and porous border between western Iraq and eastern Syria.

One DoD/DIA document states that weapons were being sent from the port of Bengazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and Borj Islam in Syria beginning from October 2011–that is, before the SNC was even founded, meaning Western support actually began quite early on (www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-1-3-2-3-from-jw-v-dod-and-state-14-812/). The document is heavily redacted (blacked out) and does not indicate who organized the weapons shipments. However, the detailed knowledge of the reasons why specific ports were selected and specific ships used suggests that U.S. intelligence, likely the CIA, organized the shipments. The document states: " The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo " ( www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-1-3-2-3-from-jw-v-dod-and-state-14-812/ ). This shows that U.S. intelligence was already on the ground before October 2011. Moreover, this demonstrates that early Western actions in the form of supplying weapons especially, only strengthened AQI's recruitment and development potential both in Iraq and Syria, helping to produce the Islamic State. I include extended excerpts from the most relevant newly released documents at the end of this article. One document warned of "dire consequences," most of which are blacked out, but one potential consequence is not redacted: the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena" ( www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf ).

The interpretation that the Obama administration intentionally or unintentionally aided and abetted AQ and the rise of its successor organization ISIS (IS) is supported by the U.S. administration's second-ranking official. On 2 October 2015 U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden let the cat out of the big when he was asked the question–"In retrospect do you believe the United States should have acted earlier in Syria, and if not why is now the right moment?"– at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Biden answered:

The answer is 'no' for 2 reasons. One, the idea of identifying a moderate middle has been a chase America has been engaged in for a long time. We Americans think in every country in transition there is a Thomas Jefferson hiding beside some rock – or a James Madison beyond one sand dune. The fact of the matter is the ability to identify a moderate middle in Syria was – there was no moderate middle because the moderate middle are made up of shopkeepers, not soldiers – they are made up of people who in fact have ordinary elements of the middle class of that country. And what happened was – and history will record this because I'm finding that former administration officials, as soon as they leave write books which I think is inappropriate, but anyway, (laughs) no I'm serious – I do think it's inappropriate at least , you know, give the guy a chance to get out of office. And what my constant cry was that our biggest problem is our allies – our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends – and I have the greatest relationship with Erdogan, which I just spent a lot of time with – the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world . Now you think I'm exaggerating – take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what's happening? All of a sudden everybody's awakened because this outfit called ISIL which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden – I don't want to be too facetious – but they had seen the Lord. Now we have – the President's been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrXkm4FImvc&feature=youtu.be&t=1h31m57s ).

This illegal activity is at least one if not the main reason behind the Obama administration's deception of the American people regarding the murder of US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three CIA agents in September 2012 in Benghazi. Indeed, the above-mentioned document and other recently released DoD documents confirm that within hours of the attack, the entire US government, including those who were at the forefront in claiming the incident was a political demonstration that took place in reaction to a film denigrating Islam–President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and US National Security advisor (then US rep to the UN) Susan Rice–was in fact a carefully planned terrorist attack carried out by an AQ affiliate in Libya and facilitated by the U.S. president's favorite Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, which was also dominant within the 'moderate' wing of the Syrian opposition and Free Syrian Army. Indeed, the recent congressional hearings into the Benghazi terrorist attack demonstrated that within a day of the attack Clinton told her daughter and the Egyptian ambassador to the US that it was a terrorist attack carried out by a AQ affiliate as described in the document not by a 'demonstration' protesting film as she told the American people and the relatives of the the CIA agents killed in the attack.

At the same time, the military and intelligence communities are in virtual mutiny over the Obama administration's failure to recognize the growing IS and overall jihadi threat and the risk of growing that threat by continuing the failed MB and other policies the administration pursues in the MENA region. The military's policy revolt underscores the fact and gravity of the policy to supply weapons to Syria's MB- and eventually jihadist-infested 'moderate' opposition to the Assad regime. In a January 2016 London Review of Books article, investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh uncovered major dissent and opposition within the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) over Obama's policy of supplying weapons to MB elements in Syria. Hersh found: "Barack Obama's repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are 'moderate' rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him" – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon's Joint Staff. Moreover, the Pentagon critics' opposition centered on the administration's unwarranted "fixation on Assad's primary ally, Vladimir Putin." Another less likely accurate aspect of their critique holds that "Obama is captive to Cold War thinking about Russia and China, and hasn't adjusted his stance on Syria to the fact both countries share Washington's anxiety about the spread of terrorism in and beyond Syria; like Washington, they believe that Islamic State must be stopped" ( www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military ).

In my view, Obama is captive to anything but 'Cold War thinking.' Rather, he is willing prisoner of his excessive sympathy for Islam, to his MB strategy, and to his perhaps/perhaps not unconscious association of Putin with the dreaded Republican and conservative white male so detested by the Democratic Party and American left from which the president hails. That association has been unintentionally reinforced by Putin's attempt to wear the mantle of defender of traditional values, Christianity and, as strange as it may seem to come, Western civilization. However, Hersh's other findings are well-taken.

According to Hersh, the top brass's resistance began in summer of 2013–more than a year since the CIA, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Qatar began to ship guns and goods from Libya via Turkey and sea to Syria for Assad's toppling. A joint JCS-DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) "highly classified," "all-source" intelligence estimate foresaw that the Assad regime's fall would bring chaos and very possibly Syria's takeover by jihadists was occurring in much of Libya. Hersh's source, a former JCS senior adviser, said the report "took a dim view of the Obama administration's insistence on continuing to finance and arm the so-called moderate rebel groups." The assessment designated Turkey a "major impediment" to the policy since Ankara had "co-opted" the "covert US programme to arm and support the moderate rebels fighting Assad," which "had morphed into an across-the-board technical, arms and logistical programme for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State." Moderates had "evaporated" and the Free Syrian Army was "a rump group stationed at an airbase in Turkey." The estimate concluded, according to Hersh and his source, that "there was no viable 'moderate' opposition to Assad, and the US was arming extremists" ( www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military ).

DIA Director (2012-14) Lieutenant General Michael Flynn confirmed that his agency had sent a steady stream of warnings to the "civilian leadership" about the "dire consequences of toppling Assad" and the jihadists' control of the opposition. Turkey was not working hard enough to stem the flow of foreign fighters and weapons across its border and "was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria," Flynn says. "If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic" Flynn told Hersh. But the DIA's analysis, he says, "got enormous pushback" from the Obama administration: "I felt that they did not want to hear the truth." Hersh's former JCS adviser concurred, saying: "Our policy of arming the opposition to Assad was unsuccessful and actually having a negative impact." "The Joint Chiefs believed that Assad should not be replaced by fundamentalists. The administration's policy was contradictory. They wanted Assad to go but the opposition was dominated by extremists. So who was going to replace him? To say Assad's got to go is fine, but if you follow that through – therefore anyone is better. It's the 'anybody else is better' issue that the JCS had with Obama's policy" ( www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military ).

In September 2015 more than 50 intelligence analysts at the U.S. military's Central Command lodged a formal complaint that their reports on IS and AQ affiliate 'Jabhat al-Nusrah' or JN–some of which were briefed to the president–were being altered inappropriately by senior Pentagon officials. In some cases, "key elements of intelligence reports were removed" in order to alter their thrust. The CENTCOMM analysts' complaint was sent in July to the Defense Department and sparked a DoD inspector general's investigation (www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/09/exclusive-50-spies-say-isis-intelligence-was-cooked.html). This was likely done in response to explicit requests or at least implicit signaling coming from White House officials on what and what is not politically correct in the president's mind. Thus, the analysts' complaint alleges that the reports were altered to depict the jihadi groups as weaker than analysts had assessed in an attempt by CENTCOM officials to adhere to the Obama administration's line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS and JN (www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/09/exclusive-50-spies-say-isis-intelligence-was-cooked.html). This would correlate with the motive behind the Bengazi coverup as well, as the terrorist attack occurred at the peak of the 2012 presidential campaign when the president was stumping on slogans that he had destroyed AQ.

Perhaps in response to the growing tensions, President Obama threw the intelligence agencies under the bus in September 2014 days after the US authorized itself to begin bombing Syria. He claimed that it was the intelligence agencies who "underestimated what was taking place in Syria" – a euphemism for the growing power of IS. He did this in August (www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/09/statement-president-iraq) and again in September ( http://thehill.com/policy/defense/219123-obama-intel-underestimated-isis and http://time.com/3442254/obama-u-s-intelligence-isis/ ). In turn, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has begun an investigation and hearings on the intel redactions (www.nationalreview.com/article/424000/house-investigates-alleged-doctoring-isis-intel-joel-gehrke), and Obama's former DIA chief, General Michael Flynn, has urged that the investigation begin "at the top" ( http://hotair.com/archives/2015/11/24/former-obama-dia-chief-intel-probe-should-focus-on-white-house/ and http://thehill.com/policy/defense/219123-obama-intel-underestimated-isis ).

But matters in the Obama administration are even worse. After illegally running guns to AQ and then IS and thereby strengthening history's greatest terrorist threat emanating from a non-state actor, the administration facilitated IS's financing by failing to bomb both the IS-controlled oil wells and the hundred-long truck convoys that transported the oil to market across the open desert in open daylight. Although in October 2014 a U.S. State Department, deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Julieta Valls Noyes, claimed the sale of IS fuel was one of the US's "principal concerns" and air strikes against them were "a viable option", nothing was ever done (www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/war-on-isis-us-planning-to-bomb-oil-pipelines-to-halt-jihadists-funding-9813980.html). According to former Obama administration CIA director Mike Morell's statement on November 24th, the administration refused to bomb oil wells which IS took control of because of the potential environmental damage ( www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/25/obamas-former-cia-director-reveals-real-reason-admin-declined-to-hit-islamic-state-oil-wells/ ).

One reason claimed for not attacking the truck convoys was that the drivers of the trucks ferrying oil from Mosul, Iraq to the Turkish border for sale–more about NATO member Turkey's role below–were not IS members but rather civilians. Only after Russia's military intervention and bombing of the IS oil convoys, along with France's doing the same after the November 13th Paris attacks, did the U.S. carry out its first sorties against the IS oil convoys on 17 November 2015. In advance of the first U.S. attack on the convoys, U.S. forces dropped leaflets warning the truck drivers (and any mujahedin accompanying them) of the impending raid ( www.wsj.com/articles/french-airstrikes-in-syria-may-have-missed-islamic-state-1447685772 ). It remains unclear how the U.S. knew the drivers were not IS members, whether this is in fact true, whether this necessarily exonerates them, and whether it is possible to defeat an extremist insurgency under such legal structures.

However, the perfidy of Obama's MB policy was far greater than simply the usual political correctness and naivete`of the president and his milieu or the resulting policy failures in Egypt, Libya Syria and Iraq. By looking the other way and even facilitating the flow of weapons to rebels, the Obama administration was flirting with violating U.S. anti-terrorism laws. The administration persisted in funneling arms to MB and other 'moderate' elements, when it was obvious to any moderately informed analyst that it would be impossible to control the flow of weapons in the murky circles and dark networks essence of frequently intersecting Islamist and jihadist organizations.

The administration's main partner in this gambit–NATO member Turkey–would raise similar and even more troubling issues.

Part 3: Obama's America, Erdogan's Turkey and the 'War Against' Jihadism in Syria and Iraq is forthcoming later in March .

[Feb 09, 2020] The Oil War by Jean-Pierre Séréni

Notable quotes:
"... The Iraq war was about oil. Recently declassified US government documents confirm this ( 1 ), however much US president George W Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their ally, the British prime minister Tony Blair, denied it at the time. ..."
Mar 06, 2013 | www.zcommunications.org

Source: Le Monde Diplomatique

The Iraq war was about oil. Recently declassified US government documents confirm this ( 1 ), however much US president George W Bush, vice-president Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their ally, the British prime minister Tony Blair, denied it at the time.

When Bush moved into the White House in January 2001, he faced the familiar problem of the imbalance between oil supply and demand. Supply was unable to keep up with demand, which was increasing rapidly because of the growth of emerging economies such as China and India. The only possible solution lay in the Gulf, where the giant oil-producing countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, and the lesser producing states of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, commanded 60% of the world's reserves.

For financial or political reasons, production growth was slow. In Saudi Arabia, the ultra-rich ruling families of the Al-Saud, the Al-Sabah and the Zayed Al-Nayan were content with a comfortable level of income, given their small populations, and preferred to leave their oil underground. Iran and Iraq hold around 25% of the world's hydrocarbon reserves and could have filled the gap, but were subject to sanctions -- imposed solely by the US on Iran, internationally on Iraq -- that deprived them of essential oil equipment and services. Washington saw them as rogue states and was unwilling to end the sanctions.

How could the US get more oil from the Gulf without endangering its supremacy in the region? Influential US neoconservatives, led by Paul Wolfowitz, who had gone over to uninhibited imperialism after the fall of the Soviet Union, thought they had found a solution. They had never understood George Bush senior's decision not to overthrow Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf war in 1991. An open letter to President Bill Clinton, inspired by the Statement of Principles of the Project for the New American Century, a non-profit organisation founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, had called for a regime change in Iraq as early as 1998: Saddam must be ousted and big US oil companies must gain access to Iraq. Several signatories to the Statement of Principles became members of the new Republican administration in 2001.

In 2002, one of them, Douglas Feith, a lawyer who was undersecretary of defense to Rumsfeld, supervised the work of experts planning the future of Iraq's oil industry. His first decision was to entrust its management after the expected US victory to Kellog, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of US oil giant Halliburton, of which Cheney had been chairman and CEO. Feith's plan, formulated at the start of 2003, was to keep Iraq's oil production at its current level of 2,840 mbpd (million barrels per day), to avoid a collapse that would cause chaos in the world market.

Privatising oil

Experts were divided on the privatisation of the Iraqi oil industry. The Iraqi government had excluded foreign companies and successfully managed the sector itself since 1972. By 2003, despite wars with Iran (1980-88) and in Kuwait (1990-91) and more than 15 years of sanctions, Iraq had managed to equal the record production levels achieved in 1979-1980.

The experts had a choice -- bring back the concession regime that had operated before nationalisation in 1972, or sell shares in the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) on the Russian model, issuing transferrable vouchers to the Iraqi population. In Russia, this approach had very quickly led to the oil sector falling into the hands of a few super-rich oligarchs.

Bush approved the plan drawn up by the Pentagon and State Department in January 2003. The much-decorated retired lieutenant general Jay Gardner, was appointed director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, the military administration set up to govern post-Saddam Iraq. Out of his depth, he stuck to short-term measures and avoided choosing between the options put forward by his technical advisers.

Reassuring the oil giants

The international oil companies were not idle. Lee Raymond, CEO of America's biggest oil company ExxonMobil, was an old friend of Dick Cheney. But where the politicians were daring, he was cautious. The project was a tempting opportunity to replenish the company's reserves, which had been stagnant for several years, but Raymond had doubts: would Bush really be able to assure conditions that would allow the company to operate safely in Iraq? Nobody at ExxonMobil was willing to die for oil. (Its well-paid engineers do not dream of life in a blockhouse in Iraq.) The company would also have to be sure of its legal position: what would contracts signed by a de facto authority be worth when it would be investing billions of dollars that would take years to recover?

In the UK, BP was anxious to secure its own share of the spoils. As early as 2002 the company had confided in the UK Department of Trade and Industry its fears that the US might give away too much to French, Russian and Chinese oil companies in return for their governments agreeing not to use their veto at the UN Security Council ( 2 ). In February 2003 those fears were removed: France's president Jacques Chirac vetoed a resolution put forward by the US, and the third Iraq war began without UN backing. There was no longer any question of respecting the agreements Saddam had signed with Total and other companies (which had never been put into practice because of sanctions).

To reassure the British and US oil giants, the US government appointed to the management team Gary Vogler of ExxonMobil and Philip J Carrol of Shell. They were replaced in October 2003 by Rob McKee of ConocoPhilips and Terry Adams of BP. The idea was to counter the dominance of the Pentagon, and the influential neocon approach (which faced opposition from within the administration). The neocon ideologues, still on the scene, had bizarre ideas: they wanted to build a pipeline to transport Iraq's crude oil to Israel, dismantle OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and even use "liberated" Iraq as a guinea pig for a new oil business model to be applied to all of the Middle East. The engineers and businessmen, whose priorities were profits and results, were more down-to-earth.

In any event, the invasion had a devastating impact on Iraq's oil production, less because of the bombing by the US air force than because of the widespread looting of government agencies, schools, universities, archives, libraries, banks, hospitals, museums and state-owned enterprises. Drilling rigs were dismantled for the copper parts they were believed to contain. The looting continued from March to May 2003. Only a third of the damage to the oil industry was caused during the invasion; the rest happened after the fighting was over, despite the presence of the RIO Task Force and the US Corps of Engineers with its 500 contractors, specially prepared and trained to protect oil installations. Saddam's supporters were prevented from blowing up the oil wells by the speed of the invasion, but the saboteurs set to work in June 2003.

Iraq's one real asset

The only buildings protected were the gigantic oil ministry, where 15,000 civil servants managed 22 subsidiaries of the Iraq National Oil Company. The State Oil Marketing Organisation and the infrastructure were abandoned. The occupiers regarded the oil under the ground as Iraq's one real asset. They were not interested in installations or personnel. The oil ministry was only saved at the last minute because it housed geological and seismic data on Iraq's 80 known deposits, estimated to contain 115bn barrels of crude oil. The rest could always be replaced with more modern US-made equipment and the knowhow of the international oil companies, made indispensible by the sabotage.

Thamir Abbas Ghadban, director-general of planning at the oil ministry, turned up at the office three days after the invasion was over, and, in the absence of a minister for oil (since Iraq had no government), was appointed second in command under Micheal Mobbs, a neocon who enjoyed the confidence of the Pentagon. Paul Bremer, the US proconsul who headed Iraq's provisional government from May 2003 to June 2004, presided over the worst 12 months in the oil sector in 70 years. Production fell by 1 mbpd -- more than $13bn of lost income.

The oil installations, watched over by 3,500 underequipped guards, suffered 140 sabotage attacks between May 2003 and September 2004, estimated to have caused $7bn of damage. "There was widespread looting," said Ghadban. "Equipment was stolen and in most cases the buildings were set on fire." The Daura refinery, near Baghdad, only received oil intermittently, because of damage to the pipeline network. "We had to let all the oil in the damaged sections of the pipeline burn before we could repair them." Yet the refinery continued to operate, no mean achievement considering that the workers were no longer being paid.

The senior management of the national oil company also suffered. Until 1952 almost all senior managers of the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) were foreigners, who occupied villas in gated and guarded compounds while the local workforce lived in shantytowns. In 1952 tension between Iraq and Muhammad Mossadegh's Iran led the IPC to review its relations with Baghdad, and a clause of the new treaty concerned the training of Iraqi managers. By 1972, 75% of the thousand skilled jobs were filled by Iraqis, which helped to ensure the success of the IPC's nationalisation. The new Iraq National Oil Company gained control of the oilfields and production reached unprecedented levels.

Purge of the Ba'ath

After the invasion, the US purged Ba'athist elements from INOC's management. Simply belonging to the Ba'ath, Iraq's single political party, which had been in power since 1968, was grounds for dismissal, compulsory retirement or worse. Seventeen of INOC's 24 directors were forced out, along with several hundred engineers, who had kept production high through wars and foreign sanctions. The founding fathers of INOC were ousted by the Deba'athification Commission, led by former exiles including Iraq's prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, who replaced them with his own supporters, as incompetent as they were partisan.

Rob McKee, who succeeded Philip J Carrol as oil adviser to the US proconsul, observed in autumn 2003: "The people themselves are patently unqualified and are apparently being placed in the ministry for religious, political or personal reasons... the people who nursed the industry through Saddam's years and who brought it back to life after the liberation, as well as many trained professionals, are all systematically being pushed to the sidelines" ( 3 ).

This purge opened the door to advisers, mostly from the US, who bombarded the oil ministry with notes, circulars and reports directly inspired by the practices of the international oil industry, without much concern for their applicability to Iraq.

The drafting of Iraq's new constitution and an oil law provided an opportunity to change the rules. Washington had decided in advance to do away with the centralised state, partly because of its crimes against the Kurds under Saddam and partly because centralisation favours totalitarianism. The new federal, or even confederal, regime was decentralised to the point of being de-structured. A two-thirds majority in one of the three provinces allows opposition to veto central government decisions.

Baghdad-Irbil rivalry

Only Kurdistan had the means and the motivation to do so. Where oil was concerned, power was effectively divided between Baghdad and Irbil, seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which imposed its own interpretation of the constitution: deposits already being exploited would remain under federal government control, but new licenses would be granted by the provincial governments. A fierce dispute arose between the two capitals, partly because the KRG granted licenses to foreign oil companies under far more favourable conditions than those offered by Baghdad.

The quarrel related to the production sharing agreements. The usual practice is for foreign companies that provide financial backing to get a share of the oil produced, which can be very significant in the first few years. This was the formula US politicians and oil companies wanted to impose. They were unable to do so.

Iraq's parliament, so often criticised in other matters, opposed this system; it was supported by public opinion, which had not forgotten the former IPC. Tariq Shafiq, founding father of the INOC, explained to the US Congress the technical reasons for the refusal ( 4 ). Iraq's oil deposits were known and mapped out. There was therefore little risk to foreign companies: there would be no prospecting costs and exploitation costs would be among the lowest in the world. From 2008 onwards, Baghdad started offering major oil companies far less attractive contracts -- $2/barrel for the bigger oilfields, and no rights to the deposits.

ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Total, and Russian, Chinese, Angolan, Pakistani and Turkish oil companies nevertheless rushed to accept, hoping that things would turn to their advantage. Newsweek (24 May 2010) claimed Iraq had the potential to become "the next Saudi Arabia." But although production is up (over 3 mbpd in 2012), the oil companies are irritated by the conditions imposed on them: investment costs are high, profits are mediocre and the oil still underground is not counted as part of their reserves, which affects their share price.

ExxonMobil and Total disregarded the federal government edict that threatened to strip rights from oil companies that signed production-sharing agreements relating to oilfields in Kurdistan. Worse, ExxonMobil sold its services contract relating to Iraq's largest oilfield, West Qurna, where it had been due to invest $50bn and double the country's current production. Baghdad is now under pressure: if it continues to refuse the conditions requested by the foreign oil companies, it will lose out to Irbil, even if Kurdistan's deposits are only a third of the size of those in the south. Meanwhile, Turkey has done nothing to improve its relations with Iraq by offering to build a direct pipeline from Kurdistan to the Mediterranean. Without the war, would the oil companies have been able to make the Iraqis and Kurds compete? One thing is certain: the US is far from achieving its goals in the oil sector, and in this sense the war was a failure.

Alan Greenspan, who as chairman of the US Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006 was well placed to understand the importance of oil, came up with the best summary of the conflict: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil" ( 5 ).

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's what Goldsteins are for.

harry law ,

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

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

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

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

[Jan 19, 2020] ISIS had become a proxy army of the CIA; that's likely why Soleimani had to be killed.

Jan 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

michael888 , Jan 19 2020 13:19 utc | 114

Almost all of the "terrorism" affecting the West has been Wahabbi Salafist Sunni driven. Iran, despite their religious head, is a more modern sectarian nation than Saudi Arabia. ISIS had become a proxy army of the CIA; that's likely why Soleimani had to be killed. It is time to align with Iran and the Shia for a change. They also have oil! Would send a nice message to our "allies" Israel and Saudi Arabia as well.

Sasha , Jan 19 2020 13:23 utc | 115

Trump has given signals of opposition to the wisdom of the use of jihadi proxies,

@Posted by: BM | Jan 19 2020 11:09 utc | 107

Really?

Revealed: US moves IS leaders to Al-Anbar, Iraq

After only a week or so after this heinous crime, we are assisting already to a new campaign on whitewashing Trump at each of the US military blogs...SST at the head...as always...but following the rest...be it a editorial level, be it at commentariat level...

What part of Trump admitting he personally ordered the murder you have not understood?

What part of Soleimani and Al Muhandis being the main strategic heads of real anti-IS front have you not understood?

[Jan 08, 2020] As Michael Flynn relates in his interview with Mehdi Hassan, once kicked out, the Obama Administration took steps that they knew would lead to the creation of ISIS in the region, and fired him as the head of the DIA after he had written them a memo warning them about this.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

masoud , Jan 7 2020 0:50 utc | 143

@Dan

Iran was definitely involved in organizing, supplying, and even to some extent arming(with small arms) various Iraqi militias. But the best way we know that it wasn't directly involved in attacking US patrols, was that so few soldiers died. Iran has no need to improvise explosive devices, it manufactures landmines on a mass scale which are much more reliable and orders of magnitude more deadly, and operationally easier to use.

Most of the resistance to the US occupation in the Shia regions of Iraq were in the form of non violent demonstrations spearheaded by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani(who btw is also Iranian).

The nonviolent demonstrators were routinely massacred for their trouble, by both the takfiri resistance and the occupation troops, but eventually succeeded in their demands for a democratic vote wherein they elected a government that demanded the US leave.

And as Michael Flynn relates in his interview with Mehdi Hassan, once kicked out, the Obama Administration took steps that they knew would lead to the creation of ISIS in the region, and fired him as the head of the DIA after he had written them a memo warning them about this.

Michael Flynn, who btw is rabidly anti Iranian, then became the first victim of the Russiagaters when Trump was elected into office.

[Jan 06, 2020] US-NATO-backed Israeli think tank Don't destroy ISIS; it's a 'useful tool' against Iran, Hezbollah, Syria The Grayzone

Notable quotes:
"... Several days after Efraim Inbar's paper was published, David M. Weinberg, director of public affairs at the BESA Center, wrote a similarly-themed op-ed titled "Should ISIS be wiped out?" in Israel Hayom, a free and widely read right-wing newspaper funded by conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson that strongly favors the agenda of Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . ..."
"... On his website, Weinberg includes BESA in a list of resources for " hasbara ," or pro-Israel propaganda. It is joined by the ostensible civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League and other pro-Israel think tanks, such as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). ..."
"... In the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the CIA and U.S. allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia armed, trained and funded Islamic fundamentalists in their fight against the Soviet Union and Afghanistan's Soviet-backed socialist government. These U.S.-backed rebels, known as the mujahideen, were the predecessors of al-Qaida and the Taliban. ..."
Jan 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

The director of an Israeli think tank backed by the US government and NATO, BESA, wrote that ISIS "can be a useful tool in undermining" Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and Russia and should not be defeated. By Ben Norton / Salon

According to a US-backed think tank that does contract work for NATO and the Israeli government, the West should not destroy ISIS, the fascist Islamist extremist group that is committing genocide and ethnically cleansing minority groups in Syria and Iraq.

Why? The so-called Islamic State "can be a useful tool in undermining" Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia, argues the think tank's director.

"The continuing existence of IS serves a strategic purpose," wrote Efraim Inbar in "The Destruction of Islamic State Is a Strategic Mistake," a paper published on Aug. 2.

By cooperating with Russia to fight the genocidal extremist group, the United States is committing a "strategic folly" that will "enhance the power of the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus axis," Inbar argued, implying that Russia, Iran and Syria are forming a strategic alliance to dominate the Middle East.

"The West should seek the further weakening of Islamic State, but not its destruction," he added. "A weak IS is, counterintuitively, preferable to a destroyed IS."

BESA Israeli think tank ISIS useful tool

US government and NATO support for ISIS-whitewashing Israeli think tank

Efraim Inbar, an influential Israeli scholar, is the director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a think tank that says its mission is to advance "a realist, conservative, and Zionist agenda in the search for security and peace for Israel."

The think tank, known by its acronym BESA, is affiliated with Israel's Bar Ilan University and has been supported by the U.S. embassy in Israel, the NATO Mediterranean Initiative, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and the Israeli government itself.

BESA also says it "conducts specialized research on contract to the Israeli foreign affairs and defense establishment, and for NATO."

In his paper, Inbar suggested that it would be a good idea to prolong the war in Syria, which has destroyed the country, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing more than half the population.

'Stability is not a value in and of itself. It is desirable only if it serves our interests.'

As for the argument that defeating ISIS would make the Middle East more stable, Efraim Inbar maintained: "Stability is not a value in and of itself. It is desirable only if it serves our interests."

"Instability and crises sometimes contain portents of positive change," he added.

Inbar stressed that the West's "main enemy" is not the self-declared Islamic State; it is Iran. He accused the Obama administration of "inflat[ing] the threat from IS in order to legitimize Iran as a 'responsible' actor that will, supposedly, fight IS in the Middle East."

Despite Inbar's claims, Iran is a mortal enemy of ISIS, particularly because the Iranian government is founded on Shia Islam, a branch that the Sunni extremists of ISIS consider a form of apostasy. ISIS and its affiliates have massacred and ethnically cleansed Shia Muslims in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Inbar noted that ISIS threatens the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. If the Syrian government survives, Inbar argued, "Many radical Islamists in the opposition forces, i.e., Al Nusra and its offshoots, might find other arenas in which to operate closer to Paris and Berlin." Jabhat al-Nusra is Syria's al-Qaida affiliate, and one of the most powerful rebel groups in the country. (It recently changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.)

Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based militia that receives weapons and support from Iran, is also "being seriously taxed by the fight against IS, a state of affairs that suits Western interests," Inbar wrote.

"Allowing bad guys to kill bad guys sounds very cynical, but it is useful and even moral to do so if it keeps the bad guys busy and less able to harm the good guys," Inbar explained.

More Israeli think tankers warn against defeating 'useful idiot' ISIS

Several days after Efraim Inbar's paper was published, David M. Weinberg, director of public affairs at the BESA Center, wrote a similarly-themed op-ed titled "Should ISIS be wiped out?" in Israel Hayom, a free and widely read right-wing newspaper funded by conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson that strongly favors the agenda of Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .

In the piece, Weinberg defended his colleague's argument and referred to ISIS as a "useful idiot." He called the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran "rotten" and argued that Iran and Russia pose a "far greater threat than the terrorist nuisance of Islamic State."

Weinberg also described the BESA Center as "a place of intellectual ferment and policy creativity," without disclosing that he is that think tank's director of public affairs.

After citing responses from two other associates of his think tank who disagree with their colleague, Weinberg concluded by writing: "The only certain thing is that Ayatollah Khamenei is watching this quintessentially Western open debate with amusement."

On his website, Weinberg includes BESA in a list of resources for " hasbara ," or pro-Israel propaganda. It is joined by the ostensible civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League and other pro-Israel think tanks, such as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).

Weinberg has worked extensively with the Israeli government and served as a spokesman for Bar Ilan University. He also identifies himself on his website as a "columnist and lobbyist who is a sharp critic of Israel's detractors and of post-Zionist trends in Israel."

'Stress the "holy war" aspect': Long history of the US and Israel supporting Islamist extremists

Efraim Inbar boasts an array of accolades. He was a member of the political strategic committee for Israel's National Planning Council, a member of the academic committee of the Israeli military's history department and the chair of the committee for the national security curriculum at the Ministry of Education.

He also has a prestigious academic record, having taught at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown and lectured at Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Oxford and Yale. Inbar served as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and was appointed as a Manfred Wörner NATO fellow.

The strategy Inbar and Weinberg have proposed, that of indirectly allowing a fascist Islamist group to continue fighting Western enemies, is not necessarily a new one in American and Israeli foreign policy circles. It is reminiscent of the U.S. Cold War policy of supporting far-right Islamist extremists in order to fight communists and left-wing nationalists.

In the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the CIA and U.S. allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia armed, trained and funded Islamic fundamentalists in their fight against the Soviet Union and Afghanistan's Soviet-backed socialist government. These U.S.-backed rebels, known as the mujahideen, were the predecessors of al-Qaida and the Taliban.

In the 1980s, Israel adopted a similar policy. It supported right-wing Islamist groups like Hamas in order to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, a coalition of various left-wing nationalist and communist political parties.

"Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel's creation," Avner Cohen, a retired Israeli official who worked in Gaza for more than 20 years, told The Wall Street Journal.

As far back as 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower insisted to the CIA that, in order to fight leftist movements in the Middle East, "We should do everything possible to stress the 'holy war' aspect."

Ben Norton Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton . bennorton.com Share Tweet Filed under: Bashar al-Assad , BESA , David M Weinberg , Efraim Inbar , hasbara , Hezbollah , Iran , ISIS , NATO , Russia , Syria

[Nov 26, 2019] Repeal the Nearly Two-Decade-Old War Authorizations by Matthew Hoh

Nov 25, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

In 2001 and in 2002 Congress passed authorizations for war. While not declarations of war, these mandates, each titled an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) provided the legal framework for attacks against al-Qaeda in 2001 and in 2002 for the Iraq War. Both AUMFs are still in effect today. As Congress considers its annual authorization to fund the Pentagon our current members of Congress, both in the House and the Senate, are in positions of responsibility and ability to repeal these AUMFs.

The effect of the AUMFs :

Based on FBI and journalist investigations, al Qaeda had between 200-400 members worldwide in September of 2001. Al Qaeda now has affiliates in every corner of the world, their strength measures in the tens of thousands of members, and they control territory in Yemen, Syria and parts of Africa. In Afghanistan, the Taliban now control as much as 60 percent of the territory and, with regards to international terrorism, where there was one international terror group in Afghanistan in 2001, the Pentagon now reports twenty such groups .

ISIS was formerly al Qaeda in Iraq, an organization that came into existence solely due to the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States. US military , intelligence agencies, journalists and other international organizations continually report that the reason people join such groups is not out of ideology or religious devotion, but out of resistance to invasion and occupation, and in response to the killing of family, friends and neighbors by foreign and government forces. It is clear the AUMFs have worsened terrorism, not defeated it.

The cost of the AUMFs :

More than 7,000 US service members have been killed and more than 50,000 wounded in the wars since 9/11. Of the 2.5 million troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as many as 20% percent are afflicted with PTSD, while 20 percent more may have traumatic brain injury. The Veterans Administration reports Afghan and Iraq veterans have rates of suicide 4-10 times higher than their civilian peers. This means almost two Afghan and Iraq veterans are die by suicide every day. Do the math and it is clear more Afghan and Iraq veterans are dying by suicide than by combat. The cost to the people overseas to whom we have brought these wars is hard to grasp. Between one and four million people have been killed, directly and indirectly, by these wars, while tens of millions more have been wounded or psychologically traumatized, and tens of millions more made homeless – the cause of the worst refugee crisis since WWII.

Financially, the cost of these wars is immense, at least $6 trillion. Of a vast many statistics that compose this incomprehensible figure of $6 trillion, is that nearly $1 trillion of it is simply just interest and debt payments. For any American, Democrat, Republican or independent, these interest and debt payments alone should cause them to reconsider these wars.

The AUMFs have allowed for wars to be waged without end by the executive branch, wars the American people, including veterans, say have not been worth fighting . Congress has the ability and responsibility to help bring about an end to these wars by ensuring the repeal of the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Matthew Hoh

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.

[Oct 26, 2019] Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS

Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:35 pm GMT

2012 Classified U.S. Report: ISIS Must Rise To Power
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai

http://yournewswire.com/2012-classified-u-s-report-isis-must-rise-to-power/

Conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch have published formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defence which reveals the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

Levantreport.com reports:
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for "THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME ".
The DIA report, formerly classified "SECRET//NOFORN" and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.

The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS
Posted on May 28, 2015 by Carol Adl

http://yournewswire.com/declassified-documents-obama-ordered-cia-to-train-isis/

Government watchdog Judicial Watch published more than 100 pages of formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.

The documents obtained through a federal lawsuit, revealed the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

The U.S. intelligence documents not only confirms suspicions that the United States and some of its coalition allies had actually facilitated the rise of the ISIS in Syria – as a counterweight to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad- but also that ISIS members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency at facilities in Jordan in 2012.

HEREDOT , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
When I say Isis, I immediately think of Obama, Hillary, Mc Cain. These are the most despicable psychopaths who have resigned from humanity.

[Oct 26, 2019] Secret Jordan base was site of covert aid to insurgents targeting Assad

Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm GMT

WND EXCLUSIVE
BLOWBACK! U.S. TRAINED ISLAMISTS WHO JOINED ISIS

Secret Jordan base was site of covert aid to insurgents targeting Assad
Published: 06/17/2014 – By Aaron Klein

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/officials-u-s-trained-isis-at-secret-base-in-jordan/

[MORE]
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Since publication, this story has been corrected to clarify that the fighters trained in Jordan became members of the ISIS after their training.]

JERUSALEM – Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country's northern desert region.
That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.

Britain's Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.

Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine's report. The French foreign ministry and Britain's foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.

[Oct 25, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard is right, and Nancy Pelosi wrong. It was US Democrats who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis by Jonathan Cook

Notable quotes:
"... Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. ..."
"... No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care. ..."
"... The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services. ..."
"... After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered. ..."
"... The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria. ..."
"... This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria. ..."
"... We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements. ..."
"... Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton. ..."
"... The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.). ..."
"... Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless. ..."
"... Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing. ..."
"... Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11. ..."
"... I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests ..."
"... It doesn't matter how many Arabs, Turks, Etruscans or Kurds are killed, as long as Israel's interests are taken care of, the results are "worth it". Its a very deeply cynical, and evil policy that the US has pursued all these years in the Mid-East. ..."
"... Gangster business and slavery are OK so long as our central bank gets our cut. ..."
"... They've re-started the Cold War. Keeps all the warmongers in business. Surely they're not stupid enough to want a hot one are they? ..."
"... It goes without comment that the first act of the US following Nudelman's (Why do these fuckers keep changing their names?) Ukraine coup was to steal its gold. ..."
"... "Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of their own Democratic Party power – for the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them." ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is something profoundly deceitful in the way the Democratic Party and the corporate media are framing Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria.

One does not need to defend Trump's actions or ignore the dangers posed to the Kurds, at least in the short term, by the departure of US forces from northern Syria to understand that the coverage is being crafted in such a way as to entirely overlook the bigger picture.

The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". Explaining why she and other senior Democrats stormed out, the paper writes that "it became clear the president had no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East".

Hang on a minute! Let's pull back a little, and not pretend – as the media and Democratic party leadership wish us to – that the last 20 years did not actually happen. Many of us lived through those events. Our memories are not so short.

Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. And I'm not even referring to the mountains of evidence that US officials backed their Saudi allies in directly funding and arming Isis – just as their predecessors in Washington, in their enthusiasm to oust the Soviets from the region, assisted the jihadists who went on to become al-Qaeda.

No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care.

Overthrow, not regime change

You don't have to be a Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi or Bashar Assad apologist to accept this point. You don't even have to be concerned that these so-called "humanitarian" wars violated each state's integrity and sovereignty, and are therefore defined in international law as "the supreme war crime".

The bigger picture – the one no one appears to want us thinking about – is that the US intentionally sought to destroy these states with no obvious plan for the day after. As I explained in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations , these haven't so much been regime-change wars as nation-state dismantling operations – what I have termed overthrow wars.

The logic was a horrifying hybrid of two schools of thought that meshed neatly in the psychopathic foreign policy goals embodied in the ideology of neoconservatism – the so-called "Washington consensus" since 9/11.

The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region.

The second was the Chicago school's Shock Doctrine, as explained in Naomi Klein's book of that name. The chaotic campaign of destruction, the psychological trauma and the sense of dislocation created by these overthrow wars were supposed to engender a far more malleable population that would be ripe for a US-controlled "colour revolution".

The recalcitrant states would be made an example of, broken apart, asset-stripped of their resources and eventually remade as new dependent markets for US goods. That was what George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Halliburton really meant when they talked about building a New Middle East and exporting democracy.

Even judged by the vile aims of its proponents, the Shock Doctrine has been a half-century story of dismal economic failure everywhere it has been attempted – from Pinochet's Chile to Yeltsin's Russia. But let us not credit the architects of this policy with any kind of acumen for learning from past errors. As Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove explained to a journalist whom he rebuked for being part of the "reality-based community": "We're an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality."

The birth of Islamic State

The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services.

Given how closed a society Syria was and is, and how difficult it therefore is to weigh the evidence in ways that are likely to prove convincing to those not already persuaded, let us set that issue aside too. Anyway, it is irrelevant to the bigger picture I want to address.

The indisputable fact is that Washington and its Gulf allies wished to exploit this initial unrest as an opportunity to create a void in Syria – just as they had earlier done in Iraq, where there were no uprisings, nor even the WMDs the US promised would be found and that served as the pretext for Bush's campaign of Shock and Awe.

The limited uprisings in Syria quickly turned into a much larger and far more vicious war because the Gulf states, with US backing, flooded the country with proxy fighters and arms in an effort to overthrow Assad and thereby weaken Iranian and Shia influence in the region. The events in Syria and earlier in Iraq gradually transformed the Sunni religious extremists of al-Qaeda into the even more barbaric, more nihilistic extremists of Islamic State.

A dark US vanity project

After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered.

The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria.

This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria.

Again, let us ignore the fact that the US, in helping to destroy a sovereign nation, committed the supreme war crime, one that in a rightly ordered world would ensure every senior Washington official faces their own Nuremberg Trial. Let us ignore too for the moment that the US, consciously through its actions, brought to life a monster that sowed death and destruction everywhere it went.

The fact is that at the moment Assad called in Russia to help him survive, the battle the US and the Gulf states were waging through Islamic State and other proxies was lost. It was only a matter of time before Assad would reassert his rule.

From that point onwards, every single person who was killed and every single Syrian made homeless – and there were hundreds of thousands of them – suffered their terrible fate for no possible gain in US policy goals. A vastly destructive overthrow war became instead something darker still: a neoconservative vanity project that ravaged countless Syrian lives.

A giant red herring

Trump now appears to be ending part of that policy. He may be doing so for the wrong reasons. But very belatedly – and possibly only temporarily – he is seeking to close a small chapter in a horrifying story of western-sponsored barbarism in the Middle East, one intimately tied to Islamic State.

What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.

First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill. Then, it allowed those seeds to flourish by assisting its Gulf allies in showering fighters in Syria with money and arms that came with only one string attached – a commitment to Sunni jihadist ideology inspired by Saudi Wahhabism.

Isis was made in Washington as much as it was in Riyadh. For that reason, the only certain strategy for preventing the revival of Islamic State is preventing the US and the Gulf states from interfering in Syria again.

With the Syrian army in charge of Syrian territory, there will be no vacuum for Isis to fill. The jihadists' state-building project is now unrealisable, at least in Syria. Islamic State will continue to wither, as it would have done years before if the US and its Gulf allies had not fuelled it in a proxy war they knew could not be won.

Doomed Great Game

The same lesson can be drawn by looking at the experience of the Syrian Kurds. The Rojava fiefdom they managed to carve out in northern Syria during the war survived till now only because of continuing US military support. With a US departure, and the Kurds too weak to maintain their improvised statelet, a vacuum was again created that this time has risked sucking in the Turkish army, which fears a base for Kurdish nationalism on its doorstep.

The Syrian Kurds' predicament is simple: face a takeover by Turkey or seek Assad's protection to foil Turkish ambitions. The best hope for the Kurds looks to be the Syrian army's return, filling the vacuum and regaining a chance of long-term stability.

That could have been the case for all of Syria many tens of thousands of deaths ago. Whatever the corporate media suggest, those deaths were lost not in a failed heroic battle for freedom, which, even if it was an early aspiration for some fighters, quickly became a goal that was impossible for them to realise. No, those deaths were entirely pointless. They were sacrificed by a western military-industrial complex in a US-Saudi Great Game that dragged on for many years after everyone knew it was doomed.

Nancy Pelosi's purported worries about Isis reviving because of Trump's Syria withdrawal are simply crocodile fears. If she is really so worried about Islamic State, then why did she and other senior Democrats stand silently by as the US under Barack Obama spent years spawning, cultivating and financing Isis to destroy Syria, a state that was best placed to serve as a bulwark against the head-chopping extremists?

Pelosi and the Democratic leadership's bad faith – and that of the corporate media – are revealed in their ongoing efforts to silence and smear Tulsi Gabbard, the party's only candidate for the presidential nomination who has pointed out the harsh political realities in Syria, and tried to expose their years of lies.

Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power – and the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


A123 , says: October 21, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT

The problem largely traces back to simple mistakes by prior Saudi administrations.

The Wahhabi were a threat to the royal family. So, the royal family funded them to go elsewhere. Given the craziness of Wahhabism that made sense at the time. Crazy usually dies out. However, in this case the Crazy came with enough money in hand to establish credibility. The extremist Muslim Brotherhood is a direct result of these exported extremism.

ISIS is the result of a schism inside the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. A "direct action" group wanted an even more extreme and immediate solution and broke away.

-- Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability. Violent, ultra-extreme ISIS fanatics would not follow the commands of infidel heretics. The Saudi royal family by this point realized that the Muslim Brotherhood was a threat to them just like the original Wahhabi, but they had no good way to undo their prior mistake.

-- Did Turkey attempt to use ISIS to weaken Syria and Iraq? This is far more probable. Turkey's AK party is also a schismatic offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. So, there is a great deal of opportunity for the two troops to find common cause. The New Ottoman Empire needs to absorb Syrian and Iraqi land, so undermining those governments would be step #1.

One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no "plug to pull".

PEACE

NegroPantera , says: October 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT
The wild savage dogs of ISIS are the Khmer Rouge of Islamic fundamentalism and their rise and violence should be attributed to the liberal interventionism that has proven to be a disaster not only for the region but those who carried out the intervention.
Oscar Peterson , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@A123

"One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no 'plug to pull'".

Absolute nonsense. And what do you mean by "outside forces." The US and Israel count as outside forces but Turkey does not? Forces outside of what?

ISIS emerged out of ISI, Zarqawi's Islamic State in Iraq, an affiliate, for a while, of AQ. The US invasion of Iraq created the political and military space in Iraq for transnational terror groups.

Meanwhile, the US, at Israel's instigation, had been working to weaken Assad in Syria. After the rebellion against him in 2011, the US, along with Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, Israel and others, began to support various jihadi groups inside Syria with the goal of eliminating the Assad government, each for his own reasons. Syria began lost control of its border with Iraq and much of eastern Syria and the Euphrates valley as well. This process allowed ISIS to emerge from an ISI under stress during the so-called "surge" in 2007-10 and establish itself in Syria. In 2014, ISIS, now a powerful well-armed group went back into Iraq to defeat the incompetent and unmotivated Iraq Security Forces that the US had established.

While the US moved against ISIS in Iraq after 2014, it left ISIS in Syria alone since it was depriving Assad of control over most of Syria's oil and much of its arable land.

And yes, of course the US, instigated by Israel, didn't "deploy" ISIS in the sense of directing its operations. But they left ISIS largely unimpeded to play a role in the overthrow of Assad which was always the primary goal. ISIS, it was thought, could be dealt with later after Assad was gone.

That plan would probably have worked eventually, but the Russians entered the picture in the second half of 2015 and changed the situation.

The US had been nominally supporting the usual "freedom fighters" but in effect supplying the more competent and vicious jihadis who could take the TOW missiles and other weapons the US was providing to the approved sad-sacks and make more effective use of them. Finally, with Russia and Iran facilitating the roll-back of all the jihadis, and the US threatened with being relegated to the sidelines, Obama jumped on the SDF (Kurdish) bandwagon and actually started doing what the US had not done previously: Taking serious action against ISIS so that a Russian/Iranian-backed Syrian reconquest of eastern Syria could be pre-empted.

And of course, the biggest supporter of the Kurds has consistently been Israel, who sees the possibility of creating pro-Israel statelets or at least enclaves in the midst of a Turkish, Iranian and Arab region that detests the Judenreich.

So in order to eliminate another of Israel's enemies, reduce a unified Syrian state to a handful of even more impotent emirates and ensure that Bibi would not be pestered with legal questions over the seizure and retention of the Golan, Syria was laid waste under the guise of "promoting democracy" and then further devastated under the guise of combatting ISIS.

We have done more than enough damage at the behest of Israel and its fifth column in the US. ISIS might well have emerged regardless of US actions, but it was the Jew-induced insanity of US regime-change/COIN policies that created the geographical, political and military space in Iraq and Syria for the jihadists and the ensuing physical destruction of so much of those countries.

The best solution would be to facilitate the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all of Syria. But instead of doing that, Trump has instead facilitated the entry of Turkish forces and allied jihadis in an attempt to mend fences with a thoroughly alienated Erdogan. We'll see if Putin can mitigate the brutal incompetence of Israel-infected US policy.

Anon [322] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@A123 For fuck's sake. Is there any way to stop Hasbara agents from effectively using software to get consistent first posts on this site?

Their mere presence is annoying. Whatever they have to say, on any topic and no matter what it is, no one here wants to read it because they are not beginning with any credibility whatsoever. As they are are religiously-avowed enemies of the West (who they hold to be the continuation of Rome) and the demonstrated fervent enemies of non-Jewish Whites.

Given the craziness of Wahhabism

There is nothing in Sunni Islam that does not have its root in Judaism. To state otherwise is to be a typical Semitic liar.

MarathonMan , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm GMT
A very real but completely unadvertised reality of these regime changes was that the publicly owned central bank of the country – Iraq and Libya – was eliminated and changed to a private central bank. Iraq and Libya both succumbed and Ron Paul related that the smoke had barely cleared in Libya before the private central bank charter was drafted and implemented. Syria and Iran are the last two countries that do not have a private central banks. Hence the drive by the neo-cons to destroy those countries and fully implement the New World (banking) Order.

Not widely discussed but (I think) vitally important to understanding foreign policy.

Rev. Spooner , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.
I love the second para. Getting slapped with a red herring with hope that the salt water blinds us .

My only gripe with Jonathan Cook is that this and all mid-eastern conflicts are engineered by the dual citizens and Israel isn't called out by him as the chief instigator. The saudis are slave of the west and amount to nothing.

Paul , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm GMT
Hillary Clinton (wife of draft dodger Bill) and the New York Times are Zionist assets. Hillary is a stooge!
donald j tingle , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm GMT
Why blame Bush, Rove etc. for the mess created by Clinton/Obama in Syria? Are they still out of bounds?
joe2.5 , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:32 pm GMT
@A123 " Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability"
Perhaps. Except that it did happen in plain daylight, before our eyes, but we should, of course, trust your "reasonability" -- instead of our own lying eyes.
anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm GMT
@A123 US President Donald Trump said Monday that a small number of US troops remain in Syria at the request of Israel and Jordan, with some positioned near the borders with Jordan and Israel and others deployed to secure oil fields.

"The other region where we've been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops is a totally different section of Syria, near Jordan, and close to Israel," Trump said when asked whether he would leave soldiers in Syria. "So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil. Other than that, there's no reason for it, in our opinion."

Times of Israel
and J Post 21st oct

It 's all about Israel and for its "royal patsy when not for royal patsy it's for the cannon fodder/ foot solder of Israel.

This mayhem from 2003 hasn't seen the full effects of the blow-back yet .Just starting . Tulsi Gabbard and Trump have knowingly and sometime unknowingly have told the master that the king never had any clothes even when the king was talking about the decency of having clothes on .

anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm GMT

"The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region."-

This sums up everything one want to know about certain human clones and the impact of the clones on the humanity.

Who will ever blame the victims for creating a future Hitler among them ?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm GMT
We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements.
Stop Bush and Clinton , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton.

Lock them all up, regardless of party affiliation.

TG , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:00 am GMT
Many interesting points here, and I agree with a lot of them. But:
[MORE]
"Or was it driven by something else: as a largely economic protest by an under-class suffering from food shortages as climate change led to repeated crop failures?"

Syria did run out of water, and it's hard not to see that as a major driver of the chaos that unfolded. But Syria didn't run out of water because of "climate change," that's false.

The explanation is that the Syrian government deliberately engineered a massive population explosion. Seriously, they made the sale and possession of contraceptives a crime! (See "Demographic Developments and Population: Policies in Ba'thist Syria (Demographic Developments and Socioeconomics)", by Onn Winkler).

The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.).

Now as far as weather goes, there were a couple of dry years before the collapse, but weather is always like that. Last year there were record rainfalls. If Syria's population had been stable at 5 or even 10 million, they could have coasted on water stored in the aquifers until the rains came back. But when the population increases so much that you drain the aquifers even when there is plenty of rain, then when a temporary drought hits you have no reserve and it all falls apart.

Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless.

... ... ...

barr , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:01 am GMT
LONDON: Hundreds of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists were smu ..
Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61703015.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Toxik , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
simple and straightforward journalism that cuts through the "corporate veil." Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing.

I also feel for our veterans who are indoctrinated to protect freedom, but in the end, when they come home injured and disabled, or even dead, it was all for naught.

