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Neocon Max Boot: Legal and illegal aliens need to enlist in the US army and die for Israel

By Jonas E. Alexis | Veterans Today | October 16, 2107

In 1973 Irving Kristol, the godfather of the Neoconservative movement, made a stunning statement which is still relevant to understanding the Israeli influence in US foreign policy. Kristol said:

Senator McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to cut the military budget by 30%. And this is to drive a knife in the heart of Israel… Jews don’t like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States…

“American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.”

Read the statement again very carefully. A big military budget, said Kristol, is only good for Israel, not America or much of the Western World. In other words, precious American soldiers who go to the Middle East to fight so-called terrorism are just working for Israel, not for America.

So, whenever the Neocons use words such as “democracy” or “freedom,” they are essentially conning decent Americans to support Israel’s perpetual wars. John Tirman, Principal Research Scientist and Executive Director of the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is saying similar things in his book The Death of Others.[1]

In fact, warmongers like Henry Kissinger do not consider American soldiers as decent human beings. Kissinger said very explicitly that military men are “dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”[2]

People like Kissinger have been killing those “dumb, stupid animals” like chickens in the Middle East for decade. Keep in mind that at least 4,486 American soldiers have already lost their precious lives in Iraq.[3] At least 6,845 Americans died and 900,000 were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.[4] In the space of eight years alone, the Iraq war has taken the lives of at least 116,000 civilians.[5] Under Obama, at least 2,500 Americans died in Iraq and Afghanistan.[6] And what have those soldiers received in return? Well…

“The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have produced more disability claims per veteran than other wars on the books, including Vietnam, Korea and World War II. While Vietnam extracted a far higher death toll – 58,000 died in that war – the total number of documented disabilities suffered by recent veterans is approaching that of the earlier conflict, according to VA documents.”[7]

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you think that the Zionist project has always been in the business of rebuilding countries it has literally destroyed, think again. Tirman writes:

“The money that did finally arrive in Afghanistan, if not siphoned off by President Karzai and his allies, frequently aided American or other foreign contractors who were in some cases doing the work Afghans could do. Even the best intentions were skewed. ‘Instead of giving aid money for Afghan schools to the Ministry of Education, for example, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds private American contractors to start literacy programs for adults,’ wrote Ann Jones, a veteran of Afghan reconstruction. ‘As a result, Afghan teachers abandon the public schools and education administrators leave the Ministry for higher paying jobs with those contractors, further undermining public education and governance.’

“In several locales, the contractors and USAID workers felt compelled to spend money faster than it could usefully be absorbed; private American firms would not get renewed contracts if their financial ‘burn rate’ left over funds at the end of the year, leading to shoddy workmanship and other waste. Frequently, outright fraud and failed projects were the result. To a troubling extent, Afghanistan also witness the uneasy marriage of security and development–projects like building roads but were essential to the U.S. military.

“The failure of both security and development in Afghanistan is attributable to the social and political dynamics that were misread by U.S. officials… By framing the deaths of innocents as mistakes, the U.S. sought to avoid the deeper moral and legal questions as to whether it was attacking legitimate military targets; whether such actions satisfied the proportionality rule; and whether its ground forces were placing themselves at sufficient risk in order to mitigate the horrors of war for innocent civilians.’

“The typical story was a U.S. warplane or helicopter killing ‘terrorists’ that turned out to be no more than civilians at a social gathering. A dispute over who was killed and why would occasionally be visible in the Western press, with villagers claiming civilians were the victims and the military spokesman insisting they were terrorists. Evidence would be brought forward, typically by eyewitnesses, and the American or NATO commanders would retreat to the safe confines of ordering an investigation into the ‘tragic incident.’”[8]

Neocon hawks like Max Boot know that American soldiers are dying by the thousands for Israel. As a result, Boot proposed what seemed to be a diabolical project in 2005, and here it is:

The military would do well today to open its ranks not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and women who are not here now but would like to come.

“No doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period in return for one of the world’s most precious commodities — U.S. citizenship.”

Did you catch that? The U.S. military should open its ranks to everyone, both legal and illegal, so that they can go ahead and die in the Middle East. Boot never told the American people about the cost of this diabolical plan. He never told people that no country on earth can survive with that principle.

What we are seeing here is that the deaths of American soldiers in the Middle East aren’t enough for Boot. He has to enlist other Goyim in his essentially Talmudic plan. If people like Max Boot aren’t dangerous to America and much of the world, then no one is. It was good that Tucker Carlson told Boot to pick up a decent job like house painting.


[1] John Tirman, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[2] Quoted in Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, The Final Days (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), 194.

[3] H. A. Goodman, “4,486 American Soldiers Have Died in Iraq. President Obama Is Continuing a Pointless and Deadly Quagmire,” Huffington Post, November 17, 2014.

[4] H. A. Goodman, “6,845 Americans Died and 900,000 Were Injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Say ‘No’ to Obama’s War,” Huffington Post, February 12, 2015.

[5] David Blair, “Iraq war 10 years on: at least 116,000 civilians killed,” Telegraph, March 15, 2013.

[6] Tessa Stuart, “Some 2,500 Americans Have Died in Afghanistan and Iraq Under Obama,” Rolling Stone, May 30, 2016.

[7] Chris Adams, “Millions went to war in Iraq, Afghanistan, leaving many with lifelong scars,” McClatchy Newspapers, March 14, 2013.

[8] Tirman, The Deaths of Others, 272.

October 16, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Debunking the myth of Islamic State’s presence in Af-Pak

By Nauman Sadiq – Blacklisted News – September 28, 2017

Recently, the Islamic State’s purported “terror franchises” in Afghanistan and Pakistan have claimed a spate of bombings against the Shi’a and Barelvi Muslims who are regarded as heretics by Takfiris. But to contend that the Islamic State is responsible for suicide blasts in Pakistan and Afghanistan is to declare that the Taliban are responsible for the sectarian war in Syria and Iraq.

Both are localized militant outfits and the Islamic State without its Baathist command structure and superior weaponry is just another ragtag, regional militant outfit. The distinction between the Taliban and the Islamic State lies in the fact that the Taliban follow Deobandi sect of Sunni Islam which is a sect native to South Asia and the jihadists of the Islamic State mostly belong to Wahhabi denomination.

Secondly, and more importantly, the insurgency in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan is a Pashtun uprising which is an ethnic group native to Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, while the bulk of the Islamic State’s jihadists is comprised of Arab militants of Syria and Iraq.

The so-called “Khorasan Province” of the Islamic State in the Af-Pak region is nothing more than an alliance of several breakaway factions of the Taliban and a few other inconsequential local militant outfits that have adopted the name “Islamic State” to enhance their prestige, but that don’t have any organizational and operations association, whatsoever, with the Islamic State proper in Syria and Iraq.

Conflating the Islamic State either with Al-Qaeda, with the Taliban or with myriads of ragtag, local militant groups is a deliberate deception intended to mislead public opinion in order to exaggerate the threat posed by the Islamic State which serves the scaremongering agenda of security establishments.

Regardless, the only difference between the Afghan jihad back in the ‘80s that spawned Islamic jihadists such as the Taliban and Al-Qaeda for the first time in history and the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, 2011-onward, is that the Afghan jihad was an overt jihad: back then, the Western political establishments and their mouthpiece, the mainstream media, used to openly brag that the CIA provides all those AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and stingers to Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, which then distributes those deadly weapons amongst the Afghan so-called “freedom fighters” to combat the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

After the 9/11 tragedy, however, the Western political establishments and corporate media have become a lot more circumspect, therefore this time around they have waged covert jihads against the Arab-nationalist Gaddafi regime in Libya and the anti-Zionist Assad regime in Syria, in which Islamic jihadists (aka terrorists) have been sold as “moderate rebels” with secular and nationalist ambitions to the Western audience.

Since the regime change objective in those hapless countries went against the mainstream narrative of ostensibly fighting a war against terrorism, therefore the Western political establishments and the mainstream media are now trying to muddle the reality by offering color-coded schemes to identify myriads of militant and terrorist outfits operating in Syria: such as the red militants of the Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front which the Western powers want to eliminate; the yellow Islamic jihadists, like Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham, with whom the Western powers can collaborate under desperate circumstances; and the green militants of the Free Syria Army (FSA) and a few other inconsequential outfits which together comprise the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition.

If we were to draw parallels between the Soviet-Afghan jihad during the ‘80s and the Syrian civil war of today, the Western powers used the training camps located in the Af-Pak border regions to train and arm Afghan “Mujahideen” against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

Similarly, the training camps located in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan are being used to provide training and weapons to Sunni Arab militants to battle the Shi’a-dominated Syrian regime with the collaboration of Turkish, Jordanian and Saudi intelligence agencies.

During the Afghan jihad, it is a known historical fact that the bulk of the so-called “freedom fighters” was comprised of Pashtun Islamic jihadists, such as the factions of Jalaluddin Haqqani, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and scores of other militant outfits, some of which later coalesced together to form the Taliban movement.

Similarly, in Syria, the majority of the so-called “moderate rebels” is comprised of Sunni Arab jihadists, such as Jaysh al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham, al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State and myriads of other militant groups, including a small portion of defected Syrian soldiers who go by the name of Free Syria Army (FSA).

Moreover, apart from Pashtun Islamic jihadists, various factions of the Northern Alliance of Tajiks and Uzbeks constituted the relatively “moderate” segment of the Afghan rebellion, though those “moderate” warlords, like Ahmad Shah Massoud and Abul Rashid Dostum, were more ethnic and tribal in character than secular or nationalist, as such.

Similarly, the Kurds of the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces” can be compared to the Northern Alliance of Afghanistan. The socialist PYD/YPG Kurds of Syria, however, were allied with the Baathist regime against the Sunni Arab jihadists for the first three years of the Syrian civil war, i.e. from August 2011 to August 2014.

At the behest of American stooge in Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, the Syrian Kurds have switched sides in the last three years after the United States policy reversal and declaration of war against one faction of the Syrian opposition, the Islamic State, when the latter overstepped its mandate in Syria and overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in June 2014, from where the US troops had withdrawn only a couple of years previously in December 2011.

Regarding the creation and composition of the Islamic State, apart from training and arms which have been provided to Syrian militants in the training camps located in the Turkish and Jordanian border regions adjacent to Syria by the CIA in collaboration with Turkish, Jordanian and Saudi intelligence agencies, another factor that has contributed to the stellar success of the Islamic State is that its top cadres are comprised of former Baathist military and intelligence officers from the Saddam era.

According to reports, hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who plan all the operations and direct its military strategy. The only feature that differentiates Islamic State from all other insurgent groups is its command structure which is comprised of professional ex-Baathists and its state-of-the-art weaponry that has been provided to all the Sunni Arab militant outfits fighting in Syria by the intelligence agencies of the Western powers, Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf states.

Moreover, it is an indisputable fact that morale and ideology plays an important role in battle, and well-informed readers must also be aware that the Takfiri brand of most jihadists these days has been directly inspired by the puritanical Wahhabi-Salafi ideology of Saudi Arabia, but ideology alone is not sufficient to succeed in battle.

Looking at the Islamic State’s astounding gains in Syria and Iraq in 2014, a question arises, where do its recruits get all the training and state-of-the-art weapons that are imperative not only for hit-and-run guerrilla warfare but also for capturing and holding large swathes of territory?

According to a revelatory December 2013 news report [1] from The National newspaper affiliated with the UAE government which supports the Syrian opposition: it is clearly mentioned that along with AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other military gear, the Saudi regime also provides machine gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks to every batch of five jihadists who have completed their training in the training camps located at the border regions of Jordan.

Once those militants cross over to Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria from the Jordan-Syria border, then those Toyota pick-up trucks can easily travel all the way to Raqqa and Deir al-Zor and thence to Mosul and Anbar in Iraq.

Moreover, it is clearly spelled out in the report that Syrian militants get arms and training through a secret command center based in the intelligence headquarters’ building in Amman, Jordan, that has been staffed by high-ranking military officials from 14 countries, including the US, European nations, Israel and the Gulf Arab States to wage a covert war against the government in Syria.

Finally, unlike al Qaeda, which is a transnational terrorist organization that generally employs anti-colonial and anti-West rhetoric to draw funds and followers, the Islamic State and the majority of Sunni Arab militant groups fighting in Syria are basically anti-Shi’a sectarian outfits. By the designation “terrorism” it is generally implied and understood that an organization which has the intentions and capability of carrying out acts of terrorism on the Western soil.

Although the Islamic State has carried out a few acts of terrorism against the Western countries, such as the high profile Paris, Brussels and Manchester attacks, but if we look at the pattern of its subversive activities, especially in the Middle East, it generally targets the Shi’a Muslims in Syria and Iraq. A few acts of terrorism that it has carried out in the Gulf Arab states were also directed against the Shi’a Muslims in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia and Shi’a mosques in Yemen and Kuwait.

Sources and links:

[1] Syrian rebels get arms and advice through secret command center in Amman:

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/syrian-rebels-get-arms-and-advice-through-secret-command-centre-in-amman

September 28, 2017 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listening to the Donald at the UN

The Saker • Unz Review • September 19, 2017

Late this morning, outraged emails started pouring in. My correspondents reported “getting sick” and having their “heart ache”. The cause of all that? They had just watched Trump’s speech at the UN. I sighed and decided to watch the full speech for myself. Yeah, it was painful.

You can read the full (rush, not official) text here or watch the video here. Most of it is so vapid that I won’t even bother posting the full thing. But there are a few interesting moments including these:

“We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been”

This short sentence contains the key to unlock the reason behind the fact that while the US military is extremely good at killing people in large numbers, it is also extremely bad at winning wars. Like most Americans, Trump is under the illusion that spending a lot of money “buys” you a better military. This is completely false, of course. If spending money was the key to a competent military force, the US armed forces would have already conquered the entire planet many times over. In reality, they have not won anything meaningful since the war in the Pacific.

Having surrounded himself with “Mad Dog” kind of “experts” on warfare, Trump is now reusing that old mantra about how money buys you victory and this is something extremely important. This kind of magical thinking signals to the countries most threatened by the US that the Americans are unable to engage in a basic “lessons learned” kind of exercise, that history teaches them nothing and that, just like all this predecessors, Trump conflates handing out money to the Military Industrial Complex with preparing for war. Frankly, this is good news: let the Americans spend themselves into bankruptcy, let them further neglect their military and let them continue to believe that this kind of magical thinking will bring them to victory.

[Sidebar: for the record, I have met and studied with plenty of excellent, well-educated, honorable, courageous and patriotic American officers and the kind of money-centered hubris I describe above is in no way directed at them, if only because they know even much better than I how bad the situation really is. There are plenty of highly-educated officers in the US armed forces who understand history and who know that money brings corruption, not victory. But they are mostly kept at ranks no higher than Colonel and you will often find them in military teaching institutions and academies. Having studied with them and become good friends with many of them, I feel sorry for them and I know that if they had the means to stop this insanity they would]

America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia, it is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others.

The only question here is whom exactly Trump’s speech-writers are aiming that nonsense at? Do they really think that there is anybody out there who sincerely believes this? If the target audience are US middle schools then, yes, okay. But does anybody believe that US middle school students listen to UN speeches?! Okay, maybe senile folks also believe that, I sure know a few who will swallow it up and ask for more, but why speak to that audience from a UN podium? Is it not embarrassing when such nonsense is greeted in total silence instead of a standing ovation from all the putatively grateful countries out there who are so deeply grateful for all these altruistic and heroic sacrifices. My only explanation for why this kind of nonsensical drivel was included in this speech is that it has become part of the ritual of typical American “patriotic liturgy”: big hyperbolic sentences which mean nothing, which nobody takes seriously or even listens to, but who have to be included “because they have to”. This reminds me of the obligatory Lenin quote in any and all Soviet speeches and statements, they also were basically filtered out by any thinking person, everybody knew that, but that’s how things went on then. It is really sad, and scary, to see how much the US of the 2017 looks like the Soviet Union of the 1980s.

The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

Wow! Now that is a sentence which could only be written by a person utterly unaware of the impact it will have on the intended audience (in theory, all of mankind, this is the UN, after all). Totally destroy North Korea. I wonder how this will be received in South Korea and Japan. No, I don’t mean by the puppet regimes in Seoul and Tokyo, but by the people. Will they simply dismiss it as hot air or will they be horrified. I bet for the former reaction. It is much more psychologically comfortable to dismiss it all under the heading “nah, that’s crazy shit, they don’t mean it and they sure as hell ain’t gonna do it” rather than think for just a few minutes about the implications and consequences of such a threat. And let me be clear here: the United States most definitely do have the means to totally destroy North Korea. For one thing, they already did so during the Korean war, and they can easily repeated that today. That does not mean that they can win a war against the DPRK. There is a huge difference between laying waste to a country and winning a war against it (see Israel vs Hezbollah). The only way to meaningfully win a war against the DPRK is to invade it, and that the Americans cannot do, not even close. In contrast, the DPRK probably has the means to invade at least the northern part of South Korea, including Seoul. At the very least, they can totally destroy it. Along with much of Japan. I wonder if the US decided to one day “protect” South Korean and Japan by “totally destroying North Korea”, will they be totally shocked when they realize that the South Koreans and the Japanese will turn out not to be grateful for such a “protection”?

Last month I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operation, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians. I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

What we see here is undeniable evidence that far from being “real warriors” or “strategists” the military gang around Trump (Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, etc.) are either primitive grunts or folks who owe their rank to political protection. Why do I say that? Because none of what Trump describes as a “strategy for victory” is, in fact, a strategy. In fact, the US has not had anything remotely resembling a strategy in Afghanistan for years already. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable, really. What we really see here is the total absence of any strategy and, again, a total reliance on magical thinking. Ask yourself a basic question: have you ever heard from any Trump administration or any US General anything which would suggest to you that these guys have i) a clear goal in mind ii) an understanding of what it would take to achieve this goal and iii) a timeframe to achieve this goal and iv) an exit strategy once this goal is achieved? No? Well, that is not your fault, you did not miss anything. They really don’t have it. The amazing reality is that they don’t even have a goal defined. How one achieves “victory” when no goal is even defined is anybody’s guess.

[Sidebar: without going into a lengthy discussion of Afghanistan, I would say that the only chance to get anything done, any viable result at all, is to negotiate a deal with all the parties that matter: the various Afghan factions, of course, but also with the Taliban, Pakistan, Iran and even Russia. Pakistan and Iran have a de-facto veto power over any outcome for Afghanistan. This may not be what the US would want, but this is the reality. Denying reality is just not a smart approach to these issues, especially if “victory” is the goal]

In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person. No society could be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the attack.

