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Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

Simon Wood | September 20, 2017

“As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by an aggressive hostile force with nuclear weapons. The DPRK will faithfully fulfill its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearization.” – Kim Jong Un, May 8, 2016

Attention: António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Sir,

I am writing in regard to a speech given by US President Donald Trump to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) earlier this week, in particular the following excerpt:

“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.”

As Secretary-General you are sworn to uphold the principles enshrined in the United Nations charter.

Article 1:

[The Purposes of the United Nations are:] [1.] To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.

Article 2, paragraph 4:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the THREAT or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Article 33:

The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.

[Emphasis in bold and capitals added]

I refer you to a statement made by President Kim of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on July 4th:

“[T]he DPRK would neither put its nukes and ballistic rockets on the table of negotiations in any case nor flinch even an inch from the road of bolstering the nuclear force chosen by itself unless the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat to the DPRK are definitely terminated.”

[Emphasis added]

As Mr. Kim’s statement clearly demonstrates a road forward for negotiation, as well as the perfectly reasonable pre-condition that hostile statements, actions and overall policy towards his nation cease, and given further that the US party is well aware of this position, Mr. Trump’s statement at the United Nations is in clear violation of the principles of the UN charter. I further add that the DPRK has ample cause for fear of the capabilities and will of the United States after the complete destruction of Pyongyang in the early 1950s.

I am writing therefore to inquire as to the date upon which you will hold an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss punitive sanctions upon the United States for the reckless and illegal statement of its highest representative. For context, I invite you to imagine the international response to, say, Russian President Vladimir Putin making an identical statement with regard to the United Kingdom. [We would have no choice but to destroy it if we perceive a threat]. Given recent tragic history, of which you will surely be aware, ‘threats’ can easily be invented via unnamed intelligence sources, amplified globally in major media organs, then later justified as ‘intelligence failures’ down the road once the damage is done.

Failure to censure the United States for this threat of force against a nation which – as all do – has the right to defend itself from clearly stated intentions of attack will only increase the suspicion held by many world citizens that the United Nations is powerless to impede or control powerful nations.

Faithfully,

Simon Wood

Twitter: @simonwood11

September 21, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers clear and calm rebuttal of Trump’s hostile remarks at UN

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | September 20, 2017

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has addressed the General Assembly in a short speech that primarily covered Iran’s foreign policy outlook, its specific goals for peace and an unambiguous warning against anyone who seeks to undermine the 2013 JCPOA (aka the Iran nuclear deal).

President Rouhani used the word ‘moderation’ throughout the speech. He characterised Iran’s history, contemporary outlook and policy positions as quintessentially moderate.

After paying tribute to Iranian voters who recently re-elected him as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, he then set out to define Iran’s definition of moderation in the following way.

“Moderation is the inclination as well as the chosen path of the great Iranian people. Moderation seeks neither isolation nor hegemony. It implies neither indifference nor intransigence. The path of moderation is the path of peace, but a just a inclusive peace; not peace for one nation and war and turmoil for others. Moderation is freedom and democracy, but in an inclusive and comprehensive manner, not purporting to promote freedom in one place while supporting dictators elsewhere. Moderation is the synergy of ideas and not the dance of swords. Finally, the path of moderation nurtures beauty. Deadly weapons exports are not  beautiful, rather peace is beautiful.

We in Iran strive to promote peace…. we never condone tyranny and always defend the voiceless. We never threaten anyone  but we do not tolerate threats from anyone. Our discourse is one of dignity and respect. We are unmoved by threats and intimidation. We believe in dialogue and negotiation based on equal footing and mutual respect”.

Rouhani then briefly turned to the issue of Palestine. He stated that a “rogue and racist state” (Israel) cannot trample on the rights of Palestinians in the 21st century. He continued, citing Iran’s historic record of helping minorities and the oppressed.

Rouhani stated,

“Iran is a bastion of tolerance… we are the same people who rescued Jews from Babylonian servitude… open our arms to receive Armenian Christians in our midst”.

He explained further, that just as Iran fought for Jews in the past, today Iran fights for the rights of oppressed Palestinians. He stated, “We support justice and seek tranquillity”.

Rouhani then described Iran’s fight against Takriri/Salafist terrorism as a fight based on ethics and humanity rather than one of conquest. The Iranian President said that Iran does not seek to restore its empire nor export revolution through the force of arms. He contrasted this with the ‘boots on the ground’ approach of “neo-colonialists”.

Turning once again to the theme of moderation, Rouhani said that Iran does not merely preach moderation but practices it. He said that the JCPOA is a primary example of moderate geo-political behaviour.

Rouhani then said that the JCPOA which has been applauded by the wider international community, both in the east and west, can become a new model of interaction between nations. The clear inference here was to North Korea. Even German leader Angela Merkel who supports the JCPOA along with her EU colleagues are suggesting using it as a model for bringing about de-escalation on the Korean peninsula.

Hassan Rouhani then stated that Iran never sought nuclear weapons and does not now. He remarked that it is “ridiculous” for a country, Israel,  which has nuclear weapons and has signed not a single international protocol for nuclear safety has the “audacity” to preach to peaceful nations.

He then stated,

“Iran will not be the first country to violate the JCPOA but will respond resolutely to its violation by any party”.

While he did not name Donald Trump or the United States, Rouhani said that yesterday, words were spoken in the General Assembly that were “hateful” and “unfit to be heard in the UN which was established to promote peace…”.

He went on to say that Iran’s missiles are for defensive purposes and to prevent against the “adventurous tendencies” of others, before stating

“The US should explain why after spending the assets of its own people, why instead of contribution to peace, it has only brought war, misery poverty and the rise of terrorism and extremism to the region”.

Rouhani concluded by praising Iran’s economic reforms and subtly alluded to Iran’s increased participation in joint economic ventures, the clear reference being to China’s One Belt–One Road initiative.

The Iranian President concluded by inviting all those who seek peace to visit Iran which has been historically hospitable to such individuals.

Rouhani’s speech did exactly what it should have done given the circumstances. It was a calm and clear articulation of Iran’s position in the region and the wider world. By citing the wide international support for the JCPOA, including among NATO members and other US allies, Rouhani has made it clear that the US and Israel are isolated in their anger towards the deal.

Rouhani also highlighted US hypocrisy in supporting Israel’s technically non-disclosed nuclear arsenal while accusing Iran of wanting nuclear weapons without evidence and contrary to the clear statements from Iran.

Rather than reacting aggressively to Donald Trump’s provocative speech, Rouhani’s calm and at times poetic approach to the issues, put the ball squarely in the US court. As it stands, the US is currently sending mixed signals in respect of whether Trump seeks to formally pull out of the JCPOA.

September 20, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

How Donald Trump Threw Peace and Prosperity Under an AIPAC Bus

By Phil Butler | New Eastern Outlook | 04.08.2017

Shortly after 11:00 AM, Wednesday August 2, 2017 US President Donald Trump declared full scale economic war on Russia. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is joined by millions of us who’ve now lost all hope of peace and reconciliation in the world. Cold War II is on.

Dmitry Medvedev attacked Trump’s decision to sign the bill in the same way most of us analysts will, chastising the US President after his clear bow to a US Congress unified in its hysteria against Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But the Russian Prime Minister did not delve into just “why” Trump is praying to the altar of neo-conservatism today. Trump feigned disagreement with sections of the law his team said are “unconstitutional”, but the force behind these sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea is hidden. Let me enlighten you on what is really taking place in Washington.

Two days ago, a close colleague of mine was on the line from Greenwich, Connecticut to discuss my upcoming book when the conversation turned to these new Russia sanctions. My colleague related a story from Capital Hill and an insider who explained the vote on the sanctions law. The gist of this insider’s revelation was that the overwhelming “yes vote” in Congress indicated one powerful player behind the curtain – America’s pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

When I heard AIPAC stood behind, my mind immediately reverted to images and sound bites of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Their mutual gratification society handshakes, the syrupy sweetness of the Israeli’s recollections on young Trump – and then I thought on the Saudi arms deal and the wider frame of the Arab Spring. Sorry to consolidate so many facets here, but if Trump and all of Washington has acquiesced totally to the will of AIPAC, then America is all done. Looking again at Russia’s Medvedev:

“Trump’s administration has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way.”

The point of this new sanctions law is revealed simply. If AIPAC controls the Unites States Congress, and if the President of the United States has surrendered his executive authority to that body, then the Israeli lobby controls the Government of the United States – lock stock and barrel. In other words, a foreign sovereign nation and ideology rules America – and it rules it with impunity.

Turning to the law itself, even the Trump administration admitted there are sections that are “unconstitutional”, which means illegal. “Illegal!” Is a Barack Obama infused Supreme Court going to overturn the law? This question is rhetorical, for no justice will ever even read through this law. Looking at the Israel lobby and the Zionist influence on America overall, it’s becoming stunningly clear “legality” has little to do with American policy either internally or internationally. When I heard AIPAC was “all in” on this law, I did a two minute analysis of their digital and social media footprint. It’s important to run down the lobby’s online rhetoric here.

The website is replete with Trump administration ambassadors and evangelists for Israel “likes”, as well as Congressional “yes men” who I found to be key in pushing this law down our throats. The Twitter feed of AIPAC the last few weeks reads like an online gambling casino SPAM attack. And until this sanctions bill was signed by Trump, the scrolling Twitter message from AIPAC endeavored to lump Russia in with marginalized Iran and North Korea – today the feed reverts to bashing the Palestinians. With Russia now “punished” for foiling the “Syria plan” with more crippling sanctions, the Zionists are hot on the trail of destroying funding from America for Palestinians. The controversial AIPAC pressure to pass the so-called Taylor Force Act, is being pressed in order to ruin $300 million annually in U.S. economic support to the Palestinian cause. Reverting back to the Russia sanctions law though, the Israelis tout every supporter in Washington and aboard who bends to its will. A Tweet retweeted by AIPAC from Senator Bob Menendez‏ is emblematic:

“Russia, Iran & NK cant violate int’l order w/o consequence. Proud many sanctions I wrote included in bipartisan bill”

Menendez is a lunatic in my view. The New Jersey Senator’s efforts to please the Israel lobby in the bag today, the member of Foreign Relations Committee is out to strip Russia of the upcoming FIFA World Cup today. This Tweet reveals the deep state seemingly bent on all out war on Russia.

“#ICYMI FIFA must dismiss Russia as host of @FIFAWorldCup if forced labor reports are true. Ignoring them=complicity”ttps

Some may recall that Menendez is the senator who was indicted in federal corruption charges involving convicted South Florida Dr. Salomon Melgen, who was found guilty recently of sixty-seven criminal counts of fraud. Menendez was turned down this month in his attempt to have a September trial postponed. He’s accused of taking bribes from Melgen, who allegedly paid him over $1 million. Menendez gave a rousing speech at the 2017 AIPAC conference back in March. The last to speak at the Tuesday session of the conference, Menendez framed a future for us all without even meaning to. In his Netanyahu praising cap off, the New Jersey sellout offers this with regard to America’s intentions in the Middle East:

“I was proud to help secure our record breaking $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding you all advocated for it — an agreement that ensures that Israel’s defenses will remain unmatched in the region and that together, the United States and Israel will continue developing defense technologies of astounding sophistication, like Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the Arrow-3 missile defense systems.”

“Record breaking!” The arrogance and cutting clarity of that stinks of money, control, and a militarism these new Russia sanctions signal. Yes, Israel will be secure for a while, as secure as she was during the first Cold War. Armed to the teeth, with tentacles in every power structure in the western hemisphere and near Asia, a tiny nation is insulated from catastrophe, while surrounding neighbors burn. Donald Trump just sealed a “record breaking” deal for Saudi Arabia to blast neighbors to hell. Now Iran is the psychosis for AIPAC and Israel. So, Russia must be penalized, and North Korea must be glued to an evil axis in order that Americans can identify.

AIPAC has exerted a massive pressure, and the message could not be more clear, the Zionists who control Israel are at the wheel. Just read the list of speakers at the conference. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and Vice President of the United States Mike Pence stood tall in their unwavering support for Israel – no matter what. With the unseeing and deaf American public preoccupied elsewhere, a free democracy has been taken over by the agnostic hierarchy of Zion. And Judaism is used as the cloak of invisibility and viability for the most evil and biased ideas on Earth.

Donald Trump threw his constituents under the bus this week. But the American president’s crime will be registered when more trillions are spent uselessly on weapons, and when the souls of innocent dead reach God. This sanctions law ruined all of our work to restore moderation and peaceful calm to a crisis ridden world. I place fifty percent of the blame on the people behind this Israeli lobby, and the other fifty percent on the one man who might have prevented it.

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Trump Battles the CIA: The Korea Ban & Bad Signs in the Market

By Caleb Maupin – New Eastern Outlook – 02.08.2017

The ban on travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is primarily an attack on the people in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is a move to further isolate the DPRK, and prevent tourist dollars from flowing in, while also preventing fraternization between Americans and citizens of the country. However, the State Department’s decision also has another target in the crosshairs, one much closer to Washington DC.

According to reports in the press, roughly 5,000 US citizens visit the DPRK each year. Most are tourist youth attracted to the mystique and adventure of traveling to a country so widely demonized in the US media. Communist organizations send political delegations and Christian sects such as the Mennonites often send missionaries and aid workers. However, one can be sure that among the 5,000 people who visit the country each year is more than a few American spies, posing as tourists.

When one looks over the recent history of Americans being arrested in North Korea prior to the tragic death of Otto Warmbier, the reasons for the arrest almost always indicate activities that could be described as espionage. Merrill Newman, for example, was a former member of the US military’s “White Tigers” division during the Korean War. The 85 year old man was arrested in the DPRK as he wore a ring with the insignia of this anti-DPRK fighting and intelligence unit. After being arrested he confessed to participating in some of the war crimes against the Korean people during the 1950-1953 war. Newman stated “I did not realize North Korea was still at war” after his eventual release.

The State Department ban on travel to the DPRK is far more extreme than the widely challenged ban on travel to Cuba, enacted as part of the blockade. Officials say that any American who visits DPRK will automatically have their passport invalidated. The constitutionality of such an extreme ban is likely to be challenged.

In the meantime, however, any efforts by the CIA to gather information inside North Korea, or to manipulate or maneuver within its internal affairs, are greatly limited.

Two divisions of the US Federal Government that have long been at odds in issues of foreign policy have been the military and the Central Intelligence Agency. The nature of the two entity’s work lays the basis for their constant disagreement and conflict. The new State Department policy has essentially declared that the DPRK will be handled with military operations, not with “color revolutions,” plots of a coup, manipulation of the youth, or the other shenanigans carried out by the intelligence agencies.

A Longstanding Fight – CIA vs. Pentagon

The US military brass is trained at West Point, and though a great deal of history and background is provided, the focus of their training is military science and the “art of war.” Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence Agency’s administrators come from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and are trained in the subtle art of expanding US influence and quietly neutralizing those who challenge it.

The favorite word of those who extol the military and disfavor the CIA is “strength.” The strategies favored by the Pentagon involve demoralizing opponents of US power with “shock and awe” style crushing of enemies. The mass bombing campaigns in Vietnam and Korea did not win credibility and respect for the US internationally, and this was not their intention. The same can be said for Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq. The Pentagon does not concern itself with winning friends and influencing people, but with blowing things up, and its favored foreign policy reflects this.