Colin Wright , says: Website October 22, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
I find some of the rhetoric in this piece irritating and repetitive -- but the analysis is essentially correct.

We created a power vacuum that was almost certain to give rise to something like ISIS.

Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11.

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 11:00 am GMT
"The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". "

That's a poorly written statement. It reads as though Trump was the one having a meltdown. How about: "House Speaker Pelosi's meltdown during a meeting with Trump." ?

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
@MarathonMan That is a fact that should be kept foremost in the discussions of "why regime change is necessary". It is the most basic and obvious reason for all this war in the ME.
Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT
"First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill."

Not quite accurate. The US Government "sowed the seeds of" ISIS by giving them material support before the vacuum was created. IS is mainly a creature of empire, including the US and older remnants of empire in the UK and Europe which survives mainly in the existence of (international) banks.

Michael888 , says: October 23, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Christian truth Project "Tulsi is/was a member of the CFR". Aren't all Congressmen members? Doesn't that come with signing the AIPAC form, getting the secret decoder ring from Adam Schiff, and the free trip to Israel? (maybe Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib "don't measure up?")

I believe CFR was the organization Biden was regaling with his story of holding up $one billion in Ukrainian aid unless the Ukrainians fired the investigator of his son Hunter "who did nothing wrong". Can you imagine if Biden had been President rather than VP? This would have been a scandal!

Ilya G Poimandres , says: October 25, 2019 at 4:18 am GMT
@A123 One does not need outside actors, but then there would be a lot of 'dark matter' in the history of the ME over the last 100 years. Personally it's plain state terrorism to me, and the Brits have a good definition! http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/part/I
Alfred , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:53 am GMT
Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power

Correction: They only care about the maintenance and expansion of Israeli power.

Franklin Ryckaert , says: October 25, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
@Colin Wright

I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests, and when it once did so by accident, it apologized to Israel. The destruction of Syria is part of Israel's notorious Oded Yinon plan, according to which all states in Israel's neighborhood need to be fragmentized. In Iraq and Libya that was a success, in Syria, thanks to Iran, Hizbollah and Russia, it failed. The US is simply a puppet for Israel's foreign policy, but nobody in the US, not even Tulsi Gabbard, dares to say so.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: October 25, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam. (right click) https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/18/pepe-escobar-the-road-to-damascus-how-the-syria-war-was-won/ . The CIA will be after Trump's scalp till Kingdom Come.
Greg Bacon , says: Website October 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
@A123 Sorry Bibi, but your beloved Israel played a BIG part in establishing ISIS, then supporting it with shekels, medical care for their wounded, training and weapons.

WikiLeaks: US, Israel, And Saudi Arabia Planned Overthrow Of Syrian Govt. In 2006

Cables reveal that before the beginning of the Syrian revolt and civil war, the United States hoped to overthrow Assad and create strife between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia-planned-overthrow-of-syrian-govt-in-2006/221784/

The one time their hired ISIS thugs accidentally attacked IDF forces, ISIS leaders made a profuse apology to Israel.

Isis fighters 'attacked Israel Defense Forces unit, then apologised' claims former commander

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-israel-defence-force-apology-attack-unit-golan-heights-defense-minister-moshe-ya-alon-a7700616.html

Let's not forget that when the term ISIS first came out, the Tel Aviv war mongers realized it stood for Israeli Secret Intelligence Services and changed that to ISIL, which their adoring MSM gladly obliged by parroting that change.

From the Israeli masterminded 9/11 False Flag to the destruction of Syria, there's one common factor, Israel and her American Jew sayanim who keep pushing America into forever wars so Israel can finish off the Palestinians and steal more land.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
Panel Criticizes 'Unacceptable Practices' in the OPCW's investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018
https://www.couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement

Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.

We have learned of disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns, highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments -- a right explicitly conferred on inspectors in the Chemical Weapons Convention, evidently with the intention of ensuring the independence and authoritativeness of inspection reports.

Fixed "report" of OPCW was necessary to maintain anti-Assad narrative which is now unchallenged even by Gabbard (not to mention the weak sheep-dog Sanders).

ivan , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

The US does not have to directly support the jihadists. It just has to manage the chaos, for whatever be the action on the ground and whoever is killed or not killed, as long as there is chaos within their chosen sandbox, the chaos masters in Israel wins and that is all that counts with all too many Americans. It doesn't matter how many Arabs, Turks, Etruscans or Kurds are killed, as long as Israel's interests are taken care of, the results are "worth it". Its a very deeply cynical, and evil policy that the US has pursued all these years in the Mid-East.

But fortunately the Russians have turned things around.

Arnieus , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:09 pm GMT
@MarathonMan

Gangster business and slavery are OK so long as our central bank gets our cut. ME is also about "fragmenting" neighboring countries so Israel can expand. Yinon Plan.

Agent76 , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Oct 18, 2019 Tulsi Gabbard responds to Hillary Clinton: Clinton "knows she can't control me"

Hillary Clinton implied Russians are "grooming" Tulsi Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate to disrupt the election, a charge which Gabbard denies. In a live interview with CBSN, Gabbard responds to Clinton's claims and says she will not run as a third-party candidate.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/JNjzBJWUyWI?feature=oembed

Oct 19, 2019 This Is The Final Nail For Hillary Clinton! Tulsi Gabbard Moves On Up!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jqChZzFrvxE?feature=oembed

Herald , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

The explanation is quite simple, supporting terrorism is what the US does, and it has done so for decades.

cassandra , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
@TG Excellent post. You bring up 2 very important but rarely discussed issues.

Demographics: Population is one of the most easily predictable developments within a country, and you'd think it might be one of the most publically-discussed, and therefore, best-managed. Au contraire. Assad wasn't the only one who stood on the tracks watching the headlights approach:

1. The EU is having problems with an aging native population because it earlier encouraged low birth rates, and is now promoting mass immigration of rapidly-breeding immigrants who threaten to at least overwhelm if not overrun European society. Yet, as Douglas Murray points out in his book The Strange Death of Europe, openly talking about this problem has been, and still is, verboten.

2. China is now wondering to do with its preponderance of young men, caused very predictably by the Communist Party's one-child policy.

Climate:

If the rains had been good every single year – which is impossible – it would only have pushed the point of collapse back a few years, at most.

The Syrian case you cite shows how even relatively minor climate changes can carry events past a tipping point. I do agree with you that effects of APGW on climactic conditions are greatly exaggerated, yet changes in climate, for good or ill, have often triggered much larger historical events. The cooling that caused a famine and that preceded the Justinian Plague weakened European and Sassanian civilizations. These misfortunes paved the way for the Islamic takeover that followed. Contrariwise, Norse exploration and the Renaissance, to give 2 examples of increasing activity, both occurred during the Medieval Warming Period.

I enjoyed your comment.

Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX

They've re-started the Cold War. Keeps all the warmongers in business. Surely they're not stupid enough to want a hot one are they?

Bill Jones , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:35 pm GMT
@MarathonMan

It goes without comment that the first act of the US following Nudelman's (Why do these fuckers keep changing their names?) Ukraine coup was to steal its gold.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

Jeff Davis , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
"Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of their own Democratic Party power – for the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them."

FTFY

Just as the GOP is precisely and thoroughly corrupt in exactly the same way, focused exclusively on their own craven self-interest, the country be damned.

Kolya Krassotkin , says: October 26, 2019 at 12:43 am GMT
@Agent76 The end of Hill-dog? In your dreams. She rises from the grave with the regularity of an obese vampire.
ivan , says: October 26, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Anonymous Jimmah was the last honest man in American politics. But since he told Americans that gas was going to cost more, that perhaps they needed to drive a wee bit less, the Americans hated him. They didn't like the "malaise" of having to pay for their lifestyle.

As for the Israelis, what did Jimmah not to do for them : Got Egypt out of the Arab alliance, arranged the annual tribute to Israel, started the ball rolling on the Holocaust religion, paid off Egypt and Jordan to stay away from any alliance against the Israelis. But what did he get in return; branded as anti-Semite merely for mentioning that the Palestinians had rights, were human beings too. With the Zionist Jews, one is always on probation. No point playing their silly games.

[Oct 25, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard is right, and Nancy Pelosi wrong. It was US Democrats who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis by Jonathan Coo

Notable quotes:
"... Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. ..."
"... No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care. ..."
"... The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services. ..."
"... After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered. ..."
"... The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria. ..."
"... This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria. ..."
"... We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements. ..."
"... Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton. ..."
"... The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.). ..."
"... Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless. ..."
"... Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing. ..."
"... Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11. ..."
"... I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is something profoundly deceitful in the way the Democratic Party and the corporate media are framing Donald Trump's decision to pull troops out of Syria.

One does not need to defend Trump's actions or ignore the dangers posed to the Kurds, at least in the short term, by the departure of US forces from northern Syria to understand that the coverage is being crafted in such a way as to entirely overlook the bigger picture.

The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". Explaining why she and other senior Democrats stormed out, the paper writes that "it became clear the president had no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East".

Hang on a minute! Let's pull back a little, and not pretend – as the media and Democratic party leadership wish us to – that the last 20 years did not actually happen. Many of us lived through those events. Our memories are not so short.

Islamic State, or Isis, didn't emerge out of nowhere. It was entirely a creation of two decades of US interference in the Middle East. And I'm not even referring to the mountains of evidence that US officials backed their Saudi allies in directly funding and arming Isis – just as their predecessors in Washington, in their enthusiasm to oust the Soviets from the region, assisted the jihadists who went on to become al-Qaeda.

No, I'm talking about the fact that in destroying three key Arab states – Iraq, Libya and Syria – that refused to submit to the joint regional hegemony of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Washington's local client states, the US created a giant void of governance at the heart of the Middle East. They knew that that void would be filled soon enough by religious extremists like Islamic State – and they didn't care.

Overthrow, not regime change

You don't have to be a Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi or Bashar Assad apologist to accept this point. You don't even have to be concerned that these so-called "humanitarian" wars violated each state's integrity and sovereignty, and are therefore defined in international law as "the supreme war crime".

The bigger picture – the one no one appears to want us thinking about – is that the US intentionally sought to destroy these states with no obvious plan for the day after. As I explained in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations , these haven't so much been regime-change wars as nation-state dismantling operations – what I have termed overthrow wars.

The logic was a horrifying hybrid of two schools of thought that meshed neatly in the psychopathic foreign policy goals embodied in the ideology of neoconservatism – the so-called "Washington consensus" since 9/11.

The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region.

The second was the Chicago school's Shock Doctrine, as explained in Naomi Klein's book of that name. The chaotic campaign of destruction, the psychological trauma and the sense of dislocation created by these overthrow wars were supposed to engender a far more malleable population that would be ripe for a US-controlled "colour revolution".

The recalcitrant states would be made an example of, broken apart, asset-stripped of their resources and eventually remade as new dependent markets for US goods. That was what George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Halliburton really meant when they talked about building a New Middle East and exporting democracy.

Even judged by the vile aims of its proponents, the Shock Doctrine has been a half-century story of dismal economic failure everywhere it has been attempted – from Pinochet's Chile to Yeltsin's Russia. But let us not credit the architects of this policy with any kind of acumen for learning from past errors. As Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove explained to a journalist whom he rebuked for being part of the "reality-based community": "We're an empire now and, when we act, we create our own reality."

The birth of Islamic State

The barely veiled aim of the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was to destroy the institutions and structures that held these societies together, however imperfectly. Though no one likes to mention it nowadays, these states – deeply authoritarian though they were – were also secular, and had well-developed welfare states that ensured high rates of literacy and some of the region's finest public health services.

Given how closed a society Syria was and is, and how difficult it therefore is to weigh the evidence in ways that are likely to prove convincing to those not already persuaded, let us set that issue aside too. Anyway, it is irrelevant to the bigger picture I want to address.

The indisputable fact is that Washington and its Gulf allies wished to exploit this initial unrest as an opportunity to create a void in Syria – just as they had earlier done in Iraq, where there were no uprisings, nor even the WMDs the US promised would be found and that served as the pretext for Bush's campaign of Shock and Awe.

The limited uprisings in Syria quickly turned into a much larger and far more vicious war because the Gulf states, with US backing, flooded the country with proxy fighters and arms in an effort to overthrow Assad and thereby weaken Iranian and Shia influence in the region. The events in Syria and earlier in Iraq gradually transformed the Sunni religious extremists of al-Qaeda into the even more barbaric, more nihilistic extremists of Islamic State.

A dark US vanity project

After Rove and Cheney had had their fill playing around with reality, nature got on with honouring the maxim that it always abhors a vacuum. Islamic State filled the vacuum Washington's policy had engineered.

The clue, after all, was in the name. With the US and Gulf states using oil money to wage a proxy war against Assad, Isis saw its chance to establish a state inspired by a variety of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabist dogma. Isis needed territory for their planned state, and the Saudis and US obliged by destroying Syria.

This barbarian army, one that murdered other religious groups as infidels and killed fellow Sunnis who refused to bow before their absolute rule, became the west's chief allies in Syria. Directly and covertly, we gave them money and weapons to begin building their state on parts of Syria.

Again, let us ignore the fact that the US, in helping to destroy a sovereign nation, committed the supreme war crime, one that in a rightly ordered world would ensure every senior Washington official faces their own Nuremberg Trial. Let us ignore too for the moment that the US, consciously through its actions, brought to life a monster that sowed death and destruction everywhere it went.

The fact is that at the moment Assad called in Russia to help him survive, the battle the US and the Gulf states were waging through Islamic State and other proxies was lost. It was only a matter of time before Assad would reassert his rule.

From that point onwards, every single person who was killed and every single Syrian made homeless – and there were hundreds of thousands of them – suffered their terrible fate for no possible gain in US policy goals. A vastly destructive overthrow war became instead something darker still: a neoconservative vanity project that ravaged countless Syrian lives.

A giant red herring

Trump now appears to be ending part of that policy. He may be doing so for the wrong reasons. But very belatedly – and possibly only temporarily – he is seeking to close a small chapter in a horrifying story of western-sponsored barbarism in the Middle East, one intimately tied to Islamic State.

What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.

First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill. Then, it allowed those seeds to flourish by assisting its Gulf allies in showering fighters in Syria with money and arms that came with only one string attached – a commitment to Sunni jihadist ideology inspired by Saudi Wahhabism.

Isis was made in Washington as much as it was in Riyadh. For that reason, the only certain strategy for preventing the revival of Islamic State is preventing the US and the Gulf states from interfering in Syria again.

With the Syrian army in charge of Syrian territory, there will be no vacuum for Isis to fill. The jihadists' state-building project is now unrealisable, at least in Syria. Islamic State will continue to wither, as it would have done years before if the US and its Gulf allies had not fuelled it in a proxy war they knew could not be won.

Doomed Great Game

The same lesson can be drawn by looking at the experience of the Syrian Kurds. The Rojava fiefdom they managed to carve out in northern Syria during the war survived till now only because of continuing US military support. With a US departure, and the Kurds too weak to maintain their improvised statelet, a vacuum was again created that this time has risked sucking in the Turkish army, which fears a base for Kurdish nationalism on its doorstep.

The Syrian Kurds' predicament is simple: face a takeover by Turkey or seek Assad's protection to foil Turkish ambitions. The best hope for the Kurds looks to be the Syrian army's return, filling the vacuum and regaining a chance of long-term stability.

That could have been the case for all of Syria many tens of thousands of deaths ago. Whatever the corporate media suggest, those deaths were lost not in a failed heroic battle for freedom, which, even if it was an early aspiration for some fighters, quickly became a goal that was impossible for them to realise. No, those deaths were entirely pointless. They were sacrificed by a western military-industrial complex in a US-Saudi Great Game that dragged on for many years after everyone knew it was doomed.

Nancy Pelosi's purported worries about Isis reviving because of Trump's Syria withdrawal are simply crocodile fears. If she is really so worried about Islamic State, then why did she and other senior Democrats stand silently by as the US under Barack Obama spent years spawning, cultivating and financing Isis to destroy Syria, a state that was best placed to serve as a bulwark against the head-chopping extremists?

Pelosi and the Democratic leadership's bad faith – and that of the corporate media – are revealed in their ongoing efforts to silence and smear Tulsi Gabbard, the party's only candidate for the presidential nomination who has pointed out the harsh political realities in Syria, and tried to expose their years of lies.

Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power – and the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


A123 , says: October 21, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT

The problem largely traces back to simple mistakes by prior Saudi administrations.

The Wahhabi were a threat to the royal family. So, the royal family funded them to go elsewhere. Given the craziness of Wahhabism that made sense at the time. Crazy usually dies out. However, in this case the Crazy came with enough money in hand to establish credibility. The extremist Muslim Brotherhood is a direct result of these exported extremism.

ISIS is the result of a schism inside the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. A "direct action" group wanted an even more extreme and immediate solution and broke away.

-- Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability. Violent, ultra-extreme ISIS fanatics would not follow the commands of infidel heretics. The Saudi royal family by this point realized that the Muslim Brotherhood was a threat to them just like the original Wahhabi, but they had no good way to undo their prior mistake.

-- Did Turkey attempt to use ISIS to weaken Syria and Iraq? This is far more probable. Turkey's AK party is also a schismatic offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. So, there is a great deal of opportunity for the two troops to find common cause. The New Ottoman Empire needs to absorb Syrian and Iraqi land, so undermining those governments would be step #1.

One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no "plug to pull".

PEACE

NegroPantera , says: October 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm GMT
The wild savage dogs of ISIS are the Khmer Rouge of Islamic fundamentalism and their rise and violence should be attributed to the liberal interventionism that has proven to be a disaster not only for the region but those who carried out the intervention.
Oscar Peterson , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@A123

"One does not need outside actors to explain how the hole was dug. Unfortunately, that means there is no good solution. If the problem was driven by outside forces, those forces could stop it. However, the reality is that there are no outside forces driving the Craziness. There is no 'plug to pull'".

Absolute nonsense. And what do you mean by "outside forces." The US and Israel count as outside forces but Turkey does not? Forces outside of what?

ISIS emerged out of ISI, Zarqawi's Islamic State in Iraq, an affiliate, for a while, of AQ. The US invasion of Iraq created the political and military space in Iraq for transnational terror groups.

Meanwhile, the US, at Israel's instigation, had been working to weaken Assad in Syria. After the rebellion against him in 2011, the US, along with Turkey, Saudi, Qatar, Israel and others, began to support various jihadi groups inside Syria with the goal of eliminating the Assad government, each for his own reasons. Syria began lost control of its border with Iraq and much of eastern Syria and the Euphrates valley as well. This process allowed ISIS to emerge from an ISI under stress during the so-called "surge" in 2007-10 and establish itself in Syria. In 2014, ISIS, now a powerful well-armed group went back into Iraq to defeat the incompetent and unmotivated Iraq Security Forces that the US had established.

While the US moved against ISIS in Iraq after 2014, it left ISIS in Syria alone since it was depriving Assad of control over most of Syria's oil and much of its arable land.

And yes, of course the US, instigated by Israel, didn't "deploy" ISIS in the sense of directing its operations. But they left ISIS largely unimpeded to play a role in the overthrow of Assad which was always the primary goal. ISIS, it was thought, could be dealt with later after Assad was gone.

That plan would probably have worked eventually, but the Russians entered the picture in the second half of 2015 and changed the situation.

The US had been nominally supporting the usual "freedom fighters" but in effect supplying the more competent and vicious jihadis who could take the TOW missiles and other weapons the US was providing to the approved sad-sacks and make more effective use of them. Finally, with Russia and Iran facilitating the roll-back of all the jihadis, and the US threatened with being relegated to the sidelines, Obama jumped on the SDF (Kurdish) bandwagon and actually started doing what the US had not done previously: Taking serious action against ISIS so that a Russian/Iranian-backed Syrian reconquest of eastern Syria could be pre-empted.

And of course, the biggest supporter of the Kurds has consistently been Israel, who sees the possibility of creating pro-Israel statelets or at least enclaves in the midst of a Turkish, Iranian and Arab region that detests the Judenreich.

So in order to eliminate another of Israel's enemies, reduce a unified Syrian state to a handful of even more impotent emirates and ensure that Bibi would not be pestered with legal questions over the seizure and retention of the Golan, Syria was laid waste under the guise of "promoting democracy" and then further devastated under the guise of combatting ISIS.

We have done more than enough damage at the behest of Israel and its fifth column in the US. ISIS might well have emerged regardless of US actions, but it was the Jew-induced insanity of US regime-change/COIN policies that created the geographical, political and military space in Iraq and Syria for the jihadists and the ensuing physical destruction of so much of those countries.

The best solution would be to facilitate the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all of Syria. But instead of doing that, Trump has instead facilitated the entry of Turkish forces and allied jihadis in an attempt to mend fences with a thoroughly alienated Erdogan. We'll see if Putin can mitigate the brutal incompetence of Israel-infected US policy.

Anon [322] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@A123 For fuck's sake. Is there any way to stop Hasbara agents from effectively using software to get consistent first posts on this site?

Their mere presence is annoying. Whatever they have to say, on any topic and no matter what it is, no one here wants to read it because they are not beginning with any credibility whatsoever. As they are are religiously-avowed enemies of the West (who they hold to be the continuation of Rome) and the demonstrated fervent enemies of non-Jewish Whites.

Given the craziness of Wahhabism

There is nothing in Sunni Islam that does not have its root in Judaism. To state otherwise is to be a typical Semitic liar.

MarathonMan , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm GMT
A very real but completely unadvertised reality of these regime changes was that the publicly owned central bank of the country – Iraq and Libya – was eliminated and changed to a private central bank. Iraq and Libya both succumbed and Ron Paul related that the smoke had barely cleared in Libya before the private central bank charter was drafted and implemented. Syria and Iran are the last two countries that do not have a private central banks. Hence the drive by the neo-cons to destroy those countries and fully implement the New World (banking) Order.

Not widely discussed but (I think) vitally important to understanding foreign policy.

Rev. Spooner , says: October 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
What of the supposed concerns of Pelosi and the Democratic Party under whose watch the barbarism in Syria took place. They should have no credibility on the matter to begin with.

But their claims that Trump has "no plan to deal with a potential revival of Isis in the Middle East" is a giant red herring they are viciously slapping us in the face with in the hope the spray of seawater blinds us.
I love the second para. Getting slapped with a red herring with hope that the salt water blinds us .

My only gripe with Jonathan Cook is that this and all mid-eastern conflicts are engineered by the dual citizens and Israel isn't called out by him as the chief instigator. The saudis are slave of the west and amount to nothing.

Paul , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm GMT
Hillary Clinton (wife of draft dodger Bill) and the New York Times are Zionist assets. Hillary is a stooge!
donald j tingle , says: October 21, 2019 at 6:50 pm GMT
Why blame Bush, Rove etc. for the mess created by Clinton/Obama in Syria? Are they still out of bounds?
joe2.5 , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:32 pm GMT
@A123 " Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability"
Perhaps. Except that it did happen in plain daylight, before our eyes, but we should, of course, trust your "reasonability" -- instead of our own lying eyes.
anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm GMT
@A123 US President Donald Trump said Monday that a small number of US troops remain in Syria at the request of Israel and Jordan, with some positioned near the borders with Jordan and Israel and others deployed to secure oil fields.

"The other region where we've been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops is a totally different section of Syria, near Jordan, and close to Israel," Trump said when asked whether he would leave soldiers in Syria. "So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil. Other than that, there's no reason for it, in our opinion."

Times of Israel
and J Post 21st oct

It 's all about Israel and for its "royal patsy when not for royal patsy it's for the cannon fodder/ foot solder of Israel.

This mayhem from 2003 hasn't seen the full effects of the blow-back yet .Just starting . Tulsi Gabbard and Trump have knowingly and sometime unknowingly have told the master that the king never had any clothes even when the king was talking about the decency of having clothes on .

anon [117] Disclaimer , says: October 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm GMT

"The first was Israel's long-standing approach to the Palestinians. By constantly devastating any emerging Palestinian institution or social structures, Israel produced a divide-and-rule model on steriods, creating a leaderless, ravaged, enfeebled society that sucked out all the local population's energy. That strategy proved very appealing to the neoconservatives, who saw it as one they could export to non-compliant states in the region."-

This sums up everything one want to know about certain human clones and the impact of the clones on the humanity.

Who will ever blame the victims for creating a future Hitler among them ?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm GMT
We cannot, of course, forget an assistance this witch had from very GOPiish Senators such as late American hero John McCain and his buddy Lindsey Graham. They played a key role in supporting all kinds of jihadist elements.
Stop Bush and Clinton , says: Website October 21, 2019 at 10:48 pm GMT
Let's be accurate: It was US Democrats AND REPUBLICANS who helped cultivate the barbarism of Isis. The mess was started with Bush/Cheney/Powell. McCain was probably the biggest ISIS guy ever. Graham, Romney and friends are the same, and at best marginally better than Hitlery Clinton.

Lock them all up, regardless of party affiliation.

TG , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:00 am GMT
Many interesting points here, and I agree with a lot of them. But:
[MORE]
"Or was it driven by something else: as a largely economic protest by an under-class suffering from food shortages as climate change led to repeated crop failures?"

Syria did run out of water, and it's hard not to see that as a major driver of the chaos that unfolded. But Syria didn't run out of water because of "climate change," that's false.

The explanation is that the Syrian government deliberately engineered a massive population explosion. Seriously, they made the sale and possession of contraceptives a crime! (See "Demographic Developments and Population: Policies in Ba'thist Syria (Demographic Developments and Socioeconomics)", by Onn Winkler).

The population of Syria increased exponentially right up through 2010, with a doubling time of about 18 years, at which point food ran out and population started trending downwards (not so much due to outright famine, as to poverty, lack of medical care, warfare, and people fleeing the country.).

Now as far as weather goes, there were a couple of dry years before the collapse, but weather is always like that. Last year there were record rainfalls. If Syria's population had been stable at 5 or even 10 million, they could have coasted on water stored in the aquifers until the rains came back. But when the population increases so much that you drain the aquifers even when there is plenty of rain, then when a temporary drought hits you have no reserve and it all falls apart.

Check out the section in wikipedia on Syria's aquifers and groundwater – the water table had been dropping drastically as far back as 1985. Long before the post-2010 dry spell, Syria's rapid population growth had been consuming more water than fell as rain – EVEN DURING WET YEARS. The low rainfall post-2010 was an early trigger, but the collapse would have come regardless.

... ... ...

barr , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:01 am GMT
LONDON: Hundreds of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists were smu ..
Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61703015.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
Toxik , says: October 22, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
simple and straightforward journalism that cuts through the "corporate veil." Tulsi may not win the democratic nomination, but I see her determination to educate the majority of Americans of what our government/deep state/military industrial complex/and later senators who become lobbyists are doing.

I also feel for our veterans who are indoctrinated to protect freedom, but in the end, when they come home injured and disabled, or even dead, it was all for naught.

Colin Wright , says: Website October 22, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
I find some of the rhetoric in this piece irritating and repetitive -- but the analysis is essentially correct.

We created a power vacuum that was almost certain to give rise to something like ISIS.

Worse, I suspect that many weren't too disturbed by this prospect. After all, ISIS and its incredibly vicious terrorist attacks in the West did a great deal to fuel Islamophobia -- and Islamophobia has its uses. ISIS was probably the best thing to happen to Israel since 9/11.

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 11:00 am GMT
"The problem is neatly illustrated in this line from a report by the Guardian newspaper of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's meeting this week with Trump, who is described as having had a "meltdown". "

That's a poorly written statement. It reads as though Trump was the one having a meltdown. How about: "House Speaker Pelosi's meltdown during a meeting with Trump." ?

Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
@MarathonMan That is a fact that should be kept foremost in the discussions of "why regime change is necessary". It is the most basic and obvious reason for all this war in the ME.
Twodees Partain , says: October 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm GMT
"First, Washington sowed the seeds of Islamic State by engineering a vacuum in Syria that Isis – or something very like it – was inevitably going to fill."

Not quite accurate. The US Government "sowed the seeds of" ISIS by giving them material support before the vacuum was created. IS is mainly a creature of empire, including the US and older remnants of empire in the UK and Europe which survives mainly in the existence of (international) banks.

Michael888 , says: October 23, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Christian truth Project "Tulsi is/was a member of the CFR". Aren't all Congressmen members? Doesn't that come with signing the AIPAC form, getting the secret decoder ring from Adam Schiff, and the free trip to Israel? (maybe Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib "don't measure up?")

I believe CFR was the organization Biden was regaling with his story of holding up $one billion in Ukrainian aid unless the Ukrainians fired the investigator of his son Hunter "who did nothing wrong". Can you imagine if Biden had been President rather than VP? This would have been a scandal!

Ilya G Poimandres , says: October 25, 2019 at 4:18 am GMT
@A123 One does not need outside actors, but then there would be a lot of 'dark matter' in the history of the ME over the last 100 years. Personally it's plain state terrorism to me, and the Brits have a good definition! http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/part/I
Alfred , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:53 am GMT
Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of American power

Correction: They only care about the maintenance and expansion of Israeli power.

Franklin Ryckaert , says: October 25, 2019 at 11:01 am GMT
@Colin Wright

I think it is worse than that : ISIS was a creation by the Israel-US- Saudi Arabia-Gulf States-axis. Significantly ISIS never attacked Israeli interests, and when it once did so by accident, it apologized to Israel. The destruction of Syria is part of Israel's notorious Oded Yinon plan, according to which all states in Israel's neighborhood need to be fragmentized. In Iraq and Libya that was a success, in Syria, thanks to Iran, Hizbollah and Russia, it failed. The US is simply a puppet for Israel's foreign policy, but nobody in the US, not even Tulsi Gabbard, dares to say so.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: October 25, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT
Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam. (right click) https://consortiumnews.com/2019/10/18/pepe-escobar-the-road-to-damascus-how-the-syria-war-was-won/ . The CIA will be after Trump's scalp till Kingdom Come.
Greg Bacon , says: Website October 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
@A123 Sorry Bibi, but your beloved Israel played a BIG part in establishing ISIS, then supporting it with shekels, medical care for their wounded, training and weapons.

WikiLeaks: US, Israel, And Saudi Arabia Planned Overthrow Of Syrian Govt. In 2006

Cables reveal that before the beginning of the Syrian revolt and civil war, the United States hoped to overthrow Assad and create strife between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/wikileaks-us-israel-and-saudi-arabia-planned-overthrow-of-syrian-govt-in-2006/221784/

The one time their hired ISIS thugs accidentally attacked IDF forces, ISIS leaders made a profuse apology to Israel.

Isis fighters 'attacked Israel Defense Forces unit, then apologised' claims former commander

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-israel-defence-force-apology-attack-unit-golan-heights-defense-minister-moshe-ya-alon-a7700616.html

Let's not forget that when the term ISIS first came out, the Tel Aviv war mongers realized it stood for Israeli Secret Intelligence Services and changed that to ISIL, which their adoring MSM gladly obliged by parroting that change.

From the Israeli masterminded 9/11 False Flag to the destruction of Syria, there's one common factor, Israel and her American Jew sayanim who keep pushing America into forever wars so Israel can finish off the Palestinians and steal more land.

Ghan-buri-Ghan , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:18 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Absolutely. Gabbard is the "Democrat" Trump. A Jew puppet presented as an outsider. They're exactly the same. Even Obama was presented that way to an extent.

Yet the dumb goyim will fall for it for the third time in a row.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
Panel Criticizes 'Unacceptable Practices' in the OPCW's investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018
https://www.couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement

Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.

We have learned of disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns, highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments -- a right explicitly conferred on inspectors in the Chemical Weapons Convention, evidently with the intention of ensuring the independence and authoritativeness of inspection reports.

Fixed "report" of OPCW was necessary to maintain anti-Assad narrative which is now unchallenged even by Gabbard (not to mention the weak sheep-dog Sanders).

ivan , says: October 25, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova The US does not have to directly support the jihadists. It just has to manage the chaos, for whatever be the action on the ground and whoever is killed or not killed, as long as there is chaos within their chosen sandbox, the chaos masters in Israel wins and that is all that counts with all too many Americans. It doesn't matter how many Arabs, Turks, Etruscans or Kurds are killed, as long as Israel's interests are taken care of, the results are "worth it". Its a very deeply cynical, and evil policy that the US has pursued all these years in the Mid-East.

But fortunately the Russians have turned things around.

Arnieus , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:09 pm GMT
@MarathonMan Gangster business and slavery are OK so long as our central bank gets our cut. ME is also about "fragmenting" neighboring countries so Israel can expand. Yinon Plan.
Herald , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm GMT
@TellTheTruth-2 As promised by themselves for themselves. Amazing that anyone can take the chosen ones even remotely seriously.
Agent76 , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Oct 18, 2019 Tulsi Gabbard responds to Hillary Clinton: Clinton "knows she can't control me"

Hillary Clinton implied Russians are "grooming" Tulsi Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate to disrupt the election, a charge which Gabbard denies. In a live interview with CBSN, Gabbard responds to Clinton's claims and says she will not run as a third-party candidate.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/JNjzBJWUyWI?feature=oembed

Oct 19, 2019 This Is The Final Nail For Hillary Clinton! Tulsi Gabbard Moves On Up!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jqChZzFrvxE?feature=oembed

Herald , says: October 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova The explanation is quite simple, supporting terrorism is what the US does, and it has done so for decades.
Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
And now, according to the latest news, Trump will send tanks into Syria to help the Kurds secure the oil for Israel. It's hard to understand why the Elders of the Deep State want to impeach Trump. He has done everything they wanted, moved the embassy, gave Syria's Golan Heights to Israel, never criticizes the illegal settlements in Palestine. What else do they want from him?
DESERT FOX , says: October 25, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise They want a war with Russia.
really no shit , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:49 pm GMT
What do you mean Pelosi has no credibility? Have you checked her bank balance lately? Nancy, had she not waded into politics, would have been a pole dancer she had the goods for it.
KA , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon Interesting
cassandra , says: October 25, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
@TG Excellent post. You bring up 2 very important but rarely discussed issues.

Demographics: Population is one of the most easily predictable developments within a country, and you'd think it might be one of the most publically-discussed, and therefore, best-managed. Au contraire. Assad wasn't the only one who stood on the tracks watching the headlights approach:

1. The EU is having problems with an aging native population because it earlier encouraged low birth rates, and is now promoting mass immigration of rapidly-breeding immigrants who threaten to at least overwhelm if not overrun European society. Yet, as Douglas Murray points out in his book The Strange Death of Europe, openly talking about this problem has been, and still is, verboten.

2. China is now wondering to do with its preponderance of young men, caused very predictably by the Communist Party's one-child policy.

Climate:

If the rains had been good every single year – which is impossible – it would only have pushed the point of collapse back a few years, at most.

The Syrian case you cite shows how even relatively minor climate changes can carry events past a tipping point. I do agree with you that effects of APGW on climactic conditions are greatly exaggerated, yet changes in climate, for good or ill, have often triggered much larger historical events. The cooling that caused a famine and that preceded the Justinian Plague weakened European and Sassanian civilizations. These misfortunes paved the way for the Islamic takeover that followed. Contrariwise, Norse exploration and the Renaissance, to give 2 examples of increasing activity, both occurred during the Medieval Warming Period.

I enjoyed your comment.

Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX They've re-started the Cold War. Keeps all the warmongers in business. Surely they're not stupid enough to want a hot one are they?
anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
When it comes to senior American politihoes, no one is ever right. Pelosi may be cultivating the ISIS, but Gabbard is busy blowing assorted dictators and more closer to the heart, the hindoo nationalist queers, as impotent (I mean that in a literal sexual context, as their elites don't marry) as they might be.
SafeNow , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:12 pm GMT
Tulsi needs to conduct herself with gravitas, because of her age. However, she is helped by the fact that the leader of the progressive wing is a former bartender, and the leader of the environmental resistance is a high-school sophomore.
anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:16 pm GMT
@A123

Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability.

A hasbara style attempt to obfuscate and/or absolve the 2 greatest evils on earth. Joo/whitrash nationalist lowlife spotted.

DESERT FOX , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
@Fool's Paradise They are demonic warmongering hounds from hell and will destroy the world for their zionist NWO!
Bill Jones , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:35 pm GMT
@MarathonMan It goes without comment that the first act of the US following Nudelman's (Why do these fuckers keep changing their names?) Ukraine coup was to steal its gold.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

Jeff Davis , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
"Pelosi and most of the Democratic leadership don't care about Syria, or its population's welfare. They don't care about Assad, or Isis. They care only about the maintenance and expansion of their own Democratic Party power – for the personal wealth and influence it continues to bestow on them."

FTFY

Just as the GOP is precisely and thoroughly corrupt in exactly the same way, focused exclusively on their own craven self-interest, the country be damned.

anonymous [348] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
@Anon

There is nothing in Sunni Islam that does not have its root in Judaism. To state otherwise is to be a typical Semitic liar.

Lol! Deceitful lies from some godless/pagan whitrash.

If you are referring to some self-perceived notions of barbarity/deception/etc., within Islam, then you are a deceitful !@# who is trying to cover up the sheer savagery/psychopathy/deception/hypocrisy/etc., of the Christoo whitrash race.

Again, as far as the roots of Islam being in Judaism, that is laughable. It is Christooism which is clearly having roots in Judaism (there have been so many here who have quoted from your pagan scriptures about the haloed position of the Jooscum) and Hindooism .

In-his-image mangods/womangods, Trinity/Trimurthi, the human body is the temple of god the list is long where you all share your pagan theologies.

Islam utterly rejects all such pagan abominations. The following verses of the Holy Quran amply proves the simplest and purest form of monotheism, that is Islam;

Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born , Nor is there to Him any equivalent ."

You are the Liar!!

Jeff Davis , says: October 25, 2019 at 7:54 pm GMT
@A123 "Did the U.S. or Israel attempt to deploy ISIS? This is far-fetched beyond the bounds of reasonability."

Wrong.

The Oded Yinon Plan employs exactly this strategy, and along with the Neocon dominated State Dept with its Regime Change program (Oded Yinon plan in stealth mode) is the predicate. Meanwhile, once it emerged, Obama & Kerry sought to preserve ISIS as a means to pressure Assad. Neocon Zionist fifth column in the US, & Israel-behind-the-scenes are the dual agency-behind-the-curtain of US regime-change wars ***EVERYWHERE*** (because they hate Russia, too.).

Fool's Paradise , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:42 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX And rule, finally, over a smoldering wreck of a planet? They already rule most of it, they're at the Endgame of their long match with the world. Not that they eschew violence and mass murder. Indeed, they got their start thousands years ago by worshiping a god who told them to genocide all their neighbors and steal all their goods.
Anonymous [124] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@really no shit I'm in the same age cohort as most of these shameless grifters, so I know the end of this run on earth is drawing near. I know that no one can take whatever they accumulate in this life with them into oblivion or whatever their imagined version of paradise might be. The loot stays here in this vale of tears.

ALL of these players busy ruining and ending lives, like Pelosi, the Clintons and the Bush family, are multi-millionaires at the least–and all on the taxpayers' dime. Why do they desperately seek to add ever more cash to their bank accounts by bringing yet more misery into the world? It won't be very long and either the collection of psychopaths known as the government of the United States and its ruthless war machine will end up with the proceeds or they will pass down to further generations of these congenital parasites and deadbeats.

Does Joe ask himself whether it was worthy to spend his wretched life accumulating ill-gotten wealth to pass on to Hunter and his ilk? Or for Hillary to set up Chelsea and the next generation of Rodham Clinton lampreys? Jimmy Carter seems to have been the only American president who didn't constantly grasp for money once out of office and the world never heard a peep about Amy ever again.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm GMT
WND EXCLUSIVE
BLOWBACK! U.S. TRAINED ISLAMISTS WHO JOINED ISIS

Secret Jordan base was site of covert aid to insurgents targeting Assad
Published: 06/17/2014 – By Aaron Klein

http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/officials-u-s-trained-isis-at-secret-base-in-jordan/

[MORE]
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Since publication, this story has been corrected to clarify that the fighters trained in Jordan became members of the ISIS after their training.]

JERUSALEM – Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of future ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.
The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country's northern desert region.
That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.

Britain's Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.

Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine's report. The French foreign ministry and Britain's foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:35 pm GMT
2012 Classified U.S. Report: ISIS Must Rise To Power
Posted on May 23, 2015 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai

http://yournewswire.com/2012-classified-u-s-report-isis-must-rise-to-power/

Conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch have published formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defence which reveals the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

Levantreport.com reports:
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for "THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME ".
The DIA report, formerly classified "SECRET//NOFORN" and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.

The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.

CharlieSeattle , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm GMT
Declassified Documents: Obama Ordered CIA To Train ISIS
Posted on May 28, 2015 by Carol Adl

http://yournewswire.com/declassified-documents-obama-ordered-cia-to-train-isis/

Government watchdog Judicial Watch published more than 100 pages of formerly classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.

The documents obtained through a federal lawsuit, revealed the agencies earlier views on ISIS, namely that they were a desirable presence in Eastern Syria in 2012 and that they should be "supported" in order to isolate the Syrian regime.

The U.S. intelligence documents not only confirms suspicions that the United States and some of its coalition allies had actually facilitated the rise of the ISIS in Syria – as a counterweight to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad- but also that ISIS members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency at facilities in Jordan in 2012.

HEREDOT , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:55 pm GMT
When I say Isis, I immediately think of Obama, Hillary, Mc Cain. These are the most despicable psychopaths who have resigned from humanity.
Kolya Krassotkin , says: October 26, 2019 at 12:43 am GMT
@Agent76 The end of Hill-dog? In your dreams. She rises from the grave with the regularity of an obese vampire.
ivan , says: October 26, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Anonymous Jimmah was the last honest man in American politics. But since he told Americans that gas was going to cost more, that perhaps they needed to drive a wee bit less, the Americans hated him. They didn't like the "malaise" of having to pay for their lifestyle.

As for the Israelis, what did Jimmah not to do for them : Got Egypt out of the Arab alliance, arranged the annual tribute to Israel, started the ball rolling on the Holocaust religion, paid off Egypt and Jordan to stay away from any alliance against the Israelis. But what did he get in return; branded as anti-Semite merely for mentioning that the Palestinians had rights, were human beings too. With the Zionist Jews, one is always on probation. No point playing their silly games.

redmudhooch , says: October 26, 2019 at 1:37 am GMT
The CIA!

Rise of the National Security State The CIA's links to Wall Street
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30605.htm

The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47873.htm

Regime Change and Capitalism
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/07/regime-change-and-capitalism/

Hassan Nasrallah should know:

The path of U.S.-Israeli arrogance and domination, with its various dimensions, and with its direct and indirect extensions and alliances, which is witnessing military defeats and political failures, reflected successive defeats for the American strategies and plans, one after the other. All this has led [the U.S.] to a state of indecision, retreat, and inability to control the progress of events in our Arab and Islamic world. There is a broader international context for this – a context that, in its turn, helps to expose the American crisis, and the decline of the [U.S.] unipolar hegemony, in the face of pluralism, the characteristics of which are yet to be stabilized.

"The crisis of the arrogant world order is deepened by the collapse of U.S. and international stock markets, and by the confusion and powerlessness of the American economy. This reflects the height of the structural crisis of the model of capitalist arrogance. Therefore, it can be said that we are in the midst of historic transformations that foretell the retreat of the USA as a hegemonic power, the disintegration of the unipolar hegemonic order, and the beginning of the accelerated historic decline of the Zionist entity.

After World War II, the U.S. has adopted the leading, central hegemonic project. At its hands, this project has witnessed great development of the means of control and unprecedented subjugation. It has benefited from an accumulation of multi-faceted accomplishments in science, culture, technology, knowledge, economy, and the military, which was supported by an economic political plan that views the world as nothing but open markets subject to the laws of [the U.S.].

"The most dangerous aspect of Western logic of hegemony in general, and the American logic of hegemony in particular, is their basic belief that they own the world, and have the right to hegemony due to their supremacy in several fields. Thus, the Western, and especially American, expansionist strategy, when coupled with the enterprise of capitalist economy, has become a strategy of a global nature, whose covetous desires and appetite know no bounds.

The barbaric capitalism has turned globalism into a means to spread disintegration, to sow discord, to destroy identities, and to impose the most dangerous form of cultural, economic, and social plunder. Globalization reached its most dangerous phase, when it was transformed into military globalization by the owners of the Western hegemony enterprise, the greatest manifestation of which was evident in the Middle East, from Afghanistan to Iraq, to Palestine, and to Lebanon.

There is no doubt that American terrorism is the source of all terrorism in the world. The Bush administration has turned the U.S. into a danger threatening the whole world, on all levels. If a global opinion poll were held today, the United States would emerge as the most hated country in the world.

The most important goal of American arrogance is to take control of the peoples politically, economically, and culturally, and to plunder their resources.

– Hassan Nasrallah December 8, 2009

and Trump IS NOT "pulling out" Will Tulsi? One way to find out. Doesn't look good though, unless shes willing to splinter the C.I.A. into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds, as they say..

Where's the proof that she is CFR member, I see sock puppets parrot this line all the time but offer no proof. Her serving on the armed & financial services committees and doing a speech for them doesn't make her a member. I'd take her over Trump any day.

[Oct 25, 2019] Hundreds of Islamic State fighters, both Syrian and foreign, were covertly evacuated by US, UK and Kurdish forces from the besieged city of Raqqa last month and freed to "spread out far and wide across Syria and beyond

Oct 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

barr , says: October 22, 2019 at 1:47 am GMT

Hundreds of Islamic State fighters, both Syrian and foreign, were covertly evacuated by US, UK and Kurdish forces from the besieged city of Raqqa last month and freed to "spread out far and wide across Syria and beyond".

Although reports on the convoy surfaced at the time, BBC journalists Quentin Sommerville and Riam Dalati have revealed the details in their documentary Raqqa's Dirty Secret.

Their investigation describes how the convoy carrying 250 fighters, 3,500 family members, and lorry loads of arms and possessions, was arranged for October 12th by local officials in meetings attended by a western officer.

During a visit to Syria in mid-October, The Irish Times was told not only about the evacuation but also that senior Islamic State commanders and their families, 45 people in all, had been airlifted out of Raqqa by a US helicopter and flown to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

Fighters escaping Raqqa were said to have been given passage across the desert to join comrades battling the Syrian army and its allies in Deir al-Zor.

Among the people the BBC team interviewed for the exposé were drivers paid by the Islamic State to drive the buses and trucks carrying the evacuees. According to driver Abu Fawzi, men, women and children wore suicide vests and the trucks had been booby-trapped in case "something went wrong".

The convoy contained 50 trucks, 13 buses, and more than 100 of the fighters' own vehicles. Although it had been agreed they would take only personal weapons, they filled 10 trucks with arms and ammunition.

Three-day convoy

It had also been stipulated that no foreigners would leave, but drivers told the BBC that French, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Pakistani, Yemeni, Saudi, Chinese, Tunisian and Egyptians had joined the exodus. The only restriction observed was a ban against flags and banners.

Whenever it passed through a village or hamlet, fighters warned frightened bystanders they would return, a villager called Muhanad told the BBC, "running a finger across their throats".

Two Humvees led the convoy into the desert where the going was rough. Coalition aircraft and drones hovered above, dropping flares after dark to light the way. When the motorcade reached Islamic State-held territory, fighters and civilians departed with their arms and possessions and drivers returned home.

The BBC investigation compelled Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, to admit to the deal. He told the team: "We didn't want anyone to leave. But this goes to the heart of our strategy 'by, with and through' local leaders on the ground.

His statement on foreign fighters contradicted information given to the BBC by drivers and people along the route as well as a statement about strategy made by US defence secretary James Mattis in May.

"Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home . . . We are not going to allow them to do so," said Mattis.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/isis-fighters-smuggled-out-of-raqqa-by-us-uk-and-kurds-bbc-claims-1.3293105

[Aug 18, 2019] The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness. Hillary has always loved to kill people is distant lands

Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

stevek , 18 minutes ago link

Hillary has always loved to kill people. Its in her (evil) blood.

Creative_Destruct , 22 minutes ago link

"This damn Serbian war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation."

Story of the last several decades (fill in the blank with your pick of the name of a US war or a SJW cause):

This damn _________ war is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world and to problems within this nation.

Kissinger had many flaws, but he hit the nail on the head when he said:

"The fundamental problem in politics is not the opposition of wickedness, but the restraint of righteousness"

TheDayAfter , 1 hour ago link

We all know the Hypocrisy of that War. Clinton had to distract the masses from MonicaGate and Hillary had to prove to the MIC that she could be beneficial to them.

Result : Those Kosovo Albanians had a state handed to them, and instead of building it(with uncle Sam's and EU help) as prosperous country, they used their weapons and "expertise" in becoming the low level gangsters of Europe. Every Europol analysis points to the direction of Kosovo Albanians as the criminal thugs in prostitution and drug trade and protection rackets. The largest percentage of a single ethnic group in European jails is that of Albanians.

TeaClipper , 1 hour ago link

The most unjust and illegal of wars in the late 20c.

There was only one reason to bomb white Christian brothers in Serbia thereby aiding the Muslim of Kosovo and Albania, and that was Russia, which by that stage had got its act together and dealt with the traitorous oligarchs who had sold their country out to the west.

Hillary and her cronies no doubt lost a lot of money when the Russians shut their rat lines down.

I hope I live long enough to see those fuckers swing, and Tony Blair, Alistair Campnell and Peter Mandelson as well.

PKKA , 3 hours ago link

Again, your Muslims are to blame for everything. Muslims are all different. And it is necessary to separate the faithful Muslims from the bandits who are only covered by Muslim slogans.
NATO and your godless government are to blame!

An Afghan Freedom Fighter in Donbass - ENG SUBTITLE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2KeSkl5H0

Joe A , 3 hours ago link

It happened at the time of the Lewinsky affair and the possible impeachment of Clinton. They needed a distraction.

Milosevic btw. agreed to all conditions imposed on the FR of Yugoslavia except for one condition that nobody would accept: the full and unhindered access to the territory of FRY by NATO troops. That effectively meant an occupation. Nobody would agree to that. NATO and Albright deliberately came up with that condition for they knew it was unacceptable. Even Kissinger said that condition was over the top. NATO and Albright wanted that war. Serbia btw. saved Albright twice when she was still a little Slovakian Jewish girl whose family found refuge twice in Serbia. Once they escaped the Nazis that way and the second time the communists.

NATO thought they would need 48 hours but they needed 78 days and Milosevic only gave in after NATO switched from hitting military targets to civilian targets: Hospitals, commuter trains, civilian industry, an open market, random houses in random villages. After Milosevic pulled out his troops out of Kosovo, the KLA started killing Serbs and moderate Albanians, not to mention engage in organ trafficking (...). As the article said, well over 200k Serbs, moderate Albanians, Roma and other minorities were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo.

The US also used cluster bombs and DU weapons. Of the 4000 Italian KFOR troops that went into Kosovo after the bombing, 700 are dead from cancer and leukemia with several hundreds more seriously ill. The American KFOR troops wore hazmat suits. The Italians did not have them and were not warned. Today, many people in southern Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo itself are sick and dying.

HoyeruNew , 3 hours ago link

yes just like USA tried to help Vietnam against communists... by killing 2 million Vietnamese. and tried to help Korea by killing 20 % of the population. and by helping Iraq get rid of "bad" Saddam Hussein by killing 2 million Iraqies.

Oh, the Americans are oh so helpfiul!

ItsDanger , 2 hours ago link

Not disagreeing with you but lets remember that communists were killing a lot of people in other areas not long before those wars in SE Asia. May have been a wash in the end.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

13 million gallons of agent orange dropped on Vietnamese forests was our way of saying we love you. The genetic deformities are still widespread.

So glad they kicked the US out of there.

Magnum , 3 hours ago link

That conflict led to hundreds of thousands of BOSNIANS moving to USA. Gotta keep the refugees flowing no matter what....

JoeBattista , 3 hours ago link

Bring back the draft. On the whole Americans have no idea what the carnage of combat produces. Combat vets do. And the ones that aren't natural psychopaths never want to experience it again. This volunteer army we have is over loaded with a them. A military draft will actually bring some sort civilian control.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

They killed the draft so they would no longer be embarrassed by student protests and having to mow them down.

It worked. Today's snowflakes don't care about slaughter , only mini verbal aggressions against perverts.

seryanhoj , 1 hour ago link

Such ********. Do the millions we kill have any human rights? It's been going on for 4000 years. Ruthless pursuit of empire and fabricating phony justifications.