When I heard these words I felt embarrassed for Trump. First, it is absolutely pathetic that Trump has to claim as his success the victories which the Syrians, the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah have achieved against the Wahabi-crazies of Daesh/al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/etc, especially since the latter are a pure creation of the US CIA! The truth is that it was the Americans who created this Wahabi monster and that they aided, protected, financed, trained and armed it through all these years. The US also viciously opposed all the countries which were serious about fighting this Wahabi abomination. And now that a tiny Russian contingent has achieved infinitely better results that all the power of the mighty CENTCOM backed by the Israeli and Saudi allies of the US in the region, The Donald comes out and declares victory?! Pathetic is not strong enough a word to describe this mind-bogglingly counter-factual statement. And then, just to make things worse, The Donald *proudly* mentions the failed attack against a Syrian air force base which had nothing to do with a false flag fake chemical attack. Wow! For any other political leader recalling such an event would be a burning embarrassment, but for The Donald it is something he proudly mentions. The hubris, ignorance and stupidity of it all leaves me in total awe…

Next The Donald went on a long rant about how bad Maduro and Venezuela were, which was terrible, but at least predictable, but then he suddenly decided to share this outright bizarre insight of his:

The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.

Since when did Trump become an expert on political science and world history anyway? Who does he think he is lecturing? Yet another US middle school classroom?! Does he not realize that a good number of the countries represented at the UN consider themselves Socialist?! Furthermore, while I don’t necessarily disagree with the notion that Socialist and Communist ideas have often been a disaster in the 20th century, Socialism in the 21st century is an entirely different beast and the jury is still very much out on this issue, especially when considering the social, political, economic, ecological, psychological and even spiritual disaster Capitalism is now proving to be for much of the planet. Being the President of a country as dysfunctional as the US, Trump would be well-advised to tone down his arrogant pontifications about Socialism and maybe even open a book and read about it.

I won’t even bother discussing the comprehensively counter-factual nonsense Trump has spewed about Iran and Hezbollah, we all know who Trump’s puppet-masters are nowadays so we know what to expect. Instead, I will conclude with this pearl from The Donald:

In remembering the great victory that led to this body’s founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil, also fought for the nations that they love. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France, and the Brits to stand strong for Britain.

Echoing the nonsense he spoke while in Poland, Trump is now clearly fully endorsing that fairytale that “The West” (in which Trump now hilariously includes Poland!) has defeated Hitler and saved the world. The truth is that the Nazis were defeated by the Soviets and that all the efforts of the Poles, French, Brits and even Americans were but a minor (20% max) sideshow to the “real event” (Those who still might believe in this nonsense can simply read this). Yet again, that the Americans would feel the need to appropriate for themselves somebody else’s victory is, yet again, a clear sign of weakness. Do they expect the rest of the planet to buy into this nonsense? Probably not. My guess is that all they want is to send a clear messages to the Comprador elites running most countries that this is the “official ideology of the AngloZionist Empire” and if they want to remain in power they better toe the line even if nobody takes this stuff seriously. Yup, back to a 1980s Soviet kind of attitude towards propaganda: nobody cares what everybody else really thinks as long as everybody continues to pretend to believe the official propaganda.

[Sidebar: When my wife and I watched this pathetic speech we starting laughing about the fact that Trump was so obscenely bad that we (almost) begin to miss Obama. This is a standing joke in our family because when Obama came to power we (almost) began to miss Dubya. The reason why this is a joke is that when Dubya came to power we decided that there is no way anybody could possibly be worse than him. Oh boy where we wrong! Right now I am still not at the point were I would be missing Obama (that is asking for a lot from me!), but I will unapologetically admit that I am missing Dubya. I do. I really do. Maybe not the people around Dubya, he is the one who truly let the Neocon “crazies in the basement” creep out and occupy the Situation Room, but at least Dubya seemed to realize how utterly incompetent he was. Furthermore, Dubya was a heck of a lot dumber than Obama (in this context being stupid is a mitigating factor) and he sure did not have the truly galactic arrogance of Trump (intelligence-wise they are probably on par)].

In conclusion, what I take away from this speech is a sense of relief for the rest of the planet and a sense of real worry for the US. Ever since the Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their “bitch” the US foreign policy has come to a virtual standstill. Sure, the Americans talk a lot, but at least they are doing nothing. That paralysis, which is a direct consequence of the internal infighting, is a blessing for the rest of the planet because it allows everybody else to get things done. Because, and make no mistake here, if the US cannot get anything constructive done any more, they retain a huge capability to disrupt, subvert, create chaos and the like. But for as long as the US remains paralyzed this destructive potential remains mostly unused (and no matter how bad things look now, Hillary as President would have been infinitely worse!). However, the US themselves are now the prime victim of a decapitated Presidency and a vindictive and generally out of control Neocon effort to prevent true American patriots to “get their country back” (as they say) and finally overthrow the regime in Washington DC. Step by step the US is getting closer to a civil war and there is no hope in sight, at least for the time being. It appears that for the foreseeable future Trump will continue to focus his energy on beating Obama for the status of “worst President in US history” while the Neocons will continue to focus their energy on trying to impeach Trump, and maybe even trigger a civil war. The rest of us living here are in for some very tough times ahead. As they say in Florida when a hurricane comes barreling down on you “hunker down!”.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Washington Continues Transforming Afghanistan into Massive Graveyard

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 17.09.2017

On August 31, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed an order to deploy additional US troops in Afghanistan. He noted that this decision was made in accordance with the overall strategy in South Asia that was approved by US President Donald Trump. This means that the number of American soldiers dispatched in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will reach a total of 14,500.

It should be noted that even though Washington unleashed armed aggression against Afghanistan back in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism, today Americans appear indifferent to Islamic State (ISIS) militants operating there, and have focused almost solely on fighting the Taliban. However, unlike the Taliban, the sole goal of which is to regain control over their country by pushing US troops out, ISIS militants have repeatedly stated their intention is to expand their area of operations across the whole of Central Asia, which presents a major to challenge to regional players as well as Russia and China. It is no coincidence that Moscow and Beijing have recently stepped up their diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan in a bid to prevent these radicals from infiltrating their borders.

Britain, in spite of bitter resistance from the Labor Party, is going to increase its military efforts in Afghanistan as well, although London has a disastrous track record of operations in this Central Asian state. British Minister of Defense Michael Fallon was delighted to hear the recent announcement by the Pentagon on Afghanistan. In a bid not to lag behind, the UK government was quick to announces its intentions to deploy special forces from the 22nd SAS regiment in Afghanistan to strengthen the 500 men strong task force operating in this country. Those elite forces are believed to be engaged in covert missions on the ground. However, Afghanistan is not the only state where those forces will be operating, since Iraq, Libya, and Tunisia are also on the list.

As representatives of the British military intelligence told the Sunday Times in late August, the Taliban has allegedly recreated underground cells in every major Afghan city. Somehow, London believes, that if this information is true, the elite troops dispatched to the region will be somehow able to prevent a massive offensive by the Taliban.

However, as it’s been noted by the former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai in a interview for a major Russian media platform: “Washington’s new strategy will not lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan, it will only intensify the fighting and bloodshed.” Ex-president Hamid Karzai also told Izvestia that the White House tries to deny peace and prosperity to the people of Afghanistan by intensifying military operations across the country with the help of the notorious military contractors like Academi, which violates the sovereignty of Afghanistan.

This gloomy assessment has been proven true by the recent announcement of the United Nations Mission to Afghanistan, which stated that on August 30 yet another series of air strikes carried out by the US coalition resulted in at least 28 women and children, while leaving more than 16 more injured.

However, peaceful citizens of Afghanistan are not the only victims of this senseless war. As it’s been recently reported by the New York Times, at least 18 CIA operatives lost their lives in Afghanistan in recent years. This figure can easily be compared to a similar death rate in Vietnam and Laos conflicts.

The US armed aggression against Afghanistan has resulted in more than 2,500 US servicemen losing their lives, according to the independent website iCasualties.org, while some 20,000 more were wounded over the course of the conflict. Such casualties were inflicted upon US forces in spite of the massive deployment supported by US intelligence agencies who secretly transported Hamid Karzai into the country at the beginning of the conflict, thus guaranteeing Kabul’s compliance with Washington’s policies.

One has to state that, regrettably, neither Washington nor London has learned anything over the course of this 16-years long war, since by sending more servicemen to Afghanistan they will continue transforming this country into a massive cemetery for Afghan citizens and US coalition soldiers alike.

September 17, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

The Politics of Military Ascendancy

By James Petras • Unz Review • September 15, 2017

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Under Obama’s International Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

General Mattis: The Militarization of America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When he worked for Obama, Mattis increased US arms shipments to the US’s Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian puppets, ensuring the US would be able to scuttle any ‘negotiated settlements’.

Militarization: An Evaluation

Trump’s resort to ‘his Generals’ is supposed to counter any attacks from members of his own party and Congressional Democrats about his foreign policy. Trump’s appointment of ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, a notorious Russophobe and warmonger, has somewhat pacified the opposition in Congress and undercut any ‘finding’ of an election conspiracy between Trump and Moscow dug up by the Special Investigator Robert Mueller. Trump maintains a role as nominal President by adapting to what Obama warned him was ‘their international order’ – now directed by an unelected military junta composed of Obama holdovers!

The Generals provide a veneer of legitimacy to the Trump regime (especially for the warmongering Obama Democrats and the mass media). However, handing presidential powers over to ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and his cohort will come with a heavy price.

While the military junta may protect Trump’s foreign policy flank, it does not lessen the attacks on his domestic agenda. Moreover, Trump’s proposed budget compromise with the Democrats has enraged his own Party’s leaders.

In sum, under a weakened President Trump, the militarization of the White House benefits the military junta and enlarges their power. The ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis program has had mixed results, at least in its initial phase: The junta’s threats to launch a pre-emptive (possibly nuclear) war against North Korea have strengthened Pyongyang’s commitment to develop and refine its long and medium range ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons. Brinkmanship failed to intimidate North Korea. Mattis cannot impose the Clinton-Bush-Obama doctrine of disarming countries (like Libya and Iraq) of their advanced defensive weapons systems as a prelude to a US ‘regime change’ invasion.

Any US attack against North Korea will lead to massive retaliatory strikes costing tens of thousands of US military lives and will kill and maim millions of civilians in South Korea and Japan.

At most, ‘Mad Dog’ managed to intimidate Chinese and Russian officials (and their export business billionaire buddies) to agree to more economic sanctions against North Korea. Mattis and his allies in the UN and White House, the loony Nikki Hailey and a miniaturized President Trump, may bellow war – yet they cannot apply the so-called ‘military option’ without threatening the US military forces stationed throughout the Asia Pacific region.

The Mad Dog Mattis assault on the Russian embassy did not materially weaken Russia, but it has revealed the uselessness of Moscow’s conciliatory diplomacy toward their so-called ‘partners’ in the Trump regime.

The end-result might lead to a formal break in diplomatic ties, which would increase the danger of a military confrontation and a global nuclear holocaust.

The military junta is pressuring China against North Korea with the goal of isolating the ruling regime in Pyongyang and increasing the US military encirclement of Beijing. Mad Dog has partially succeeded in turning China against North Korea while securing its advanced THADD anti-missile installations in South Korea, which will be directed against Beijing. These are Mattis’ short-term gains over the excessively pliant Chinese bureaucrats. However, if Mad Dog intensifies direct military threats against China, Beijing can retaliate by dumping tens of billions of US Treasury notes, cutting trade ties, sowing chaos in the US economy and setting Wall Street against the Pentagon.

Mad Dog’s military build-up, especially in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, will not intimidate Iran nor add to any military successes. They entail high costs and low returns, as Obama realized after the better part of a decade of his defeats, fiascos and multi-billion dollar losses.

Conclusion

The militarization of US foreign policy, the establishment of a military junta within the Trump Administration, and the resort to nuclear brinkmanship has not changed the global balance of power.

Domestically Trump’s nominal Presidency relies on militarists, like General Mattis. Mattis has tightened the US control over NATO allies, and even rounded up stray European outliers, like Sweden, to join in a military crusade against Russia. Mattis has played on the media’s passion for bellicose headlines and its adulation of Four Star Generals.

But for all that – North Korea remains undaunted because it can retaliate. Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons and remains a counterweight to a US-dominated globe. China owns the US Treasury and its unimpressed, despite the presence of an increasingly collision-prone US Navy swarming throughout the South China Sea.

Mad Dog laps up the media attention, with well dressed, scrupulously manicured journalists hanging on his every bloodthirsty pronouncement. War contractors flock to him, like flies to carrion. The Four Star General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis has attained Presidential status without winning any election victory (fake or otherwise). No doubt when he steps down, Mattis will be the most eagerly courted board member or senior consultant for giant military contractors in US history, receiving lucrative fees for half hour ‘pep-talks’ and ensuring the fat perks of nepotism for his family’s next three generations. Mad Dog may even run for office, as Senator or even President for whatever Party.

The militarization of US foreign policy provides some important lessons:

First of all, the escalation from threats to war does not succeed in disarming adversaries who possess the capacity to retaliate. Intimidation via sanctions can succeed in imposing significant economic pain on oil export-dependent regimes, but not on hardened, self-sufficient or highly diversified economies.

Low intensity multi-lateral war maneuvers reinforce US-led alliances, but they also convince opponents to increase their military preparedness. Mid-level intense wars against non-nuclear adversaries can seize capital cities, as in Iraq, but the occupier faces long-term costly wars of attrition that can undermine military morale, provoke domestic unrest and heighten budget deficits. And they create millions of refugees.

High intensity military brinkmanship carries major risk of massive losses in lives, allies, territory and piles of radiated ashes – a Pyrrhic victory!

In sum:

Threats and intimidation succeed only against conciliatory adversaries. Undiplomatic verbal thuggery can arouse the spirit of the bully and some of its allies, but it has little chance of convincing its adversaries to capitulate. The US policy of worldwide militarization over-extends the US armed forces and has not led to any permanent military gains.

Are there any voices among clear-thinking US military leaders, those not bedazzled by their stars and idiotic admirers in the US media, who could push for more global accommodation and mutual respect among nations? The US Congress and the corrupt media are demonstrably incapable of evaluating past disasters, let alone forging an effective response to new global realities.

September 15, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US drone attack kills 3 in Pakistan’s tribal region

Press TV – September 15, 2017

A US drone strike has killed three people in the tribal area of Pakistan near the Afghanistan border.

“Two missiles were dropped on the home of Maulvi Mohib and three people have been killed,” said Baseer Khan Wazir on Friday. Wazir is the political agent and the most senior administrator in the Kurram Agency region in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

Afghan Taliban sources said the attack targeted Pakistan-based Haqqani militants who are allied to the Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

Two sources said Mohib was affiliated with Haqqani. “He remained associated with the Haqqani network but wasn’t a prominent figure,” said one senior Taliban member.

Another Taliban member, whose name was not mentioned in the report either, said Mohib was part of the Afghan Taliban. “We don’t differentiate the Haqqani network and Taliban. This is just a propaganda of the Western media.”

The US-led international forces in Afghanistan had no immediate information on the strike.

The United States carries out internationally-condemned extrajudicial drone strikes in several Islamic countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.

If confirmed, it would be the first US drone strike inside Pakistan since President Donald Trump outlined his new Afghanistan strategy.

The US president unveiled his administration’s new strategy in Afghanistan last month. He said he would prolong US military intervention in Afghanistan, ordering added forces in the region.

US officials have urged the neighboring Pakistani government to crack down on Haqqani militants operating in Pakistan. Islamabad, however, denies there are any militants on its side.

Observers predicted an increase in US drone attacks inside Pakistan when Trump came into power, but since January there have only been a few.

Another option being weighed by Washington, according to US officials, is targeted sanctions against Pakistani officials with links to extremist groups such as Haqqani.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, however, told Reuters on Monday that such a move would be counterproductive.

Trump, who had initially called for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, argued that his “original instinct was to pull out,” but that he was convinced by his national security team to take on the militants there.

The United States, under the presidency of Republican George W. Bush, and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. Insecurity remains in the country despite the presence of foreign troops.

September 15, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US Accelerates Afghanistan Bombing Campaign With Questionable Effectiveness

Sputnik – 14.09.2017

The US Air Force dropped an average of 16 bombs per day in August in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s plan to attack “America’s enemies” in the country, according to the most recent Pentagon data on munitions delivered in the country.

US Air Force warplanes including the F-16 “Viper,” the MQ-9 Reaper drone, and the B-52 Stratofortress bomber deployed 1,984 bombs from January to July of this year, according to US Air Force Central Command data published August 31.

Sputnik News therefore calculates that in the first seven months of the year, US jets dropped an average of 227 bombs per month. In August, more than twice as many bombs struck Afghani soil than an average month, at 503 munitions.

Increasing the frequency of bombing raids hasn’t required mobilizing extra aircraft assets to Afghanistan because “we’ve never come back” after arriving so many years ago, US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told Military.com, noting he doesn’t envision a “significant plus-up” in the number of US warplanes stationed there.

In a May 20, 2016 Wall Street Journal op-ed, retired US Army general and former CIA director David Petraeus and Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael E. O’Hanlon wrote: “We have a real fight on our hands in Afghanistan, but not a hopeless one … Even a modest US and NATO military contributions have the potential to make a considerable difference … Some might reasonably ask, after 15 years of war in Afghanistan, why do we need to keep at it? The answer is simple – because Afghanistan, effectively the eastern bulwark in our broader Middle East fight against extremist forces, still matters.”

The duo went on to say “air power in particular represents an asymmetric Western advantage, relatively safe to apply, and very effective against massed (or even individual) enemy forces and assets.”

Since O’Hanlon and Petraeus wrote the column, the US has consistently delivered more and more payloads each month to target insurgents in Afghanistan, Pentagon data shows.

The most recent publicly available report on the status of the fight in Afghanistan was released July 30 by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and sheds light as to just how effective the bombs have been. It turns out the situation has given policymakers few reasons for optimism.

“The [US Intelligence Community] assesses that the political and security situation in Afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018 even with a modest increase in military assistance by the United States and its partners,” Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence, is quoted as saying in the SIGAR report.

September 14, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Who Rules America?

The Power Elite in the Time of Trump

By James Petras | Axis of Logic | September 6, 2017

Introduction

In the last few months, several competing political, economic and military sectors – linked to distinct ideological and ethnic groups – have clearly emerged at the centers of power.

We can identify some of the key competing and interlocking directorates of the power elite:

  1. Free marketers, with the ubiquitous presence of the ‘Israel First’ crowd.
  2. National capitalists, linked to rightwing ideologues.
  3. Generals, linked to the national security and the Pentagon apparatus, as well as defense industry.
  4. Business elites, linked to global capital.

This essay attempts to define the power wielders and evaluate their range of power and its impact.

The Economic Power Elite: Israel-Firsters and Wall Street CEO’s

‘Israel Firsters’ dominate the top economic and political positions within the Trump regime and, interestingly, are among the Administration’s most vociferous opponents. These include: the Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, as well as her Vice-Chair, Stanley Fischer, an Israeli citizen and former (sic) Governor of the Bank of Israel.

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an Orthodox Jew, acts as his top adviser on Middle East Affairs. Kushner, a New Jersey real estate mogul, set himself up as the archenemy of the economic nationalists in the Trump inner circle. He supports every Israeli power and land grab in the Middle East and works closely with David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel (and fanatical supporter of the illegal Jewish settlements) and Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International negotiations. With three Israel-Firsters determining Middle East policy, there is not even a fig leaf of balance.

The Treasury Secretary is Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, who leads the neo-liberal free market wing of the Wall Street sector within the Trump regime. Gary Cohn, a longtime Wall Street influential, heads the National Economic Council. They form the core business advisers and lead the neo-liberal anti-nationalist Trump coalition committed to undermining economic nationalist policies.

An influential voice in the Attorney General’s office is Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller the chief investigator, which led to the removal of nationalists from the Trump Administration.

The fairy godfather of the anti-nationalist Mnuchin-Cohn team is Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sach’s Chairman.  The ‘Three Israel First bankerteers’ are spearheading the fight to deregulate the banking sector, which had ravaged the economy, leading to the 2008 collapse and foreclosure of millions of American homeowners and businesses.

The ‘Israel-First’ free market elite is spread across the entire ruling political spectrum, including ranking Democrats in Congress, led by Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer and the Democratic Head of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff. The Democratic Party Israel Firsters have allied with their free market brethren in pushing for investigations and mass media campaigns against Trump’s economic nationalist supporters and their eventual purge from the administration.

The Military Power Elite: The Generals

The military power elite has successfully taken over from the elected president in major decision-making. Where once the war powers rested with the President and the Congress, today a collection of fanatical militarists make and execute military policy, decide war zones and push for greater militarization of domestic policing. Trump has turned crucial decisions over to those he fondly calls ‘my Generals’ as he continues to dodge accusations of corruption and racism.

Trump appointed Four-Star General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis (retired USMC) – a general who led the war in Afghanistan and Iraq – as Secretary of Defense. Mattis (whose military ‘glories’ included bombing a large wedding party in Iraq) is leading the campaign to escalate US military intervention in Afghanistan – a war and occupation that Trump had openly condemned during his campaign. As Defense Secretary, General ‘Mad Dog’ pushed the under-enthusiastic Trump to announce an increase in US ground troops and air attacks throughout Afghanistan. True to his much-publicized nom-de-guerre, the general is a rabid advocate for a nuclear attack against North Korea.

Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster (an active duty Three Star General and long time proponent of expanding the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan) became National Security Adviser after the purge of Trump’s ally Lt. General Michael Flynn, who opposed the campaign of confrontation and sanctions against Russia and China. McMaster has been instrumental in removing ‘nationalists’ from Trumps administration and joins General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis in pushing for a greater build-up of US troops in Afghanistan.

Lt. General John Kelly (Retired USMC), another Iraq war veteran and Middle East regime change enthusiast, was appointed White House Chief of Staff after the ouster of Reince Priebus.

The Administration’s Troika of three generals share with the neoliberal Israel First Senior Advisors to Trump, Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner, a deep hostility toward Iran and fully endorse Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand that the 2015 Nuclear Accord with Tehran be scrapped.

Trump’s military directorate guarantees that spending for overseas wars will not be affected by budget cuts, recessions or even national disasters.

The ‘Generals’, the Israel First free marketers and the Democratic Party elite lead the fight against the economic nationalists and have succeeded in ensuring that Obama Era military and economic empire building would remain in place and even expand.

The Economic Nationalist Elite

The leading strategist and ideologue of Trump’s economic nationalist allies in the White House was Steve Bannon. He had been chief political architect and Trump adviser during the electoral campaign. Bannon devised an election campaign favoring domestic manufacturers and American workers against the Wall Street and multinational corporate free marketers. He developed Trump’s attack on the global trade agreements, which had led to the export of capital and the devastation of US manufacturing labor.

Equally significant, Bannon crafted Trumps early public opposition to the generals’ 15-year trillion-dollar intervention in Afghanistan and the even more costly series of wars in the Middle East favored by the Israel-Firsters, including the ongoing proxy-mercenary war to overthrow the secular nationalist government of Syria.

Within 8 months of Trump’s administration, the combined forces of the free market economic and military elite, the Democratic Party leaders, overt militarists in the Republican Party and their allies in the mass media succeeded in purging Bannon – and marginalizing the mass support base for his ‘America First’ economic nationalist and anti-‘regime change’ agenda.

The anti-Trump ‘alliance’ will now target the remaining few economic nationalists in the administration. These include: the CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who favors protectionism by weakening the Asian and NAFTA trade agreements and Peter Navarro, Chairman of the White House Trade Council. Pompeo and Navarro face strong opposition from the ascendant neoliberal Zionist troika now dominating the Trump regime.

In addition, there is Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, a billionaire and former director of Rothschild Inc., who allied with Bannon in threatening import quotas to address the massive US trade deficit with China and the European Union.

Another Bannon ally is US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer a former military and intelligence analyst with ties to the newsletter Breitbart. He is a strong opponent of the neoliberal, globalizers in and out of the Trump regime.

‘Senior Adviser’ and Trump speechwriter, Stephen Miller actively promotes the travel ban on Muslims and stricter restrictions on immigration. Miller represents the Bannon wing of Trump’s zealously pro-Israel cohort.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Deputy Assistant in military and intelligence affairs, was more an ideologue than analyst, who wrote for Breitbart and rode to office on Bannon’s coat tails. Right after removing Bannon, the ‘Generals’ purged Gorka in early August on accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’.

Whoever remains among Trump’s economic nationalists are significantly handicapped by the loss of Steve Bannon who had provided leadership and direction. However, most have social and economic backgrounds, which also link them to the military power elite on some issues and with the pro-Israel free marketers on others. However, their core beliefs had been shaped and defined by Bannon.

The Business Power Elite

Exon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Secretary of State and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Energy Secretary lead the business elite. Meanwhile, the business elite associated with US manufacturing and industry have little direct influence on domestic or foreign policy. While they follow the Wall Street free marketers on domestic policy, they are subordinated to the military elite on foreign policy and are not allied with Steve Bannon’s ideological core.

Trump’s business elite, which has no link to the economic nationalists in the Trump regime, provides a friendlier face to overseas economic allies and adversaries.

Analysis and Conclusion

The power elite cuts across party affiliations, branches of government and economic strategies. It is not restricted to either political party, Republican or Democratic. It includes free marketers, some economic nationalists, Wall Street power brokers and militarists. All compete and fight for power, wealth and dominance within this administration. The correlation of forces is volatile, changing rapidly in short periods of time – reflecting the lack of cohesion and coherence in the Trump regime.

Never has the US power elite been subject to such monumental changes in composition and direction during the first year of a new regime.

During the Obama Presidency, Wall Street and the Pentagon comfortably shared power with Silicon Valley billionaires and the mass media elite. They were united in pursuing an imperial ‘globalist’ strategy, emphasizing multiple theaters of war and multi-lateral free trade treaties, which was in the process of reducing millions of American workers to permanent helotry.

With the inauguration of President Trump, this power elite faced challenges and the emergence of a new strategic configuration, which sought drastic changes in US political economic and military policy.

The architect of the Trump’s campaign and strategy, Steve Bannon, sought to displace the global economic and military elite with his alliance of economic nationalists, manufacturing workers and protectionist business elites. Bannon pushed for a major break from Obama’s policy of multiple permanent wars to expanding the domestic market. He proposed troop withdrawal and the end of US military operations in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, while increasing a combination of economic, political and military pressure on China. He sought to end sanctions and confrontation against Moscow and fashion economic ties between the giant energy producers in the US and Russia.

While Bannon was initially the chief strategist in the White House, he quickly found himself faced with powerful rivals inside the regime, and ardent opponents among Democratic and Republican globalists and especially from the Zionist – neoliberals who systematically maneuvered to win strategic economic and policy positions within the regime. Instead of being a coherent platform from which to formulate a new radical economic strategy, the Trump Administration was turned into a chaotic and vicious ‘terrain for struggle’. Bannon’s economic strategy barely got off the ground.

The mass media and operatives within the state apparatus, linked to Obama’s permanent war strategy, first attacked Trump’s proposed economic reconciliation with Russia. To undermine any ‘de-escalation’, they fabricated the Russian spy and election manipulation conspiracy. Their first successful shots were fired at Lt. General Michael Flynn, Bannon’s ally and key proponent for reversing the Obama/Clinton policy of military confrontation with Russia. Flynn was quickly destroyed and openly threatened with prosecution as a ‘Russian agent’ in whipped-up hysteria that resembled the heydays of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Key economic posts in the Trump regime were split between the Israel-Firster neoliberals and the economic nationalists. The ‘Deal Maker’ President Trump attempted to harness Wall Street-affiliated neoliberal Zionists to the economic nationalists, linked to Trump’s working class electoral base, in formulating new trade relations with the EU and China, which would favor US manufacturers. Given the irreconcilable differences between these forces, Trump’s naïve ‘deal’ weakened Bannon, undermined his leadership and wrecked his nationalist economic strategy.

While Bannon had secured several important economic appointees, the Zionist neoliberals undercut their authority. The Fischer-Mnuchin-Cohn cohort successfully set a competing agenda.

The entire Congressional elite from both parties united to paralyze the Trump-Bannon agenda. The giant corporate mass media served as a hysterical and rumor-laden megaphone for zealous Congressional and FBI investigators magnifying every nuance of Trump’s US Russia relations in search of conspiracy. The combined state-Congressional and Media apparatus overwhelmed the unorganized and unprepared mass base of the Bannon electoral coalition which had elected Trump.

Thoroughly defeated, the toothless President Trump retreated in desperate search for a new power configuration, turning his day-to-day operations over to ‘his generals’. The elected civilian President of the United States embraced his generals’ pursuit of a new military-globalist alliance and escalation of military threats foremost against North Korea, but including Russia and China. Afghanistan was immediately targeted for an expanded intervention.

Trump effectively replaced Bannon’s economic nationalist strategy with a revival Obama’s multi-war military approach.

The Trump regime re-launched the US attacks on Afghanistan and Syria –exceeding Obama’s use of drone attacks on suspected Muslim militants. He intensified sanctions against Russia and Iran, embraced Saudi Arabia’s war against the people of Yemen and turned the entire Middle East policy over to his ultra-Zionist Political Advisor (Real Estate mogul and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Trump’s retreat turned into a grotesque rout. The Generals embraced the neoliberal Zionists in Treasury and the Congressional global militarists. Communication Directory Anthony Scaramucci was fired.  Trump’s Chief of Staff General Joe Kelly purged Steve Bannon. Sebastian Gorka was kicked out.

The eight months of internal struggle between the economic nationalists and the neoliberals has ended: The Zionist-globalist alliance with Trump’s Generals now dominate the Power Elite.

Trump is desperate to adapt to the new configuration, allied to his own Congressional adversaries and the rabidly anti-Trump mass media.

Having all but decimated Trump’s economic nationalists and their program, the Power Elite then mounted a series of media-magnified events centering around a local punch-out in Charlottesville, Virginia between ‘white supremacists’ and ‘anti-fascists’. After the confrontation led to death and injury, the media used Trump’s inept attempt to blame both ‘baseball bat’-wielding sides, as proof of the President’s links to neo-Nazis and the KKK. Neoliberal and Zionists, within the Trump administration and his business councils, all joined in the attack on the President, denouncing his failure to immediately and unilaterally blame rightwing extremists for the mayhem.

Trump is turning to sectors of the business and Congressional elite in a desperate attempt to hold onto waning support via promises to enact massive tax cuts and deregulate the entire private sector.

The decisive issue was no longer over one policy or another or even strategy. Trump had already lost on all accounts. The ‘final solution’ to the problem of the election of Donald Trump is moving foreword step-by-step – his impeachment and possible arrest by any and all means.

What the rise and destruction of economic nationalism in the ‘person’ of Donald Trump tells us is that the American political system cannot tolerate any capitalist reforms that might threaten the imperial globalist power elite.

Writers and activists used to think that only democratically elected socialist regimes would be the target of systematic coup d’état. Today the political boundaries are far more restrictive. To call for ‘economic nationalism’, completely within the capitalist system, and seek reciprocal trade agreements is to invite savage political attacks, trumped up conspiracies and internal military take-overs ending in ‘regime change’.

The global-militarist elite purge of economic nationalists and anti-militarists was supported by the entire US left with a few notable exceptions. For the first time in history the left became an organizational weapon of the pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-Zionist Right in the campaign to oust President Trump. Local movements and leaders, notwithstanding, trade union functionaries, civil rights and immigration politicians, liberals and social democrats have joined in the fight for restoring the worst of all worlds: the Clinton-Bush-Obama/Clinton policy of permanent multiple wars, escalating confrontations with Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela and Trump’s deregulation of the US economy and massive tax-cuts for big business.

We have gone a long-way backwards: from elections to purges and from peace agreements to police state investigations. Today’s economic nationalists are labeled ‘fascists’; and displaced workers are ‘the deplorables’!

Americans have a lot to learn and unlearn. Our strategic advantage may reside in the fact that political life in the United States cannot get worse – we really have touched bottom and (barring a nuclear war) we can only look up.


Please note James Petras’s most recent book:  
THE END OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE DELUSION OF EMPIRE

ISBN: 978-0-9972870-5-9
$24.95 / 252 pp. / 2016
EBOOK ISBN: 978-0-9972870-6-6
ORDER E-BOOK:  $19.00

September 6, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

UK Mulls More Special Ops in Afghanistan, but the Road to Peace Lies Elsewhere

Sputnik – 29.08.2017

Former career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara, underscored the need for a peaceful, rather than military, solution to the crisis in Afghanistan, while London is reportedly mulling covert operations in the country.

Mr. Melkulangara said that now that all Western attempts to defeat the Taliban have failed, the conflicting sides should start looking for a negotiated end to the 16-year-old conflict.

“What have the US and Britain really achieved by fighting this war for 16 years? I believe that what we need are inter-Afghan negotiations to end the conflict now that the Western powers have completely failed even to explain what they are going to do,” Bhadrakumar Melkulangara wondered.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is contemplating waging more covert operations in Afghanistan that will target jihadists groups, The Sunday Times reported.

“In his speech on Washington’s new Afghan strategy, President Trump said that special operations were needed [to fight Daesh terrorists] and I believe that, in a sense, they could be quite effective,” Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said.

He added that the British would clearly fall in line with Washington’s new strategy.

“However, I think that it would be extremely relevant for the British to explain how Daesh figures in the US strategy in the light of the experience of Iraq and Syria. This is what the region is mostly concerned about and there is total silence about this,” Melkulangara pointed out.

The British move comes amid concerns that Afghanistan could be lost to the Taliban if the US troops pull out.

When asked how justified these concerns really are, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said that it was essentially a propagandistic stunt.

“The Americans want to show that they are irreplaceable, that they have done a marvelous job and that they should continue doing this. Trump didn’t say why the US military bases in Afghanistan should stay on.”

When queried about how the UK special operations could help improve the situation in Afghanistan, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said that with the 120,000-strong US military contingent still in place in Afghanistan, the several hundred troops London is going to send there will only be playing a secondary role assisting US military and CIA operations.

Regarding widespread fears that British special operations in Afghanistan could result in human rights abuses by Special Air Service (SAS) commandos, Bhadrakumar Melkulangara said that “this is going to be an extremely violent period.” He also mentioned the likelihood of military contractors coming in.

“This is exactly what former Afghan President Hamid Karzai had in mind when he said that there is a very dangerous situation arising because once again we’ll see landing parties, bombings, etc.,” Melkulangara warned.

He added that there would be no lasting peace in Afghanistan unless some of the Taliban’s demands are met and that the terms and conditions of the Taliban’s integration is something everyone should now focus on.

“The thesis that the Taliban would eventually be degraded and brought to the negotiating table is an old tale we have heard under President Barack Obama. The problem is, however, that the Taliban adamantly insists that there must be an end to the country’s foreign occupation.”

Bhadrakumar Melkulangara added that US military bases are the main stumbling block on the way to a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict because, with the exception of those in Afghanistan who have vested interests in the continued Western presence in the country, the majority of the Afghan people want the US military bases to leave.

“I think that regional powers should speak up and insist that there is no military solution to this conflict,” he concluded.

The UK is expected to deploy Special Air Service and Special Boat Service operatives to assess what kinds of troops are needed for a new Afghan deployment.

The intentions to introduce special operations in Afghanistan come as UK intelligence agencies warn that the Central Asian country could be lost to the Taliban if the US were to withdraw its troops.

According to The Sunday Times, intelligence agencies have played a crucial role in convincing President Trump to increase the military presence in Afghanistan. There are 500 British troops currently stationed in the country.

The ongoing war has cost UK taxpayers over 40 billion pounds. Nearly 500 military personnel have died in the conflict.

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

The Possible Education of Donald Trump

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | August 25, 2017

Despite the chaos and ugliness of the past seven months, President Trump has finally begun to turn U.S. foreign policy away from the neoconservative approach of endless war against an ever-expanding roster of enemies.

This change has occurred largely behind the scenes and has been obscured by Trump’s own bellicose language, such as his vow to “win” in Afghanistan, and his occasional lashing out with violence, such as his lethal Tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

Some Trump advisers also have downplayed the current shift because it may fuel the Democrats’ obsession with Russia-gate as a much-desired excuse to impeach Trump. Every peaceful move that Trump makes is called a sop to Russia and thus an excuse to reprise the dubious allegations about Russia somehow helping to elect him.

Yet, despite these external obstacles and Trump’s own erratic behavior, he has remained open to unconventional alternatives to what President Obama once criticized as the Washington “playbook,” i.e. favoring military solutions to international problems.

In this sense, Trump’s shallow understanding of the world has been a partial benefit in that he is not locked into the usual Washington groupthinks – and he personally despises the prominent politicians and news executives who have sought to neuter him since his election. But his ignorance also prevents him from seeing how global crises often intersect and thus stops him from developing a cohesive or coherent doctrine.

Though little noted, arguably the most important foreign policy decision of Trump’s presidency was his termination of the CIA’s covert support for Syrian rebels and his cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to expand partial ceasefire zones in Syria.

By these actions, Trump has contributed to a sharp drop-off in the Syrian bloodshed. It now appears that the relatively secular Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is regaining control and that some Syrian refugees are returning to their homes. Syria is starting the difficult job of rebuilding shattered cities, such as Aleppo.

But Trump’s aversion to any new military adventures in Syria is being tested again by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is threatening to attack Iranian and Hezbollah forces inside Syria.

Last week, according to Israeli press reports, a high-level delegation led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen carried Netanyahu’s threat to the U.S. government. The Israeli leader surely has raised the same point directly in phone calls with Trump.

Tiring of Bibi

I was told that Trump, who appears to be growing weary of Netanyahu’s frequent demands and threats, flatly objected to an Israeli attack and brushed aside Israel’s alarm by noting that Netanyahu’s policies in supporting the rebels in Syria contributed to Israel’s current predicament by drawing in Iran and Hezbollah.

This week, Netanyahu personally traveled to Sochi, Russia, to confront Putin with the same blunt warning about Israel’s intention to attack targets inside Syria if Iran does not remove its forces.

A source familiar with the meeting told me that Putin responded with a sarcastic “good luck!” and that the Russians thought the swaggering Netanyahu appeared “unhinged.”

Still, a major Israeli attack on Iranian positions inside Syria would test Trump’s political toughness, since he would come under enormous pressure from Congress and the mainstream news media to intervene on Israel’s behalf. Indeed, realistically, Netanyahu must be counting on his ability to drag Trump into the conflict since Israel could not alone handle a potential Russian counterstrike.

But Netanyahu may be on somewhat thin ice since Trump apparently blames Israel’s top American supporters, the neocons, for much of his political troubles. They opposed him in the Republican primaries, tilted toward Hillary Clinton in the general election, and have pushed the Russia-gate affair to weaken him.

President Obama faced similar political pressures to fall in line behind Israel’s regional interests. That’s why Obama authorized the covert CIA program in Syria and other aid to the rebels though he was never an enthusiastic supporter – and also grew sick and tired of Netanyahu’s endless hectoring.

Obama acquiesced to the demands of Official Washington’s neocons and his own administration’s hawks – the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CIA Director David Petraeus, his successor John Brennan, and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.

The Syrian conflict was part of a broader strategy favored by Washington’s neocons to overthrow or cripple regimes that were deemed troublesome to Israel. Originally, the neocons had envisioned removing the Assad dynasty soon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Iran also on the “regime change” menu. But the disastrous Iraq War threw off the neocons’ timetable.

‘Regime Change’ Chaos

The Democratic Party’s liberal interventionists, who are closely allied with the Republican neocons, also tossed in Libya with the overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Then, weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpiles were shipped to Syria where they strengthened rebel fighters allied with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and other Islamist groups.

Faced with this troubling reality – that the U.S.-backed “moderate rebels” were operating side by side with Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and its allies – Washington’s neocons/liberal-hawks responded with sophisticated propaganda and devised clever talking points to justify what amounted to indirect assistance to terrorists.

The “regime change” advocates portrayed a black-and-white situation in Syria with Assad’s side wearing the black hats and various anti-Assad “activists” wearing the white hats (or literally White Helmets). The State Department and a complicit mainstream media disseminated horror stories about Assad and – when the reality about Al Qaeda’s role could no longer be hidden – that was spun in the rebels’ favor, too, by labeling Assad “a magnet for terrorists” (or later in cahoots with the Islamic State). For years, such arguments were much beloved in Official Washington.

But the human consequences of the Syrian conflict and other U.S.-driven “regime change” wars were horrific, spreading death and destruction across the already volatile Middle East and driving desperate refugees into Europe, where their presence provoked political instability.

By fall 2015, rebel advances in Syria – aided by a supply of powerful U.S. anti-tank missiles – forced Russia’s hand with Putin accepting Assad’s invitation to deploy Russian air power in support of the Syrian army and Iranian and Hezbollah militias. The course of the war soon turned to Assad’s advantage.

It’s unclear what Hillary Clinton might have done if she had won the White House in November 2016. Along with much of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, she called repeatedly for imposing a “no-fly zone” in Syria to stop operations by the Syrian air force and Russia, a move that could have escalated the conflict into World War III.

But Trump – lacking Official Washington’s “sophistication” – couldn’t understand how eliminating Assad, who was leading the fight against the terrorist groups, would contribute to their eventual defeat. Trump also looked at the failure of similar arguments in Iraq and Libya, where “regime change” produced more chaos and generated more terrorism.

Pandering to Saudis/Israelis

However, in the early days of his presidency, the unsophisticated Trump lurched from one Middle East approach to another, initially following his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s grandiose thinking about recruiting Saudi Arabia to an “outside-in” strategy to settle the Israel-Palestine conflict, i.e., enlisting the Saudis to pressure the Palestinians into, more or less, letting Israel dictate a solution.

Kushner’s “outside-in” scheme was symbolically acted out with Trump making his first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and then to Israel in May. But I’m told that Trump eventually cooled to Kushner’s thinking and has come to see the Israeli-Saudi tandem as part of the region’s troubles, especially what he views as Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for Al Qaeda and other terror groups.

Perhaps most significantly in that regard, Trump in July quietly abandoned the CIA’s covert war in Syria. In the U.S., some “regime change” advocates have complained about this “betrayal” of the rebel cause and some Democrats have tried to link Trump’s decision to their faltering Russia-gate “scandal,” i.e., by claiming that Trump was rewarding Putin for alleged election help.

But the bottom line is that Trump’s policy has contributed to the Syrian slaughter abating and the prospect of a victory by Al Qaeda and/or its Islamic State spinoff fading.

So, there has been a gradual education of Donald Trump, interrupted occasionally by his volatile temper and his succumbing to political pressure, such as when he rushed to judgment on April 4 and blamed the Syrian government for a chemical incident in the remote Al Qaeda-controlled village of Khan Sheikhoun.

Despite strong doubts in the U.S. intelligence community about Syria’s guilt – some evidence suggested one more staged “atrocity” by the rebels and their supporters – Trump on April 6 ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at a Syrian air base, reportedly killing several soldiers and some civilians, including four children.

Trump boasted about his decision, contrasting it with Obama’s alleged wimpiness. And, naturally, Official Washington and the U.S. mainstream media not only accepted the claim of Syrian government guilt but praised Trump for pulling the trigger. Later, Hillary Clinton said if she were president, she would have been inclined to go further militarily by intervening with her “no-fly zone.”

As reckless and brutal as Trump’s missile strike was, it did provide him some cover for his July 7 meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany, which focused heavily on Syria, and also for his decision to pull the plug on the CIA’s covert war.

Saudi-backed Terror

I’m told Trump also has returned to his pre-election attitude about Saudi Arabia as a leading supporter of terror groups and a key provocateur in the region’s disorders, particularly because of its rivalry with Iran, a factor in both the Syrian and Yemeni wars.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Though Trump has recited Washington’s bipartisan (and benighted) mantra about Iran being the principal sponsor of terrorism, he appears to be moving toward a more honest view, recognizing the falsity of the neocon-driven propaganda about Iran.

Trump’s new coolness toward Saudi Arabia may have contributed to the recent warming of relations between the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Shiites of Iran, a sectarian conflict dating back 1,400 years. In a surprising move announced this week, the two countries plan an exchange of diplomatic visits.

Even in areas where Trump has engaged in reckless rhetoric, such as his “fire and fury” warning to North Korea, his behind-the-scenes policy appears more open to compromise and even accommodation. In the past week or so, the tensions with North Korea have eased amid backchannel outreach that may include the provision of food as an incentive for Pyongyang to halt its missile development and even open political talks with South Korea, according to a source close to these developments.

On Afghanistan, too, Trump may be playing a double game, giving a hawkish speech on Monday seeming to endorse an open-ended commitment to the near-16-year-old conflict, while quietly signaling a willingness to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

One alternative might be to accept a coalition government, involving the Taliban, with a U.S. withdrawal to a military base near enough to launch counterterrorism strikes if Al Qaeda or other international terror groups again locate in Afghanistan [likely an air base from which to threaten Iran – Aletho News ].

Many of Trump’s latest foreign policy initiatives reflect former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s hostility toward neoconservative interventionism. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon-Mobil chief executive, also shares a more pragmatic approach to foreign affairs than some of his more ideological predecessors.

Albeit still in their infancy, these policies represent a new realism in U.S. foreign policy that, in many ways, paralleled what President Obama favored but was often unwilling or unable to see through to its logical conclusions, given his fear of Netanyahu and the power of the neocons and their liberal-hawk allies.

Still, some of Obama’s most important decisions – not to launch a major military strike against Syria in August 2013 and to negotiate an agreement with Iran to constrain its nuclear program in 2013-15 – followed a similar path away from war, thus drawing condemnation from the Israeli-Saudi tandem and American neocons.

As a Republican who rose politically by pandering to the GOP “base” and its hatred of Obama, Trump rhetorically attacked Obama on both Syria and Iran, but may now be shifting toward similar positions. Gradually, Trump has come to recognize that the neocons and his other political enemies are trying to hobble and humiliate him – and ultimately to remove him from office.

The question is whether Trump’s instinct for survival finally will lead him to policies that blunt his enemies’ strategies or will cause him to succumb to their demands.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Explain The ‘Two Trumps’

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 25.08.2017

US President Donald Trump appeared to adopt two very different public persona this week, when first he delivered a stern speech announcing a new military strategy toward Afghanistan; and then the next day he regaled supporters at a rally in Arizona with his characteristic blustering style.

American news channel CNN called the differing styles the «Two Trumps». In the first one, there was «teleprompter Trump» in which the president outlined a «sobering» plan for renewed military intervention in Afghanistan. By contrast, in the second appearance, there was «free-wheelin’ Trump», when he fired up his support base at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, with verbal broadsides against the «sick» US media, illegal immigration, and a vow to build the border wall with Mexico – even if that meant shutting down the federal government in Washington.

CNN didn’t proffer an explanation for its observation of diverging Trump behavior. The implication was hinted that the president was simply being erratic, perhaps with some kind of personality disorder.

But here is a possible explanation for the «Two Trumps». On the issue of Afghanistan, Trump was indeed delivering a serious message on behalf of the US military and foreign policy establishment. His adherence to the teleprompter text was a sign that the president is taking orders from the Deep State when it comes to matters of paramount imperialist objective.

At the other event, when Trump reverted to his barnstorming form, it was just the president throwing his voter base a bit of rhetorical meat to keep them happy. In that rambling, impromptu-style, Trump hit all the populist buttons to the delight of the crowd. That demagogic bravura performance was required because the day before Trump had executed a startling U-turn on his campaign promises, when he declared that US forces would return to Afghanistan.

All during his election campaign for the presidency last year, Trump had whipped up support among blue-collar workers by slamming the wasteful overseas wars of the Bush and Obama administrations. He condemned his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton for fueling these wars as Secretary of State for Obama.

What a staggering U-turn! It’s hard to believe Trump has the chutzpah to do it.

On Monday, addressing troops at Fort Meyer, Arlington, Virginia, President Trump gave notice that the US military would be returning in large numbers to Afghanistan. That 16-year American war – the longest US war in history – was henceforth going to continue for an indefinite number of years. Trump made a cringing attempt to excuse the shameless U-turn as an informed decision made with the responsibility of president on his shoulders as opposed to the callow views of a campaigning candidate.

However, there was no disguising the fact that President Trump was taking orders from the Pentagon. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and numerous other US generals – three of whom are now in senior positions in Trump’s White House – have been pushing for a re-escalation of American military involvement in Afghanistan.

Trump got elected on the back of electoral promises to shut down overseas wars and vowing instead to focus economic resources on reviving the blue-collar Rust Belt states, which have been struggling with industrial decline for decades. His sudden embrace of the Pentagon’s designs on Afghanistan are a stark repudiation of his own «America First» manifesto. In short, a betrayal of voters.

It is no coincidence that Trump’s about-turn on Afghanistan came on the heels of the ouster of his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon last Friday. Bannon had been vehemently against the policy of foreign military adventurism. In particular, he was reportedly against any resumption of large-scale deployment in Afghanistan. According to media reports, it was the military top brass who prevailed on Trump to get rid of Bannon. The White House Chief of Staff, former Marine General John Kelly, and Trump’s National Security Advisor, General HR McMaster were the two main voices calling for Bannon’s exit. That Trump would dump Bannon – supposedly a close ally – with such alacrity shows that the generals are the real power behind the desk in the Oval Office.

So, the «Two Trumps» phenomenon is thus explained: On one hand, the president is being ordered by the Pentagon and the generals in his White House on what the all-important foreign policy agenda is. Afghanistan is a priority. But note also, the increased US military intervention in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, and towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, China and Russia – the latter under the auspices of NATO’s eastwards expansion. All of this blatantly contradicts what candidate Trump had been wooing voters with.

The American business of military imperialism is serious. Hence President Trump is told in no uncertain terms by the military-industrial complex to stick to the teleprompter text. No winging it. No deviation from the plan. Just do it.

The debasement of Trump to being a stooge of the Deep State thereby necessitates that Trump, the supposed maverick populist, must go out on occasion to rally the base with barnstorming tirades to let off some steam. (The irony here is that Trump is accused by the Deep State of being a stooge for Russia, when in much more realistic ways he is evidently a stooge for the American Deep State.)

If ordinary Americans were permitted to focus on their betrayal by Trump to the criminal overseas adventurism of the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex, then that could be a cause of dangerous social revolt at home. It is imperative therefore to keep the masses riled up over chauvinistic populist issues like slamming illegal immigration, «sick» news media, and «liberals» trying to erase American history and heritage by removing Civil War statues.

Like a quack doctor, Trump is prescribing nostrums to conceal the real disease, which is that American democracy has now been supplanted by a military cabal in league with Wall Street and Big Business. Trump is nothing but a puppet who – at least so far – is being allowed to «play at being president». Who knows how much longer he will be allowed to sit in the Oval Office.

So degenerated is American politics that even prominent news media like the New York Times are actually welcoming with editorials on the control exerted over an elected president by the military generals «to stop him going off the rails».

Why Afghanistan is such a priority for the American ruling cabal is no doubt manifold. Recent reports highlight the vast but untapped mineral wealth of the country. Another reason is to secure the lucrative heroin drug trade that financially underpins so much of American covert CIA operations around the world. Also, Afghanistan’s war gives Washington cover for pursuing its strategy of engendering conflict and chaos in a vital region. Contrary to official US assertions, Washington doesn’t want the war to end. It wants war-without-end so that it can destabilize Russia on its southern flank, as well as Iran, and to prevent China from galvanizing Eurasian economic integration.

As American political analyst Randy Martin points out: «Afghanistan is a redux of covert US strategy that has been used in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. The United States claims to be fighting terrorism when in actual fact it is covertly sponsoring terror groups to incite sectarian conflict. In that way, Washington gives itself a license to wreak havoc in order to thwart geopolitical rivals».

President Trump is simply following the imperative orders assigned to him by the Deep State. Outrageous as it might seem, we are witnessing a soft military coup against Trump and his earlier vows to promote America First in the interests of ordinary citizens. In other words, American democracy has been subverted in an audacious assertion of the perennial needs of US imperialism – the profiteering lust of the military industrial complex, Wall Street and Big Business.

Of course, the broader context of «Russia-gate» should be mentioned here. For nearly eight months since his presidential inauguration, Trump has been subjected to a relentless media campaign orchestrated by the Deep State vilifying him as a Russian agent and a beneficiary of alleged Russian meddling in the US election. That pressure over a baseless narrative has inevitably led to Trump capitulating to the Deep State to become a willing tool for its strategic objectives. Trump’s capitulation is nevertheless a coup against an elected president, enforcing the Deep State’s geopolitical agenda.

Analyst Randy Martin puts it succinctly with an oblique reference to the CIA’s assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963. «This time, they didn’t need a bullet».

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

US Accuses Russia of Arming Taliban ‘to Hide Its Own Defeat’ in Afghanistan

Sputnik – August 24, 2017

Unfounded speculations by US politicians about alleged supplies of arms to the Taliban by Russia are aimed at concealing the truth of America’s obvious defeat in Afghanistan, which Washington is still struggling to postpone, Afghan political observer Vahid Mojda told Sputnik.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s claim that Russia is arming the Taliban bears no relation to reality, Vahid Mojda, a political observer and former Afghan Foreign Ministry official under the Taliban government, told Sputnik.

“I talked with Talibs about it and they told me that neither Russia nor any other countries provided any assistance to them,” Mojda said in an interview with Sputnik Afghanistan. “They [said] they could get Kalashnikov assault rifles in Afghanistan at a very cheap price. They can buy [the rifles] directly from the Afghan Army. The Taliban usually draws on corrupt [Afghan] politicians to buy weapons from the Afghan military for bribes.”

On Tuesday, during a press briefing, Tillerson claimed that Russia was providing weapons to the Taliban.

“With respect to the comment about Russia, to the extent, Russia is supplying arms to the Taliban, that is a violation, obviously, of international norms and it’s a violation of UN Security Council norms,” Tillerson said, “We certainly would object to that and call Russia’s attention to that. If anyone is going to supply arms, it needs to be through the Afghan government.”

However, the US secretary of state didn’t refer to any credible evidence to back his claim.

In response to Tillerson’s unfounded allegations Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova highlighted Thursday that Moscow has provided no support to the Taliban movement in Afghanistan.

She pointed out that Moscow has repeatedly rejected similar accusations and has demanded Washington provide evidence that it supports the militant movement.

“There is none. Such statements do not contribute to the establishment of effective cooperation between our countries on Afghanistan,” the spokeswoman stressed.

“If Talibs received weapons from other countries it wouldn’t be Kalashnikov rifles: what the Taliban needs are anti-aircraft guns,” Mojda underscored in his interview with Sputnik. “If the Taliban obtains these [anti-aircraft] weapons, the US will find itself in a heap of trouble in Afghanistan.”

Why does Washington accuse Russia of arming the Taliban?

Mojda assumed that the US is apparently trying to drive a wedge between various groups within the Taliban.

“They are doing this to sow discord among the Taliban by convincing militants that some Talibs are connected to Russia. This is a propaganda campaign against the Taliban,” he noted.

On the other hand, according to the political observer, Washington is making attempts to divert attention away from the obvious fact that the US is losing its war in Afghanistan.

“By pointing the finger of blame to Russia, Pakistan and other countries, they [the US] want to conceal their defeat in Afghanistan,” Mojda stressed. “The goal of Washington’s strategy is not to win in Afghanistan, but to postpone the US’ defeat.”

Commenting on the issue, Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Parliament’s upper chamber’s Defense and Security Committee, denounced Tillerson’s allegations as groundless.

“The United States continues to measure others by its own standards,” Klintsevich told reporters. “The logic of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who accused Russia of arming the Taliban, is absolutely ‘one-dimensional’: [he believes that] if the Americans supported [Afghan] Mujahedin by all means available — including weapon supplies — during the Soviet Union’s Afghan war in the 1980s, Russia cannot but do completely the same. Of course, no proof was presented [to confirm the claim].”

It is not the first time that US policy makers and mainstream media have made unfounded claims about Moscow’s alleged assistance to the Taliban.In March, US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, claimed that he had seen “Russian influence growing” on Taliban insurgents. He went even further suggesting that possibly Moscow could have been helping “supply” the militants. Scaparrotti didn’t specify what kinds of supplies he meant.

A month later the head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, stepped up with a similar claim saying that he was “not refuting” reports that Russia was providing support, “including weapons,” to the Taliban.

Neither Scaparrotti nor Nicholson cited any evidence to confirm their assumptions.

Predictably, US mainstream media immediately blew up the story.

Nearly a month ago CNN reported that it obtained a video showing sniper rifles and heavy machine guns “stripped of any means of identifying their origin.”

The media outlet presumed that the rifles appeared to look like Russian-made Kalashnikov guns. Still, the report admitted that “the videos don’t provide incontrovertible proof of the trade.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s reply was not long in coming.

“We have said many times that the allegations regarding Russian support for the Taliban, which some Western media make and some Afghan media repeat, are absolutely groundless,” the Foreign Ministry said in an official statement. “So far, neither the Afghan authorities, nor the US and NATO commands in Afghanistan have presented any facts to prove these allegations.”

The ministry called attention to the fact that the “Taliban drove American-made Humvees in a recent attack on the base of the Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand.”

“It is easy to imagine the conclusion that can be made from this news based on CNN’s logic,” the statement said.

August 24, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment