Following Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s exploratory foreign policy speech on Wednesday, political analyst Daniel McAdams speaks with Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear to discuss what, exactly, the candidate’s worldview encompasses.
“It is clear that in Washington he has aligned himself with foreign policy advisors that are not the usual neocons. So that’s good news, to a degree. That’s why you have so much gnashing of the teeth in Washington,” McAdams, of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, tells Loud & Clear, referring to billionaire Donald Trump.
“On the other hand, the people that he does have around him are realists, to a degree, but that is not super satisfying to a non-interventionist and an anti-war person because realists… lack the philosophy… of avoiding war and avoiding entangling alliance.”
“… The specific plans that he outlined a) were not very well hashed out, and b) they don’t make a lot of sense,” says McAdams.
While Trump does recognize the failure of Washington’s insistence on pursuing a Cold War-era strategy, the candidate does not see American imperialism as part of the problem.
One example is his opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement.
“This groveling to Israel, this blind condemnation of the Iran nuclear deal… I don’t get his beef and I don’t think he gets his beef. It just makes him sound good, it makes him sound tough.”
On the issue of the Iraq and Syria, the Republican frontrunner seemed to offer contradictory positions.
“This is where I think he’s either very clever or fairly goofy,” McAdams says.
“On the one hand he says something that sounds good to non-interventionists… On the other hand he says something like ‘Obama went in there and bombed Libya and just walked away.'”
“That’s the whole point,” states McAdams. “Not walking away means staying in and doing nation building. So he doesn’t understand what caused the problem. He also promises to use military force to contain radical Islam, and he talks about ‘Why are we not bombing Libya right now?'”
Trump also spoke of restoring the military superiority of America, the country with the largest military budget in the world, shortly after stating that he would pursue peace.
“Rebuild our military from what? We spend more than most of the rest of the world combined. We have an enormous military, we’re involved in over 120 countries,” McAdams says.
“What he means by ‘rebuild’ the military is keep Washington and its environs extraordinarily rich,” he adds, describing the military-industrial complex, which Trump appears to support.
He did, however, offer a surprisingly insightful take on US-Russia relations.
“Here’s what he said exactly. ‘We should seek common ground based on shared interest with Russia.’ He said he’d, ‘Make a deal that’s good for us and good for Russia.’ That sounds terrific. If he follows through with that I think we should be very optimistic.”
President Barack Obama has approved $38 billion for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) through 2020 despite it only conducting one successful test against an intercontinental ballistic missile in eight years, a Government Accountability office (GAO) report revealed.
An earlier GAO report on US missile defense on February 17, 2016 stated that the MDA had failed to demonstrate through flight testing that it could defend the US homeland against the current missile defense threat.
It also noted that a full assessment of the system’s effectiveness was currently not possible.
“MDA plans to spend around $38 billion through fiscal year 2020 to continue its efforts to develop, integrate, and field BMDS [ballistic missile defense systems] elements and targets necessary for testing,” the report said on Thursday.
The MDA has claimed only one successful interception of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)-like target in the past eight years of tests.
“Since 2002, MDA has received approximately $123 billion to develop and deploy the BMDS, which is a highly complex group of systems,” the GAO report stated.
By Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post | April 28, 2016
As Saudi war crimes and crimes against humanity continue apace in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is now apparently attempting to gain public support and better reception from the viewing audience by painting itself as an enemy of al-Qaeda and ISIS, despite the fact that the feudal monarchy’s reputation for supporting these very same terror organizations has been documented time and again. From Syria and Libya to Yemen, Saudi Arabia has proven itself repeatedly as a funder, organizer, and supporter of ISIS and al-Qaeda while, at home, it has demonstrated that its own government and ISIS are more alike than they are different.
Still, Saudi Arabia is attempting to show that it is, in fact, the enemy of al-Qaeda by issuing claims that the Saudi “coalition” in Yemen has recently fought a large scale battle against the terror organization and that it was able to capture the city of Mukalla after killing around 800 terrorists.
As AFP reports,
Yemeni troops backed by Arab coalition air strikes killed more than 800 members of al-Qaida in an attack on a southeastern provincial capital held by the group for the past year, the coalition said Monday.
Pro-government forces recaptured an oil terminal as well as the city of Mukalla, which was considered a jihadist stronghold, military sources said.
“The operation resulted… in the death of more than 800 al-Qaida members and some of their leaders, while some others fled,” Arab coalition commanders said in a statement published by SPA, the official Saudi news agency.
AFP notes, however, that the death toll cannot be independently verified and pointed out that no civilian deaths were reported. This latter detail is most questionable to say the least.
What is interesting is that the alleged operation is part of another alleged operation “aimed at securing parts of the country captured by jihadist militants who have exploited a 13-month war between Gulf-backed loyalists and rebels supported by Iran.” The operation itself takes place alongside the UN-brokered ceasefire was enacted on April 11 where jihadist groups are excluded.
What is even more interesting, however, is the description provided by “military officer” sources quoted by the AFP as to the nature of the battle for Mukalla.
As AFP reports,
“We entered the city centre (of Mukalla) and were met by no resistance from Al-Qaeda militants who withdrew west” towards the vast desert in Hadramawt and Shabwa provinces, a military officer told AFP by phone from the city the jihadists seized last April.”
The officer, who requested anonymity, said residents of Mukalla, home to an estimated 200,000 people, had appealed to the jihadists to spare the city the destruction of fighting and to withdraw. Yemeni military sources said Emirati military vehicles were used in the operation and that troops from the Gulf country, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition, were among the forces that entered Mukalla.
AFP could not immediately confirm these reports from officials in the United Arab Emirates.
While it was reported that the coalition members had conducted airstrikes against “AQAP positions” in Yemen, it is important to note that coalition forces admittedly met no resistance when entering Mukalla. Putting aside the fact that the Yemeni people would scarcely be able to tell the difference between AQAP and Saudi Arabian control of their country to begin with, at what point did the Saudis kill 800 AQAP members? Was it in the alleged and unconfirmed airstrikes which apparently kill only terrorists but no civilians?
Is it not extremely convenient that Saudi forces would bomb Yemen back into the Stone Age, allow AQAP to gain vast amounts of territory against Houthi, rebel, and government forces in the process and then retake it from them “without any resistance” shortly after a ceasefire agreement is made that does not include AQAP?
Was the Saudi bombing merely an act of death squad herding or was the Saudi bombing never aimed at AQAP at all? Were the casualties actually civilians simply labeled as terrorists for propaganda purposes? Was there actually a bombing campaign?
What kind of military operation kills 800 militants while, at the same time, faces no resistance from those militants?
All of these questions are relevant and must be asked of any reports suggesting Saudi military action against AQAP in Yemen. While it is impossible to draw concrete conclusions based on the reports currently circulating throughout Western media, considering the nature of the Saudi involvement and their history of supporting terrorism across the world, one must question their motives as well as any claims made by the Saudi government.
Al-Mukalla is a strategic city in the Abyan Governate, a very important territorial gain since it provides access to the coast.
In the wake of the Pentagon fully embracing gender equality, a House of Representatives committee narrowly approved a measure requiring women to register for Selective Service, the US military draft system.
Following a lengthy and often provocative debate on Wednesday night surrounding the role of women in the military, the House Armed Services Committee carried the motion with a vote of 32-30, signaling a change to the policy that has been in place since 1981.
Currently, all male US citizens and non-citizen immigrants are required to register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. The registration remains active till the age of 26. Proof of registration is required for access to various federal programs, such as student loans, and as a prerequisite for federal employment and naturalization.
Filing an amendment to the House’s annual defense authorization bill, Republican Duncan Hunter said that “the draft is sexist” as it precludes women aged between 18 and 26 from registering.
The California congressman says he was angered that the Pentagon decided to open up over 200,000 military jobs to women, including all combat roles at the end of 2015 – but didn’t touch on equality before the draft board, AP reported.
Hunter, a former Marine, argued that it was the Representatives who “should make this decision,” not the administration. “It’s the families that we represent who are affected by this,” Hunter told the committee.
Hunter says he never intended for the motion to be carried, just for the issue to be discussed. He ultimately voted against his own proposal.
“A draft is there to put bodies on the front lines to take the hill,” said Hunter, trying to dissuade those in favor of the change. “The draft is there to get more people to rip the enemies’ throats out and kill them.”
Although the draft has never been used since 1973, when the US transitioned to an all-volunteer military in the wake of the Vietnam War, Hunter’s motion attracted widespread support among the Democrats on the committee.
“We should be willing to support universal conscription,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California). “There’s great merit in recognizing that each of us have an obligation to be willing to serve our country in a time of war.”
All but one Democrat voted for the measure, with five Republicans joining them to carry the motion.
“We have a standards-based force now, and we don’t have a standards-based Selective Service,” Rep. Christopher P. Gibson (R-New York) said, according to The Washington Post.
The measure is now part of the proposed annual National Defense Authorization Act, which outlines defense spending for the fiscal year beginning October 1. It will go to a vote before the full House in May. If approved, it will have to make its way through the Senate.
The 2016 presidential elections are proving historic, and not just because of the surprising success of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, the lively debate among feminists over whether to support Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump’s unorthodox candidacy.
The elections are also groundbreaking because they’re revealing more dramatically than ever the corrosive effect of big money on our decaying democracy.
Following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision and related rulings, corporations and the wealthiest Americans gained the legal right to raise and spend as much money as they want on political candidates.
The 2012 elections were consequently the most expensive in U.S. history. And this year’s races are predicted to cost even more. With the general election still six months away, donors have already sunk $1 billion into the presidential race — with $619 million raised by candidates and another $412 million by super PACs.
Big money in politics drives grave inequality in our country. It also drives war.
After all, war is a profitable industry. While millions of people all over the world are being killed and traumatized by violence, a small few make a killing from the never-ending war machine.
During the Iraq War, for example, weapons manufacturers and a cadre of other corporations made billions on federal contracts.
Most notoriously this included Halliburton, a military contractor previously led by Dick Cheney. The company made huge profits from George W. Bush’s decision to wage a costly, unjustified, and illegal war while Cheney served as his vice president.
Military-industrial corporations spend heavily on political campaigns. They’ve given over $1 million to this year’s presidential candidates so far — over $200,000 of which went to Hillary Clinton, who leads the pack in industry backing.
These corporations target House and Senate members who sit on the Armed Forces and Appropriations Committees, who control the purse strings for key defense line items. And cleverly, they’ve planted factories in most congressional districts. Even if they provide just a few dozen constituent jobs per district, that helps curry favor with each member of Congress.
Thanks to aggressive lobbying efforts, weapons manufacturers have secured the five largest contracts made by the federal government over the last seven years. In 2014, the U.S. government awarded over $90 billion worth of contracts to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.
Military spending has been one of the top three biggest federal programs every year since 2000, and it’s far and away the largest discretionary portion. Year after year, elected officials spend several times more on the military than on education, energy, and the environment combined.
Lockheed Martin’s problematic F-35 jet illustrates this disturbingly disproportionate use of funds. The same $1.5 trillion Washington will spend on the jet, journalist Tom Cahill calculates, could have provided tuition-free public higher education for every student in the U.S. for the next 23 years. Instead, the Pentagon ordered a fighter plane that can’t even fire its own gun yet.
Given all of this, how can anyone justify war spending?
Some folks will say it’s to make us safer. Yet the aggressive U.S. military response following the 9/11 attacks — the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the NATO bombing of Libya, and drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen — has only destabilized the region. “Regime change” foreign policies have collapsed governments and opened the doors to Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS.
Others may say they support a robust Pentagon budget because of the jobs the military creates. But dollar for dollar, education spending creates nearly three times more jobs than military spending.
We need to stop letting politicians and corporations treat violence and death as “business opportunities.” Until politics become about people instead of profits, we’ll remain crushed in the death grip of the war machine.
And that is the real national security threat facing the United States today.
Believe nothing politicians say. They all lie. Trump sent mixed messages in delivering his first foreign policy address. His worldview is more nightmarish than visionary.
His America first agenda features uni-polarity, nativism and US military supremacy while claiming to “want to live peacefully with Russia and China.”
Absent was urging respect for and adherence to rule of law principles along with wanting mutual cooperation among all nations.
He failed to denounce America’s imperial agenda, its phony war on terrorism as a pretext for endless aggression against nonbelligerent states threatening no others.
On the one hand, he called “(o)ur foreign policy… a complete and total disaster.” On the other, his “administration will lead a free world (sic) that is properly armed and funded…”
He lied about the Iran nuclear deal, calling it “disastrous.” In earlier comments, he vowed to rescind it, ignoring the obligation of P5+1 countries to observe agreed on principles – Iran in full compliance.
Saying Tehran “ignor(ed) its terms even before the ink was dry” was willful deception. America alone continues violating terms it agreed to observe.
Stressing “Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon” ignores its peaceful program with no military component or indication it seeks one – along with failing to denounce Israel as the region’s sole nuclear armed and dangerous regional state, threatening its peace and stability.
Trump shamelessly called the Jewish state “the one true democracy in the Middle East… a force for peace and justice” – ignoring its longstanding anti-Palestinian genocidal agenda, ongoing viciousness as he spoke.
His address was a litany of misinformation, distortions and Big Lies.
Obama “watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression,” he blustered.
“China… continue(s) its economic assault on American jobs and wealth…” It’s waging cyberwar “to steal government secrets…”
“If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.”
“We’re a humanitarian nation… (T)he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess… We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide.”
All of the above twists reality demagogically. North Korea threatens no one. For decades, Washington spurned its efforts to normalize relations with the West.
China doesn’t steal US jobs. Corporate America offshores them to numerous low-wage countries, bipartisan US policy doing nothing to stop the transformation of industrial America into a third world nation.
Trump conveniently ignored post-9/11 Bush wars of aggression, bipartisan complicity supporting them.
Clinton’s 1990s Balkan wars preceded them, raping and dismembering the former Yugoslavia.
Obama’s imperial agenda is more of the same, exceeding the worst of George Bush – Hillary Clinton as secretary of state orchestrating naked aggression on Libya and Syria.
Muslims, not Christians and Jews, are at risk in today’s dangerous world. Post-9/11, US foreign policy left millions dead, endless carnage continuing, Congress permitting it with outsized military appropriations for permanent war on humanity.
Who knows what Trump means about everything changing if he becomes president. “America is going to be strong again,” he ranted.
Claiming he wants “radical Islam” halted ignores its US creation and support. Surely he knows, but won’t say, perpetuating the myth of war on terrorism – failing to explain ISIS and similar groups can’t exist without foreign support.
“(W)e have to rebuild our military and our economy,” he blustered. Annual defense authorizations should be greatly reduced at a time America has no enemies.
Billions saved should be invested domestically to create jobs for the one out of four working-age Americans without them – and better ones for the millions of underemployed.
Trump shamelessly calls increasing America’s military strength “the cheapest, single investment we can make…Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean…by anybody and everybody.”
At the same time, he stresses not wasting “one single dollar.” Pentagon policy is a longstanding sinkhole of waste, fraud and abuse. Trump bluster won’t change things.
Putting America first sounds like demanding other nations operate by US rules or else. Saying “I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative” is no different from current imperial policy.
Insisting he wants “peace and prosperity, not war and destruction” suggests a pledge to be breached straightaway in office, continuing dirty business as usual.
Trump differs from rival candidates largely in style. If elected to succeed Obama, expect deplorable continuity, not responsible change.
Stephen Lendman can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.
21st Century Wire | April 27, 2016
All of the recent, worrying attacks on free speech in Germany are starting to make sense.
It has just been announced that the German Air Force is set to start work on a $65 million project to establish a new military air base at Turkey’s Incirlik air base. It is set to be finished by Summer 2017.
RT reports that the project is looking to build accommodation for the permanent deployment of around 400 German soldiers, a fully equipped command and control post and facilities for a full wing of Tornado fighter-jets and an Airbus tanker.
In the weeks before this announcement, Germany began using a very obscure and rarely used law that apparently prevents citizens from criticising foreign heads of state to begin prosecuting a German comedian that had mocked Turkish President Erdogan.
German Chancellor Merkel took much criticism for allowing the prosecution to go ahead, but now we can see why Merkel was doing everything possible to appease the Turkish President.
It is definitely possible that Erdogan threatened to stop the proposed development of the German air base in Turkey unless Merkel stamped on his critics.
Erdogan has many reasons to fear criticism, primarily because the vast majority of it is absolutely justified. Turkey has been documented to be working with ISIS to smuggle oil out of Syria, and the Turkish government has just faced protests for suggesting a religious constitution should be enacted.
The economic situation is also taking a turn for the worst in Erdogan’s Turkey, as tourism to the nation has dropped a massive 40% due to the government’s reckless actions.
The fact that what is clearly free speech has been so openly trampled upon, to further the development of military progress, suggests that supposed Western priorities with peace and democracy are far from sincere.
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
— Albert Camus, 1913-1960
On May 1st, 2003, George W. Bush stood in a dinky little flying suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and in a super stage managed appearance told the lie of the century:
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.
The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again in the guise of combating ISIS. As the thirteenth anniversary of Bush’s ridiculous appearance with a vast “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, Iraq is largely in ruins, Iraqis have fled the murderous “liberation” and its aftermath in millions, and there are over three million internally displaced.
The nation is pinned between a tyrannical, corrupt US puppet government, a homicidal, head chopping, raping, organ eating, history erasing, US-spawned ISIS – and a renewed, relentless US bombardment. So much for the 2008 US-Iraq State of Forces agreement, which stated that by 31st December 2011 “all United States forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory.”
On the USS Abraham Lincoln Bush stated:
In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world … Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free.
In what has transpired to be monumental irony, he continued:
The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of al-Qaida, and cut off a source of terrorist funding.
There was, of course, no al-Qaida in Iraq, no funding of fundamentalist terrorism under Saddam Hussein. It is the invasion’s conception, birth, now reached maturity from Baghdad to Brussels, Mosul to the Maghreb, Latakia to London.
In Iraq, US terrorism from the air is back in all its genocidal force.
Incredibly on April 23rd, the Independent reported another staggering piece of either disinformation or childish naivety, in a predictably familiar script: “A spokesperson for the US military said all possible precautions were taken to avoid ‘collateral damage’”, but in approaching 7,000 airstrikes the number of confirmed civilian deaths had risen on Planet Pentagon to just – forty one.
In another past its sell by date mantra:
Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for Central Command, said the casualties were “deeply regretted” but maintained that the campaign was the “the most precise air campaign in the history of warfare.”
And here’s another familiar one:
In this type of armed conflict, particularly with an enemy who hides among the civilian population, there are going to be, unfortunately, civilian casualties at times.
The Geneva Convention, amongst other Treaties, Principles and Conventions, is specific on the protections of populations in conflict, Colonel Ryder should familiarize himself with the texts.
So another onslaught in a quarter of a century of bombing Iraq is underway – another mass murder with a silly name “Operation Inherent Resolve.”
Here is reality from Dr Souad Al-Azzawi, Award winning environmental scientist who gained her Ph.D from the Colorado School of Mines.
She states of just the onslaught on Mosul, her home, the ancient university city of 1.5 million, that the stated figures from US spokespersons are: “either misinformed about the real situation on the ground, since they are using drones and guided missiles, or airstrikes blindly, intentionally not saying the truth.”
I would like to list SOME of what the Americans’ airstrikes have been targeting and killing in Mosul:
Destroyed are all state services buildings, including Municipalities in right and left sides of Mosul. When they bomb at night, all security personnel get killed or injured, also residents of close by areas, and adjacent properties are destroyed.
Bombed and destroyed all communication centers.
Destruction of Dairy Production Factories in both left and right sides of Mosul. Casualties of these two are one hundred deaths and two hundred injuries among civilians who gathered to receive milk and dairy products from the factories.
Dr Al-Azzawi reminds that this is reminiscent of the bombing of the baby milk factory outside Baghdad in 1991 with the claim it was a chemical weapons factory. This writer visited the factory ruins just months later. There were still charred containers of milk powder – the machinery was provided and maintained by a company in Birmingham, England which specialized in infant food production.
* Bombing of Mosul Pharmaceutical Industries.
* Mosul University was bombed with ninety two deaths and one hundred and thirty five injuries. Earlier estimates were higher, but many were pulled from the rubble alive. “They were students, faculty members, staff members, families of faculties, and restaurants workers.”
*Al Hadbaa and Al Khadraa Residential Apartment compounds. Fifty people killed (families) and one hundred injured.
* Hay al Dhubat residential area in the right side of Mosul, two days ago, five women women and four children killed and the whole house destroyed. The father is a respected pharmacist who has nothing to do with ISIL.
* Destruction of houses in front of the Medical College, killed twenty two civilians – eleven in one family.
* Bombing Sunni Waqif Building, twenty deaths and seventy injuries which included those in nearby commercial and residential buildings.
* Car maintenance industrial areas in both left and right sides of Mosul destroyed with civilian’s casualties.
* Bombing of flour factories in both sides of Mosul.
* Rafidain and Rasheed banks and all their branches in both sides of Mosul. Destruction of all commercial and residential areas in the vicinity of these places, with as yet unknown civilian casualties. (My emphasis.)
* Central Bank of Mosul in Ghazi Street, with nearby residential and commercial properties.
* Pepsi factory, currently producing ice cubes only. Three deaths and twelve injuries among the workers.
* The Governor’s house and close by guest house.
* Mosul’s old industrial compound destroyed, with parking area for fuel Tankers and cars. Three days ago, huge explosion of fuel tankers, one hundred and fifty deaths and injuries.
* Urban Planning Directory in Hay al Maliyah bombed.
* Engineering Planning Directory in Hay al Maliyah bombed.
* Food Storages in left side of Mosul bombed.
* Drinking water treatment plants bombed.
* All electrical generation and transformer stations in the left side of Mosul bombed.
* Domez land communications center in left side of Mosul destroyed.
*Al Hurairah Bridge – and many more.
There is a sickening familiarity to some of the targets – food, pharmaceuticals, water treatment plants, electricity generation, communications and educational facilities, bridges (the country, towns and cities are divided by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) have been favoured targets since 1991. Every time painstakingly and imaginatively restored they have been re-bombed for a quarter of a century.
During the 1990s a Canadian film crew captured footage of US ‘planes dropping flares on harvested wheat and barley, incinerating entire harvests in a country, which due to the strangulating embargo, there were near famine conditions in parts of society.
“When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our servicemen and women, they saw strength, and kindness, and good will”, said George W Bush in his “Mission Accomplished” speech.
No, they saw invaders destroying their lives, their families, their history, raping, pillaging. They saw Falluja’s destruction, Abu Ghraib’s horrors and the eleven other secret prisons and nightmares ever ongoing.
On April 25th, Dr Al-Azzawi added:
More war crimes have been committed by American Coalition, yesterday April 24, 2016. The coalition airplanes bombed Rashidiya water treatment plant left side of Mosul city and Yermouk electricity generation station in the right side of Mosul. Through targeting these populations’ life sustaining necessities, the coalition is committing genocidal action towards Mosul residents in the pretext of fighting ISIS.
Also on 25th April, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, on returning from a week in Iraq wrote starkly of the government:
Iraqis are crying out for fairness, recognition, justice, appreciation and meaningful participation in shaping their future – a process that goes forward and not backwards … We all have responsibilities towards the people of Iraq. While there is an international military coalition in place, a comparably resourced international coalition of practical compassion is also needed to help with the building blocks towards a sustained peace in Iraq.
In the US military lexicon it seems “compassion” has been replaced by their missiles of choice.
Ms Gilmore also stated that Iraq was being run by a failed government and warned foreign powers not to be “complicit” in its neglect of the plight of normal Iraqis.
Further: “The international community must not allow itself to be made complicit with the failed leadership of Iraq … There is political paralysis in Iraq. There is no government in Iraq”, she stated blisteringly of America and Britain’s illegal, abortive, parliamentary project.
“Our commitment to Liberty is America’s tradition … We stand for human liberty”, concluded Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Were mistruths ever bleaker? And when will George W. Bush, Charles Anthony Lynton Blair and their cohorts answer for their crimes in a Court of Law?
President Obama continues to play his three card monte game in Syria, pretending to wage an all-out war against ISIS, while at the same time helping al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s terrorist army in Syria, blend in with the other jihadists armed and financed by the United States and its allies. With Russian help, the Syrian Army may soon be in position to march against the ISIS capital, in Raqqah, and to drive al-Qaida from the country’s second largest city, Aleppo. If that happens, it would signal the final unraveling of a nearly four decades-long U.S. policy of using fundamentalist Islamic jihadists as foot soldiers for U.S. imperialism, in partnership with Saudi Arabia. That’s what is driving the Saudi monarchy crazy, because, if the jihadists are defeated in Syria, they are certain to turn on their Saudi paymasters and the other infinitely corrupt monarchies in the Persian Gulf. What goes around, eventually comes around.
And, that’s why President Obama is sending 250 more Special Forces troops into Syria, supposedly to train more of those phantom “moderate” rebels that the Pentagon last year admitted do not exist. The real number of U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq is certainly much higher than the U.S. is admitting. These U.S. soldiers are attempting to rearm and unite all of the smaller terrorist groups that are integrated with al-Qaida – that is, everyone except ISIS.
The Russians aren’t fooled one bit by Obama’s terrorist shell game. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has resisted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposals to carve Syria up into so-called “zones of interest,” a phony kind of cease-fire that would prevent the Syrian government from taking back its national territory. Lavrov is telling the U.S. that any so-called rebels that are caught fighting alongside al-Qaida will be killed, just like al-Qaida, and that the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria is not subject to negotiation.
The Russians and the Syrian government not only have international law firmly on their side, but also the relevant United Nations Security Council resolution, which calls on the entire world to fight against both ISIS and al-Qaida’s Nusra Front. The U.S. voted for the resolution, and President Obama has repeatedly stated that Washington respects Syria’s national sovereignty. Obama is lying, of course – but then, the U.S. war on terror is probably the greatest lie of the 21st century, and a big part of the 20th century, too.
The U.S. presence in Syria is totally illegal – which is why Obama has to cloak it in terms of American self-defense against ISIS, despite the fact that ISIS grew by leaps and bounds until the Russians intervened and forced the Americans to pretend to wage war against it. The U.S. troops’ main job is to arm the various brands of al-Qaida fighters with heavy weapons, and to act as a “trip wire,” daring the Russians to bomb areas of the country where American troops are active. In other words, he is prepared to go to war with Russia to defend the terrorist armies he has unleashed on Syria.
Obama will end his term in office as the protector-in-chief of al-Qaida. What a legacy for the First Black President.
Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
US Secretary of State John Kerry wants to draw “absolute” lines across Syria to create the Western “areas of influence” there. Such an approach resembles nothing so much as neo-colonialism, experts say.
The idea to create spheres of influence in Syria voiced recently by US Secretary of State John Kerry clearly indicates that Washington continues to pursue its Plan B in Syria.
In his interview with The New York Times editorial board Kerry narrated that the White House proposed to draw clear lines in Syria to the Kremlin.
“We’ve even proposed drawing a line, an absolute line, and saying, ‘You don’t go over there, we don’t go over here, and anything in between is fair game.’ And they are considering that, and I think we will get there in the next week or so,” Kerry told the editorial board.
However, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, such an approach is oversimplified.
“This approach is slightly simplistic. The principal goal is to fight against terrorism [in Syria],” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a press conference on Monday, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
It should be noted that Kerry’s ‘offer’ followed the Saudi-backed High Negotiations’ Committee (HNC) decision to suspend its participation in the Geneva talks on April 21.
On that day most HNC members left Geneva in protest against the ongoing violence in Syria which they blindly blame on Damascus.
The HNC is well-known for its anti-Assad stance. However, by no means the entity represents the Syrian opposition as a whole. The HNC brought together Saudi-backed rebels in Syria, including notorious Ahrar ash-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam groups which actually share the same Islamist ideology as Daesh and al-Qaeda’s affiliate al-Nusra Front.
A day after the HNC demarche Lavrov called attention to the fact that besides the HNC there are also the Moscow and Cairo groups, Hmeymim group and the group of independent opposition members which express their willingness to continue the dialogue with Damascus over the situation in Syria.”Some people have already left [the Syrian opposition’s] High Negotiations Committee [HNC]. They disagreed that radicals ruled the committee, including Jaysh al-Islam leaders. This fact confirms that we were right while proposing to include it in the list of terrorist groups… This group, as well as Ahrar ash-Sham are actively proving in action that they fully support those anti-humane, brutal approaches used by Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra [al-Nusra Front],” the Russian Foreign Minister underscored.
According to Elena Suponina, President of the Center for Asia and the Middle East at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, John Kerry’s offer to divide Syria into spheres of influence with Russia means that Washington now regards Moscow as an equal player in the Middle East.
In her Op-Ed for RIA Novosti Suponina recalls, that four years ago the Obama administration did not even bother to take Russia’s interests in the region into consideration.
However, in general, the White House continues to demonstrate a double-standard approach toward Syria and other regional players, according to the expert.
“It looks as if the colonial epoch and the times of re-division of the world by global powers have returned” Suponina writes, calling attention to the fact that Western policy-makers (most notably John Kerry himself) have repeatedly claimed that it is highly inappropriate to behave “in 19th-century fashion” in the 21st century.
And now Kerry proposes to draw “absolute lines” across the Middle Eastern region, she remarks, warning that Syria is “only the beginning.”
Kerry’s “fair game” in Syria will most likely prompt more destruction and devastation. Is Washington ready to take responsibility for chaos in the region?
On the other hand, Kerry’s proposal looks rather controversial since it was Russia, not the US that was invited to Syria by the legitimate Syrian government.
In his interview with Radio Sputnik political scientist Alexander Kamkin echoed Suponina’s stance.”Genuine peace still looks a way off and it looks like the Western nations still hope to implement the Libyan scenario in Syria… They use the war with Daesh as just a means of building large coalitions, but if you look at the previous such campaigns you will see that our American ‘partners’ rarely practice what they preach,” Kamkin told Radio Sputnik.
Hans-Christof Von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary-General, expressed his concerns regarding the fact that Washington continues to conduct a “series of experiments” in Syria.
“The Americans are never short of experiment, never short of trying something new… It is jumping from one laboratory test to another, and in the meantime the country continues to go further towards a destroyed nation,” Sponeck told Russia Today.
Interestingly enough, it seems that there is no concordance in Washington regarding what to do next in Syria.
US President Barack Obama said Sunday that he does not support the idea of creating so-called “safe” or “buffer” zones in Syria as it would need Washington’s deeper military involvement in the region.
At the same time, Obama has signaled that 250 US Special Operation Forces troops will be soon deployed in the war-torn country.
In a speech at the University of Bucharest in Romania on Tuesday NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow discussed the main issues the Western alliance is facing.
He said the alliance is struggling with many complex risks apart from the “destabilizing actions” of Russia and “the tide of instability which has swept across the Middle East and North Africa.”
“We are also wrestling with other complex risks and threats to our cyber security, to our energy supplies, and in the case of international terrorism to the safety of the people on our streets,” he said.
Vershbow said NATO is doing everything to respond to these challenges, adding that “the alliance takes a 360 degree approach to deterring threats, to protecting its member nations and if necessary to defending them.”
“That presence will be rotational, multinational, and combat capable. It will thereby send a clear message to any potential aggressor that if they violate NATO’s territory, they will face strong response from the whole alliance; Americans, Europeans and home defense forces,” he said.
The NATO secretary general also said that the organization has “set up a series of small headquarters, including here in Romania, to support planning, training and re-enforcement.”
“We are intensifying our maritime patrols, exploring the need for increased military and exercises, providing support to partners like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova and encouraging efforts to strengthen energy security,” he said.
US sends F-22 Raptors to Romania
Vershbow’s comments came a day after the US sent two F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Romania as part of the commitment to NATO security.
The fighter jets, which travel at twice the speed of sound, touched down in Romania, close to the Black Sea and Ukraine, the Crimean Peninsula and Russia.
A US statement said the aircraft possess sophisticated sensors which would allow pilots to track, identify, shoot and destroy air-to-air threats without being detected.
The dispatch of the fighter jets, which can also attack surface targets, came two weeks after Russian fighter jets buzzed an American warship in the Baltic Sea.
The Western military alliance has been deploying troops and equipment close to Russia’s borders since it suspended all ties with Moscow in April 2014 after the Crimean Peninsula integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum.
The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a number of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the Ukrainian crisis.
This as Moscow has on many occasions slammed the Western military alliance’s expansion near its borders, saying such a move poses a threat to both regional and international peace.
People in the United States have “a lot of right to defend ourselves,” presidential contender Bernie Sanders said at a town hall meeting Monday when asked if he too would have an extrajudicial “kill list” like President Barack Obama. The senator from Vermont also endorsed Obama’s recent deployment of another 250 soldiers to Syria as part of the war against the Islamic State group.
“Look. Terrorism is a very serious issue,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “There are people out there who want to kill Americans, who want to attack this country, and I think we have a lot of right to defend ourselves.” However, the senator added, “it has to be done in a constitutional, legal way.”
The New York Times revealed in 2012 that President Obama hosts a meeting every Tuesday at the White House where he decides which suspected terrorists will be added to a so-called “kill list.” Those on the list can then be targeted for killing, typically with an unmanned drone.
“Do you think what’s being done now is constitutional and legal?” Hayes asked Sanders, noting the existence of “a list of people that the U.S. government wants to kill.”
“In general I do, yes,” Sanders replied.
Sanders, locked in a tight race with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, was also asked about President Obama’s decision to deploy another 250 U.S. Special Forces to Syria, where they are expected to help largely Kurdish militias fight the Islamic State group.
“Here’s the bottom line,” said Sanders. “ISIS has got to be destroyed, and the way that ISIS must be destroyed is not through American troops fighting on the ground.” However, “I think what the president is talking about is having American troops training Muslim troops, helping to supply the military equipment they need, and I do support that effort.”
“We need a broad coalition of Muslim troops on the ground,” Sanders continued. “We have had some success in the last year or so putting ISIS on the defensive, we’ve got to continue that effort.”
Sanders’ comments on the eve of primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connnecticut and Rhode Island demonstrate that while he may be less inclined to deploy the U.S. military than Clinton, who he has knocked for backing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he is no dove himself.
In addition to the the use of drones in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and troop deployments in Syria, Sanders also supports extending the presence of roughly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and continuing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that have likely killed more than 1,000 civilians, according to the independent monitoring group Airwars.org.