He–Mene Mox Mox , 3 hours ago link

Hillary seems to enjoy killing people. If it wasn't Gaddaffi, it was all the people on her body bag count, and now it's known she encouraged killing people in Serbia. Someone needs to take that old cow out into the center of the town and burn her at the stake.

Red Corvair , 4 hours ago link

Partially true, otherwise as usually excellent Dr. Paul, ... The Pandora's box situation was opened years before Clinton's bombing of Serbia, which was part of a larger scheme started nearly a decade before.

That was when the US armed the religious extremists in Bosnia, in order to bring war, "civil war" and chaos, and disintegration, the way they more recently tried to do with Syria, or "succeeded" in doing in Libya, bringing chaos and open-air slave markets in a country that was one of the most developed on the African continent under Gaddafi (a truth that was so easily erased by propaganda).

And the whole neocon scheme started two decades before, with the Zbigniew Brzezinski doctrine, when the US started arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan, provoking the trap for the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was the real opening of US neocon's Pandora's box we are regrettably so familiar with by now. We've all fallen in that old neocon/military-industrial-congressional-complex trap by now. And there seems to be no end in sight to those eternal wars "for civilization" (the old colonial trope dressed under new fatigues). Unless serious societal and political changes take place in the US to put an end to the US "imperial" death drive.

[Aug 17, 2019] America s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia by James Bovard

By all measures Clinton is a war criminal... Hilary is a female sociopath or worse.
Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" ..."
"... The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. ..."
"... Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." ..."
"... Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks. ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | www.fff.org

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign "was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called 'dual-use' targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender."

Clinton's unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for "humanitarian" warring that was invoked by supporters of George W. Bush's unprovoked attack on Iraq, Barack Oba-ma's bombing of Libya, and Donald Trump's bombing of Syria.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo, and there is an 11-foot statue of him standing in the capitol, Pristina, on Bill Clinton Boulevard. A commentator in the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton "with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999." It would have been a more accurate representation if Clinton was shown standing on the corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

Bombing Serbia was a family affair in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, "I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?" A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours. Alexander Cockburn observed in the Los Angeles Times,

It's scarcely surprising that Hillary would have urged President Clinton to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend "our way of life." The first lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, "fixitry" via high explosive, social therapy via cruise missile . As a tough therapeutic cop, she does not shy away from the most abrupt expression of the therapy: the death penalty.

I followed the war closely from the start, but selling articles to editors bashing the bombing was as easy as pitching paeans to Scientology. Instead of breaking into newsprint, my venting occurred instead in my journal:

The KLA

The Kosovo Liberation Army's savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them "freedom fighters" in 1999. The previous year, the State Department condemned "terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army." The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many congressmen eager to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA "stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values."

In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that "some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton's 'finest hour.'" Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain's Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

In a speech to American troops in a Thanksgiving 1999 visit, Clinton declared that the Kosovar children "love the United States because we gave them their freedom back." Perhaps Clinton saw freedom as nothing more than being tyrannized by people of the same ethnicity. As the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo, Kosovar Albanians became increasingly oppressed by the KLA, which ignored its commitment to disarm. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 20, 1999,

As a postwar power struggle heats up in Kosovo Albanian politics, extremists are trying to silence moderate leaders with a terror campaign of kidnappings, beatings, bombings, and at least one killing. The intensified attacks against members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, have raised concerns that radical ethnic Albanians are turning against their own out of fear of losing power in a democratic Kosovo.

American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serbian civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing non-Muslims. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. In March 2000 renewed fighting broke out when the KLA launched attacks into Serbia, trying to seize territory that it claimed historically belonged to ethnic Albanians. UN Human Rights Envoy Jiri Dienstbier reported that "the [NATO] bombing hasn't solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones. The Yugoslav economy was destroyed. Kosovo is destroyed. There are hundreds of thousands of people unemployed now."

U.S. complicity in atrocities

Prior to the NATO bombing, American citizens had no responsibility for atrocities committed by either Serbs or ethnic Albanians. However, after American planes bombed much of Serbia into rubble to drive the Serbian military out of Kosovo, Clinton effectively made the United States responsible for the safety of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. That was equivalent to forcibly disarming a group of people, and then standing by, whistling and looking at the ground, while they are slaughtered. Since the United States promised to bring peace to Kosovo, Clinton bears some responsibility for every burnt church, every murdered Serbian grandmother, every new refugee column streaming north out of Kosovo. Despite those problems, Clinton bragged at a December 8, 1999, press conference that he was "very, very proud" of what the United States had done in Kosovo.

I had a chapter on the Serbian bombing campaign titled "Moralizing with Cluster Bombs" in Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton–Gore Years (St. Martin's Press, 2000), which sufficed to spur at least one or two reviewers to attack the book. Norman Provizer, the director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, scoffed in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, "Bovard chastises Clinton for an illegal, undeclared war in Kosovo without ever bothering to mention that, during the entire run of American history, there have been but four official declarations of war by Congress."

As the chaotic situation in post-war Kosovo became stark, it was easier to work in jibes against the debacle. In an October 2002 USA Today article ("Moral High Ground Not Won on Battlefield") bashing the Bush administration's push for war against Iraq, I pointed out, "A desire to spread freedom does not automatically confer a license to kill . Operation Allied Force in 1999 bombed Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into submission purportedly to liberate Kosovo. Though Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic raised the white flag, ethnic cleansing continued -- with the minority Serbs being slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground in the same way the Serbs previously oppressed the ethnic Albanians."

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, "After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO's 'peace' produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees."

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in "unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites."

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: "Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses' fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government." American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as "the George Washington of Kosovo." A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton's war on Serbia opened a Pandora's box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

This article was originally published in the July 2019 edition of Future of Freedom .

Category: Foreign Policy & War

James Bovard is a policy adviser to The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is a USA Today columnist and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Republic, Reader's Digest, Playboy, American Spectator, Investors Business Daily, and many other publications. He is the author of Freedom Frauds: Hard Lessons in American Liberty (2017, published by FFF); Public Policy Hooligan (2012); Attention Deficit Democracy (2006); The Bush Betrayal (2004); Terrorism and Tyranny (2003); Feeling Your Pain (2000); Freedom in Chains (1999); Shakedown (1995); Lost Rights (1994); The Fair Trade Fraud (1991); and The Farm Fiasco (1989). He was the 1995 co-recipient of the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the recipient of the 1996 Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association. His book Lost Rights received the Mencken Award as Book of the Year from the Free Press Association. His Terrorism and Tyranny won Laissez Faire Book's Lysander Spooner award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. Read his blog . Send him email .

[Jul 27, 2019] Hillary and Obama brought slavery back to Libya and ISIS and the largest refugee crisis since WW2 to Syria

Jul 27, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

emma peele , July 25, 2019 at 19:44

uh Hillary Clinton stood with Bush and lied the world into war. Hillary and Obama brought slavery back to Libya and ISIS and the largest refugee crisis since WW2 to Syria .
Dont forget genocide in Yemen ..

Hillary also supported disastrous free trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA and {TPP that brought back slavery} that harm workers on both sides of the borders

Hillary also toppled a democratically elected president in Honduras with Death Squads and Obama killed 40,000 innocent t people with Sanctions in Venezuela

They are fleeing Hillary and Obama's Terror spree ..and cheer on worse WW3 with Russia

Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network's Support For Endless War

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/01/03/reporter-quits-nbc-citing-networks-support-for-endless-war/

On Venezuela, Tucker Airs Anti-Trump Ideas While Maddow Wants John Bolton To Be More Hawkish

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/05/on-venezuela-tucker-airs-anti-trump-ideas-while-maddow-wants-john-bolton-to-be-more-hawkish/

boxerwar , July 25, 2019 at 22:12

c.. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes, Emma Peele, Without a Doubt – and I absolutely adore your "Avengers" pseudonym !

Hillary's disgusting crimes, however, seem to me to be an attempt to ingratiate herself (and the Democrats) with the Ultra Hawkish Bush Era Republicans.
Who can ever forgive & forget her ghoulish pronouncement, "We came, we saw, He died!!"
(in reference to the ghoulishly brutal public murder of Libya's Qaddafi. {Qaddafi's "Green Book" was a well imagined Socio-Economic plan for for the economic liberation of Africa from the economic and cultural strictures of US, European Absolutist Brutal Dominion.} -- As it was, Libya, under Qaddafi, was a liberal, socialist society with free education, free health care for all citizens, and a nation with it's own currency , free from US/EURO manipulation and control.

-- This Is Why We Killed Him. --
This is US Command and Control World-Wide POLICY ! ! ! --
-- Anglo-Saxon Command and Control of the Whole Wide World and all it's resources Owned and Militarily Controlled by European Bankers

-- - EUROPEAN Bankers, Rothschild Criminal Banker WarMongers/ Wall Street and American Military Power --

These are They which Evilly Rule the World and Disparage or Murder (annihilate) All Others at their pleasure, and Trump is an evil antagonist with the personage of a King Leopold.

Please find "KING LEOPOLD'S GHOST' By Adam Hochschild

[Dec 21, 2018] Looks like an o ld, sick neocon Hillarty still tries to influence events, continuing her warmongring

The trouble with CIA democrats is not that they are stupid, but that that are evil.
Hillary proved to be really destructive witch during her Obama stunt as the Secretary of State. Destroyed Libya and Ukraine, which is no small feat.
Notable quotes:
"... The policy of the Obama administration, and particularly Hillary Clinton's State Department, was – and still is – regime change in Syria. This overrode all other considerations. We armed, trained, and "vetted" the Syrian rebels, even as we looked the other way while the Saudis and the Gulf sheikdoms funded groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda affiliates who wouldn't pass muster. And our "moderates" quickly passed into the ranks of the outfront terrorists, complete with the weapons we'd provided. ..."
"... She is truly an idiot. Thanks again, Ivy League. ..."
Dec 21, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Pavel , December 21, 2018 at 10:47 am

The Grauniad just quoted a tweet from a predictably OUTRAGED @HillaryClinton:

Actions have consequences, and whether we're in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war. Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran's hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk.

This from the woman who almost singlehandedly (i.e. along with David Cameron and Sarkovy) destroyed Libya and allowed -- if not encouraged -- the flow of US weapons to go into the hands of ISIS allies in the US-Saudi-Israeli obsession with toppling Assad regardless of the consequences. As Justin Raimondo wrote in Antiwar.com in 2015:

The policy of the Obama administration, and particularly Hillary Clinton's State Department, was – and still is – regime change in Syria. This overrode all other considerations. We armed, trained, and "vetted" the Syrian rebels, even as we looked the other way while the Saudis and the Gulf sheikdoms funded groups like al-Nusra and al-Qaeda affiliates who wouldn't pass muster. And our "moderates" quickly passed into the ranks of the outfront terrorists, complete with the weapons we'd provided.

This crazy policy was an extension of our regime change operation in Libya, a.k.a. "Hillary's War," where the US – "leading from behind" – and a coalition of our Western allies and the Gulf protectorates overthrew Muammar Qaddafi. There, too, we empowered radical Islamists with links to al-Qaeda affiliates – and then used them to ship weapons to their Syrian brothers, as another document uncovered by Judicial Watch shows.

After HRC's multiple foreign policy fiascos she is the last person who should be commenting on this matter.

a different chris, December 21, 2018 at 11:50 am

> the people who want to harm us are there & at war

Sounds like then they are too busy to harm us? She is truly an idiot. Thanks again, Ivy League.

[Feb 21, 2017] Stockman Warns Trump Flynns Gone But They are Still Gunning For You, Donald by David Stockman

Notable quotes:
"... In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down. ..."
"... But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily. ..."
"... But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen. ..."
"... It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that: ..."
"... 'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release. ..."
"... And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians: ..."
"... We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course. ..."
"... As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy: ..."
"... Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State. ..."
"... Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries. ..."
"... Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies. ..."
"... Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed! ..."
"... But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom. ..."
"... That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive. ..."
"... The Donald has been warned. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

General Flynn's tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn's tenure fell a tad short of old "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.

And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same "firewater" that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying:

Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year and he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.

That might have been a good idea back then (or even now), but to prove he wasn't infirm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in US history (2 hours) in the midst of seriously inclement weather wearing neither hat nor coat.

That's how he got pneumonia! Call it foolhardy, but that was nothing compared to that exhibited by Donald Trump's former national security advisor.

General Flynn got the equivalent of political pneumonia by talking for hours during the transition to international leaders, including Russia's ambassador to the US, on phone lines which were bugged by the CIA Or more accurately, making calls which were "intercepted" by the very same NSA/FBI spy machinery that monitors every single phone call made in America.

Ironically, we learned what Flynn should have known about the Deep State's plenary surveillance from Edward Snowden. Alas, Flynn and Trump wanted the latter to be hung in the public square as a "traitor", but if that's the solution to intelligence community leaks, the Donald is now going to need his own rope factory to deal with the flood of traitorous disclosures directed against him.

In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down.

But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily.

But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen.

It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that:

'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release.

Yet, we should rephrase. The re-litigation aspect reaches back to the Republican primaries, too. The Senate GOP clowns who want a war with practically everybody, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are already launching their own investigation from the Senate Armed Services committee.

And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians:

Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he wants an investigation into Flynn's conversations with a Russian ambassador about sanctions: "I think Congress needs to be informed of what actually Gen. Flynn said to the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour. And I want to know, did Gen. Flynn do this by himself or was he directed by somebody to do it?"

We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course.

This is the real scandal as Trump himself has rightly asserted. The very idea that the already announced #1 national security advisor to a President-elect should be subject to old-fashion "bugging," albeit with modern day technology, overwhelmingly trumps the utterly specious Logan Act charge at the center of the case.

As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy:

Now, information leaks that Sally Yates knew about surveillance being conducted against potential members of the Trump administration, and disclosed that information to others. Even Richard Nixon didn't use the government agencies themselves to do his black bag surveillance operations. Sally Yates involvement with this surveillance on American political opponents, and possibly the leaking related thereto, smacks of a return to Hoover-style tactics. As writers at Bloomberg and The Week both noted, it wreaks of 'police-state' style tactics. But knowing dear Sally as I do, it comes as no surprise.

Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State.

Indeed, it seems that the layers of intrigue have gotten so deep and convoluted that the nominal leadership of the permanent government machinery has lost track of who is spying on whom. Thus, we have the following curious utterance by none other than the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes:

'I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,' he told The Washington Post. 'The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.'

Well, yes. That makes 324 million of us, Congressman.

But for crying out loud, surely the oh so self-important chairman of the House intelligence committee knows that everybody is bugged. But when it reaches the point that the spy state is essentially using its unconstitutional tools to engage in what amounts to "opposition research" with the aim of election nullification, then the Imperial City has become a clear and present danger to American democracy and the liberties of the American people.

As Robert Barnes of LawNewz further explained, Sally Yates, former CIA director John Brennan and a large slice of the Never Trumper intelligence community were systematically engaged in "opposition research" during the campaign and the transition:

According to published reports, someone was eavesdropping, and recording, the conversations of Michael Flynn, while Sally Yates was at the Department of Justice. Sally Yates knew about this eavesdropping, listened in herself (Pellicano-style for those who remember the infamous LA cases), and reported what she heard to others. For Yates to have such access means she herself must have been involved in authorizing its disclosure to political appointees, since she herself is such a political appointee. What justification was there for an Obama appointee to be spying on the conversations of a future Trump appointee?

Consider this little tidbit in The Washington Post . The paper, which once broke Watergate, is now propagating the benefits of Watergate-style surveillance in ways that do make Watergate look like a third-rate effort. (With the) FBI 'routinely' monitoring conversations of Americans...... Yates listened to 'the intercepted call,' even though Yates knew there was 'little chance' of any credible case being made for prosecution under a law 'that has never been used in a prosecution.'

And well it hasn't been. After all, the Logan Act was signed by President John Adams in 1799 in order to punish one of Thomas Jefferson's supporters for having peace discussions with the French government in Paris. That is, it amounted to pre-litigating the Presidential campaign of 1800 based on sheer political motivation.

According to the Washington Post itself, that is exactly what Yates and the Obama holdovers did day and night during the interregnum:

Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries.

So all of the feigned outrage emanating from Democrats and the Washington establishment about Team Trump's trafficking with the Russians is a cover story. Surely anyone even vaguely familiar with recent history would have known there was absolutely nothing illegal or even untoward about Flynn's post-Christmas conversations with the Russian Ambassador.

Indeed, we recall from personal experience the thrilling moment on inauguration day in January 1981 when word came of the release of the American hostages in Tehran. Let us assure you, that did not happen by immaculate diplomatic conception -- nor was it a parting gift to the Gipper by the outgoing Carter Administration.

To the contrary, it was the fruit of secret negotiations with the Iranian government during the transition by private American citizens. As the history books would have it because it's true, the leader of that negotiation, in fact, was Ronald Reagan's national security council director-designate, Dick Allen.

As the real Washington Post later reported, under the by-line of a real reporter, Bob Woodward:

Reagan campaign aides met in a Washington DC hotel in early October, 1980, with a self-described 'Iranian exile' who offered, on behalf of the Iranian government, to release the hostages to Reagan, not Carter, in order to ensure Carter's defeat in the November 4, 1980 election.

The American participants were Richard Allen, subsequently Reagan's first national security adviser, Allen aide Laurence Silberman, and Robert McFarlane, another future national security adviser who in 1980 was on the staff of Senator John Tower (R-TX).

To this day we have not had occasion to visit our old friend Dick Allen in the US penitentiary because he's not there; the Logan Act was never invoked in what is surely the most blatant case ever of citizen diplomacy.

So let's get to the heart of the matter and be done with it. The Obama White House conducted a sour grapes campaign to delegitimize the election beginning November 9th and it was led by then CIA Director John Brennan.

That treacherous assault on the core constitutional matter of the election process culminated in the ridiculous Russian meddling report of the Obama White House in December. The latter, of course, was issued by serial liar James Clapper, as national intelligence director, and the clueless Democrat lawyer and bag-man, Jeh Johnson, who had been appointed head of the Homeland Security Department.

Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies.

Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed!

But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom.

That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive.

The Donald has been warned.

xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:02 PM

Assange is about to face censorship from one LENIN Moreno (next Ecuadorian president)

Assange must Reduce "Meddling" in US Policies While in Ecuadorian Embassy

http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-02-20/assange-must-reduce-meddling-i...

How ironic

Darktarra -> xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:11 PM

We haven't had deep state (successfully) take out a President since JFK. I am sure they will literally be gunning for Donald Trump! His election screwed up the elite's world order plans ... poor Soros ... time for him to take a dirt knap!

Be careful Trump! They will try and kill you! The United States government is COMPLETELY corrupt. Draining the swamp means its either you or they die!

wanglee -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:18 PM

Let us help Trump's presidency to make America (not globalist) great again.

Not only democrats rigged Primary to elect Clinton as presidential candidate last year even though she has poor judgement (violating government cyber security policy) and is incompetent (her email server was not secured) when she was the Secretary of State, and was revealed to be corrupt by Bernie Sanders during the Primary, but also democrats encourage illegal immigration, discourage work, and "conned" young voters with free college/food/housing/health care/Obama phone. Democratic government employees/politicians also committed crimes to leak classified information which caused former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn losing his job and undermined Trump's presidency.

However middle/working class used their common senses voting against Clinton last November. Although I am not a republican and didn't vote in primary but I voted for Trump and those Republicans who supported Trump in last November since I am not impressed with the "integrity" and "judgement" of democrats, Anti-Trump protesters, Anti-Trump republicans, and those media who endorsed Clinton during presidential election and they'll work for globalists, the super rich, who moved jobs/investment overseas for cheap labor/tax and demanded middle/working class to pay tax to support welfare of illegal aliens and refugees who will become globalist's illegal voters and anti-Trump protesters.

To prevent/detect voter fraud, "voter ID" and "no mailing ballots" must be enforced to reduce possible "voter frauds on a massive scale" committed by democratic/republic/independent party operatives. All the sanctuary counties need to be recounted and voided county votes if recount fails since the only county which was found to count one vote many times is the only "Sanctuary" county, Wayne county, in recount states (Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin) last year. The integrity of voting equipment and voting system need to be tested, protected and audited. There were no voting equipment stuck to Trump. Yet, many voting equipment were found to switch votes to Clinton last November. Voter databases need to be kept current. Encourage reporting of "voter fraud on a massive scale" committed by political party operatives with large reward.

Cashing in: Illegal immigrants get $1,261 more welfare than American families, $5,692 vs. $4,431 ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/cashing-in-illegal-immigrants-get-1261... ) DEA Report Shows Infiltration of Mexican Drug Cartels in Sanctuary Cities ( http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/09/08/dea-report-shows-infiltration-... ) Welfare Discourages Work( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/27/the-science-is-settle... ) Hillary Clinton Says Bernie Sanders's "Free College" Tuition Plan Is All a Lie ( http://www.teenvogue.com/story/clinton-says-sanders-free-tuition-wont-wo... UC Berkeley Chancellor: Hillary Clinton 'Free' College Tuition Plan Won't Happen ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/30/uc-berkeley-chancello... ) Bill Clinton Impeachment Chief Investigator: I'm 'Terrified' of Hillary because we know that there were "People" who "Disappeared" ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/30/exclusive-bil... ) Former FBI Asst. Director Accuses Clintons Of Being A "Crime Family" ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-30/former-fbi-asst-director-accuse... ) FBI boss Comey's 7 most damning lines on Clinton ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/fbi-clinton-email-server-comey-da... ). Aides claiming she "could not use a computer," and didn't know her email password– New FBI docs ( https://www.rt.com/usa/360528-obama-implicated-clinton-email/ ). 23 Shocking Revelations From The FBI's Clinton Email Report ( http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/02/23-shocking-revelations-from-the-fbis-... ) DOJ grants immunity to ex-Clinton staffer who set up her email server ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/02/politics/hillary-clinton-email-server-just... ) Former House Intelligence Chairman: I'm '100 Percent' Sure Hillary's Server Was Hacked ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/former-house-... ) Exclusive - Gen. Mike Flynn: Hillary Clinton's Email Setup Was 'Unbelievable Active Criminal Behavior' ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/exclusive-gen... ) Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials ( http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/clinton-directed-her-maid-to-print-out-clas... ) Obama lied to the American people about his secret communications with Clinton( http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/president-barack-obama-hillary-email-... ) Former U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft: FBI didn't 'clear' Clinton ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFYQ3Cdp0zQ ) When the Clintons Loved Russia Enough to Sell Them Our Uranium ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/25/flashback-cli... ) Wikileaks: Clinton Foundation Chatter with State Dept on Uranium Deal with Russia ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/08/wikileaks-putting-on-... ) Russian officials donated $$$ to Clinton Foundation for Russian military research ( http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/12/16/schweizer-insecure-left-wants-... ) Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal ( https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-... ) HILLARY CAMPAIGN CHIEF LINKED TO MONEY-LAUNDERING IN RUSSIA ( HTTP://WWW.WND.COM/2016/10/HILLARY-CAMPAIGN-CHIEF-LINKED-TO-MONEY-LAUNDE... ) The largest source of Trump campaign funds is small donors giving under $200 ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-self-fund_us_57fd4556e4... ) How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-mega-donors-helped-raise-1-b... ) Final newspaper endorsement count: Clinton 57, Trump 2 ( http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-news... ) Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash ( https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hill... ) Judicial Watch Planning to Sue FBI, NSA, CIA for Flynn Records ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/16/judicial-watch-planni... )

President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to "Eliminate" Election Commission Charged with Helping States Improve their Voting Systems ( http://time.com/4663250/house-committee-eliminates-election-commission-v... ) California's Recipe for Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale( http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/01/27/voter-fraud/ ) California Republican Party Official Alleges Voter Fraud In California, a "Sanctuary" state ( http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/11/28/trump-among-those-saying-vot... ) BREAKING: Massive Voter Fraud Discovered In Mailing Ballots In Pennsylvania! See Huge Twist In Results! ( http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/massive-voter-fraud-pennsylvania/ ) "Voting Fraud" revealed during "Recount": Scanners were used to count one vote many times to favor Clinton in Wayne County, a "Sanctuary" county including Detroit and surrounding areas.( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-06/michigan-republicans-file-emerg... ) Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales ( http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/243947/illegal-voters-tipping-election-s... ) Voter Fraud: We've Got Proof It's Easy ( http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-... ) Voter Fraud Is Real. Here's The Proof ( http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/13/voter-fraud-real-heres-proof/ ) Here's Why State Election Officials Think Voter Fraud Is a Serious Problem ( http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/17/heres-why-state-election-officials-thi... ) Documented Voter Fraud in US ( http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/ViewSubCategory.asp?id=2216 ) No, voter fraud isn't a myth: 10 cases where it's all too real ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/no-voter-fraud-isnt-myth... ) Non-US citizen gets eight years for voter fraud in Texas after "Sucessfully Illegally Voted for at least Five Times" in Dallas county, a "Sanctuary" county( http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/02/09/non-us-citizen-gets-eight-years-... ) Democratic party operatives tell us how to successfully commit voter fraud on a massive scale ( http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/james-okeefe-rigging-elections-d... ) Texas Rigged? Reports Of Voting Machines Switching Votes To Hillary In Texas( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-25/texas-rigged-first-reports-voti... ) Voting Machine "Irregularities" Reported in Utah, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, & North Carolina ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-08/voting-machine-irregularities-r... ) Video: Machine Refuses to Allow Vote For Trump in Pennsylvania ( http://www.infowars.com/video-machine-refuses-to-allow-vote-for-trump-in... ) Electoral fraud ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud ) Voter fraud ( https://ballotpedia.org/Voter_fraud ) Sanctuary Cities Continue to Obstruct Enforcement, Threaten Public Safety( http://cis.org/Sanctuary-Cities-Map ) List of Sanctuary cities( http://www.apsanlaw.com/law-246.List-of-Sanctuary-cities.html ) Map Shows Sanctuary City Islands of Blue In Sea of Red ( http://www.infowars.com/map-shows-sanctuary-city-islands-of-blue-in-sea-... )

Chris Dakota -> wanglee , Feb 20, 2017 10:59 PM

I hit some long click bait about famous people IQ

Barack Obama 140

Donald Trump 156

Trump knows whats coming. Rush Limbaugh said "I've known Trump for a long time, he is a winner and I am sure none of this phases him at all. The media didn't create him, the media can't destroy him."

CheapBastard -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:19 PM

Flynn has been there for several years. If he was such a threat why did they not take action sooner since Soweeto appointed him in 2012? It must be that Soweto Obama is his spy buddy then, both of them in league with the Russians since Obama has been with Flynn for a much longer time he had to know if something was up.

The entire Russian spy story is a complete Fake news rouse.

I am wondering what they'll say tomorrow to draw attention awya form the muslim riots in Sweden. If the news of Muslim riots in Sweden, then Trump will be even more vindicated and the MSM will look even more stupid and Fake.

Chupacabra-322 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 10:54 PM

The Deep State has accentually lost control of the Intelligence Community via its Agents / Operatives & Presstitute Media vehicle's to Gas Light the Masses.

So what Criminals at large Obama, Clapper & Lynch have done 17 days prior to former CEO Criminal Obama leaving office was to Decentralize & weaken the NSA. As a result, Intel gathering was then regulated to the other 16 Intel Agencies.

Thus, taking Centuries Old Intelligence based on a vey stringent Centralized British Model, De Centralized it, filling the remaining 16 Intel Agenices with potential Spies and a Shadow Deep State Mirror Government.

All controlled from two blocks away at Pure Evil Criminal War Criminal Treasonous at large, former CEO Obama's Compound / Lair.

It's High Treason being conducted "Hidden In Plain View" by the Deep State.

It's the most Bizzare Transition of Power I've ever witnessed. Unprecedented.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/jay-sekulow-obama-should-be-hel ...

oncefired -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:07 PM

http://www.thomaswictor.com/leakers-beware/

Duc888 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:11 PM

Flynn did not tell Pence that Pence's best friend was front and center on the Pizzagate list. That's what cost Flynn his job...it had fuck all do do with the elections.

[Dec 04, 2016] Much-disputed Iranian nuclear bomb

An interesting warning about possible return of neocons in Hillary administration. Looks like not much changed in Washington from 2005 and Obama more and more looks like Bush III. Both Hillary and Trump are jingoistic toward Iran. Paradoxically Trump is even more jingoistic then Hillary.
Notable quotes:
"... That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal. ..."
"... And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ). ..."
"... Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." ..."
"... What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. ..."
"... In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence. ..."
"... Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement. ..."
"... So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped. ..."
Sep 22, 2005 | www.washingtonpost.com
That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal.

As Los Angeles Times reporter Douglas Frantz wrote at one point, "Though Israel is a democracy, debating the nuclear program is taboo A military censor guards Israel's nuclear secrets." And this "taboo" has largely extended to American reporting on the subject. Imagine, to offer a very partial analogy, if we all had had to consider the Cold War nuclear issue with the Soviet, but almost never the American nuclear arsenal, in the news. Of course, that would have been absurd and yet it's the case in the Middle East today, making most strategic discussions of the region exercises in absurdity.

I wrote about this subject under the title, Nuclear Israel , back in October 2003, because of a brief break, thanks to Frantz, in the media blackout on the subject. I began then, "Nuclear North Korea, nuclear Iraq, nuclear Iran - of these our media has been full for the last year or more, though they either don't exist or hardly yet exist. North Korea now probably has a couple of crude nuclear weapons, which it may still be incapable of delivering. But nuclear Israel, little endangered Israel? It's hard even to get your head around the concept, though that country has either the fifth or sixth largest nuclear arsenal in the world." And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ).

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." Now, read on. ~ Tom

Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...

By Ray McGovern

"'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.'

"(Short pause)

"'And having said that, all options are on the table.'

"Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: '(Laughter).'"

( The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin on George Bush's February 22 press conference)

For a host of good reasons -- the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters -- the notion that the Bush administration would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 -- this time under the rubric of "regime change."

But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men -- yes, only men -- who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as "the crazies." I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.

According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency , former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier's adjective to the "crazies" sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them "the f---ing crazies" during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack -- with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.

If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history...so far.

It Can Get Worse

"The crazies" are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as "crazy like a fox," with a value system in which "might makes right." Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker "neoconservative," they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years.

The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East. They calculate that, with a docile, corporate-owned press, a co-opted mainstream church, and a still-trusting populace, the United States and/or the Israelis can launch a successful air offensive to disrupt any Iranian nuclear weapons programs -- with the added bonus of possibly causing the regime in power in Iran to crumble.

But why now? After all, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has just told Congress that Iran is not likely to have a nuclear weapon until "early in the next decade?" The answer, according to some defense experts, is that several of the Iranian facilities are still under construction and there is only a narrow "window of opportunity" to destroy them without causing huge environmental problems. That window, they say, will begin to close this year.

Other analysts attribute the sense of urgency to worry in Washington that the Iranians may have secretly gained access to technology that would facilitate a leap forward into the nuclear club much sooner than now anticipated. And it is, of course, neoconservative doctrine that it is best to nip -- the word in current fashion is "preempt" -- any conceivable threats in the bud. One reason the Israelis are pressing hard for early action may simply be out of a desire to ensure that George W. Bush will have a few more years as president after an attack on Iran, so that they will have him to stand with Israel when bedlam breaks out in the Middle East.

What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. For me, this evokes a painful flashback to the early eighties when "intelligence," pointing to "moderates" within the Iranian leadership, was conjured up to help justify the imaginative but illegal arms-for-hostages-and-proceeds-to-Nicaraguan-Contras caper. The fact that the conjurer-in-chief of that spurious "evidence" on Iranian "moderates," former chief CIA analyst, later director Robert Gates, was recently offered the newly created position of director of national intelligence makes the flashback more eerie -- and alarming.

George H. W. Bush Saw Through "The Crazies"

During his term in office, George H. W. Bush, with the practical advice of his national security adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, was able to keep "the crazies" at arms length, preventing them from getting the country into serious trouble. They were kept well below the level of "principal" -- that is, below the level of secretary of state or defense.

Even so, heady in the afterglow of victory in the Gulf War of 1990, "the crazies" stirred up considerable controversy when they articulated their radical views. Their vision, for instance, became the centerpiece of the draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that Paul Wolfowitz, de facto dean of the neoconservatives, prepared in 1992 for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. It dismissed deterrence as an outdated relic of the Cold War and argued that the United States must maintain military strength beyond conceivable challenge -- and use it in preemptive ways in dealing with those who might acquire "weapons of mass destruction." Sound familiar?

Aghast at this radical imperial strategy for the post-Cold War world, someone with access to the draft leaked it to the New York Times , forcing President George H. W. Bush either to endorse or disavow it. Disavow it he did -- and quickly, on the cooler-head recommendations of Scowcroft and Baker, who proved themselves a bulwark against the hubris and megalomania of "the crazies." Unfortunately, their vision did not die. No less unfortunately, there is method to their madness -- even if it threatens to spell eventual disaster for our country. Empires always overreach and fall.

The Return of the Neocons

In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence.

Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement.

Why dwell on this? Because it is second in importance only to the portentous reality that the earth is running out of readily accessible oil – something of which they are all too aware. Not surprisingly then, disguised beneath the weapons-of-mass-destruction smokescreen they laid down as they prepared to invade Iraq lay an unspoken but bedrock reason for the war -- oil. In any case, the neocons seem to believe that, in the wake of the November election, they now have a carte-blanche "mandate." And with the president's new "capital to spend," they appear determined to spend it, sooner rather than later.

Next Stop, Iran

When a Special Forces platoon leader just back from Iraq matter-of-factly tells a close friend of mine, as happened last week, that he and his unit are now training their sights (literally) on Iran, we need to take that seriously. It provides us with a glimpse of reality as seen at ground level. For me, it brought to mind an unsolicited email I received from the father of a young soldier training at Fort Benning in the spring of 2002, soon after I wrote an op-ed discussing the timing of George W. Bush's decision to make war on Iraq. The father informed me that, during the spring of 2002, his son kept writing home saying his unit was training to go into Iraq. No, said the father; you mean Afghanistan... that's where the war is, not Iraq. In his next email, the son said, "No, Dad, they keep saying Iraq. I asked them and that's what they mean."

Now, apparently, they keep saying Iran ; and that appears to be what they mean.

Anecdotal evidence like this is hardly conclusive. Put it together with administration rhetoric and a preponderance of other "dots," though, and everything points in the direction of an air attack on Iran, possibly also involving some ground forces. Indeed, from the New Yorker reports of Seymour Hersh to Washington Post articles , accounts of small-scale American intrusions on the ground as well as into Iranian airspace are appearing with increasing frequency. In a speech given on February 18, former UN arms inspector and Marine officer Scott Ritter (who was totally on target before the Iraq War on that country's lack of weapons of mass destruction) claimed that the president has already "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June in order to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program and eventually bring about "regime change." This does not necessarily mean an automatic green light for a large attack in June, but it may signal the president's seriousness about this option.

So, again, against the background of what we have witnessed over the past four years, and the troubling fact that the circle of second-term presidential advisers has become even tighter, we do well to inject a strong note of urgency into any discussion of the "Iranian option."

Why Would Iran Want Nukes?

So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped.

Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well, Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."

Is alleged to have ? Lugar is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know that Israel has, by most estimates, a major nuclear arsenal, consisting of several hundred nuclear weapons? (Mainstream newspapers are allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is mentioned every now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside page.)

Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers -- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy. This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.

If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February 21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light of its nuclear activity."

US-Israel Nexus

The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead, American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it. (Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has for some time appeared eager to enlist Washington's support for an early "pre-emptive" strike on Iran. Indeed, American defense officials have told reporters that visiting Israeli officials have been pressing the issue for the past year and a half. And the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.

In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is worth noting that several of the leading neocons – Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least as they imagine them.

As for President Bush, over the past four years he has amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly , has the president "wrapped around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized" by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully argued for an attack on Iran.

When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil

To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran's democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.

Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S. support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with, a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Is the Nub

The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer "yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?" That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still fair-minded people.

On the other hand, I'll bet that 95% of the Iranian population would answer, "Of course Israel has nuclear weapons; that's why we Iranians need them" -- which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation that Senator Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them," many Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies' in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who, after all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'"

The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?

A Nuclear-Free Middle East

How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.

The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.

That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.

A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.

Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another's.

Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence

Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans -- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.

It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity -- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away -- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance" it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives would take that line. Rather

"Israel Is Our Ally."

Or so said our president before the cameras on February 17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a treaty of alliance with Israel; I don't remember the Senate approving one. Did I miss something?

Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris , has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."

An earlier American warned:

"A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." ( George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 )

In my view, our first president's words apply only too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected or distorted in our domesticated media.

Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Copyright 2005 Ray McGovern

[Nov 08, 2016] Clintons Foreign Policy Will Obviously Be More Aggressive, So Why Pretend Otherwise

Nov 08, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
By Daniel Larison James Traub gamely tries to convince us (and himself) that Clinton's foreign policy won't be as aggressive and meddlesome as she says it will be, but he undermines his argument when he says this:

As a senator and later secretary of state, she rarely departed from the counsel of senior military officials. She was far more persuaded of the merits of Gen. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency plan for Afghanistan, which would have sent an additional 40,000 troops there, than Obama was and maybe even more than then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates was. She rarely departed from Gates on any significant issue. Of course, the one time she did so was on Libya, where she advocated intervention and he did not [bold mine-DL]. On Syria, Clinton may have to choose between her own expressed commitments and a Pentagon that is far more cautious and more inclined to see mishap than are civilian interventionists. I wonder how Kagan-esque she will be in the White House. Less so, perhaps, than she was as secretary of state.

In other words, when military officers recommended a larger escalation, she agreed with them, and when Gates didn't support intervention she didn't agree. Clinton was fine with advice from the military when it meant supporting deeper involvement, but she broke with Gates when he didn't want to take sides in a foreign war. That isn't a picture of someone who consistently heeds military advice, but rather someone who always opts for the more aggressive option available at the time. It doesn't make much sense that Clinton as president would be less "Kagan-esque" than she was as a member of Obama's Cabinet. As president, she will have considerable leeway to do as she sees fit, Congress will be pathetically quiescent as usual, and most of the foreign policy establishment will be encouraging her to do more in Syria and elsewhere. Clinton will be predisposed to agree with what they urge her to do, and in the last twenty years she has never seen a military intervention that she thought was unnecessary or too risky. Why is that suddenly going to change when she has the power of the presidency? In virtually every modern case, a new president ends up behaving more hawkishly than expected based on campaign rhetoric. All of the pressures and incentives in Washington push a president towards do-somethingism, and Clinton has typically been among the least resistant to the demand to "do something" in response to crises and conflicts, so why would we think she would become more cautious once she is in office? I can understand why many of her supporters wish that to be the case, but it flies in the face of all the available evidence, including most of what we know about how Washington works.

Traub makes a number of predictions at the end of his article:

She will not make dumb mistakes. She will reassure every ally who needs reassurance. She will try to mute China's adventurism in the South China Sea without provoking a storm of nationalism. She'll probably disappoint the neocons. She won't go out on any limbs. She won't shake the policymaking consensus.

I don't know where this confidence in Clinton's good judgment comes from, but it seems misplaced. I suppose it depends on what you think smart foreign policy looks like, but there is a fair amount of evidence from Clinton's own record that she is quite capable of making dumb mistakes.

That doesn't just apply to her vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq and her backing for intervention in Libya, but could also refer to her support for sending weapons to Ukraine, her endorsement of "no-fly" and safe zones in Syria, her preference for more sanctions on Iran while negotiations were still taking place, and her belief that the U.S. has to bomb another country to retain its "credibility." All of these are mistakes, and some are quite dumb.

It isn't at all reassuring to know that Clinton will "reassure every ally who needs reassurance," because in practice that means indulging bad behavior from reckless clients and rewarding them with more aid and weapons. Earlier in the article, Traub seems to understand that enabling the Saudis is a bad idea:

This last policy, which for Clinton will come under the heading of "alliance management," would only deepen the violence and sectarian strife rending the region. She would be better advised to tell the Saudis that the United States will reduce its support of their war effort unless they make serious efforts toward a lasting cease-fire.

That would certainly be wiser than offering uncritical backing of their intervention, but what is the evidence that Clinton thinks U.S. support for the war on Yemen needs to be curtailed? Yemen has been devastated in no small part because of Obama's willingness to "reassure" the Saudis and their allies. What other countries will be made to suffer so Clinton can keep them happy? Clinton may disappoint neocons, but then they are disappointed by anything short of preventive war. Even if Clinton's foreign policy isn't aggressive enough to satisfy them, it is likely to be far more aggressive than necessary.

[Nov 08, 2016] Oh, What a Lovely War! Delusional foreign policy could bring disaster

Notable quotes:
"... The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames. ..."
"... Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. ..."
"... They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it." ..."
"... Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power. ..."
"... She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. ..."
"... Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. ..."
"... Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. ..."
"... Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. ..."
"... One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. ..."
"... Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do. ..."
"... She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles. ..."
Nov 08, 2016 | www.unz.com

The American people don't know very much about war even if Washington has been fighting on multiple fronts since 9/11. The continental United States has not experienced the presence a hostile military force for more than 100 years and war for the current generation of Americans consists largely of the insights provided by video games and movies. The Pentagon's invention of embedded journalists, which limits any independent media insight into what is going on overseas, has contributed to the rendering of war as some kind of abstraction. Gone forever is anything like the press coverage of Vietnam, with nightly news and other media presentations showing prisoners being executed and young girls screaming while racing down the street in flames.

Given all of that, it is perhaps no surprise that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has served in uniform, should regard violence inflicted on people overseas with a considerable level of detachment. Hillary is notorious for her assessment of the brutal killing of Libya's Moammar Gaddafi, saying "We came, we saw, he died." They both share to an extent the dominant New York-Washington policy consensus view that dealing with foreigners can sometimes get a bit bloody, but that is a price that someone in power has to be prepared to pay. One of Hillary's top advisers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. led sanctions were "worth it."

In the election campaign there has, in fact, been little discussion of the issue of war and peace or even of America's place in the world, though Trump did at one point note correctly that implementation of Hillary's suggested foreign policy could escalate into World War III. It has been my contention that the issue of war should be more front and center in the minds of Americans when they cast their ballots as the prospect of an armed conflict in which little is actually at stake escalating and going nuclear could conceivably end life on this planet as we know it.

With that in mind, it is useful to consider what the two candidates have been promising. First, Hillary, who might reasonably be designated the Establishment's war candidate though she carefully wraps it in humanitarian "liberal interventionism." As Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has always viewed a foreign crisis as an opportunity to use aggressive measures to seek a resolution. She can always be relied upon to "do something," a reflection of the neocon driven Washington foreign policy consensus.

Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power.

She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia. And, unfortunately, there would be little or no pushback against the exercise of her admittedly poor instincts regarding what to do, as was demonstrated regarding Libya and also with Benghazi. She would find little opposition in Congress and the media for an extremely risky foreign policy, and would benefit from the Washington groupthink that prevails over the alleged threats emanating from Russia, Iran, and China.

Hillary has received support from foreign policy hawks, including a large number of formerly Republican neocons, to include Robert Kagan, Michael Chertoff, Michael Hayden, Eliot Cohen and Eric Edelman. James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was once vetted by Clinton as a possible vice president, recently warned of "the need to use deadly force against the Iranians. I think it's coming. It's going to be maritime confrontation and if it doesn't happen immediately, I'll bet you a dollar it's going to be happening after the presidential election, whoever is elected."

Hillary believes that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad is the root cause of the turmoil in that country and must be removed as the first priority. . It is a foolish policy as al-Assad in no way threatens the United States while his enemy ISIS does and regime change would create a power vacuum that will benefit the latter. She has also called for a no-fly zone in Syria to protect the local population as well as the insurgent groups that the U.S. supports, some of which had been labeled as terrorists before they were renamed by current Secretary of State John Kerry. Such a zone would dramatically raise the prospect of armed conflict with Russia and it puts Washington in an odd position vis-à-vis what is occurring in Syria. The U.S. is not at war with the Syrian government, which, like it or not, is under international law sovereign within its own recognized borders. Damascus has invited the Russians in to help against the rebels and objects to any other foreign presence on Syrian territory. In spite of all that, Washington is asserting some kind of authority to intervene and to confront the Russians as both a humanitarian mission and as an "inherent right of self-defense."

Hillary has not recommended doing anything about Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of which have at one time or another for various reasons supported ISIS, but she is clearly no friend of Iran, which has been fighting ISIS. As a Senator, she threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran but she has more recently reluctantly supported the recent nuclear agreement with that country negotiated by President Barack Obama. But she has nevertheless warned that she will monitor the situation closely for possible violations and will otherwise pushback against activity by the Islamic Republic. As one of her key financial supporters is Israeli Haim Saban, who has said he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel, she is likely to pursue aggressive policies in the Persian Gulf. She has also promised to move America's relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a "new level" and has repeatedly declared that her support for Israel is unconditional.

One of Hillary's advisors, former CIA acting Director Michael Morell, has called for new sanctions on Tehran and has also recently recommended that the U.S. begin intercepting Iranian ships presumed to be carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen. Washington is not at war with either Iran or Yemen and the Houthis are not on the State Department terrorist list but our good friends the Saudis have been assiduously bombing them for reasons that seem obscure. Stopping ships in international waters without any legal pretext would be considered by many an act of piracy. Morell has also called for covertly assassinating Iranians and Russians to express our displeasure with the foreign policies of their respective governments.

Hillary's dislike for Russia's Vladimir Putin is notorious. Syria aside, she has advocated arming Ukraine with game changing offensive weapons and also bringing Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, which would force a sharp Russian reaction. One suspects that she might be sympathetic to the views expressed recently by Carl Gershman in a Washington Post op-ed that received curiously little additional coverage in the media. Gershman is the head of the taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which means that he is a powerful figure in Washington's foreign-policy establishment. NED has plausibly been described as doing the sorts of things that the CIA used to do.

After making a number of bumper-sticker claims about Russia and Putin that are either partially true, unproven or even ridiculous, Gershman concluded that "the United States has the power to contain and defeat this danger. The issue is whether we can summon the will to do so." It is basically a call for the next administration to remove Putin from power-as foolish a suggestion as has ever been seen in a leading newspaper, as it implies that the risk of nuclear war is completely acceptable to bring about regime change in a country whose very popular, democratically elected leadership we disapprove of. But it is nevertheless symptomatic of the kind of thinking that goes on inside the beltway and is quite possibly a position that Hillary Clinton will embrace. She also benefits from having the perfect implementer of such a policy in Robert Kagan's wife Victoria Nuland, her extremely dangerous protégé who is currently Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and who might wind up as Secretary of State in a Clinton Administration.

Shifting to East Asia, Hillary sees the admittedly genuine threat from North Korea but her response is focused more on China. She would increase U.S. military presence in the South China Sea to deter any further attempts by Beijing to develop disputed islands and would also "ring China with defensive missiles," ostensibly as "protection" against Pyongyang but also to convince China to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One wonders what Beijing might think about being surrounded by made-in-America missiles.

Trump's foreign policy is admittedly quite sketchy and he has not always been consistent. He has been appropriately enough slammed for being simple minded in saying that he would "bomb the crap out of ISIS," but he has also taken on the Republican establishment by specifically condemning the George W. Bush invasion of Iraq and has more than once indicated that he is not interested in either being the world's policeman or in new wars in the Middle East. He has repeatedly stated that he supports NATO but it should not be construed as hostile to Russia. He would work with Putin to address concerns over Syria and Eastern Europe. He would demand that NATO countries spend more for their own defense and also help pay for the maintenance of U.S. bases.

Trump's controversial call to stop all Muslim immigration has been rightly condemned but it contains a kernel of truth in that the current process for vetting new arrivals in this country is far from transparent and apparently not very effective. The Obama Administration has not been very forthcoming on what might be done to fix the entire immigration process but Trump is promising to shake things up, which is overdue, though what exactly a Trump Administration would try to accomplish is far from clear.

Continuing on the negative side, Trump, who is largely ignorant of the world and its leaders, has relied on a mixed bag of advisors. Former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Michael Flynn appears to be the most prominent. Flynn is associated with arch neocon Michael Ledeen and both are rabid about Iran, with Flynn suggesting that nearly all the unrest in the Middle East should be laid at Tehran's door. Ledeen is, of course, a prominent Israel-firster who has long had Iran in his sights. The advice of Ledeen and Flynn may have been instrumental in Trump's vehement denunciation of the Iran nuclear agreement, which he has called a "disgrace," which he has said he would "tear up." It is vintage dumb-think. The agreement cannot be canceled because there are five other signatories to it and the denial of a nuclear weapons program to Tehran benefits everyone in the region, including Israel. It is far better to have the agreement than to scrap it, if that were even possible.

Trump has said that he would be an even-handed negotiator between Israel and the Palestinians but he has also declared that he is strongly pro-Israel and would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which is a bad idea, not in America's interest, even if Netanyahu would like it. It would produce serious blowback from the Arab world and would inspire a new wave of terrorism directed against the U.S.

Regarding the rest of the Middle East, Trump would prefer strong leaders, i.e. autocrats, who are friendly rather than chaotic reformers. He rejects arming rebels as in Syria because we know little about whom we are dealing with and find that we cannot control what develops. He is against foreign aid in principle, particularly to countries like Pakistan where the U.S. is strongly disliked.

In East Asia, Trump would encourage Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear arsenals to deter North Korea. It is a very bad idea, a proliferation nightmare. Like Hillary, he would prefer that China intervene in North Korea and make Kim Jong Un "step down." He would put pressure on China to devalue its currency because it is "bilking us of billions of dollars" and would also increase U.S. military presence in the region to limit Beijing's expansion in the South China Sea.

So there you have it as you enter the voting booth. President Obama is going around warning that "the fate of the world is teetering" over the electoral verdict, which he intends to be a ringing endorsement of Hillary even though the choice is not nearly that clear cut. Part of the problem with Trump is that he has some very bad ideas mixed in with a few good ones and no one knows what he would actually do if he were president. Unfortunately, it is all too clear what Hillary would do.

[Nov 07, 2016] Election 2016 Playing a Game of Chicken With Nuclear Strategy

The author is a neocon... Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was deeply unfair as it did not eliminated see based missiles, only ground based one. It is essentially a trap Gorbachov went into.
Notable quotes:
"... On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) ..."
"... No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president. ..."
Nov 07, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Michael T. Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author, most recently, of The Race for What's Left . A documentary movie version of his book Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation . Follow him on Twitter at @mklare1. Originally published at TomDispatch

... ... ..

With passions running high on both sides in this year's election and rising fears about Donald Trump's impulsive nature and Hillary Clinton's hawkish one, it's hardly surprising that the "nuclear button" question has surfaced repeatedly throughout the campaign. In one of the more pointed exchanges of the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump lacked the mental composure for the job. "A man who can be provoked by a tweet," she commented , "should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes." Donald Trump has reciprocated by charging that Clinton is too prone to intervene abroad. "You're going to end up in World War III over Syria," he told reporters in Florida last month.

For most election observers, however, the matter of personal character and temperament has dominated discussions of the nuclear issue, with partisans on each side insisting that the other candidate is temperamentally unfit to exercise control over the nuclear codes. There is, however, a more important reason to worry about whose finger will be on that button this time around: at this very moment, for a variety of reasons, the "nuclear threshold" - the point at which some party to a "conventional" (non-nuclear) conflict chooses to employ atomic weapons - seems to be moving dangerously lower.

Not so long ago, it was implausible that a major nuclear power - the United States, Russia, or China - would consider using atomic weapons in any imaginable conflict scenario. No longer. Worse yet, this is likely to be our reality for years to come, which means that the next president will face a world in which a nuclear decision-making point might arrive far sooner than anyone would have thought possible just a year or two ago - with potentially catastrophic consequences for us all.

No less worrisome, the major nuclear powers (and some smaller ones) are all in the process of acquiring new nuclear arms, which could, in theory, push that threshold lower still. These include a variety of cruise missiles and other delivery systems capable of being used in "limited" nuclear wars - atomic conflicts that, in theory at least, could be confined to just a single country or one area of the world (say, Eastern Europe) and so might be even easier for decision-makers to initiate. The next president will have to decide whether the U.S. should actually produce weapons of this type and also what measures should be taken in response to similar decisions by Washington's likely adversaries.

Lowering the Nuclear Threshold

During the dark days of the Cold War, nuclear strategists in the United States and the Soviet Union conjured up elaborate conflict scenarios in which military actions by the two superpowers and their allies might lead from, say, minor skirmishing along the Iron Curtain to full-scale tank combat to, in the end, the use of "battlefield" nuclear weapons, and then city-busting versions of the same to avert defeat. In some of these scenarios, strategists hypothesized about wielding "tactical" or battlefield weaponry - nukes powerful enough to wipe out a major tank formation, but not Paris or Moscow - and claimed that it would be possible to contain atomic warfare at such a devastating but still sub-apocalyptic level. (Henry Kissinger, for instance, made his reputation by preaching this lunatic doctrine in his first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy .) Eventually, leaders on both sides concluded that the only feasible role for their atomic arsenals was to act as deterrents to the use of such weaponry by the other side. This was, of course, the concept of " mutually assured destruction ," or - in one of the most classically apt acronyms of all times: MAD. It would, in the end, form the basis for all subsequent arms control agreements between the two superpowers.

Anxiety over the escalatory potential of tactical nuclear weapons peaked in the 1970s when the Soviet Union began deploying the SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missile (capable of striking cities in Europe, but not the U.S.) and Washington responded with plans to deploy nuclear-armed, ground-launched cruise missiles and the Pershing-II ballistic missile in Europe. The announcement of such plans provoked massive antinuclear demonstrations across Europe and the United States. On December 8, 1987, at a time when worries had been growing about how a nuclear conflagration in Europe might trigger an all-out nuclear exchange between the superpowers, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

That historic agreement - the first to eliminate an entire class of nuclear delivery systems - banned the deployment of ground-based cruise or ballistic missiles with a range of 500 and 5,500 kilometers and required the destruction of all those then in existence. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation inherited the USSR's treaty obligations and pledged to uphold the INF along with other U.S.-Soviet arms control agreements. In the view of most observers, the prospect of a nuclear war between the two countries practically vanished as both sides made deep cuts in their atomic stockpiles in accordance with already existing accords and then signed others, including the New START , the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 2010.

... ... ...

To put this in perspective, Russian leaders ardently believe that they are the victims of a U.S.-led drive by NATO to encircle their country and diminish its international influence. They point, in particular, to the build-up of NATO forces in the Baltic countries, involving the semi-permanent deployment of combat battalions in what was once the territory of the Soviet Union, and in apparent violation of promises made to Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not do so. As a result, Russia has been bolstering its defenses in areas bordering Ukraine and the Baltic states, and training its troops for a possible clash with the NATO forces stationed there.

... ... ...

On the American side, the weapon of immediate concern is a new version of the AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile, usually carried by B-52 bombers. Also known as the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), it is, like the Iskander-M, expected to be deployed in both nuclear and conventional versions, leaving those on the potential receiving end unsure what might be heading their way.

In other words, as with the Iskander-M, the intended target might assume the worst in a crisis, leading to the early use of nuclear weapons. Put another way, such missiles make for twitchy trigger fingers and are likely to lead to a heightened risk of nuclear war, which, once started, might in turn take Washington and Moscow right up the escalatory ladder to a planetary holocaust.

No wonder former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry called on President Obama to cancel the ALCM program in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece. "Because they… come in both nuclear and conventional variants," he wrote, "cruise missiles are a uniquely destabilizing type of weapon." And this issue is going to fall directly into the lap of the next president.

pretzelattack November 7, 2016 at 1:46 am

scanning it, it keeps referring to the obama administration's beliefs about russia, and claims by american officials. given the hysteria about putin allegedly hacking the us election, and the propaganda surrounding the war on terror, i'm reluctant to rely on this kind of evidence.

Lambert Strether November 7, 2016 at 2:29 am

This:

But even Hillary Clinton, for all her experience as secretary of state, is likely to have a hard time grappling with the pressures and dangers that are likely to arise in the years ahead, especially given that her inclination is to toughen U.S. policy toward Russia.

"Even" is a little rich, given that the Clinton campaign has systematically - I hate to use the word, but - demonized* Putin. One can regard the political class as cynically able to turn on a dime when the election is done, but Clinton has also induced her base of "NPR tote baggers" to buy in, and the more massive base is harder to turn. And then of course the neo-cons have gone over to her, and they certainly know which side their bread has blood on.

So, if Clinton wins, the dominant faction of the Democrat Party is - from the leadership through the nomenklatura to the base - committed to a "muscular" foreign policy, including a "No Fly Zone" in Syria, where shooting down a Russian plane would be an act of war, so far as Russia is concerned. (In the last debate, Clinton pointedly didn't answer what she would do in that eventuality.)

It is what it is. We are where we are.

NOTE * I mean, come on. Trump and Comey as Putin's agents of influence? Beyond bizarre.

UPDATE One of the salient features of the bureaucratic infighters who brought about World War I is their utter mediocrity; see this review of The Sleepwalkers , a diplomatic history of how World War I came out. If you want to see real mediocrity in today's terms, read the Podesta emails.

integer November 7, 2016 at 2:50 am

And contrast that quote with:

Whoever is elected on November 8th, we are evidently all headed into a world in which Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers could be the norm.

So even Hillary Clinton might not be able to handle a world full of Trumpian-style itchy trigger fingers. That's a bit hard to swallow imo.

timotheus November 7, 2016 at 5:35 am

"Muscular" policy towards Russia: [echo "muscular policy! muscular policy!" slow fade]. And we think Putin is a clownish macho.

Joins "innovation", economic "liftoff" and "headwinds", "fight for", etc.

hemeantwell November 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

Agreed. Klare's order of presentation creates a questionable sense of causality by talking first about Russian tech and strategy and then about what appear to be US responses. For example, my understanding of recent developments of low yield nuclear weapons - I'm thinking of the "dial a bomb" - has the US once again opening up a new strategic front the Russians feel compelled to duplicate. His discussion of the Iskander M similarly elides the question of how the Russians think about the B52-based cruise missiles the US has had for years.

He also seems to lose track of a point he introduces by referring to Kissinger's advocacy of the use of low yield nukes. Kissinger's book came out in 1957, and afair only the US had battlefield nuclear missile delivery systems back in early 60s. After Kissinger gained power in the Nixon administration, they both thought that it was useful to look rationally irrational, to set out a logic for dangerous policies in order to make opponents fearful of a catastrophic reaction. The Russians are likely doing the same thing. I'm sure, too, that talking of a low first use threshold is a way to split Europe from the US.

Massinissa November 7, 2016 at 2:38 am

I like the article, but it seems like its putting too much of the fault on Russia.

Roland November 7, 2016 at 3:10 am

This article on nuclear strategy makes no mention of the single most destabilizing thing that happened in nuclear affairs in this century: the USA's unilateral abrogation of the ABM Treaty.

How could the author make such an omission?

The biggest nuclear problem we face is that there are "serious" military and political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction, and thus to actively employ escalation dominance as a foreign policy tool..

integer November 7, 2016 at 5:20 am

political leaders in the USA who think that their new ABM systems will allow them to burst the shackles of assured-destruction

"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand."

― Archibald Putt

charles 2 November 7, 2016 at 5:06 am

The author puts too much emphasis on anti-cities warfare at a pre-strategic level. A strike will be more likely to be an EMP anti-infrastructure strike. In modern societies, one doesn't need to kill people to break their resolve. Disrupting the provision of electricity, mobile, cable and internet connection is amply enough to eliminate the appetite for overseas military adventures.

fajensen November 7, 2016 at 6:13 am

The nukes run on a dead-man switch. If one EMP's "everything", the periodic "please do not launch today, sir"-signal will not reach the silos/submarines and missiles will launch automatically.

We can be pretty sure that the last missiles launched will be salted with some "well, fuck you too!"-concoction to create massive fallout and maybe even some bio-weapons on top for all those weakened immune systems (from the gamma radiation). The USSR did a lot of very high quality research on biological weapons, obviously, everyone else has whatever they had in the 1980's. People who ingest radioactive dust are goners sooner or later. Sooner with bio-weapons on top of the radiation poisoning.

People, especially people "on top" who should be informed and know better, yet still think ABM systems work effectively for any other purpose than moving billions of USD to into the pockets of defense industry cronies, are simply deluded. Even with cooked tests, where the speed and trajectory of the opposition missile is known to the missile defence in advance, the odds of an intercept are low.

Disturbed Voter November 7, 2016 at 6:31 am

The only way to win is not play – War-games

Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?

fajensen November 7, 2016 at 8:04 am

Why would the elites not want to win, compared to the first 70 years of the nuclear age?

They are like 70-80 years old, geriatrics already, soon diaper-cases. All thes powerful people are in a desparate race with time to "set things right", before they lose all of their faculties (or start smelling of poo so no-one invites them anymore).

Jim A November 7, 2016 at 9:01 am

Even more troubling, Russia has adopted a military doctrine that favors the early use of nuclear weapons if it faces defeat in a conventional war, and NATO is considering comparable measures in response. The nuclear threshold, in other words, is dropping rapidly.

Of course this is the exact mirror image of the US policy during the Cold War. We relied on the threat of "theater nuclear war" to deter the huge Soviet conventional forces that NATO had little chance of stopping with conventional forces. Of course the Germans joked that the definition of a "theater" nuclear weapon was one that went off in Germany.

[Nov 01, 2016] Inside the Invisible Government - The Unz Review

Nov 01, 2016 | www.unz.com

The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an "agreement" that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.

As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.

From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics – the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.

Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: "We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked."

The West's medieval client, Saudi Arabia – to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars' worth of arms – is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.

[Nov 01, 2016] Chris Hedges Its Our Bombs, Not Trumps Comments, that Fuel Hatred Towards the United States

Notable quotes:
"... HEDGES: Well what feeds the hatred toward the west has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has to do with the one-thousand-pound iron fragmentation bombs and cruise missiles and 155 artillery shells that are being dropped all over areas that ISIS controls. ..."
"... That is a far more potent engine of rage than anything Trump says and I think sometimes we forget what we' re doing and the state terror that is delivered day in and day out on Muslims in areas that have been opened up by these failed states because of our military adventurism in countries like Libya and Iraq. ..."
"... : Chris the recently released WikiLeaks indicate that Hillary Clinton is involved in conspiring in maintaining Israels nuclear dominance in the region and containing Irans nuclear development program. ..."
"... Yea, I mean shes quite upfront. I have to give her credit on that in terms of her militantly pro-Israel stance. She of course has courted quite successfully wealthy pro-Israeli donors attacking the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement. ..."
"... So one of the dangers of Clinton and shes called for a no fly zone over Syria. Well, people forget that when you institute a no fly zone, that is patrolled and that requires very heavy presence of US forces. ..."
therealnews.com
... ... .. ...

HEDGES: Well what feeds the hatred toward the west has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has to do with the one-thousand-pound iron fragmentation bombs and cruise missiles and 155 artillery shells that are being dropped all over areas that ISIS controls.

That is a far more potent engine of rage than anything Trump says and I think sometimes we forget what we' re doing and the state terror that is delivered day in and day out on Muslims in areas that have been opened up by these failed states because of our military adventurism in countries like Libya and Iraq.

PERIES: So connect those two for us. Give us some examples of how the war on terror in the Middle East, Syria in particular, is causing this kind of islamophobia here and our hesitancy about doing humanitarian work by accepting refugees that are fleeing these wars and how it manifests itself in the form of islamophobia here.

HEDGES: Well, islamophobia here is a doctrine that plays quite conveniently into the goals of the corporate state in the same way that anti-communism once played into the goals of our capitalist democracy. So the caricature of threats from the Muslim world independent of the actual possibility of those threats has especially since 9/11, one of the corner stones of the argument that has been used by the security and surveillance state to strip us of basic civil liberties, including for instance, under the Obama administration, misinterpreting the 2001 authorization to use military force act as giving the executive branch to right to assassinate American citizens. Of course I'm talking about Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son.

So the rise of islamophobia has been largely independent of anything Muslims have done other than perhaps initially the attacks of 9/11. The continued over 15 years of indiscriminate violence, industrial violence, delivered on whole swaps of the Muslim world has stirred up the kind of hornet' s nest that we' re seeing enraged not only among Muslims in the Muslim world but Muslims in Europe and many other parts of the globe who despite Clinton' s rhetoric see this as a war against Muslims. I think that although she speaks in kind of a softer and more tolerate tone, Clinton has been one of the main architects of the attacks for instance in Libya that have given or empowered or given rise to groups like ISIS. While Clinton' s rhetoric is certainly more palatable, she has been an enthusiastic supporter that we are going to bomb our way into peace in the Muslim world.

PERIES: Chris give us a sense of the climate created by what both candidates eluded to that Muslims in this country has to help us in terms of identifying potential terrorists and any kind of activities in the community that might feed terrorists attacks here. What does this do to a society?

HEDGES: Well it turns us into a society of informers. I think we have to acknowledge how pervasive the harassment is of Muslim Americans when they go through the airport, intrusive invasions of their privacy by Homeland Security, the FBI, and others. We have to acknowledge that almost all of the homegrown terrorist attacks that the FBI have broken have been orchestrated by the FBI usually with people of marginal means and sometimes marginal intelligence being prodded and often provided supposed equipment to carry out terrorist attacks. The racial profiling that has gone on coupled with the rhetoric and this is very dangerous because if you take already an alienated youth and subject it to this kind of unrelenting harassment, then you provide a recipe for homegrown radicalism.

So yes it' s once again an effort in this case on part of the Trump rhetoric to blame the Muslims for not only their own victimhood but for terrorist attacks that are being driven by jihadist whom the vast majority, 99 plus percent of the Muslim world has no contact with and probably very little empathy for, I mean there' s 4 to 5 million Muslims, I think I have that right, in the United States. Most of them have integrated quite successfully into American. Unlike in Britain because Muslim immigrants in the United States whereas in Europe, France, they came over as laborers, we largely absorbed Muslim professional classes, doctors, engineers, and others and the Muslim community in the United States is pretty solidly middle class and professional.

... ... ...

PERIES: Chris the recently released WikiLeaks indicate that Hillary Clinton is involved in conspiring in maintaining Israels nuclear dominance in the region and containing Irans nuclear development program. Your comments on those WikiLeaks.

HEDGES: Yea, I mean shes quite upfront. I have to give her credit on that in terms of her militantly pro-Israel stance. She of course has courted quite successfully wealthy pro-Israeli donors attacking the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement. And she has and will continue what are considered Israeli interests in the region which are not our interest. Israel pushed very heavily for an invasion of Iraq as a way to destroy a powerful state within the region. That did not serve our interests at all. In fact, it elevated to the dominant position within the region, Iran and out of these vacuums gave birth to these jihadist groups and got us embroiled in wars that we can never win.

So one of the dangers of Clinton and shes called for a no fly zone over Syria. Well, people forget that when you institute a no fly zone, that is patrolled and that requires very heavy presence of US forces. Not just air forces but ground stations, radar stations, anti-aircraft missile batteries. Shes quite openly calling for a further escalation for American involvement in the Syrian quagmire which of course again we did so much to create by along with our allies, the Saudis and Qataris and others pumping so many arms in them. I think we gave a billion dollars worth of arms to Syrian rebels as if you can control where those arms go, just in the last year.

[Oct 30, 2016] After the attacks Americas new cold war

Notable quotes:
"... Now the threat is real; and for the foreseeable future we will have to live with and seek to reduce two closely interlinked dangers: the direct and potentially apocalyptic threat posed by terrorists, mainly (though by no means exclusively) based in the Muslim world, and the potential strengthening of those terrorists' resolve by misguided US actions. ..."
"... The most unilateralist Administration in modern American history has been forced to recognise, in principle at least, the country's pressing need for allies ..."
"... Apart from the fact that most European armies are useless when it comes to serious warfare, they are already showing great unwillingness to give the US a blank cheque for whatever military action the Bush Administration chooses to take. ..."
"... A strong sense of righteousness has always been present in the American tradition; but until 11 September, an acute sense of victimhood and persecution by the outside world was usually the preserve of the paranoid Right. ..."
Sep 28, 2001 | guardian.co.uk

"Who says we share common values with the Europeans? They don't even go to church!" Will the atrocities of September 11 push America further to the right or open a new debate on foreign policy and the need for alliances? In this exclusive online essay from the London Review of Books, Anatol Lieven considers how the cold war legacy may affect the war on terrorism

Not long after the Bush Administration took power in January, I was invited to lunch at a glamorous restaurant in New York by a group of editors and writers from an influential American right-wing broadsheet. The food and wine were extremely expensive, the decor luxurious but discreet, the clientele beautifully dressed, and much of the conversation more than mildly insane. With regard to the greater part of the world outside America, my hosts' attitude was a combination of loathing, contempt, distrust and fear: not only towards Arabs, Russians, Chinese, French and others, but towards 'European socialist governments', whatever that was supposed to mean. This went with a strong desire - in theory at least - to take military action against a broad range of countries across the world.

Two things were particularly striking here: a tendency to divide the world into friends and enemies, and a difficulty verging on autism when it came to international opinions that didn't coincide with their own - a combination more appropriate to the inhabitants of an ethnic slum in the Balkans than to people who were, at that point, on top of the world.

Today Americans of all classes and opinions have reason to worry, and someone real to fear and hate, while prolonged US military action overseas is thought to be inevitable. The building where we had lunch is now rubble. Several of our fellow diners probably died last week, along with more than six thousand other New Yorkers from every walk of life. Not only has the terrorist attack claimed far more victims than any previous such attack anywhere in the world, but it has delivered a far more damaging economic blow. Equally important, it has destroyed Americans' belief in their country's invulnerability, on which so many other American attitudes and policies finally rested.

This shattering blow was delivered by a handful of anonymous agents hidden in the wider population, working as part of a tightly-knit secret international conspiracy inspired by a fanatical and (to the West) deeply 'alien' and 'exotic' religious ideology. Its members are ruthless; they have remarkable organisational skills, a tremendous capacity for self-sacrifice and self-discipline, and a deep hatred of the United States and the Western way of life. As Richard Hofstader and others have argued, for more than two hundred years this kind of combination has always acted as a prompt for paranoid and reactionary conspiracy theories, most of them groundless.

Now the threat is real; and for the foreseeable future we will have to live with and seek to reduce two closely interlinked dangers: the direct and potentially apocalyptic threat posed by terrorists, mainly (though by no means exclusively) based in the Muslim world, and the potential strengthening of those terrorists' resolve by misguided US actions.

The latter danger has been greatly increased by the attacks. The terrorists have raised to white heat certain smouldering tendencies among the American Right, while simultaneously - as is usually the case at the start of wars - pushing American politics and most of its population in a sharply rightward direction; all of which has taken place under an unexpectedly right-wing Administration. If this leads to a crude military response, then the terrorists will have achieved part of their purpose, which was to provoke the other side to indiscriminate retaliation, and thereby increase their own support.

It is too early to say for sure how US strategies and attitudes will develop. At the time of writing Afghanistan is the focus, but whatever happens there, it isn't clear whether the US Administration will go on to launch a more general campaign of military pressure against other states which have supported terrorist groups, and if so, what states and what kind of military pressure? US policy is already pulled in two predictable but contradictory directions, amply illustrated in the op-ed pages of US newspapers and in debates within the Government.

The most unilateralist Administration in modern American history has been forced to recognise, in principle at least, the country's pressing need for allies. There are the beginnings, too, of a real public debate on how US policy needs to be changed and shaped to fight the new 'war'. All this is reminiscent of US attitudes and behaviour at the start of the Cold War, when Communism was identified as the central menace to the US and to Western capitalism and democracy in general.

On the other hand, the public desire for revenge has strengthened certain attitudes - especially in the Republican Party and media, as well as parts of the Administration - which, if they prevail, will not only be dangerous in themselves, but will make the search for real allies difficult. And real allies are essential, above all in the Arab and Muslim worlds. In the longer run, only the full co-operation of Arab regimes - along with reform and economic development - can prevent the recruitment, funding and operations of Arab-based terrorist groups.

As for Europe, British military support may be unconditional, but most European countries - Russia among them - are likely to restrict their help to intelligence and policing. Apart from the fact that most European armies are useless when it comes to serious warfare, they are already showing great unwillingness to give the US a blank cheque for whatever military action the Bush Administration chooses to take.

Yet a blank cheque is precisely what the Administration, and the greater part of US public opinion, are asking for. This is Jim Hoagland, veteran establishment foreign correspondent and commentator, in the generally liberal Washington Post:

"Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many of the other Arab states Powell hopes to recruit for the bin Laden posse have long been part of the problem, not part of the solution to international terrorism. These states cannot be given free passes for going through the motions of helping the United States. And European allies cannot be allowed to order an appetiser of bin Laden and not share in the costs of the rest of a meal cooked in hell."

If this is the Post, then the sentiments in the right-wing press and the tabloids can well be imagined. Here is Tod Lindberg, the editor of Policy Review, writing in the Washington Times:

"The United States is now energetically in the business of making governments pick a side: either with us and against the terrorists, or against us and with them... Against the category of enemy stands the category of 'friend'. Friends stand with us. Friends do whatever they can to help. Friends don't, for example, engage in commerce with enemies, otherwise they aren't friends."

A strong sense of righteousness has always been present in the American tradition; but until 11 September, an acute sense of victimhood and persecution by the outside world was usually the preserve of the paranoid Right. Now it has spread and, for the moment at least, some rather important ideas have almost vanished from the public debate: among them, that other states have their own national interests, and that in the end nothing compels them to help the US; that they, too, have been the victims of terrorism - in the case of Britain, largely funded from groups in the United States - but have not insisted on a right of unilateral military retaliation (this point was made by Niall Ferguson in the New York Times, but not as yet in any op-ed by an American that I have seen); and that in some cases these states may actually know more about their own part of the world than US intelligence does.

Beyond the immediate and unforeseeable events in Afghanistan - and their sombre implications for Pakistan - lies the bigger question of US policy in the Arab world. Here, too, Administration policy may well be a good deal more cautious than the opinions of the right-wing media would suggest - which again is fortunate, because much opinion on this subject is more than rabid. Here is AM Rosenthal in the Washington Times arguing that an amazing range of states should be given ultimatums to surrender not only alleged terrorists but also their own senior officials accused by the US of complicity:

"The ultimatum should go to the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan and any other devoted to the elimination of the United States or the constant incitement of hatred against it... In the three days the terrorists consider the American ultimatum, the residents of the countries would be urged 24 hours a day by the United States to flee the capital and major cities, because they would be bombed to the ground beginning the fourth."

Rosenthal isn't a figure from the lunatic fringe ranting on a backwoods radio show, but the former executive editor of the New York Times, writing in a paper with great influence in the Republican Party, especially under the present Administration.

No Administration is going to do anything remotely like this. But if the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has emerged as the voice of moderation, with a proper commitment to multilateralism, other voices are audible, too. Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defence, has spoken of "ending states which support terrorism", and in the case of Iraq, there are those who would now like to complete the work of the Gulf War and finish off Saddam Hussein.

Here, too, the mood of contempt for allies contributes to the ambition. Thus Kim Holmes, vice-president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, argued that only deference to America's Arab allies prevented the US from destroying the Iraqi regime in 1991 (the profound unwillingness of Bush Senior to occupy Iraq and take responsibility for the place also played its part in the decision): "To show that this war is not with Islam per se, the US could be tempted to restrain itself militarily and accommodate the complex and contradictory political agendas of Islamic states. This in turn could make the campaign ineffectual, prolonging the problem of terrorism."

Getting rid of Saddam Hussein is not in itself a bad idea. His is a pernicious regime, a menace to his own people and his neighbours, as well as to the West. And if the Iraqi threat to the Gulf States could be eliminated, US troops might be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia: it was their permanent stationing on the holy soil of Islam that turned Osama bin Laden from an anti-Soviet mujahid into an anti-American terrorist.

But only if it were to take place in the context of an entirely new policy towards Palestine would the US be able to mount such a campaign without provoking massive unrest across the Arab world; and given what became of promises made during the Gulf War, there would first of all have to be firm evidence of a US change of heart. The only borders between Israel and Palestine which would have any chance of satisfying a majority of Palestinians and Arabs - and conforming to UN resolutions, for what they are worth - would be those of 1967, possibly qualified by an internationalisation of Jerusalem under UN control. This would entail the removal of the existing Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories, and would be absolutely unacceptable to any imaginable Israeli Government. To win Israeli agreement would require not just US pressure, but the threat of a complete breach of relations and the ending of aid.

There may be those in the Administration who would favour adopting such an approach at a later stage. Bush Sr's was the most anti-Israeli Administration of the past two generations, and was disliked accordingly by the Jewish and other ethnic lobbies. His son's is less beholden to those lobbies than Clinton's was. And it may be that even pro-Israeli US politicians will at some point realise that Israel's survival as such is not an issue: that it is absurd to increase the risk to Washington and New York for the sake of 267 extremist settlers in Hebron and their comrades elsewhere.

Still, in the short term, a radical shift is unlikely, and an offensive against Iraq would therefore be dangerous. The attacks on New York and the Pentagon and the celebrations in parts of the Arab world have increased popular hostility to the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, a hostility assiduously stoked by Israeli propaganda. But when it comes to denouncing hate crimes against Muslims - or those taken to be Muslims - within the US, the Administration has behaved decently, perhaps because they have a rather sobering precedent in mind, one which has led to genuine shame: the treatment of Japanese Americans during world war two.

This shame is the result of an applied historical intelligence that does not extend to the Arab world. Americans tend - and perhaps need - to confuse the symptoms and the causes of Arab anger. Since a key pro-Israel position in the US has been that fundamental Palestinian and Arab grievances must not be allowed legitimacy or even discussed, the only explanation of Arab hostility to the US and its ally must be sought in innate features of Arab society, whether a contemporary culture of anti-semitism (and anti-Americanism) sanctioned by Arab leaderships, or ancient 'Muslim' traditions of hostility to the West.

All of which may contain some truth: but the central issue, the role of Israeli policies in providing a focus for such hatred, is overwhelmingly ignored. As a result, it is extremely difficult, and mostly impossible, to hold any frank discussion of the most important issue affecting the position of the US in the Middle East or the open sympathy for terrorism in the region. A passionately held nationalism usually has the effect of corrupting or silencing those liberal intellectuals who espouse it. This is the case of Israeli nationalism in the US. It is especially distressing that it should afflict the Jewish liberal intelligentsia, that old bedrock of sanity and tolerance.

An Administration which wanted a radical change of policy towards Israel would have to generate a new public debate almost from scratch - which would not be possible until some kind of tectonic shift had taken place in American society. Too many outside observers who blame US Administrations forget that on a wide range of issues, it is essentially Congress and not the White House or State Department which determines foreign policy; this is above all true of US aid. An inability or unwillingness to try to work on Congress, as opposed to going through normal diplomatic channels, has been a minor contributory factor to Britain's inability to get any purchase on US policy in recent years.

The role of Congress brings out what might be called the Wilhelmine aspects of US foreign and security policy. By that I do not mean extreme militarism or a love of silly hats, or even a shared tendency to autism when it comes to understanding the perceptions of other countries, but rather certain structural features in both the Wilhemine and the US system tending to produce over-ambition, and above all a chronic incapacity to choose between diametrically opposite goals. Like Wilhelmine Germany, the US has a legislature with very limited constitutional powers in the field of foreign policy, even though it wields considerable de facto power and is not linked either institutionally or by party discipline to the executive. The resulting lack of any responsibility for actual consequences is a standing invitation to rhetorical grandstanding, and the pursuit of sectional interests at the expense of overall policy.

Meanwhile, the executive, while in theory supremely powerful in this field, has in fact continually to woo the legislature without ever being able to command its support. This, too, encourages dependence on interest groups, as well as a tendency to overcome differences and gain support by making appeals in terms of overheated patriotism rather than policy. Finally, in both systems, though for completely different reasons, supreme executive power had or has a tendency to fall into the hands of people totally unsuited for any but the ceremonial aspects of the job, and endlessly open to manipulation by advisers, ministers and cliques.

In the US, this did not matter so much during the Cold War, when a range of Communist threats - real, imagined or fabricated - held the system together in the pursuit of more or less common aims. With the disappearance of the unifying threat, however, there has been a tendency, again very Wilhelmine, to produce ambitious and aggressive policies in several directions simultaneously, often with little reference at all to real US interests or any kind of principle.

The new 'war against terrorism' in Administration and Congressional rhetoric has been cast as just such a principle, unifying the country and the political establishment behind a common goal and affecting or determining a great range of other policies. The language has been reminiscent of the global struggle against Communism, and confronting Islamist radicalism in the Muslim world does, it's true, pose some of the same challenges, on a less global scale, though possibly with even greater dangers for the world.

The likelihood that US strategy in the 'war against terrorism' will resemble that of the Cold War is greatly increased by the way Cold War structures and attitudes have continued to dominate the US foreign policy and security elites. Charles Tilly and others have written of the difficulty states have in 'ratcheting down' wartime institutions and especially wartime spending. In the 1990s, this failure on the part of the US to escape its Cold War legacy was a curse, ensuring unnecessarily high military spending in the wrong fields, thoroughly negative attitudes to Russia, 'zero-sum' perceptions of international security issues in general, and perceptions of danger which wholly failed, as we now see, to meet the real threats to security and lives.

The idea of a National Missile Defense is predicated on a limited revival of the Cold War, with China cast in the role of the Soviet Union and the Chinese nuclear deterrent as the force to be nullified. Bush's foreign and security team is almost entirely a product of Cold War structures and circumscribed by Cold War attitudes (which is not true of the President himself, who was never interested enough in foreign policy; if he can get his mind round the rest of the world, he could well be more of a free-thinker than many of his staff).

The collapse of the Communist alternative to Western-dominated modernisation and the integration (however imperfect) of Russia and China into the world capitalist order have been a morally and socially ambiguous process, to put it mildly; but in the early 1990s they seemed to promise the suspension of hostility between the world's larger powers. The failure of the US to make use of this opportunity, thanks to an utter confusion between an ideological victory and crudely-defined US geopolitical interests, was a great misfortune which the 'war against terrorism' could in part rectify. Since 11 September, the rhetoric in America has proposed a gulf between the 'civilised' states of the present world system, and movements of 'barbaric', violent protest from outside and below - without much deference to the ambiguities of 'civilisation', or the justifications of resistance to it, remarked on since Tacitus at least.

How is the Cold War legacy likely to determine the 'war against terrorism'? Despite the general conviction in the Republican Party that it was simply Reagan's military spending and the superiority of the US system which destroyed Soviet Communism, more serious Cold War analysts were always aware that it involved not just military force, or the threat of it, but ideological and political struggle, socio-economic measures, and state-building. The latter in particular is an idea for which the Bush team on their arrival in office had a deep dislike (if only to distance themselves from Clinton's policies), but which they may now rediscover. Foreign aid - so shamefully reduced in the 1990s - was also a key part of the Cold War, and if much of it was poured into kleptocratic regimes like Mobutu's, or wasted on misguided projects, some at least helped produce flourishing economies in Europe and East Asia.

The Republican Party is not only the party of Goldwater and Reagan, but of Eisenhower, Nixon and Kissinger. Eisenhower is now almost forgotten by the party. 'Eisenhower Republicans', as they refer to themselves, are usually far closer to Tony Blair (or perhaps more accurately, Helmut Schmidt) than anyone the Republican Party has seen in recent years, and I'd wager that the majority of educated Americans have forgotten that the original warning about the influence of the 'military industrial complex' came from Eisenhower.

Kissinger is still very much alive, however, and his history is a reminder that one aspect of the American capacity for extreme ruthlessness was also a capacity for radical changes of policy, for reconciliation with states hitherto regarded as bitter enemies, and for cold-blooded abandonment of close allies and clients whose usefulness was at an end. It would not altogether surprise me if we were now to see a radical shift towards real co-operation with Russia, and even Iran.

In general, however, the Cold War legacies and parallels are discouraging and dangerous. To judge by the language used in the days since 11 September, ignorance, demonisation and the drowning out of nuanced debate indicate that much of the US establishment can no more tell the difference between Iran and Afghanistan than they could between China and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s - the inexcusable error which led to the American war in Vietnam. The preference for militarised solutions continues (the 'War on Drugs', which will now have to be scaled back, is an example). Most worryingly, the direct attack on American soil and American civilians - far worse than anything done to the US in the Cold War - means that there is a real danger of a return to Cold War ruthlessness: not just in terms of military tactics and covert operations, but in terms of the repulsive and endangered regimes co-opted as local American clients.

The stakes are, if anything, a good deal higher than they were during the Cold War. Given what we now know of Soviet policymaking, it is by no means clear that the Kremlin ever seriously contemplated a nuclear strike against America. By contrast, it seems likely that bin Laden et al would in the end use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons if they could deliver them.

There is also the question of the impact of US strategies (or, in the case of Israel, lack of them) on the unity of the West - assuming that this is of some importance for the wellbeing of humanity. However great the exasperation of many European states with US policy throughout the Cold War, the Europeans were bound into the transatlantic alliance by an obvious Soviet threat - more immediate to them than it was to the US. For the critical first decade of the Cold War, the economies of Europe were hopelessly inferior to that of the US. Today, if European Governments feel that the US is dragging them into unnecessary danger thanks to policies of which they disapprove, they will protest bitterly - as many did during the Cold War - and then begin to distance themselves, which they could not afford to do fifty years ago.

This is all the more likely if, as seems overwhelmingly probable, the US withdraws from the Balkans - as it has already done in Macedonia - leaving Europeans with no good reason to require a US military presence on their continent. At the same time, the cultural gap between Europeans and Republican America (which does not mean a majority of Americans, but the dominant strain of policy) will continue to widen. 'Who says we share common values with the Europeans?' a senior US politician remarked recently. 'They don't even go to church!' Among other harmful effects, the destruction of this relationship could signal the collapse of whatever hope still exists for a common Western approach to global environmental issues - which would, in the end, pose a greater danger to humanity than that of terrorism.

· Anatol Lieven is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC.

[Oct 30, 2016] Anatol Lieven reviews 'The New American Militarism' by Andrew Bacevich

Amazingly insightful review !!!
Notable quotes:
"... A key justification of the Bush administration's purported strategy of 'democratising' the Middle East is the argument that democracies are pacific, and that Muslim democracies will therefore eventually settle down peacefully under the benign hegemony of the US. ..."
"... The president's title of 'commander-in-chief' is used by administration propagandists to suggest, in a way reminiscent of German militarists before 1914 attempting to defend their half-witted Kaiser, that any criticism of his record in external affairs comes close to a betrayal of the military and the country. ..."
"... The new American militarism is the handiwork of several disparate groups that shared little in common apart from being intent on undoing the purportedly nefarious effects of the 1960s. Military officers intent on rehabilitating their profession; intellectuals fearing that the loss of confidence at home was paving the way for the triumph of totalitarianism abroad; religious leaders dismayed by the collapse of traditional moral standards; strategists wrestling with the implications of a humiliating defeat that had undermined their credibility; politicians on the make; purveyors of pop culture looking to make a buck: as early as 1980, each saw military power as the apparent answer to any number of problems. ..."
"... Two other factors have also been critical: the dependence on imported oil is seen as requiring American hegemony over the Middle East; and the Israel lobby has worked assiduously and with extraordinary success to make sure that Israel's enemies are seen by Americans as also being those of the US. ..."
"... And let's not forget the role played by the entrenched interests of the military itself and what Dwight Eisenhower once denounced as the 'military-industrial-academic complex'. ..."
"... The security elites are obviously interested in the maintenance and expansion of US global military power, if only because their own jobs and profits depend on it. ..."
"... To achieve wider support in the media and among the public, it is also necessary to keep up the illusion that certain foreign nations constitute a threat to the US, and to maintain a permanent level of international tension. ..."
"... They would include the element of messianism embodied in American civic nationalism, with its quasi-religious belief in the universal and timeless validity of its own democratic system, and in its right and duty to spread that system to the rest of the world. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Important sections of contemporary US popular culture are suffused with the language of militarism. ..."
"... Red Storm Rising ..."
"... Indeed, a portrait of US militarism today could be built around a set of such apparently glaring contradictions: the contradiction, for example, between the military coercion of other nations and the belief in the spreading of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Among most non-Americans, and among many American realists and progressives, the collocation seems inherently ludicrous. But, as Bacevich brings out, it has deep roots in American history. Indeed, the combination is historically coterminous with Western imperialism. Historians of the future will perhaps see preaching 'freedom' at the point of an American rifle as no less morally and intellectually absurd than 'voluntary' conversion to Christianity at the point of a Spanish arquebus. ..."
"... Today, having dissolved any connection between claims to citizenship and obligation to serve, Americans entrust their security to a class of military professionals who see themselves in many respects as culturally and politically set apart from the rest of society. ..."
"... British power was far from unlimited. The British Empire could use its technological superiority, small numbers of professional troops and local auxiliaries to conquer backward and impoverished countries in Asia and Africa, but it would not have dreamed of intervening unilaterally in Europe or North America. ..."
"... As Iraq – and to a lesser extent Afghanistan – has demonstrated, the US can knock over states, but it cannot suppress the resulting insurgencies, even one based in such a comparatively small population as the Sunni Arabs of Iraq. ..."
"... Recognizing this, the army is beginning to imitate ancient Rome in offering citizenship to foreign mercenaries in return for military service – something that the amazing Boot approves, on the grounds that while it helped destroy the Roman Empire, it took four hundred years to do so. ..."
"... The fact that the Democrats completely failed to do this says a great deal about their lack of political will, leadership and capacity to employ a focused strategy. ..."
Oct 20, 2005 | LRB

The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War by Andrew Bacevich
Oxford, 270 pp, £16.99, August 2005, ISBN 0 19 517338 4

A key justification of the Bush administration's purported strategy of 'democratising' the Middle East is the argument that democracies are pacific, and that Muslim democracies will therefore eventually settle down peacefully under the benign hegemony of the US. Yet, as Andrew Bacevich points out in one of the most acute analyses of America to have appeared in recent years, the United States itself is in many ways a militaristic country, and becoming more so:

at the end of the Cold War, Americans said yes to military power. The skepticism about arms and armies that informed the original Wilsonian vision, indeed, that pervaded the American experiment from its founding, vanished. Political leaders, liberals and conservatives alike, became enamoured with military might.

The ensuing affair had, and continues to have, a heedless, Gatsby-like aspect, a passion pursued in utter disregard of any consequences that might ensue.

The president's title of 'commander-in-chief' is used by administration propagandists to suggest, in a way reminiscent of German militarists before 1914 attempting to defend their half-witted Kaiser, that any criticism of his record in external affairs comes close to a betrayal of the military and the country. Compared to German and other past militarisms, however, the contemporary American variant is extremely complex, and the forces that have generated it have very diverse origins and widely differing motives:

The new American militarism is the handiwork of several disparate groups that shared little in common apart from being intent on undoing the purportedly nefarious effects of the 1960s. Military officers intent on rehabilitating their profession; intellectuals fearing that the loss of confidence at home was paving the way for the triumph of totalitarianism abroad; religious leaders dismayed by the collapse of traditional moral standards; strategists wrestling with the implications of a humiliating defeat that had undermined their credibility; politicians on the make; purveyors of pop culture looking to make a buck: as early as 1980, each saw military power as the apparent answer to any number of problems.

Two other factors have also been critical: the dependence on imported oil is seen as requiring American hegemony over the Middle East; and the Israel lobby has worked assiduously and with extraordinary success to make sure that Israel's enemies are seen by Americans as also being those of the US.

And let's not forget the role played by the entrenched interests of the military itself and what Dwight Eisenhower once denounced as the 'military-industrial-academic complex'.

The security elites are obviously interested in the maintenance and expansion of US global military power, if only because their own jobs and profits depend on it. Jobs and patronage also ensure the support of much of the Congress, which often authorizes defense spending on weapons systems the Pentagon doesn't want and hasn't asked for, in order to help some group of senators and congressmen in whose home states these systems are manufactured. To achieve wider support in the media and among the public, it is also necessary to keep up the illusion that certain foreign nations constitute a threat to the US, and to maintain a permanent level of international tension.

That's not the same, however, as having an actual desire for war, least of all for a major conflict which might ruin the international economy. US ground forces have bitter memories of Vietnam, and no wish to wage an aggressive war: Rumsfeld and his political appointees had to override the objections of the senior generals, in particular those of the army chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, before the attack on Iraq. The navy and air force do not have to fight insurgents in hell-holes like Fallujah, and so naturally have a more relaxed attitude.

To understand how the Bush administration was able to manipulate the public into supporting the Iraq war one has to look for deeper explanations. They would include the element of messianism embodied in American civic nationalism, with its quasi-religious belief in the universal and timeless validity of its own democratic system, and in its right and duty to spread that system to the rest of the world. This leads to a genuine belief that American soldiers can do no real wrong because they are spreading 'freedom'. Also of great importance – at least until the Iraqi insurgency rubbed American noses in the horrors of war – has been the development of an aesthetic that sees war as waged by the US as technological, clean and antiseptic; and thanks to its supremacy in weaponry, painlessly victorious. Victory over the Iraqi army in 2003 led to a new flowering of megalomania in militarist quarters. The amazing Max Boot of the Wall Street Journal – an armchair commentator, not a frontline journalist – declared that the US victory had made 'fabled generals such as Erwin Rommel and Heinz Guderian seem positively incompetent by comparison'. Nor was this kind of talk restricted to Republicans. More than two years into the Iraq quagmire, strategic thinkers from the Democratic establishment were still declaring that 'American military power in today's world is practically unlimited.'

Important sections of contemporary US popular culture are suffused with the language of militarism. Take Bacevich on the popular novelist Tom Clancy:

In any Clancy novel, the international order is a dangerous and threatening place, awash with heavily armed and implacably determined enemies who threaten the United States. That Americans have managed to avoid Armageddon is attributable to a single fact: the men and women of America's uniformed military and its intelligence services have thus far managed to avert those threats. The typical Clancy novel is an unabashed tribute to the skill, honor, extraordinary technological aptitude and sheer decency of the nation's defenders. To read Red Storm Rising is to enter a world of 'virtuous men and perfect weapons', as one reviewer noted. 'All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance and devotion to service and country. Their officers are uniformly competent and occasionally inspired. Men of all ranks are faithful husbands and devoted fathers.' Indeed, in the contract that he signed for the filming of Red October, Clancy stipulated that nothing in the film show the navy in a bad light.

Such attitudes go beyond simply glorying in violence, military might and technological prowess. They reflect a belief – genuine or assumed – in what the Germans used to call Soldatentum: the pre-eminent value of the military virtues of courage, discipline and sacrifice, and explicitly or implicitly the superiority of these virtues to those of a hedonistic, contemptible and untrustworthy civilian society and political class. In the words of Thomas Friedman, the ostensibly liberal foreign affairs commentator of the ostensibly liberal New York Times, 'we do not deserve these people. They are so much better than the country they are fighting for.' Such sentiments have a sinister pedigree in modern history.

In the run-up to the last election, even a general as undistinguished as Wesley Clark could see his past generalship alone as qualifying him for the presidency – and gain the support of leading liberal intellectuals. Not that this was new: the first president was a general and throughout the 19th and 20th centuries both generals and more junior officers ran for the presidency on the strength of their military records. And yet, as Bacevich points out, this does not mean that the uniformed military have real power over policy-making, even in matters of war. General Tommy Franks may have regarded Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, as 'the stupidest fucking guy on the planet', but he took Feith's orders, and those of the civilians standing behind him: Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the president himself. Their combination of militarism and contempt for military advice recalls Clemenceau and Churchill – or Hitler and Stalin.

Indeed, a portrait of US militarism today could be built around a set of such apparently glaring contradictions: the contradiction, for example, between the military coercion of other nations and the belief in the spreading of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Among most non-Americans, and among many American realists and progressives, the collocation seems inherently ludicrous. But, as Bacevich brings out, it has deep roots in American history. Indeed, the combination is historically coterminous with Western imperialism. Historians of the future will perhaps see preaching 'freedom' at the point of an American rifle as no less morally and intellectually absurd than 'voluntary' conversion to Christianity at the point of a Spanish arquebus.

Its symbols may be often childish and its methods brutish, but American belief in 'freedom' is a real and living force. This cuts two ways. On the one hand, the adherence of many leading intellectuals in the Democratic Party to a belief in muscular democratization has had a disastrous effect on the party's ability to put up a strong resistance to the policies of the administration. Bush's messianic language of 'freedom' – supported by the specifically Israeli agenda of Natan Sharansky and his allies in the US – has been all too successful in winning over much of the opposition. On the other hand, the fact that a belief in freedom and democracy lies at the heart of civic nationalism places certain limits on American imperialism – weak no doubt, but nonetheless real. It is not possible for the US, unlike previous empires, to pursue a strategy of absolutely unconstrained Machtpolitik. This has been demonstrated recently in the breach between the Bush administration and the Karimov tyranny in Uzbekistan.

The most important contradiction, however, is between the near worship of the military in much of American culture and the equally widespread unwillingness of most Americans – elites and masses alike – to serve in the armed forces. If people like Friedman accompanied their stated admiration for the military with a real desire to abandon their contemptible civilian lives and join the armed services, then American power in the world really might be practically unlimited. But as Bacevich notes,

having thus made plain his personal disdain for crass vulgarity and support for moral rectitude, Friedman in the course of a single paragraph drops the military and moves on to other pursuits. His many readers, meanwhile, having availed themselves of the opportunity to indulge, ever so briefly, in self-loathing, put down their newspapers and themselves move on to other things. Nothing has changed, but columnist and readers alike feel better for the cathartic effect of this oblique, reassuring encounter with an alien world.

Today, having dissolved any connection between claims to citizenship and obligation to serve, Americans entrust their security to a class of military professionals who see themselves in many respects as culturally and politically set apart from the rest of society.

This combination of a theoretical adulation with a profound desire not to serve is not of course new. It characterized most of British society in the 19th century, when, just as with the US today, the overwhelming rejection of conscription – until 1916 – meant that, appearances to the contrary, British power was far from unlimited. The British Empire could use its technological superiority, small numbers of professional troops and local auxiliaries to conquer backward and impoverished countries in Asia and Africa, but it would not have dreamed of intervening unilaterally in Europe or North America.

Despite spending more on the military than the rest of the world combined, and despite enjoying overwhelming technological superiority, American military power is actually quite limited. As Iraq – and to a lesser extent Afghanistan – has demonstrated, the US can knock over states, but it cannot suppress the resulting insurgencies, even one based in such a comparatively small population as the Sunni Arabs of Iraq. As for invading and occupying a country the size of Iran, this is coming to seem as unlikely as an invasion of mainland China.

In other words, when it comes to actually applying military power the US is pretty much where it has been for several decades. Another war of occupation like Iraq would necessitate the restoration of conscription: an idea which, with Vietnam in mind, the military detests, and which politicians are well aware would probably make them unelectable. It is just possible that another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 might lead to a new draft, but that would bring the end of the US military empire several steps closer. Recognizing this, the army is beginning to imitate ancient Rome in offering citizenship to foreign mercenaries in return for military service – something that the amazing Boot approves, on the grounds that while it helped destroy the Roman Empire, it took four hundred years to do so.

Facing these dangers squarely, Bacevich proposes refocusing American strategy away from empire and towards genuine national security. It is a measure of the degree to which imperial thinking now dominates US politics that these moderate and commonsensical proposals would seem nothing short of revolutionary to the average member of the Washington establishment.

They include a renunciation of messianic dreams of improving the world through military force, except where a solid international consensus exists in support of US action; a recovery by Congress of its power over peace and war, as laid down in the constitution but shamefully surrendered in recent years; the adoption of a strategic doctrine explicitly making war a matter of last resort; and a decision that the military should focus on the defense of the nation, not the projection of US power. As a means of keeping military expenditure in some relationship to actual needs, Bacevich suggests pegging it to the combined annual expenditure of the next ten countries, just as in the 19th century the size of the British navy was pegged to that of the next two largest fleets – it is an index of the budgetary elephantiasis of recent years that this would lead to very considerable spending reductions.

This book is important not only for the acuteness of its perceptions, but also for the identity of its author. Colonel Bacevich's views on the military, on US strategy and on world affairs were profoundly shaped by his service in Vietnam. His year there 'fell in the conflict's bleak latter stages long after an odor of failure had begun to envelop the entire enterprise'. The book is dedicated to his brother-in-law, 'a casualty of a misbegotten war'.

Just as Vietnam shaped his view of how the US and the US military should not intervene in the outside world, so the Cold War in Europe helped define his beliefs about the proper role of the military. For Bacevich and his fellow officers in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, defending the West from possible Soviet aggression, 'not conquest, regime change, preventive war or imperial policing', was 'the American soldier's true and honorable calling'.

In terms of cultural and political background, this former soldier remains a self-described Catholic conservative, and intensely patriotic. During the 1990s Bacevich wrote for right-wing journals, and still situates himself culturally on the right:

As long as we shared in the common cause of denouncing the foolishness and hypocrisies of the Clinton years, my relationship with modern American conservatism remained a mutually agreeable one But my disenchantment with what passes for mainstream conservatism, embodied in the Bush administration and its groupies, is just about absolute. Fiscal irresponsibility, a buccaneering foreign policy, a disregard for the constitution, the barest lip service as a response to profound moral controversies: these do not qualify as authentically conservative values.

On this score my views have come to coincide with the critique long offered by the radical left: it is the mainstream itself, the professional liberals as well as the professional conservatives, who define the problem The Republican and Democratic Parties may not be identical, but they produce nearly identical results.

Bacevich, in other words, is skeptical of the naive belief that replacing the present administration with a Democrat one would lead to serious changes in the US approach to the world. Formal party allegiances are becoming increasingly irrelevant as far as thinking about foreign and security policy is concerned.

Bacevich also makes plain the private anger of much of the US uniformed military at the way in which it has been sacrificed, and its institutions damaged, by chickenhawk civilian chauvinists who have taken good care never to see action themselves; and the deep private concern of senior officers that they might be ordered into further wars that would wreck the army altogether. Now, as never before, American progressives have the chance to overcome the knee-jerk hostility to the uniformed military that has characterized the left since Vietnam, and to reach out not only to the soldiers in uniform but also to the social, cultural and regional worlds from which they are drawn. For if the American left is once again to become an effective political force, it must return to some of its own military traditions, founded on the distinguished service of men like George McGovern, on the old idea of the citizen soldier, and on a real identification with that soldier's interests and values. With this in mind, Bacevich calls for moves to bind the military more closely into American society, including compulsory education for all officers at a civilian university, not only at the start of their careers but at intervals throughout them.

Or to put it another way, the left must fight imperialism in the name of patriotism. Barring a revolutionary and highly unlikely transformation of American mass culture, any political party that wishes to win majority support will have to demonstrate its commitment to the defense of the country. The Bush administration has used the accusation of weakness in security policy to undermine its opponents, and then used this advantage to pursue reckless strategies that have themselves drastically weakened the US. The left needs to heed Bacevich and draw up a tough, realistic and convincing alternative. It will also have to demonstrate its identification with the respectable aspects of military culture. The Bush administration and the US establishment in general may have grossly mismanaged the threats facing us, but the threats are real, and some at least may well need at some stage to be addressed by military force. And any effective military force also requires the backing of a distinctive military ethic embracing loyalty, discipline and a capacity for both sacrifice and ruthlessness.

In the terrible story of the Bush administration and the Iraq war, one of the most morally disgusting moments took place at a Senate Committee hearing on 29 April 2004, when Paul Wolfowitz – another warmonger who has never served himself – mistook, by a margin of hundreds, how many US soldiers had died in a war for which he was largely responsible. If an official in a Democratic administration had made a public mistake like that, the Republican opposition would have exploited it ruthlessly, unceasingly, to win the next election. The fact that the Democrats completely failed to do this says a great deal about their lack of political will, leadership and capacity to employ a focused strategy.

Because they are the ones who pay the price for reckless warmongering and geopolitical megalomania, soldiers and veterans of the army and marine corps could become valuable allies in the struggle to curb American imperialism, and return America's relationship with its military to the old limited, rational form. For this to happen, however, the soldiers have to believe that campaigns against the Iraq war, and against current US strategy, are anti-militarist, but not anti-military. We have needed the military desperately on occasions in the past; we will definitely need them again.


Vol. 27 No. 20 · 20 October 2005 " Anatol Lieven " We do not deserve these people
pages 11-12 | 3337 words

[Oct 30, 2016] Anatol Lieven · The Push for War The Threat from America

[Oct 29, 2016] The level of militarism in the current US society and MSM is really staggering. anti-war forces are completely destroyed (with the abandonment of draft) and are limited for

Oct 29, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
libertarians (such as Ron Paul) and paleoconservatives.

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... October 28, 2016 at 04:37 PM , 2016 at 04:37 PM

>"Plus, she's very nasty towards Vlad Putin."

What I do not get is how one can call himself/herself a democrat and be jingoistic monster. That's the problem with Democratic Party and its supporters. Such people for me are DINO ("Democrats only in name"). Closet neocons, if you wish. The level of militarism in the current US society and MSM is really staggering. anti-war forces are completely destroyed (with the abandonment of draft) and are limited for libertarians (such as Ron Paul) and paleoconservatives. There is almost completely empty space on the left. Dennis Kucinich is one of the few exceptions
(see http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/10/27/must-read-of-the-day-dennis-kucinich-issues-extraordinary-warning-on-d-c-s-think-tank-warmongers/ )

I think that people like Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland and Dick Cheney can now proudly join Democratic Party and feel themselves quite at home.

BTW Hillary is actually very pleasant with people of the same level. It's only subordinates, close relatives and Security Service agents, who are on the receiving end of her wrath. A typical "kiss up, kick down personality".

The right word probably would not "nasty", but "duplicitous".

Or "treacherous" as this involves breaking of previous agreements (with a smile) as the USA diplomacy essentially involves positioning the country above the international law. As in "I am the law".

Obama is not that different. I think he even more sleazy then Hillary and as such is more difficult to deal with. He also is at his prime, while she is definitely past hers:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-putin-usa-idUSKCN12R25E

== quote ==
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was hard for him to work with the current U.S. administration because it did not stick to any agreements, including on Syria.

Putin said he was ready to engage with a new president however, whoever the American people chose, and to discuss any problem.
== end of quote ==

Syria is an "Obama-approved" adventure, is not it ? The same is true for Libya. So formally he is no less jingoistic then Hillary, Nobel Peace price notwithstanding.

Other things equal, it might be easier for Putin to deal with Hillary then Obama, as she has so many skeletons in the closet and might soon be impeached by House.

[Oct 28, 2016] Russias Putin says Obama administration does not stick to any deals Reuters

Oct 28, 2016 | www.reuters.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was hard for him to work with the current U.S. administration because it did not stick to any agreements, including on Syria.

Putin said he was ready to engage with a new president however, whoever the American people chose, and to discuss any problem.

[Oct 28, 2016] Team Clinton Headspace Emails Published by WikiLeaks Are About Her Mood

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems.... ..."
"... She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President ..."
"... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women. ..."
"... The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors! ..."
"... Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA. ..."
"... So here's the REAL story.​ ​Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams. ..."
"... It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video. ..."
"... Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor. ..."
Oct 28, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Hillary has suggested on several occasions publicly that Trump cannot be trusted with the 'Nuclear Codes' because he is erratic and unstable. Now that most people agree that no matter where they came from the Wikileaks is telling the truth we can see how Hillary's own people are scared of her 'mood swings' and her health problems....

She is the one who should not have access to the Nuclear Codes much less be running for President because she also is a Criminal and belongs in Federal Prison.

RobL_v2 2 hours ago Her mood??

This is coded speech microaggression. They are discriminating against her because she is a woman, implying she is 'moody' you know 'hysterical'... hysterectomy... its sexist, its misogynist its harassment, its abuse, its hate speech.

Come on Liberal media, where are you ... call it out... this is your bread and butter... Hillary's own campaign team is waging a war on women.

They did it to Sarah Palin and Barbara Bachman... You know they'd do it if Trump said Hillary was 'moody'.

The American media, nothing but despicable State Sycophant Propaganda Ministry runt traitors!

Lion 3 WhiteSplainItToYou 42 minutes ago

Whether Russia is behind it or not is irrelevant. Its not like the USA is an innocent player in hacking other countries. What's of importance is the contents of the emails. Whoever hacked them - if any at all (they were most likely provided by disgruntled DNC insiders) did not alter them (as proven by security checks). HRC, the DNC and her campaign team are deeply corrupt, hence she is unqualified to lead the USA.

DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ an hour ago

Wikileaks needs to get this out (I have not verified the info sent to me last night):

So here's the REAL story.​ ​Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn't arm the missile and the Chinook didn't explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA Obama and Hillary were now in full panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers. This was a "do-or-die" mission, which explains the stand down orders given to multiple commando teams.

It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn't supply these deadly weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK'd the BS talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video.

Obama and Hillary committed treason...and THIS is what the investigation is all about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not. Further...the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte, and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5 Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn...everyone KNEW he was a traitor.

So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but compromised...and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS. Only the Dems, with their hands out, palms up, will support her. Perhaps this is why no military aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had Stingers.

Suelark DoruSlinger✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ 42 minutes ago

Please repost this here and elsewhere. If true it would make sense of much of what has happened.

Regular Guy an hour ago
Tim Kaine: "I don't think we can dignify documents dumped by WikiLeaks and just assume that they're all accurate and true,"

They were confirmed true when John Podesta's Twitter password was distributed in one of the WikiLeaks email releases and his Twitter account was hijacked the same day by a troll saying, "Trump 2016! Hi pol". Checkmate b!tch. see more DNC Russian Hacker Pepe Regular Guy 12 minutes ago The way they parse words, the Kaine statement still doesn't state the documents are not accurate. He makes an editorial statement to mislead the listener into thinking there is some reason to question the facts.

DeplorableCarlo an hour ago
Sounds pretty much like poor temperament to me when you have mood problems. Can we please put national security on hold for now, we have to check her mood ring. It is imperative for the best outcome that we check her head space. WOW! That's a real dumb explanation. Maybe if we use the word mood instead of temperament that will be better than telling people she has health problems in her head.

[Oct 27, 2016] Dennis Kucinichs Extraordinary Warning On Washingtons Think Tank Warmongers

Notable quotes:
"... Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has just penned an extremely powerful warning about the warmongers in Washington D.C. Who funds them, what their motives are, and why it is imperative for the American people to stop them. ..."
"... Washington, DC, may be the only place in the world where people openly flaunt their pseudo-intellectuality by banding together, declaring themselves "think tanks," and raising money from external interests, including foreign governments, to compile reports that advance policies inimical to the real-life concerns of the American people. ..."
"... As a former member of the House of Representatives, I remember 16 years of congressional hearings where pedigreed experts came to advocate wars in testimony based on circular, rococo thinking devoid of depth, reality, and truth. I remember other hearings where the Pentagon was unable to reconcile over $1 trillion in accounts, lost track of $12 billion in cash sent to Iraq, and rigged a missile-defense test so that an interceptor could easily home in on a target. War is first and foremost a profitable racket. ..."
"... According to the front page of this past Friday's Washington Post, the bipartisan foreign-policy elite recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama. Acting at the urging of "liberal" hawks brandishing humanitarian intervention, read war, the Obama administration attacked Libya along with allied powers working through NATO. ..."
Oct 27, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

– From Major General Smedley Butler's War is a Racket

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has just penned an extremely powerful warning about the warmongers in Washington D.C. Who funds them, what their motives are, and why it is imperative for the American people to stop them.

The piece was published at The Nation and is titled: Why Is the Foreign Policy Establishment Spoiling for More War? Look at Their Donors .

Read it and share it with everyone you know.

Washington, DC, may be the only place in the world where people openly flaunt their pseudo-intellectuality by banding together, declaring themselves "think tanks," and raising money from external interests, including foreign governments, to compile reports that advance policies inimical to the real-life concerns of the American people.

As a former member of the House of Representatives, I remember 16 years of congressional hearings where pedigreed experts came to advocate wars in testimony based on circular, rococo thinking devoid of depth, reality, and truth. I remember other hearings where the Pentagon was unable to reconcile over $1 trillion in accounts, lost track of $12 billion in cash sent to Iraq, and rigged a missile-defense test so that an interceptor could easily home in on a target. War is first and foremost a profitable racket.

How else to explain that in the past 15 years this city's so called bipartisan foreign policy elite has promoted wars in Iraq and Libya, and interventions in Syria and Yemen, which have opened Pandora's box to a trusting world, to the tune of trillions of dollars, a windfall for military contractors. DC's think "tanks" should rightly be included in the taxonomy of armored war vehicles and not as gathering places for refugees from academia.

According to the front page of this past Friday's Washington Post, the bipartisan foreign-policy elite recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama. Acting at the urging of "liberal" hawks brandishing humanitarian intervention, read war, the Obama administration attacked Libya along with allied powers working through NATO.

Indeed, I warned about this in last week's piece: U.S. Foreign Policy 'Elite' Eagerly Await an Expansion of Overseas Wars Under Hillary Clinton .

The think tankers fell in line with the Iraq invasion. Not being in the tank, I did my own analysis of the call for war in October of 2002, based on readily accessible information, and easily concluded that there was no justification for war. I distributed it widely in Congress and led 125 Democrats in voting against the Iraq war resolution. There was no money to be made from a conclusion that war was uncalled for, so, against millions protesting in the United States and worldwide, our government launched into an abyss, with a lot of armchair generals waving combat pennants. The marching band and chowder society of DC think tanks learned nothing from the Iraq and Libya experience.

The only winners were arms dealers, oil companies, and jihadists. Immediately after the fall of Libya, the black flag of Al Qaeda was raised over a municipal building in Benghazi, Gadhafi's murder was soon to follow, with Secretary Clinton quipping with a laugh, "We came, we saw, he died." President Obama apparently learned from this misadventure, but not the Washington policy establishment, which is spoiling for more war.

The self-identified liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) is now calling for Syria to be bombed, and estimates America's current military adventures will be tidied up by 2025, a tardy twist on "mission accomplished." CAP, according to a report in The Nation, has received funding from war contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who make the bombers that CAP wants to rain hellfire on Syria.

The Brookings Institute has taken tens of millions from foreign governments , notably Qatar, a key player in the military campaign to oust Assad. Retired four-star Marine general John Allen is now a Brookings senior fellow . Charles Lister is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute , which has received funding from Saudi Arabia , the major financial force providing billions in arms to upend Assad and install a Sunni caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria. Foreign-government money is driving our foreign policy.

As the drumbeat for an expanded war gets louder, Allen and Lister jointly signed an op-ed in the Sunday Washington Post, calling for an attack on Syria. The Brookings Institute, in a report to Congress , admitted it received $250,000 from the US Central Command, Centcom, where General Allen shared leadership duties with General David Petraeus. Pentagon money to think tanks that endorse war? This is academic integrity, DC-style.

And why is Central Command, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of transportation, and the US Department of Health and Human Services giving money to Brookings?

Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who famously told Colin Powell , "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it," predictably says of this current moment , "We do think there needs to be more American action." A former Bush administration top adviser is also calling for the United States to launch a cruise missile attack on Syria.

The American people are fed up with war, but a concerted effort is being made through fearmongering, propaganda, and lies to prepare our country for a dangerous confrontation, with Russia in Syria.

The demonization of Russia is a calculated plan to resurrect a raison d'être for stone-cold warriors trying to escape from the dustbin of history by evoking the specter of Russian world domination.

It's infectious. Earlier this year the BBC broadcast a fictional show that contemplated WWIII, beginning with a Russian invasion of Latvia (where 26 percent of the population is ethnic Russian and 34 percent of Latvians speak Russian at home).

The imaginary WWIII scenario conjures Russia's targeting London for a nuclear strike. No wonder that by the summer of 2016 a poll showed two-thirds of UK citizens approved the new British PM's launching a nuclear strike in retaliation. So much for learning the lessons detailed in the Chilcot report.

As this year's presidential election comes to a conclusion, the Washington ideologues are regurgitating the same bipartisan consensus that has kept America at war since 9/11 and made the world a decidedly more dangerous place.

The DC think tanks provide cover for the political establishment, a political safety net, with a fictive analytical framework providing a moral rationale for intervention, capitol casuistry. I'm fed up with the DC policy elite who cash in on war while presenting themselves as experts, at the cost of other people's lives, our national fortune, and the sacred honor of our country.

Any report advocating war that comes from any alleged think tank ought to be accompanied by a list of the think tank's sponsors and donors and a statement of the lobbying connections of the report's authors.

It is our patriotic duty to expose why the DC foreign-policy establishment and its sponsors have not learned from their failures and instead are repeating them, with the acquiescence of the political class and sleepwalkers with press passes.

It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think tanks, and its media cheerleaders. The work begins now, not after the Inauguration. We must not accept war as inevitable, and those leaders who would lead us in that direction, whether in Congress or the White House, must face visible opposition.

Thank you Mr. Kucinich, I couldn't agree more.

RogerMud Oct 27, 2016 7:33 PM ,

we should have elected him in 2008. missed opportunity.
LetThemEatRand -> RogerMud Oct 27, 2016 7:41 PM ,
Just like Ron Paul (with whom he agrees on matters of foreign policy and the Fed), he was painted by MSM as a kook. I wonder why. While I understand that many here would never vote for him because he believes in things like social programs, so do all of the Republicans in Congress. He would have made a far better president than zero or McCain.
nmewn Oct 27, 2016 7:37 PM ,
So I guess the War on Poverty is over...so who won? ;-)
Ignatius Oct 27, 2016 7:43 PM ,
Off Topic: Oregon Standoff -- Not Guilty of Conspiracy

http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/10/judge_welcomes_new_jur...

The comment section is filled with weeping bolsheviks, apparently.

[Oct 25, 2016] Urged by neoliberal elite, Hillary Clinton administration might be ever more destabilizing due to desperate adventures both in domestic and especially foreign policy

Notable quotes:
"... There are some signs of the "revolutionary situation" in the USA in a sense that the neoliberal elite lost control and their propaganda loss effectiveness, despite dusting off the "Red scare" trick with "Reds in each computer" instead of "Reds under each bed". With Putin as a very convenient bogeyman. ..."
"... But it looks like newly formed shadow "Committee for Saving [neo]Liberal Order" (with participation of three latter agencies, just read the recent "Red scare" memorandum ( https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement ) want Hillary to be the POTUS. ..."
Oct 25, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

stevenjohnson 10.25.16 at 1:00 pm

Six reasons for pessimism?

1. An ABC news poll says that Clinton has 50% of somebody (the electorate, likely voters?) supporting her rabidly reactionary rhetoric. She demonizes Putin, imputes treason to a major party candidate in a way hitherto seen only in Birch Society attacks on Eisenhower, shrieks that it is utterly impossible to even hint that the current electoral system has no real legitimacy.

The only real criticisms acceptable in the face of her reactionary screeds are hints that she is a traitor for Clinton Foundation cash and that she is lax on security . (The claim that Clinton is pro-war are regressions to the Obama primary campaign in 2008. Since he promptly proved the irrelevance of an anti-war rhetoric, the observations that Clinton has none are equally irrelevant.)

2. The high levels of indecision suggest that a Trump defeat may well leave the Republican establishment more or less as it was. Depending on turnout, which even at this late date is highly uncertain, it is entirely possible the Republicans will maintain control of the Senate. At this point it is probable they will keep the House. In any event, Clinton has openly committed to a bipartisan a campaign against the Trump hijacking of the Republican party.

3. Consider the longevity of reactionary leaderships in the major parties. The Democratic Leadership Council approach has dominated its party for decades. The Republican party projects like ALEC, the Federalist Society, the Mighty Wurlitzer, the designated superstar talk personality (no, shifting from Limbaugh to Beck is not a sea change,) everywhere you look behind the scenes you see the same faces. What new faces appear turn out (like Obama) to be employees of the same old political establishments. Alleged exceptions like Sanders and Warren are notable primarily for their lack of commitment.

4. There are bold thinkers willing to imagine the conservative future. Think Jason Brennan and his book Against Democracy. Even worse, the real strength of the conservatives lies in the bottom line, not in polemics. Tragically, it's when the bottom line is written in read that it shrieks the loudest, with the most conviction and the most urgent desire for the masters to unite against the rest of us.

5. California politics has set the pace once again, demonstrating the absolute irrelevance of a "Left" defined as a spiritual posture. The annihilation of an ugly materialist Left by "McCarthyism" has purified the souls of the righetous, leaving socialism/communism unthinkable. California leftism is entirely safe for capitalism, imperialism and a free market of ideas where the refined consumers of ideas can have their gated neighborhoods of ideas.

6. The majority support for a more tolerant society makes no difference in policy. Being nicer is not politics.

There is a fundamental reason for despair, the failures of the right to win the Holy Grail of a functional capitalist society. Despite their successes in destroying organized labor (with the help of counter-revolutionary "leftists" to be sure,) in limiting women's rights, in blunting the real world effects of desegregation, the short-run prospects of capital are disquieting. And the long run prospects, insofar as these people can see past the quarterly statement, are even more frightening. Urged by their fears, the system will be ever more destabilized by desperate adventures. The replacement of Social Security of course will be high on the agenda. The absolutely vital need for ever more control over the world, including regime change in Russia and China, has driven foreign policy in direct support of the dollar and banking since at least Bush 41.

But in the end, it is not the madness of the owners that is the cause for despair, but the absolute indifference of the spiritual leftists who have joined in the rabidly reactionary campaign against Clinton from the right. (You would have thought it rather difficult to criticize Clinton from the right, but never underestimate the exigencies of struggle against totalitarianism.) Win or lose, this campaign has endorsed reaction, top to bottom. On the upside, the likelihood of a Clinton impeachment offers much value for your entertainment dollar.

likbez 10.26.16 at 1:10 am

stevenjohnson

@58

This is a very good analyses. But I am less pessimistic: the blowback against neoliberal globalization is real and it is difficult to swipe it under the carpet.

There are some signs of the "revolutionary situation" in the USA in a sense that the neoliberal elite lost control and their propaganda loss effectiveness, despite dusting off the "Red scare" trick with "Reds in each computer" instead of "Reds under each bed". With Putin as a very convenient bogeyman.

As somebody here said Trump might be a reaction to secular stagnation, kind of trump card put into play by some part of the elite, because with continued secular stagnation, the social stability in the USA is under a real threat.

But it looks like newly formed shadow "Committee for Saving [neo]Liberal Order" (with participation of three latter agencies, just read the recent "Red scare" memorandum ( https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/215-press-releases-2016/1423-joint-dhs-odni-election-security-statement ) want Hillary to be the POTUS.

But the problem is that Hillary with her failing health is our of her prime and with a bunch of neocons in key positions in her administration, she really represents a huge threat to world peace. She might not last long as the level of stress inherent in POTUS job make it a killing ground for anybody with advanced stage of Parkinson or similar degenerative neurological disease. But that might kale her more impulsive and more aggressive (and she always tried to outdo her male politicians in jingoism, real John McCain is the red pantsuit).

All-in-all it looks like she in not a solution of neoliberal elite problems, she is a part of the problem

Adventurism of the US neoliberal elite, and especially possible aggressive moves in Syria by Hillary regime ("no fly zone"), makes military alliance of Russia and China very likely (with Pakistan, Iran and India as possible future members). So Hillary might really work like a powerful China lobbyist, because the alliance with Russia will be on China terms.

Regime change via color revolution in either country requires at dense network of subservient to the Western interests and financed via shadow channels MSM (including TV channels), NGO and ability to distribute cash to selection members of fifth column of neoliberalism. All those condition were made more difficult in Russia and impossible in mainland China. In Russia the US adventurism in Ukraine and the regime change of February 2014 (creation of neo-fascist regime nicknamed by some "Kaganat of Nuland" (Asia times http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-100315.html ) essentially killed the neoliberal fifth column in Russia and IMHO it no longer represent a viable political force.

Also Russians probably learned well lesson of unsuccessful attempt of regime change by interfering into Russian Presidential election process attempted by Hillary and Obama in 2011-2012. I would like to see the US MSM reaction if Russian ambassador invited Sanders and Trump into the embassy and promised full and unconditional support for their effort to remove criminal Obama regime, mired in corruption and subservient to Wall Street interest, the regime that produced misery for so many American workers, lower middle class and older Americans ;-)

Ambassador McFaul soon left the country, NED was banned and screws were tightened enough to make next attempt exceedingly difficult. Although everything can happen I would discount the possibility of the next "While Revolution" in Russia. So called "Putin regime" survived the period of low oil prices and with oil prices over $60 in 2017 Russian economy might be able to grow several percent a year. At the same time the US "post-Obama" regime might well face the winds of returning higher oil prices and their negative influence of economy growth and unemployment.

In China recent troubles in Hong Cong were also a perfect training ground for "anti color revolution" measures and the next attempt would much more difficult, unless China experience economic destabilization due to some bubble burst.

that means that excessive military adventurism inherent in the future Hillary regime might speed up loss by the USA military dominance and re-alignment of some states beyond Philippines. Angela Merkel regime also might not survive the next election and change "pro-Atlantic" balance in Europe.

Although the list in definitely not complete, we can see that there are distinct setbacks for attempts of further neoliberalization - Brexit and TPP troubles.

So there are some countervailing forces in action and my impression that the Triumphal march of neoliberalism with the USA as a hegemon of the new neoliberal order is either over or soon will be over. In certain regions of the globe the USA foreign policy is in trouble (Syria, Ukraine) and while you can do anything using bayonets, you can't sit on them.

So while still there is no viable alternative to neoliberalism as social system, the ideology itself is discredited and like communism after 1945 lost its hold of hearts and minds of the USA population. I would say that in the USA neoliberalism entered Zombie stage.

My hope is that reasonable voices in foreign policy prevail, and the disgust of unions members toward DemoRats (Neoliberal Democrats) could play the decisive role in coming elections. As bad as Trump is for domestic policy, it represent some hope as for foreign policy unless co-opted by Republican establishment.

[Oct 25, 2016] Grand Strategy What is America's Most Pressing Foreign Policy Issue

Notable quotes:
"... There are a variety of potential threats around the world today: tensions in the South China Seas, a nuclear North Korea, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and civil wars in the Middle East are just a few. In order to better think about these challenges and how they relate to U.S. national security, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign policy roundtable which addressed the question: What is the most pressing issue for America's foreign policy? ..."
"... Mearsheimer argues that the second problematic dimension of U.S. foreign policy is that the United States is "heavily into transformation." By "transformation," Mearsheimer means that "We believe that what we should do in the process of running the world is topple governments that are not liberal democracies and transform them into [neo]liberal democracies." ..."
"... according to Mearsheimer, the United States is pursuing "a hopeless cause; there is a huge literature that makes it clear that promoting democracy around the world is extremely difficult to do, and doing it at the end of a rifle barrel is almost impossible." ..."
"... "It's remarkably difficult to understand why we still continue to think we can dominate the world and pursue the same foreign policy we've been pursuing at least since 2001, when it has led to abject failure after abject failure." ..."
"... Andrew Bacevich opines that the United States needs to "come to some understanding of who we are and why we do these things – a critical understanding of the American identity." Notre Dame's Michael Desch agrees: "That cuts to the core of American political culture. I think the root of the hubris is deep in the software that animates how we think about ourselves, and how we think about the world." ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | The National Interest Blog

There are a variety of potential threats around the world today: tensions in the South China Seas, a nuclear North Korea, conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and civil wars in the Middle East are just a few. In order to better think about these challenges and how they relate to U.S. national security, the Center for the National Interest partnered with the Charles Koch Institute to host a foreign policy roundtable which addressed the question: What is the most pressing issue for America's foreign policy? Watch the rest of the videos in the "Grand Strategy" series.

John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago doesn't shy away from a bold answer: The most pressing issue is that the United States has a "fundamentally misguided foreign policy." Mearsheimer argues that there are two dimensions to U.S. foreign policy that get the United States into "big trouble." First, he says, "We believe that we can dominate the globe, that we can control what happens in every nook and cranny of the world." The problem with this is that "the world is simply too big and nationalism is much too powerful of a force to make it possible for us to come close to doing that."

Mearsheimer argues that the second problematic dimension of U.S. foreign policy is that the United States is "heavily into transformation." By "transformation," Mearsheimer means that "We believe that what we should do in the process of running the world is topple governments that are not liberal democracies and transform them into [neo]liberal democracies."

The United States has engaged in numerous international military interventions over the past fifteen years, primarily in the Middle East. Proponents of these interventions argue that they are necessary in order to build stable democracies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. However, according to Mearsheimer, the United States is pursuing "a hopeless cause; there is a huge literature that makes it clear that promoting democracy around the world is extremely difficult to do, and doing it at the end of a rifle barrel is almost impossible."

So why has the United States continued to pursue policies and strategies that fail to convert U.S. military might into political ends?

Eugene Gholz of the University of Texas at Austin suggests that the root of the issue could be American hubris. The United States has made the mistake of "thinking we can control things we can't control." Mearsheimer agrees with Gholz, although he finds the situation perplexing: "It's remarkably difficult to understand why we still continue to think we can dominate the world and pursue the same foreign policy we've been pursuing at least since 2001, when it has led to abject failure after abject failure."

Several other scholars chime in to offer their own thoughts on this thorny issue. Boston University's Andrew Bacevich opines that the United States needs to "come to some understanding of who we are and why we do these things – a critical understanding of the American identity." Notre Dame's Michael Desch agrees: "That cuts to the core of American political culture. I think the root of the hubris is deep in the software that animates how we think about ourselves, and how we think about the world."

Harvard University's Stephen Walt offers yet another possibility. Walt asks if the U.S. commitment to its current misguided and damaging foreign policy is due to "deep culture" or if it is result of "the national security apparatus we built after World War II." Walt thinks it is the latter: the United States "was not a highly interventionist country until after the Second World War." After World War II, "we built a large national security state, we had bases everywhere, and then we discovered that we can't let go of any of that, even though the original reason for building it is gone."

Did the other panelists agree with Walt? Did anyone suggest a different problem as a candidate for the most pressing issue? Watch the full video above to see and be sure to check out the other videos of CNI and CKI's panel of nationally acclaimed foreign policy scholars addressing additional questions.

[Oct 24, 2016] Hillary the Hawk closing in on the White House

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic nominee in the final debate reiterated her bellicose stance towards Syria. Combined with her 2003 vote for war in Iraq, and her central role in getting the U.S. into the 2011 war in Libya, Clinton could become the most hawkish candidate elected president in most Americans' lifetimes. ..."
"... Enforcing a no-fly zone is "basically an act of war," Michael Knights, a no-fly-zone expert at the Washington Institute told me in the run up to the Libyan war. ..."
"... "Hillary's War," was the Washington Post's headline for a flattering feature on the Secretary of State's central role in driving the U.S. to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011. ..."
"... Clinton staff, published emails have shown, worked hard to get Clinton credit for the war. Clinton's confidante at the State Department Jake Sullivan drafted a memo on her "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish." ..."
"... Hillary's war was illegal-because the administration never obtained congressional authorization for it-and it was also disastrous. "Libya is in a state of meltdown," John Lee Anderson wrote in the Atlantic last summer. ..."
"... Yet somehow, through three general election debates, she never got a single question on Libya. Consider that: a former Secretary of State touted a war as a central achievement of hers, is running on her foreign-policy chops, and she is escaping accountability for that disastrous war. ..."
"... Clinton, of course, also voted for the Iraq War in 2003. She says now she thinks that war was a mistake because it destabilized region. But somehow she doesn't apply that supposed lesson to Libya or to Syria. ..."
"... The pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton is consistently and maybe blindly pro-war. She is now the clear frontrunner to become our next president. The antiwar movement that flourished under President George W. Bush has disappeared under President Obama . Will it revive under Hillary? Will Republicans have the power or the desire to check her ambitious interventionism. ..."
Oct 24, 2016 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she's consistent in this: she wants war.

The Democratic nominee in the final debate reiterated her bellicose stance towards Syria. Combined with her 2003 vote for war in Iraq, and her central role in getting the U.S. into the 2011 war in Libya, Clinton could become the most hawkish candidate elected president in most Americans' lifetimes.

"I am going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria," Clinton said Wednesday night. Totally separate from the fight against ISIS, Clinton's "no-fly zones and safe havens" are U.S. military intervention in the bloody and many-sided conflict between Syria's brutal government, terrorist groups, and rebel groups.

Enforcing a no-fly zone is "basically an act of war," Michael Knights, a no-fly-zone expert at the Washington Institute told me in the run up to the Libyan war. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate that a no-fly zone created "the potential of a direct conflict with the Syrian integrated air defense system or Syrian forces or, by corollary, a confrontation with the Russians."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified in the same hearing that "safe zones" would require significant U.S. boots on the ground.

So while Hillary says she doesn't want war with Russia or Syria, or boots on the ground in Syria, she pushes policies that the Pentagon says risk war and require boots on the ground.

Hillary showed that same cavalier attitude toward war earlier this decade, laughingly declaring "we came, we saw, he died." This was her version of George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment, and Libya was her smaller - and less legal - version of Bush's Iraq War.

"Hillary's War," was the Washington Post's headline for a flattering feature on the Secretary of State's central role in driving the U.S. to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011.

Clinton staff, published emails have shown, worked hard to get Clinton credit for the war. Clinton's confidante at the State Department Jake Sullivan drafted a memo on her "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish."

Sullivan listed, point-by-point, how Clinton helped bring about and shape the war. Before Obama's attack on Moammar Gadhafi, "she [was] a leading voice for strong UNSC action and a NATO civilian B5 protection mission," the memo explained.

Hillary's war was illegal-because the administration never obtained congressional authorization for it-and it was also disastrous. "Libya is in a state of meltdown," John Lee Anderson wrote in the Atlantic last summer.

ISIS has spread, no stable government has arisen, and the chaos has led to refugee and terrorism crises.

Clinton nevertheless calls her war "smart power at its best," declaring during the primary season, "I think President Obama made the right decision at the time."

Yet somehow, through three general election debates, she never got a single question on Libya. Consider that: a former Secretary of State touted a war as a central achievement of hers, is running on her foreign-policy chops, and she is escaping accountability for that disastrous war.

Clinton, of course, also voted for the Iraq War in 2003. She says now she thinks that war was a mistake because it destabilized region. But somehow she doesn't apply that supposed lesson to Libya or to Syria.

The pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton is consistently and maybe blindly pro-war. She is now the clear frontrunner to become our next president. The antiwar movement that flourished under President George W. Bush has disappeared under President Obama . Will it revive under Hillary? Will Republicans have the power or the desire to check her ambitious interventionism.

If Hillary wins big and sweeps in a Senate majority with her, we could be in for four more years of even more war.

Timothy P. Carney, the Washington Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at tcarney@washingtonexaminer.com . His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.

[Oct 23, 2016] The USA now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang

Notable quotes:
"... I would agree that Trump is horrible candidate. The candidate who (like Hillary) suggests complete degeneration of the US neoliberal elite. ..."
"... But the problem is that Hillary is even worse. Much worse and more dangerous because in addition to being a closet Republican she is also a warmonger. In foreign policy area she is John McCain in pantsuit. And if you believe that after one hour in White House she does not abandon all her election promises and start behaving like a far-right republican in foreign policy and a moderate republican in domestic policy, it's you who drunk too much Cool Aid. ..."
"... In other words, the USA [workers and middle class] now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang: we face a choice between the compulsive liar, unrepentant, extremely dangerous and unstable warmonger with failing health vs. a bombastic, completely unprepared to governance of such a huge country crook. ..."
Oct 23, 2016 | angrybearblog.com
likbez October 22, 2016 11:20 pm

The key problems with Democratic Party and Hillary is that they lost working class and middle class voters, becoming another party of highly paid professionals and Wall Street speculators (let's say top 10%, not just 1%), the party of neoliberal elite.

It will be interesting to see if yet another attempt to "bait and switch" working class and lower middle class works this time. I think it will not. Even upper middle class is very resentful of Democrats and Hillary. So many votes will be not "for" but "against". This is the scenario Democratic strategists fear the most, but they can do nothing about it.

She overplayed "identity politics" card. Her "identity politics" and her fake feminism are completely insincere. She is completely numb to human suffering and interests of females and minorities. Looks like she has a total lack of empathy for other people.

Here is one interesting quote ( http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/how-trump-and-clinton-gave-bad-answers-on-us-nuclear-policy-and-why-you-should-be-worried.html#comment-2680036 ):

"What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate to pull the trigger. An illuminating article in the NY Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/24/magazine/how-hillary-clinton-became-a-hawk.html ) revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited. "

Usually people are resentful about Party which betrayed them so many times. It would be interesting to see how this will play this time.

Beverly Mann October 23, 2016 12:00 pm

It will be interesting to see if yet another attempt to "bait and switch" working class and lower middle class works this time?

Yup. The Republicans definitely have the interests of the working class and lower middle class at heart when they give, and propose, ever deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, the repeal of the estate tax that by now applies only to estates of more than $5 million, complete deregulation of the finance industry, industry capture of every federal regulatory agency and cabinet department and commission or board, from the SEC, to the EPA, to the Interior Dept. (in order to hand over to the oil, gas and timber industries vast parts of federal lands), the FDA, the FTC, the FCC, the NLRB, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Justice Dept. (including the Antitrust Division)-to name only some.

And OF COURSE it's to serve the interests of the working class and lower middle class that they concertedly appoint Supreme Court justices and lower federal court judges that are unabashed proxies of big business.

And then there's the incessant push to privatize Social Security and Medicare. It ain't the Dems that are pushing that.

You're drinking wayyy too much Kool Aid, likbez. Or maybe just reading too much Ayn Rand, at Paul Ryan's recommendation.

beene October 23, 2016 10:31 am

I would suggest despite most of the elite in both parties supporting Hillary, and saying she has the election in the bag is premature. In my opinion the fact that Trump rallies still has large attendance; where Hillary's rallies would have trouble filling up a large room is a better indication that Trump will win.

Even democrats are not voting democratic this time to be ignored till election again.

likbez October 23, 2016 12:56 pm

Beverly,

=== quote ===
Yup. The Republicans definitely have the interests of the working class and lower middle class at heart when they give, and propose, ever deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, the repeal of the estate tax that by now applies only to estates of more than $5 million, complete deregulation of the finance industry, industry capture of every federal regulatory agency and cabinet department and commission or board, from the SEC, to the EPA, to the Interior Dept. (in order to hand over to the oil, gas and timber industries vast parts of federal lands), the FDA, the FTC, the FCC, the NLRB, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Justice Dept. (including the Antitrust Division) -- to name only some.

And OF COURSE it's to serve the interests of the working class and lower middle class that they concertedly appoint Supreme Court justices and lower federal court judges that are unabashed proxies of big business.
=== end of quote ===

This is all true. But Trump essentially running not as a Republican but as an independent on (mostly) populist platform (with elements of nativism). That's why a large part of Republican brass explicitly abandoned him. That does not exclude that he easily will be co-opted after the election, if he wins.

And I would not be surprised one bit if Dick Cheney, Victoria Nuland, Paul Wolfowitz and Perle vote for Hillary. Robert Kagan and papa Bush already declared such an intention. She is a neocon. A wolf in sheep clothing, if we are talking about real anti-war democrats, not the USA brand of DemoRats. She is crazy warmonger, no question about it, trying to compensate a complete lack of diplomatic skills with jingoism and saber rattling.

The problem here might be that you implicitly idealize Hillary and demonize Trump.

I would agree that Trump is horrible candidate. The candidate who (like Hillary) suggests complete degeneration of the US neoliberal elite.

But the problem is that Hillary is even worse. Much worse and more dangerous because in addition to being a closet Republican she is also a warmonger. In foreign policy area she is John McCain in pantsuit. And if you believe that after one hour in White House she does not abandon all her election promises and start behaving like a far-right republican in foreign policy and a moderate republican in domestic policy, it's you who drunk too much Cool Aid.

That's what classic neoliberal DemoRats "bait and switch" maneuver (previously executed by Obama two times) means. And that's why working class now abandoned Democratic Party. Even unions members of unions which endorses Clinton are expected to vote 3:1 against her. Serial betrayal of interests of working class (and lower middle class) after 25 years gets on nerve. Not that their choice is wise, but they made a choice. This is "What's the matter with Kansas" all over again.

It reminds me the situation when Stalin was asked whether right revisionism of Marxism (social democrats) or left (Trotskyites with their dream of World revolution) is better. He answered "both are worse" :-).

In other words, the USA [workers and middle class] now is in the political position that in chess is called Zugzwang: we face a choice between the compulsive liar, unrepentant, extremely dangerous and unstable warmonger with failing health vs. a bombastic, completely unprepared to governance of such a huge country crook.

Of course, we need also remember about existence of "deep state" which make each of them mostly a figurehead, but still the power of "deep state" is not absolute and this is a very sad situation.

Beverly Mann, October 23, 2016 1:57 pm

Good grace.

Two points: First, you apparently are unaware of Trump's proposed tax plan, written by Heritage Foundation economists and political-think-tank types. It's literally more regressively extreme evn than Paul Ryan's. It gives tax cuts to the wealthy that are exponentially more generous percentage-wise than G.W. Bush's two tax cuts together were, it eliminates the estate tax, and it gives massive tax cuts to corporations, including yuge ones.

Two billionaire Hamptons-based hedge funders, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, have been funding a super PAC for Trump and since late spring have met with Trump and handed him policy proposals and suggestions for administrative agency heads and judicial appointments. Other yuge funders are members of the Ricketts family, including Thomas Ricketts, CEO of TD Ameritrade and a son of its founder.

Two other billionaires funding Trump: Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil and reportedly Trump's choice for Interior Secretary if you and the working class and lower middle class folks whose interests Trump has at heart get their way.

And then there's Texas oil billionaire Harold Hamm, Trump's very first billionaire mega-donor.

One of my recurring pet peeves about Clinton and her campaign is her failure to tell the public that these billionaires are contributing mega-bucks to help fund Trump's campaign, and to tell the public who exactly they are. As well as her failure to make a concerted effort to educate the public about the the specifics of Trump's fiscal and deregulatory agenda as he has published it.

As for your belief that I idealize Clinton, you obviously are very new to Angry Bear. I was a virulent Sanders supporter throughout the primaries, to the very end. In 2008 I originally supported John Edwards during the primaries and then, when it became clear that it was a two-candidate race, supported Obama. My reason? I really, really, REALLY did not want to see another triangulation Democratic administration. That's largely what we got during Obama's first term, though, and I was not happy about it.

Bottom line: I'm not the gullible one here. You are.

likbez, October 23, 2016 2:37 pm

You demonstrate complete inability to weight the gravity of two dismal, but unequal in their gravity options.

All your arguments about Supreme Court justices, taxes, inheritance and other similar things make sense if and only if the country continues to exist.

Which is not given due to the craziness and the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite and specifically Hillary ("no fly zone in Syria" is one example of her craziness). Playing chickens with a nuclear power for the sake of proving imperial dominance in Middle East is a crazy policy.

Neocons rule the roost in both parties, which essentially became a single War Party with two wings. Trump looks like the only chance somewhat to limit their influence and reach some détente with Russia.

Looks like you organically unable to understand that your choice in this particular case is between the decimation of the last remnants of the New Deal and a real chance of WWIII.

This is not "pick your poison" situation. Those are two events of completely difference magnitude: one is reversible (and please note that Trump is bound by very controversial obligations to his electorate and faces hostile Congress), the other is not.

We all should do our best to prevent the unleashing WWIII even if that means temporary decimation of the remnants of New Deal.

Neoliberalism after 2008 entered zombie state, so while it is still strong, aggressive and bloodthirsty it might not last for long. And in such case the defeat of democratic forces on domestic front is temporary.

That means vote against Hillary.

[Oct 23, 2016] We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the world future do not vote for this dangerous woman!

Oct 23, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

"As president, I will make it clear that the United States will treat cyberattacks just like any other attack," the Democratic presidential nominee said. "We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. "

We need to tell everyone that for the sake of the word. do not vote for this dangerous woman!

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Oct 22, 2016 7:33:32 PM | 28

[Oct 21, 2016] Those who vote for Hillary for the sake of stability need to be reminded that according to the Minsky Theory stability sometimes can be very destabilizing

Oct 21, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... October 21, 2016 at 02:12 PM

Please note that Hillary's path to the top was marked by proved beyond reasonable doubt DNC fraud. With information contained in recent email leaks some DNC honchos probably might go to jail for violation of elections laws. So for them this is a death match and people usually fight well when they are against the wall. The same in true about Obama and his entourage.

And while this Nobel Peace Price winner managed to bomb just eight countries, Hillary might improve this peace effort, which was definitely insufficient from the point of view of many diplomats in State Department. Also the number of humanitarian bombs could be much greater. Here Hillary election can really help.

From the other point of view this might well be a sign of the crisis of legitimacy of the US ruling neoliberal elite (aka financial oligarchy).

After approximately 50 years in power the level of degeneration of the US neoliberal elite reached the level when the quality of candidates reminds me the quality of candidates from the USSR Politburo after Brezhnev death. Health-wise Hillary really bear some resemblance to Andropov and Chernenko. And inability of the elite to replace either of them with a more viable candidate speaks volumes.

The other factor that will not go away is that Obama effectively pardoned Hillary for emailgate (after gentle encouragement from Bill via Loretta Lynch). Otherwise instead of candidate to POTUS, she would be a viable candidate for orange suit too. Sure, the rule of law is not applicable to neoliberal elite, so why Hilary should be an exception? But some naive schmucks might think that this is highly improper. And be way too much upset with the fruits of neoliberal globalization. Not that Brexit is easily repeatable in the USA, but vote against neoliberal globalization (protest vote) might play a role.

Another interesting thing to observe is when (and if) the impeachment process starts, if she is elected. With some FBI materials in hands of the Congress Republicans she in on the hook. A simple majority of those present and voting is required for each article of impeachment, or the resolution as a whole, to pass.

All-in-all her win might well be a Pyrrhic victory. And the unknown neurological disease that she has (Parkinson?) makes her even more vulnerable after the election, then before. The role of POTUS involves a lot of stress and requires substantial physical stamina as POTUS is the center of intersection of all important government conflicts, conversations and communications. That's a killing environment for anyone with Parkinson. And remember she was not able to survive the pressure of the role of the Secretary of State when she was in much better health and has an earlier stage of the disease.

POTUS essentially does not belong to himself/herself for the term of the office (although Obama managed to slack in this role; was he on drugs the night of Benghazi killings ? http://www.redflagnews.com/headlines/plausible-theory-was-president-obama-high-on-coke-while-benghazi-burned-video)

Another interesting question, if the leaks continue after the election. That also can contribute to the level of stress. Just anticipation is highly stressful. I do not buy the theory about "evil Russians." This hypothesis does not survive Occam razor test. I think that there some anti-Hillary forces within the USA ruling elite, possibly within the NSA or some other three letter agency that has access to email boxes of major Web mail providers via NSA.

If this is a plausible hypothesis, that makes it more probable that the leaks continue. To say nothing about possible damaging revelations about Bill (especially related to Clinton Foundation), who really enjoyed his retirement way too much.

Those who vote for Hillary for the sake of stability need to be reminded that according to the Minsky Theory stability sometimes can be very destabilizing

Jay : October 21, 2016 at 01:36 PM , 2016 at 01:36 PM
When Krugman is appointed to a top government post by Hillary Clinton we will be able to FOIA his pay and attach a value to all the columns "electioneering" Krugman has written.
likbez -> anne...
Anne,

"An intolerably destructive essay that should never have been posted, and I assume no such essay will be posted again on this blog. Shameful, shameful essay."

You mean that voting for the female warmonger with some psychopathic tendencies ("We came, we saw, he died") is not shameful ?

An interesting approach I would say.

I am not fun of Trump, but he, at least, does not have the blood of innocent women and children on his hands. And less likely to start WWIII unlike this completely out of control warmonger.

With the number of victims of wars of neoliberal empire expansion in Iraq, Libya and Syria, you should be ashamed of yourself as a women.

Please think about your current position Anne. You really should be ashamed.

[Oct 20, 2016] One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness

Notable quotes:
"... a simple fact (that escapes many participants of this forum, connected to TBTF) the that Hillary is an unrepentant neocon, a warmonger that might well bring another war, possibly even WWIII. ..."
"... One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness. ..."
"... Enthusiasm of people in this forum for Hillary is mainly enthusiasm for the ability of TBTF to rip people another four years. ..."
"... The level of passive social protest against neoliberal elite (aka "populism" in neoliberal media terms) scared the hell of Washington establishment. Look at neoliberal shills like Summers, who is now ready to abandon a large part of his Washington consensus dogma in order for neoliberalism to survive. ..."
"... And while open revolt in national security state has no chances, Trump with all his warts is a very dangerous development for "status quo" supporters, that might not go away after the elections. ..."
Oct 20, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Adamski -> Peter K.... , October 20, 2016 at 07:35 AM
Trump is winning with people in their 50s and they have a higher chance of voting than millennials do. That plus voter suppression may hand this to Trump yet. There was an LA Times poll this month that showed a small Trump lead. An outlier, sure, but the same poll was right about Obama in 2012 when other polls were wrong. Just saying
likbez -> Adamski... , -1
> "Trump is winning with people in their 50s and they have a higher chance of voting than millennials do."

Yes. Thank you for making this point.

Also people over 50 have more chances to understand and reject all the neoliberal bullshit MSM are pouring on Americans.

As well as a simple fact (that escapes many participants of this forum, connected to TBTF) the that Hillary is an unrepentant neocon, a warmonger that might well bring another war, possibly even WWIII.

One of the systemic dangers of psychopathic females in high political positions is that remaining as reckless as they are, they try to outdo men in hawkishness.

Enthusiasm of people in this forum for Hillary is mainly enthusiasm for the ability of TBTF to rip people another four years.

Not that Trump is better, but on warmongering side he is the lesser evil, for sure.

The level of passive social protest against neoliberal elite (aka "populism" in neoliberal media terms) scared the hell of Washington establishment. Look at neoliberal shills like Summers, who is now ready to abandon a large part of his Washington consensus dogma in order for neoliberalism to survive.

And while open revolt in national security state has no chances, Trump with all his warts is a very dangerous development for "status quo" supporters, that might not go away after the elections.

That's why they supposedly pump Hillary with drugs each debate :-).

[Oct 16, 2016] There is world of difference between harassing woman and killing women and children.

Groupinggate was essentially an attempt to distract votes from a more serious issue, especially Hillary warmongering, her role in mass rape of women in Syria and Libya, and latest Podesta emails leaks. This was a defensive strike with material that was specifically reserved for this purpose.
Notable quotes:
"... there are many more than two sides in Syria's civil war. First of all the civil war is not limited to Syria. ISIL, Hezbollah, and arguably Kurdish Rojava are belligerents not particularly invested in the borders of long defunct Mandate Syria. ..."
"... The rebel forces arrayed against or for Assad in any particular area are various in their motivations and political identities and they never divide neatly into two opposed camps. ..."
"... In short, you either support US violent regime change in the ME, or you do not. ..."
"... All who are voting for Hillary Clinton are voting for US violent regime change in Syria. That's been the stated policy of the Obama administration for some years, Hillary was played a key role in formulating that policy as Secretary of State. Now, as candidate for President she has explicitly promised more US violent regime change in Iraq. ..."
"... Violent regime change in Syria is the stated policy of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate most US members of the CT community plan to vote for in November. ..."
Oct 16, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
bruce wilder 10.15.16 at 7:35 am
intervene in a civil war on the side of the rebels

I apologize if anyone feels I am harping on this too much, but there are many more than two sides in Syria's civil war. First of all the civil war is not limited to Syria. ISIL, Hezbollah, and arguably Kurdish Rojava are belligerents not particularly invested in the borders of long defunct Mandate Syria.

The rebel forces arrayed against or for Assad in any particular area are various in their motivations and political identities and they never divide neatly into two opposed camps.

kidneystones 10.15.16 at 8:06 am
@ 190 There aren't many times you're this wrong, Bruce. There are only two sides. The side that holds a UN seat; votes or abstains on UN resolutions; borrows or does not borrow from the World Bank; has the authority to sign, or abrogate international treaties along, for example, the Golan heights – and the forces not aligned with the government.

The CT community evidently wants to 'confuse itself' and the issues. You are either in favor of the US using US military power to unilaterally intercede in a civil war against the Assad government, which as you and Peter T note, is inextricably linked to Iraq and other regional disputes, or you oppose the unilateral use of US military power to topple governments in the ME.

In short, you either support US violent regime change in the ME, or you do not.

All who are voting for Hillary Clinton are voting for US violent regime change in Syria. That's been the stated policy of the Obama administration for some years, Hillary was played a key role in formulating that policy as Secretary of State. Now, as candidate for President she has explicitly promised more US violent regime change in Iraq.

Violent regime change in Syria is the stated policy of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate most US members of the CT community plan to vote for in November.

[Oct 11, 2016] The US Surrendered Its Right To Accuse Russia Of War Crimes A Long Time Ago

Looks like Obama in working overclock to ensure the election of Trump ... anti-Russian hysteria might have results different that he expects. Whether we are to have a world of sovereign nation-states or one in which a single imperial superpower contends with increasingly fragmentary post-national and sub-national threats around the globe will depend on the decisions that are made in the near future: in the next few years.
Oct 11, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Submitted by Darius Shahtahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,

Renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted the three rules of American exceptionalism :

3 rules of US Exceptionalism: 1) Our killing is better than theirs; 2) Nothing we do can be "terrorism"; 3) Only enemies are "war criminals"

- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 6, 2016

Greenwald's astute observations were presumably made in response to Secretary of State John Kerry's recent remarks that both Russia and Syria should face war crimes investigations for their recent attacks on Syrian civilians.

"Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals, and medical facilities, and women and children," Mr. Kerry said in Washington, where he spoke alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, as reported by the Independent .

Unsurprisingly, Russia responded by urging caution regarding allegations of war crimes considering the United States has been waging wars in a number of countries since the end of World War II. It has picked up a number of allegations of war crimes in the process.

Kerry's continuous accusations that Russia bombed hospital infrastructure are particularly hypocritical in light of the fact the United States has bombed hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion over past decade.

Further, former congressman Ron Paul's Institute for Peace and Prosperity hit back at Kerry, accusing him of completely fabricating the most recent alleged hospital attack. As the Institute noted :

" In a press event yesterday, before talks with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault about a new UN resolution, he said ( vid @1:00) about Syria:

"'Last night, the regime attacked yet another hospital, and 20 people were killed and 100 people were wounded. And Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children and women. These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions.'

" No opposition group has claimed that such an extremely grave event happened. None. No press agency has a record of it. The MI-6 disinformation outlet SOHR in Britain, which quite reliably notes every claimed casualty and is frequently cited in 'western media,' has not said anything about such an event anywhere in Syria. "

However, the most disturbing aspect of Kerry's allegation is that the accusations against Russia run in tandem with Saudi Arabia's brutal assault on Yemen. Saudi Arabia, with the aid of a few regional players - and with ongoing American and British assistance (not to mention billion dollar arms sales ) - has been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age without any legal basis whatsoever. Often, the Saudi-led coalition has completely decimated civilian infrastructure, which has led a number of groups to accuse the coalition of committing war crimes in the process.

Civilians and civilian infrastructure have been struck so routinely that the world has become increasingly concerned the actual targets of the coalition strikes are civilians (what could be a greater recruitment tool for al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen?) As noted by Foreign Policy :

"The Houthis and their allies - armed groups loyal to Saleh - are the declared targets of the coalition's 1-year-old air campaign. In reality, however, it is the civilians, such as Basrallah and Rubaid, and their children, who are predominantly the victims of this protracted war. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes while asleep in their homes, when going about their daily activities, or in the very places where they had sought refuge from the conflict. The United States, Britain, and others, meanwhile, have continued to supply a steady stream of weaponry and logistical support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition."

Yemen is the poorest , most impoverished nation in the Arab world . The Saudi-led coalition has been striking refugee camps , schools , wedding parties and well over 100 hospitals to date . The coalition has been strongly suspected of using banned munitions such as cluster bombs. The country now has more than half a million children at serious risk of malnutrition . More than 21 million out of the total population of 25 million are in serious need of basic humanitarian assistance .

Just take one example of the cruel and disproportionate use of force that Saudi Arabia has used in Yemen (using American-made and supplied aircraft and weapons) - against Judge Yahya Rubaid and his family. As Foreign Policy reported in March of this year:

"According to family members, Rubaid was a judge on a case against Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for treason in absentia. It is unclear whether his house was attacked for this reason. What is clear, however, is that there was no legally valid basis for bombing his home, as he and his family were civilians and under international law should not have been deliberately targeted."

At the time this article's publication, over 140 Yemenis had been killed and another 500 injured in a Saudi-coalition aerial attack on a funeral over the weekend. The civilian death toll continues to rise in Yemen, completely unchallenged by any major players at the U.N. When the U.N. does attempt to quell Saudi actions , the Saudis threaten severe economic retaliation.

How Kerry can accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Syria with a straight face is unclear, as reports of atrocious crimes committed in Yemen continue to surface.

This is not to say Russia and Syria should not be investigated for war crimes – but maybe, just maybe, we could live in a world where everyone responsible for committing these gross acts could be held accountable, instead of just those who pose an economic threat to the West . Mango327 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 3:47 PM

If Russia Acted Like The USA...
http://youtu.be/uhqZFWDeaB4
SidSays 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 3:50 PM
All wars are, well...

All wars are banker's wars .

Katos 38BWD22 Oct 11, 2016 4:35 PM
Madeline Albright, "Yes, I think the death of 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years old by US sanctions, was a good price that had to be paid so we could get to Sadam Hussein "??? This bitch along with Kissinger, Soros, Rice, Clinton, Obama, Kerry, and all the news organizations who have been cheerleaders for the slaughter of innocents should all be charged with Crimes against humanity and SHOT!
PrayingMantis Oct 11, 2016 3:39 PM

... US: "Who you gonna believe, us or your own eyes" ~ Groucho Marx

Ignatius PrayingMantis Oct 11, 2016 3:58 PM

"Who wants to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- John Kerry, 197x

That was the supposed anti-war Kerry speaking of the Vietnam War, who rode such comments into a congressional seat. We didn't know then that he was Skull and Bones or what it might mean. Now we know it in spades.

Now it's clear he's just a lying sack of war mongering, deep state shit.

crazybob369 Oct 11, 2016 3:45 PM
To quote Goebbels:

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie."

Chupacabra-322 crazybob369 Oct 11, 2016 4:44 PM
Goebbels used "Gas Lighting" as a form of Psychological manipulation on a population on a mass scale. Operation Mocking Bird. It continues on today. 365 days a year, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The Psyche Warefare / PsyOp War does not clos
Felix da Kat Oct 11, 2016 4:03 PM
There is an assumption that Russia would never go to war with the US over the Syrian dispute. But yet, Russia is preparing for war. It has both first-strike and counter-strike capability in the event the west (US State Dept.) continues with its bullying tactics and further escalates its hostility. Russia is a sovereign nation; it has both the right and the power to do what is in the best interests of its citizenry and its allies (Assad).

The US used to be that way until it was over-run in a silent, but effective liberal-coup that has taken full control and stupidly re-newed the cold war with Russia.

And now America has been left more vulnerable that it ever has been. A simple shut-down of the electric grid for several months, will, by itself, cut the population in half.

Ultra-liberalism is ultra self-destructive... we're about to see just how destructive that really is.

Kyddyl Oct 11, 2016 4:07 PM
Well this is a refreshing start, but only a start. Russia certainly had nothing to do with the gunships that bombed the hospitals in Afghanistan into powder, killing patients including children, doctors, nurses and other personell.

I for one would like to know who it was who flew those planes and have them explain to all of us why they did not refuse orders? What sort of morals have Americans got to behave ths way? The hospitals bombed in Syria, ditto. The Saudis are the beasts they are and somebody needs to bomb them into oblivion. (Perhaps take out some other smug financial centers too!) But Yemen is a very poor sandy country to begin with and Saudi must think there's oil or something there. If some of the weapons used there weren't tactical nukes they sure looked like them. Gee. Wonder where they got them?

. . . _ _ _ . . . Oct 11, 2016 4:16 PM
Chomsky's been saying it for decades, "If they do it, they're terrorists; if we do it, we're freedom fighters."

My take is that if you are the head of a government, you are a psychopath and any categorization beyond this is moot.

Clinton / Trump, Obama / Putin, Assad / Erdogan, UN / Nationalism, whoever it may be, they're all playing the same game, and we're not even allowed to watch, much less comment.

The only thing trickling-down (through a historical perspective) should be blood.

taketheredpill Oct 11, 2016 4:26 PM

A cynical person might suggest that the volume of US War Drums is inversely proportional to the strength of the US economy.

It's as if the boys at the top

1) know the economy is already in the toilet

2) know that the next financial meltdown is going to be a real hum-dinger

3) know that the unwashed masses will need a really big distraction when the next meltdown hits

[Oct 10, 2016] Why is the electorate seemingly more concerned with someone who is antagonistic towards certain women than someone whose policies are antagonistic to whole nations and regions

Notable quotes:
"... If nothing else, the I'm-with-her whole hog approach of the media to this election should put the lie to the notion that we have anything resembling a functioning press. ..."
"... Additionally, the blind adherence by the press to Hillary's spin that Trump would put her in jail amounts to a dictatorship ignores the fact that previous to that statement Trump had said he would push for a special prosecutor. IOW, a completely legalized, judicially approved criminal investigation. ..."
"... I agree about the press becoming so bought over by Hillary. Watched some speech Trump was giving a month or so ago and he talked about Iraq as I recall and the press totally spun it into some different meaning altogether. Funny thing was the next day Trump was giving another speech which I also happened to see and made mention of what he said the day before and what the press turned his comment into – from that point on I became very leery of believing anything they tell me. I too was amazed that almost immediately last night the press began reporting that Trump was talking to a dictatorship by saying he wanted her in jail when in fact that was completely taken out of context as well (as you mentioned above). ..."
"... I think the press has become very scary with all the power it has to twist the truth or what has been said as easily and quickly as they do. They must be very frightened by Trump. ..."
Oct 10, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
David Carl Grimes October 10, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Why is the electorate seemingly more concerned with someone who is antagonistic towards certain women than someone whose policies are antagonistic to whole nations and regions. Why aren't the Wikileaks email revelations getting more traction or generating more outrage?

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL October 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Um do you think the fact that Pravda CNN is extolling the virtues of the One Party Candidate nonstop has anything to do with it?

pretzelattack October 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm

oh i thought the post was pravda and the nyt izvestia. but then there's the guardian and cnn and the rest of the sad industry.

OIFVet October 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

That's capitalism for ya :)

ProNewerDeal October 10, 2016 at 7:31 pm

True. BigMedia is barely covering the Wikileaks story. My summary is that HClinton has a fake "public position" & a genuine private position, that is pro-Grand Ripoff SS & MC cuts, & pro-TPP. It should be a huge story, in that it calls as questionable any of HClinton's stated policies, & given that Sanders repeatedly made the Wall $treet transcripts a major issue in the Primaries.

It takes a USian with intellectual curiosity, some free time, & enough critical thinking to go to one of the few internet sources like nakedcapitalism or SecularTalk that actually will cover the Wikileaks story honestly. IMHO sadly this is a small minority of the US eligible voter population.

BTW for Sanders to maintain my respect, he needs to "make news" in BigMedia by saying something like "my support of HClinton is contingent on her 'public position' the approves the 2016 D party platform, which is anti-TPP & anti-SS & MC cuts. If HClinton is elected & signs the TPP or SS/MC cuts, she will be strongly primary challenged in 2020, & I will not support her if the Rs ever impeach her"

sleepy October 10, 2016 at 7:02 pm

If nothing else, the I'm-with-her whole hog approach of the media to this election should put the lie to the notion that we have anything resembling a functioning press.

Just one example–I listened to some Clinton operative on msnbc radio today who was giving his weaselly spin on Hillary's private position v. public position statement and who said that it was only a few sentences out of an entire speech and needed to be viewed in context. Chuck Todd, I think it was, never made note of the fact that there is no context to those statements since the speeches have not and will not be released. There is no available context and Chuck just muttered uh huh and let it pass.

Additionally, the blind adherence by the press to Hillary's spin that Trump would put her in jail amounts to a dictatorship ignores the fact that previous to that statement Trump had said he would push for a special prosecutor. IOW, a completely legalized, judicially approved criminal investigation.

Susan C October 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

I agree about the press becoming so bought over by Hillary. Watched some speech Trump was giving a month or so ago and he talked about Iraq as I recall and the press totally spun it into some different meaning altogether. Funny thing was the next day Trump was giving another speech which I also happened to see and made mention of what he said the day before and what the press turned his comment into – from that point on I became very leery of believing anything they tell me. I too was amazed that almost immediately last night the press began reporting that Trump was talking to a dictatorship by saying he wanted her in jail when in fact that was completely taken out of context as well (as you mentioned above).

I think the press has become very scary with all the power it has to twist the truth or what has been said as easily and quickly as they do. They must be very frightened by Trump.

[Oct 07, 2016] The media are misleading the public on Syria by Stephen Kinzer

Notable quotes:
"... For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it. ..."
"... Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?" ..."
"... This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery. ..."
"... Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media. ..."
"... Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus. ..."
"... Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her. ..."
"... The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous. ..."
Feb 18, 2016 | The Boston Globe

Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants' hold on the city could be ending.

Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?"

This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.

Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.

Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank "experts." After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.

Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.

Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a "rat line" for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey's good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it - and because that is the official line in Washington.

Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.

Politicians may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably.

Americans are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria, however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans - and many journalists - are content with the official story. In Syria, it is: "Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish, Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!" This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Follow him on Twitter @stephenkinzer.


kaisy 02/18/16 03:38 PM

The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous.

When the uprising against Assad began three years ago, initially we were on the side of the angels, that is until we found out that they were mostly Al Queda. Fast forward and now we have ISIS, the sworn enemy of the US and anybody else that disagrees with them. So now, remarkably, some are looking at Assad as the voice of moderation. This is so akin to Afghanistan and, decades ago, Vietnam. When you don't understand the players and their ulterior motives, best to not get involved. Me, I'd leave this to the Saudis and Iran to fight over. Cruz talks about carpet bombing Syria until the sand glows (btw, real Christianlike there). I say defer to those over there. Eventually they'll run out of people to do the fighting (happening already with ISIS), then, and only then, we can go in and pick up the pieces.


jkupie02/19/16 07:16 AM

"Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise."

I don't know enough about the area to confirm or disprove most of Mr. Kinzer's points but I DO KNOW that this claim is false.

tyfox"n" 02/19/16 07:40 PM

jkupiue I absolutley agree. I have never read or heard al-Nusra described as anything but an al-Qaeda group, and it is stated every time al-Nusra is mentioned.

pegnva 02/19/16 07:58 AM

Hard to know the truth...but it is interesting Kinzer was able to QUOTE former Sec'ty of State, now presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the recent Milwaukee debate for falsely taking credit, some might say lying to the Am public.

kaisy 02/19/16 11:24 AM

Hillary is on the wrong side of this. She wants a no fly zone in Syria, just the Repubs. She doesn't speak to the consequences of the policy. Unfortunately Bernie has not challenged her on this. He really needs to.

NH-Repub 02/19/16 09:22 AM

Leftout is right and Hillary is the Queen of Doublespeak. Obama and his minions would like nothing better than to mislead the masses and keep them in the dark about everything. That way they control the media and by proxy - us!

[Oct 04, 2016] Should the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a museum of savage stupidity and war crimes ?

Notable quotes:
"... The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure. ..."
"... Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair. ..."
"... When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done. ..."
"... Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least. ..."
"... The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss. ..."
"... If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are. ..."
"... Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you. ..."
"... HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21 ..."
"... The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. ..."
"... One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. ..."
Oct 04, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:48 pm 284

@ 278 There's nothing quite so amusing as advocates of free speech 'commanding' the comments section of somebody else's blog and then issuing permissions to comment, or instructions to how and what to post. (fn, rich, colin, TM in one form, or another)

Merian is quite right that in the artificially and arbitrarily limited universe of a one-time choice between just two options, everything written can be seen as pro/con against one or the other if everything that is written has only one meaning and will be read and understood by all as having the same meaning.

The fact is that a great many people inside the US and outside the US may well lack any/much understanding of the decision-making processes that led up to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, not to mention America's long history with Iran, and America's support of Evil Axis bad guy number 1 Saddam Hussein. The dynamics are complex even for those familiar with the basic topography.

The rhetorical parallels leading up to the Iraq invasions and the presidential elections are striking and easy to identify. Facts don't matter, the urgency and severity of the threat demands uniform action, and the enemy is a once in an eon threat of epic proportion to the physical and moral existence of the known universe.

The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure.

Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair.

When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done.

kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:54 pm 286
For Merian and others: a timely post from Matt Welch at Reason on Gary Johnson via the o'l perfessor who sees the coverage of Hillary and Trump as you.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/245272/

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:22 am
@ 300 "Assad Must Go" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34385354

Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least.

The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss.

All this after the 'lessons' of Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are.

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:58 am
ZM@ 303. The linked dialogue above explores the role Hillary and Obama, in particular, played in providing the arms and support to a rebellion that Assad, like Gaddafi, could have ended years ago.

Like Gaddafi, Assad is not being attacked by moderate democrats keen to legalize gay marriage, but rather Sunni militias deeply sympathetic to ISIL and Al Quaida, or those forces operating in Syria and western Iraq.

You're right to point out that the only result of US support of ISIL related Sunnis has been the prolonging of the civil war and the promulgation of the delusion that violent-regime change brings peace and security. Yes, five years of US arms, threats, and intimidation has destroyed Syria, in much the same was as the Hillary promoted war in Libya destroyed that regime.

The pro-Hillary-Obama media is extremely reluctant in the run-up to the election to point out explicitly what a spectacular FP failure the US has created for itself right now, with Russian jets flying over Aleppo and Assad about to finally humiliate the insurgents and all those like Hillary and Obama who encouraged the bloodshed.

The Obama-Hillary policy has been a five-year bloodbath and there's no sign Hillary wants to do anything but press for a no-fly zone over Syria in order for the US to continue to funnel more death and destruction into the already devastated moonscape.

It ain't like anyone she knows is dying over there. Syrians can't vote in November.

The attitude of her supporters seems be: fuck it – Syria is on the other side of the world, so what's the big deal?

Mitt Romney tied the family dog to the roof of his car. What about that ?

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 4:05 am
@ 305 Hi Merian.

Go tell your students that you're supporting the candidate who voted for the Iraq invasion (biggest mistake in modern US history), persuaded plenty of other Democrats and ordinary Americans to suspend their judgment and do the same. And who also played an instrumental role in destroying Libya, promotes violent regime-change in Syria and enjoys the support of all the same neocon warmongers who've made the US into a pariah state. Play the 'We came, we saw, he died – ha-ha-ha" Hillary CBS video for them.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-07/we-came-we-saw-he-died-%E2%80%93-revisiting-incredible-disaster-libya

Then explain to them that Hillary is the better candidate.

See what happens.

Omega Centauri 10.02.16 at 4:40 am 314
I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq or Libya. In the first case Iraq was a neocon/Bush project, and they were threatening to extract a terrible price from anyone who used their position to block their ambitions. Libya was primarily a Arab-league cum French-British project. Not supporting it could have potentially damaged our relationship with key allies France and Britain. Of course Libya was a slippery slope, once started it soon became obvious there was no solution where Qaddafi survived and the Libyan people wouldn't end up paying dearly. Not that her acquiescence in either case demonstrated either good long term judgement or courage, but it also doesn't demonstrate that she was a principle architect of either project.
kidneystones 10.02.16 at 5:15 am 316
314@ "I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq, or Libya."

That's probably a great comfort to the grifters keen to see her elected. The facts, however, suggest otherwise. Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you.

HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21

bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 7:49 pm
Anarcissie @ 239: We basically have a whole class of people, at the top of the social order, who seem devoid of a moral sense - a problem which the upcoming election isn't going to touch, much less solve. I don't blame Clinton for this . . .

JimV @ 317: I am sorry if I mischaracterized BW as implying that HRC is evil, . . .

Peter T @ 320: Whatever the merits of their individual stances, there is no reason to suppose that either Obama or Hillary can exert more than loose control over this mess [the multi-sided regional civil war engulfing Syria and northern Iraq]

stevenjohnson @ 324: The recent leak that Clinton is against nuclear armed cruise missiles and isn't committed to Obama's trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade appears to suggest she's not quite on board with plans for general war.

LFC @ 330: I disagree w the notion that the pt of nuclear 'modernization' is to make plausible the threat of "imminent general nuclear war." If U.S. military planners took hallucinogenic drugs and went nuts, they could "plausibly" threaten "imminent general nuclear war" right now with the US nuclear arsenal as currently configured. They don't need to upgrade the weapons to do that. The program is prob more the result of rigid, unimaginative thinking at top levels of Pentagon and influence of outside companies (e.g. Boeing etc) that work on the upgrades.

I don't know if that seems like a somewhat random collection of precursors to assemble as preface to a comment. I was thinking of picking out a few upthread references to climate change and the response to it (or inadequacy thereof) as well.

I am a little disturbed by the idea of leaving the impression that I think Hillary Clinton is "evil". What I think is that American politics in general is not generating realistic, adaptive governance.

I am using that bloodless phrase, "realistic, adaptive governance", deliberately, to emphasize wanting to step outside the passions of the Presidential election. I think the Manichean narrative where Trump is The Most Horrible Candidate Evah and Everyone Must Line Up Behind Clinton as an Ethical Imperative of a High Order is part of the process of propaganda and manipulation that distorts popular discussion and understanding and helps to create a politics that cannot govern realistically and adaptively. This is not about me thinking Trump is anything but a horrible mess of a candidate who ought to be kept far from power.

I see Clinton as someone who is trapped inside the dynamics of this seriously deranged politics qua political process. I don't see her as entirely blameless. Politicians like Obama and either Clinton, at the top of the political order, are masters (keeping in mind that there are many masters working to some extent in opposition to one another as rivals, allies, enemies and so on) of the process and create the process by the exercise of their mastery, as much as they are mastered by it. I see them as trapped by the process they have helped (more than a little opportunistically) to create, but trapped as Dr Frankenstein is by his Creature.

Clinton must struggle with the ethical contradictions of governance at the highest levels of leadership: she must, in the exercise of power in office and out, practice the political art of the possible in relation to crafting policy that will be "good" in the sense of passably effective and efficient - this may involve a high degree of foresightful wonkery or a lethally ruthless statesmanship, depending upon circumstances. Beside this business of making the great machinery of the state lumber forward, she must strive to appear "good", like Machiavelli's Prince, even while playing an amoral game of real politick, gathering and shepherding a complex coalition of allies, supporters, donors and cooperative enemies.

Machiavelli, when he was considering the Princely business of appearing "good", was contending with the hypocrisies and impossible idealism of authoritarian Catholic morality. He barely connected with anything that we would recognize as democratic Public Opinion and could scarcely conceive of what Ivy Lee or Edward Bernays, let alone Fox News, Vox and the world wide web might do to politics.

We are trapped, just as Clinton is trapped, in the vast communication nightmare of surrealistic news and opinion washing in upon us in a tide that never ebbs. We are trapped by the politics of media "gotchas" and Kinsley Gaffes (A Kinsley gaffe occurs when a political gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit.)

I don't think Clinton lacks a moral sense. What I think is that Clinton's moral sense is exhausted calculating what to say or do within the parameters of media-synthesized conventional wisdom policed by people who are themselves exhausted trying to manage it. Matt Lauer's interview with Clinton was notorious for the relentless and clueless questioning about the email server, although I, personally, was shocked when he asked her a question that seemed premised on the idea that veterans should be offended by admitting the Iraq War was a mistake.

I would think it is easy to see that the media circus is out of control, especially when a clown like Trump graduates from The Apprentice to the Republican nomination. YMMV, but I think this is a serious problem that goes beyond vividly imagined sepia-toned parodies of Trump's candidacy as the second coming of Mussolini.

While we're getting ourselves agitated over Trump's racism or threats to bar Muslims from entry, apparently the Military-Industrial Complex, left on autopilot, is re-designing the nation's nuclear arsenal to make the outbreak of nuclear war far more likely. And, the closest Clinton gets to a comment, campaign commitment or public discussion, let alone an exercise of power, is a PR "leak"!!!

The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. Clinton offered up a sound-bite last year, saying that she favored imposing a "no-fly" zone, which was exposed as kind of crazy idea, given that the Russians as well as Assad's government are the ones flying, not to mention the recent experience with a no-fly zone in Libya. One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. What's most alarming to me is that we cannot count on personal character to put the brakes on that process, which is now the process of governance. I am writing now of the process of governance by public relations that was has been exposed a bit in profiles of the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes.

In Syria, it has become almost comical, if you can overlook the bodies piling up, as the U.S. has sought a the mythical unicorn of Syrian Moderate Democrats whom the Pentagon or the CIA can advise, train and arm. This is foreign policy by PR narrative and it is insanely unrealistic. But, our politics is trapped in it, and, worse, policy is trapped in it. Layer after layer of b.s. have piled up obscuring U.S. interests and practical options. Recently, U.S. forces supporting the Turks have come dangerously close to blowing up U.S. forces supporting the Kurds. When you find yourself on opposing sides of a civil war like Charles I you may be in the process of losing your head. Some of the worst elements opposing Assad have been engaged in a transparent re-branding exercise aimed at garnering U.S. aid. And, U.S. diplomats and media face the high challenge of explaining why the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

But, hey, Clinton will get Robert Kagan's vote and a better tomorrow is only a Friedman unit away, so it is all good.

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 9:24 pm
@328 stevenjohnson and Peter T cover the details. As an outsider supportive of negotiated settlements in all cases, rather than unilateral military action and violent regime change, I'm interested principally in ensuring that partisan political preferences do not obscure the historical record. Bluntly put, dictators routinely abuse bomb their own civilians as the 'need' arises. Nor is the US the only state actor keen to profit in the broadest sense of the term from political division.

The UN was formed, in large part, to provide a forum/mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution. Each time state actors such as Russia, China, the US, France, and the UK either bypass the UN, or use the UN to sanction attacks by larger states on smaller states, the entire edifice becomes a little weaker.

Hillary is not the only individual with Libyan and Syrian blood on her hands. She's simply the only individual directly involved in Iraq, Libya, and Syria running to the 45th president of the US.

bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 9:54 pm
Rich Puchalsky @ 334

People are in information overload most of the time, and where politics are concerned, they really just want to know who to root for. They ask, "who is the good guy? who is the bad guy?" "Whose right?" "What should be done?" And, people like the opinions they have, whatever those opinions may be; they use their political opinions to feed their sense of self-esteem and social belonging, for better and for worse.

I have some friends, who are really into a particular sport as fans, not participants. One guy knows everything about baseball. It is fun to watch a game with him, because he knows when someone is about to try to steal a base and stuff like that and he can explain the manager's strategy and has gossip about the players careers and personal lives. And, apparently, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball history - appears to, anyway: what dramatic thing happened in game 3 of the 1967 World Series and so on and exactly why everyone hated Ty Cobb.

No one like that shows up at CT to talk politics. Maybe it is just as well. Sports guys can wield that knowledge and remain affable, but political guys tend to be arrogant and off-putting. But, I do think we could use more of that spirit sometimes.

I was thinking about what a brilliant innovation the Clinton Foundation is, how well it is designed to solve the problems of Machiavelli's Prince. But, we would struggle to discuss it in those terms; the partisan contest means that the CF is either horribly corrupt or prosaically innocent. The pressure to evaluate it is so high, that seeing the functional details is hard. I've seen some articles that attempt to understand the CF as a means to the political ambitions of the Clintons, but they seldom grasp the awesome accomplishment it is in ways that also fully understand why enemies of the Clintons are keen to attack it and why it so reliably produces the neoliberal pablum that Thomas Franks despises. If we could imagine a Marx tackling the CF as a vehicle of class interest, that would be pretty interesting.

[Sep 13, 2016] Neocon Kagan: Hillary Clinton Is One Of Us

Notable quotes:
"... In fact, HRC may be a better prospect for neocons, because they can distract the Dem base with how cool it is for a "strong woman" to send men into battle. Anyone opposed must be a misogynist/sexist pig. By contrast Jeb would be too obvious. ..."
"... "There is no prospect of a non-interventionist president." ..."
"... Exactly. Obama has certainly proved this to be true, for those who might've thought otherwise. And since it is true, if one is going to vote anyway, then the decision won't be made on the basis of not "wanting more wars with terrible outcomes." There will have to be another, different, deciding factor, since that factor would rule out Ms. Clinton AND every other candidate. ..."
"... Yes, I have to second Lysander's view. People - both in and outside the US - must first disabuse themselves of ANY notion that the US is a democratic state, that "changes" in leadership will actually bring about ANY difference in foreign/domestic policy and that the American war criminal ship can be righted by the people utilizing the "democratic" mechanisms at their disposal. ..."
"... Furthermore, after the Obama debacle and his utter betrayal etc of his supporters if anyone thinks someone in the American Establishment is looking out for their peon asses why then they probably also believe that the US was "surprised/caught off guard" - yet again - by ISIS et al in Iraq. ..."
"... I wish Rand Paul had his fathers balls, but he doesnt. Ron was a Libertarian pretending to be a Republican, while Rand is a Republican pretending to be a Libertarian... Rand would be no different than any other Republican or Democratic establishment schmuck. ..."
"... I never did like Ron Pauls economic policy, being left leaning, and I'm doubtful whether he would have actually accomplished anything useful as President, but his NonInterventionism was admirable and I was happy to put his name in in the Rethug primary in 2012 for that reason alone. ..."
"... Mr. Kristol said he, too, sensed "more willingness to rethink" neoconservatism, which he called "vindicated to some degree" by the fruits of Mr. Obama's detached approach to Syria and Eastern Europe. Mr. Kagan, he said, gives historical heft to arguments "that are very consistent with the arguments I made, and he made, 20 years ago, 10 years ago." ..."
"... After all the slaughter these people feel like crowing. They are clearly, as JSorrentine often reminds us, pyschopath butchers. ..."
"... Incidentally, where is the outrage from Samantha Powers about the ISIS massacre in Tikrit? ..."
"... Well, I guess the world just can't talk about how the amazingly rapid rise of ISIS/L and fall of Iraq completely continues the plans of the apartheid genocidal state of Israel's - and their traitorous Zionist partners in the American Establishment - as set out in the Yinon Plan and Clean Break strategies because - HOW FORTUITOUS...I mean, terribly sad and unexpected, sorry - some unlucky Israeli teenagers just happened to be "kidnapped" by "Hamas" just as the ISIS show was kicking off or so that's what the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is telling the world. ..."
"... Shrillary wouldn't be where she is today if she wasn't criminally insane. I want her to become President. She'll redefine the meaning of Eerily Inept (a label coined by Gore Vidal and attached to G Dubya Bush). Her greatest moment was when Lavrov called her out on her RESET button and pointed out, with a chuckle, "You got it wrong. It doesn't say RESET it says SHORT CIRCUIT." ..."
"... Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who argued in favor of arming Syrian rebels, said last week at an event in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, "this is not just a Syrian problem anymore. I never thought it was just a Syrian problem. I thought it was a regional problem. ..."
"... Why, even HILLARY is just SOOOO SURPRISED about people trying to erase boundaries, huh? Funny, she should have read further into yesterday's times where it seems that the Zionist mouthpiece of record was desperately trying to get "out in front" of anyone mentioning that the fracturing of Iraq and the ME was all part of long-time Israeli strategy: ..."
"... In 2006, it was Ralph Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel turned columnist, who sketched a map that subdivided Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and envisioned Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite republics emerging from a no-longer-united Iraq. Two years later, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg imagined similar partings-of-the-ways, with new microstates -- an Alawite Republic, an Islamic Emirate of Gaza -- taking shape and Afghanistan splitting up as well. Last year, it was Robin Wright's turn in this newspaper, in a map that (keeping up with events) subdivided Libya as well. ..."
"... As president she's da bomb! ..."
"... Hillary is a loathsome war mongering bitch. She almost had a public orgasm when Libyan leader Quadaffi was tortured and murdered by US supported Libyan rebels. The muder of Chris Stevens was a case of what goes around comes around. ..."
"... A point which nobody else has made as far as I know. To wit there is a big overlap between the banking and Israel lobbies since wealthy Jews account for a hugely disproportionate number of top financial movers and shakers. Anything that helps the financial industry also helps the war mongering Israel and neo con lobbies. The heavily Jewish Fed is another enabler of all that is wrong with America today. ..."
"... I, also agree, with the possible exception of replacing the word "Zionist", with the word "Corporatist", although both can be rightly used. We'll still get the person the 1%ers want us to have. Ain't Oligarchies grand? ..."
"... Hillary's election depends on two things still unknown: her health and whether the Republicans can manage to choose someone sufficiently batshit crazy to make her the best of abysmal alternatives. ..."
"... HRH is a Neo Liberal of Arianne 'Sniff Sniff' Huffington's type, the 'Third Way Up Your Ass' of Globalist NAFTA/TPP Free Trade Neonazi destruction of labor and environmental protections, and in your face with NOOOOO apologies. ..."
"... And Victoria Nuland indicates that she agrees with her husband Robert Kagan's criticism of Obama's foreign policy. ..."
"... Would it be safe to say Hillary's White Trash ? ..."
"... There are some really nice photographs of Hillary being very friendly with bearded famous Libyan Islamists (Gaddafi was still alive then). In combination with Benghazi - I think you probably can connect the people greeting Hillary with what happened there (and today's Iraq) I would not think she has a chance to convince with foreign policy. ..."
"... 'You have a schism between Sunni and Shia throughout the region that is profound. Some of it is directed or abetted by states who are in contests for power there.'" Now, if only he had mentioned the states included and featured the (United) States and Israel. Obama...usually a day late and a dollar short and leading or retreating from behind. ..."
"... I would rank Obama as the most cynical one. He is doing the dark colonial art. You can berate Bush for bombing Iraq (Obama did that with Libya, just as bad), but he did sink American manpower and treasure for all this futile nation building stuff, ie he tried to repair it. ..."
"... Obama tried to double down on the nation building stuff in Afghanistan, even copying the "surge". He is still not out of Afghanistan. ..."
"... He then tried to continue Bush's policy on the cheap, scrapping the nation building stuff and concentrating on shock and awe in Libya. When Russia put a stop to that in Syria he doubled down on the subversion supporting guerilla groups. He is now back in Iraq with allies supporting a "Sunni" insurrection by proxy. After a "color revolution" in Ukraine. ..."
"... It is not "US foreign policy" but the policy of the british empire. If he was running a US foreign policy, he would at least sometimes do something positive for Americans, by accident if nothing more. ..."
"... Economic policy to vote on? Are you joking? Whichever party we elect we get Neoliberalism anyway. ..."
"... "That smile and her gloating about his death made me feel she was some sort of sociopath." Massinissa, you meant psychopath, didn't you? ..."
Jun 16, 2014 | moonofalabama.org

Here is the reason why Hillary Clinton should never ever become President of the United States.

A (sympathetic) New York Times profile of neocon Robert Kagan has this on Clinton II:

But Exhibit A for what Robert Kagan describes as his "mainstream" view of American force is his relationship with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who remains the vessel into which many interventionists are pouring their hopes. Mr. Kagan pointed out that he had recently attended a dinner of foreign-policy experts at which Mrs. Clinton was the guest of honor, and that he had served on her bipartisan group of foreign-policy heavy hitters at the State Department, where his wife worked as her spokeswoman.

"I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama's more realist approach "could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table" if elected president. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue," he added, "it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

Want more wars with terrible outcomes and no winner at all? Vote the neocon's vessel, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, by the way, is also a coward, unprincipled and greedy. Her achievements as Secretary of State were about zero. Why would anyone vote for her?

Posted by b on June 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM | Permalink

Lysander | Jun 16, 2014 9:44:15 AM | 4

I'm afraid you focus too much on elections that have no meaning. It seems we may be cornered into choosing between HR Clinton and Jeb Bush. The latter, I'm sure, would earn equal praise from the Kagan clan. There is no prospect of a non-interventionist president. There is no prospect of a president that is not a Zionist stooge.

In fact, HRC may be a better prospect for neocons, because they can distract the Dem base with how cool it is for a "strong woman" to send men into battle. Anyone opposed must be a misogynist/sexist pig. By contrast Jeb would be too obvious.

dahoit | Jun 16, 2014 9:54:05 AM | 6

Personally, I don't think she is anyone to worry about gaining the office. Too much hatred of her by most Americans, from her serial lying to her terrible foreign policy, to her standing by bent dick, in her lust for power. She will be backed by feminazis,homonazis and zionazis(Kagan).

Not enough devil worshippers in America,at least not yet,and I believe Americans,from current events that our traitor MSM will be unable to counter with their usual BS,that we are down the rabbit hole of idiotic intervention,and we will end this nonsense,and return to worrying about America,not foreign malevolent monsters like Israel.
Well,I can at least hope,it springs eternal.

Earwig | Jun 16, 2014 9:58:14 AM | 7

"There is no prospect of a non-interventionist president."

Exactly. Obama has certainly proved this to be true, for those who might've thought otherwise. And since it is true, if one is going to vote anyway, then the decision won't be made on the basis of not "wanting more wars with terrible outcomes." There will have to be another, different, deciding factor, since that factor would rule out Ms. Clinton AND every other candidate.

JSorrentine | Jun 16, 2014 10:01:53 AM | 8

Yes, I have to second Lysander's view. People - both in and outside the US - must first disabuse themselves of ANY notion that the US is a democratic state, that "changes" in leadership will actually bring about ANY difference in foreign/domestic policy and that the American war criminal ship can be righted by the people utilizing the "democratic" mechanisms at their disposal.

I understand that some speak to how corrupt our institutions are but there always seems to be a "feel-goodiness" - i.e., we can still fix it all, boys and girls, if you all just clap your hands LOUDER!! - implicit in their analyses/prescriptions when there should be nothing but anger, fear and revulsion towards the fascist war criminal state that we live within.

Furthermore, after the Obama debacle and his utter betrayal etc of his supporters if anyone thinks someone in the American Establishment is looking out for their peon asses why then they probably also believe that the US was "surprised/caught off guard" - yet again - by ISIS et al in Iraq.

Fucking nonsense.

Massinissa | Jun 16, 2014 11:40:18 AM | 13

"There is no chance of a non-interventionist president"

I wish Rand Paul had his fathers balls, but he doesnt. Ron was a Libertarian pretending to be a Republican, while Rand is a Republican pretending to be a Libertarian... Rand would be no different than any other Republican or Democratic establishment schmuck.

I never did like Ron Pauls economic policy, being left leaning, and I'm doubtful whether he would have actually accomplished anything useful as President, but his NonInterventionism was admirable and I was happy to put his name in in the Rethug primary in 2012 for that reason alone.

Mike Maloney | Jun 16, 2014 12:01:20 PM | 15

Great post, b. I saw the article and felt the same thing. While commentators are right to say that the foreign policy of the U.S. remains largely untouched regardless of which candidate or party wins the White House (which the NYT piece does a fine job illustrating), I do think Hillary is the worst the Democrats have to offer.

What I found amazing about the story is how neocons are now preening about as if they have been vindicated:

Mr. Kristol said he, too, sensed "more willingness to rethink" neoconservatism, which he called "vindicated to some degree" by the fruits of Mr. Obama's detached approach to Syria and Eastern Europe. Mr. Kagan, he said, gives historical heft to arguments "that are very consistent with the arguments I made, and he made, 20 years ago, 10 years ago."
After all the slaughter these people feel like crowing. They are clearly, as JSorrentine often reminds us, pyschopath butchers.

Incidentally, where is the outrage from Samantha Powers about the ISIS massacre in Tikrit?

Dubhaltach | Jun 16, 2014 12:07:31 PM | 16

Want more wars with terrible outcomes and no winner at all? Vote the neocon's vessel, Hillary Clinton.

That's what they've been voting for generations - why change the habit of a lifetime?

Clinton, by the way, is also a coward, unprincipled and greedy. Her achievements as Secretary of State were about zero. Why would anyone vote for her?

Well at the risk of being a smartass her achievements were negative, the American hegemony is in worse condition because of her.

Dubhaltach

JSorrentine | Jun 16, 2014 12:10:24 PM | 17

OT:

Well, I guess the world just can't talk about how the amazingly rapid rise of ISIS/L and fall of Iraq completely continues the plans of the apartheid genocidal state of Israel's - and their traitorous Zionist partners in the American Establishment - as set out in the Yinon Plan and Clean Break strategies because - HOW FORTUITOUS...I mean, terribly sad and unexpected, sorry - some unlucky Israeli teenagers just happened to be "kidnapped" by "Hamas" just as the ISIS show was kicking off or so that's what the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is telling the world.

Yeah, I bet the apartheid genocidal state of Israel probably has just NO IDEA about what's going on in Iraq what with their harrowing search - read: collective punishment for the residents of the illegally occupied territories - for the 3 missing boys who haven't been ransomed or claimed to have been taken by anyone.

Wait a second...what if it was ISIS/L and NOT Hamas that "kidnapped" the boys!!!Holy tie-in, Bat-Man!!!!

Then there would be NO WAY that what we're witnessing is the furthering of the Yinon Plan because the apartheid genocidal Israelis would never instigate false flag terror to further/distract from their own ends/agenda, would they? Nah.

Wait a second...they ALREADY DID (supposedly):

A Qaeda-inspired group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - Palestine, West Bank claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, saying it wanted to avenge Israel's killing of three of its group in the Hebron area late last year and to try to free prisoners from Israeli jails. The credibility of the claim was not immediately clear.

But clear enough for the Zionist mouthpiece of the NYT to print it, right?

Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 16, 2014 12:18:00 PM | 18

Shrillary wouldn't be where she is today if she wasn't criminally insane. I want her to become President. She'll redefine the meaning of Eerily Inept (a label coined by Gore Vidal and attached to G Dubya Bush). Her greatest moment was when Lavrov called her out on her RESET button and pointed out, with a chuckle, "You got it wrong. It doesn't say RESET it says SHORT CIRCUIT."

Then he laughed. At her, not with her. She's a sick, intellectually lazy, dumb, joke. America deserves her.

JSorrentine | Jun 16, 2014 12:41:43 PM | 20

Here's Killary quoted in the NYT yesterday:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who argued in favor of arming Syrian rebels, said last week at an event in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, "this is not just a Syrian problem anymore. I never thought it was just a Syrian problem. I thought it was a regional problem. I could not have predicted, however, the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamic state."

Why, even HILLARY is just SOOOO SURPRISED about people trying to erase boundaries, huh? Funny, she should have read further into yesterday's times where it seems that the Zionist mouthpiece of record was desperately trying to get "out in front" of anyone mentioning that the fracturing of Iraq and the ME was all part of long-time Israeli strategy:

Here's from another NYT piece yesterday:

In 2006, it was Ralph Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel turned columnist, who sketched a map that subdivided Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and envisioned Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite republics emerging from a no-longer-united Iraq. Two years later, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg imagined similar partings-of-the-ways, with new microstates -- an Alawite Republic, an Islamic Emirate of Gaza -- taking shape and Afghanistan splitting up as well. Last year, it was Robin Wright's turn in this newspaper, in a map that (keeping up with events) subdivided Libya as well.

Peters's map, which ran in Armed Forces Journal, inspired conspiracy theories about how this was America's real plan for remaking the Middle East. But the reality is entirely different: One reason these maps have remained strictly hypothetical, even amid regional turmoil, is that the United States has a powerful interest in preserving the Sykes-Picot status quo.

This is not because the existing borders are in any way ideal. Indeed, there's a very good chance that a Middle East that was more politically segregated by ethnicity and faith might become a more stable and harmonious region in the long run.

My favorite part of the above column is that it references a previous column from the Zionist NYT from last year in which a war criminal even drew up the new map of the ME!!

Oh, but that war criminal thought SYRIA was going to be the trigger that allowed for the culmination of the Yinon Plan. Oops!

And then ALSO YESTERDAY in the NYT everyone's favorite little war Establishment mouthpiece Nicholas Kristoff had this to say:

The crucial step, and the one we should apply diplomatic pressure to try to achieve, is for Maliki to step back and share power with Sunnis while accepting decentralization of government.

If Maliki does all that, it may still be possible to save Iraq. Without that, airstrikes would be a further waste in a land in which we've already squandered far, far too much.

DECENTRALIZATION, huh? Why, Nicky, that sounds like what Putin has suggested for Ukraine, huh? Shhhhhhhh

And of course Mr. Fuckhead Tom Friedman weighs in ALSO YESTERDAY in the NYT with this:

THE disintegration of Iraq and Syria is upending an order that has defined the Middle East for a century. It is a huge event, and we as a country need to think very carefully about how to respond. Having just returned from Iraq two weeks ago, my own thinking is guided by five principles, and the first is that, in Iraq today, my enemy's enemy is my enemy. Other than the Kurds, we have no friends in this fight. Neither Sunni nor Shiite leaders spearheading the war in Iraq today share our values.

The ME is going to be split up inevitably: check

The US/Israel are JUST NOWHERE to be found: check

Thanks, Tom, you fucking war criminal scum!!!

To review:

Everyone in the Establishment - fake left, right, center, dove, hawk, blah blah - says that it's just inevitable now that Iraq and the ME will probably be broken up.

Everyone in the Establishment also agrees that NO ONE could see this whole ISIS etc shitpile coming, right?

Anyone else get the feeling that this is a coordinated continuation of the Zionist Plan for the Middle East?

Naahh. Nothing to see here, fuckers!!! Move along!!!!

Penny | Jun 16, 2014 12:45:13 PM | 21

I am thirding Lysanders comment

Hillary is perfect for '(p)resident'

She ties right in with the whole pink power agenda. She is the woMAN version and can also be useful for the women=victims, but, no way for the women/whore

women/victim/whore is quintessentially Pussy Riot

And if you criticize HC you are just a woman hater!
(you know like antisemitic)
Same as Obama- criticize him, you are just a racist
Shuts the complaints right off!

As president she's da bomb!

Eureka Springs | Jun 16, 2014 1:48:59 PM | 22

These people aren't just measuring the drapes... they're counting corpses she's sure to order.

A most barbaric woman/human being, a terrible person, a terrible Governors wife, First Lady, Senator, SOS.... Obviously will be a perfect President.

She's a shoe-in. Hopefully it will be a presidency that once and for all sends the Demo party the way of the Whigs.

Andoheb | Jun 16, 2014 2:38:11 PM | 24

Hillary is a loathsome war mongering bitch. She almost had a public orgasm when Libyan leader Quadaffi was tortured and murdered by US supported Libyan rebels. The muder of Chris Stevens was a case of what goes around comes around.

Andoheb | Jun 16, 2014 2:47:02 PM | 25

A point which nobody else has made as far as I know. To wit there is a big overlap between the banking and Israel lobbies since wealthy Jews account for a hugely disproportionate number of top financial movers and shakers. Anything that helps the financial industry also helps the war mongering Israel and neo con lobbies. The heavily Jewish Fed is another enabler of all that is wrong with America today.

ben | Jun 16, 2014 2:55:41 PM | 26

lysander @ 4: "There is no prospect of a president that is not a Zionist stooge."

I, also agree, with the possible exception of replacing the word "Zionist", with the word "Corporatist", although both can be rightly used. We'll still get the person the 1%ers want us to have. Ain't Oligarchies grand?

Knut | Jun 16, 2014 3:27:22 PM | 31

Hillary's election depends on two things still unknown: her health and whether the Republicans can manage to choose someone sufficiently batshit crazy to make her the best of abysmal alternatives. I think her health is the critical variable, as the PTB are going to make sure that the Republican candidate will come out strongly for privatization of social security and reversing the 19th amendment. Vote-rigging and gerrymandering will maintain a sufficiently close election to preserve the simulacrum of a free election.

@18 You live in a dream world.

chip nikh | Jun 16, 2014 4:30:18 PM | 34

HRH is a Neo Liberal of Arianne 'Sniff Sniff' Huffington's type, the 'Third Way Up Your
Ass' of Globalist NAFTA/TPP Free Trade Neonazi destruction of labor and environmental
protections, and in your face with NOOOOO apologies.

That she is a totally-disjointed Royal is clear in her 'dead broke' claim. That she is a famous Hectorian, constantly checking which way public opinion is flowing, then crafting
her confabulated dialogue as screed to her real intents, is well known. Der Prevaricator.

What should be equally well known, if news got around, Hillary (and UKs Milliband) grifted
Hamid Karzai $5 BILLION of Americans' last life savings, stolen from US Humanitarian Aid
to Afghanistan, then made five trips to Kabul for no apparent purpose, before announcing
that her $-35 MILLION 'dead broke' presidential campaign had been paid off by 'anonymous
donors'. This is all public record; in the 2009 International Conference on Afghanistan in
London, right in the conference speeches, framed as 'Karzai's demand', but in fact, that
speech of Karzai's was written by US State Department. I read the drafts. 'Bicycling'.

Hillary soon had to fly back one more time and grift Karzai an emergency $3.5 BILLION
theft, after he lost Americans' $5 BILLION while speculating in Dubai R/E by looting
his Bank of Kabul. Her 'injection of capital' saved the bank from being audited, and
no doubt saved all the Kaganites from an embarrassing and public episiotomy.

In the end, Hillary retired with a fortune of $50 MILLION, again announced publicly, which
together with the $-35 MILLION campaign payoff in violation of all US election regulations,
is exactly 1% of the $8.5 BILLION she grifted to Karzai. She's in the 'One Percent Club'.
"It's a Great Big Club, ...and you ain't in it!" George 'The Man' Carlin

But who cares? I'll tell you. The Russian know about this grift, certainly the Israelis
know about this grift, the Millibandits know, the London Karzais know, and if G-d forbid,
Hillary became HRHOTUS, Americans will be blackmailed down to their underdrawers.

That's the Levant Way.

lysias | Jun 16, 2014 4:36:24 PM | 36

And Victoria Nuland indicates that she agrees with her husband Robert Kagan's criticism of Obama's foreign policy.

Cold N. Holefield | Jun 16, 2014 7:40:23 PM | 44

Would it be safe to say Hillary's White Trash? And to think, she was once a Goldwater Girl. So many faces, so many more to come.

somebody | Jun 16, 2014 7:51:25 PM | 45

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 16, 2014 5:54:41 PM | 38

There are some really nice photographs of Hillary being very friendly with bearded famous Libyan Islamists (Gaddafi was still alive then). In combination with Benghazi - I think you probably can connect the people greeting Hillary with what happened there (and today's Iraq) I would not think she has a chance to convince with foreign policy.

Female voters are not stupid.

People do not vote on foreign policy. As US household incomes are decreasing there should be a lot of economic policy to vote on.

truthbetold | Jun 16, 2014 7:51:40 PM | 46

"Well at the risk of being a smartass her achievements were negative, the American hegemony is in worse condition because of her."
Because of her and it.

Dubhaltach gets it right, and as applied to events inclusive of and after 9-11-2001. The purported masterful seamless garment of conspiracy,
yet it weakened the US and helped get Israel whacked good by Hezbollah.

As for the unmentioned Saudi, it is of course impossible that Saudi could outplay longterm both the US and Israel longterm.

Just as it was impossible Chalabi could outplay the neocons and help win Iran the Iraq War. Who is playing catch up and who is
playing masterfully cohesive and unbeatable conspiracy?

Dubhaltach gets it right, the US will be pushed out of the Mideast and Israel is longterm DOOMED.

truthbetold | Jun 16, 2014 8:45:57 PM | 50

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/06/16/resisting-the-stupid-shit/

Here is Obama in the very recent Remnick interview

"Obama said:

'You have a schism between Sunni and Shia throughout the region that is profound. Some of it is directed or abetted by states who are in contests for power there.'" Now, if only he had mentioned the states included and featured the (United) States and Israel. Obama...usually a day late and a dollar short and leading or retreating from behind.

somebody | Jun 17, 2014 5:06:26 AM | 71

Posted by: HnH | Jun 17, 2014 4:30:40 AM | 64

I would rank Obama as the most cynical one. He is doing the dark colonial art. You can berate Bush for bombing Iraq (Obama did that with Libya, just as bad), but he did sink American manpower and treasure for all this futile nation building stuff, ie he tried to repair it.

The withdrawal from Iraq was negotiated by Bush. It was an election campaign deceit to pretend Obama's foreign policy was any different.

Obama tried to double down on the nation building stuff in Afghanistan, even copying the "surge". He is still not out of Afghanistan.

He then tried to continue Bush's policy on the cheap, scrapping the nation building stuff and concentrating on shock and awe in Libya. When Russia put a stop to that in Syria he doubled down on the subversion supporting guerilla groups. He is now back in Iraq with allies supporting a "Sunni" insurrection by proxy. After a "color revolution" in Ukraine.

He just "sold" US foreign policy in a different target group, Hillary will sell it to her target group, Jeb Bush to his.

The substance never changes and is cooked by the Council of Foreign Relations.

T2015 | Jun 17, 2014 5:45:44 AM | 72

It is not "US foreign policy" but the policy of the british empire. If he was running a US foreign policy, he would at least sometimes do something positive for Americans, by accident if nothing more.

Massinissa | Jun 17, 2014 11:53:21 AM | 84

@45

Economic policy to vote on? Are you joking? Whichever party we elect we get Neoliberalism anyway.

Crone | Jun 18, 2014 12:23:56 AM | 97

"That smile and her gloating about his death made me feel she was some sort of sociopath." Massinissa, you meant psychopath, didn't you?

the following is an excerpt from essay written by James at Winter Patriot:

"... Psychopaths are people without a conscience; without compassion for others; without a sense of shame or guilt. The majority of people carry within them the concern for others that evolution has instilled in us to allow us to survive as groups. This is the evolutionary basis of the quality of compassion. Compassion is not just a matter of virtue; it is a matter of survival. Psychopaths do not have this concern for others and so are a danger to the survival of the rest of us.

Psychopaths, as a homogeneous group, would not survive one or two generations by themselves. They are motivated only by self interest and would exploit each other till they ended up killing each other. Which gives one pause for thought! They are parasites and need the rest of us to survive. In doing so they compromise the survival of the whole species.

Psychopaths represent approximately between 1% and 20% of the population in western countries depending on whose research you go by and also depending on how broad a definition of the condition you adopt. It is generally held, though, that there is a hard core of between 4-6% or so and maybe another 10 -15% of the population that is functionally psychopathic in that they will exploit their fellow human being without hesitation.

The hard core are untreatable. They see nothing wrong with who or what they are. The other 10-15% group may be persuaded to act differently in a different environment or a different society. The second group act out of a misguided strategy of survival. I'll concentrate on the hard core 5% and the singular fact that must be borne in mind with them is that they are incapable of change for the better. They cannot reform or be reformed. And you can take that to the bank in every case! They must never be trusted.

Documented liars like those that populate the current Kiev regime can be confidently assumed to be psychopaths from their behaviour and so will never negotiate in good faith and will always renege on any deals they make. The same can be said for the governments of the US and UK who back them. Historically, they have never made a treaty that they did not subsequently break."

James' essay is extremely informative wrt group psychopathy... some of you may want to give it a read:

http://winterpatriot.com/node/894

psst... imho TPTB are psychopaths as are the puppets whose strings they pull.

Massinissa | Jun 18, 2014 1:29:31 PM | 98@97

My bad... Im not even sure what the difference between the two is.

crone | Jun 18, 2014 4:47:48 PM | 99

sociopath: a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

see also http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/how-spot-sociopath

psychopath: a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.
an unstable and aggressive person. "schoolyard psychopaths will gather around a fight to encourage the combatants"

see also http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindmelding/201301/what-is-psychopath-0

Mina, now that I've looked up these links for you, I am confused myself! Since a sociopath is less of a danger to the rest of us, I prefer to call TPTB and their puppets psychopaths. Not your bad at all, apparently the two are so similar as to there being difficulty telling them apart.

btw, I always enjoy your posts ~ not only do I get new info, but often new sources... which is great. Thanks!

[Sep 13, 2016] Hillary Clinton's National Security Advisers Are a "Who's Who" of the Warfare State

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton's National Security Advisers Are a "Who's Who" of the Warfare State ..."
"... The list of key advisers - which includes the general who executed the troop surge in Iraq and a former Bush homeland security chief turned terror profiteer - is a strong indicator that Clinton's national security policy will not threaten the post-9/11 national-security status quo that includes active use of military power abroad and heightened security measures at home. ..."
Sep 08, 2016 | theintercept.com

Hillary Clinton's National Security Advisers Are a "Who's Who" of the Warfare State
By Zaid Jilani, Alex Emmons, and Naomi LaChance

HILLARY CLINTON IS meeting with a new national security "working group" that is filled with an elite "who's who" of the military-industrial complex and the security deep state.

The list of key advisers - which includes the general who executed the troop surge in Iraq and a former Bush homeland security chief turned terror profiteer - is a strong indicator that Clinton's national security policy will not threaten the post-9/11 national-security status quo that includes active use of military power abroad and heightened security measures at home.

It's a story we've seen before in President Obama's early appointments. In retrospect, analysts have pointed to the continuity in national security and intelligence advisers as an early sign that despite his campaign rhetoric Obama would end up building on - rather than tearing down - the often-extralegal, Bush-Cheney counterterror regime. For instance, while Obama promised in 2008 to reform the NSA, its director was kept on and its reach continued to grow.

Obama's most fateful decision may have been choosing former National Counterterrorism Center Director John Brennan to be national security adviser, despite Brennan's support of Bush's torture program. Brennan would go on to run the president's drone program, lead the CIA, fight the Senate's torture investigation, and then lie about searching Senate computers.

That backdrop is what makes Clinton's new list of advisers so significant.

It includes Gen. David Petraeus, the major architect of the 2007 Iraq War troop surge, which brought 30,000 more troops to Iraq. Picking him indicates at partiality to combative ideology. It also represents a return to good standing for the general after he pled guilty to leaking notebooks full of classified information to his lover, Paula Broadwell, and got off with two years of probation and a fine. Petraeus currently works at the investment firm KKR & Co.

Another notable member of Clinton's group is Michael Chertoff, a hardliner who served as President George W. Bush's last secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and who since leaving government in 2009 has helmed a corporate consulting firm called the Chertoff Group that promotes security-industry priorities. For example, in 2010, he gave dozens of media interviews touting full-body scanners at airports while his firm was employed by a company that produced body scanning machines. His firmalso employs a number of other ex-security state officials, such as former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden. It does not disclose a complete list of its clients - all of whom now have a line of access to Clinton.

Many others on the list are open advocates of military escalation overseas. Mike Morell, the former acting director of the CIA, endorsed Clinton last month in a New York Times opinion piece that accused Trump of being an "unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." The Times was criticized for not disclosing his current employment by Beacon Global Strategies, a politically powerful national-security consulting firm with strong links to Clinton. Three days later, Morell told Charlie Rose in a PBS interview that the CIA should actively assassinate Russians and Iranians in Syria.

During his time at the CIA, Morell was connected to some of the worst scandals and intelligence failures of the Bush administration. In his book, he apologizes for giving flawed intelligence to Colin Powell about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, but defends the CIA torture program as legal and ethical.

Jim Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander Europe on Clinton's advisory group, told Fox News Radio in July, when he was being vetted by Clinton as a possible vice presidential nominee, that "we have got to get more aggressive going into Syria and Iraq and go after [ISIS] because if we don't they're going to come to us. It's a pretty simple equation." He said he would "encourage the president to take a more aggressive stance against Iran, to increase our military forces in Iraq and Syria, and to confront Vladmir Putin" over his moves in Crimea.

The New York Times reported in 2011 that Michael Vickers, a former Pentagon official on Clinton's new list, led the use of drone strikes. He would grin and tell his colleagues at meetings, "I just want to kill those guys."

Others on the list played a role in the targeted killing policies of the Obama administration, including Chris Fussell, a top aide to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and now a partner with him at his lucrative consulting firm, the McChrystal Group....

[Sep 12, 2016] Syria decision the latest blow to Obamas Middle East legacy

Notable quotes:
"... Yemen is another war the US is involved in thanks to the "peace" Pres. Obama. He has tried to keep this war hidden from the public. His few mentions of this war have been limited to shallow statements about his concern of the civilian casualty. ..."
"... Moreover, by selling the Saudis cluster bombs and other arms being used on civilians, Obama has enabled the Saudis in the last 8 moths to kill and destruct in Yemen more than WW2, as evidence shows. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the US is complicit in international war crimes in Yemen. ..."
"... After Obama's election, he went to Cairo to make a peace speech to the Arab world aiming to diffuse the deep hatred towards the US created during the Bush era. Yet since then, Obama's foolish alliances with despotic Arab rulers infesting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the region, his drone warfare, and warped war policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have only expanded and strengthened ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and increased Arab citizens anger and hatred towards the US. This is Obama's legacy! ..."
"... I always think there are similarities in Clinton and Obama s upbringing that created the anormic sociopathic shape shifting personalities they demonstrate. ..."
"... amiable even charismatic enough to sell it to a stupid audience. ..."
"... Why do we maintain the myth that the Obama brand is in anyway his personal contribution. Anymore than Bush or Clinton. The only difference is the republicans are ideologues where's as the puppets offered by the democrats are just psychotic shape shifters. In either way on a clear day you can see the strings hanging from their wrists like ribbons. ..."
"... The US is Allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel, that makes Saudi Arabia's and Israel's enemies US enemies. ..."
"... The notion that Obama makes his own decisions is laughable except it aint funny.. ..."
"... There is no 'Obama legacy' in the ME. It is a US legacy of blown attempts to control unwilling countries and populations by coercion, and by military and economic warfare. ..."
"... With all due respects to M. Obama, this is another clear indication that the US President is just a figure head. He is a front for the corporations that run the US behind the scene - the so-called US military-industrial complex. ..."
"... Perhaps you intentionally miss out the fact that it is the west that has Israel and the Saudis as their best allies, considering their actions ( one with the largest/longest time concentration camp in history, the other the exporter of the horror show of ISIL , both an abomination of their respective religions . The west attempt to seek the moral high ground is more than a farce ... all the world can see and know the game being played, but the mass media wishes to assume everyone has half a brain... they are allergic to the truth , like the vampires to the light. ..."
"... The stick I'm talking about is the total capacity of the US, military and economic, to have things its way or make the opposition very unhappy. ..."
"... What has it gotten us? Nothing good. What has it gotten the top 1 percent? All the money we don't have. ..."
"... Obama is being an absolute idiot in sending special forces to fight with rebels who are fighting the legitimate government of Syria. This is stupidity of the highest order. What will he do when any of these special forces operatives are captured by IS or killed by Russian or Syrian airstrikes? ..."
"... That is a valid point: Syria is a sovereign nation recognized by the U.N., and any foreign troops within without permission would be considered invaders. Of course, the U.S. ignores international law all the time. ..."
"... Anyway, foreign troops in Syria who are there without an invitation by Syrian government or authorisation by UNSC are there illegally and can be tried for war crimes if captured. Why is Obama putting his soldiers in this situation? ..."
"... The U.S. strategy in Syria is in tatters as Obama lamely tries to patch it up. The U.S. was determined to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria in service of the Saudis, Turkey, and Israel, while pretending to go after ISIS, who the Saudis and Turks were covertly funding. The U.S. were arming jihadists to oust Assad. That game is up, thanks to the Russians. Putin decided he wasn't going to stand by while the U.S. and its proxies created another Libya jihadist disaster in Syria. The forceful Russian intervention in going after ISIS showed the U.S. to be a faker, and caused a sea-change in U.S. policy. Now the U.S. can't pretend to go after ISIS while really trying to oust Assad. The Emporer has no clothes. ..."
"... Israel is an ally of KSA who is funding IS, Al Nusra, Al-Qaida and Al-Shabab. They are also partners with KSA in trying to prevent Iran's reintegration into global society following the nuclear deal, and the lifting of sanctions. ..."
"... I suspect that Israel wants to annex the Syrian Golan Heights permanently, and to extend their illegal settlements into the area. That can only happen if Assad is defeated. ..."
"... Wow, you make a lot of sense. I always thought the US military heavy foreign policy became insane because of Reagan. Maybe it was the loss of the USSR? ..."
"... Everyone here grew up being taught that the US is the champion of all that is good (sounds corny today). When the USSR dissolved, everyone imagined huge military cuts with the savings being invested in social benefits. If someone had predicted that, instead, we would grow our military, throw our civil rights away, embrace empire, assasinate US citizens without a trial, create total surveillance, create secret one sided star-chamber FISA courts that control a third of our economy, and choose a Dept. name heard previously only in Nazi movies (Homeland Security) --- we'd have laughed and dismissed the warning as delusion. ..."
"... You are correct. Obama is breaking UN international law, the US has no right to invade Syria. Russia, though, has been asked by the Syrian government for help, a government fully recognized by the UN. Russia has full UN sanctioned rights to help Syria. US news media will never explain this to the public, sadly. ..."
"... Obama's presidency lost its credibility a long time ago. He made so many rash promises and statements which one by one he has broken, that no free thinking person believes anything he says anymore. ..."
"... There's a world of difference between Russia taking steps to protect its immediate geographic and political interests (which were largely the wishes of the resident populations - something critics tend to overlook) and the USA invading Iraq (2003) in a blatant act of war, based on bullshit and then aiding and abetting mercenary terrorists in Syria in defiance of any declaration of war, UN resolution or invitation from the Syrian government to intervene. ..."
"... You might have also noticed that Syria is a long, long way from the USA. Rhetorically, WTF is the US doing in the Middle East? Propping up Saudi or Israel? Or both? ..."
"... ISIS == Mercenaries sponsored by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Does a strategy against our own mercenaries make sense??? ..."
"... Think about, when's the last time Saudi Arabia did anything progressive or humane in its foreign policy? Now remember this very same country is on the same side as the Americans. This is the country that invaded Bahrain and Yemen and labelled the civil rights movements in those countries as 'Iranian interference.' The Saudis who have been seeking to turn civil rights movements with rather nationalistic demands into religious and sectarian conflicts by playing different groups against each other are allied with the U.S. and sitting at the table in Vienna talking about peace in Syria. Nonsense upon stilts! ..."
"... ISIS poses no threat to the Americans and vice versa. The Americans therefore do not have an interest in making sure that ISIS is wiped out. On the contrary they want regional foes to suffer. ..."
"... The American attempt at negotiating peace in Syria without Syrian representation is nothing short of ridiculous and best illustrates the convoluted state of American foreign policy. America lost any claim to 'leadership' by now. ..."
"... Unfortunately American policy and that eu have at time added fuel to the fire. ..."
"... Russian Iranian and hezbollah boots are invited boots by the legitimate government according to the UN Charter they are all acting legally and according to the Geneva Conventions etc. ..."
"... The US led coalition in bombing Syria were not, and the admitted introduction of troops into Syria is a an ACT OF WAR by the USA, and it is the AGRESSOR here, not doubt about it. It's a War Crime by every standard ..."
"... See the NATO creep into Eastern Europe against all agreements made with USSR. ..."
"... But their real agenda is to carve up Syria. In the deep recesses of their, the Corporate corrupt White House's, mind ISIS is not their immediate problem. ISIS is a means to an end - carve up Syria a sovereign country. ..."
"... Remember, only months ago, Kerry and Tory William Hague, was handing out cash to Syrian rebels who later turned out to be ISIS rebels. We must never forget, Syria, right or wrong, is a sovereign country. ..."
"... Look at the mess they made in, Ukraine, with their friends a bunch of, Kiev, murdering neo-Nazi's. ..."
"... Just out of curiosity...how will the US keep the DoD and CIA from duking it out at the opposite fronts on the Syrian soil? ..."
"... Washington has clearly chosen to break International Law. ..."
"... Westphalian sovereignty is the principle of international law that each nation state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another country's domestic affairs, and that each state (no matter how large or small) is equal in international law ..."
"... As the administration in Washington is firmly in the grasp of special interest groups such as Big Pharma, The Banksters, Big Agrobusiness, Big oil, the MIC and Israel there is no chance of getting good policy decisions out of there until there is a regime change. ..."
"... You might think that having criticized Assad for shooting demonstrators who demonstrated against the corruption and inefficiency of his regime, and having said that as a result his regime had lost its legitimacy, they would apply the same yardstick to President Poroshenko when he shot up two provinces of his country for asking for federation, killing thousands in the process, but on the contrary they sent "advisers" to train his military and his Fascist helpers to use their weapons better, to shoot them up more effectively. ..."
"... However, one cannot really expect people who are exceptional to behave like ordinary (unexceptional) human beings. ..."
"... What is the official US line on the legality of these deployments in terms of international law? ..."
Oct 30, 2015 | The Guardian

willpodmore 1 Nov 2015 10:30

NATO and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria .... they make a desert and call it peace.

ID7582903 1 Nov 2015 06:19

"Credibility"? Beware and be aware folks. This isn't a monopoly game being played here; it's for real.

2015 Valdai conference is Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow's World. In the period between October 19 and 22, experts from 30 countries have been considering various aspects of the perception of war and peace both in the public consciousness and in international relations, religion and economic interaction between states. Videos w live translations and english transcripts (a keeper imho)
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

30 Oct, 2015 - The day US announces Ground troops into Syria, and the day before the downing/crash of the Russian Airbus 321 in the Sinai, this happened: Russia has conducted a major test of its strategic missile forces, firing numerous ballistic and cruise missiles from various training areas across the country, videos uploaded by the Ministry of Defense have shown.

A routine exercise, possibly the largest of its kind this year, was intended to test the command system of transmitting orders among departments and involved launches from military ranges on the ground, at sea and in the air, the ministry said Friday.

https://www.rt.com/news/320194-russia-missiles-launch-training/

30.10.2015 Since the beginning of its operation in Syria on September 30, Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out 1,391 sorties in Syria, destroying a total of 1,623 terrorist targets, the Russian General Staff said Friday.

In particular, Russian warplanes destroyed 249 Islamic State command posts, 51 training camps, and 131 depots, Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorate said.

"In Hanshih, a suburb of Damascus, 17 militants of the Al-Ghuraba group were executed in public after they tried to leave the combat area and flee to Jordan," he specified. "The whole scene was filmed in order to disseminate the footage among the other groups operating in the vicinity of Damascus and other areas", the General Staff spokesman said. In the central regions of the country, the Syrian Army managed to liberate 12 cities in the Hama province, Kartapolov said. "The Syrian armed forces continue their advance to the north," the general added.

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151030/1028992570/russian-airstrikes-syria-friday.html

fairviewplz 1 Nov 2015 04:47

Yemen is another war the US is involved in thanks to the "peace" Pres. Obama. He has tried to keep this war hidden from the public. His few mentions of this war have been limited to shallow statements about his concern of the civilian casualty. What an insult to our intelligence! We are well aware that the US provides the logistical and technical support, and refuelling of warplanes to the Saudi coalition illegal war in Yemen. Moreover, by selling the Saudis cluster bombs and other arms being used on civilians, Obama has enabled the Saudis in the last 8 moths to kill and destruct in Yemen more than WW2, as evidence shows. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the US is complicit in international war crimes in Yemen.

After Obama's election, he went to Cairo to make a peace speech to the Arab world aiming to diffuse the deep hatred towards the US created during the Bush era. Yet since then, Obama's foolish alliances with despotic Arab rulers infesting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the region, his drone warfare, and warped war policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have only expanded and strengthened ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and increased Arab citizens anger and hatred towards the US. This is Obama's legacy!

Barmaidfromhell -> WSCrips 1 Nov 2015 03:52

Well said.

I always think there are similarities in Clinton and Obama s upbringing that created the anormic sociopathic shape shifting personalities they demonstrate. Obviously carefully selected to follow any line given them and amiable even charismatic enough to sell it to a stupid audience.

Why do we maintain the myth that the Obama brand is in anyway his personal contribution. Anymore than Bush or Clinton. The only difference is the republicans are ideologues where's as the puppets offered by the democrats are just psychotic shape shifters. In either way on a clear day you can see the strings hanging from their wrists like ribbons.

Michael Imanual Christos -> Pete Piper 1 Nov 2015 00:28

Pete Piper

In brief;

The US is Allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel, that makes Saudi Arabia's and Israel's enemies US enemies.

... ... ...

midnightschild10 31 Oct 2015 21:35

When Obama denounced Russia's actions in Syria, and blamed them for massive loss of civilian lives, Russia responded by asking them to show their proof. The Administration spokesperson said they got their information from social media. No one in the Administration seems to realize how utterly stupid that sounds. Marie Harf is happily developing the Administration's foreign policy via Twitter. As the CIA and NSA read Facebook for their daily planning, Obama reads the comments section of newspapers to prepare for his speech to the American public in regard to putting boots on the ground in Syria, and adding to the boots in Iraq. If it didn't result in putting soldiers lives in jeopardy, it would be considered silly. Putin makes his move and watches as the Obama Administration makes the only move they know, after minimal success in bombing, Obama does send in the troops. Putin is the one running the game. Obama's response is so predictable. No wonder the Russians are laughing. In his quest to outdo Cheyney, Obama has added to the number of wars the US is currently involved in. His original claim to fame was to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which then resulted in starting Iraq and Afghanistan Wars 2.0. Since helping to depose the existing governments in the Middle East, leading not only to the resurgence of AlQuaeda, and giving birth to ISIS, and leaving chaos and destruction in his wake, he decided to take down the last standing ruler, hoping that if he does the same thing over and over, he will get a different result. Obama's foreign policy legacy had been considered impotent at best, now its considered ridiculous.

SomersetApples 31 Oct 2015 20:03

We bombed them, we sent armies of terrorist in to kill them, we destroyed their hospitals and power plants and cities, we put sanctions on them and we did everything in our power to cut off their trading with the outside world, and yet they are still standing.

The only thing left to do, lets send in some special military operatives.

This is so out of character, or our perceived character of Obama. It must be that deranged idiot John McCain pulling the strings.

Rafiqac01 31 Oct 2015 16:58

The notion that Obama makes his own decisions is laughable except it aint funny....having just watched CNNs Long Road to Hell in Iraq....and the idiots advising Bush and Blair you have to wonder the extent to which these are almighty balls ups or very sophisticated planning followed up by post disaster rationalisation....

whatever the conclusion it proves that the intervention or non interventions prove their is little the USA has done that has added any good value to the situation...indeed it is an unmitigated disaster strewn around the world! Trump is the next generation frothing at the mouth ready to show what a big John Wayne he is!!

DavidFCanada 31 Oct 2015 13:56

There is no 'Obama legacy' in the ME. It is a US legacy of blown attempts to control unwilling countries and populations by coercion, and by military and economic warfare. That US legacy will forever remain, burnt into skins and bodies of the living and dead, together with a virtually unanimous recognition in the ME of the laughable US pretexts of supporting democracy, the rule of law, religious freedom and, best of all, peace. Obama is merely the chief functionary of a nation of lies.

Informed17 -> WSCrips 31 Oct 2015 13:47

Are you saying that there was no illegal invasion of Iraq? No vial of laundry detergent was presented at the UN as "proof" that Iraq has WMDs? No hue and cry from "independent" media supported that deception campaign? Were you in a deep coma at the time?

Informed17 -> somethingbrite 31 Oct 2015 13:36

No. But the US trampled on the international law for quite a while now, starting with totally illegal interference in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

WSCrips 31 Oct 2015 13:18

Hey Guardian Editors.....and all those who worshipped Obama....In America, there were folks from the older generation that warned us that this Community Organizer was not ready for the Job of President of the United States....it had nothing to do with his color, he just was not ready.....he was a young, inexperienced Senator, who never, ever had a real job, never had a street fight growing up pampered in Hawaii, was given a pass to great universities because his parents had money, and was the dream Affirmative Action poster boy for the liberal left. Obama has not disappointed anyone who tried to warn us......and now we will reap what he has sowed:

1. 8 Trillion to our debt
2. Nightmare in the Middleast (how is that Arab Spring)
3. Polarized America....Dems and Republicans hate each other....hate each other like the Irish and English...10 x over.
4. War on Cops
5. War with China
6. Invasion from Central America

I see a great depression and World War IV on the horizon....and I am being positive!

SaveRMiddle 31 Oct 2015 12:47

Nothing Obama says has any value. We've watched the man lie with a grin and a chuckle.

Forever Gone is all trust.

His continued abuse of Red Line threats spoke volumes about the lawyer who Reactively micromanages that which required and deserved an expert Proactive plan.

Let History reflect the horrific death CIA meddling Regime Change/Divide and Conquer creates.

HeadInSand2013 31 Oct 2015 12:45

Liberal activists were in little doubt that Obama has failed to live up to his commitment to avoid getting dragged directly into the war.

With all due respects to M. Obama, this is another clear indication that the US President is just a figure head. He is a front for the corporations that run the US behind the scene - the so-called US military-industrial complex.

Liberal activists are stupid enough to think that M. Obama is actually in charge of the US military or the US foreign policy. Just go back and count how many times during the last 6 years M. Obama has made a declaration and then - sometimes the next day - US military has over-ruled him.


Mediaking 31 Oct 2015 10:00

Perhaps you intentionally miss out the fact that it is the west that has Israel and the Saudis as their best allies, considering their actions ( one with the largest/longest time concentration camp in history, the other the exporter of the horror show of ISIL , both an abomination of their respective religions . The west attempt to seek the moral high ground is more than a farce ... all the world can see and know the game being played, but the mass media wishes to assume everyone has half a brain... they are allergic to the truth , like the vampires to the light.

USA forces coming to the aid of their 5 individuals... yes 1,2,3,4,5 ( stated by US command- there are only that amount of FSA fighters left - the rest have gone over to ISIL with their equipment -- ) the local population all speak of ISIL/Daesh being American/Israeli ,they say if this is a civil war how come all the opposition are foreigners -- I think perhaps it's like the Ukraine affair... a bunch of CIA paid Nazi thugs instigating a coup ... or like Venezuela agents on roof tops shooting at both sides in demonstrations to get things going. The usual business of CIA/Mossad stuff in tune with the mass media with their engineered narratives -- Followed by the trolls on cyber space... no doubt we shall see them here too.

All note that an Intervention in Syria would be "ILLEGAL" by Int. law and sooner than later will be sued in billions for it...on top of the billions spent on having a 5 person strong force of FSA...spent from the American tax payers money . Syria has a government and is considered a state at the UN . Iran and Russia are there at the request and permission of Syria .

Russia and Iran have been methodically wiping out Washington's mercenaries on the ground while recapturing large swathes of land that had been lost to the terrorists. Now that the terrorists are getting wiped out the west and the Saudis are are screaming blue murder !

I for one would have Assad stay , as he himself suggests , till his country is completely free of terrorists, then have free elections . I would add , to have the Saudis and the ones in the west/Turkey/Jordan charged for crimes against humanity for supplying and creating Daesh/ISIS . This element cannot be ignored . Also Kurdistan can form their new country in the regions they occupy as of this moment and Mosul to come. Iran,Russia,Iraq, Syria and the new Kurdistan will sign up to this deal . Millions of Syrian refugees can then come back home and rebuild their broken lives with Iranian help and cash damages from the mentioned instigators $400 billion . The cash must be paid into the Syrian central bank before any elections take place ... Solved...

My consultancy fee - 200ml pounds sterling... I know ... you wish I ruled the world (who knows !) - no scams please or else -- ( the else would be an Apocalypse upon the western equity markets via the Illuminati i.e a 49% crash )... a week to pay , no worries since better to pay for a just solution than to have million descend upon EU as refugees . It is either this or God's revenge with no mercy .

amacd2 31 Oct 2015 09:52

Obama, being more honest but also more dangerous than Flip Wilson says, "The Empire made me do it",

Bernie, having "reservations" about what Obama has done, says nothing against Empire, but continues to pretend, against all evidence, that this is a democracy.

Hillary, delighting in more war, says "We came, we bombed, they all died, but the Empire won."

Talk about 'The Issue' to debate for the candidates in 2016?

"What's your position on the Empire?"

"Oh, what Empire, you ask?"

"The friggin Empire that you are auditioning to pose as the president of --- you lying tools of both the neocon 'R' Vichy party and you smoother lying neoliberal-cons of the 'D' Vichy party!"

lightstroke -> Pete Piper 31 Oct 2015 09:41

Nukes are not on the table. Mutually Assured Destruction.

The stick I'm talking about is the total capacity of the US, military and economic, to have things its way or make the opposition very unhappy.

It's not necessary to win wars to exercise that power. All they have to do is start them and keep them going until the arms industry makes as much dough from them as possible. That's the only win they care about.

What has it gotten us? Nothing good. What has it gotten the top 1 percent? All the money we don't have.

Taku2 31 Oct 2015 09:26

Obama is being an absolute idiot in sending special forces to fight with rebels who are fighting the legitimate government of Syria. This is stupidity of the highest order. What will he do when any of these special forces operatives are captured by IS or killed by Russian or Syrian airstrikes?

How stupid can a President get?

Obama does need to pull back on this one, even though it will make his stupid and erroneous policy towards the Syrian tragedy seem completely headless. If this stupid and brainless policy is meant to be symbolic, its potential for future catastrophic consequences is immeasurable.

phillharmonic -> nishville 31 Oct 2015 08:56

That is a valid point: Syria is a sovereign nation recognized by the U.N., and any foreign troops within without permission would be considered invaders. Of course, the U.S. ignores international law all the time.

nishville 31 Oct 2015 08:35

Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State

And who are those then? Do they exist, do we have any reliable source confirming they are really simultaneously fighting IS and Syrian Army or is it yet another US fairy tale?

Anyway, foreign troops in Syria who are there without an invitation by Syrian government or authorisation by UNSC are there illegally and can be tried for war crimes if captured. Why is Obama putting his soldiers in this situation?

phillharmonic 31 Oct 2015 08:33

The U.S. strategy in Syria is in tatters as Obama lamely tries to patch it up. The U.S. was determined to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria in service of the Saudis, Turkey, and Israel, while pretending to go after ISIS, who the Saudis and Turks were covertly funding. The U.S. were arming jihadists to oust Assad. That game is up, thanks to the Russians. Putin decided he wasn't going to stand by while the U.S. and its proxies created another Libya jihadist disaster in Syria. The forceful Russian intervention in going after ISIS showed the U.S. to be a faker, and caused a sea-change in U.S. policy. Now the U.S. can't pretend to go after ISIS while really trying to oust Assad. The Emporer has no clothes.

amacd2 -> Woody Treasure 31 Oct 2015 08:31

Woody, did you mean "Obama is a foil (for the Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire--- which he certainly is), or did you mean to say "fool" (which he certainly is not, both because he is a well paid puppet/poodle for this Global Empire merely HQed in, and 'posing' as, America --- as Blair and Camron are for the same singular Global Empire --- and because Obama didn't end his role as Faux/Emperor-president like JFK), eh?

Nena Cassol -> TonyBlunt 31 Oct 2015 06:48

Assad's father seized power with a military coup and ruled the country for 30 years, before dying he appointed his son, who immediately established marshal law, prompting discontent even among his father's die-hard loyalists ...this is plain history, is this what you call a legitimate leader?

Cycles 31 Oct 2015 06:41

Forced to go in otherwise the Russians and Iranians get full control. Welcome to the divided Syria a la Germany after WW2.

TonyBlunt -> Nena Cassol 31 Oct 2015 06:36

"It does not take much research to find out that Assad is not legitimate at all"

Please share your source with us Nena. But remember Langley Publications don't count.

TonyBlunt -> oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 06:29

The Americans do not recognise international law. They do not sign up to any of it and proclaim the right to break it with their "exceptionalism".

Katrin3 -> herrmaya 31 Oct 2015 05:27

The Russians, US, Iran etc are all meeting right now in Vienna. The Russians and the US military do communicate with each other, to avoid attacking each other by mistake.

The Russians are in the West and N.West of Syria. The US is going into the N. East, near IS headquarters in Raqqa, to support the Kurdish YPG, who are only a few kilometers from the city.

Katrin3 -> ID6693806 31 Oct 2015 05:15

Israel is an ally of KSA who is funding IS, Al Nusra, Al-Qaida and Al-Shabab. They are also partners with KSA in trying to prevent Iran's reintegration into global society following the nuclear deal, and the lifting of sanctions.

I suspect that Israel wants to annex the Syrian Golan Heights permanently, and to extend their illegal settlements into the area. That can only happen if Assad is defeated.

centerline ChristineH 31 Oct 2015 04:48

The Kurds are the fabled moderate opposition who are willing to negotiate, and who have also fought with the Syrian government against US backed ISIS and al Nusra so called moderate opposition.

Pete Piper -> Verbum 31 Oct 2015 04:47

@Verbum
Wow, you make a lot of sense. I always thought the US military heavy foreign policy became insane because of Reagan. Maybe it was the loss of the USSR?

Everyone here grew up being taught that the US is the champion of all that is good (sounds corny today). When the USSR dissolved, everyone imagined huge military cuts with the savings being invested in social benefits. If someone had predicted that, instead, we would grow our military, throw our civil rights away, embrace empire, assasinate US citizens without a trial, create total surveillance, create secret one sided star-chamber FISA courts that control a third of our economy, and choose a Dept. name heard previously only in Nazi movies (Homeland Security) --- we'd have laughed and dismissed the warning as delusion.

gabriel90 -> confettifoot 31 Oct 2015 04:46

ISiS is destroying Syria thanks to the US and Saudi Arabia; its an instrument to spread chaos in the Middle East and attack Iran and Russia...

ChristineH 31 Oct 2015 04:21

So, on the day peace talks open, the US unilaterally announces advice boots on the ground to support one of the many sides in the Syrian War, who will undoubtedly want self determination, right on Turkey's border, as they always have, and as has always been opposed by the majority of the Syrian population. What part of that isn't completely mad?

Great sympathy for the situation of the Kurds in Syria under Assad, but their nationalism issue and inability to work together with the Sunni rebels, was a major factor in the non formation of a functioning opposition in Syria, and will be a block to peace, not its cause. It's also part of a larger plan to have parts of Turkey and Iraq under Kurdish control to create a contingent kingdom. Whatever the merits of that, the US deciding to support them at this stage is completely irrational, and with Russia and Iran supporting Assad will lengthen the war, not shorten it.

MissSarajevo 31 Oct 2015 04:21

Just a couple of things here. How does the US know who the moderates are?!? Is this another occasion that the US is going to use International law as toilet paper? The US will enter (as if they weren't already there, illegally. They were not invited in by the legitimate leader of Syria.

gabriel90 31 Oct 2015 04:19

Warbama is just trying to save his saudi/qatari/turk/emirati dogs of war... they will be wiped out by Russia and the axis of resistance...

Pete Piper -> Michael Imanual Christos 31 Oct 2015 04:08

Does anyone see anything rational in US foreign policy? When I hear attempts to explain, they vary around .. "it's about oil". But no one ever shows evidence continuous wars produced more oil for anyone. So, are we deliberately creating chaos and misery? Why? To make new enemies we can use to justify more war? We've now classified the number of countries we are bombing. Why? The countries being bombed surely know.

Pete Piper -> oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 03:50

You are correct. Obama is breaking UN international law, the US has no right to invade Syria. Russia, though, has been asked by the Syrian government for help, a government fully recognized by the UN. Russia has full UN sanctioned rights to help Syria. US news media will never explain this to the public, sadly.

Only the US routinely violates other nations' sovergnity. Since Korea, the only nation that has ever used military force against a nation not on its border is the US.

Can anyone find rationality in US foreign policy? We are supposed to be fighting ISIL, but Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to be helping ISIL to force Syrian regime change. And the US is supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia that are routed to ISIL. Supposedly because eliminating President Asad is more important than fighting ISIL? The US public is being misled into thinking we are NOW fighting ISIL. After Asad is killed, then we will genuinely fight ISIL? Russia, Iran, and more(?) will fight to keep Asad in power and then fight ISIL? THIS IS OBVIOUS BS, AND ALSO FUBAR.

By all means, get everyone together for some diplomacy.

oldholbornian -> lesmandalasdeniki 31 Oct 2015 03:36

Well lets look at Germany the centre of christian culture and the EU

http://www.infowars.com/this-is-our-future-germany-may-soon-have-8-million-muslims/

CAPLAN -> Lunora 31 Oct 2015 03:33

reminds me of emporer franz josef in europe about 100 years ago .. meant well but led to ruination ..i dont think that there has been an american president involved in more wars than obama

obama by his cairo speech kicked of the arab spring ..shows that words can kill

however.. the experience he now has gained may lead to an avoidance of a greater sunni shia war in syria if the present vienna talks can offer something tangible and preserve honour to the sunnis .. in the mid east honour and macho are key elements in negotiations

iran however is a shia caliphate based regime and unless it has learnt the lesson from yemen on the limitations of force may push for further success via army and diplomacy and control in syria and iraq

oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 02:42

But Obama's latest broken promise to avoid an "open-ended action" in Syria could lead to a full-blown war with Russia considering that Russian military has been operating in Syria for weeks.

" For the first time ever, the American strategists have developed an illusion that they may defeat a nuclear power in a non-nuclear war," Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin told AP. "It's nonsense, and it will never happen."

http://www.infowars.com/flashback-obama-says-no-boots-on-the-ground-in-syria-before-sending-troops/

Any US / terrorist engagement with the Syrian security forces will include engaging with its allies Russia

Once the firing starts Russia will include the US as terrorists with no rights to be in Syrian and under the UN RULES have the right to defend themselves against the US

HollyOldDog -> foolisholdman 31 Oct 2015 02:32

Hmm Foreign snipers on rooftops ( not in the control of the government) how many times is this scenario going to be played out before the 'press' twigs it than something is not making sense.

HollyOldDog -> foolisholdman 31 Oct 2015 02:29

Though in one demonstration there was snipers on rooftops shooting both deconstratirs and the police - far more police were killed than demonstrators - what does this reming you of? Was these actions seemingly out of the control of the government a preliminary to what happened in Kiev during the maidan - practices get the technics right I suppose. - outside forces were obviously at work ' stirring the pot.

Anna Eriksson 31 Oct 2015 02:24

Let's hope that the US will help out with taking in some refugees as well! In Germany, and Sweden locals are becoming so frustrated and angry that they set refugee shelters on fire. This is a trend in both Sweden and Germany, as shown in the maps in the links. There have almost been 90 arsons in Germany so far this year, almost 30 in Sweden.

Map of Sweden fire incidents: http://bit.ly/1MiaMX9

Map of Germany arson incidents: http://bit.ly/1LZzEUh

betrynol 31 Oct 2015 01:56

Nobody tells the American people and nobody else really cares, but these 40-something guys being sent to Syria are possibly there as:

The Russian and Iranian troops on the ground will soon engage and sweep anti-Assad forces in key regions in Western Syria. This will be slightly impeded if Americans are among them. But accidents do happen, hence the term "cannon fodder".

The Russians and Iranians will likely take a step back militarily though for the duration of talks, so the American plan to protect Saudi backed fighters is likely to work.

I never involved or mentioned ISIS because this is NOT about fighting ISIS. It's about counteracting the Russian/Irania sweep in the area, and ultimately keeping the Americans in the game (sorry, war).

petervietnam 31 Oct 2015 01:13

The world's policeman or the world's trouble maker?

Austin Young -> Will D 31 Oct 2015 00:34

But he's the "change we can believe in" guy! Oh right... Dem or republican, they spew anything and everything their voters want to hear but when it comes time to walk the walk the only voice in their head is Cash Money.

lesmandalasdeniki -> Bardhyl Cenolli 30 Oct 2015 23:34

It frustrates me, anyone who will be the problem-solver will be labeled as dangerous by the Western political and business leaders if the said person or group of people can not be totally controlled for their agenda.

This will be the first time I will be speaking about the Indonesian forest fires that started from June this year until now. During the period I was not on-line, I watched the local news and all channels were featuring the same problem every day during the last two-weeks.

US is also silent about it during Obama - Jokowi meeting, even praising Jokowi being on the right track. After Jokowi came back, his PR spin is in the force again, he went directly to Palembang, he held office and trying to put up an image of a President that cared for his people. He couldn't solve the Indonesian forest fires from June - October, is it probably because Jusuf Kalla has investment in it?

My point is, US and the Feds, World Bank and IMF are appointing their puppets on each country they have put up an investment on terms of sovereign debt and corporate debt/bonds.

And Obama is their puppet.

Will D 30 Oct 2015 23:30

Obama's presidency lost its credibility a long time ago. He made so many rash promises and statements which one by one he has broken, that no free thinking person believes anything he says anymore.

He has turned out to be a massive disappointment to all those who had such high hopes that he really would make the world a better place. His failure and his abysmal track record will cause him to be remembered as the Nobel Peace prize wining president who did exactly the opposite of what he promised, and failed to further the cause of peace.

Greg_Samsa -> Greenacres2002 30 Oct 2015 23:07

Consistency is at the heart of logic, all mathematics, and hard sciences.

Even the legal systems strive to be free of contradictions.

I'd rather live in world with consistency of thought and action as represented by the Russian Federation, then be mired in shit created by the US who have shed all the hobgoblins pestering the consistency of their thoughts and actions.

Never truly understood the value of this stupid quote really...

Phil Atkinson -> PaulF77 30 Oct 2015 22:28

There's a world of difference between Russia taking steps to protect its immediate geographic and political interests (which were largely the wishes of the resident populations - something critics tend to overlook) and the USA invading Iraq (2003) in a blatant act of war, based on bullshit and then aiding and abetting mercenary terrorists in Syria in defiance of any declaration of war, UN resolution or invitation from the Syrian government to intervene.

You might have also noticed that Syria is a long, long way from the USA. Rhetorically, WTF is the US doing in the Middle East? Propping up Saudi or Israel? Or both?

MainstreamMedia Propaganda 30 Oct 2015 22:03

ISIS == Mercenaries sponsored by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Does a strategy against our own mercenaries make sense???

2012 DIA Document (R050839Z) - Defense Intelligence Agency
Public Affairs Office: 202-231-5554 or DIA-PAO@dodiis.mil
http://www.mintpressnews.com/media-blacks-out-pentagon-report-exposing-u-s-role-in-isis-creation/206187/
http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-287-293-291-jw-v-dod-and-state-14-812-2/

DarrenPartridge 30 Oct 2015 22:03

I think blatant policy changes like this show just how ineffectual the US president actually is. The hand over between Bush and Obama has been seamless. Gitmo still going, patriot act renewed, Libya a smoldering ruin (4 years down the line), no progress on gun control, troops in Afganistan and Iraq... it goes on...

HowSicklySeemAll 30 Oct 2015 21:58

"It's really hard to see how this tiny number of troops embedded on the ground is going to turn the tide in any way."

Or the U.S. could carry out air strikes against Hezbollah which has been fighting ISIS for a while now. They could also supply weapons to ISIS (who are dubbed 'moderates') to counter Russian airstrikes and Iranian man power.

Think about, when's the last time Saudi Arabia did anything progressive or humane in its foreign policy? Now remember this very same country is on the same side as the Americans. This is the country that invaded Bahrain and Yemen and labelled the civil rights movements in those countries as 'Iranian interference.' The Saudis who have been seeking to turn civil rights movements with rather nationalistic demands into religious and sectarian conflicts by playing different groups against each other are allied with the U.S. and sitting at the table in Vienna talking about peace in Syria. Nonsense upon stilts!

Phil Atkinson -> Harry Bhai 30 Oct 2015 21:57

Fuck the al-Sauds and their oil. If the US wants their oil (and there's plenty of other oil sellers in the world) then just take it. Why not be consistent?

templeforjerusalem 30 Oct 2015 21:51

IS has shown itself to be deeply hateful of anything that conflicts with their narrow religious interpretations. Destroying Palmyra, murdering indiscriminately, without any clear international agenda other than the formation of a new Sunni Sharia State, makes them essentially enemies of everybody. Although I do agree that belligerent secular Netanyahu's Israel sets a bad example in the area, Israel does not tend to murder over the same primitive values that IS uses, although there's not much difference in reality.

IS uses extermination tactics, Israel used forced land clearance and concentration camp bombing (Gaza et al), while the US in Iraq used brutal force. None of this is good but nothing justifies the shear barbarism of IS. Is there hope in any of this? No. Is Russian and US involvement a major escalation? Yes.

Ultimately, this is about religious identities refusing to share and demand peace. Sunni vs Shia, Judeo/Catholic/Protestant West vs Russian Orthodox, secular vs orthodox Israel. No wonder people are saying Armageddon.

HowSicklySeemAll 30 Oct 2015 21:50

ISIS poses no threat to the Americans and vice versa. The Americans therefore do not have an interest in making sure that ISIS is wiped out. On the contrary they want regional foes to suffer. The only countries and groups that have been successfully fighting ISIS - Assad's forces, Iranians, Hezbollah, Russians, and Kurds are in fact enemies of either the U.S., Saudis, Israelis, or Turks. Isn't that strange? The countries and peoples that have suffered the most and that have actually fought against ISIS effectively are seen as the enemy. Do the powers that be really want to wipe out ISIS at all costs? No, especially if it involves the Iranians and Russians.

VengefulRevenant 30 Oct 2015 21:44

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pretext. It's an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, wilful choice by [President Obama] to invade another country. [The US] is in violation of the sovereignty of [Syria. The US] is in violation of its international obligations."

Verbum -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:41

How are Russian boots on the ground - of which there have been many for some time - ok and American boots bad?

The difference is that of a poison and the antidotum. The American/NATO meddling in Iraq, Libya and Syria created a truly sick situation which needs to be fixed. That's what the Russians are doing. Obviously, they have their own objectives and motives for that and are protecting their own interests, but nevertheless this is the surest way to re-establish semblance of stability in the Middle East, rebuilt Syria and Iraq, stop the exodus of the refugees, and mend relations in the region.

The American attempt at negotiating peace in Syria without Syrian representation is nothing short of ridiculous and best illustrates the convoluted state of American foreign policy. America lost any claim to 'leadership' by now.

I feel sorry for Mr Obama, and indeed America, because he is a decent person, yet most of us are unaware what forces he has to reckon with behind the scenes. It is clear by now that interests of corporations and rich individuals, as well as a couple of seemingly insignificant foreign states, beat the national interest of America all time, anytime. It is astonishing how a powerful, hard working and talented nation can become beholden to such forces, to its own detriment.

In the end, I do not think the situation is uniquely American. Russia or China given a chance of total hegemony would behave the same. That's why we need a field of powers/superpowers to keep one another in check and negotiate rather than enforce solutions.

ID9309755 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:02

Unfortunately American policy and that eu have at time added fuel to the fire. Yes, the me has its own problems, including rival versions of Islam and fundamentalism as well as truly megalomaniac leaders. But in instances (Libya for example) they did truly contribute to the country's destruction (and I am not excusing Gaddafi, but for the people there sometimes having these leaders and waiting for generational transformations may be a better solution than instant democracy pills.)


ID7582903 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:00

Russian Iranian and hezbollah boots are invited boots by the legitimate government according to the UN Charter they are all acting legally and according to the Geneva Conventions etc.

The US led coalition in bombing Syria were not, and the admitted introduction of troops into Syria is a an ACT OF WAR by the USA, and it is the AGRESSOR here, not doubt about it. It's a War Crime by every standard

Obama and the "regime" that rules the United Snakes of America have all gone over the edge into insanity writ large.

ID9309755 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 20:55

To clarify, I meant that all these groups are funded by these Arabic sheikhdoms and it increasingly appears that th us of a is not as serious in eradicating all of them in the illusion that the so called softer ones will over through Assad and then it will be democracy, the much misused and fetishised term. Meanwhile we can carve up the country, Turkey gets a bite and our naughty bloated allies in Arabia will be happy with their influence. Only if it happened that way...

There is much more than this short and simplified scenario, and yes Russia played its hand rather well taking the west off guard. And I am not trying to portray Putin as some liberation prophet either. So perhaps you could say that yes, maybe I have looked into it deep...

BlooperMario -> RedEyedOverlord 30 Oct 2015 20:52

China and Russia are only responding to NY World Bank and IMF cheats and also standing up to an evil empire that has ruined the middle east.
Time you had a rethink old chap and stopped worshipping Blair; Bush; Rumsfeld etc as your heros.

See the NATO creep into Eastern Europe against all agreements made with USSR.

Silly Sailors provoking Chinese Lighthouse keepers.

RoyRoger 30 Oct 2015 19:30

Their Plan B is fucked !!

But their real agenda is to carve up Syria. In the deep recesses of their, the Corporate corrupt White House's, mind ISIS is not their immediate problem. ISIS is a means to an end - carve up Syria a sovereign country.

Remember, only months ago, Kerry and Tory William Hague, was handing out cash to Syrian rebels who later turned out to be ISIS rebels. We must never forget, Syria, right or wrong, is a sovereign country.

The real battle/plan for the Corporate corrupt White House is to try and get a foothold in Syria and establish a military dictator after a coup d'etat'. As we know it's what they, the West, do best.

Look at the mess they made in, Ukraine, with their friends a bunch of, Kiev, murdering neo-Nazi's.

In the interest of right is right; Good Luck Mr Putin !! I'm with you all the way.

weematt 30 Oct 2015 19:25

War (and poverty too) a consequence, concomitant, of competing for markets, raw materials and trade routes or areas of geo-political dominance, come to be seen as 'natural' outcomes of society, but are merely concomitants of a changeable social system.

... ... ...

Greg_Samsa 30 Oct 2015 19:21

Just out of curiosity...how will the US keep the DoD and CIA from duking it out at the opposite fronts on the Syrian soil?

This gives a whole new dimension to the term 'blue-on-blue'.

Kevin Donegan 30 Oct 2015 18:59

Washington has clearly chosen to break International Law.

"Westphalian sovereignty is the principle of international law that each nation state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another country's domestic affairs, and that each state (no matter how large or small) is equal in international law. The doctrine is named after the Peace of Westphalia, signed in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War, in which the major continental European states – the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France, Sweden and the Dutch Republic – agreed to respect one another's territorial integrity. As European influence spread across the globe, the Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.[1]"

foolisholdman 30 Oct 2015 18:41

As the administration in Washington is firmly in the grasp of special interest groups such as Big Pharma, The Banksters, Big Agrobusiness, Big oil, the MIC and Israel there is no chance of getting good policy decisions out of there until there is a regime change.

If ever there was a government hat had lost its legitimacy the present US government is it.

foolisholdman -> Johnny Kent 30 Oct 2015 18:31

Johnny Kent

The slight question of legality in placing troops in a sovereign country without permission or UN approval is obviously of no importance to the US...and yet they criticise Russia for 'annexing Crimea...

Yes, but you see: the two cases are not comparable because the USA is exceptional.

You might think that having criticized Assad for shooting demonstrators who demonstrated against the corruption and inefficiency of his regime, and having said that as a result his regime had lost its legitimacy, they would apply the same yardstick to President Poroshenko when he shot up two provinces of his country for asking for federation, killing thousands in the process, but on the contrary they sent "advisers" to train his military and his Fascist helpers to use their weapons better, to shoot them up more effectively.

However, one cannot really expect people who are exceptional to behave like ordinary (unexceptional) human beings.

WalterCronkiteBot 30 Oct 2015 17:11

What is the official US line on the legality of these deployments in terms of international law?

Noone seems to even raise it as an issue, its all about congressional approval. Just like the UK drone strikes.

[Aug 26, 2016] How Think Tanks Generate Endless War by Todd E. Pierce

Hillary election means new wars and death of the US servicemen/servicewomen. So Khan gambit is much more dangerous that it looks as it implicitly promoted militarism and endless "permanent war for permanent peace".
Notable quotes:
"... Information warfare uses disinformation and propaganda to condition a population to hate a foreign nation or population with the intent to foment a war, which is the routine "business" of the best known U.S. think tanks. ..."
"... There are two levels to this information war. The first level is by the primary provocateur, such as the Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute and the smaller war instigators found wherever a Kagan family member lurks. They use psychological "suggestiveness" to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover. ..."
"... Once that fear and paranoia is instilled in much of the population, it can then be manipulated to foment a readiness or eagerness for war, in the manner that Joseph Goebbels understood well. ..."
"... Nevertheless, showing the success that our primary war provocateurs have had in fomenting hostility and possibly war is that less militaristic and bellicose Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), ostensibly working for "peace," have adopted this false propaganda theme uncritically. ..."
"... The Carnegie Moscow Center Foundation, which includes Russians on its staff, is a prime example. Lately, it has routinely echoed the more provocative and facially false accusations made against Russia by the outright militaristic and war instigating U.S. think tanks. An example is in a recent article of Carnegie, entitled: " Russia and NATO Must Communicate Better. " ..."
"... So fanatics like the U.S. Generals whom we've seen at the recent political conventions and even worse, General Breedlove, are encouraged to be ever more threatening to the world's populations. ..."
"... Recognizing that must then be coupled with recognition of a U.S. law passed in 2012 providing for military detention of journalists and social activists as the Justice Department conceded in Hedges v. Obama. Add to that what the ACLU recently compelled the U.S. government to reveal in the "Presidential Policy Guidance" and it is plain to see which nation has become most "authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive." It is the United States. ..."
"... As this was when the Politburo was allegedly at its height in subverting and subjugating foreign countries as foreign policy, it should be exactly on point in describing current U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... That U.S. think tanks, such as Rand and the American Enterprise Institute, put so much effort into promoting war should not come as a surprise when it is considered their funding is provided by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) which President Eisenhower warned us about. ..."
Aug 21, 2016 | Defend Democracy Press

U.S. "think tanks" rile up the American public against an ever-shifting roster of foreign "enemies" to justify wars which line the pockets of military contractors who kick back some profits to the "think tanks," explains retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

The New York Times took notice recently of the role that so-called "think tanks" play in corrupting U.S. government policy. Their review of think tanks "identified dozens of examples of scholars conducting research at think tanks while corporations were paying them to help shape government policy."

Unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, while the Times investigation demonstrates well that the U.S. is even more corrupt – albeit the corruption is better disguised – than the many foreign countries which we routinely accuse of corruption, the Times failed to identify the most egregious form of corruption in our system. That is, those think tanks are constantly engaged in the sort of activities which the Defense Department identifies as "Information War" when conducted by foreign countries that are designated by the U.S. as an enemy at any given moment.

Information warfare uses disinformation and propaganda to condition a population to hate a foreign nation or population with the intent to foment a war, which is the routine "business" of the best known U.S. think tanks.

There are two levels to this information war. The first level is by the primary provocateur, such as the Rand Corporation, the American Enterprise Institute and the smaller war instigators found wherever a Kagan family member lurks. They use psychological "suggestiveness" to create a false narrative of danger from some foreign entity with the objective being to create paranoia within the U.S. population that it is under imminent threat of attack or takeover.

Once that fear and paranoia is instilled in much of the population, it can then be manipulated to foment a readiness or eagerness for war, in the manner that Joseph Goebbels understood well.

The measure of success from such a disinformation and propaganda effort can be seen when the narrative is adopted by secondary communicators who are perhaps the most important target audience. That is because they are "key communicators" in PsyOp terms, who in turn become provocateurs in propagating the false narrative even more broadly and to its own audiences, and becoming "combat multipliers" in military terms.

It is readily apparent now that Russia has taken its place as the primary target within U.S. sights. One doesn't have to see the U.S. military buildup on Russia's borders to understand that but only see the propaganda themes of our "think tanks."

The Role of Rand

A prime example of an act of waging information war to incite actual military attack is the Rand Corporation, which, incidentally, published a guide to information war and the need to condition the U.S. population for war back in the 1990s.

A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union. A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

Rand was founded by, among others, the war enthusiast, Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who was the model for the character of Gen. Buck Turgidson in the movie "Dr. Strangelove." LeMay once stated that he would not be afraid to start a nuclear war with Russia and that spirit would seem to be alive and well at Rand today as they project on to Vladimir Putin our own eagerness for inciting a war.

The particular act of information warfare by Rand is shown in a recent Rand article: "How to Counter Putin's Subversive War on the West." The title suggests by its presupposition that Putin is acting in the offensive form of war rather than the defensive form of war. But it is plain to see he is in the defensive form of war when one looks at the numerous provocations and acts of aggression carried out by American officials, such as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and General Philip Breedlove, and the U.S. and NATO military buildup on Russia's borders.

Within this Rand article however can be found no better example of psychological projection than this propagandistic pablum that too many commentators, some witless, some not, will predictably repeat:

"Moscow's provocative active measures cause foreign investors and international lenders to see higher risks in doing business with Russia. Iran is learning a similar, painful lesson as it persists with harsh anti-Western policies even as nuclear-related sanctions fade. Russia will decide its own priorities. But it should not be surprised if disregard for others' interests diminishes the international regard it seeks as an influential great power."

In fact, an objective, dispassionate observation of U.S./Russian policies would show it has been the U.S. carrying out these "provocative active measures" as the instigator, not Russia.

Nevertheless, showing the success that our primary war provocateurs have had in fomenting hostility and possibly war is that less militaristic and bellicose Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), ostensibly working for "peace," have adopted this false propaganda theme uncritically.

The Carnegie Moscow Center Foundation, which includes Russians on its staff, is a prime example. Lately, it has routinely echoed the more provocative and facially false accusations made against Russia by the outright militaristic and war instigating U.S. think tanks. An example is in a recent article of Carnegie, entitled: "Russia and NATO Must Communicate Better."

It begins: "The risk of outright conflict in Europe is higher than it has been for years and the confrontation between Russia and the West shows no sign of ending. To prevent misunderstandings and dangerous incidents, the two sides must improve their methods of communication."

Unfortunately, that is now true. But the article's author suggests throughout that each party, Russia and the U.S./NATO, had an equal hand in the deterioration of relations. He wrote: "The West needs to acknowledge that the standoff with Russia is not merely the result of Russia turning authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive," as if Western officials don't already know that that accusation was only a propaganda theme for their own populations to cover up the West's aggressiveness.

Blaming Russia

So Americans, such as myself, must acknowledge and confront that the standoff with Russia is not only not "merely the result of Russia turning authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive," but it is rather, that the U.S. is "turning authoritarian, nationalistic," and even more "assertive," i.e., aggressive, toward the world.

Suz Tzu wrote that a "sovereign" must know oneself and the enemy. In the case of the U.S. sovereign, the people and their elected, so-called representatives, there is probably no "sovereign" in human history more lacking in self-awareness of their own nation's behavior toward other nations.

So fanatics like the U.S. Generals whom we've seen at the recent political conventions and even worse, General Breedlove, are encouraged to be ever more threatening to the world's populations.

When that then generates a response from some nation with a tin-pot military relative to our own, with ours paid for by the privileged financial position we've put ourselves into post-WWII, our politicians urgently call for even more military spending from the American people to support even more aggression, all in the guise of "national defense."

Recognizing that must then be coupled with recognition of a U.S. law passed in 2012 providing for military detention of journalists and social activists as the Justice Department conceded in Hedges v. Obama. Add to that what the ACLU recently compelled the U.S. government to reveal in the "Presidential Policy Guidance" and it is plain to see which nation has become most "authoritarian, nationalistic, and assertive." It is the United States.

The Presidential Policy Guidance "establishes the standard operating procedures for when the United States takes direct action, which refers to lethal and non-lethal uses of force, including capture operations against terrorist targets outside the United States and areas of active hostilities."

What other nation, besides Israel probably, has a governmental "Regulation" providing for assassinations outside "areas of active hostilities?"

It should readily be evident that it is the U.S. now carrying out the vast majority of provocative active measures and has the disregard for others complained of here. At least for the moment, however, the U.S. can still hide much of its aggression using the vast financial resources provided by the American people to the Defense Department to produce sophisticated propaganda and to bribe foreign officials with foreign aid to look the other way from U.S. provocations.

It is ironic that today, one can learn more about the U.S. military and foreign policy from the Rand Corporation only by reading at least one of its historical documents, "The Operational Code of the Politburo." This is described as "part of a major effort at RAND to provide insight into the political leadership and foreign policy in the Soviet Union and other communist states; the development of Soviet military strategy and doctrine."

As this was when the Politburo was allegedly at its height in subverting and subjugating foreign countries as foreign policy, it should be exactly on point in describing current U.S. foreign policy.

That U.S. think tanks, such as Rand and the American Enterprise Institute, put so much effort into promoting war should not come as a surprise when it is considered their funding is provided by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) which President Eisenhower warned us about. That this U.S. MIC would turn against its own people, the American public, by waging perpetual information war against this domestic target just to enrich their investors, might have been even more than Eisenhower could imagine however.

Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. [This article first appeared at http://original.antiwar.com/Todd_Pierce/2016/08/14/inciting-wars-american-way/]

See also

[Aug 25, 2016] Economists Whove Advised Presidents Are No Fans of Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... And Mankiw was the economic adviser to Mitt Romney, the elitist Nazi who said 47% of the American people were his enemies and who was in favour of economic policies that would stripmine the country to put all its wealth in the offshore bank accounts of the kleptocrats. ..."
"... Which btw makes you wonder how anyone can call Mankiw an "economist". The guy's a Republican buttboy and that's all he is. ..."
"... Mankiw didn't enable the Republicans alone. Every two-bit intro macro prof who teaches from Mankiw has aided him. ..."
"... Real Time whatever at wsj are looking for reasons to keep the GOPster/free trade type progress going! A reason to oppose Trump and vote for Hillary? ..."
"... Trump is a very controversial figure, but he can be viewed as a disruptive politician and might put some pressure on neoliberal, and especially neocons, before they coopt him. Think of him as a proponent of Brexit II. Making the elections essentially a referendum on neoliberal globalization. ..."
Aug 25, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Comments from the discussion in Economist's View

Sandwichman :
"who has broken with many of the GOP's traditional positions on economic policy"

Not seeing much to like in "the GOP's traditional positions" where does this leave me? The truth is all 45 surviving former members of the CEA can be wrong without making Trump right.

pgl -> Sandwichman, Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM
Tax cuts for rich people as their "solution" to poverty. And balancing the budget with magic asterisks.
ilsm -> Sandwichman
Indeed, see how far the US has "progressed" with these guys' advising since Nixon!
Decision Overload
When the deeply established insider "advisers" are against him, you can bet that he is an angry outsider same as the rest of us. Look!

The most inefficient thing in our taxation system is the taxing of poor folks. Do you recognize what that accomplishes? Poor folk taxation takes money away from the poor person's landlord, his power company, his telephone company and more much more -- just slows down the economy plus administrative overhead that is the cost of slamming on the brakes.

The Donald has proposed a $25,000 standard deduction which will protect the low-rollers who have no deductions from tax-shelters. $50,000 for married couples! What a savings! What a relief from the churning that has evolved from smoke and mirror politics.

Get
it --

Peter K., Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 09:29 AM
"Harvard University economist Gregory Mankiw, who chaired the council under George W. Bush and has been mentioned as a possible future Fed chairman, said recently on his blog that he would not support Mr. Trump.

"I have Republican friends who think that things couldn't be worse than doubling down on Obama policies under Hillary Clinton. And, like them, I am no fan of the left's agenda of large government and high taxes," Mr. Mankiw wrote. "But they are wrong: Things could be worse. And I fear they would be under Mr. Trump.""

Mankiw and Krugman mini-me Pro Growth Liberal agree on something.

Vic Twente -> Peter K
And Mankiw was the economic adviser to Mitt Romney, the elitist Nazi who said 47% of the American people were his enemies and who was in favour of economic policies that would stripmine the country to put all its wealth in the offshore bank accounts of the kleptocrats.

Which btw makes you wonder how anyone can call Mankiw an "economist". The guy's a Republican buttboy and that's all he is.

Vic Twente -> Peter K
Mankiw didn't enable the Republicans alone. Every two-bit intro macro prof who teaches from Mankiw has aided him.

I laugh when I imagine undergrad econ ten years from now: the textbooks will be full of Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand, and undergrad sessional lecturers will be drowning in cognitive dissonance as they try to remain straight-faced while lecturing on the benefits of the gold standard and eliminating the Federal Reserve.

pgl :
Stiglitz supports Clinton over Trump. No surprise but this is:

"I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon," said Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein, who chaired the council under President Ronald Reagan. "They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs".

OK - Reagan did get a degree in economics but Krugman - who worked for Feldstein a the CEA - tells a different story about this White House when it comes to macroeconomics, the role of monetary policy, and in particular what was happening with the international aspects of our economy during Reagan's first term. Volcker - once he was done with his damaging tight monetary policy - tried to make a deal where he would lower interest rates in exchange for a reversal of that 1981 tax cut. The Reagan White House had no clue what the FED chair was even proposing even though it would have been a very good idea.

ilsm :
Real Time whatever at wsj are looking for reasons to keep the GOPster/free trade type progress going! A reason to oppose Trump and vote for Hillary?

Dowd is right! The best thuglican is a democrat.

likbez :
Hillary Clinton is dyed-in-wool neoliberal. So all she can do is to kick the can down the road. All her elections promises are not worth the cost of the electrical energy that is used to depict them on our screens.

Trump is a very controversial figure, but he can be viewed as a disruptive politician and might put some pressure on neoliberal, and especially neocons, before they coopt him. Think of him as a proponent of Brexit II. Making the elections essentially a referendum on neoliberal globalization.

If he wins, a lot of Washington neocon parasites might lose jobs (the cash for the neocons comes mostly from defense contractors), that's why they crossed the party lines and that's why neoliberal propaganda campaign against him is so vicious. Khan gambit was a nasty attempt to speedboat him. It failed.

While Hillary gets a free pass from neoliberal press (ABC, CBS and NBC). Neoliberal presstitutes (like George Stephanopoulos ) are especially vicious, behave like rabid dogs. Just listen to his interview of Trump about Khan gambit at Democratic convention.

http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Two_party_system_as_poliarchy/US_presidential_elections/Candidates/Trump/khan_gambit_at_democratic_convention.shtml

There is another view on Trump that deserves attention:

=== quote ===
Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

=== end of quote ===

But it is the deep state that dictates the course of the US, both in foreign policy and domestically, probably from 1963, so the president now is more of a ceremonial figure that adds legitimacy to the actual rule of deep state.

In any case discussion Hillary vs. Trump and questions of economics (neoliberalism vs. some retrenchment in the direction of the New Deal) we should not miss the key, defining this election fact that Hillary is a war criminal (crimes against peace are war crimes). See http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/nuremberg-trials

From this point of view voting for Hillary is highly undesirable as this is an implicit cooperation with the war criminal. That does not mean that people should vote for Trump. Who has his own set of warts.

ilsm -> likbez... , Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 01:03 PM
It has been suggested the appropriators owned by the war profiteers won't allocate money to fuel the transports that take America's Soldiers and Marines home.

The lesser evil killed no one with a vote believing in fake WMD's. The lesser evil is not experienced in keeping the neocons happy.

The lesser evil may decide body bags forever is not strategy.

Trump is the lesser evil.

Imagine what happens if the commander in chief says: stand down and steam for Pearl Harbor, San Diego and Alameda.

What would all those US retirees do if the commander in chief shuttered those brigades in Germany?

ilsm -> likbez... , Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 01:08 PM
If the crooked DNC cared about families of US' slain.....

The Khan con angered 5990 Gold Star families who are not Muslim and whose star are the result of Hillary voting for AUMF righteously and acting out since 2003.

As well as veterans!

Gold star families why not pick 1/5999 rather than 1/14 Muslims?

[Aug 24, 2016] Hillary Clinton Ad Suggests Donald Trump Will Launch Nukes As President

Breitbart
The latest ad from Hillary Clinton's campaign suggests that, if elected, Donald Trump might launch nuclear weapons because he lacks the experience and temperament to be president.

"In times of crisis, America depends on steady leadership, clear thinking, and calm judgement," the narrator says. "Because all it takes is one wrong move."

... ... ...

The strategy from the Clinton campaign is familiar. During the 2008 Democratic primary fight with President Obama, Clinton released an ad questioning whether the young senator would have the experience necessary to keep the country safe when the phone rang at 3 a.m.

[Aug 21, 2016] The NSA Leak Is Real, Snowden Documents Confirm by Sam Biddle

Notable quotes:
"... The evidence that ties the ShadowBrokers dump to the NSA comes in an agency manual for implanting malware, classified top secret, provided by Snowden, and not previously available to the public. The draft manual instructs NSA operators to track their use of one malware program using a specific 16-character string, "ace02468bdf13579." That exact same string appears throughout the ShadowBrokers leak in code associated with the same program, SECONDDATE. ..."
Aug 19, 2016 | theintercept.com
On Monday, a hacking group calling itself the "ShadowBrokers" announced an auction for what it claimed were "cyber weapons" made by the NSA. Based on never-before-published documents provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept can confirm that the arsenal contains authentic NSA software, part of a powerful constellation of tools used to covertly infect computers worldwide.

The provenance of the code has been a matter of heated debate this week among cybersecurity experts, and while it remains unclear how the software leaked, one thing is now beyond speculation: The malware is covered with the NSA's virtual fingerprints and clearly originates from the agency.

The evidence that ties the ShadowBrokers dump to the NSA comes in an agency manual for implanting malware, classified top secret, provided by Snowden, and not previously available to the public. The draft manual instructs NSA operators to track their use of one malware program using a specific 16-character string, "ace02468bdf13579." That exact same string appears throughout the ShadowBrokers leak in code associated with the same program, SECONDDATE.

SECONDDATE plays a specialized role inside a complex global system built by the U.S. government to infect and monitor what one document estimated to be millions of computers around the world. Its release by ShadowBrokers, alongside dozens of other malicious tools, marks the first time any full copies of the NSA's offensive software have been available to the public, providing a glimpse at how an elaborate system outlined in the Snowden documents looks when deployed in the real world, as well as concrete evidence that NSA hackers don't always have the last word when it comes to computer exploitation.

But malicious software of this sophistication doesn't just pose a threat to foreign governments, Johns Hopkins University cryptographer Matthew Green told The Intercept:

The danger of these exploits is that they can be used to target anyone who is using a vulnerable router. This is the equivalent of leaving lockpicking tools lying around a high school cafeteria. It's worse, in fact, because many of these exploits are not available through any other means, so they're just now coming to the attention of the firewall and router manufacturers that need to fix them, as well as the customers that are vulnerable.

So the risk is twofold: first, that the person or persons who stole this information might have used them against us. If this is indeed Russia, then one assumes that they probably have their own exploits, but there's no need to give them any more. And now that the exploits have been released, we run the risk that ordinary criminals will use them against corporate targets.

The NSA did not respond to questions concerning ShadowBrokers, the Snowden documents, or its malware.

A Memorable SECONDDATE

The offensive tools released by ShadowBrokers are organized under a litany of code names such as POLARSNEEZE and ELIGIBLE BOMBSHELL, and their exact purpose is still being assessed. But we do know more about one of the weapons: SECONDDATE.

SECONDDATE is a tool designed to intercept web requests and redirect browsers on target computers to an NSA web server. That server, in turn, is designed to infect them with malware. SECONDDATE's existence was first reported by The Intercept in 2014, as part of a look at a global computer exploitation effort code-named TURBINE. The malware server, known as FOXACID, has also been described in previously released Snowden documents.

Other documents released by The Intercept today not only tie SECONDDATE to the ShadowBrokers leak but also provide new detail on how it fits into the NSA's broader surveillance and infection network. They also show how SECONDDATE has been used, including to spy on Pakistan and a computer system in Lebanon.

The top-secret manual that authenticates the SECONDDATE found in the wild as the same one used within the NSA is a 31-page document titled "FOXACID SOP for Operational Management" and marked as a draft. It dates to no earlier than 2010. A section within the manual describes administrative tools for tracking how victims are funneled into FOXACID, including a set of tags used to catalogue servers. When such a tag is created in relation to a SECONDDATE-related infection, the document says, a certain distinctive identifier must be used:

The same SECONDDATE MSGID string appears in 14 different files throughout the ShadowBrokers leak, including in a file titled SecondDate-3021.exe. Viewed through a code-editing program (screenshot below), the NSA's secret number can be found hiding in plain sight:

All told, throughout many of the folders contained in the ShadowBrokers' package (screenshot below), there are 47 files with SECONDDATE-related names, including different versions of the raw code required to execute a SECONDDATE attack, instructions for how to use it, and other related files.

.

After viewing the code, Green told The Intercept the MSGID string's occurrence in both an NSA training document and this week's leak is "unlikely to be a coincidence." Computer security researcher Matt Suiche, founder of UAE-based cybersecurity startup Comae Technologies, who has been particularly vocal in his analysis of the ShadowBrokers this week, told The Intercept "there is no way" the MSGID string's appearance in both places is a coincidence.

Where SECONDDATE Fits In

This overview jibes with previously unpublished classified files provided by Snowden that illustrate how SECONDDATE is a component of BADDECISION, a broader NSA infiltration tool. SECONDDATE helps the NSA pull off a "man in the middle" attack against users on a wireless network, tricking them into thinking they're talking to a safe website when in reality they've been sent a malicious payload from an NSA server.

According to one December 2010 PowerPoint presentation titled "Introduction to BADDECISION," that tool is also designed to send users of a wireless network, sometimes referred to as an 802.11 network, to FOXACID malware servers. Or, as the presentation puts it, BADDECISION is an "802.11 CNE [computer network exploitation] tool that uses a true man-in-the-middle attack and a frame injection technique to redirect a target client to a FOXACID server." As another top-secret slide puts it, the attack homes in on "the greatest vulnerability to your computer: your web browser."

One slide points out that the attack works on users with an encrypted wireless connection to the internet.

That trick, it seems, often involves BADDECISION and SECONDDATE, with the latter described as a "component" for the former. A series of diagrams in the "Introduction to BADDECISION" presentation show how an NSA operator "uses SECONDDATE to inject a redirection payload at [a] Target Client," invisibly hijacking a user's web browser as the user attempts to visit a benign website (in the example given, it's CNN.com). Executed correctly, the file explains, a "Target Client continues normal webpage browsing, completely unaware," lands on a malware-filled NSA server, and becomes infected with as much of that malware as possible - or as the presentation puts it, the user will be left "WHACKED!" In the other top-secret presentations, it's put plainly: "How do we redirect the target to the FOXACID server without being noticed"? Simple: "Use NIGHTSTAND or BADDECISION."

The sheer number of interlocking tools available to crack a computer is dizzying. In the FOXACID manual, government hackers are told an NSA hacker ought to be familiar with using SECONDDATE along with similar man-in-the-middle wi-fi attacks code-named MAGIC SQUIRREL and MAGICBEAN. A top-secret presentation on FOXACID lists further ways to redirect targets to the malware server system.

To position themselves within range of a vulnerable wireless network, NSA operators can use a mobile antenna system running software code-named BLINDDATE, depicted in the field in what appears to be Kabul. The software can even be attached to a drone. BLINDDATE in turn can run BADDECISION, which allows for a SECONDDATE attack:

Elsewhere in these files, there are at least two documented cases of SECONDDATE being used to successfully infect computers overseas: An April 2013 presentation boasts of successful attacks against computer systems in both Pakistan and Lebanon. In the first, NSA hackers used SECONDDATE to breach "targets in Pakistan's National Telecommunications Corporation's (NTC) VIP Division," which contained documents pertaining to "the backbone of Pakistan's Green Line communications network" used by "civilian and military leadership."

In the latter, the NSA used SECONDDATE to pull off a man-in-the-middle attack in Lebanon "for the first time ever," infecting a Lebanese ISP to extract "100+ MB of Hizballah Unit 1800 data," a special subset of the terrorist group dedicated to aiding Palestinian militants.

SECONDDATE is just one method that the NSA uses to get its target's browser pointed at a FOXACID server. Other methods include sending spam that attempts to exploit bugs in popular web-based email providers or entices targets to click on malicious links that lead to a FOXACID server. One document, a newsletter for the NSA's Special Source Operations division, describes how NSA software other than SECONDDATE was used to repeatedly direct targets in Pakistan to FOXACID malware web servers, eventually infecting the targets' computers.

A Potentially Mundane Hack

Snowden, who worked for NSA contractors Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton, has offered some context and a relatively mundane possible explanation for the leak: that the NSA headquarters was not hacked, but rather one of the computers the agency uses to plan and execute attacks was compromised. In a series of tweets, he pointed out that the NSA often lurks on systems that are supposed to be controlled by others, and it's possible someone at the agency took control of a server and failed to clean up after themselves. A regime, hacker group, or intelligence agency could have seized the files and the opportunity to embarrass the agency.

Documents

Documents published with this story:

[Aug 20, 2016] People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clintons bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea

Notable quotes:
"... "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton's bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea." ..."
"... Or, as Ian Welsh points out, her position on Syria. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria after Russia came in, which would presumably put us in the position of shooting down Russian warplanes or having a good chance of doing so. Maybe if she does take on Kissinger as an advisor he'll tell her that superpower conflicts have to be done through proxies or they're too dangerous. ..."
"... Gen. Wesley Clark standing off against Russians at Belgrade and the missile attack on the Chinese embassy and the bombing of Bulgaria. ..."
"... Under Obama, support for fascists in Ukraine, near war over chemical weapons in Syria, gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea, shift to preemptive war plans against North Korea, ground troops in Libya and other parts of Africa, and last but not least, blind support for the psychotic Saudi attack on Yemen. ..."
"... Democrat or Republican, it is the US system of government which is militarist and adventurist. It will not change if either Clinton or Trump is elected, the delusions of Putin et al. notwithstanding. It wouldn't change if Bernie or the rational libertarian of the month was elected either because they do not, didn't and never will stand for real change. Criticizing Clinton and Trump from the right will make sure there is not even a chance of political realignment. At this point, the question is whether that's the point? ..."
crookedtimber.org

Rich Puchalsky 08.13.16 at 9:12 pm 800

BW: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton's bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea."

Or, as Ian Welsh points out, her position on Syria. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria after Russia came in, which would presumably put us in the position of shooting down Russian warplanes or having a good chance of doing so. Maybe if she does take on Kissinger as an advisor he'll tell her that superpower conflicts have to be done through proxies or they're too dangerous.

For the larger question of whether these comment threads are a good place to campaign or advocate, I sort of come down in a different place than you do. If these comment threads were about good-faith argument, then sure this kind of advocacy might be bad, but I don't think that most people here are capable of good-faith argument even if they were attempting it (most of the time they aren't attempting it). In that case the comment threads serve an alternate purpose of seeing what kinds of beliefs are out there, at least among the limited group of people likely to comment on CT threads. Of course people can be kicked out if they habitually make the threads too difficult to moderate (or really, for whatever other reason an OP decides on), but the well has long since been poisoned and one more drop isn't really going to do much more damage.

stevenjohnson 08.14.16 at 6:13 am 833

Gen. Wesley Clark standing off against Russians at Belgrade and the missile attack on the Chinese embassy and the bombing of Bulgaria.

Under Obama, support for fascists in Ukraine, near war over chemical weapons in Syria, gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea, shift to preemptive war plans against North Korea, ground troops in Libya and other parts of Africa, and last but not least, blind support for the psychotic Saudi attack on Yemen.

None of which was unilaterally determined by Clinton who was nothing but Secretary of State, who does not determine foreign policy anyhow, or took place after her tenure. Renovation of the nuclear weapons stockpile isn't her doing either.

Democrat or Republican, it is the US system of government which is militarist and adventurist. It will not change if either Clinton or Trump is elected, the delusions of Putin et al. notwithstanding. It wouldn't change if Bernie or the rational libertarian of the month was elected either because they do not, didn't and never will stand for real change. Criticizing Clinton and Trump from the right will make sure there is not even a chance of political realignment. At this point, the question is whether that's the point?

[Aug 14, 2016] Morell's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump is a claim of a career sycophant pandering to neocon lobby by Ray McGovern

"For Michael Morell, as with many other CIA careerists, his strongest suit seemed to be pleasing his boss and not antagonizing the White House" His loyalty is to qhoewver occupies White House, not necessarily to the truth. "Morell [was] at the center of two key fiascoes: he "coordinated the CIA review" of Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous Feb. 5, 2003 address to the United Nations and he served as the regular CIA briefer to President George W. Bush. Putting Access Before Honesty" Rise of Another CIA Yes Man – Consortiumnews
Notable quotes:
"... Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer. ..."
"... However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS. ..."
"... Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article. ..."
Aug 13, 2016 | Antiwar.com

As for Morell's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is somehow controlling Donald Trump, well, even Charlie Rose had stomach problems with that and with Morell's "explanation." In the Times op-ed, Morell wrote: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

Let the bizarreness of that claim sink in, since it is professionally impossible to recruit an agent who is unwitting of being an agent, since an agent is someone who follows instructions from a control officer.

However, since Morell apparently has no evidence that Trump was "recruited," which would make the Republican presidential nominee essentially a traitor, he throws in the caveat "unwitting." Such an ugly charge is on par with Trump's recent hyperbolic claim that President Obama was the "founder" of ISIS.

Looking back at Morell's record, it was not hard to see all this coming, as Morell rose higher and higher in a system that rewards deserving sycophants. I addressed this five years ago in an article titled "Rise of Another CIA Yes Man." That piece elicited many interesting comments from senior intelligence officers who knew Morell personally; some of those comments are tucked into the end of the article.

Read more by Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and Army intelligence and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern served for considerable periods in all four of CIA's main directorates.

[Aug 14, 2016] In Defense of Trump's Name-Calling by Ted Rall

Notable quotes:
"... "She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies," Trump said, referring to Hillary Clinton. "You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria. Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess. She was truly - if not the - one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of the country. She talks about me being dangerous. She's killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity." ..."
"... Trump is absolutely right. Hillary voted for the invasion of Iraq, which killed a million people. As I've pointed out , it wasn't just an immoral decision - it was a stupid one ..."
"... As secretary of state, Clinton never met a war she didn't love. Under her watch and following her counsel, the United States armed radical jihadis who are now terrorists , helped topple Moammar Gaddafi , expanded a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Libyans and reduced one of the most advanced nations in Africa into a failed state . Then she turned around and did the same exact thing to Syria. ..."
"... Psychology Today ..."
"... Ted Rall , syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net ..."
"... is the author of the book " Snowden ," the biography of the NSA whistleblower. ..."
Dec 15, 2015 | counterpunch.org

There is, on the other hand, something wonderfully refreshing about Donald Trump's gleeful deployment of the S-word.

"She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies," Trump said, referring to Hillary Clinton. "You look at what she did with Libya, what she did with Syria. Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess. She was truly - if not the - one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of the country. She talks about me being dangerous. She's killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity."

Trump is absolutely right. Hillary voted for the invasion of Iraq, which killed a million people. As I've pointed out, it wasn't just an immoral decision - it was a stupid one, since anyone with a half a brain could see at the time that Saddam probably didn't have WMDs, and that Bush's war would be a disaster.

As secretary of state, Clinton never met a war she didn't love. Under her watch and following her counsel, the United States armed radical jihadis who are now terrorists, helped topple Moammar Gaddafi, expanded a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Libyans and reduced one of the most advanced nations in Africa into a failed state. Then she turned around and did the same exact thing to Syria.

Stupid.

Let Hillary's supporters take offense. How is unfair, wrong or intemperate to call out a foreign policy record that fits the dictionary definition of "stupid" - doing the same thing over and over, even though it never works? Stupid is as stupid does. Hillary is stupid, especially on foreign policy, and Trump is right to say so.

Winner or loser, Trump has done political debate in America a huge favor by freeing "stupid" from the rhetorical prison of words and phrases polite people aren't allowed to use.

Interestingly, stupid people aren't all losers and losers aren't always stupid in Trumpworld. Hillary Clinton has one hell of a resume, which she has parlayed into a big pile of cash. She is, by Trump standards, a winner (albeit a stupid one). If I met Trump, I'd ask him if a smart person can be a loser (possible example: he called the obviously smart Russell Brand a loser, but also a "dummy").

Pre-Trump, American politics and culture suffered from a lack of stupid-calling. I am serious.

"There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries," Ray Williams wrote last year in Psychology Today. Insults reflect a society's values. Americans value macho masculinity, good looks and youth, so our top slurs accuse their victims of being effeminate, weak, ugly, fat, old and outdated. In France, where the life of the mind is prized so much that one of the nation's top-rated TV shows featured philosophers and auteurs discussing politics and culture over cigarettes, there are few things worse than being called stupid and having it stick. A society that ranks "stupid" as of its worst insults lets it be known that being smart is at least as important as being tough or hot or buff.

So, Donald Trump, thanks for dropping those S-bombs.

Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net, is the author of the book "Snowden," the biography of the NSA whistleblower.

[Aug 12, 2016] Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in the USA

Notable quotes:
"... The party left me ..."
"... "The larger conclusion from the data is that the Trump campaign - both through the support Trump generates among working-class whites and the opposition he generates among better educated, more affluent voters - has accelerated the ongoing transformation of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... Once a class-based coalition, the party has become an alliance between upscale well-educated whites and, importantly, ethnic and racial minorities, many of them low income" ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Democrats' Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S." [The Intercept].

The party left me

"The larger conclusion from the data is that the Trump campaign - both through the support Trump generates among working-class whites and the opposition he generates among better educated, more affluent voters - has accelerated the ongoing transformation of the Democratic Party.

Once a class-based coalition, the party has become an alliance between upscale well-educated whites and, importantly, ethnic and racial minorities, many of them low income"

[Thomas Edsall, New York Times]. Citing this tweet:

[Aug 07, 2016] Commentary The worlds best cyber army doesn't belong to Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The NSA identified Peña's cellphone and those of his associates using advanced software that can filter out specific phones from the swarm around the candidate. These lines were then targeted. The technology, one NSA analyst noted, "might find a needle in a haystack." The analyst described it as "a repeatable and efficient" process. ..."
"... Another NSA operation, begun in May 2010 and codenamed FLATLIQUID, targeted Pena's predecessor, President Felipe Calderon. The NSA, the documents revealed, was able "to gain first-ever access to President Felipe Calderon's public email account." ..."
"... At the same time, members of a highly secret joint NSA/CIA organization, called the Special Collection Service, are based in the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and other U.S. embassies around the world. It targets local government communications, as well as foreign embassies nearby. For Mexico, additional eavesdropping, and much of the analysis, is conducted by NSA Texas, a large listening post in San Antonio that focuses on the Caribbean, Central America and South America. ..."
"... Unlike the Defense Department's Pentagon, the headquarters of the cyberspies fills an entire secret city. Located in Fort Meade, Maryland, halfway between Washington and Baltimore, Maryland, NSA's headquarters consists of scores of heavily guarded buildings. The site even boasts its own police force and post office. ..."
"... One top-secret operation, code-named TreasureMap, is designed to have a "capability for building a near real-time interactive map of the global Internet. … Any device, anywhere, all the time." Another operation, codenamed Turbine, involves secretly placing "millions of implants" - malware - in computer systems worldwide for either spying or cyberattacks. ..."
"... Yet there can never be a useful discussion on the topic if the Obama administration continues to point fingers at other countries without admitting that Washington is engaged heavily in cyberspying and cyberwarfare. ..."
"... The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America ..."
Aug 4, 2016 | Reuters
National attention is focused on Russian eavesdroppers' possible targeting of U.S. presidential candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Yet, leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents show that the Obama administration has long been involved in major bugging operations against the election campaigns -- and the presidents -- of even its closest allies.

The United States is, by far, the world's most aggressive nation when it comes to cyberspying and cyberwarfare. The National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on foreign cities, politicians, elections and entire countries since it first turned on its receivers in 1952. Just as other countries, including Russia, attempt to do to the United States. What is new is a country leaking the intercepts back to the public of the target nation through a middleperson.

There is a strange irony in this. Russia, if it is actually involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee, could be attempting to influence a U.S. election by leaking to the American public the falsehoods of its leaders. This is a tactic Washington used against the Soviet Union and other countries during the Cold War.

In the 1950s, for example, President Harry S Truman created the Campaign of Truth to reveal to the Russian people the "Big Lies" of their government. Washington had often discovered these lies through eavesdropping and other espionage.

Today, the United States has morphed from a Cold War, and in some cases a hot war, into a cyberwar, with computer coding replacing bullets and bombs. Yet the American public manages to be "shocked, shocked" that a foreign country would attempt to conduct cyberespionage on the United States.

NSA operations have, for example, recently delved into elections in Mexico, targeting its last presidential campaign. According to a top-secret PowerPoint presentation leaked by former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, the operation involved a "surge effort against one of Mexico's leading presidential candidates, Enrique Peña Nieto, and nine of his close associates." Peña won that election and is now Mexico's president.

The NSA identified Peña's cellphone and those of his associates using advanced software that can filter out specific phones from the swarm around the candidate. These lines were then targeted. The technology, one NSA analyst noted, "might find a needle in a haystack." The analyst described it as "a repeatable and efficient" process.

The eavesdroppers also succeeded in intercepting 85,489 text messages, a Der Spiegel article noted.

Another NSA operation, begun in May 2010 and codenamed FLATLIQUID, targeted Pena's predecessor, President Felipe Calderon. The NSA, the documents revealed, was able "to gain first-ever access to President Felipe Calderon's public email account."

At the same time, members of a highly secret joint NSA/CIA organization, called the Special Collection Service, are based in the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and other U.S. embassies around the world. It targets local government communications, as well as foreign embassies nearby. For Mexico, additional eavesdropping, and much of the analysis, is conducted by NSA Texas, a large listening post in San Antonio that focuses on the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Unlike the Defense Department's Pentagon, the headquarters of the cyberspies fills an entire secret city. Located in Fort Meade, Maryland, halfway between Washington and Baltimore, Maryland, NSA's headquarters consists of scores of heavily guarded buildings. The site even boasts its own police force and post office.

And it is about to grow considerably bigger, now that the NSA cyberspies have merged with the cyberwarriors of U.S. Cyber Command, which controls its own Cyber Army, Cyber Navy, Cyber Air Force and Cyber Marine Corps, all armed with state-of-the-art cyberweapons. In charge of it all is a four-star admiral, Michael S. Rogers.

Now under construction inside NSA's secret city, Cyber Command's new $3.2- billion headquarters is to include 14 buildings, 11 parking garages and an enormous cyberbrain - a 600,000-square-foot, $896.5-million supercomputer facility that will eat up an enormous amount of power, about 60 megawatts. This is enough electricity to power a city of more than 40,000 homes.

In 2014, for a cover story in Wired and a PBS documentary, I spent three days in Moscow with Snowden, whose last NSA job was as a contract cyberwarrior. I was also granted rare access to his archive of documents. "Cyber Command itself has always been branded in a sort of misleading way from its very inception," Snowden told me. "It's an attack agency. … It's all about computer-network attack and computer-network exploitation at Cyber Command."

The idea is to turn the Internet from a worldwide web of information into a global battlefield for war. "The next major conflict will start in cyberspace," says one of the secret NSA documents. One key phrase within Cyber Command documents is "Information Dominance."

The Cyber Navy, for example, calls itself the Information Dominance Corps. The Cyber Army is providing frontline troops with the option of requesting "cyberfire support" from Cyber Command, in much the same way it requests air and artillery support. And the Cyber Air Force is pledged to "dominate cyberspace" just as "today we dominate air and space."

Among the tools at their disposal is one called Passionatepolka, designed to "remotely brick network cards." "Bricking" a computer means destroying it – turning it into a brick.

One such situation took place in war-torn Syria in 2012, according to Snowden, when the NSA attempted to remotely and secretly install an "exploit," or bug, into the computer system of a major Internet provider. This was expected to provide access to email and other Internet traffic across much of Syria. But something went wrong. Instead, the computers were bricked. It took down the Internet across the country for a period of time.

While Cyber Command executes attacks, the National Security Agency seems more interested in tracking virtually everyone connected to the Internet, according to the documents.

One top-secret operation, code-named TreasureMap, is designed to have a "capability for building a near real-time interactive map of the global Internet. … Any device, anywhere, all the time." Another operation, codenamed Turbine, involves secretly placing "millions of implants" - malware - in computer systems worldwide for either spying or cyberattacks.

Yet, even as the U.S. government continues building robust eavesdropping and attack systems, it looks like there has been far less focus on security at home. One benefit of the cyber-theft of the Democratic National Committee emails might be that it helps open a public dialogue about the dangerous potential of cyberwarfare. This is long overdue. The possible security problems for the U.S. presidential election in November are already being discussed.

Yet there can never be a useful discussion on the topic if the Obama administration continues to point fingers at other countries without admitting that Washington is engaged heavily in cyberspying and cyberwarfare.

In fact, the United States is the only country ever to launch an actual cyberwar -- when the Obama administration used a cyberattack to destroy thousands of centrifuges, used for nuclear enrichment, in Iran. This was an illegal act of war, according to the Defense Department's own definition.

Given the news reports that many more DNC emails are waiting to be leaked as the presidential election draws closer, there will likely be many more reminders of the need for a public dialogue on cybersecurity and cyberwarfare before November.

(James Bamford is the author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. He is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine.)

[Aug 06, 2016] Vladimir Putin Issued a Chilling Warning to the United States

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is aware of the United States' plans for nuclear hegemony ..."
"... The Russian president also highlighted the fact that although the United States missile system is referred to as an "anti-missile defense system," the systems are just as offensive as they are defensive: ..."
"... Putin further explained the implications of this missile defense system's implementation without any response from Russia. The ability of the missile defense system to render Russia's nuclear capabilities useless would cause an upset in what Putin refers to as the "strategic balance" of the world. Without this balance of power, the U.S. would be free to pursue their policies throughout the world without any tangible threat from Russia. Therefore, this "strategic balance," according to Putin, is what has kept the world safe from large-scale wars and military conflicts. ..."
Aug 04, 2016 | theantimedia.org

(ANTIMEDIA) As the United States continues to develop and upgrade their nuclear weapons capabilities at an alarming rate, America's ruling class refuses to heed warnings from President Vladimir Putin that Russia will respond as necessary.

In his most recent attempt to warn his Western counterparts about the impending danger of a new nuclear arms race, Putin told the heads of large foreign companies and business associations that Russia is aware of the United States' plans for nuclear hegemony. He was speaking at the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"We know year by year what will happen, and they know that we know," he said.

Putin argued that the rationale the U.S. previously gave for maintaining and developing its nuclear weapons system is directed at the so-called "Iranian threat." But that threat has been drastically reduced since the U.S. proved instrumental in reaching an agreement with Iran that should put to rest any possible Iranian nuclear potential.

The Russian president also highlighted the fact that although the United States missile system is referred to as an "anti-missile defense system," the systems are just as offensive as they are defensive:

"They say [the missile systems] are part of their defense capability, and are not offensive, that these systems are aimed at protecting them from aggression. It's not true the strategic ballistic missile defense is part of an offensive strategic capability, [and] functions in conjunction with an aggressive missile strike system."

This missile system has been launched throughout Europe, and despite American promises at the end of the Cold War that NATO's expansion would not move "as much as a thumb's width further to the East," the missile system has been implemented in many of Russia's neighboring countries, most recently in Romania.

Russia views this as a direct attack on their security.

"How do we know what's inside those launchers? All one needs to do is reprogram [the system], which is an absolutely inconspicuous task,"

Putin stated.

Putin further explained the implications of this missile defense system's implementation without any response from Russia. The ability of the missile defense system to render Russia's nuclear capabilities useless would cause an upset in what Putin refers to as the "strategic balance" of the world. Without this balance of power, the U.S. would be free to pursue their policies throughout the world without any tangible threat from Russia. Therefore, this "strategic balance," according to Putin, is what has kept the world safe from large-scale wars and military conflicts.

Following George W. Bush's 2001 decision to unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, Russia was, according to Putin, left with no choice but to upgrade their capabilities in response.

Putin warned:

"Today Russia has reached significant achievements in this field. We have modernized our missile systems and successfully developed new generations. Not to mention missile defense systems We must provide security not only for ourselves. It's important to provide strategic balance in the world, which guarantees peace on the planet.

Under the guise of following an anti-nuclear weapons policy, the Obama administration has announced plans for a $1 trillion nuclear weapons plan, which - let's face it - is targeted at Russia.

Neutralizing Russia's nuclear potential will undo, according to Putin, "the mutual threat that has provided [mankind] with global security for decades."

There is no winner in a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. This has been not only confirmed but repeatedly warned about by atomic scientists who - if we are being honest - are the people whose opinion on this topic should matter the most.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that NASA scientists want to colonize the moon by 2022 - we may have to if we don't drastically alter the path we are on. As Albert Einstein famously stated:

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

This article (Vladimir Putin Just Issued a Chilling Warning to the United States) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Darius Shahtahmasebi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

[Aug 06, 2016] Empire's Chain Reaction

Notable quotes:
"... Whatever the character of America's involvement in the Middle East before 1980, when Bacevich's account begins, it was not a war, at least not in terms of American casualties. "From the end of World War II to 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in that region," he notes. "Within a decade," however, "a great shift occurred. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere except in the Greater Middle East." ..."
"... The sequence of events, lucidly related by Bacevich, would be a dark absurdist comedy if it weren't tragically real. To check Iran, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88, whose final phase, the so-called "Tanker War," involved direct U.S. military engagement with Iranian naval forces. (Bacevich calls this the real first Persian Gulf War.) ..."
"... Finally, George W. Bush decided to risk what his father had dared not: invading Iraq with the objective of "regime change," he launched a third Gulf War in 2003. The notion his neoconservative advisers put into Bush's head was that, with only a little help from American occupation and reconstruction, the void left by Saddam Hussein's removal would be filled by a model democracy. ..."
"... Yet the first Bush had been right: Iran, as well as ISIS, reaped the rewards of regime change in Baghdad. And so America is now being drawn into a fourth Gulf War, reintroducing troops-styled as advisors-into Iraq to counter the effects of the previous Gulf War, which was itself an answer to the unfinished business of the wars of 1991 and the late 1980s. Our military interventions in the Persian Gulf have been a self-perpetuating chain reaction for over three decades. ..."
"... "Wolfowitz adhered to an expansive definition of the Persian Gulf," notes Bacevich, which in that young defense intellectual's words extended from "the region between Pakistan and Iran in the northeast to the Yemens in the southwest." Wolfowitz identified two prospective menaces to U.S. interests in the region: the Soviet Union-this was still the Cold War era, after all-and "the emerging Iraqi threat"; to counter these Wolfowitz called for "advisors and counterinsurgency specialists, token combat forces, or a major commitment" of U.S. forces to the Middle East. ..."
"... The military bureaucracy took advantage of the removal of one enemy from the map-Soviet Communism-to redirect resources toward a new region and new threats. As Bacevich observes, "What some at the time were calling a 'peace dividend' offered CENTCOM a way of expanding its portfolio of assets." Operation Desert Storm, and all that came afterward, became possible. ..."
"... The final lesson of this one is simple: "Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect." ..."
The American Conservative

Bacevich's latest book, America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, is a bookend of sorts to American Empire. The earlier work was heavy on theory and institutional development, the groundwork for the wars of the early 21st century. The new book covers the history itself-and argues persuasively that the Afghanistan, Iraq, and other, smaller wars since 9/11 are parts of a larger conflict that began much earlier, back in the Carter administration.

Whatever the character of America's involvement in the Middle East before 1980, when Bacevich's account begins, it was not a war, at least not in terms of American casualties. "From the end of World War II to 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in that region," he notes. "Within a decade," however, "a great shift occurred. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere except in the Greater Middle East."

Operation Eagle Claw, Carter's ill-fated mission to rescue Americans held hostage in Iran, was the first combat engagement in the war. Iran would continue to tempt Washington to military action throughout the next 36 years-though paradoxically, attempts to contain Iran more often brought the U.S. into war with the Islamic Republic's hostile neighbor, Iraq.

The sequence of events, lucidly related by Bacevich, would be a dark absurdist comedy if it weren't tragically real. To check Iran, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88, whose final phase, the so-called "Tanker War," involved direct U.S. military engagement with Iranian naval forces. (Bacevich calls this the real first Persian Gulf War.)

Weakened and indebted by that war, and thinking the U.S. tolerant of his ambitions, Saddam then invaded Kuwait, leading to full-scale U.S. military intervention against him: Operation Desert Storm in 1991. (By Bacevich's count, the second Gulf War.) President George H.W. Bush stopped American forces from pushing on to Baghdad after liberating Kuwait, however, because-among other things-toppling Saddam would have created a dangerous vacuum that Iran might fill.

A decade of sanctions, no-fly zones, and intermittent bombing then ensued, as Washington, under Bush and Clinton, would neither depose Saddam Hussein nor permit him to reassert himself. Finally, George W. Bush decided to risk what his father had dared not: invading Iraq with the objective of "regime change," he launched a third Gulf War in 2003. The notion his neoconservative advisers put into Bush's head was that, with only a little help from American occupation and reconstruction, the void left by Saddam Hussein's removal would be filled by a model democracy. This would set a precedent for America to democratize every trouble-making state in the region, including Iran.

Yet the first Bush had been right: Iran, as well as ISIS, reaped the rewards of regime change in Baghdad. And so America is now being drawn into a fourth Gulf War, reintroducing troops-styled as advisors-into Iraq to counter the effects of the previous Gulf War, which was itself an answer to the unfinished business of the wars of 1991 and the late 1980s. Our military interventions in the Persian Gulf have been a self-perpetuating chain reaction for over three decades.

Iran released its American hostages the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president: January 20, 1981. So what accounts for another 35 years of conflict with Iran and Iraq? The answer begins with oil.

Bacevich takes us back to the Carter years. "By June 1979, a just-completed study by a then-obscure Defense Department official named Paul Wolfowitz was attracting notice throughout the national security bureaucracy." This "Limited Contingency Study" described America's "vital and growing stake in the Persian Gulf," arising from "our need for Persian-Gulf oil and because events in the Persian Gulf affect the Arab-Israeli conflict."

"Wolfowitz adhered to an expansive definition of the Persian Gulf," notes Bacevich, which in that young defense intellectual's words extended from "the region between Pakistan and Iran in the northeast to the Yemens in the southwest." Wolfowitz identified two prospective menaces to U.S. interests in the region: the Soviet Union-this was still the Cold War era, after all-and "the emerging Iraqi threat"; to counter these Wolfowitz called for "advisors and counterinsurgency specialists, token combat forces, or a major commitment" of U.S. forces to the Middle East.

(Bacevich is fair to Wolfowitz, acknowledging that Saddam Hussein was indeed an expansionist, as the Iraqi dictator would demonstrate by invading Iran in 1980 and seizing Kuwait a decade later. Whether this meant that Iraq was ever a threat to U.S. interests is, of course, a different question-as is whether the Soviet Union could really have cut America off from Gulf oil.)

Wolfowitz was not alone in calling for the U.S. to become the guarantor of Middle East security-and Saudi Arabia's security in particular-and President Carter heeded the advice. In March 1980 he created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), predecessor to what we now know as the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which has military oversight for the region. The RDJTF's second head, Lt. Gen. Robert Kingston, described its mission, in admirably frank language, as simply "to ensure the unimpeded flow of oil from the Arabian Gulf."

Iraq and Iran both posed dangers to the flow of oil and its control by Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies-to use the term loosely-of the United States. And just as the U.S. was drawn into wars with Iran and Iraq when it tried to play one against the other, America's defense of Saudi Arabia would have grave unintended consequences-such as the creation of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was outraged when, in 1990, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd declined his offer to wage holy war against Saddam Hussein and instead turned to American protection, even permitting the stationing of American military personnel in Islam's sacred lands. "To liberate Kuwait," writes Bacevich, bin Laden had "offered to raise an army of mujahedin. Rejecting his offer and his protest, Saudi authorities sought to silence the impertinent bin Laden. Not long thereafter, he fled into exile, determined to lead a holy war that would overthrow the corrupt Saudi royals." The instrument bin Laden forged to accomplish that task, al-Qaeda, would target Americans as well, seeking to push the U.S. out of Muslim lands.

Bin Laden had reason to hope for success: in the 1980s he had helped mujahedin defeat another superpower, the Soviet Union, in Afghanistan. That struggle, of course, was supported by the U.S., through the CIA's "Operation Cyclone," which funneled arms and money to the Soviets' Muslim opponents. Bacevich offers a verdict on this program:

Operation Cyclone illustrates one of the central ironies of America's War for the Greater Middle East-the unwitting tendency, while intently focusing on solving one problem, to exacerbate a second and plant the seeds of a third. In Afghanistan, this meant fostering the rise of Islamic radicalism and underwriting Pakistan's transformation into a nuclear-armed quasi-rogue state while attempting to subvert the Soviet Union.

America's support for the mujahedin succeeded in inflicting defeat on the USSR-but left Afghanistan a haven and magnet for Islamist radicals, including bin Laden.

Another irony of Bacevich's tale is the way in which the end of the Cold War made escalation of the War for the Greater Middle East possible. The Carter and Reagan administrations never considered the Middle East the centerpiece of their foreign policy: Western Europe and the Cold War took precedence. Carter and Reagan were unsystematic about their engagement with the Middle East and, even as they expanded America's military presence, remained wary of strategic overcommitment. Operation Eagle Claw, Reagan's deployment of troops to Lebanon in 1983 and bombing of Libya in 1986, and even the meddling in Iran and Iraq were all small-scale projects compared to what would be unleashed after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The military bureaucracy took advantage of the removal of one enemy from the map-Soviet Communism-to redirect resources toward a new region and new threats. As Bacevich observes, "What some at the time were calling a 'peace dividend' offered CENTCOM a way of expanding its portfolio of assets." Operation Desert Storm, and all that came afterward, became possible.

The Greater Middle East of Bacevich's title centers strategically, if not geographically, upon Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. But its strategic implications and cultural reach are wide, encompassing Libya, Somalia, and other African states with significant Muslim populations; Afghanistan and Pakistan (or "AfPak," in the Obama administration's parlance); and even, on the periphery, the Balkans, where the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. That Clinton-era intervention is examined in detail by Bacevich: "Today, years after NATO came to their rescue," he writes, "a steady stream of Bosnians and Kosovars leave their homeland and head off toward Syria and Iraq, where they enlist as fighters in the ongoing anti-American, anti-Western jihad."

Much as George W. Bush believed that liberal democracy would spring up in Saddam Hussein's wake, the humanitarian interventionists who demanded that Bill Clinton send peacekeepers to Bosnia and bomb Serbia on behalf of the Kosovars thought that they were making the world safe for their own liberal, multicultural values. But as Bacevich notes, the Balkan Muslims joining ISIS today are "waging war on behalf of an entirely different set of universal values."

Bacevich's many books confront readers with painful but necessary truths. The final lesson of this one is simple: "Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect."

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative.

[Aug 03, 2016] Israel to US Give Us More! by Justin Raimondo

Notable quotes:
"... If the rabidly pro-Israel Hillary Clinton takes the White House, you can expect that this concession will be re-negotiated: in any case, the Israel lobby will wield its considerable resources to get Congress to pressure the White House. ..."
"... As Glenn Greenwald points out in The Intercept , the Israelis have cradle-to-grave health care. Their life-expectancy is nearly a decade longer than ours. Their infant mortality rate is lower. By any meaningful measure, their standard of living is higher. They should be sending us aid: instead, the opposite is occurring. ..."
"... We made possible the Israeli Sparta : a state armed to the teeth which thrives on the misery and enslavement of its dispossessed Palestinian helots. Furthermore, our policy of unconditional support for Israel has encouraged the growth and development of a polity that is rapidly going fascist. And I don't use the "f"-word lightly. I've been chronicling Israel's slide toward a repulsive ethno-nationalism for years , and today – with the rise of ultra-rightist parties that openly call for the expulsio n of Arabs and the expansion of the Israeli state to its Biblically-ordained borders – my predictions are coming true. ..."
"... The "special relationship" is a parasitic relationship: the Israelis have been feeding off US taxpayers since the Reagan era. This in spite of the numerous insults , slights, and outright sabotage they have directed our way. It's high time to put an end to it. To borrow a phrase from You Know Who: it's time to put America first. ..."
"... What this means in practice is: 1) End aid to Israel, 2) Call out the Israelis for their shameful apartheid policies, and 3) end the power of the Israel lobby by enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act and compelling AIPAC and its allied organizations to register as foreign agents. Because that's just what they are. ..."
original.antiwar.com
August 03, 2016 | Antiwar.com

Washington is preparing to increase US aid to Israel by billions of dollars, with a ten-year ironclad agreement that couldn't be altered by President Obama's successor. But that isn't good enough for Bibi Netanyahu. He wants more. Much more.

Unlike the case with other countries, the US engages in protracted and often difficult negotiations with Israel over how much free stuff they're going to get come budget time. This year, the talks are taking on a particularly urgent tone because of … you guessed it, Donald Trump. While Trump is fervently pro-Israel, he has said that the Israelis, like our NATO allies, are going to have to start paying for their own defense (although with him, you never know what his position is from one day to the next ). This uncertainty has the two parties racing to sign an agreement before President Obama's term is up in January. And it also has inspired the inclusion of a novel clause: a ten-year guarantee that aid will remain at the agreed level, with no possibility that the new President – whoever that may be – will lower it.

The Israelis currently receive over half the foreign aid doled out by Uncle Sam annually, most of it in military assistance with an extra added dollop for "refugee resettlement." That combined with loan guarantees comes to roughly $3.5 billion per year – with all the money handed to them up front, in the first weeks of the fiscal year, instead of being released over time like other countries.

So how much is this increase going to amount to? With negotiations still ongoing, the US isn't releasing any solid figures, although Bibi, we are told, is demanding $5 billion annually. The New York Times is reporting the final sum could "top $40 billion." What we do know is that the administration told Congress in a letter that they are prepared to offer Tel Aviv an aid package "that would constitute the largest pledge of military assistance to any country in US history." In addition, it would guarantee US aid for Israel's missile defense, taking it out of the annual appropriations song-and-dance, and immunizing it from any cuts.

Aside from the "haggling" – as the Times put it – over the amount, there is another issue: the Israeli exception to a rule that applies to all other recipients of American aid. Other countries must spend their welfare check in dollars – that is, they must buy American. Not the Israelis. They're allowed to spend up to 25% of their aid package at home: which means that US taxpayers have been subsidizing the Israeli military-industrial complex to the tune of multi-billions since the 1980s, when this special arrangement was legislated. However, in an era where "America First" is now a popular political slogan – popularized by You Know Who – the Obama administration is trying to end this except