The CIA, on the other hand, tends to favor soft power, negotiations, and internal subversion of global rivals, all done covertly, with the USA looking like a benevolent “Mr. Nice Guy” on the surface. The CIA favors arming and training third party proxies to fight their enemies, while waging a fierce battle in the field of public relations and propaganda.

The clash between the military and the intelligence agencies has played out dramatically in recent US history. It is widely understood that John F. Kennedy began enacting policies that overwhelmingly favored the CIA prior to his death. Kennedy resisted the efforts to escalate military involvement in Vietnam, while funding and emphasizing CIA-linked operations like the Peace Corps. Kennedy’s often quoted the phrase “those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable” stated the CIA’s exact strategy for fighting Communism during the Cold War. The CIA favored “reforms” in US aligned third world regimes that made Marxist-Leninist revolution less appealing, while also presenting the US as a benevolent, charitable country that did not seek to intervene in other countries domestic affairs. The CIA worked to make sure that the hands of the USA during the rise of military dictatorships and the toppling of pro-Soviet world leaders were well hidden.

Prior to Kennedy’s assassination, a hard, right-wing mass movement against him, involving the John Birch Society and many Pentagon linked political figures, called the “Camelot” President a traitor and Soviet agent. Many sections of the military thought Kennedy’s “soft power” strategy for confronting Communism, and his ultimate refusal to invade Cuba with US troops after the CIA’s failed “Bay of Pigs” operation, showed weakness. Films like “Dr. Strangelove” widely mocked the well-known fanaticism of the military brass, which distrusted the intelligence agencies and the ability of politicians to make military decisions. Kennedy’s subtle alliance with the Civil Rights Movement, though inconsistent and widely criticized by activists, also threatened a military brass packed with the sons of wealthy southern families.

After the death of Kennedy, the US military seemed to be on top in the power struggle. Richard Nixon’s electoral victory in 1968, and his “secret plan” to win the Vietnam War with massive bombing, showed the military and its allies as the dominant force in setting policy.

But the demoralizing and unpopular war in Vietnam reversed this by the mid-1970s. Nixon found himself listening and depending more on the advice of Henry Kissinger, opening relations with the People’s Republic of China, and eventually being driven from office. Jimmy Carter took office in 1976 calling himself a “student” of CIA strategist Zbiegniew Brzezinski. Under Reagan, the CIA got stronger, with CIA chief George H.W. Bush rising to be Vice President and eventually Reagan’s successor as commander-in-chief.

The often repeated narrative that the US military’s escalation of the arms race was the key factor in defeating the USSR is said with absolute defensiveness by the Pentagon’s right-wing allies. Though the “strong man Reagan” explanation is more widely understood among the US public, within the circles of power in the USA, the CIA takes more credit.

Under the direction of Brzezinski, who boasted that he “gave the USSR a Vietnam” by funneling money and weapons to insurgents in what he called the “Afghan trap,” the CIA manipulated political situations in Eastern Europe causing unrest and a crisis that eventually toppled the USSR. The CIA widely credits itself for terminating the Soviet Union by manipulating internal problems and applying less blatant forms of external pressure.

The CIA is not a “Conservative” Organization

Many leftists and anti-war activists assume that the CIA is staffed with jingoistic conservatives due to the nature of the job. While the rank-and-file of “the company” may attract a more rightist crowd of Mormons and military types, the leaders of the CIA are not conservative in any sense of the word.

John Brennan, the director of the CIA under Barack Obama admits that he voted for Communist Party Presidential Candidate Gus Hall in the 1976 Presidential election. Brennan was stationed in Riyahl for many years, and at the time of his appointment, many voices came forward to allege that he had actually converted to the Wahabbi brand of Islam. The allegations remain unproven.

The CIA strategist who was most influential between the 1960s and the 1990s was Zbiegnew Brzezinski. To call Brzezinski conservative would be deeply mistaken. Zbeignew’s daughter, Mika Brzezinski is a host on liberal leaning MSNBC’s TV program “Morning Joe.”

Brzezinski developed the art of propaganda, presenting the USA to the world as the homeland of Beatles Music, the paintings of Jackson Pollack, and sexual hedonism. In Eastern Europe, Brzezinski’s policies convinced millions of alienated young people that overthrowing the Marxist-Leninist governments would transform their countries into Disneyland playgrounds packed with consumer goods and never ending rock and roll concerts.

In Afghanistan, Brzezinski worked with a young Saudi billionaire named Osama Bin Laden to fight against the People’s Democratic Party. With US made weapons and funding, complimented by heroin revenue, the insurgents poured acid on women’s faces and hanged literacy campaign volunteers. Brzezinski’s slick propaganda work convinced the world that these Wahabbi extremists were actually Che Guevara-esque freedom fighters, battling the “Soviet Empire” for freedom. CBS news was even caught airing staged, fake battle footage.

The figure known as George Soros has become a favored talking point of right-wing activists in the USA. They present him as the sinister bank-roller of leftist activism. Long before Soros was promoting Democrats and Liberals in the USA, he was bank-rolling CIA supported anti-Communist “color revolutions.” Soros is known to have funded anti-communist, pro-capitalist and pro-western protest movements in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.

During the Cold War, the CIA launched a program called the “Congress for Cultural Freedom.” The program funded the art of Jackson Pollack, as well as the Trotskyist magazine Partisan Review. The CIA also launched a project called MK-Ultra which involved distributing hallucinogenic drugs on college campuses.

Obama’s Administration – The White House Stood With Langley

Barack Obama’s grandparents were prominent executives of the Bank of Hawaii. Obama’s grandmother Madelyn Dunham, actually became the first female Vice-President of the bank. The Bank of Hawaii was key in transferring money to US intelligence operations across Asia.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was married to Lolo Soetoro, a figure in Indonesia who openly supported the 1965 CIA backed coup d’etat against President Sukharno. Soetoro eventually became a military officer under US backed dictator Suharno. It should be noted that the 1965 coup, which Obama’s grandparent’s Bank of Hawaii was involved in financing, was particularly bloody, and involved mass slaughter of ethnically Chinese people. Some estimate that as many as 500,000 people died.

Obama’s family connections aside, his Presidency was very much favorable to the CIA’s strategy for international relations. Obama’s middle name is Hussein. He attended an Islamic elementary school as a child. Long before becoming President, Obama famously had a meeting with Palestinian scholar Edward Said. He maintained a hostile war of words with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One is reminded of how Napoleon Bonaparte sent out proclamations saying he was a Muslim as he attempted to seize Syria and Egypt for France. To the Arab world, a key region in US foreign policy strategy, Obama gave the illusion of possibly being a Muslim and an ally against Israel.

The fact that a dark skinned man, whose middle name was “Hussein” occupied the White House probably played a key role during the Arab Spring. The uprisings of youth in Islamic countries did not become a repeat of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, where western capitalism was replaced by a government proclaiming “war of poverty against wealthy” and “Not capitalism but Islam.”

The USA was able to maneuver within the Arab spring to topple the Islamic Socialist government of Libya, and to reduce the Baath Socialist country of Syria to civil war and chaos. Meanwhile, the US backed autocracies in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and elsewhere remained thoroughly intact. The continuation of the Yemeni revolution against a pro-Saudi regime now faces an onslaught of bombs and foreign troops.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba, with friendly words while intel operatives worked behind the scenes to plot social media unrest with a “Cuban Twitter,” fits the CIA playbook and strategy completely. The JCPOA negotiations with Iran fit into a similar strategy.

In the final weeks of the Obama administration, desperate “Mr. Nice Guy” maneuvers to increase the credibility of the USA on the global stage were carried out. John Kerry gave a speech criticizing Israel, and the US did not protect Israel from a harshly worded resolution at the UN Security Council.

Trump Stands With The Pentagon

Even before Trump took office, his presidential campaign was loaded with subtle hostility to the CIA. Trump castigated the results of US foreign policy, specifically in Syria and Libya where the CIA had been instrumental. During his debate with Hillary Clinton he criticized the funding of rebels in Syria. He repeatedly said that the policies of Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had created ISIS.

Trump repeated perspectives that would be popular with the military. The key word repeated in Trump’s foreign policy speeches was “strength.” The idea that a huge military budget and direct military interventions make the USA look stronger as a country has long been a talking point of the military brass, against proponents of soft-power and subtle influence.

At times, Trump seemed to be contradictory when talking about foreign policy. It is no secret that among rank-and-file soldiers, and the white, working class, rural communities they often originate in, right-wing isolationist sentiments are widespread. Trump appealed to those sentiments when talking about the bad results of “toppling regimes” and employing the slogan “America First.”

At the same time, he appealed to the Pentagon’s calls for strength, saying that Obama’s “red line” around chemical weapons had “meant nothing.” It may sound contradictory to favor isolationism, while criticizing a president for not making good on threats to attack a country, but it fits into his overall appeal to sentiments within the military.

At the same time that Trump critiqued foreign policy and echoed isolationist talking points, he consistently called for an increase in military spending. In Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric, the isolationism of rank and file soldiers, the Generals’ lust for strength, and the military-industrial complex’s desire for more profits were all re-assured.

The spat between Trump and the CIA is no secret, and is widely acknowledged, even in mainstream US media. The intelligence agencies continue to repeat, without proof, that Trump received assistance from “Russian meddling” in the 2016 elections. A series of leaks from within the administration have found their way to the press.

The Trump administration fought back first by dramatically crippling the CIA’s operations in the Middle East. The executive order banning travel from 6 countries was widely called a “Muslim ban” in the US press. In reality, it targeted all citizens, Muslim or not, from 6 specific countries. (Note: The ban originally included 7 countries, but Iraq was removed from the list.)

Sudan, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia are all the site of ongoing conflicts, and in each of these countries US intelligence agencies are working to influence and coordinate with certain forces. As was pointed out by an opponent of the ban on FOX news, the “travel ban” prevents the CIA from rewarding those who do its bidding with visas. A key “soft power” bribe has been taken away from the CIA for its operations in the Middle East.

Trump ultimately shut down the CIA’s training program for anti-government fighters in Syria, according to reports. Trump has accused Obama of wiretapping him during the Presidential campaign.

Trump has even discussed designating the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that works closely with the CIA around the world, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The Muslim Brotherhood was key in undermining and fighting against Arab Socialism during the cold war. More recently, the Muslim Brotherhood was key in aiding US activities to manipulate the Arab spring, and the create turmoil in Libya and Syria.

The Turkish government, which draws its support from the Muslim Brotherhood, is far less friendly to the United States than just a few years ago. The current spat between Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood-supporting state of Qatar may reflect difference within the power structure about relations to the Muslim Brotherhood and its use in the fight against independent governments.

Despite presenting himself as an isolationist, Trump ultimately did what Obama was unwilling to do, and launched direct US attacks on the Syrian government. Many in his base were furious, and even longtime hawks like Ann Coulter denounced Trump’s move. However, the more well connected members of the Republican establishment praised it, using the military’s favorite word, calling the bombing a demonstration of “strength.”

As Donald Trump remains President of the United States, the press is solidly against him. This should be no surprise as the US Central Intelligence Agency, not the Pentagon, is primarily involved with influencing media. From the days of “Project Mockingbird” to today, the CIA works very hard to influence and craft public opinion, especially on issues of foreign policy. The flow of ‘anonymous leaks’ from the intel community into the press reflects the longstanding relationship between the intelligence agencies and the media.

The Specter of Economic Crisis, Greatest Danger to Trump

45343112123Right now, spending in the USA is down. Wal-Marts are shutting their doors, and suburban malls, which employed thousands, are becoming a thing of the past. The post-2008 “new normal” of low wage retail jobs replacing good paying jobs for the next generation is rapidly fading away, as retail itself is being pushed aside by online shopping. Jeff Bezos outstripped Bill Gates as the richest man in the United States in terms of directly traceable assets.

Meanwhile, home ownership is still declining. The basic ability of American families to own houses has widely been eroded, home ownership has not been restored to anywhere near the pre-2008 levels. In neighborhoods across the USA, family homes are not being resold to American families, but to renting institutions.

As property values remain low and home ownership drops in suburban and rural areas, another aspect of the “new normal,” the “prosperous urban centers” hopping with young workers in high tech jobs, are also seeing a new decline in property values. Unemployment is low, but so are wages.

In the unfolding atmosphere of eroded spending power and decreasing incomes, banks in the USA are now cutting back lending. When banks stop lending, it is generally based on an understanding that bad times are ahead and they may not be able to collect.

Between 2000 and 2008, Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve did everything possible to hold off a crash. Greenspan legalized all kinds of previously illegal credit card and housing mortgage lending, in order to keep the US public spending money they did not have. While the spending power of the US public was drastically reduced by deindustrialization, automation, and shifts in the global economy, Greenspan spent his final years working tireless to keep sales up. Many will recall how George W. Bush urged Americans who wanted to help their country in the aftermath of 9/11 to “go shopping.”

Greenspan’s maneuvers worked only until 2008. With deregulated banking laws, Americans could keep buying houses and maxing out their credit cards, keeping the economy that faced turmoil from 2001 afloat, until the “bubble burst.”

Alan Greenspan was a high ranking member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank often described as “the CIA’s brain.” He did not make his decisions in isolation, but most likely consulted with other figures in the intelligence community about the need to hold off the crisis as long as possible. Greenspan’s decision to legalize credit and keep the public spending, and temporarily hold off the crisis, was not a decision he made by himself.

As the economy crashed and burned in 2007 and 2008, Bush and his cronies, widely viewed as soft on big money, packed their bags, and Barack Obama was able to ride to the White House almost on a white horse, presented as the savior who offered “hope and change.” Greenspan’s efforts did not prevent a the financial crisis, but enabled it to come at a more convenient time, with less political fallout.

However, the political situation facing the USA is far different today. The intelligence community and a large section of the rich and powerful are adamantly opposed to Donald Trump’s presidency, there may not be any specific motivation to work to hold off a financial catastrophe.

If a financial crash were to occur again, Donald Trump would be the ideal scapegoat. The fallout could be blamed on his unpopular presidency which is already routinely ridiculed and demonized by the press.

Will Trump Come Out On Top?

The fact that Trump’s “infrastructure week” contained so few concrete actions may not have hurt Trump at the moment, but a failure to vastly improve the lives of the rust-belt working class that voted for him could be the ultimate undoing of his presidency.

As Trump battles the intelligence community, and seems to side with the Pentagon, he is facing an uphill battle. Allies of the Pentagon brass are disappointed and opponents of Trump are emboldened. However, Trump has proven that he has the ability to unpredictably reverse circumstances that are hostile to him, and come out victorious. The unexpected 2016 elections results are the most concrete example.

If anything was proven by Trump’s surprise victory or the Brexit vote, as well as the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish Nationalism in the UK, it is that anti-establishment sentiments are stronger and deeper than ever in western countries. People in the west realize that things are deeply wrong and are looking for answers. The answers offered by the status quo, often answers that are engineered and delivered in coordination with the intelligence community, are proving to be unsatisfactory.

In the age of easy access to information, the intelligence community may have both an advantage and disadvantage in the face of their opponents in the US power structure. On the one hand, their deceptions and crafting of public opinion can be more widely and cheaply disseminated than ever before. However, an audience that once had nowhere else to look can easily find alternative views, and debunk their claims. The economic decline and rising police state repression are making the US public more and more partisan toward opposing the establishment and entrenched power that the CIA’s propaganda activities seek to defend.

Trump and his allies in the Pentagon are in a weaker position as they face off with the Intelligence Community, however, the underlying shift in public opinion and the changes in the global economy give them a competitive edge.

August 3, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US faces historic setback in the Middle East

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | June 23, 2017

The bloc of four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia that imposed an embargo against Qatar on June 5 has finally presented their charter of demands. An AP dispatch, lists the 13 demands. The most striking demands include Doha reducing ties with Iran, severing relationships with Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, closing a Turkish military base in the country, and shuttering state broadcaster Al Jazeera and several news outlets.

Interestingly, Qatar is also expected to “consent to monthly audits for the first year after agreeing to the demands, then once per quarter during the second year. For the following 10 years, Qatar would be monitored annually for compliance.” All this means that abject, unconditional capitulation by Qatar only will satisfy its ‘big brothers’ – nothing less. By the way, there is also a timeline to comply – within the next 10 days – or else the demands get ratcheted up.

To my mind, Qatar will have no difficulty to see this is nothing short of a thinly-veiled push for ‘regime change’. The regime’s response can only be that these Arab bigwigs can go and hang themselves.

What happens next? Simply put, the (Sunni) Muslim Middle East is about to split and the historic schism will have profound consequences for regional and international security.

Make no mistake, this latest development also signifies a slap on the face for the Trump administration. Only last Tuesday, US state department warned Saudi Arabia to resolve the standoff without any further delay lest direct US intervention became necessary, doubting the stance taken by Riyadh (which is widely regarded as carrying the imprimatur of the new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) and showing broad empathy with Qatar (where the US Central Command is headquartered.) Curiously, the US spokesperson also had alluded to Saudi Arabia’s past involvement in terrorism “whether it’s through terror financing or other means”.

Evidently, Saudi pride has been touched to the quick and Riyadh has taken exception to the US censuring. Without doubt, these demands are a show of defiance at Washington, too. This is all now going to become a protracted crisis in all likelihood, which will seriously debilitate the US’ regional strategies – unless of course Qatar crawls on its knees — and weaken its war against the ISIS.

To be sure, Turkey will take great exception to the Saudi demand that its so-called military base in Doha should be shut down unceremoniously. President Recep Erdogan will see this demand as an intolerable affront to Ottoman legacy. The VOA reported on Thursday that Turkey has been moving food and troops to Qatar in a big way.

Quite obviously, the crux of the matter is that the virus of Arab Spring is hibernating in Qatar and it threatens to become an epidemic someday again, threatening the autocratic regimes in the Middle East. Only Turkey, Iran and Israel are immune to the virus of democratic empowerment. Evidently, Al Jazeera and the Muslim Brotherhood are driving the sheikhs crazy in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain and threaten the military dictatorship in Egypt.

The credibility of the US on the ‘Arab Street’ is now irreparably damaged. For President Donald Trump all this becomes a big political embarrassment domestically. (Bloomberg ) It remains to be seen how the US can afford to sustain its belligerent posturing in Syria and Iraq much longer without any regional allies from the Arab world.

The Trump administration’s containment strategy against Iran seems destined to collapse even before its launch and Trump’s pet project of the ‘Arab NATO’ looks a macabre joke. Can the US ever restore its hegemony over the Muslim Middle East? Doubtful. A big slice of modern history of the western hegemony over Arabs is breaking away and drifting toward the horizon. To be sure, Russians are coming!

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Trump Turns Back the Clock With Cold War Cuba U-Turn

By Ron Paul | June 19, 2017

Nostalgia seems to be very popular in Washington. While the neocons and Democratic Party hard-liners have succeeded in bringing back the Cold War with Russia, it looks like President Trump is determined to take us back to a replay of the Bay of Pigs!

In Miami on Friday, the president announced that he was slamming the door on one of President Obama’s few foreign policy successes: easing 50 years of US sanctions on Cuba. The nostalgia was so strong at Trump’s Friday speech that he even announced participants in the CIA’s disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in the audience!

President Trump said Friday that his new policy would be nothing short of “regime change” for Cuba. No easing of US sanctions on Cuba, he said, “until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.”

Yes, this is the same Donald Trump who declared as president-elect in December that his incoming Administration would “pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments.” Now, in another flip-flop toward the neocons, President Trump is pursuing regime change in Cuba on the pretext of human rights violations.

While the Cuban government may not have a spotless record when it comes to human rights, this is the same President Trump who just weeks ago heaped praise on perhaps the world’s worst human rights abuser, Saudi Arabia. There, he even participated in a bizarre ceremony to open a global anti-extremism center in the home of state-sponsored extremism!

While President Trump is not overturning all of President Obama’s Cuba policy reforms – the US Embassy will remain open – he will roll back the liberalization of travel restrictions and make it very difficult for American firms to do business in Cuba. Certainly foreign competitors of US construction and travel companies are thrilled by this new policy, as it keeps American businesses out of the market. How many Americans will be put out of work by this foolish political stunt?

There is a very big irony here. President Trump says that Cuba’s bad human rights record justifies a return to Cuba sanctions and travel prohibitions. But the US government preventing Americans from traveling and spending their own money wherever they wish is itself a violation of basic human rights. Historically it has been only the most totalitarian of regimes that prevent their citizens from traveling abroad. Think of East Germany, the Soviet Union, and North Korea. The US is not at war with Cuba. There is no reason to keep Americans from going where they please.

President Trump’s shift back to the bad old days on Cuba will not have the desired effect of liberalizing that country’s political environment. If it did not work for fifty years why does Trump think it will suddenly work today? If anything, a hardening of US policy on Cuba will prevent reforms and empower those who warned that the US could not be trusted as an honest partner. The neocons increasingly have President Trump’s ear, even though he was elected on promises to ignore their constant calls for war and conflict. How many more flip-flops before his supporters no longer recognize him?

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump’s Lawless Presidency?

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 12.06.2017

Piling on the invective against Donald Trump, an op-ed in the New York Times this week castigated him as a «lawless president». The business tycoon-turned politician has already been roundly condemned in the US media as a traitor, stooge, buffoon and much more. Now the Times has marked him down as «lawless».

What is particularly galling about this latest anti-Trump tirade is the conceited notion that Trump is somehow singularly lawless as an American president. The cited op-ed piece by David Leonhardt laments that the principles of law and order have largely been respected by both Republican and Democrat occupants of the White House – but Trump is now bringing the office into disrepute with his alleged lawlessness.

It would no doubt come as a shock to the New York Times and its readers to consider that almost every American president – certainly every one since the Second World War – could be prosecuted as a war criminal owing to gross violation of international law.

Trump’s bullying personality and feckless ego are indeed grating. His clumsy self-aggrandizing boasting are doubly cringe-making. But the accusations thrown at him of lawlessness seem overblown. The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN are among the main US media outlets that have been running a non-stop campaign to discredit Trump since his surprise election last November against their favored candidate Hillary Clinton.

This president is accused of breaching the US constitution by undermining the judiciary and over-extending his executive power over other branches of government. True, this president has made plenty of uncouth remarks against judges and the judicial system. And he has pilloried the media and intelligence community with scathing language, referring to them as «enemy of the people» or likening them to «using Nazi practices».

Trump is also accused of obstructing justice by allegedly pressuring the former head of the FBI, James Comey, into dropping investigations into claims that his election team colluded with Russian state intelligence or cyber hackers to win the presidency. Trump has dismissed the Russian collusion claims in characteristically brusque fashion as «fake news» and a «total hoax».

The Russian government has also separately rejected the collusion claims as absurd speculation for which no credible evidence has ever been presented. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently remarked that US politicians and media seem to have «lost their minds» in persisting with making such outlandish claims.

There are also ethical concerns – probably valid – that Trump is abusing the office of the presidency to advance his family’s business empire. His daughter Ivanka is an unelected «special adviser» while also owning an international fashion conglomerate. Her husband Jared is too among Trump’s White House coterie of special advisers. Like Trump’s own sons, Jared has ongoing real estate business interests. When Trump is dealing with China and other foreign nations, there are plausible concerns of «conflict of interests».

However distasteful and potentially unethical all of this is it is nevertheless so far unproven to be lawless. For the New York Times to lambast Trump as a lawless president is a leap of hyperbole.

In the list of alleged lawlessness presented by the Times the one issue where a case of criminality could be solidly made is glaringly omitted. On April 7, Trump ordered the bombardment of Syria with over 50 cruise missiles. The attack was an act of aggression against a sovereign country. Trump’s claim of «retaliating» for an alleged chemical weapons massacre by the Syrian army of President Bashar al Assad are beside the point. The US has no legal mandate for any military action in Syria. And at any rate, no verifiable evidence has ever been presented to support the allegation of chemical weapons use.

As Russia pointed out the cruise missile barrage ordered by Trump was an illegal act of aggression. Trump should be prosecuted for war crimes on that instance alone. Moreover, the ongoing US air strikes on Syria, which have resulted in dozens of civilian deaths, are further grounds for Trump to be prosecuted for crimes against peace.

Other international issues where Trump stands accused of gross criminality is his support of Saudi aggression in Yemen and towards Iran. His reckless saber-rattling against North Korea is another prosecutable case of this president engaging in warmongering.

But none of this provable lawlessness in international relations warrants a mention in the New York Times’ condemnation of Trump. The so-called «newspaper of record» confines itself to delving into Trump’s alleged abuses of power in the realm of domestic politics, much of which seems exaggerated in order to serve the Times’ own dubious agenda of discrediting Trump.

This oversight of Trump’s provable international violations is hardly surprising (albeit unacceptable). For on that score, he is simply carrying on the ignoble tradition of all American presidents who have used aggression and war as an instrument of power against other nations.

His predecessors Obama, Bush Junior, Clinton, Bush Senior, Reagan and all the way back to Eisenhower and Truman have abused military power, invasion, subversion, proxy wars and assassination as a prerogative for American subjugation of other nations. Even Jimmy Carter and John F Kennedy, considered to be two of the more enlightened presidents, oversaw criminal programs to pursue regime change in Cuba and other Latin American states.

Not a single American president over the past seven decades since the Second World War can be counted as innocent when it comes to gross violation of international law in the pursuit of US power. All told, it is estimated that American state-sponsored criminality under the orders of any given president has been responsible for over 20 million deaths from wars and aggression in myriad forms against dozens of nations.

Donald J Trump is just the latest name in this sordid pantheon of lawless American leaders.

For the New York Times to single out Trump as somehow uniquely lawless is testimony to how much in denial the US media are about the truly rogue, criminal nature of their government.

Trump a lawless president? Yes, sure he is. Just like all the rest of them.

June 12, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Obama vs. Trump

By Margaret Kimberley | Black Agenda Report | May 31, 2017

Barack Obama presided over the sale of more than $100 billion in weaponry to Saudi Arabia during his presidency. These deals were transacted before, during and after the Saudis’ devastating attacks on Yemen. It is important to state these simple facts because there is now a concerted effort among the rulers to make us believe that these recent events never took place.

Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and announcement of yet another arms sale is the immediate cause of consternation. The continuity in foreign policy decision making from one president to another is a longstanding American tradition. But acknowledgement is problematic now that Trump is the one acting as his predecessors did.

The Saudi bombing and blockade of Yemen has resulted in starvation and a cholera epidemic. The corporate media and their talking heads ignored the crime as long as Barack Obama was in the White House. Now the same forces who hid the carnage beginning in 2015 behave as if the new president bears responsibility when Obama gave the green light.

A New York Times editorial is an example of the official propaganda scheme. Entitled “Will President Trump Help Save Yemen,” the editorial excoriated Trump for doing nothing more than what Obama had done. There was no mention of the former president’s support, in fact the Times gave the impression that he somehow opposed a policy he had carried out.

The New York Times is not alone in trying to make observant people disbelieve their lying eyes. Obama UN ambassador Samantha Power is also part of the amnesiac brigade. In a twitter post she responded to Trump administration boasting about the arms sale. “For a country whose attacks on civilians in Yemen — and inability to learn from mistakes — have been devastating to human life.” Fortunately, social media is a two way street and her obvious attempt at changing history was called into question by angry readers.

So concerned are the elites and their friends around the world that they won’t let Obama go. Defending the prerogatives of the ruling classes is a permanent position after all. That is why Obama was invited months ago to give a speech in Berlin with Angela Merkel by his side. The obvious goal of the photo opportunity was to help Merkel’s election campaign. Now an Obama visit may also undermine any foreign policy changes Trump may contemplate. Trump’s message of America first throws the imperial project into jeopardy and causes panic among current and former leaders.

The corporate media and foreign governments don’t care about the damage Trump is doing domestically. The ICE raids, emboldened racism, voter suppression and cuts to government programs don’t concern them. But Trump’s victory already killed the TPP trade deal. His white America first philosophy leaves less room for NATO machinations and imperial imperatives.

Trump literally shoved the president of Montenegro aside at the NATO summit. The juvenile alpha male move was ironic for several reasons. Tiny Montenegro has been pushed into NATO against the wishes of many of its people. But NATO is determined to expand because Russia is the last country capable of saying no to America’s whims and its determination to run the whole world.

Trump’s understanding of European foreign policy consists of worrying about how much America contributes towards NATO funding vis a vis other nations. He is a businessman after all and sees no reason to pay more than the next guy. This nationalistic impulse creates huge problems for the elites, who had no intention of giving up on their grand schemes of control backed by American muscle.

Trump’s non-commitment to NATO’s Article 5 may have done the world a huge favor. Article 5 makes every member nation responsible for the defense of the others. NATO assists in every act of aggression that the United States cooks up and that is one of the reasons the elites want Trump gone. The American/NATO effort to tear Yugoslavia apart included the bombing of Montenegro. Trump’s wrong headed impulse reveals some important truths about the state of the world.

And that is why Obama will keep showing up for his friends. He is still working for the western oligarchs who want the system to keep running as it has done. No one should worry about Merkel’s lament that Europe can’t count on the United States. Trump’s boorish behavior is a lot less dangerous than the trans Atlantic alliance of war making.

Of course Obama acolytes are lying about his relationship with Saudi Arabia. American presidents always genuflect to their partner in crime. The Saudis have aided in the destruction of much of that region but those facts are inconvenient. Obama’s second act won’t work unless some very big lies are served up.

Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

May 31, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Harvard Study Shows Unprecedented Anti-Trump Media Bias — Except For When He Bombed Syria

By Chris Menahan – InformationLiberation – May 19, 2017

A new Harvard study published on Thursday found unprecedented levels of anti-Trump bias from the major media in Trump’s first 100 days in office, with NBC, CBS and CNN generating over 91 percent negative coverage.

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analysed news reports from the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as “the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, and three European news outlets (The UK’s Financial Times and BBC, and Germany’s ARD).”

Here’s what they found:

– President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.

– Republican voices accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency, compared to only 6 percent for Democrats and 3 percent for those involved in anti-Trump protests.

– European reporters were more likely than American journalists to directly question Trump’s fitness for office.

– Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.

– Fox was the only news outlet in the study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall, however, there was variation in the tone of Fox’s coverage depending on the topic.

Charts:

Note, the one week he got the most positive coverage was week 12 when he attacked Syria and started ditching all his campaign promises and acting like he was being blackmailed. Since going rogue again and firing Comey the coverage has no doubt gotten worse than ever.

The tone of coverage was overwhelmingly positive for his Tomahawk missile strike on Syria:

Fox News is not much better than other networks on a lot of issues and as we know they’ve recently shifted even further to the left.

This is death by a thousand paper cuts and on top of it all the deep state is sabotaging Trump’s every move.

If you really look at these polls, it’s clear the only way he could get positive news coverage is if he came out for open borders and amnesty, then launched a full-scale ground invasion of Syria and started a war with Russia.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment

Fast and Furious: Now They’re Really Gunning for Trump

The Polemicist | May 17, 2017

Here’s what I saw unfold in the media during the 24 hours from Monday to Tuesday afternoon (May 15-16).

On Monday, I saw blaring headlines throughout the day on Twitter about how Donald Trump had betrayed some “highly-classified” intelligence secrets to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their meeting last week. I was busy and paid little attention to this news, but I figured Trump must have committed one of his hallmark impetuous faux-pas involving some massive security breach, given the hysterical tone of the coverage.

I awoke Tuesday to read the stories in the New York Times (NYT), and the Washington Post (WaPo), sourced to anonymous “current and former government officials,” recounting that Trump had told the Russians a big secret—the NYT did not specify what, but WaPo identified it as an “Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.” As both papers acknowledge—though WaPo makes the irrelevant point that it would be illegal “for almost anyone in government”—Trump, as president, did nothing illegal in telling the Russians this, and, according to the NYT’s own sources, and to National Security advisor Lt. Gen. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—the only people cited who were actually in the room—Trump “discussed the contents of the intelligence, but not the sources and methods used to collect it.”

Per McMaster: “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.” Neither of the articles, and no one cited in them, disputed this. Per WaPo: “He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances.”

So far, I was seeing nothing to break a sweat over. Is there some problem with notifying Russia—or anyone else, for that matter—of an Islamic State threat to blow up civilian aircraft with laptop bombs? Is the idea that we’re supposed to sit back and let it happen? What sane person wouldn’t be glad this warning was given to Russia, and wouldn’t want Russia to give it to us if the circumstances were reversed? Is this not a routine exchange of threat information in a closed principals’ meeting?

Besides, was there really any great secret here? I had seen a number of reports in the last few weeks that the government was “likely to expand [the] airline laptop ban” and that “U.S. Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies believe ISIS” can now “effectively conceal explosives in laptops and other electronic devices.” I’m going to take a wild guess and conjecture that, if ISIS were planning something with laptops on airplanes, the group would have read the same reports and figured out that someone was on to them. So that cat was out of the bag before Trump said anything to Lavrov. And it was not Trump, but the media, who revealed knowledge of this plot publicly, before and after the Lavrov meeting!

No, the big “alarming” deal here wasn’t that Trump revealed the ISIS plot, but that knowledge of it was based on information provided by “a Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets,” and was shared “without the express permission of the ally who provided it.” Trump committed a “breach of espionage etiquette.”

There was no accusation that Trump said who that ally was, or even that “the intelligence came from a Middle Eastern ally or precisely how it was gathered.” So the only way, this Tuesday morning, we and the Russians knew that some “ally” was involved was because, not Donald Trump, but some anonymous “officials,” through the NYT and WaPo, revealed it to the whole wide world.

Only in the more “granular” detail in the coverage could I find the sinful “breach of etiquette” that Trump supposedly committed, the one and only specific thing Trump was accused of revealing that he shouldn’t have: “the city in Syria where the ally picked up the information about the plot.” Supposedly, by naming the city, Trump gave Russia an “important clue about the source of the information,” and raised “the fear” that, with the name of that city, Russia “could disrupt the ally’s espionage efforts” against ISIS. [my italics]

Another bunch of woulds, coulds, and fears that.  After reading this, even I was flabbergasted at how thin this gruel was—and how desperately the media and politicians were trying to make a meal out of it.  Republican Bob Corker was quoted about how “compromise[ing] a source is something you just don’t do,” and Democrat Mark Warner about how “inexcusable” it is to “risk sources and methods,” despite the fact that the reports themselves indicate Trump did neither of those things. If it was so terrible for Trump to name a city in Syria to the Russian Foreign Minister in a private meeting, how terrible was it for the media to publicly inform ISIS that they might be harboring a spy in a Syrian city?

In other words, this coverage is another stream of insinuations about what Trump kinda, sorta, but actually didn’t—but the articles themselves did—do.

As Marcy Wheeler aptly put it:
So multiple people learned of this event, and went out and leaked it (which is illegal to do for most anyone besides the President, the WaPo helpfully notes), not just with the WaPo’s two reporters, but with reporters from Buzzfeed, NYT, WSJ, and more. They leaked it to reporters who they presumably knew would then report it, alerting the frustrated ally that Trump had shared the information, which is a blow to that relationship, and also alerting the frustrated ally that they then proceeded to go leak it more. And it’s all based on the blithe assumption that Trump telling Russia about dangers to civilian aircraft is worse than the American media itself informing ISIS about a spy in their midst.

It seemed obvious to me that its main purpose or these stories was to continue fomenting antagonism with Russia, and to perpetuate the notion, taken up enthusiastically and disturbingly by liberals, that the main problem with the omni-incompetent Donald Trump is that he is too friendly with Russia.

Combined with the other fear-mongering article about the North Korean missile test featured on the NYT, I thought media project for the day was to keep the war drums beating, and I was prompted to begin writing something about that.

Then I noticed (thanks to a tweet by Max Blunenthal) that Alan Dershowitz had called the Trump-betrayed-ally’s-secrets-to-Russia story “the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president.” It had been evident to me, in reading the coverage, that there was only one “Middle Eastern ally” (or ally of any region) which has the chutzpah to “warn” the United States “it would cut off access to…sensitive information”—while itself stealing, with impunity, America’s most closely-guarded secrets. As Newsweek reported in 2014: “Israel has been caught carrying out aggressive espionage operations against American targets for decades… They just don’t get arrested very often.” (Also see herehere, and here). There is only one ally about whose “compromise” Republicans and Democrats would be so unanimously concerned, and certainly only one who would have prompted the ridiculous charge by Dershowitz.  And within an hour, the NYT confirmed, again via a “current and former American official,” that Israel was the ally in question, the source of the “secret intelligence.”

So now we have the American media explicitly revealing to Russia, ISIS, and the world, the supposedly key piece of information that Trump was being excoriated for even implying.

Now perhaps these “current and former American officials” who are leaking all this ultra-sensitive classified intelligence information are entirely neutral about, or even unsympathetic to, Israel; and perhaps they and the media outlets publicizing their leaks—a few hours after insisting that identifying the secret ally would harm it—put Israel’s name out because they are committed to letting the public know the truth, no matter whom it hurts. Or perhaps these officials and these media outlets are in fact supportive of Israel, and would only publicize information they know that Israel wants revealed (or at least has no objection to revealing). Everyone will have to decide, based on his/her understanding of American-Israeli political and media relations, which of those scenarios is more likely.

I think the latter. I also notice that, in the last week or so, there have been reports in the American and Israeli press that Netanyahu’s “honeymoon with Trump” has “ended abruptly,” that there have been “harsh exchanges” with Trump administration officials who told members of Netanyahu’s team, to their “utter shock,” that the Western Wall was “not your territory but rather part of the West Bank,” and that Netanyahu is now “wary” and increasingly mistrustful of Trump.

Now, to be clear: I do not think that Israel or Zionism has anything to fear from Donald Trump. I never thought that he was going to transform American foreign policy, to make it less interventionist or more focused on the concerns of Americans. But I also think Trump is an inconsistent and impetuous actor, capable of wild swings in policy that are perceived as dangerous even by those powerful interests who think they can keep him under control. I think that is becoming more obvious, and of greater concern to a larger swath of important players.

I suspect this betrayal-of-an-ally-to-Russia story, and the frantic news cycle it has generated, means that Israel is showing its concern. And that is bad news for Donald Trump. Israel is a very powerful player, with its hooks embedded throughout the Deep State apparatus. The frantic news cycle that followed—with another blaring headline a few hours later about how Trump asked Comey to stop the Flynn investigation,  a spate of articles about how Trump is a criminal president who might have obstructed justice and betrayed his oath, and an announcement that the impeachment clock is running—means that big guns are blazing, and Trump is now in another realm of trouble.

Three days ago, I endorsed the point, made by Musa Al-Gharbi and others, that it would be virtually impossible for Trump to be impeached. I found Robert Parry’s scenario of a “soft coup” by sectors of the intelligence apparatus very unlikely. Given the make-up of Congress, it would only happen if the Republicans turned against him en masse, and they would only do that if his inconsistency and incompetence were seriously undermining their agenda (as those faults well might). But, since their legislative agenda is going to be so unpopular, they must be able to portray any impeachment as a bi-partisan project of national urgency.

Russiagate has been cultivated by the Democrats and their confected #Resistance to provide a rationale for Republicans to install a more stable and predictable Republican president who will color within the established partisan lines, and with whom the Democrats can more effectively plan wars and Grand-Bargain away Social Security and Medicare. But Russiagate has not yet gained enough traction with Republican congresscritters, who would face a revolt of their Trump voters against any acquiescence to an impeachment driven by Nancy Pelosi, vagina-hatted protestors, and Steven Colbert. If, however, impeachment becomes driven by concern for our betrayed Middle Eastern ally; if Dershowitz is right that “The demographics are clear. Republicans now support Israel much more strongly than Democrats”; and if Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, and the Congressional Israel Victory Caucus take the outstretched hands of concerned constitution- and FBI-loving liberals, then the prospects improve dramatically. (Though you know this to be true, don’t forget: It’s Russia that interferes too much in American politics.)

The Democratic Party and the #Resistance are not going to impeach Donald Trump. The Democratic and Republican Parties can and will if they want to. And, as they never cease proclaiming, what Israel wants, they want.

Fast and furiously, in the course of a single news cycle, the game has changed: Donald Trump has been accused of betraying Israel. Impeachment is possible.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 4 Comments

Are They Really Out to Get Trump?

Sometimes paranoia is justified

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 16, 2017

President Donald Trump is not exactly known for his self-restraint. The recent firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey was not handled with any delicacy and has unleashed a firestorm of criticism coming from across the political spectrum. And since Comey’s abrupt dismissal the backstabbing has become even worse, with many coming around to the view that Trump is actually crudely threatening Comey over the issue of what might or might not have been said at dinners and meetings between the two men.

What exactly drove the firing at this time remains somewhat of a mystery though the media has been quick to link it directly to Trump’s reported anger at the seemingly endless investigation into his Administration’s possible ties to Russia, an investigation that nominally Comey headed as FBI Director. But that explanation somehow makes no sense as even a white-hot Trump would have realized that getting rid of Comey would only make the Russiagate problem worse as everyone would assume cover-up and would come after the White House with even greater intensity, which is precisely what has happened. Was Trump dumb enough to dig himself into a deeper hole? Possibly, but it seems unlikely.

What is real, however, is that constant innuendo means that anti-Russian hysteria has been mounting, including completely speculative pieces wondering whether the entourage of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during last week’s visit.

And what if there really is a conspiracy against Donald Trump being orchestrated within the various national security agencies that are part of the United States government? The president has been complaining for months about damaging leaks emanating from the intelligence community and the failure of Congress to pay any attention to the illegal dissemination of classified information. It is quite possible that Trump has become aware that there is actually something going on and that something just might be a conspiracy to delegitimize and somehow remove him from office.

President Trump has also been insisting that the “Russian thing” is a made-up story, a view that I happen to agree with. I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20th. In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau, which Trump has described as “showboating.”

Two well-informed observers of the situation have recently joined in the discussion, Robert Parry of Consortiumn News and former CIA senior analyst Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern has noted, as have I, that there is one individual who has been curiously absent from the list of former officials who have been called in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is ex-CIA Director John Brennan, who many have long considered an extreme Obama/Hillary Clinton loyalist long rumored to be at the center of the information damaging to Team Trump sent to Washington by friendly intelligence services, including the British.

Ray suggests that Brennan and also Comey may been at the center of a “Deep State” combined CIA-NSA-FBI cabal working to discredit the Trump candidacy and delegitimize his presidency. Brennan in particular was uniquely well placed to fabricate the Russian hacker narrative that has been fully embraced by Congress and the media even though no actual evidence supporting that claim has yet been produced. As WikiLeaks has now revealed that the CIA had the technical ability to hack into sites surreptitiously while leaving behind footprints that would attribute the hack to someone else, including the Russians, it does not take much imagination to consider that the alleged trail to Moscow might have been fabricated. If that is so, this false intelligence has in turn proven to be of immense value to those seeking to present “proof” that the Russian government handed the presidency to Donald Trump.

Robert Parry asked in an article on May 10th whether we are seeing is “Watergate redux or ‘Deep State’ coup?” and then followed up with a second Piece “The ‘Soft Coup’ of Russia-gate” on the 13th. In other words, is this all a cover-up of wrongdoing by the White House akin to President Richard Nixon’s firing of Watergate independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General or is it something quite different, an undermining of an elected president who has not actually committed any “high crimes and misdemeanors” to force his removal from office. Like Parry, I am reluctant to embrace conspiracy theories, in my case largely because I believe a conspiracy is awfully hard to sustain. The federal government leaks like a sieve and if more than two conspirators ever meet in the CIA basement it would seem to me their discussion would become public knowledge within forty-eight hours, but perhaps what we are seeing here is less a formal arrangement than a group of individuals who are loosely connected while driven by a common objective.

Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey’s role in the “coup” was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process.

Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order. Parry notes, as would I, that to date no actual evidence has been presented to support allegations that Russia sought to influence the U.S. election and/or that Trump associates were somehow coopted by Moscow’s intelligence services as part of the process. Nevertheless, anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west’s interaction with Russia after the fall of communism.

Parry’s point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes. The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. As they are desirous of bringing down Trump “legally” through either impeachment or Article 25 of the Constitution which permits removal for incapacity, it might be termed a constitutional coup, though the other labels cited above also fit.

The rationale Trump haters have fabricated is simple: the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if true, would provide grounds for impeachment. The driving force, in terms of the argument being made, is that removing Trump must be done “for the good of the country” and to “correct a mistake made by the American voters.” The mainstream media is completely on board of the process, including the outlets that flatter themselves by describing their national stature, most notably the New York Times and Washington Post.

So what is to be done? For starters, until Donald Trump has unambiguously broken a law the critics should take a valium and relax. He is an elected president and his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama certainly did plenty of things that in retrospect do not bear much scrutiny. Folks like Ray McGovern and Robert Parry should be listened to even when they are being provocative in their views. They are not, to be sure, friends of the White House in any conventional way and are not apologists for those in power, quite the contrary. Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus’s use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do.

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments