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National Security State as Racket on the Danger of Terrorism
Review of Literature

“Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”

Tacitus, Agricola
 

News Corporatism Recommended Links Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Neofascism Nation under attack meme
Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative  Inverted Totalitarism The Deep State Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance Operation Gladio - Wikipedia
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations False flag operations as an important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Mystery of Building 7 Collapse Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Manchester attack vs Charlie Hebdo
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The Iron Law of Oligarchy
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism   Humor Etc

"The greatest threat is that we shall become like those who seek to destroy us"

the legendary US diplomat George Kennan warned in 1947

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”


Ronal Reagan about a different crisis

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

Michael Hirsh in

How America's Top Tech Companies
Created the Surveillance State )

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

- James Madison


Introduction

The National Security State is an ideology and practice of the USA elite, closely connected with the idea of the rule of the Media-Military-Industrial Complex, and especially three-letter agencies ("Trumanites" because of our 33rd president's role in founding the CIA, the modern Defense Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Agency).  It is somewhat different from national socialist idea as it is married to neoliberalism and does not included the decisive influence of the state in economic sphere.

Under neoliberalism society has become increasingly militarized, meaning that as most aspects of the social-democratic state (New Deal state) are eliminated, a police state is rising in its place. All problems that in the past were seen as social problems, and hence required social solutions, now acquire police solutions. Heavily militarized police became praetorian guard of 0.1% that is in power.

In economic sphere deregulation (economic liberalism or neoliberalism) produce social conflict, which at some point can not be masked by neoliberal demagogy ("shareholder value", "stakeholder participation" and other neoliberal crap).  As the state now represents interest only of the top 0.1% population, economic and political spheres became merged under authoritarian rule of financial oligarchy, not unlike the USSR under bolshevism with the only difference that "nomenklatura" was more aligned with the interests of the society then financial oligarchy,  Tax laws, inheritance rules, status to trade unions, "revolving door" regulations (which highly correlates with the degree of corruption of the society) became political decisions and  require constant brainwashing of the population and instilling fear using external threat. Terrorism is used for this purpose not unlike permanent war between Oceania and Eurasia in the Orwell's famous  novel 1984,  It is clear that the war with terrorism is quintessential for waging "permanent war for permanent peace".  This link to rampant militarism is close to what we observe in typical neo-fascist movements (Fascism - Wikipedia ):

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[3][4]

Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A "military citizenship" arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war.[5][6] The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.[5][6]

Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[7] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[7] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[8][9][10][11] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.[12]

Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.[13]

In this social system US intelligence apparatus and military establishment are raised to the level above and beyond civilian control and become a somewhat autonomous system, a hidden government of the USA. Deep state as it is now called. Which, as a minimum, assume the role of king maker for the most top positions in the USA government. And, if necessary, can act as a king remover (JFK assassination is a nice example here; CIA fingerprints are all over the place, but nobody from CIA went to jail for this "accomplishment": mission accomplished).

The colossal budget with  juicy cost-plus contracts of affiliated private companies gives those agencies not only tremendous power, but also vested ideological and financial interests. For example, for the moment of its creation, due to Allen Dulles background CIA was aligned with the interests of Wall Street. There no real overseeing of three letter agencies from neither executive branch, not from the Congress, nor from the Supreme Court.

But the reverse is not true. In a way they can serve as a surrogate king.   In other words, instead of the servant of the state intelligence agencies became the master. This phenomenon is not limited to the USA. The same hijacking of executive, parliamentarian and judicial braches of govern happened in other countries. A very interesting example provides the USSR: it was actually betrayal of KGB brass, who switched side and decided to privatize the country, that among other things doomed the USSR.

The key "three letter agencies" (CIA, DOD, NSA, FBI) were established by the National Security Act of 1947, signed in September 18, 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. This year can be considered as the year when National Security State was born and probably should be celebrated accordingly instead of old-fashioned Independence Day.  Very little was preserved from the "old republic" after this transformation of the USA. 

It is prudent to view National Security State as a modern form of corporatism, closely related to concepts of neo-fascism and Inverted Totalitarism. As ellatynemouth noted in the comment to the Guardian article Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay (Dec 26, 2013):

The surveillance state is the ruling class's key hole through which they monitor us and our potential dissent. It's now an integral part of capitalism and can't be removed.

The game has changed. It's now about convincing us as much as possible that they will stop snooping on us. They won't though. It will just become more heavily hidden.

Surveillance state was made possible with the advent of computers, Internet and wireless communication. In some features it is close to neo-fascism and Latin-American far right authoritarian regimes, but there are important difference. Instead of organized violence against opponents it achieved its goals without relentless physical repression/elimination of opponents. It's key feature is mass surveillance, discreditation and blackmailing of opponents (like in German Democratic Republic there are dossier for every member of society and skeletons from the closet can be revealed for any politician or activist)  as well as control and manipulation of media, not mass repression of opponents. Like neofascist regimes of the past (such as Pinochet regime in Chile) and authoritarian "communist" regimes of the past and present, it make organized opposition to the government virtually impossible. Of the 20 characteristic traits of neo-fascist regimes probably around the half are applicable to the national security state.

After 9/11, Bush government's behavior and especially appeals to public clearly resonate with the proto-fascist "... uber alles" ideas. As an amazing example of doublespeak  Bushists managed to integrate American exceptionalism into the framework of globalist neoliberal regime (as the command-and-control center for neoliberal world empire, no less). Bush government inspired post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. Costs were staggering: the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (official figure of combined budget is perhaps $75 billion; but in reality in many times more then that). The total is probably over a trillion.

Nothing changed under President Obama, which suggests that he is just a figurehead and the  "deep state" is actually in charge. In most area Obama administration was more like Bush II administration , then "change we can believe in".  In this sense this was the most blatant "bait and switch" in the recent  political history of the USA. This is the view of Professor Michel Greenon, who in his book advocated the view that tradition troika of powers in the USA became by and large ceremonial and that real actors, at least in area of national security are not non-elected executives of super-powerful and well financed three-letter agencies. Here is a brief overview taken from review published by Reason (National Security State - Reason.com):

Though Glennon doesn't describe his thesis in terms of public choice theory, it echoes that discipline's insight that institutions are run for the benefit of the people who run the institutions. For the Trumanites, Glennon explains, "benefits take the form of enlarged budgets, personnel, missions; costs take the form of retrenchments in each." Witness the vast archipelago of intelligence facilities-nearly three Pentagons' worth of office space-that have been erected in greater Washington, D.C., since 9/11.

The national security state is becoming an autonomous, self-perpetuating entity, Glennon warns. It sets the table for elected officials' choices and increasingly dictates terms to them. The permanent bureaucracy basks in the "glow" of Madisonian institutions, drawing legitimacy from the illusion that elected officials are in charge. But while the buck may stop with the president, the real power resides with the Trumanites.

This explanation is strongest in the realm of state surveillance, which serves as Glennon's central case study. Recall the embarrassing revelation, in the summer of 2013, that the NSA was tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. What did the president know, and when did he know it? If you believe top administration officials, Obama was almost as surprised as Merkel. Glennon quotes Secretary of State John Kerry to the effect that the Merkel wiretap, like a lot of NSA programs, occurred "on autopilot."

On one hand, that's what you'd expect them to say. On the other hand, the claim is entirely plausible, and it is consistent with the earlier history of NSA abuses uncovered by the Church Committee in the 1970s. Under Project SHAMROCK, for example, the NSA collected the content of virtually all cable traffic entering or leaving the United States for three decades-150,000 messages a month at its height. It was, the committee's final report concluded, "probably the largest governmental interception program affecting Americans ever undertaken." And yet it's not clear that any president ordered, approved, or was even aware of SHAMROCK. When the program's existence was exposed in the mid-'70s, Louis Tordella, longtime deputy director of the NSA, admitted that he didn't know whether any president or attorney general had ever been briefed on it.

The picture grows somewhat more complicated when we look at the modern practice of presidential war making. From the Truman administration onward, the president has accumulated enormous unchecked authority, despite James Madison's conviction that, since the executive department was "most distinguished by its propensity to war," it is "the practice of all states, in proportion as they are free, to disarm this propensity of its influence."

When it comes to picking the wars we wage, it's not clear that the Trumanites are fully in charge. Take four major war-powers decisions during the Obama administration: the Afghan surge, the escalation of drone attacks, the Libya intervention, and the current war against ISIS. I put the Trumanite win-loss record at roughly .500 here. The military and national security bureaucracy fought hard for the surge and the drone escalation, and got them. They generally opposed the Libyan action, and some prominent Trumanites-such as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs -appear to have been reluctant to endorse our latest war in the Middle East.

In the case of this most recent war, domestic politics seems a better explanation: The president yielded to the near-irresistible demand that he "do something" about the beheading of Americans and the implosion of the Iraqi state. Bombing ISIS is something, so we're doing it.

The Obama experience suggests we get the wars the Trumanites want -- and also some they don't. But this is hardly fatal to Glennon's thesis. He stresses that "a good theory of institutional behavior can predict, at best, only tendency over time"; his "predicts only that national security policy will change little from one administration to the next." So far, that theory is holding up rather well.

Even so, I've always been partial to one version of the "government politics" explanation. A few years ago, I wrote a book arguing that "Americans' unconfined conception of presidential responsibility is the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties." If the political reality is such that the president will be held personally accountable for any domestic terror attack, don't be surprised when he seeks powers nearly as vast as the expectations put upon him.

Glennon acknowledges it's not either-or; "explanations overlap," he writes. Dumb wars and security-state overreach are the result of political choices and the bureaucratic imperative. Policy continuity is depressingly overdetermined.

Real-time histories of key national security decisions in the Obama years tend to underscore this point. In Kill or Capture, reporter Daniel Klaidman describes the enormous political pressure the Obama administration was under after the failed "underwear bomber" attack on December 25, 2009. "For the White House," Klaidman writes, "the psychic toll of Christmas Day was profound. Obama realized that if a failed terror attempt could suck up so much political oxygen, a successful attack would absolutely devastate his presidency. And much as he liked to talk about returning to first principles, Obama also had a powerful instinct for self-correction-as well as self-preservation."

The psychic aftershock of Christmas 2009 helped shape a lot of what followed: from body scanners at airports to ramped-up drone strikes to the lethal targeting of an American citizen.

But to Glennon's point, the administration was under pressure from the Trumanites well before that. In the 2012 book, The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power, James Mann describes a concerted effort by then-CIA director Michael Hayden and other senior intelligence officials to preserve business as usual by scaring the hell out of the incoming Obama team. Their private name for this scheme was the "Aw, Shit! Campaign."

The scare tactics worked. Klaidman reports that both Harold Koh, legal advisor at the State Department, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's general counsel, used the same metaphor to describe the military pressure for more targeted killings: a runaway train. It was like "a massive freight train hurling down the tracks" Koh said. "You would have to throw yourself on the tracks to try to stop it," said Johnson.

All this helps shed light on Obama's strange and disorienting May 2013 "drone speech" at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., in which the president seemed to be speaking not as commander in chief, but as his own loyal opposition.

In the speech, Obama said things like "Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don't need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers." And: "The very precision of drone strikes can also lead a president and his team to view [them] as a cure-all for terrorism." I remember thinking: "A president"? Which one? Anyone in particular? Who's in charge here, anyway?

National Security and Double Government suggests that the answer to that last question isn't quite so obvious, that the "most powerful man in the world" isn't nearly as powerful as he might appear.

It remains the case that Obama had the formal authority to say no to mass surveillance and perpetual war. But saying no would require resisting enormous bureaucratic and political pressure. And anybody willing to do what it takes to become president is unlikely to transform himself into a self-denying Cincinnatus once in office. Political survivors don't jump in front of trains.

While US government spent around $3.67 trillion in 2013, the revenue was just $2.77 trillion. Of that amount over one trillion went to three-letter agencies and DOD. Now you understand to whom real power belongs.  Moreover the government has to borrow about $900 billion in order to maintain national security state programs intact. And there are 5 million (yes million) people in the USA with security clearance and around 3 million with top security clearance. In other words "Welcome to the USSR." or even Third Reich (actually republican senators opposed Truman initiative due to fear that he replicated institution of the Third Reich in the USA and only support of powerful Democrats allowed the president to push the act through the Congress.

But even if it was close to the Third Reich in political effects and its essence, this type of political structure is different, because it does not rely on mass mobilization. Instead it relied on the power of "deep state" and mass surveillance as well as passivity of most electorate. 

As Paxton describes it (Tracking Fascism) fascism as just hypertrophied and misguided nationalism, a specific flavor of far right nationalism. The central emotions in fascism and nationalism are identical. In other words at the core of fascist emotional mobilization always lies far right nationalism and that is important distinction with national security state and neoliberalism which are globalist and  "imperial" and does not stress particular nationality as long of the person/group serves empire interests:

...Feelings propel fascism more than thought does. We might call them mobilizing passions, since they function in fascist movements to recruit followers and in fascist regimes to "weld" the fascist "tribe" to its leader. The following mobilizing passions are present in fascisms, though they may sometimes be articulated only implicitly:
  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  2. The belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group's enemies, internal as well as external.
  3. Dread of the group's decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  4. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  5. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  6. Authority of natural leaders (always male) throughout society, culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny.
  7. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle.

Post 9/11  "passions" in the USA were definitely skillfully used by Bush administration to push the nation into the Iraq war and the attacks on dissenters that occurred during it were pretty vicious, really in traditions of Third Reich ("you are either with us, or with our enemies"). 

But public was not really central in this whole issue. Americans were extras at best, patsies at worst,  Essentially all major decisions were made "behind the curtain" by deep state structures and public was just brainwashed into approval of those action. That's an important different between national security state and classical fascist regimes. In classic fascist state the leading fascist party would be central to unleashing such a war.  Here it was bust a bunch of highly placed bureaucrats in Bush II administration (so called neocons, which is an ideological group allied with the military industrial complex, but not an organized party as such).

Here is a more extended treatment of this issue (cited from Rush, Newspeak and Fascism An exegesis IV Tracking Fascism):

1. [Group primacy]: See, again, the Bush Doctrine. An extension of this sentiment is at play among those jingoes who argue that Americans may need to sacrifice some of their civil rights -- say, free speech -- during wartime.
2. [Victim mentality]: This meme is clearly present in all the appeals to the victims of Sept. 11 as justifications for the war. It is present at nearly all levels of the debate: from the White House, from the media, even from the jingoist entertainment industry (see, e.g., the lyric of Darryl Worley's extraordinarily popular country-western hit, "Have You Forgotten?": "Some say this country's just out looking for a fight / Well after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right.").
3. [Dread of liberal decadence]: This meme has been stock in trade of the talk-radio crowd since at least 1994 -- at one time it focused primarily on the person of Bill Clinton -- and has reached ferocious levels during the runup to the war and after it, during which antiwar leftists have regularly and remorselessly been accused of treason.
4. [Group integration] and 5. [Group identity as personal validation] are, of course, among the primary purposes of the campaign to demonize liberals -- to simultaneously build a cohesive brotherhood of like-minded "conservatives" who might not agree on the details but are united in their loathing of all things liberal. It plays out in such localized manifestations as the KVI Radio 570th On-Air Cavalry, which has made a habit of deliberately invading antiwar protests with the express purpose of disrupting them and breaking them up. Sometimes, as they did recently in Bellingham, this is done with caravans of big trucks blaring their horns; and they are also accompanied by threatening rhetoric and acts of physical intimidation. They haven't yet bonded in violence -- someone did phone in a threat to sniper-shoot protesters -- but they are rapidly headed in that direction.
6. [Authority of leaders]: This needs hardly any further explanation, except to note that George W. Bush is actually surprisingly uncharismatic for someone who inspires as much rabid loyalty as he does. But then, that is part of the purpose of Bush's PR campaign stressing that he receives "divine guidance" -- it assures in his supporters' mind the notion that he is carrying out God's destiny for the nation, and for the conservative movement in particular.
7. [An aesthetic of violence]: One again needs only turn to the voluminous jingoes of Fox News or the jubilant warbloggers to find abundant examples of celebrations of the virtues -- many of them evidently aesthetic -- of the evidently just-completed war.

I would like to stress that similar processes occurred in different states after WWII as well (Latin America military dictatorships are one example). And with new force and on the new level after the dissolution of the USSR in Russia.  Of course the USSR was a National Security Surveillance State even before WWII, being one of the "pioneers" of this form of state along with Italy and Germany. But it was a rather "primitive" form of national security state  in a sense that it did not rely on computers, collecting "envelope" of all Internet communication, emails headers and other "meta-data" as well as systematic interception of SMS-based communications as well interception of wireless communication and financial operations via computerized banking (especially credit card transactions)  for surveillance.

Rule of Trumanites as the essence of the US National security state -- Boston Globe review of Michael Glennon book

Mickey Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, and is the author of “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.” published a very penetrating review of the book in  The Boston Globe. In which he stated:

It has long been the province of conspiracy theorists to claim that the real power of government is not wielded by the obvious practitioners of statecraft — presidents, members of Congress, the judiciary — but by secret or semi-secret entities, real wizards whose hidden machinations send us to war, sell us out to enemies, siphon public treasure into private hands. Depending on your talk show or paranoia of choice, these are the bankers, oil barons, one-worlders, war profiteers, Bilderbergers, Masons, Catholics, Jews, or Trilateralists. Our formal institutions, in this scenario, are stage sets, Potemkin villages; our officials are puppets; we are an unsuspecting audience.

Michael Glennon, a respected academic (Tufts’s FLETCHER SCHOOL) and author of a book brought to us by an equally respected publisher (Oxford University Press), is hardly the sort to indulge in such fantasies. And that makes the picture he paints in “National Security and Double Government” all the more arresting. Considering Barack Obama’s harsh pre-election criticisms of his predecessor’s surveillance policies, for example, Glennon notes that many of those same policies — and more of the same kind — were continued after Obama took office. “Why,” he asks, “does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

The answer Glennon places before us is not reassuring: “a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy.” The result, he writes, is a system of dual institutions that have evolved “toward greater centralization, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”

If this were a movie, it would soon become clear that some evil force, bent on consolidating power and undermining democratic governance, has surreptitiously tunneled into the under-structure of the nation. Not so. In fact, Glennon observes, this hyper-secret and difficult-to-control network arose in part as an attempt to head off just such an outcome. In the aftermath of World War II, with the Soviet Union a serious threat from abroad and a growing domestic concern about weakened civilian control over the military (in 1949, the Hoover Commission had warned that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had become “virtually a law unto themselves”), President Truman set out to create a separate national security structure.

By 2011, according to The Washington Post, there were 46 separate federal departments and agencies and 2,000 private companies engaged in classified national security operations with millions of employees and spending of roughly a trillion dollars a year. As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

Glennon’s book is not a breezy read: It’s thick with fact and not unappreciative of conundrum (“The government is seen increasingly by elements of the public as hiding what they ought to know, criminalizing what they ought to be able to do, and spying upon what ought to be private. The people are seen increasingly by the government as unable to comprehend the gravity of security threats.”). Nor is he glib with proposed solutions: to adequately respond to the threats posed by a below-the-radar second government will require “a general public possessed of civic virtue,” which prompts Glennon to cite retired Supreme Court justice David Souter’s bemoaning of a “pervasive civic ignorance.” Not all of the problem can be laid at Truman’s feet. And if we ourselves are part of the zeitgeist that allows invisible governments to flourish, repair will be difficult. As Glennon puts it, “the term Orwellian will have little meaning to a people who have never known anything different, who have scant knowledge of history, civics, or public affairs, and who in any event have never heard of George Orwell.”

This is no secret conspiracy nor a plot to deprive Americans of their civil liberties. It is the unintended consequence of a thoughtful attempt to head off the very threats that those attempts have inadvertently created. But if Glennon’s book is enlightening it is also scary. And it’s not fiction.

Why National Security State needs provocations -- pseudo terrorist attacks (false flag attacks)

There are multiple reasons such as to instill fear, and to demonstrate competence (Big Brother’s Liberal Friends — Crooked Timber)

Dr. Hilarius, 10.27.14 at 11:44 pm
An excellent analysis and summation.

Any defense of the national security state requires the proponent to show, at a minimum, that the present apparatus is competent at its task. Having lived through Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention many smaller governmental adventures) I see no evidence of competence. Instead, it’s repetitive failures of analysis and imagination no matter how much raw intelligence is gathered.

Nor is there any evidence that existing oversight mechanisms function as intended. Recent revelations about the CIA spying on the Senate should be enough to dispel the idea that leakers have no role to play.

Kinsley is particularly loathsome. His position is little more than “your betters know best” and that the state’s critics are guttersnipes needing to be kicked to the curb. Kinsley doesn’t need a coherent position, his goal is to be a spokesman for the better sorts, nothing more...

Tremendous push (or acceleration of pre-existing tendencies) toward National Security State occurred after 9/11 under the banner of fighting terrorism. At the point technological capabilities of mass surveillance using computers and the ability to have a dossier for everybody were in place, while mass deployment of PC, credit cards and cell phones provides constant stream of information to those dossiers, not that different from "gum shoes" reports. On November, 2001 the phone records of most Americans begin flowing to the N.S.A. After 9/11, President Bush authorizes the N.S.A. to collect phone and Internet content and metadata without a warrant. Within weeks, under the so-called President’s Surveillance Program (P.S.P.), the major telephone companies voluntarily hand over the data. The N.S.A. creates a twenty-four-hour “Metadata Analysis Center” (MAC) to search the phone records. In October 26, 2001: The Patriot Act is passed. Section 215 allows the government to seize “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

At this point the process started with adoption of Truman doctrine came to a logical end: national surveillance state became a reality. Formally Truman Doctrine was created "to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." but in reality their function was more questionable and after 9/11 (some people date this event as early as 1963 -- JFK assassination) those activities created what is called "The State Within a State" similar to the USSR KGB role (see The State Within a State by Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick). Here is one review of the book:

A Customer

passionate albeit muddled, August 24, 1999

I have problems with the author's obvious hatred of the Russian Revolution and Stalin and the way she claims there is an unbroken chain of horror going all the way back to 1917. Obviously things are better today -- hence her book! She says 66.7 million people died under "Chekist" rule since the Russian Revolution -- and then cites the Guiness Book of Records as her source!? No one could ever prove such a figure, I think its one of things that's repeated 'til it becomes fact.

I also find the author's lack of knowledge about our own CIA kind of disheartening. This fine organization has spread as much death and terror in the Third World (Indonesia, Guatemala,Chile, Argentina, Brazil etc. etc. ) as the KGB ever did anywhere, yet she seems to make them out to be benevolent compared to the KGB (which if you read this book are responsible for everything wrong with the world today).

After reading this book I still don't understand why she thinks the KGB or its incarnations are as bad today as they were at the height of the Terror in 1937. Its not really explained in the book. I still am not convinced that the KGB was the NKVD, and definitely convinced that either was the SS. Research I have done casually has never come up with hard, convincing figures for a Nazi style genocide in the USSR, and this anecdotal, unconvincing book didn't change my historical views.

See Michael J. Hogan, A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998; which "explains the transformative process that ended in the ultimate demise of the New Deal state with its emphasis on social spending and ushered in the militarist National Security State." From Amazon review:

Hogan, a specialist in American diplomatic and national security studies, has written a complex but interesting work on the emergence of the national security state. To create this state, it was necessary to merge the armed forces, the Defense Department, and scientists into a single unit to enhance the military's capabilities. To a large extent, this unification was accomplished in the 1950s. The driving forces were James Forrestal, Dean Acheson, and powerful members of Congress such as Carl Vinson (D-GA), who chaired the Committee on Naval Affairs, along with presidents Truman and Eisenhower.

Hogan presents a compelling case but overemphasizes the importance of Truman and Eisenhower while downplaying the role of Vinson and others in the security state's creation. In fact, both Truman and Eisenhower often seemed opposed to it but succumbed to pressure from Congress and key figures like Acheson. This extremely complex study, which deals with a subject few other books handle, is designed for scholars and informed lay readers interested in the creation of the "military-industrial complex." by Richard P. Hedlund, Ashland Community Coll., KY

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti in his book "Propaganda and Disinformation: How the CIA Manufactures History" noted:

"As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy. By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present."

Attempts to curtain the surveillance proved to by fruitless.  Church Committee was probably the most important "after JFK assassination" attempt to somewhat tame three latter agencies and especially CIA, but it ended in nothing.

Later NSA overtook CIA in many areas of intelligence gathering activities. Which create internal frictions between two agencies. State Department also "infringed" in CIA role in foreign countries and, for example, in organization of neoliberal color revolutions in oil rich or strategically important countries it is difficult to tell when clandestine actions of State Department ends and clandestine actions of CIA stars and vice versa. 

In is interesting to note that even Senators feel threatened by this total surveillance system. In December 14, 2005 Senators Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and several colleagues sign a letter warning that Section 215 “would allow the government to obtain library, medical and gun records and other sensitive personal information” that “would allow government fishing expeditions targeting innocent Americans.” They demand that the records requested should “have some connection to a suspected terrorist or spy,” a requirement that would

protect innocent Americans from unnecessary surveillance and ensure that government scrutiny is based on individualized suspicion, a fundamental principle of our legal system.

In March, 2006, the Patriot Act is reauthorized without the changes sought by Obama and others.

In his October 19, 2012 review of the book Saman Mohammadi (The Excavator) wrote:

The case could be made that the creation of the CIA and the National Security State in 1947 was necessary. But after sixty years of human rights abuses, systematic attacks on the constitution, false flag terror events, assassinations of political reformers, and other horrible crimes against humanity, should not the CIA be reformed?

Let's put the question of morality aside. What are the "national security" reasons that legitimize the existence of the CIA? Once you learn that Al-Qaeda is a CIA creation and proxy insurgent army and that 9/11 was a massive false flag operation, you come to the natural conclusion that the CIA does not perform a national security role.

The CIA plays a much dirtier role: engineering the American mind. It is not denied that the shadow CIA has major influence in the mainstream media, especially amongst top newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Michael S. Rozeff speculates that the New York Times is entirely run by the CIA.

We can't know for certain if that is true because of the lack of historical documentation in the public domain, but there is a mountain of observable evidence that proves the CIA has many of its spooks working for the New York Times. Go here for just one example.

Until the American people demand that the U.S. government commit to radical transparency and the principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution, the shadow CIA and the mainstream media can twist history and manage public perceptions of reality as much as they like.

The shadow CIA's greatest power comes from its command of the American public mind as well as its ability to create a fictional version of history. The false flag September 11 events was the shadow CIA's biggest media operation to date. It was their Mona Lisa. They painted the canvas of reality with the brush of myth, and worked day and night to shape the collective memory of the American people while the horror of the tragic attacks was still fresh in the nation's mind.

Although the shadow CIA doesn't have a total command of the American mind and of history, as proven by the rise of the global 9/11 truth and justice movement, it possesses enough media power to mold world public opinion and dictate government policy for the United States with ease. There is no question that its power is totalitarian in nature and its aims are evil. It does not serve the interests of the American people; that much is clear.

How can there be freedom when CIA officials in television studios, newspaper offices, and publishing companies drive the public conversation and form the national narrative on every issue of significance. The global alternative media is the only global civil society actor that is putting limits on the CIA's power to make up history and suppress the truth about historical events like 9/11 and the occult sacrifice of JFK.

In the past, the shadow CIA was presented with roadblocks in the Congress. But 9/11 fixed that problem. The laws and the politics changed. In "The Big Chill," author Dan Froomkin says the absence of Congressional leadership in the post-9/11 political universe has strengthened executive power. Here is an excerpt his article:

After past periods of executive excess, the Fourth Estate was certainly more robust and arguably more persistent, but it also found natural allies in the other branches of government—particularly Congress. By contrast, over the summer of 2012, the publication of a minimal amount of new information regarding drones, cyberwarfare and targeted killings incited bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill—not to conduct hearings into what had been revealed, but to demand criminal investigations into the leaking.

That's how Congress has been ever since the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. "We never got our post 9/11 Church Committee," said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists's Project on Government Secrecy, referring to a special investigative Senate committee that held hearings on widespread intelligence abuses after the Watergate scandal. "What we've got instead is the intelligence oversight committee drafting legislation to penalize leaks."

Since the Congress is not willing to stand up for the rights of the American people, the truth, human rights, and the U.S. Constitution, then the American people and global civil society must stand up. Congress has no real power. According to a recent Rasmussen survey, Congress only has an eight percent approval rating. There are underground, neo-Nazi groups in Europe that are more popular than the Congress.

The mainstream media is no better. It is content with its role as a propaganda arm of the shadow CIA, and that is a tragedy. American newspapers have the power to improve their nation and change the world for the better, but instead they choose to cover up independent investigations of shady events like 9/11 that shed light on how the U.S. government really operates.

Alternative media outlets like Infowars.com, Veterans Today, Lew Rockwell.com, Washington's Blog, The Corbett Report, and countless others are doing the best they can to educate the American people and wake up humanity.

The last thing the shadow CIA wants to see is an informed and awakened America. It is waging a silent war on human consciousness because it is scared of an enlightened world. A world that is awake and aware of its crimes against humanity is its greatest nightmare.

If the shadow CIA has its way, it will continue inventing stories and passing it off as history with total immunity. But the global alternative media is telling the shadow CIA: Enough is enough, stop lying to the American people and the world.

The CIA's reckless disregard of U.S. traditions and laws made former President Harry Truman rethink his decision to create the CIA in the first place. On December 22, 1963, Truman wrote in The Washington Post:

For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations.

On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA about this agency (Wikipedia):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer list of features of National security state

In his book "Brave New World Order" (Orbis Books, 1992, paper), Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer argues that the Bush I war in Iraq (as well as Bush II invasion and occupation of the country) was an action of the military industrial complex usurping the "peace dividend". Iraq was attractive target as it has oil and far enough away to prove a good vehicle for eating up contract cash. He views the rise of the National Security Defense State as a consequence of "the threat of peace" for military industrial complex and identifies seven characteristics of a such a state:

  1. The military is the highest authority. In a National Security State the military not only guarantees the security of the state against all internal and external enemies, it has enough power to determine the overall direction of the society. In a National Security State the military exerts important influence over political, economic, as well as military affairs.
  2. Political democracy and democratic elections are viewed with suspicion, contempt, or in terms of political expediency. National Security States often maintain an appearance of democracy. However, ultimate power rests with the military or within a broader National Security Establishment.
  3. The military and related sectors wield substantial political and economic power. They do so in the context of an ideology which stresses that 'freedom" and "development" are possible only when capital is concentrated in the hands of elites.
  4. Obsession with enemies. There are enemies of the state everywhere. Defending against external and/or internal enemies becomes a leading preoccupation of the state, a distorting factor in the economy, and a major source of national identity and purpose.
  5. The working assumption is that the enemies of the state are cunning and ruthless. Therefore, any means used to destroy or control these enemies is justified.
  6. It restricts public debate and limits popular participation through secrecy or intimidation. Authentic democracy depends on participation of the people. National Security States limit such participation in a number of ways: They sow fear and thereby narrow the range of public debate; they restrict and distort information; and they define policies in secret and implement those policies through covert channels and clandestine activities. The state justifies such actions through rhetorical pleas of "higher purpose" and vague appeals to "national security."
  7. The church is expected to mobilize its financial, ideological, and theological resources in service to the National Security State.
Now we can add one additional feature
  1. Total surveillance

Compare that definition of the National Security State with the definition of Inverted Totalitarism. Most countries now have features of both.

The debate about National Security State reemerged in June 2008 due to revelations make about existence of the Prism program and similar program by British security services. For example, Jacob Augstein used the term "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism" in his article Europe Must Stand Up to American Cyber-Snooping published by SPIEGEL.

Here is an interesting comment of user MelFarrellSr in The Guardian discussion of the article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

Here's the thing about the NSA, the GCHQ, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, et al...

We all have to stop commenting as if the NSA and the GCHQ are in this thing on their own; the reality is that no one was supposed to know one iota about any of these programs; the NSA and the GCHQ began and put in place the structure that would allow all internet service providers, and indeed all corporations using the net, the ability to track and profile each and every user on the planet, whether they be using the net, texting, cell, and landline.

We all now know that Google, Yahoo, and the rest, likely including major retailers, and perhaps not so major retailers, are all getting paid by the United States government, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, our money, to profile 24/7 each and every one of us..., they know how we think, our desires, our sexual preferences, our religious persuasion, what we spend, etc.; make no mistake about it, they know it all, and what they don’t currently have, they will very soon…

These agencies and indeed all those who are paid by them, will be engaged over the next few weeks in a unified program of "perception management" meaning that they will together come up with an all-encompassing plan that will include the release of all manner of statements attesting to the enforcement of several different disciplinary actions against whomever for "illegal" breaches of policy...

They may even bring criminal actions against a few poor unfortunate souls who had no idea they would be sacrificed as one part of the "perception management" game.

Has anyone wondered why, to date, no one in power has really come out and suggested that the program must be curtailed to limit its application to terrorism and terrorist types?

Here’s why; I was fortunate recently to have given an education on how networks such as Prism, really work, aside from the rudimentary details given in many publications. They cannot, and will not, stop monitoring even one individuals activity, because to do so will eventually cause loss of the ability to effectively monitor as many as 2.5 Million individuals.

Remember the “Two to Three Hop” scenario, which the idiot in one of the hearings inadvertently spoke of; therein lies the answer. If the average person called 40 unique people, three-hop analysis would allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans Do the math; Internet usage in the United States as of June 30, 2012 reached a total of over 245,000,000 million…

The following link shows how connected the world is… http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm

We should never forget how the Internet began, and who developed it, the United States Armed Forces; initially it was known as Arpanet, see excerpt and link below…

"The Internet may fairly be regarded as a never-ending worldwide conversation." - Supreme Court Judge statement on considering first amendment rights for Internet users.

"On a cold war kind of day, in swinging 1969, work began on the ARPAnet, grandfather to the Internet. Designed as a computer version of the nuclear bomb shelter, ARPAnet protected the flow of information between military installations by creating a network of geographically separated computers that could exchange information via a newly developed protocol (rule for how computers interact) called NCP (Network Control Protocol).”

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa091598.htm

There is no government anywhere on the planet that will give up any part of the program…, not without one hell of a fight...

Incidentally, they do hope and believe that everyone will come to the same conclusion; they will keep all of us at bay for however long it takes; they have the money, they have the time, and they economically control all of us...

Pretty good bet they win...

Whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it ?

The book American Exceptionalism and Human Rights (edited by Ignatieff) raised an important and probably the most controversial question in world politics: whether the United States stands within the order of international law or outside it.

Following are based on the article by Laurence W. Britt published in Free Inquiry magazine

To a secular humanist, the principles of international law seems logical, right, and crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.

We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.

Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.

The following regimes can be studies in this respect: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. They constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible. Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.

One can wonder how many of those are applicable to Bush/McCain. What do you think ?
  1. Propaganda of nationalism and Exceptionalism ("shining city on the hill", beckon of democracy, etc). Prominent displays of flags and ubiquitous lapel pins. The fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy. Pride in the military, and demands for unity are way of expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a level of suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia (French fries - Freedom fries).

  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Despite "freedom rhetorics" the party views human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious and truth about gulags is out, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the parties would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, such as Muslims, communists/socialists/liberals, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Opponents of these party were inevitably labeled as terrorists stooges and dealt with accordingly.

  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites identified closely with the military. A disproportionate share of national budget is allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an ultimate expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

  5. Sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, the party covertly views women as second-class citizens. Often are both anti-abortion and homophobic with the cover of religious values. For propaganda reasons those attitudes were masterfully blended into strong support of the fundamentalist religious sects, thus lending the party some legitimacy to cover for its abuses.

  6. A controlled mass media. The mass media could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Control can be indirect and subtle with formal adoption of slogan about "free media". Methods included the control of licensing, access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders and owners of the mass media are part of the power elite. The result is rampant brainwashing, which usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the party's excesses.

  7. Obsession with national security. A national security apparatus is bend to come under direct control of the ruling elite. It is used to bypass laws as a direct instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

  8. Abuse of religion. The party attaches itself to the dominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of religious values. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with those values is swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents are “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the party is tantamount to an attack on religion.

  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

  10. Power of organized labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Being poor was considered akin to a vice.

  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these party. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities professors come under close scrutiny; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or scientific theories, especially economic, are strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed.

  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police is often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Criminal charges sometimes are used against political opponents. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of two candidates representing the same power elite are usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, suppressing responsibilities for legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.

Edward Snowden quotes about National Security State

The most recent debate about the legitimacy of national security state as exists in the USA was sparked by Edward Snowden revelations. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about National Security State modus operandi  might send a chill up your spine...


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Old News ;-)

[Jul 23, 2017] MoA - Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

Notable quotes:
"... Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier. ..."
"... Document hack could imperil subs in Oz, India, other countries ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... My suspicion is that this "reversal" was also made in the USA as a consequence of the strategy to use Islam as a "green belt" against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Political Islam was and is supported by US geopolitical rationale . ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo

With lots of details from obtained emails.

Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries.

---

With all the Trump-Russia nonsense flowing around one person's involvement in the creation of the issue deserves more scrutiny:

McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

---

Another Scorpene Submarine Scandal - Asia Sentinel (a bit older but it was new to me)

Document hack could imperil subs in Oz, India, other countries

Musburger | Jul 21, 2017 12:41:30 PM | 1

The first story is a muti-billion dollar illegal business network that potentially encompasses not only the CIA, but also several governments, the Clinton Foundation, David Patreus, investors (many of whom hold government positions) and God knows what else. It's possibly the greatest scam the world has ever seen.
ProPeace | Jul 21, 2017 12:43:24 PM | 2
I'm pretty sure MCain's "tumor" is fake to allow him to avoid prosecution and induce compassion.

Not a first (soon to be) "dead" suspect in a crucial investigation into the crimes of the global evil cabal, see e.g. some lords in the UK involved in pedophile scandals...

ProPeace | Jul 21, 2017 12:48:44 PM | 3
It would be nice to have a comprehensive list of sponsors of those fake lucrative speeches such front persons and puppets as Clintons, Saakashvili, Kwaśniewski, ... have been giving.

The Business Round Tables that Quigley and Sutton wrote about that live off wars and misery.

Petri Krohn | Jul 21, 2017 12:55:55 PM | 4
There is an amazing amount of detailed information from reliable sources on the U.S. sponsored, Saudi paid arms deliveries to terrorist in Syria, originating from the eastern parts of the European Union. I have collected some of the best sources here:

US covert war on Syria -> Weapon deliveries

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 12:56:46 PM | 5
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier

The third time is the Charm.

I am reminded

McCain can do no wrong:

His service to his country (it's alleged, by aiding the enemy);
The Keating Five; (I dindu nuttin wrong)
The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan)

McCain, once again, will be excused and forgiven. His actions were due to illness – the most aggressive cancer of the brain. How is that so?

james | Jul 21, 2017 12:58:42 PM | 6
thanks b.. the first part of your post reaffirms my comment in the previous thread about the usa, saudi arabia/gccs and israel being the terrorists that the world would be a lot better place without... "the contracts are with U.S. companies themselves hired by the CIA and/or Pentagon as well as with Saudi and Israeli companies.."
terry | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:09 PM | 7
Here is a link to The Dilyana Files – 1403 Email Attachments Posted https://www.truthleaks.org/news/343-the-dilyana-files-1403-email-attachments-posted
james | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:13 PM | 8
@5 likklemore ... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol...
ben | Jul 21, 2017 1:07:44 PM | 9
Thanks b, the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here.
WorldBLee | Jul 21, 2017 1:11:43 PM | 10
@2: The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. The cancer is real and he will be lauded for his courage and lionized if he dies. But should he survive he will carry on as usual with no apologies and no criticism.
nonsense factory | Jul 21, 2017 1:54:32 PM | 11
BBC News has a great little expose on tracking ISIS weapons captured in Mosul to their sources in Eastern Europe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8bwCj3lfsg
"The team has carried out painstaking research cataloging serial numbers and tracing the routes. They found crates of ammunition and rockets manufactured in factories in eastern Europe. These were bought by the governments of the US and Saudi Arabia."
Whether or not the arming and financing of ISIS groups was "accidental" or "deliberate" remains something of an open question; most likely the actual US policy from c.2011-2012 onwards was to give support to anyone trying to overthrow Assad's government regardless of affiliation. The architects of this plan? Clinton & McCain seem to be right at the center of it, with plenty of neocon/neolib supporters in Congress & the State Department/CIA/Pentagon (Nuland/Morrell/Carter etc.)
Oui | Jul 21, 2017 2:29:43 PM | 12
Sorry b .... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump.
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

  • there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.
  • there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media.
  • the issue is now in front of a British court.

Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s.

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21, 2017 3:02:30 PM | 13
Thanks, b. Love the lede...
350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for ter'rists - Trud

What a slimy little cur John McCain (Satan's Mini-Me) turns out to be. Guess how surprised I'm not that the little skunk is up to his eyeballs in weapons proliferation & profiteering, not to mention that old Yankee favourite Gun-barrel "Diplomacy".

I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured."

This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution.

psychohistorian | Jul 21, 2017 3:12:19 PM | 14
Thanks again for the excellent journalism b even though it reads like the trash on the rags in the grocery stores they make you look at while you check out.

I just hold out hope that the great unraveling continues and quickens its pace.

Curtis | Jul 21, 2017 3:32:48 PM | 15
Criminal activity under diplomatic cover should be prosecuted. They can pretend they didn't find out until it was too late. Or they can claim that they were letting it happen in order to track the players. Those excuses have been used for all kinds of cover for nefarious activites like Pakistan's AQ Khan NukeMart to distribute nuclear technology and materials. (See Deception and United States and the Islamc Bomb books) And there's Fast & Furious. In the end the cover comes from the political top of the trash heap.

The Dem/anti-Trump attempts to get dirt on Trump via Russians doesn't get play in the MSM. Nor does the content of the emails. They call the tune and the media plays on.

Curtis | Jul 21, 2017 3:38:37 PM | 16
nonsense factory 11
Thnx for the vid link. That evidence won't get to US MSM either. It makes the case for Tulsi Gabbard's efforts.
kpax | Jul 21, 2017 3:46:26 PM | 17
@likklemore #5
... just a malignant 'moderate' tumour to a moderately aggressive cerebral model.
likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 4:52:05 PM | 18
@james 8
[Reported by Independent.co.uk, New York Post and the Guardian.co.uk] McCain admitted he handed the dossier to Comey."

NYPost: McCain "I gave Russia blackmail dossier on Trump to the FBI"

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself

New York Post
http://nypost.com/2017/01/11/john-mccain-i-gave-russia-blackmail-dossier-on-trump-to-fbi/

Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Yes, there will be no accountability in the U.S. for the exceptional ones. However, the British courts setting aside "special relationships" may take a different view that McCain has a case to answer.


@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

Piotr Berman | Jul 21, 2017 5:46:21 PM | 19
The link suggests that the subs involved in the scandal are perhaps OK, and no hack compromised their worthiness in a possible military conflict. Neither there were any fatal accidents. The only losses in manpower (but quite a few) are among people engaged in the financial transactions that delivered them to various fleets.

Although there are possible danger to security, because bribery is used to blackmail involved in recruitment of spies.

Fidelios Automata | Jul 21, 2017 6:03:00 PM | 20
I hope the conspiracy theories are wrong, and that McInsane will soon suffer a well-deserved painful death.
BTW, I'm a long-time Arizonan, and I'm proud to say I've never voted for this traitor and have also signed the recall petitions against him.
radiator | Jul 21, 2017 6:16:53 PM | 21
I apologize for never contributing anything substantial but just emanating verbal support.
I hope this site has some mirrored archives. This is in its entirety a work of contemporary history (sorry my english's not good enough... mirror this site and give it some dumb ancestor of ours to read in 20, 50, 100 years, y'know).
I'm a broke lowlife but next time around I'll send some money.
radiator | Jul 21, 2017 6:19:21 PM | 22
damn I regret every cent I've spent on mainstream newspapers, although the last time I've done so has been years ago and maybe back then, they weren't so bad, but then again, they probably were and I just didn't notice.
Anonymous | Jul 21, 2017 7:01:32 PM | 23
The dog that didn't bark in the arms shipment story is the absense of Qatar in the list of recipient countries. It also seems that, whilst most (80%) were shipped through SA/UAE, more arms were shipped through Jordan (11%) than through Turkey (7%).

Bulgaria may also have been the location of military level training sites for foreigners. An intriguing report from June 2015 noted that an American was killed along with 2 foreigners (German and Canadian) in a grenade launcher accident of a PMC training center at Anevo, Bulgaria. The site was run by an company Algans (or Alguns).

http://sofiaglobe.com/2015/06/06/american-dies-four-injured-in-blast-at-bulgarias-vmz-sopot-ordnance-plant/

There are links to the infamous US military $500 million training program in which an unknown number of 'carefully vetted moderate rebels' were trained and all but 5 of them 'defected' to al Qaeda.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/mobbed-up-arms-dealer-in-american-anti-isis-effort-linked-to

Anonymous | Jul 21, 2017 7:14:05 PM | 24
"This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more" Hoarsewhisperer @13

The docs indicate the Balkans arm supply route took off in 2012. It will have brought in many billions of USD to the relatively poor east European countries. Before the Gulenist(?) shoot down of the Russian Su-24, Russia had been trying to get Turkey and Bulgaria interested in South Stream. I suspect Russia did indeed know the details of the arms shipment, and certainly knew about Turkey's cut of the ISIS oil sales. I suspect this deal may have been an attempt to wean the two off the terrorism funding spigot. This failed as the Bulgarian government is totally owned by the US. Erdogan's ego was manipulated by his Zionist handlers and eventually his stalling killed interest at theat time. The Russians would know this background too, but the deal had to be tried. If it had worked, then the Bulgarian arms train would possibly have been stopped and the Turkish border closed several years ago. This would have greatly cramped the capabilities of ISIS, simplifying the task of eliminating them. I suspect the Russians also knew it wouldn't pan out but it was certainly worth a shot whilst they was busily obtaining intelligence on the terrorists, and secretly negotiating the logistics, overflight access etc for what was to become its base at Hymeim.

somebody | Jul 21, 2017 7:15:18 PM | 25
23 also

Russia Hopes to Sign Agreement on Arms Re-Export From Bulgaria

The statement was followed by a publication of the Bulgarian Trud newspaper that mentioned the Arcus arms company as the producer of some arms produced in Bulgaria under Russian licenses, which were found by journalists in eastern Aleppo.
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 7:49:29 PM | 27
BBC News has a great little expose

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 21, 2017 1:54:32 PM | 11

Tillerson. Exxon. Petrodollar. Rockefellers.

BBC. MI6. BIS. Rothschilds.

https://youtu.be/Hgq4w4dqKsU

That's a good question.

nobody | Jul 21, 2017 8:07:41 PM | 28
Master: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/david-rockefeller.jpg

Blaster: https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/walkingdead/images/0/0c/Armedforces.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131116201742

Barter-Town: http://images.legalweek.com/images/IMG/277/144277/city-of-london-gherkin-finance.jpg

Mad-Max:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Vladimir_Putin_in_KGB_uniform.jpg/170px-Vladimir_Putin_in_KGB_uniform.jpg

http://madmaxmovies.com/mad-max/mad-max-cars/max-yellow-xb-interceptor-sedan/max-leaps-out-of-yellow-xb.jpg

fast freddy | Jul 21, 2017 8:20:34 PM | 29
Craven McCain has been teflon for his entire political career and he was teflon when he wrecked airplanes in the navy. McCain is just a teflon guy. Untouchable. Probably has "dossiers" on anybody that can damage him.
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 8:34:56 PM | 30
Sure, it's tempting to think this:

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/130617135443-hassan-rowhani-0617-horizontal-gallery.jpg

https://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/ru.starwars/images/6/6e/Wicket_rotj.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080114192500

But we do know that Islamic Republic is a creature of the British. (Longstanding history between the worldly priests of Iran and the defunct British Empire. Read up.)

virgile | Jul 21, 2017 10:15:43 PM | 32
No one will regret McCain... The next in line should be Erdogan...
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 10:26:39 PM | 33
https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480 ">https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480">https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/FEHE4E_I5FM/hqdefault.jpg

Trully, who but the ignorant make war against ALLAH?

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 1:06:13 AM | 35
They throw a hissy fit Neocon madness: We can't have peace in Syria, that would be giving in to Russia!

This is huge. An absolute outrage. The first real Trump concession to Putin that undermines U.S. security directly. https://t.co/h9WR4brHHK
! Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 19, 2017
Yeah, Right | Jul 22, 2017 6:40:44 AM | 45
@2 I have no doubt that McCain's medical condition is real. I well remember the news stories in early June when McCain put up a bizarre performance during testimony by James Comey - asking questions that simply didn't make any sense whatsoever and leaving everyone utterly gob-smacked regarding McCain's mental state.

So, yeah, brain tumour.

ghostship | Jul 23, 2017 6:03:50 AM | 62

OMG. the Washington Borg's house newspaper has woken up to Trump's surrender to Putin on Syria.
Trump's breathtaking surrender to Russia

But once again, President Trump, after extended personal contact with Vladimir Putin and the complete surrender to Russian interests in Syria, acts precisely as though he has been bought and sold by a strategic rival. The ignoble cutoff of aid to American proxies means that "Putin won in Syria," as an administration official was quoted by The Post.

Concessions without reciprocation, made against the better judgment of foreign policy advisers, smack more of payoff than outreach. If this is what Trump's version of "winning" looks like, what might further victory entail? The re- creation of the Warsaw Pact? The reversion of Alaska to Russian control?

Although this opinion article was posted a couple of days ago, there been no shitstorm near Trump about it since suggesting that Trump's one-man distraction/disinformation smokescreen is firing successfully on all cylinders.

Meanwhile, some in the US Army at least understand that once the battle to liquidate the ISIS Caliphate is other, they'll have problems remaining in Syria .

'We're bad day away from Russians asking, 'Why are you still in Syria?' – top US commander

A US special operations commander has admitted that an extended US stay in Syria runs contrary to international law and that Russia would be entirely justified in questioning its presence there.

At the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, Special Operations Command chief Army General, Raymond Thomas was asked whether American forces will remain in Syria, after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, possibly, to support the Kurdish forces in the north of the country.

Thomas acknowledged that American forces are fighting in a sovereign Syria, where they will likely "have no ability to stay" if that presence is questioned "in terms of international law," Thomas said, replying to the Washington Post journalist's question.


Although I'm sure that the State Department/Pentagon lawyers are looking for a reason to stay.
somebody | Jul 23, 2017 6:40:48 AM | 63
Posted by: nobody | Jul 22, 2017 11:08:41 PM | 61

Yep. Made in the USA .

By the time of Richard Nixon's arrival in office in January 1969, Iran was already America's single-largest arms purchaser. Whilst this is notable in and of itself, it is vastly overshadowed by what followed. By late 1972 Nixon leveraged U.S. Middle Eastern regional policy primarily around the focal point of a militarily strong, pro-American Iran.

Sounds familiar?

Iranian industrialization and westernization happened during the Shah. That is part of above story.

Same story in Saudi Arabia .

In Saudi Arabia, the 1960s, and especially the 1970s, had been years of explosive development, liberal experimentation, and openness to the West. A reversal of this trend came about abruptly in 1979, the year in which the Grand Mosque in Mecca came under attack by religiously motivated critics of the monarchy, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was established.

My suspicion is that this "reversal" was also made in the USA as a consequence of the strategy to use Islam as a "green belt" against the Soviet Union.

Same "reversal" from Atatürk happened in Turkey.

nobody | Jul 23, 2017 8:02:08 AM | 64
Posted by: somebody | Jul 23, 2017 6:40:48 AM | 63

" ... to restore the Shah's autocracy ..."

I'll get back to you on your OP but just wanted to note that little bit of misinformation from your first source.

The fact is that the young Shah was not an "autocrat" before 1953. Per his own claims he was watchful of the chaotic events in Iran but did not wish to overstep the constitutional bounds placed on the monarchy. Per other critical points of view, he was a playboy king who neglected his duties and was doing the Riviera chacha and living up the La Dolce Vita scene. A middle of the road view would summize that there was some truth to both points of view, but would add that he was in no position to assume "autocratic" rule.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autocrat

--

It is good to read others confirmation of my understanding about the sick tenets of our form of social organization.....private money and ongoing private ownership of property maintained by unfettered inheritance......It is not people that need to be eliminated but the tools that they use to exert power and control over the rest of us.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22, 2017 7:35:30 PM | 58

---

It is of critical importance for the Resistance to respect the integrity of the language you use to think and reason about the world.

somebody | Jul 23, 2017 9:29:18 AM | 65
64) It does not matter how small or great the Shah was, monarchy is not a viable option for modern governance.

Political Islam was and is supported by US geopolitical rationale .

Often overlooked in retelling the story of this particular Afghan war is the fact that the insurgency was pan-Islamic: there were eight Shi'i groups, trained and funded by Iran.
Curtis | Jul 23, 2017 9:42:27 AM | 66
nobody 50
About those "bizarre political fights." It sounds a lot like divide and conquer with all the fighters on the losing end expending themselves and resources while one group gets rich in the meantime. US MSM does not discuss the debt or what it really means or how to address it. During the Geithner/Bernanke protect the Fed tour, Geithner said it was most important that the US keep paying interest on the debt with no mention of paying the debt itself.
Curtis | Jul 23, 2017 9:51:59 AM | 67
nobody 61
Thanks for that link/story. I lived there from 70 to 72 as a young boy. Modernization vs the islamists vs student protests was going on. Even now there is a virtual divide of the capital north and south. My brother climbed Tochal (Tehran) and wanted to climb Demavand. During any religious holidy we were told to keep a very low profile and my father told me to avoid buildings with the black flag (with arabic writing) hanging. Shahanshah did good in spite of himself.
Peter AU. | Jul 23, 2017 10:03:12 AM | 68
took some time to dig up but, as noted earlier, any effort at industrialization by the Pahlavi Kings, was alway viewed as a threat by the West.

It was Reza Shah that built the first Iranian Railroad:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Iranian_Railway

http://www.k-en.com/gonagon/National_Geography_April_1921.pdf

Curtis | Jul 23, 2017 10:55:39 AM | 69
My family once traveled the route from Tehran to the Caspian that ran along the rail route for a while. Desert east of Tehran but once in the mountains it's very lush and green. There are lots of tunnels and switchbacks along the rail route.
Veresk Bridge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veresk_Bridge

Austrian designed the bridge. But Germany was partners in the rail effort. The wiki version of the legend says the engineers were under the bridge for the first crossing. The legend we heard was that they rode the train across to prove its sturdiness.

[Jul 23, 2017] Dismantling McCains Disastrous Legacy Should Now Be Trumps Top Priority

Notable quotes:
"... Notice how quiet Lindsay Graham has been the last couple of weeks. ..."
"... Don't forget that Diane Feinstein, McCain's Democrat doppleganger is retiring in 2018. Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are gone. The generation of U.S. legislators that brought us this madness are being put out to pasture. Nancy Pelosi is in trouble as House Minority Leader. ..."
"... The fact is, that Senate rules as they stand with McCain, Graham, Corker and Rubio, require a two-thirds majority (including filibuster-proofing) to get anything fundamentally changed. There's still a lot of work to do, but the worst of the opposition to Trump and the people's desire to roll back our insane foreign policy is behind us, not in front of us. ..."
"... Make no mistake, the neocons will attempt to regroup. Arizona Governor Don Ducey is now the most important person in the U.S. as he will be the one to appoint McCain's replacement when that time comes. They will drag this out for as long as possible, holding McCain's seat open to continue stalling Trump's reform agenda. But both of these moves are rearguard actions rather than part of a counter-attack. ..."
"... like Old Shoe in the movie Wag the Dog, for one last kick at the anti-Russia can to enact legislation there is no coming back from. The hagiography of McCain began the moment the information was released. Everyone virtue-signaling their tails off to look sympathetic. But, the reality is most are scared of what happens next. ..."
"... Once McCain is officially done, appointing people just as bad as McCain to his influential seats on the Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committee will become the U.S. Deep State's top priority. The problem is, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now terminally wounded over his mishandling of Obamacare. So, McConnell will have little control over the process. He's looking back at what happened to John Boehner and seeing his future. McConnell tried to salvage his leadership with an Obamacare full repeal vote that failed. The Blame in Ukraine Falls Mainly on McCain. But, for right now, Trump has an opportunity to ignore the full-court Russia-gate press being put on by his opposition to make substantive foreign policy moves that don't involve antagonizing Russia. He can start in Ukraine. It's time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to open up talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Ukraine. Now that Zakharchenko in Donetsk has given everyone a way to implement a real solution to McCain's mess without having to look like they backed down over Minsk II and easing Russian sanctions. ..."
"... Merkel can save face by throwing Poroshenko under the bus and admitting Malorussia is a viable alternative to Minsk. Because with McCain gone, the EU now owns the mess in Ukraine because Trump is not interested in funding it any further. ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | russia-insider.com

McCain's Hate Talk Express to Hell

With him gone the driving force is gone as well. Many who stood with McCain on these issues did so because Washington is the ultimate 'go along to get along' kind of place. And few, if any, in the Senate have his drive to continue the work. Notice how quiet Lindsay Graham has been the last couple of weeks.

Many will see the writing on the wall and kiss the ring of President Trump to avoid a primary challenge in the spring.

And some will see this as a great opportunity to retire now that the status quo has shifted. Don't forget that Diane Feinstein, McCain's Democrat doppleganger is retiring in 2018. Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are gone. The generation of U.S. legislators that brought us this madness are being put out to pasture. Nancy Pelosi is in trouble as House Minority Leader.

Do you really think many Democrats and RINOs have the will to fight now that their GOP Trojan Horse is on chemo?

The fact is, that Senate rules as they stand with McCain, Graham, Corker and Rubio, require a two-thirds majority (including filibuster-proofing) to get anything fundamentally changed. There's still a lot of work to do, but the worst of the opposition to Trump and the people's desire to roll back our insane foreign policy is behind us, not in front of us.

He's a McCainiac!

Make no mistake, the neocons will attempt to regroup. Arizona Governor Don Ducey is now the most important person in the U.S. as he will be the one to appoint McCain's replacement when that time comes. They will drag this out for as long as possible, holding McCain's seat open to continue stalling Trump's reform agenda. But both of these moves are rearguard actions rather than part of a counter-attack.

My biggest fear is that they drag him out, wheelchair-bound, like Old Shoe in the movie Wag the Dog, for one last kick at the anti-Russia can to enact legislation there is no coming back from. The hagiography of McCain began the moment the information was released. Everyone virtue-signaling their tails off to look sympathetic. But, the reality is most are scared of what happens next.

Once McCain is officially done, appointing people just as bad as McCain to his influential seats on the Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committee will become the U.S. Deep State's top priority.

The problem is, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now terminally wounded over his mishandling of Obamacare. So, McConnell will have little control over the process. He's looking back at what happened to John Boehner and seeing his future. McConnell tried to salvage his leadership with an Obamacare full repeal vote that failed.

The Blame in Ukraine Falls Mainly on McCain. But, for right now, Trump has an opportunity to ignore the full-court Russia-gate press being put on by his opposition to make substantive foreign policy moves that don't involve antagonizing Russia.

He can start in Ukraine. It's time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to open up talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Ukraine. Now that Zakharchenko in Donetsk has given everyone a way to implement a real solution to McCain's mess without having to look like they backed down over Minsk II and easing Russian sanctions.

Merkel can save face by throwing Poroshenko under the bus and admitting Malorussia is a viable alternative to Minsk. Because with McCain gone, the EU now owns the mess in Ukraine because Trump is not interested in funding it any further.

That paves the way for what her foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel talked about earlier in the week, ending sanctions gradually and abandoning Minsk II as a pre-requisite for talks.

And that is John McCain's biggest legacy, one where ideology was more important than discussion. He stifled U.S. diplomacy to such a degree in recent years that it pushed us to the brink of war with nuclear-armed superpowers.

[Jul 21, 2017] July 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

Jul 21, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , July 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

Try not to laugh.

Let the manpower deployment figures sink in:

People do see soldiers from enhanced Forward Presence, our British and French allies. They also see the Baltic Air Police Mission airplanes flying over their heads on exercise or scrambling to look at the planes which are violating our airspace ! Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia.

Liar.

et Al , July 21, 2017 at 7:21 am
EFP – Erectile Failure Projection more like. NATO limpness is on open show by their media department.
Moscow Exile , July 21, 2017 at 7:36 am
Facing the NATO death or glory in the name of freedom and democracy boys (and girls, don't forget), the largest contingent of which being 1,000 US personnel, including ice-cream and soda fountain artificers first class, is this:

Western Military District

Western Military District (WEST) was established in September 2010 in accordance with the presidential decree of 20 September 2010 on the basis of two military regions – Moscow and Leningrad. The structure also includes WEST Northern and Baltic Fleets and the 1st Air Force and Air Defence Command

As part of the troops WEST are units and formations totaling over 400 thousand soldiers, representing about 40% of the total population of the Armed Forces. WEST subordinate to the commander of all deployed in the district military formations of species and genera of the RF Armed Forces, with the exception of the Strategic Missile Forces and the Forces Aerospace Defence. In addition, the operational control of its military forces are the Interior Ministry, the FSB Border Troops, as well as part of the MOE and other ministries and departments, performing tasks within the county.

[My stress ! ME]

See: Western Military District

Who does NATO really think it is kidding?

[Jul 21, 2017] Is the CIA Reformable by Melvin A. Goodman

Notable quotes:
"... tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout! ..."
"... In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt. ..."
"... The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA ..."
"... The Failure of Intelligence ..."
"... Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

The CIA's mission has gone dangerously and lethally astray, argues Melvin A. Goodman, former CIA intelligence analyst.

Whistleblower at the CIA tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout!

In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt.

Whistleblowers. Dissidents. Contrarians.

The terms are used synonymously by pundits and the public, and I've been all three at one time or another in order to expose improprieties and illegalities in the secret government, and to inform the American public of policies that compromise the freedom and security of US citizens and weaken US standing in the global community.

I have never liked the terms contrarian or dissident. I've always believed that my criticism should be conventional wisdom. The term whistleblower is more complex because it often raises questions of patriotism or sedition. Chelsea Manning received commutation from her 35-year prison sentence for revealing so-called secrets that documented the terror and violence of the baseless US war in Iraq. Members of the Bush administration who launched the invasion of Iraq in 2003 are considered honorable members of our society, although their acts involved the corruption of intelligence; caused the death of thousands of US soldiers and foreign civilians; terrorized civilian populations; perpetrated the criminal use of torture and abuse; sanctioned use of secret prisons and extraordinary rendition; and caused the destabilization of the region that has set the stage for strategic advances by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Edward Snowden, if he had remained in the United States, would have faced an even longer prison sentence because he revealed the massive NSA surveillance program that was illegal and immoral, and that violated the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal seizures and searches. Manning and Snowden admit to breaking US laws, but their actions were never as serious as the law-breaking, including massive violations of privacy, that they exposed.

The debate over whether Snowden was a traitor is fatuous. As a result of Snowden's revelations, we learned that the National Security Agency logged domestic phone calls and emails for years, recorded the metadata of correspondence between Americans, and, in some cases, exploited the content of emails. The case against Private Manning was similarly fatuous. Manning provided evidence of the US cover-up of torture by our Iraqi allies; a US Army helicopter opening fire on a group of civilians, including two Reuters journalists; and the use of an air strike to cover up the execution of civilians. Some of these acts were war crimes.

There is no more compelling evidence of the unconscionable behavior of US personnel in Iraq than the callous dialogue between the crew members of the helicopter regarding the civilian deaths and particularly the firing on those Iraqis who came to recover the dead bodies of Iraqi civilians. Manning's documents exposed this behavior, but her efforts were ridiculed by former secretary of defense Robert Gates, who described it as examining war by "looking through a straw."

To make matters worse, American journalists have criticized their colleagues (Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald [then of The Guardian]) who brought the Snowden-Manning revelations to the attention of the public. David Gregory, then host of the venerable "Meet the Press" on NBC, asked Greenwald "to the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden ... why shouldn't you ... be charged with a crime?" Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer who labors for CNN and The New Yorker, called Snowden a "grandiose narcissist who belongs in prison" and referred to Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, who was detained by British authorities for nine hours under anti-terror laws, the equivalent of a "drug mule."

The king of calumny is Michael Grunwald, a senior correspondent for Time, who wrote on Twitter that he couldn't "wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange." The New York Times also targeted Assange, although the paper cooperated with WikiLeaks in 2010 in publishing reams of information from Private Manning's revelations. Of course, if Time or the New York Times had broken these stories, they would have built new shelves to hold their Pulitzer Prizes. Their hypocrisy was exposed by David Carr of the New York Times, who expressed shock at finding Assange and Greenwald "under attack, not just from a government bent on keeping its secrets, but from friendly fire by fellow journalists."

I didn't reveal abuses as great as those revealed by Manning and Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg, but I do claim status as a whistleblower because of my revelations before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during confirmation hearings for Bob Gates, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to be director of central intelligence. According to US law, the term "whistleblower" applies to anyone who "reasonably believes" he or she is disclosing a violation of law or gross mismanagement, gross waste, or abuse of authority. My testimony documented for the first time the intentional distortion of intelligence by CIA director William Casey and Deputy Director Gates in order to serve the agenda of Ronald Reagan and his administration.

Bob Gates was an old friend, but the friendship ended when he routinely distorted intelligence throughout the 1980s as deputy director for intelligence and deputy director of the CIA. In destroying the political culture of the CIA, he created a toxic and corrupt environment at the Agency, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA detention and torture reminds us that the Agency hasn't recovered.

Being a contrarian was easy and natural for me. In fact, no one should think about entering the intelligence profession without good contrarian instincts. Such instincts would include an innate skepticism, the doubting of conventional wisdom and a willingness to challenge authority, which translates to an ability to tell truth to power. These contrarian instincts are essential to the success of any intelligence organization. As Rogers and Hammerstein would have it, it was "doing what comes naturally!"

My book The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA was the first insider account from an intelligence analyst regarding the skewed and politicized assessments of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence -- the Agency's analytic arm. I also exposed the strategic failure of covert actions that were never intended to be a part of President Harry Truman's CIA. I wrote the book for many reasons, including the need to describe the inability of journalists to take into account, let alone understand, the dangers of politicization and the actions of CIA directors such as Casey, Gates, and more recently Goss and Tenet. The political pliancy of these directors fully compromised the intelligence mission of the CIA, and it was political pliancy that made directors such as Gates and Tenet so attractive to Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Truthout Progressive Pick
Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence

"Urgent, timely, and deeply recommended." -- Daniel Ellsberg. Click here now to get the book!


For the past quarter century, my testimony and writings have exposed the failure to honor President Truman's purpose in creating a CIA to provide policymakers with accurate, unbiased accounts of international developments, and have highlighted the CIA's readiness to cater to the White House. This view is not original with me; in fact, it was President Truman who first acknowledged that the CIA he created in 1947 had gotten off the tracks under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy in the 1950s and early 1960s.

In December 1963, less than a month after the assassination of President Kennedy, Truman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to document the wrongs of the CIA. He concluded that his efforts to "create the quiet intelligence arm of the Presidency" had been subverted by a "sinister" and "mysterious" agency that was conducting far too many clandestine activities in peacetime. I lectured at the Truman Library in the summer of 2014, and found a note in Truman's hand that stated the CIA was not designed to "initiate policy or to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized."

In The Failure of Intelligence , I documented the CIA's resistance to reform and the corruption in both the analytical and operational directorates. I made a case for starting over at the CIA, not dissimilar from the case made by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan 25 years ago as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Not every agency or department of government can be reformed, and it is possible that the intricate web of habits, procedures, and culture places the CIA in the non-reformable category. Once the political culture of an institution such as the CIA has been broken, it is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to rebuild or repair it.

Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. Melvin A. Goodman Melvin A. Goodman served as a senior analyst and Division Chief at the CIA from 1966 to 1990. An expert on US relations with Russia, his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's and many others. He is author of six books on US intelligence and international security. Related Stories CIA Asked to Release Documents Related to Massacre in El Salvador By Carmen Rodriguez, CIP Americas Program | Report CIA Watchdog "Mistakenly" Destroys Its Sole Copy of Senate Torture Report By Sarah Lazare, AlterNet | News Analysis CIA Cables Detail Its New Deputy Director's Role in Torture By Raymond Bonner, ProPublica | Report

[Jul 20, 2017] Empire of Destruction: Precision Warfare? Don't Make Me Laugh by Tom Engelhard

Notable quotes:
"... This should be the definition of victory as defeat, success as disaster. It's also a pattern. It's been the essential story of the American war on terror since, in the month after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush loosed American air power on Afghanistan. That first air campaign began what has increasingly come to look like the full-scale rubblization of significant parts of the Greater Middle East. ..."
"... In some ways, much of the rubblization of the Greater Middle East in recent years could be thought of as, however unconsciously, a campaign of vengeance for the horror and insult of the air assaults on that September morning in 2001, which pulverized the tallest towers of my hometown. Ever since, American war has, in a sense, involved paying Osama bin Laden back in kind, but on a staggering scale. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, a shocking but passing moment for Americans has become everyday life for whole populations and innocents have died in numbers that would add up to so many World Trade Centers piled atop each other. ..."
"... In early October 2011, the Bush administration unleashed its air power on Afghanistan, a campaign that, in a sense, would never end but simply spread across the Greater Middle East. (By now, the U.S. has launched repeated air strikes in at least seven countries in the region.) At that moment, someone emailed me an article by Tamim Ansary, an Afghan who had been in the U.S. for years but had continued to follow events in his country of birth. ..."
"... His piece, which appeared at the website Counterpunch ..."
"... In this country, there is essentially no sense of responsibility for the spread of terrorism, the crumbling of states, the destruction of lives and livelihoods, the tidal flow of refugees , and the rubblization of some of the planet's great cities. There's no reasonable assessment of the true nature and effects of American warfare abroad: its imprecision, its idiocy, its destructiveness. In this peaceful land, it's hard to imagine the true impact of the imprecision of war, American-style. Given the way things are going, it's easy enough, however, to imagine the scenario of Tamim Ansari writ large in the Trump years and those to follow: Americans continuing to bomb the rubble they had such a hand in creating across the Greater Middle East. ..."
"... Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the ..."
"... American Empire Project ..."
"... and the author of ..."
"... as well as a history of the Cold War, ..."
"... . He is a fellow of the ..."
"... Nation Institute ..."
"... . His latest book is ..."
Jul 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

You remember. It was supposed to be twenty-first-century war, American-style: precise beyond imagining; smart bombs; drones capable of taking out a carefully identified and tracked human being just about anywhere on Earth; special operations raids so pinpoint-accurate that they would represent a triumph of modern military science. Everything "networked." It was to be a glorious dream of limited destruction combined with unlimited power and success. In reality, it would prove to be a nightmare of the first order.

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization. Let me explain what I mean.

In recent weeks, another major city in Iraq has officially been " liberated " ( almost ) from the militants of the Islamic State. However, the results of the U.S.-backed Iraqi military campaign to retake Mosul, that country's second largest city, don't fit any ordinary definition of triumph or victory. It began in October 2016 and, at nine months and counting, has been longer than the World War II battle of Stalingrad. Week after week, in street to street fighting, with U.S. airstrikes repeatedly called in on neighborhoods still filled with terrified Mosulites, unknown but potentially staggering numbers of civilians have died. More than a million people , yes, you read that figure correctly , were uprooted from their homes and major portions of the Western half of the city they fled, including its ancient historic sections, have been turned into rubble .

This should be the definition of victory as defeat, success as disaster. It's also a pattern. It's been the essential story of the American war on terror since, in the month after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush loosed American air power on Afghanistan. That first air campaign began what has increasingly come to look like the full-scale rubblization of significant parts of the Greater Middle East.

By not simply going after the crew who committed those attacks but deciding to take down the Taliban, occupy Afghanistan, and in 2003, invade Iraq, Bush's administration opened the proverbial can of worms in that vast region. An imperial urge to overthrow Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, who had once been Washington's guy in the Middle East only to become its mortal enemy (and who had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11), proved one of the fatal miscalculations of the imperial era.

So, too, did the deeply engrained fantasy of Bush administration officials that they controlled a high-tech, precision military that could project power in ways no other nation on the planet or in history ever had; a military that would be, in the president's words , "the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known." With Iraq occupied and garrisoned ( Korea-style ) for generations to come, his top officials assumed that they would take down fundamentalist Iran (sound familiar?) and other hostile regimes in the region, creating a Pax Americana there. (Hence, the particular irony of the present Iranian ascendancy in Iraq.) In the pursuit of such fantasies of global power, the Bush administration, in effect, punched a devastating hole in the oil heartlands of the Middle East. In the pungent imagery of Abu Mussa, head of the Arab League at the time, the U.S. chose to drive straight through "the gates of hell."

Rubblizing the Greater Middle East

In the 15-plus years since 9/11, parts of an expanding swathe of the planet , from Pakistan's borderlands in South Asia to Libya in North Africa , were catastrophically unsettled. Tiny groups of Islamic terrorists multiplied exponentially into both local and transnational organizations, spreading across the region with the help of American "precision" warfare and the anger it stirred among helpless civilian populations. States began to totter or fail . Countries essentially collapsed, loosing a tide of refugees on the world, as year after year, the U.S. military, its Special Operations forces , and the CIA were increasingly deployed in one fashion or another in one country after another.

Though in case after case the results were visibly disastrous, like so many addicts, the three post-9/11 administrations in Washington seemed incapable of drawing the obvious conclusions and instead continued to do more of the same (with modest adjustments of one sort of another). The results, unsurprisingly enough, were similarly disappointing or disastrous.

Despite the doubts about such a form of global warfare that candidate Trump raised during the 2016 election campaign, the process has only escalated in the first months of his presidency. Washington, it seems, just can't help itself in its drive to pursue this version of war in all its grim imprecision to its increasingly imprecise but predictably destructive conclusions. Worse yet, if the leading military and political figures in Washington have their way, none of this may end in our lifetime. (In recent years, for example, the Pentagon and those who channel its thoughts have begun speaking of a " generational approach " or a " generational struggle " in Afghanistan.)

If anything, so many years after it was launched, the war on terror shows every sign of continuing to expand and rubble is increasingly the name of the game. Here's a very partial tally sheet on the subject:

In addition to Mosul, a number of Iraq's other major cities and towns , including Ramadi and Fallujah , have also been reduced to rubble. Across the border in Syria, where a brutal civil war has been raging for six years, numerous cities and towns from Homs to parts of Aleppo have essentially been destroyed. Raqqa, the "capital" of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, is now under siege. (American Special Operations forces are already reportedly active inside its breached walls, working with allied Kurdish and Syrian rebel forces.) It, too, will be "liberated" sooner or later , that is to say, destroyed.

As in Mosul, Fallujah, and Ramadi, American planes have been striking ISIS positions in the urban heart of Raqqa and killing civilians , evidently in sizeable numbers, while rubblizing parts of the city. And such activities have in recent years only been spreading. In distant Libya, for instance, the city of Sirte is in ruins after a similar struggle involving local forces, American air power, and ISIS militants. In Yemen, for the last two years the Saudis have been conducting a never-ending air campaign (with American support ), significantly aimed at the civilian population; they have, that is, been rubblizing that country, while paving the way for a devastating famine and a horrific cholera epidemic that can't be checked, given the condition of that impoverished, embattled land.

Only recently, this sort of destruction has spread for the first time beyond the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa. In late May, on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, local Muslim rebels identified with ISIS took Marawi City. Since they moved in, much of its population of 200,000 has been displaced and almost two months later they still hold parts of the city, while engaged in Mosul-style urban warfare with the Filipino military ( backed by U.S. Special Operations advisers). In the process, the area has reportedly suffered Mosul-style rubblization.

In most of these rubblized cities and the regions around them, even when "victory" is declared, worse yet is in sight. In Iraq, for instance, with the "caliphate" of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi now being dismantled, ISIS remains a genuinely threatening guerilla force, the Sunni and Shiite communities (including armed Shiite militias) show little sign of coming together, and in the north of the country the Kurds are threatening to declare an independent state. So fighting of various sorts is essentially guaranteed and the possibility of Iraq turning into a full-scale failed state or several devastated mini-states remains all too real, even as the Trump administration is reportedly pushing Congress for permission to construct and occupy new "temporary" military bases and other facilities in the country (and in neighboring Syria).

Worse yet, across the Greater Middle East, "reconstruction" is basically not even a concept . There's simply no money for it. Oil prices remain deeply depressed and, from Libya and Yemen to Iraq and Syria, countries are either too poor or too divided to begin the reconstruction of much of anything. Nor , and this is a given , will Donald Trump's America be launching the war-on-terror equivalent of a Marshall Plan for the region. And even if it did, the record of the post-9/11 years already shows that the highly militarized American version of "reconstruction" or "nation building" via crony warrior corporations in both Iraq and Afghanistan has been one of the great scams of our time. (More American taxpayer dollars have been poured into reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan alone than went into the whole of the Marshall Plan and it's painfully obvious how effective that proved to be.)

Of course, as in Syria's civil war, Washington is hardly responsible for all the destruction in the region. ISIS itself has been a remarkably destructive and brutal killing machine with its own impressive record of urban rubblization. And yet most of the destruction in the region was triggered, at least, by the militarized dreams and plans of the Bush administration, by its response to 9/11 (which ended up being something like Osama bin Laden's dream scenario ). Don't forget that ISIS's predecessor, al-Qaeda in Iraq, was a creature of the American invasion and occupation of that country and that ISIS itself was essentially formed in an American military prison camp in that country where its future caliph was confined.

mini-surge of troops and air power in Afghanistan; deployed for the first time the largest non-nuclear weapon in its arsenal there; promised the Saudis more support in their war in Yemen; has increased its air strikes and special operations activities in Somalia; is preparing for a new U.S. military presence in Libya; increased U.S. forces and eased the rules for air strikes in civilian areas of Iraq and elsewhere; and sent U.S. special operators and other personnel in rising numbers into both Iraq and Syria.

No matter the president, the ante only seems to go up when it comes to the "war on terror," a war of imprecision that has helped uproot record numbers of people on this planet, with the usual predictable results: the further spread of terror groups, the further destabilization of state structures, rising numbers of displaced and dead civilians, and the rubblization of expanding parts of the planet.

While no one would deny the destructive potential of great imperial powers historically, the American empire of destruction may be unique. At the height of its military strength in these years, it has been utterly incapable of translating that power advantage into anything but rubblization.

Living in the Rubble, a Short History of the Twenty-First Century

Let me speak personally here, since I live in the remarkably protected and peaceful heart of that empire of destruction and in the very city where it all began. What eternally puzzles me is the inability of those who run that imperial machinery to absorb what's actually happened since 9/11 and draw any reasonable conclusions from it. After all, so much of what I've been describing seems, at this point, dismally predictable.

If anything, the "generational" nature of the war on terror and the way it became a permanent war of terror should by now seem too obvious for discussion. And yet, whatever he said on the campaign trail, President Trump promptly appointed to key positions the very generals who have long been immersed in fighting America's wars across the Greater Middle East and are clearly ready to do more of the same. Why in the world anyone, even those generals, should imagine that such an approach could result in anything more "successful" is beyond me.

In many ways, rubblization has been at the heart of this whole process, starting with the 9/11 moment. After all, the very point of those attacks was to turn the symbols of American power , the Pentagon (military power); the World Trade Center (financial power); and the Capitol or some other Washington edifice (political power, as the hijacked plane that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania was undoubtedly heading there) , into so much rubble. In the process, thousands of innocent civilians were slaughtered.

In some ways, much of the rubblization of the Greater Middle East in recent years could be thought of as, however unconsciously, a campaign of vengeance for the horror and insult of the air assaults on that September morning in 2001, which pulverized the tallest towers of my hometown. Ever since, American war has, in a sense, involved paying Osama bin Laden back in kind, but on a staggering scale. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, a shocking but passing moment for Americans has become everyday life for whole populations and innocents have died in numbers that would add up to so many World Trade Centers piled atop each other.

The origins of TomDispatch , the website I run, also lie in the rubble. I was in New York City on that day. I experienced the shock of the attacks and the smell of those burning buildings. A friend of mine saw a hijacked plane hitting one of the towers and another biked into the smoke-filled area looking for his daughter. I went down to the site of the attacks with my own daughter within days and wandered the nearby streets, catching glimpses of those giant shards of destroyed buildings.

In the phrase of that moment, in the wake of 9/11, everything "changed" and, in a sense, indeed it did. I felt it. Who didn't? I noted the sense of fear rising nationally and the repetitious ceremonies across the country in which Americans hailed themselves as the planet's most exceptional victims, survivors, and (in the future) victors. In those post-9/11 weeks, I became increasingly aware of how a growing sense of shock and a desire for vengeance among the populace was freeing Bush administration officials (who had for years been dreaming about making the "lone superpower" omnipotent in a historically unprecedented way) to act more or less as they wished.

As for myself, I was overcome by a sense that the period to follow would be the worst of my life, far worse than the Vietnam era (the last time I had been truly mobilized politically). And of one thing I was certain: things would not go well. I had an urge to do something, though no idea what.

In early October 2011, the Bush administration unleashed its air power on Afghanistan, a campaign that, in a sense, would never end but simply spread across the Greater Middle East. (By now, the U.S. has launched repeated air strikes in at least seven countries in the region.) At that moment, someone emailed me an article by Tamim Ansary, an Afghan who had been in the U.S. for years but had continued to follow events in his country of birth.

His piece, which appeared at the website Counterpunch , would prove prescient indeed, especially since it had been written in mid-September, just days after 9/11. At that moment, as Ansary noted, Americans were already threatening , in a phrase adopted from the Vietnam War era , to bomb Afghanistan "back to the Stone Age." What purpose, he wondered, could possibly be served by such a bombing campaign since, as he put it, "new bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs"? As he pointed out, Afghanistan, then largely ruled by the grim Taliban, had essentially been turned into rubble years before in the proxy war the Soviets and Americans fought there until the Red Army limped home in defeat in 1989. The rubble that was already Afghanistan would only increase in the brutal civil war that followed. And in the years before 2001, little had been rebuilt. So, as Ansary made clear, the U.S. was about to launch its air power for the first time in the twenty-first century against a country with nothing, a country of ruins and in ruins.

From such an act he predicted disaster. And so it would be. At the time, something about that image of air strikes on rubble stunned me, in part because it felt both horrifying and true, in part because it seemed such an ominous signal of what might lie in our future, and in part because nothing like it could then be found in the mainstream news or in any kind of debate about how to respond to 9/11 (of which there was essentially none). Impulsively, I emailed his piece out with a note of my own to friends and relatives, something I had never done before. That, as it turned out, would be the start of what became an ever-expanding no-name listserv and, a little more than a year later, TomDispatch .

A Plutocracy of the Rubble?

So the first word to fully catch my attention and set me in motion in the post-9/11 era was "rubble." It's sad that, almost 16 years later, Americans are still obsessively afraid for themselves, a fear that has helped fund and build a national security state of staggering dimensions. On the other hand, remarkably few of us have any sense of the endless 9/11-style experiences our military has so imprecisely delivered to the world. The bombs may be smart, but the acts couldn't be dumber.

In this country, there is essentially no sense of responsibility for the spread of terrorism, the crumbling of states, the destruction of lives and livelihoods, the tidal flow of refugees , and the rubblization of some of the planet's great cities. There's no reasonable assessment of the true nature and effects of American warfare abroad: its imprecision, its idiocy, its destructiveness. In this peaceful land, it's hard to imagine the true impact of the imprecision of war, American-style. Given the way things are going, it's easy enough, however, to imagine the scenario of Tamim Ansari writ large in the Trump years and those to follow: Americans continuing to bomb the rubble they had such a hand in creating across the Greater Middle East.

And yet distant imperial wars do have a way of coming home, and not just in the form of new surveillance techniques , or drones flying over "the homeland," or the full-scale militarization of police forces. Without those disastrous, never-ending wars, I suspect that the election of Donald Trump would have been unlikely . And while he will not loose such "precision" warfare on the homeland itself, his project (and that of the congressional Republicans) , from health care to the environment , is visibly aimed at rubblizing American society. If he were capable, he would certainly create a plutocracy of the rubble in a world where ruins are increasingly the norm.

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture . He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com . His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World .

[Jul 19, 2017] On Crapified News And Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... The diminishing capacity to get a proper look at global affairs is related to the rise in Imperial Hubris of the Outlaw US Empire, which I turn degrades your ability to properly respond to events--particularly those created by Empire policy. I think this is a part of what b's writing about here. ..."
"... It is more than just rise, however correctly pointed out by you, of Imperial Hubris--the whole panoply of the "tools" of military-political analysis is plain and simple wrong. This failure is based on a metaphysical mistake -- wrong reading of history, especially of the 20th Century, which led to an ultimate failure in understanding the issues of scales and proportions. What was merely a once in a lifetime window of opportunities due to a specific combination of geopolitical, military, economic etc. factors in the immediate wake of WW II was perceived as a dialectic and inevitable march of history in favor of messianic USA, not a gift to be cherished. Sand castles on the beach, however, do not live long, the high tide has arrived some time ago. ..."
"... As in the US DOJ, FBI, CIA etc., are organizations aimed directly to protect oligarchic rule, IRG protects ruling class of clerics in Iran, in both countries under guise of protecting constitution and law and order, earthly or heavenly. ..."
"... Unfortunately, "What was merely a once in a lifetime window of opportunities due to a specific combination of geopolitical, military, economic etc. factors in the immediate wake of WW II was perceived as a dialectic and inevitable march of history in favor of messianic USA," this "metaphysical mistake" had already ingrained itself into the Outlaw US Empire's Mythos as Manifest Destiny and quickly found its way into all realms of discourse by the mid-1840s. The creation and perpetuation of such a grandiose mythos can only be done though lies and the deliberate falsification of history. ..."
"... While I don't disagree with you, it has to be well understood that any big "player" by 19th Century had its own version of Manifest Destiny e.g. Russia as a Third Rome. But it was namely through WW II where US could claim a "victory" over Nazism (hence a vast field of Anglo-American WW II history falsifiers) and thus realize itself as a continental power that the issue of exceptionalism really have got into over-drive and resulted in US literally running itself into the ground. When one has a political class (and population) not conditioned by continental warfare--it is almost inevitable. ..."
"... I get the impression the situation is typically less a matter of, "the editors demand a fast one on some less familiar issue", than certain intelligence operatives tasked with gaming the media echo chamber, feed well placed assets prioritized talking points to create the illusion of a 'thing'. ..."
"... Just look at the media shitstorm regarding Russia, different crap, same difference! ..."
Jul 19, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Significant parts of the Trump administration , Congress and the general Zionist borg would love to start a war between the U.S. and Iran.

A war is unlikely. Iran's geography and strategic position is unassailable. Its global political standing has increased during the last decades. Any war with Iran would be extremely costly yet unwinnable.

But with U.S. pressure again increasing on Iran it is important to learn and understand what happens inside of country. Unfortunately most reporting about politics within Iran is bit of a mess. Considers the piece below from the Washington Post. Written from Turkey by a journalist who (to my best knowledge) does not speaks Farsi nor has any special knowledge of the country: With U.S. scholar's conviction, power struggle escalates between Iran's president and hard-liners

ISTANBUL ! A high-stakes power struggle between Iran's moderate president and his hard-line opponents in the judiciary appeared to escalate with the arrest of the president's brother and the conviction of an American student for espionage this weekend ! rulings that seemed timed to embarrass the Iranian leader at home and abroad

The piece should be classic foreign reporting. But who is speaking here?

There is certainly no reason to lambast the journalist, Erin Cunningham, for being lazy. Getting five telephone or email interviews and authorized quotes for the piece was surely a day's work. But how come there is no voice from Iran? The only quote from an Iranian person, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is in translation of a lobby shop in New York which does not reveal its sponsors. Is the quote correct? The other "expert" are all from outlets that are more or less adverse to Iran's system of governance.

The piece makes the recent dispute and judicial action look extraordinary and sensational. It connects it to actions in Washington DC:

The tensions come as Iran and the United States spar over the terms of a nuclear deal struck with world powers to limit Iran's nuclear weapons program.
...
The Trump administration has taken a much harsher stance on Iran, threatening to abandon the deal, and the Treasury Department on Tuesday announced new sanctions primarily targeting Iran's ballistic missile program.
...
The arrest and conviction of Wang, a 37-year-old scholar at Princeton, appeared to target Rouhani's wider foreign policy and engagement with the West. Although Wang was detained in August 2016, the timing of the verdict is suspect, analysts say.

"Why did they keep it a secret as long as they did? Timing is important," said Alex Vatanka, an Iran expert at the Middle East Institute in Washington.

Conflicts between the executive and the judiciary in Iran are legend and reoccur at least every other year. They are independent of the president being "moderate" or "hard-line" himself. Consider the obvious similarities between the above lede and this one from 2012 :

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) ! The head of Iran's judiciary lashed out at the country's president Wednesday, the latest salvo in an escalating political conflict that has undermined much of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's political clout

The Iranian constitution and political system is build on the principal of Vilayat-e Faqih, the guardianship of the (Islamic) jurists. The undecided question is how absolute the primacy of the jurists is supposed to be. The interpretations vary widely and often depend on the issue at hand. The executive will naturally assert primacy wherever it can, while absolute principalists in the judiciary will always assert that their jurisprudence is prime. The conflict is daily bread in Tehran and it makes no sense to sensationalize it.

The arrest of the president's brother for corruption may well be justified. It should astonish no one. It could be timed to assert pressure but we have no way to know that. It would be mere speculation to say so. Experience has show that effective coordination within the Iranian state machinery is way less than western authors tend to assume.

The U.S. student/spy had already been imprisoned for eleven months. That he was convicted now is likely not related to any Trump tantrum or epiphany. Washington's capers are less important in Tehran as the U.S. would like them to be.

All together the piece shows the typical pitfalls of U.S. reporting on Iran (and many other countries).

One original voice from within Tehran's ruling circuit would have been more valuable to the above piece than the five think tank quotes. A few more words about the historic role of the judiciary would have helped to set some perspective. Connecting the political theater in Tehran to Trump's zigzags makes it easier to write the lede. But there is no justification for it without evidentiary backing.

Despite the nitpicking I don't regard the Cunningham piece as bad at all. Each day there are way worse reports in the papers and on cable TV. It is probably the best one can do when the editors demand a fast one on some less familiar issue. Over the last years many experienced foreign correspondents were fired or paid to leave. Main-stream media replaced serious foreign reporting with childish "listicals", high school level "explainers" and cat pictures.

When a few dailies and news shows drive foreign policy making the lack of in-depth reporting becomes a serious issue. Members of Congress and the administration get much of their foreign policy knowledge from U.S. media reports. It is no wonder that they are clueless when those reports lack insight and details. The crapification of high decision making is probably directly related to the crapification of the news media. Trump taking his clues from Fox News (and others) is bad. Fox News (and others) having no well reported clues at all is even worse.

Posted by b on July 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

Freespirit | Jul 19, 2017 12:14:14 PM | 1

Yeh, sure I am going to believe an, in effect, "ALL-AMERICAN" stooges reporting about anything stated as FACT from or about Iran

Keep in mind what ,who and Chacteristics of WHOM we are dealing with:

Perpetual WAR, ISRAEL , CHRISTIANS, JEWS, Muslims and the CONNECTION: https://boblivingstonletter.com/alerts/america-perpetual-war/

AND

Psychopathy by James Corbett: https://youtu.be/DPf5i84BqcA

AND

Trump's NEW WORLD ORDER, run by Jews, with him as Temporary Chief Stooge : http://www.realjewnews.com/?p=1222

karlof1 | Jul 19, 2017 12:18:08 PM | 2
Southfront has a report about a just released stink tank study: "A new study conducted by members of the U.S. military establishment has concluded that the U.S.-led international global order established after World War II is "fraying" and may even be "collapsing" as the U.S. continues to lose its position of "primacy" in world affairs." https://southfront.org/us-military-establishment-study-american-empire-collapsing/ https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=1358

The diminishing capacity to get a proper look at global affairs is related to the rise in Imperial Hubris of the Outlaw US Empire, which I turn degrades your ability to properly respond to events -- particularly those created by Empire policy. I think this is a part of what b's writing about here.

Willy2 | Jul 19, 2017 12:28:28 PM | 3
- One doesn't have to occupy Iran in its entirety. One can simply occupy the Khuzestan oil province in the west of Iran to cripple the Iranian government.
Yul | Jul 19, 2017 12:42:28 PM | 4
@b

http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/en/page/1970219/All+Rumors+about+Hassan+Rouhani%E2%80%99s+Recently+Arrested+Brother+Hossein+Fereidoun.html

somebody | Jul 19, 2017 12:49:32 PM | 5
3
that is why Iran has specialized in all types of missiles for the last decades or so.
Pnyx | Jul 19, 2017 12:59:03 PM | 6
Important background. Thank you B.
Yul | Jul 19, 2017 1:16:32 PM | 7
@2 karlof1

Nafeez Ahmed did a good job dissecting the 145 pages report:
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/pentagon-study-declares-american-empire-is-collapsing-746754cdaebf

Mike Maloney | Jul 19, 2017 1:36:03 PM | 8
Believe it or not, NYT's Tehran correspondent, Thomas Erdbrink, is pretty good. I remember seeing a video a couple years ago where Erdbrink profiles Najiyeh Allahdad, a daughter of a martyr in the Iran-Iraq War I believe. It was very sympathetic to the revolution. In the bio of Allahad NYT published they included this:
How do you describe yourself? I'm an Iranian Muslim who uses any opportunity to improve her country and who protects her country's reputation in the world. I love life, and I love peace. I feel that what people have lost in this world is spirituality. I've devoted my life to trying to find this spirituality for myself first and then to help others enjoy it.

Have you traveled outside of Iran? Where? What did you think? I have traveled to India, China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, the United States and Syria. I found some Eastern countries like India and China to be very civilized, but they have not used their civilization to improve their daily lives. On the other hand, I found the Western countries to be detached from their histories and stepping into a new world that has an unclear future. Some Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. seemed too dependent on Western countries and would be nothing without help from the U.S. And a country like Iraq has always been hampered by circumstances throughout its history.

There is a strong body of opinion within the U.S. national security state that believes along with b that Iran cannot be defeated militarily. Trump is doing the bidding of his buddies in Jeddah and Tel Aviv.
Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 19, 2017 1:50:12 PM | 9
A beautiful piece of analytical, sequential surgery, b.
I was watching a doco at the weekend and #Occupy was mentioned, reminding me that we can thank #Occupy for the introduction of 1%/99% into the lexicon, and the #Occupiers for the meme...

The America dream
You have to be asleep
To believe it.

Similarly, I'm grateful to Trump for linking the terms "Fake News" and "Mainstream Media" and making each an autonomic reminder of the other.

james | Jul 19, 2017 2:23:52 PM | 10
thanks b... msm is superficial at best... unfortunately they are beholden to israel's agenda which is the same as the military, financial and neo-con industries... until that changes, it will be playing fast with facts in order to perpetuate more war... good to know what the msm is really about... it isn't about anything in depth, that's for sure!
karlof1 | Jul 19, 2017 2:54:20 PM | 11
Yul @7--

Thanks! I noted Southfront cited him and linked to his article.

To continue my thought on this: Garbage in leads to garbage out. In the process of propagandizing and indoctrinating the populous, you dumb them down to the point that to be effective analysts and policy makers people must be reeducated. My #1 example is Trump. He's been fed so much Crappola his entire life that it negatively affects his thought processes and judgment. At least he's willing to call such crappola for what it is, although he in turn produces his own version of it often.

A very good example of the change in the elite's philosophy from 1776 to today is found in this clause from the Outlaw US Empire's Declaration of Independence:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

And then compared to this exemplary expression of hubris from Karl Rove:

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality ! judiciously, as you will ! we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

In other words, we don't give a damn about what anybody else thinks or what the law says--pretty much the same sentiments uttered by every megalomaniac that ever existed.

How to return to the prudent, moral, and law-based philosophy penned by Jefferson that seems to guide the Multipolar Alliance? Where was it reported in the Western media that Iran sanctioned the Outlaw US Empire for its overwhelmingly obvious support for terrorism that I noted yesterday:

"In view of the overt support provided to terrorist groups by the US government and the country's military and intelligence forces and repeated confessions by American officials to having created terrorist groups and offered them all-out support, from the standpoint of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the entirety of the United States' military and intelligence forces are considered as supporters of terrorist groups in the region." http://theduran.com/us-iran-sanctions-are-a-tit-for-tat-measure-that-is-part-of-a-wider-geo-strategic-reality/

Just how many Outlaw US Empire citizens are aware of the fact that it was deemed necessary by a member of congress to introduce a bill entitled the Stop Arming Terrorists Act that affirms the Iranian Parliament's decision to sanction such behavior. And how many citizens are aware that their government's behavior flaunts numerous UNSCRs and is thus in violation of International Law--the very same International Law it championed in 1940--Atlantic Charter--which resulted in the UN Charter and UN organization? As someone who was trained to teach US History, I can tell you I was never taught a huge amount of very important facts about the Outlaw US Empire--indeed, many of my presentations and essays resulted in educating my professors! And some talk of colonizing Mars! That's a huge howler! And I haven't even touched upon Junk Economics and its related Randian Crappola.

SmoothieX12 | Jul 19, 2017 3:15:59 PM | 12
@2, karlof1
The diminishing capacity to get a proper look at global affairs is related to the rise in Imperial Hubris of the Outlaw US Empire, which I turn degrades your ability to properly respond to events--particularly those created by Empire policy. I think this is a part of what b's writing about here.

It is more than just rise, however correctly pointed out by you, of Imperial Hubris--the whole panoply of the "tools" of military-political analysis is plain and simple wrong. This failure is based on a metaphysical mistake -- wrong reading of history, especially of the 20th Century, which led to an ultimate failure in understanding the issues of scales and proportions. What was merely a once in a lifetime window of opportunities due to a specific combination of geopolitical, military, economic etc. factors in the immediate wake of WW II was perceived as a dialectic and inevitable march of history in favor of messianic USA, not a gift to be cherished. Sand castles on the beach, however, do not live long, the high tide has arrived some time ago.

TimmyB | Jul 19, 2017 3:55:08 PM | 13
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that a country's executive branch has clashed with its judiciary branch. Errr, isnt that the entire point of separating these two government functions, so they will clash instead of having the judicary act as a rubber stamp for the executive? In the US, we call it the "Separation of Powers Doctrine." What is so wrong when other countries, such as Iran, have the same policy our Founding Fathers wanted us to have?
Kalen | Jul 19, 2017 4:04:21 PM | 14
Of course there is nothing sensational to write about, everyday occurrence elbowing for influence peddling and positioning within grid of political power.
But more interesting is what such a common, for US Iran and most of other countries, occurrences really mean, namely political game within strictly limited range of moves mostly for benefit of electoral audience entertainment while constitutional and judicial framework makes sure that Deep state and Rulling elite interests, political and economic are satisfied no matter what.

As in the US DOJ, FBI, CIA etc., are organizations aimed directly to protect oligarchic rule, IRG protects ruling class of clerics in Iran, in both countries under guise of protecting constitution and law and order, earthly or heavenly.

Unfortunately, the overall collapse of civilization corrupted by money and power in a unprecedented global dimension of mass mental enslavement, extereme radical consumerism, religion,nationalism or delusional psychotic cult of globalism and suicidal growth of social cancers is ubiquitous within societies crazed by fetish of material or immaterial social products or commodities, monetizing everything including most of all human flesh, relations, culture, religion, and humanist egalitarian societies. Such a decomposing ocean of human flesh spawned an mercenary army of human looking zombies conditioned and ready to violently defend their own enslavement for whatever reason was fed into their rotten brains.


karlof1 | Jul 19, 2017 4:17:43 PM | 15
SmoothieX12 @12--

Thanks for your reply! Unfortunately, "What was merely a once in a lifetime window of opportunities due to a specific combination of geopolitical, military, economic etc. factors in the immediate wake of WW II was perceived as a dialectic and inevitable march of history in favor of messianic USA," this "metaphysical mistake" had already ingrained itself into the Outlaw US Empire's Mythos as Manifest Destiny and quickly found its way into all realms of discourse by the mid-1840s. The creation and perpetuation of such a grandiose mythos can only be done though lies and the deliberate falsification of history. As Hoarsewhisperer @9 intoned:

"The America dream
You have to be asleep
To believe it."

SmoothieX12 | Jul 19, 2017 5:17:29 PM | 16
@15, Karlof1
Outlaw US Empire's Mythos as Manifest Destiny and quickly found its way into all realms of discourse by the mid-1840s. The creation and perpetuation of such a grandiose mythos can only be done though lies and the deliberate falsification of history

While I don't disagree with you, it has to be well understood that any big "player" by 19th Century had its own version of Manifest Destiny e.g. Russia as a Third Rome. But it was namely through WW II where US could claim a "victory" over Nazism (hence a vast field of Anglo-American WW II history falsifiers) and thus realize itself as a continental power that the issue of exceptionalism really have got into over-drive and resulted in US literally running itself into the ground. When one has a political class (and population) not conditioned by continental warfare--it is almost inevitable.

spinworthy | Jul 19, 2017 5:43:58 PM | 18
Regarding, "crapification".

I get the impression the situation is typically less a matter of, "the editors demand a fast one on some less familiar issue", than certain intelligence operatives tasked with gaming the media echo chamber, feed well placed assets prioritized talking points to create the illusion of a 'thing'.

Any western reporting on America's/Israel's numero uno enemy du jour cannot be anything other than psyops. The strategy of 'full spectrum' BS necessitates that the media become the biggest (and most cost effective) venue for conducting psyops.

Just look at the media shitstorm regarding Russia, different crap, same difference!

karlof1 | Jul 19, 2017 6:12:07 PM | 19
SmoothieX12 @16--

"The issue of exceptionalism"

Yes, on the international stage I must agree with you, although it would've occurred earlier if the US government hadn't censored George Seldes's interview with Hindenburg shortly after the Armistice. Hindenburg: "The American infantry won the World War in battle in the Argonne." (p 24; You Can't Print That ; George Seldes; Payson & Clarke, Ltd; New York; 1929)

Arguably, however, if the interview hadn't been censored and been published as the world-wide scoop that it was, then the "Stab in the Back" propaganda charge wouldn't have had anything to uphold it and Hitler's movement wouldn't have happened, although it's very likely the Pacific War would've occurred regardless. Censorship and Propaganda always have unforeseen consequences.

nobody | Jul 19, 2017 7:00:42 PM | 20
a century old discussion

Posted by b on July 19, 2017 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

Not sure where you are getting that number from. The doctrine was introduced by Khomeini, at some point after his exile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokumat-e_Islami_:_Velayat-e_Faqih_%28book_by_Khomeini%29

It is also not a "discussion", b. It is a thought-crime to criticize this doctrine in the Islamic Republic.

Laguerre | Jul 19, 2017 7:20:15 PM | 23
re 3 willy2
- One doesn't have to occupy Iran in its entirety. One can simply occupy the Khuzestan oil province in the west of Iran to cripple the iranian government.
That was what Saddam thought in 1980. I suppose that's a bit too much like ancient history for you to know anything about that war.
nobody | Jul 19, 2017 7:56:58 PM | 24
messianic USA

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jul 19, 2017 5:17:29 PM | 16

Is it not true that (some) Russians believe that ("Holy") Russia has a messianic role to play in the history of mankind?

To what extent would you say this self perception is prevalent among the Russian people and the Russian ruling elite?

George Smiley | Jul 19, 2017 7:57:45 PM | 25
https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-trump-orders-cia-halt-financial-military-aid-rebels-syria/

WOW

nobody | Jul 19, 2017 8:05:15 PM | 26
[The New York Times] was very sympathetic to the revolution.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 19, 2017 1:36:03 PM | 8

No shit. Afterall, the West provided assistance at every turn to the "revolutionaries" -- many of whom are now residents of USA -- to topple the Shah of Iran. Most of you know zip about Iran, "1953", and the role of Soviet Union, UK, France, Germany, and United State of America in the concerted effort to topple the uber nationalist Shah of Iran. You will not write our history for us, I assure you.

Curtis | Jul 19, 2017 8:06:02 PM | 27
For any planned future for Iran, look at the pictures from Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Gaza. As to the usual suspects, it's funny that they're Mideast experts but mostly connected to Israel.

George Smiley 25

The break in US support for the rebel factions is interesting in that it hasn't been public in US MSM. This includes the new coalition that doesn't want to attack Syrian government forces.

nobody | Jul 19, 2017 8:13:58 PM | 28
WOW

Posted by: George Smiley | Jul 19, 2017 7:57:45 PM | 25

Is "WOW" a neologism for Déjà vu?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boland_Amendment

Liam | Jul 19, 2017 9:22:07 PM | 34
Just released and there is nothing else like it - Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17 https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/07/19/truth-of-ukraine-war-revealed-watchdog-media-institute-releases-definitive-chronological-timeline-video-of-ukrainian-war-from-euromaidan-to-mh-17/
Temporarily Sane | Jul 19, 2017 10:29:27 PM | 37
@29 ben

Concise and spot-on summary that sums up the state of "journalism" in 2017.

@18 spinworthy

Remember 911 hero Ashleigh Banfield ? Her "fall from grace" is a typical example of what happens to American journalists who try to tell tell the truth about the empire's wars.

[Jul 17, 2017] This Is The Most Dangerous Time Ever Ex-CIA Boss Says US To Blame For Scourge Without Parallel ISIS

Notable quotes:
"... Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall." ..."
"... My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil. ..."
"... I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them. ..."
"... Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so. ..."
"... The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list. ..."
"... CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection. ..."
"... CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings. ..."
"... No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today! Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame. ..."
"... The Devil's Chessboard ..."
Nov 23, 2015 | Zero Hedge

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before.

According to The Hill,

"I think this is the most dangerous time in terms of sustained violence," he said on "The Cats Roundtable" in an interview airing Sunday on New York's AM-970.

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Devine cited the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an unprecedented threat in terms of its wanton disregard for human life...

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

"You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there," Devine said.

Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall."

Devine, who mainly served during the Cold War, said ISIS is a scourge without parallel because it has no concern for self-preservation.

"There is nothing that can be compared with nuclear weapons and their use," he said of tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

"[But] people felt safe in the sense there was countervailing balance," he added. "Early in our contest with the Russians, it was clear we had checks and balances."

Finally Devine admits...

"If there's blame to be put, it's on our failure to have done that by this point."

Selected Skeptical Comments

i_call_you_my_base

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s..."

"And by dealt I mean trained and funded."

Looney

John Kerry to the MSM:

Do not use "Al Qaeda" or "Al Nustra" - just call them "Allies" (pronounced Al Lies). ;-)

Looney

Vatican_cameo

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

By small group he means CIA, Right? I thought he would have been a little clearer.

Occident Mortal

My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil.

Paveway IV

"...once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe..."

I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them.

The U.S. blocked the first Iran pipeline (called the Persian Pipeline) FROM IRAN to Iraq in 2010 by forcing the Swiss company that partnered with Iran to back out due to Israeli - ooops, 'Western' sanctions on Iran. The second Iran-sourced NG pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria - called the Friendship Pipeline - was agreed to in 2012 by the countries involved. That's when the U.S. launched it's failed coup attempt in Syria and let its ISIS mad-dogs loose in Iraq. Tyler usually refers to this by the derogatory label of "Islamic Pipeline" - a snide label that Kagan-PNAC and Western oil companies used. Tyler never refers to the Western-backed Qatari pipeline as the Jihadi Pipeline, nor does he refer to the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline as the Jewish Pipeline. I'm not sure about the inconsistency - maybe he's trying to make some point.

Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so.

goldhedge

The CIA guy doesn't mention the House of Saud.

Pfft.

Jack Burton

Good catch! And there never do.

CIA and House of Saud have done a long term deal to look out for each other in this world. The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list.

CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection.

CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings.

scrappy

Somewhere it's 3:00 AM

Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Claims Saudi Arabia is the Largest Donor to "Salafism Terrorists" Worldwide

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2015/11/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-cl...

Clinton Foundation's Colombian 'Private Equity Fund' Deletes Website

http://investmentwatchblog.com/clinton-foundations-colombian-private-equ...

sgt_doom

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today!

Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame.

Recommended reading (to better understand why the USA is known as the Great Satan):

The Devil's Chessboard, by David Talbot

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+devil%27s+chessboard&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=78875381302&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2565125617248777980&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_34lcz93rcf_e_p4

logicalman
Funny how these fucks can come out and say this kind of shit and get away with it. The fucker's basically pleading guilty to murder, FFS.
Ms No
They didn't kill anybody in South America my ass.... The school of Americas, Operation Condor, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador .... who the hell are they kidding? The CIA has always been covered and nobody ever cared.
Perimetr
"If there's blame to be put. . ."

It's on the CIA for running its global terrorist operations, funded by the $1 trillion dollars a year coming from its Afghanistan heroin operation.

Noplebian

US Gives Their Proxy Army ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Air Strikes......

http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/11/us-gives-their-prox...

blindman

sirs and madams,
.
"Christmas celebration this year is going to be a charade because the whole world is at war. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war. A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be-a little here, a little there-there is no justification.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now? What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers."

Francis I
.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/here-is-british-banned-...

Dinero D. Profit

Ladies and gentlemen of ZH.

In history, what must be, will be.

The discovery of America by Europe had to happen. The savages had to be eliminated and The Revolutionary War had to happen. Slavery had to begin, and after it, segregation had to begin, but, what must be, will be, slavery and segregation had to end. Old School colonization of poor nations had to happen. The Boer War had to happen. The Spanish American War had to happen. The Main had to be sunk. WWI had to happen. Calvary charges had to end. Totalitarian Communism had to happen. Germany's 20's depression had to happen, reactionary jingoism had to happen, and Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire had to happen. The Allies had to win WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be publicity stunts, and the Cold War had to begin. JFK had to be wacked, the Vietnam War had to happen, the FED still was happening. Civil Rights laws had to be passed. Recognition of China had to happen, going off the gold standard had to happen, and Nixon had to be kicked out of office. Corporate Globalization had to begin. After Carter an actor had to be President. Unions had to be stifled. Perestroika and glasnost had to happen. The Berlin Wall had to come down. The MIC had to find another enemy, and suddenly 9/11 had to happen.

Over population has to happen, poisoning the environment has to happen, and the NWO has to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NWO is here, and there is nothing you can do, and nothing you could have done to stop it.

Edit. I see none of our supposed enemies 'truth bombing' 9/11, 7/7, and the 13th Paris attacks. I see no trade embagoes, I see no arguments in the Security Council over the illegality of US/Nato bombing in Syria.

blindman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_79...
Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy
Posted: 08/03/2015 11:48 am EDT
.
On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell." ...
.
it is the money "system", man.

blindman

corporations and hoodwink powers ride on the indifference of the damned, the silence of the dead and doomed.

Dinero D. Profit

The Satus Quo can rely upon the loyalty of their employees, Congress, the military, the military industrial contractors, their workers and family members, the crime control establishment, all Uniersity professors and employees, and every employee of all publically traded companies, and every person employed by the MSM.

The dead and doomed are irrelevant. If you have an establishment job, you'll obey and ask no vital questions.

Dick Buttkiss
Sunnis and Shiites hate each other far more than they hate Christians, Jews, or anyone else. If it weren't for oil, the USG wouldn't give a flyiing fuck if they anihilated each other. Instead, it conspires with them in ways far beyond its ability to comprehend, much less navigate. Thus is the US ship of state heading for the shoals of its destruction, the only question being how much of the country and the outside world it takes down with it.
ross81
thats bullshit Western propaganda that Shiites hate Sunnis and vice versa. In the same way that the Brits stirred up Protestant hatred of Catholics in Ulster for centuries, the US/Israel/Saudi does the same with Sunnis vs Shiites on a much bigger scale in the Middle East. Divide and Conquer.
geno-econ
This is getting scary in that one or two more attacks will result in travel freezes, flow of Middle East oil and result in huge increase in military as well as Homeland security costs. A depression or economic collapse a real possibility Perhaps time for a Peace Conference of all interested parties. The US started this shit and should be the first to call for a Peace Conference. Macho talk will only make things worse.
moonmac
We can print trillions out of thin air at the drop of a hat but we can't kill a small group of terrorists. Got it!
sgt_doom
Or, we pour billions of dollars every year into the CIA, NSA, and DIA, and only a poor old fart such as myself can figure out that Bilal Erdogan is the ISIS connection to oil trading (Turkish president, Erdogan's son) and Erdogan's daughter is with ISIS?
GRDguy
Ex-CIA boss gets it wrong, again.

"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

should be:

"When you have a small group of financial sociopaths willing to lie-to, steal-from and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

and you'll probably be punished, jailed or shot for tryin' to protect yourself and your family.

Ban KKiller
War profiteer. That is it. Along wth James Comey, James Clapper, Jack Welch and the list is almost endless...
BarnacleBill
"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Simply take out the word "their", and the description perfectly fits the CIA, MI6 and their like. For them, it's all a business deal, nothing more - a massive slum-clearance project. Destroy people's houses, provide accommodation and food, ship them somewhere else; do it again and again until the money-printing machine conks out. It's money for old rope.

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2015/11/slum-clearance-on-massive-scale.html

And, yes, we're all vulnerable. The man got that right.

Duc888
"You get the politicians you deserve."

CIA types are appointed, not elected.

Duc888
I do not know if there are any Catherine Austin Fitts fans on this web site but this is definitely worth the time. The FEDGOV came after her non stop for 6 years when she worked for HUD under Bush Sr. If nothing else this lady is tenacious. In this presentation she uncorks exactly HOW the deep black budgets are paid for...and it ain't your tax dollars. What she uncovered while at HUD was simply amazing..... and she made an excellent point. At the top... it's NOT "fraud" because that's how it was all deigned right from the get go after wwII. It brings to mind the funny computer saying....."it's a feature, not a bug".

She digs right into how the CIA was funded... Truly amazing stuff. ...of course the dick head brigade will come along here and deride her because of the conference she is speaking at.... well, who the fuck cares, her presentation is excellent and filled with facts.

Yes it is 1 hour 20 minutes long but imho it is well worth the watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0mimIp8mr8

Dragon HAwk
After reading all these posts my only question is why does the CIA allow Zero Hedge to Exist ?

except of course to collect names...

[Jul 17, 2017] CIA sought to hack Apple iPhones from earliest days

Notable quotes:
"... Efforts to break into Apple products by government security researchers started as early as 2006, a year before Apple introduced its first iPhone and continued through the launch of the iPad in 2010 and beyond, The Intercept said. ..."
Mar 10, 2015 | The Intercept/Reuters

CIA researchers have worked for nearly a decade to break the security protecting Apple (AAPL.O) phones and tablets, investigative news site The Intercept reported on Tuesday, citing documents obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The report cites top-secret U.S. documents that suggest U.S. government researchers had created a version of XCode, Apple's software application development tool, to create surveillance backdoors into programs distributed on Apple's App Store.

The Intercept has in the past published a number of reports from documents released by whistleblower Snowden. The site's editors include Glenn Greenwald, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work in reporting on Snowden's revelations, and by Oscar-winning documentary maker Laura Poitras.

It said the latest documents, which covered a period from 2006 to 2013, stop short of proving whether U.S. intelligence researchers had succeeded in breaking Apple's encryption coding, which secures user data and communications.

Efforts to break into Apple products by government security researchers started as early as 2006, a year before Apple introduced its first iPhone and continued through the launch of the iPad in 2010 and beyond, The Intercept said.

Breeching Apple security was part of a top-secret program by the U.S. government, aided by British intelligence researchers, to hack "secure communications products, both foreign and domestic" including Google Android phones, it said.

Silicon Valley technology companies have in recent months sought to restore trust among consumers around the world that their products have not become tools for widespread government surveillance of citizens.

Last September, Apple strengthened encryption methods for data stored on iPhones, saying the changes meant the company no longer had any way to extract customer data on the devices, even if a government ordered it to with a search warrant. Silicon Valley rival Google Inc (GOOGL.O) said shortly afterward that it also planned to increase the use of stronger encryption tools.

Both companies said the moves were aimed at protecting the privacy of users of their products and that this was partly a response to wide scale U.S. government spying on Internet users revealed by Snowden in 2013.

An Apple spokesman pointed to public statements by Chief Executive Tim Cook on privacy, but declined to comment further.

"I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services," Cook wrote in a statement on privacy and security published last year. "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will."

Leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have expressed concern that turning such privacy-enhancing tools into mass market features could prevent governments from tracking militants planning attacks. The CIA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

[Jul 16, 2017] William Astore on War as Art and Advertising – Antiwar.com Blog

Jul 12, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Consider this article a work of speculation; a jumble of ideas thrown at a blank canvas.

A lot of art depicts war scenes, and why not? War is incredibly exciting, dynamic, destructive, and otherwise captivating, if often in a horrific way. But I want to consider war and art in a different manner, in an impressionistic one. War, by its nature, is often spectacle; it is also often chaotic; complex; beyond comprehension. Perhaps art theory, and art styles, have something to teach us about war. Ways of representing it and capturing its meaning as well as its horrors. But also ways of misrepresenting it; of fracturing its meaning. Of manipulating it.

For example, America's overseas wars today are both abstractions and distractions. They're also somewhat surreal to most Americans, living as we do in comparative safety and material luxury (when compared to most other peoples of the world). Abstraction and surrealism: two art styles that may say something vital about America's wars.

If some aspects of America's wars are surreal and others abstract, if reports of those wars are often impressionistic and often blurred beyond recognition, this points to, I think, the highly stylized representations of war that are submitted for our consideration. What we don't get very often is realism. Recall how the Bush/Cheney administration forbade photos of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Think of all the war reporting you've seen on U.S. TV and Cable networks, and ask how many times you saw severed American limbs and dead bodies on a battlefield. (On occasion, dead bodies of the enemy are shown, usually briefly and abstractly, with no human backstory.)

Of course, there's no "real" way to showcase the brutal reality of war, short of bringing a person to the front and having them face fire in combat ! a level of "participatory" art that sane people would likely seek to avoid. What we get, as spectators (which is what we're told to remain in America), is an impression of combat. Here and there, a surreal report. An abstract news clip. Blown up buildings become exercises in neo-Cubism; melted buildings and weapons become Daliesque displays. Severed limbs (of the enemy) are exercises in the grotesque. For the vast majority of Americans, what's lacking is raw immediacy and gut-wrenching reality.

Again, we are spectators, not participants. And our responses are often as stylized and limited as the representations are. As Rebecca Gordon put it from a different angle at TomDispatch.com , when it comes to America's wars, are we participating in reality or merely watching reality TV? And why are so many so prone to confuse or conflate the two?

Art, of course, isn't the only lens through which we can see and interpret America's wars. Advertising, especially hyperbole, is also quite revealing. Thus the US military has been sold, whether by George W. Bush or Barack Obama, as "the world's finest military in history" or WFMH, an acronym I just made up, and which should perhaps come with a copyright or trademark symbol after it. It's classic advertising hyperbole. It's salesmanship in place of reality.

So, when other peoples beat our WFMH, we should do what Americans do best: sue them for copyright infringement. Our legions of lawyers will most certainly beat their cadres of counsels. After all, under Bush/Cheney, our lawyers tortured logic and the law to support torture itself. Talk about surrealism!

My point (and I think I have one) is that America's wars are in some sense elaborate productions and representations, at least in the ways in which the government constructs and sells them to the American people. To understand these representations ! the ways in which they are both more than real war and less than it ! art theory, as well as advertising, may have a lot to teach us.

As I said, this is me throwing ideas at the canvas of my computer screen. Do they make any sense to you? Feel free to pick up your own brush and compose away in the comments section.

P.S. Danger, Will Robinson. I've never taken an art theory class or studied advertising closely.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools and blogs at Bracing Views . He can be reached at wastore@pct.edu . Reprinted from Bracing Views with the author's permission.

Jim Savell , 19 hours ago

Afghanistan as the unfinished masterpiece....most people forget that the government is yet to complete it except when a Marine dies, they think about it for a day and then forget all over again.

[Jul 16, 2017] WikiLeaks - Vault 7 Projects

wikileaks.org
Today, July 6th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the BothanSpy and Gyrfalcon projects of the CIA. The implants described in both projects are designed to intercept and exfiltrate SSH credentials but work on different operating systems with different attack vectors.

BothanSpy is an implant that targets the SSH client program Xshell on the Microsoft Windows platform and steals user credentials for all active SSH sessions. These credentials are either username and password in case of password-authenticated SSH sessions or username, filename of private SSH key and key password if public key authentication is used. BothanSpy can exfiltrate the stolen credentials to a CIA-controlled server (so the implant never touches the disk on the target system) or save it in an enrypted file for later exfiltration by other means. BothanSpy is installed as a Shellterm 3.x extension on the target machine.

Gyrfalcon is an implant that targets the OpenSSH client on Linux platforms (centos,debian,rhel,suse,ubuntu). The implant can not only steal user credentials of active SSH sessions, but is also capable of collecting full or partial OpenSSH session traffic. All collected information is stored in an encrypted file for later exfiltration. It is installed and configured by using a CIA-developed root kit (JQC/KitV) on the target machine. OutlawCountry 30 June, 2017 Today, June 30th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the OutlawCountry project of the CIA that targets computers running the Linux operating system. OutlawCountry allows for the redirection of all outbound network traffic on the target computer to CIA controlled machines for ex- and infiltration purposes. The malware consists of a kernel module that creates a hidden netfilter table on a Linux target; with knowledge of the table name, an operator can create rules that take precedence over existing netfilter/iptables rules and are concealed from an user or even system administrator.

The installation and persistence method of the malware is not described in detail in the document; an operator will have to rely on the available CIA exploits and backdoors to inject the kernel module into a target operating system. OutlawCountry v1.0 contains one kernel module for 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 6.x; this module will only work with default kernels. Also, OutlawCountry v1.0 only supports adding covert DNAT rules to the PREROUTING chain. Elsa 28 June, 2017 Today, June 28th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the ELSA project of the CIA. ELSA is a geo-location malware for WiFi-enabled devices like laptops running the Micorosoft Windows operating system. Once persistently installed on a target machine using separate CIA exploits, the malware scans visible WiFi access points and records the ESS identifier, MAC address and signal strength at regular intervals. To perform the data collection the target machine does not have to be online or connected to an access point; it only needs to be running with an enabled WiFi device. If it is connected to the internet, the malware automatically tries to use public geo-location databases from Google or Microsoft to resolve the position of the device and stores the longitude and latitude data along with the timestamp. The collected access point/geo-location information is stored in encrypted form on the device for later exfiltration. The malware itself does not beacon this data to a CIA back-end; instead the operator must actively retrieve the log file from the device - again using separate CIA exploits and backdoors.

The ELSA project allows the customization of the implant to match the target environment and operational objectives like sampling interval, maximum size of the logfile and invocation/persistence method. Additional back-end software (again using public geo-location databases from Google and Microsoft) converts unprocessed access point information from exfiltrated logfiles to geo-location data to create a tracking profile of the target device. Leaked Documents ELSA User Manual
Brutal Kangaroo 22 June, 2017 Today, June 22nd 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the Brutal Kangaroo project of the CIA. Brutal Kangaroo is a tool suite for Microsoft Windows that targets closed networks by air gap jumping using thumbdrives. Brutal Kangaroo components create a custom covert network within the target closed network and providing functionality for executing surveys, directory listings, and arbitrary executables.

The documents describe how a CIA operation can infiltrate a closed network (or a single air-gapped computer) within an organization or enterprise without direct access. It first infects a Internet-connected computer within the organization (referred to as "primary host") and installs the BrutalKangeroo malware on it. When a user is using the primary host and inserts a USB stick into it, the thumbdrive itself is infected with a separate malware. If this thumbdrive is used to copy data between the closed network and the LAN/WAN, the user will sooner or later plug the USB disk into a computer on the closed network. By browsing the USB drive with Windows Explorer on such a protected computer, it also gets infected with exfiltration/survey malware. If multiple computers on the closed network are under CIA control, they form a covert network to coordinate tasks and data exchange. Although not explicitly stated in the documents, this method of compromising closed networks is very similar to how Stuxnet worked.

The Brutal Kangaroo project consists of the following components: Drifting Deadline is the thumbdrive infection tool, Shattered Assurance is a server tool that handles automated infection of thumbdrives (as the primary mode of propagation for the Brutal Kangaroo suite), Broken Promise is the Brutal Kangaroo postprocessor (to evaluate collected information) and Shadow is the primary persistence mechanism (a stage 2 tool that is distributed across a closed network and acts as a covert command-and-control network; once multiple Shadow instances are installed and share drives, tasking and payloads can be sent back-and-forth).

The primary execution vector used by infected thumbdrives is a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system that can be exploited by hand-crafted link files that load and execute programs (DLLs) without user interaction. Older versions of the tool suite used a mechanism called EZCheese that was a 0-day exploit until March 2015 ; newer versions seem use a similar, but yet unknown link file vulnerability ( Lachesis / RiverJack ) related to the library-ms functionality of the operating system. Leaked Documents Brutal Kangaroo -- Drifting Deadline v1.2 - User Guide
EzCheese v6.3 - User Guide
EzCheese v6.2 - User Guide (Rev. B)
EzCheese v6.2 - User Guide (Rev. A)
EZCheese v6.2 - IVV TDR Slides
See more Cherry Blossom 15 June, 2017 Today, June 15th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the CherryBlossom project of the CIA that was developed and implemented with the help of the US nonprofit Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) .

CherryBlossom provides a means of monitoring the Internet activity of and performing software exploits on Targets of interest. In particular, CherryBlossom is focused on compromising wireless networking devices, such as wireless routers and access points (APs), to achieve these goals. Such Wi-Fi devices are commonly used as part of the Internet infrastructure in private homes, public spaces (bars, hotels or airports), small and medium sized companies as well as enterprise offices. Therefore these devices are the ideal spot for "Man-In-The-Middle" attacks, as they can easily monitor, control and manipulate the Internet traffic of connected users. By altering the data stream between the user and Internet services, the infected device can inject malicious content into the stream to exploit vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system on the computer of the targeted user.

The wireless device itself is compromized by implanting a customized CherryBlossom firmware on it; some devices allow upgrading their firmware over a wireless link, so no physical access to the device is necessary for a successful infection. Once the new firmware on the device is flashed, the router or access point will become a so-called FlyTrap . A FlyTrap will beacon over the Internet to a Command & Control server referred to as the CherryTree . The beaconed information contains device status and security information that the CherryTree logs to a database. In response to this information, the CherryTree sends a Mission with operator-defined tasking. An operator can use CherryWeb , a browser-based user interface to view Flytrap status and security info, plan Mission tasking, view Mission -related data, and perform system administration tasks.

Missions may include tasking on Targets to monitor, actions/exploits to perform on a Target , and instructions on when and how to send the next beacon. Tasks for a Flytrap include (among others) the scan for email addresses , chat usernames , MAC addresses and VoIP numbers in passing network traffic to trigger additional actions, the copying of the full network traffic of a Target , the redirection of a Target 's browser (e.g., to Windex for browser exploitation) or the proxying of a Target 's network connections. FlyTrap can also setup VPN tunnels to a CherryBlossom -owned VPN server to give an operator access to clients on the Flytrap 's WLAN/LAN for further exploitation. When the Flytrap detects a Target , it will send an Alert to the CherryTree and commence any actions/exploits against the Target . The CherryTree logs Alerts to a database, and, potentially distributes Alert information to interested parties (via Catapult ). Leaked Documents CherryBlossom -- System Req Spec (CDRL-10)
CherryBlossom -- Quick Start Guide
WiFi Devices
CherryBlossom -- Installation Guide
CherryBlossom -- Operating Environment (S//NF)
See more Pandemic 1 June, 2017 Today, June 1st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the "Pandemic" project of the CIA, a persistent implant for Microsoft Windows machines that share files (programs) with remote users in a local network. "Pandemic" targets remote users by replacing application code on-the-fly with a trojaned version if the program is retrieved from the infected machine. To obfuscate its activity, the original file on the file server remains unchanged; it is only modified/replaced while in transit from the pandemic file server before being executed on the computer of the remote user. The implant allows the replacement of up to 20 programs with a maximum size of 800 MB for a selected list of remote users (targets).

As the name suggests, a single computer on a local network with shared drives that is infected with the "Pandemic" implant will act like a "Patient Zero" in the spread of a disease. It will infect remote computers if the user executes programs stored on the pandemic file server. Although not explicitly stated in the documents, it seems technically feasible that remote computers that provide file shares themselves become new pandemic file servers on the local network to reach new targets. Leaked Documents Pandemic 1.1 (S/NF)
Pandemic 1.1-RC1 (S/NF)
Pandemic 1.1-RC1 -- IVVRR Checklist
Pandemic 1.0 (S/NF)
Pandemic 1.0 -- IVVRR Checklist
See more Athena 19 May, 2017 Today, May 19th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the "Athena" project of the CIA. "Athena" - like the related "Hera" system - provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (from Windows XP to Windows 10). Once installed, the malware provides a beaconing capability (including configuration and task handling), the memory loading/unloading of malicious payloads for specific tasks and the delivery and retrieval of files to/from a specified directory on the target system. It allows the operator to configure settings during runtime (while the implant is on target) to customize it to an operation.

According to the documentation (see Athena Technology Overview ), the malware was developed by the CIA in cooperation with Siege Technologies , a self-proclaimed cyber security company based in New Hampshire, US. On their website, Siege Technologies states that the company " ... focuses on leveraging offensive cyberwar technologies and methodologies to develop predictive cyber security solutions for insurance, government and other targeted markets. ". On November 15th, 2016 Nehemiah Security announced the acquisition of Siege Technologies.

In an email from HackingTeam (published by WikiLeaks here ), Jason Syversen, founder of Siege Technologies with a background in cryptography and hacking, " ... said he set out to create the equivalent of the military's so-called probability of kill metric, a statistical analysis of whether an attack is likely to succeed. 'I feel more comfortable working on electronic warfare,' he said. 'It's a little different than bombs and nuclear weapons -- that's a morally complex field to be in. Now instead of bombing things and having collateral damage, you can really reduce civilian casualties, which is a win for everybody.' " Leaked Documents Athena v1.0 User Guide
Athena Technology Overview
Athena (Design)
Athena (Demo)
Athena (Design/Engine)
See more AfterMidnight 12 May, 2017 Today, May 12th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes "AfterMidnight" and "Assassin", two CIA malware frameworks for the Microsoft Windows platform.

"AfterMidnight" allows operators to dynamically load and execute malware payloads on a target machine. The main controller disguises as a self-persisting Windows Service DLL and provides secure execution of "Gremlins" via a HTTPS based Listening Post (LP) system called "Octopus". Once installed on a target machine AM will call back to a configured LP on a configurable schedule, checking to see if there is a new plan for it to execute. If there is, it downloads and stores all needed components before loading all new gremlins in memory. "Gremlins" are small AM payloads that are meant to run hidden on the target and either subvert the functionality of targeted software, survey the target (including data exfiltration) or provide internal services for other gremlins. The special payload "AlphaGremlin" even has a custom script language which allows operators to schedule custom tasks to be executed on the target machine.

"Assassin" is a similar kind of malware; it is an automated implant that provides a simple collection platform on remote computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Once the tool is installed on the target, the implant is run within a Windows service process. "Assassin" (just like "AfterMidnight") will then periodically beacon to its configured listening post(s) to request tasking and deliver results. Communication occurs over one or more transport protocols as configured before or during deployment. The "Assassin" C2 (Command and Control) and LP (Listening Post) subsystems are referred to collectively as" The Gibson" and allow operators to perform specific tasks on an infected target.. Leaked Documents AfterMidnight v1.0 Users Guide
AlphaGremlin v0.1.0 Users Guide
AfterMidnight Diagrams
Assassin v1.4 Users Guide
Assassin v1.3 Users Guide
See more Archimedes 5 May, 2017 Today, May 5th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes "Archimedes", a tool used by the CIA to attack a computer inside a Local Area Network (LAN), usually used in offices. It allows the re-directing of traffic from the target computer inside the LAN through a computer infected with this malware and controlled by the CIA. This technique is used by the CIA to redirect the target's computers web browser to an exploitation server while appearing as a normal browsing session.

The document illustrates a type of attack within a "protected environment" as the the tool is deployed into an existing local network abusing existing machines to bring targeted computers under control and allowing further exploitation and abuse. Leaked Documents Archimedes 1.0 User Guide
Archimedes 1.3 Addendum
Archimedes 1.2 Addendum
Archimedes 1.1 Addendum
Fulcrum User Manual v0.62
See more Scribbles 28 April, 2017 Today, April 28th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the documentation and source code for CIA's "Scribbles" project, a document-watermarking preprocessing system to embed "Web beacon"-style tags into documents that are likely to be copied by Insiders, Whistleblowers, Journalists or others. The released version (v1.0 RC1) is dated March, 1st 2016 and classified SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN until 2066.

Scribbles is intended for off-line preprocessing of Microsoft Office documents. For reasons of operational security the user guide demands that "[t]he Scribbles executable, parameter files, receipts and log files should not be installed on a target machine, nor left in a location where it might be collected by an adversary."

According to the documentation, "the Scribbles document watermarking tool has been successfully tested on [...] Microsoft Office 2013 (on Windows 8.1 x64), documents from Office versions 97-2016 (Office 95 documents will not work!) [and d]ocuments that are not be locked forms, encrypted, or password-protected". But this limitation to Microsoft Office documents seems to create problems: "If the targeted end-user opens them up in a different application, such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice, the watermark images and URLs may be visible to the end-user. For this reason, always make sure that the host names and URL components are logically consistent with the original content. If you are concerned that the targeted end-user may open these documents in a non-Microsoft Office application, please take some test documents and evaluate them in the likely application before deploying them."

Security researches and forensic experts will find more detailed information on how watermarks are applied to documents in the source code, which is included in this publication as a zipped archive. Leaked Documents Scribbles v1.0 RC1 - User Guide
Scribbles (Source Code)
Scribbles v1.0 RC1 - IVVRR Checklist
Scribbles v1.0 RC1 - Readiness Review Worksheet
Weeping Angel 21 April, 2017 Today, April 21st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the User Guide for CIA's "Weeping Angel" tool - an implant designed for Samsung F Series Smart Televisions. Based on the "Extending" tool from the MI5/BTSS, the implant is designed to record audio from the built-in microphone and egress or store the data.

The classification marks of the User Guide document hint that is was originally written by the british MI5/BTSS and later shared with the CIA. Both agencies collaborated on the further development of the malware and coordinated their work in Joint Development Workshops. Leaked Documents Extending - User Guide
Hive 14 April, 2017 Today, April 14th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes six documents from the CIA's HIVE project created by its "Embedded Development Branch" (EDB).

HIVE is a back-end infrastructure malware with a public-facing HTTPS interface which is used by CIA implants to transfer exfiltrated information from target machines to the CIA and to receive commands from its operators to execute specific tasks on the targets. HIVE is used across multiple malware implants and CIA operations. The public HTTPS interface utilizes unsuspicious-looking cover domains to hide its presence.

Anti-Virus companies and forensic experts have noticed that some possible state-actor malware used such kind of back-end infrastructure by analyzing the communication behaviour of these specific implants, but were unable to attribute the back-end (and therefore the implant itself) to operations run by the CIA. In a recent blog post by Symantec , that was able to attribute the "Longhorn" activities to the CIA based on the Vault 7 , such back-end infrastructure is described:

For C&C servers, Longhorn typically configures a specific domain and IP address combination per target. The domains appear to be registered by the attackers; however they use privacy services to hide their real identity. The IP addresses are typically owned by legitimate companies offering virtual private server (VPS) or webhosting services. The malware communicates with C&C servers over HTTPS using a custom underlying cryptographic protocol to protect communications from identification.

The documents from this publication might further enable anti-malware researchers and forensic experts to analyse this kind of communication between malware implants and back-end servers used in previous illegal activities. Leaked Documents Users Guide
Developers Guide
Developers Guide (Figures)
Hive Beacon Infrastructure
Hive Infrastructure Installation and Configuration Guide
See more Grasshopper 7 April, 2017 Today, April 7th 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Grasshopper" -- 27 documents from the CIA's Grasshopper framework , a platform used to build customized malware payloads for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Grasshopper is provided with a variety of modules that can be used by a CIA operator as blocks to construct a customized implant that will behave differently, for example maintaining persistence on the computer differently, depending on what particular features or capabilities are selected in the process of building the bundle. Additionally, Grasshopper provides a very flexible language to define rules that are used to "perform a pre-installation survey of the target device, assuring that the payload will only [be] installed if the target has the right configuration". Through this grammar CIA operators are able to build from very simple to very complex logic used to determine, for example, if the target device is running a specific version of Microsoft Windows, or if a particular Antivirus product is running or not.

Grasshopper allows tools to be installed using a variety of persistence mechanisms and modified using a variety of extensions (like encryption). The requirement list of the Automated Implant Branch (AIB) for Grasshopper puts special attention on PSP avoidance , so that any Personal Security Products like 'MS Security Essentials', 'Rising', 'Symantec Endpoint' or 'Kaspersky IS' on target machines do not detect Grasshopper elements.

One of the persistence mechanisms used by the CIA here is 'Stolen Goods' - whose "components were taken from malware known as Carberp, a suspected Russian organized crime rootkit." confirming the recycling of malware found on the Internet by the CIA. "The source of Carberp was published online, and has allowed AED/RDB to easily steal components as needed from the malware.". While the CIA claims that "[most] of Carberp was not used in Stolen Goods" they do acknowledge that "[the] persistence method, and parts of the installer, were taken and modified to fit our needs", providing a further example of reuse of portions of publicly available malware by the CIA, as observed in their analysis of leaked material from the italian company "HackingTeam" .

The documents WikiLeaks publishes today provide an insights into the process of building modern espionage tools and insights into how the CIA maintains persistence over infected Microsoft Windows computers, providing directions for those seeking to defend their systems to identify any existing compromise Leaked Documents Grasshopper-v1_1-AdminGuide
Grasshopper-v2_0_2-UserGuide
StolenGoods-2_1-UserGuide
GH-Module-Null-v2_0-UserGuide
GH-Module-Buffalo-Bamboo-v1_0-UserGuide
See more Marble Framework 31 March, 2017 Today, March 31st 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Marble" -- 676 source code files for the CIA's secret anti-forensic Marble Framework . Marble is used to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA.

Marble does this by hiding ("obfuscating") text fragments used in CIA malware from visual inspection. This is the digital equivallent of a specalized CIA tool to place covers over the english language text on U.S. produced weapons systems before giving them to insurgents secretly backed by the CIA.

Marble forms part of the CIA's anti-forensics approach and the CIA's Core Library of malware code. It is " [D]esigned to allow for flexible and easy-to-use obfuscation " as " string obfuscation algorithms (especially those that are unique) are often used to link malware to a specific developer or development shop. "

The Marble source code also includes a deobfuscator to reverse CIA text obfuscation. Combined with the revealed obfuscation techniques, a pattern or signature emerges which can assist forensic investigators attribute previous hacking attacks and viruses to the CIA. Marble was in use at the CIA during 2016. It reached 1.0 in 2015.

The source code shows that Marble has test examples not just in English but also in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion, --- but there are other possibilities, such as hiding fake error messages.

The Marble Framework is used for obfuscation only and does not contain any vulnerabilties or exploits by itself. Leaked Documents Marble Framework (Source Code)
Dark Matter 23 March, 2017 Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Dark Matter", which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.

Among others, these documents reveal the "Sonic Screwdriver" project which, as explained by the CIA, is a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting" allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick "even when a firmware password is enabled". The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.

"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.

Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStarke" are also included in this release. While the DerStarke1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0 .

Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.

While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.

[Jul 16, 2017] https://fdik.org/wikileaks/year0/vault7/cms/page_2621796.html

Jul 16, 2017 | fdik.org

So, secure your systems people. Attackers potentially trying to use these tools still need to somehow get a shell on your system in order to install this stuff.

Detecting on your system
As far as detecting on your system, that's going to be tough since:

But - we do know a couple things..

More Information
WikiLeaks announcement:
https://wikileaks.org/vault7/#BothanSpy

Gyrfalcon 2.0 User Manual:
https://wikileaks.org/vault7/document/Gyrfalcon-2_0-User_Guide/Gyrfalcon-2_0-User_Guide.pdf

Gyrfalcon 1.0 User Manual:
https://wikileaks.org/vault7/document/Gyrfalcon-1_0-User_Manual/Gyrfalcon-1_0-User_Manual.pdf

[Jul 15, 2017] How your phone and fitness band could end up giving evidence against you by Ben Lovejoy

Your email records are a goldmine. There's the obvious stuff – who you were in contact with when, and what was said – but there's so much more than that to be gleaned. ...Your phone does regular, automatic backups to Apple or Google servers, and with the right software, anyone can download and access them.
Notable quotes:
"... How do we strike a balance between the privacy of the individual and the state's interest in justice being served? ..."
"... Most of us leave a pretty comprehensive digital footprint these days. ..."
"... Your ISP logs show which websites you visited, even which stories you read on Guardian.com over breakfast. ..."
"... Your email records are a goldmine. There's the obvious stuff – who you were in contact with when, and what was said – but there's so much more than that to be gleaned. ..."
"... Your phone does regular, automatic backups to Apple or Google servers, and with the right software, anyone can download and access them. ..."
"... It may not be possible to formulate hard-and-fast rules covering every eventuality, but there is every reason to set out clear and transparent guidelines within which decisions can be made – and no reason why the debate to determine these guidelines should not take place in public and in parliament. ..."
Feb 24, 2015 | The Guardian

A criminal suspect can't be forced to divulge their phone passcode, a US circuit court judge ruled in October 2014. Yet law enforcement officials can compel a suspect to provide a fingerprint – which they can then use to unlock the phone and obtain data which may prove the case against them.

In an ongoing Canadian civil case, activity data from a Fitbit fitness band is being used to determine the truthfulness of an accident victim's claim that she is less active now than before the accident.

And in another civil case, where a plaintiff argued that his injuries meant he was no longer able to operate a computer for lengthy periods of time, a court ruled that the defendants had a right to access metadata from his hard drive that showed how often the claimant had used his PC.

Keeping in mind David Cameron's suggestion in January that there should be no such thing as private messaging, how much of this is reasonable? How do we strike a balance between the privacy of the individual and the state's interest in justice being served?

It might be reasonably argued that the degree of intrusion should be proportional to the seriousness of the accusation. But this principle can easily take us into very grey territory.

Suppose the police and intelligence services are investigating a terrorist attack – a tube bombing. Ten people died: it's clearly a very serious crime. The authorities know that the bomb was placed on the station platform sometime between 7:13am, when CCTV footage shows the bag definitely wasn't there, and 7.23am, when the explosion occurred. Is it reasonable to pull the Oyster data from 7am to 7.23am, to identify all the people who entered the station between those times and cross-reference with police and security services files to search for anyone known or suspected to have terrorist links?

What if they do that and draw a blank? They will now want to know more about all those people who entered the first tube station between 7am to 7.23am. More than 250 people per minute enter a busy station during rush hour, so that's 5,750 suspects. They're pretty sure from the CCTV footage that the suspect is male, so they narrow it down to 2,875 people. And that's all there is to go on so far. One of those men is our bomber, the other 2,874 of them are innocent.

Is it reasonable to get a blanket court order to examine the ISP and mobile phone records of all 2,875 people? With that many people, all the authorities are going to do is run a simple search of the metadata – the who-contacted-who part – and see if any of them have been in contact with any known or suspected terrorists. They're not spying on your sexts to your girlfriend or emails from your credit card company querying a missed payment, they're just looking at who you might have been in touch with.

No matches. But the explosive used in this attack was found to have been stolen from a demolition company in Leeds one week before the attack. A court order to run a search of the 2,875 suspects' email records for train bookings to or from Leeds during that week is readied, and their car registration numbers are obtained, to see whether any of them were logged on any ANPR systems on the M1 during that time. That's all. No other email content will be looked at, nor any other details of their driving history; just those two straightforward searches. Fair enough?

The suspects are narrowed down to 47 people whose cars were spotted at least once on the M1 at some point between London and Leeds during that week. There is got nothing else to go on, so the authorities now need to take a deeper dive into the online lives of those 47 people.

What could that involve? Most of us leave a pretty comprehensive digital footprint these days. Your fitness bank or sleep-tracking app logs the time that you woke up. Your ISP logs show which websites you visited, even which stories you read on Guardian.com over breakfast.

Phone GPS and wi-fi logs can enable your movements to be tracked to within tens of metres: your route to the tube station can easily be mapped. Oyster data logs the details of the subsequent tube journey: stations, dates, times.

Your email records are a goldmine. There's the obvious stuff – who you were in contact with when, and what was said – but there's so much more than that to be gleaned.

Ever had a password reminder emailed to you for iCloud or Google? Deleted the mail but failed to empty your trash can? Not an issue if you switched on two-factor authentication, but if you didn't, the authorities now have remote access to the content of your phone. The entire content. Your phone does regular, automatic backups to Apple or Google servers, and with the right software, anyone can download and access them.

Your contacts. Your calendar. Your photos. Your notes. And more.

Collating the addresses of your contacts with your Oyster data tells us who you've been visiting, and how often. The authorities would soon know more about those 47 people than almost any of their friends.

What if they had been left not with 47 suspects but 200? 500? Where do we draw the line?

What if, instead of an actual bombing, it was an aborted attempt at the same, but without hard-and-fast proof – how does that change the equation of what is and isn't acceptable?

These will always be difficult judgment calls, but while the individual decisions may need to be made in secret, it does not mean that the principles governing these decisions should themselves be secret or – worse – left to the whim of individual judges in individual cases.

It may not be possible to formulate hard-and-fast rules covering every eventuality, but there is every reason to set out clear and transparent guidelines within which decisions can be made – and no reason why the debate to determine these guidelines should not take place in public and in parliament.

[Jul 14, 2017] Americas War for Global Domination by Michel Chossudovsky

While published almost 15 years ago, this artile still looks as if written yesterday. Presidents change but foreign policy does not.
Notable quotes:
"... US military and intelligence operations in the post Cold War era were led in close coordination with the "free market reforms" imposed under IMF guidance in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which resulted in the destabilization of national economies and the impoverishment of millions of people. ..."
"... The World Bank sponsored privatization programmes in these countries enabled Western capital to acquire ownership and gain control of a large share of the economy of the former Eastern block countries. This process is also at the basis of the strategic mergers and/or takeovers of the former Soviet oil and gas industry by powerful Western conglomerates, through financial manipulation and corrupt political practices. ..."
"... The deployment of America's war machine purports to enlarge America's economic sphere of influence. The U.S. has established a permanent military presence not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has military bases in several of the former Soviet republics on China's Western frontier. In turn, since 1999, there has been a military buildup in the South China Sea. ..."
"... The Pentagon views 'territorial control' over Syria, which constitutes a land bridge between Israel and occupied Iraq, as 'strategic' from a military and economic standpoint. It also constitutes a means of controlling the Iraqi border and curbing the flow of volunteer fighters, who are traveling to Baghdad to join the Iraqi resistance movement. ..."
"... Washington has adopted a first strike "pre-emptive" nuclear policy, which has now received congressional approval. Nuclear weapons are no longer a weapon of last resort as during the cold War era. ..."
"... The war on Iraq has been in the planning stages at least since the mid-1990s. A 1995 National Security document of the Clinton administration stated quite clearly that the objective of the war is oil. "to protect the United States' uninterrupted, secure U.S. access to oil. ..."
"... In September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W. Bush to the White House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published its blueprint for global domination under the title: "Rebuilding America's Defenses. ..."
"... The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest. It calls for "the direct imposition of U.S. "forward bases" throughout Central Asia and the Middle East "with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential "rival" or any viable alternative to America's vision of a 'free market' economy" (See Chris Floyd, Bush's Crusade for empire, Global Outlook, No. 6, 2003) ..."
"... The PNAC's reference to a "catastrophic and catalyzing event" echoes a similar statement by David Rockefeller to the United Nations Business Council in 1994: ..."
"... We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." ..."
"... " it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus [in America] on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." ..."
"... The "catastrophic and catalyzing event" as stated by the PNAC is an integral part of US military-intelligence planning. General Franks, who led the military campaign into Iraq, pointed recently (October 2003) to the role of a "massive casualty-producing event" to muster support for the imposition of military rule in America. (See General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution, November 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/EDW311A.html ). ..."
"... In many regards, the militarisation of civilian State institutions in the US is already functional under the facade of a bogus democracy. ..."
"... In the wake of the September attacks on the World Trade Center, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or "Office of Disinformation" as it was labeled by its critics ..."
"... Spelled out in the National Security Strategy (NSS), the preemptive "defensive war" doctrine and the "war on terrorism" against Al Qaeda constitute the two essential building blocks of the Pentagon's propaganda campaign. ..."
"... The objective is to present "preemptive military action" --meaning war as an act of "self-defense" against two categories of enemies, "rogue States" and "Islamic terrorists" ..."
"... In other words, the Clinton Administration was "harboring terrorists". Moreover, official statements and intelligence reports confirm links between US military-intelligence units and Al Qaeda operatives, as occurred in Bosnia (mid 1990s), Kosovo (1998-99) and Macedonia (2001) ..."
"... The ties of these terrorist organizations (particularly those in Asia) to Pakistan's military intelligence (ISI) is acknowledged in a few cases by official sources and press dispatches. Confirmed by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), some of these groups are said to have links to Pakistan's ISI, without identifying the nature of these links. ..."
"... both Richard Armitage and Colin Powell played a role in the 9/11 cover-up. ..."
"... The FBI confirmed in a report made public late September 2001 the role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence. According to the report, the alleged 9-11 ring leader, Mohammed Atta, had been financed from sources out of Pakistan. A subsequent intelligence report confirmed that the then head of the ISI General Mahmoud Ahmad had transferred money to Mohammed Atta. (See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalization, op.cit.) ..."
"... Increasingly, the military-intelligence establishment (rather than the State Department, the White House and the US Congress) is calling the shots on US foreign policy. Meanwhile, the Texas oil giants, the defense contractors, Wall Street and the powerful media giants, operating discreetly behind the scenes, are pulling the strings. If politicians become a source of major embarrassment, they can themselves be discredited by the media, discarded and a new team of political puppets can be brought to office. ..."
"... The "Criminalization of the State", is when war criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to decide "who are the criminals", when in fact they are criminals. ..."
"... In the US, both Republicans and Democrats share the same war agenda and there are war criminals in both parties. Both parties are complicit in the 9/11 cover-up and the resultant quest for world domination. All the evidence points to what is best described as "the criminalisation of the State", which includes the Judiciary and the bipartisan corridors of the US Congress. ..."
"... Under the war agenda, high ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military, the US Congress and the Judiciary have been granted the authority not only to commit criminal acts, but also to designate those in the antiwar movement who are opposed to these criminal acts as "enemies of the State." ..."
"... More generally, the US military and security apparatus endorses and supports dominant economic and financial interests - i.e. the build-up, as well as the exercise, of military might enforces "free trade". The Pentagon is an arm of Wall Street; NATO coordinates its military operations with the World Bank and the IMF's policy interventions, and vice versa. Consistently, the security and defense bodies of the Western military alliance, together with the various civilian governmental and intergovernmental bureaucracies (e.g. IMF, World Bank, WTO) share a common understanding, ideological consensus and commitment to the New World Order. ..."
Dec 15, 2003 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

Originally published by Global Research (12/15/03)

We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.

The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.

The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001).

The post Cold War period has also been marked by numerous US covert intelligence operations within the former Soviet Union, which were instrumental in triggering civil wars in several of the former republics including Chechnya (within the Russian Federation), Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the latter, these covert operations were launched with a view to securing strategic control over oil and gas pipeline corridors.

US military and intelligence operations in the post Cold War era were led in close coordination with the "free market reforms" imposed under IMF guidance in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which resulted in the destabilization of national economies and the impoverishment of millions of people.

The World Bank sponsored privatization programmes in these countries enabled Western capital to acquire ownership and gain control of a large share of the economy of the former Eastern block countries. This process is also at the basis of the strategic mergers and/or takeovers of the former Soviet oil and gas industry by powerful Western conglomerates, through financial manipulation and corrupt political practices.

In other words, what is at stake in the US led war is the recolonization of a vast region extending from the Balkans into Central Asia.

The deployment of America's war machine purports to enlarge America's economic sphere of influence. The U.S. has established a permanent military presence not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has military bases in several of the former Soviet republics on China's Western frontier. In turn, since 1999, there has been a military buildup in the South China Sea.

War and Globalization go hand in hand. Militarization supports the conquest of new economic frontiers and the worldwide imposition of "free market" system.

The Next Phase of the War

The Bush administration has already identified Syria as the next stage of "the road map to war". The bombing of presumed 'terrorist bases' in Syria by the Israeli Air Force in October was intended to provide a justification for subsequent pre-emptive military interventions. Ariel Sharon launched the attacks with the approval of Donald Rumsfeld. (See Gordon Thomas, Global Outlook, No. 6, Winter 2004)

This planned extension of the war into Syria has serious implications. It means that Israel becomes a major military actor in the US-led war, as well as an 'official' member of the Anglo-American coalition.

The Pentagon views 'territorial control' over Syria, which constitutes a land bridge between Israel and occupied Iraq, as 'strategic' from a military and economic standpoint. It also constitutes a means of controlling the Iraqi border and curbing the flow of volunteer fighters, who are traveling to Baghdad to join the Iraqi resistance movement.

This enlargement of the theater of war is consistent with Ariel Sharon's plan to build a 'Greater Israel' "on the ruins of Palestinian nationalism". While Israel seeks to extend its territorial domain towards the Euphrates River, with designated areas of Jewish settlement in the Syrian heartland, Palestinians are imprisoned in Gaza and the West Bank behind an 'Apartheid Wall'.

In the meantime, the US Congress has tightened the economic sanctions on Libya and Iran. As well, Washington is hinting at the need for a 'regime change' in Saudi Arabia. Political pressures are building up in Turkey.

So, the war could indeed spill over into a much broader region extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian sub-continent and China's Western frontier.

The "Pre-emptive" Use of Nuclear Weapons

Washington has adopted a first strike "pre-emptive" nuclear policy, which has now received congressional approval. Nuclear weapons are no longer a weapon of last resort as during the cold War era.

The US, Britain and Israel have a coordinated nuclear weapons policy. Israeli nuclear warheads are pointed at major cities in the Middle East. The governments of all three countries have stated quite openly, prior to the war on Iraq, that they are prepared to use nuclear weapons "if they are attacked" with so-called "weapons of mass destruction." Israel is the fifth nuclear power in the World. Its nuclear arsenal is more advanced than that of Britain.

Barely a few weeks following the entry of the US Marines into Baghdad, the US Senate Armed Services Committee gave the green light to the Pentagon to develop a new tactical nuclear bomb, to be used in conventional war theaters, "with a yield [of up to] six times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb".

Following the Senate decision, the Pentagon redefined the details of its nuclear agenda in a secret meeting with senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex held at Central Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The meeting was held on August 6, the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 58 years ago.

The new nuclear policy explicitly involves the large defense contractors in decision-making. It is tantamount to the "privatization" of nuclear war. Corporations not only reap multibillion dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has unleashed a major propaganda and public relations campaign with a view to upholding the use nuclear weapons for the "defense of the American Homeland."

Fully endorsed by the US Congress, the mini-nukes are considered to be "safe for civilians".

This new generation of nuclear weapons is slated to be used in the next phase of this war, in "conventional war theatres" (e.g. in the Middle East and Central Asia) alongside conventional weapons. In December 2003, the US Congress allocated $6.3 billion solely for 2004, to develop this new generation of "defensive" nuclear weapons.

The overall annual defense budget is of the order of 400 billion dollars, roughly of the same order of magnitude as the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Russian Federation.

While there is no firm evidence of the use of mini-nukes in the Iraqi and Afghan war theatres, tests conducted by Canada's Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), in Afghanistan confirm that recorded toxic radiation was not attributable to 'heavy metal' depleted uranium ammunition (DU), but to another unidentified form of uranium contamination:

"some form of uranium weapon had been used (...) The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf War veterans tested in 1999." www.umrc.net

The Planning of War

The war on Iraq has been in the planning stages at least since the mid-1990s. A 1995 National Security document of the Clinton administration stated quite clearly that the objective of the war is oil. "to protect the United States' uninterrupted, secure U.S. access to oil.

In September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W. Bush to the White House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published its blueprint for global domination under the title: "Rebuilding America's Defenses."

The PNAC is a neo-conservative think tank linked to the Defense-Intelligence establishment, the Republican Party and the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which plays a behind-the-scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy.

The PNAC's declared objective is quite simple - to:

"Fight and decisively win in multiple, simultaneous theater wars".

This statement indicates that the US plans to be involved simultaneously in several war theaters in different regions of the World.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney had commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the presidential elections.

The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest. It calls for "the direct imposition of U.S. "forward bases" throughout Central Asia and the Middle East "with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential "rival" or any viable alternative to America's vision of a 'free market' economy" (See Chris Floyd, Bush's Crusade for empire, Global Outlook, No. 6, 2003)

The Role of "Massive Casualty Producing Events"

The PNAC blueprint also outlines a consistent framework of war propaganda. One year before 9/11, the PNAC called for "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor," which would serve to galvanize US public opinion in support of a war agenda. (See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NAC304A.html )

The PNAC architects seem to have anticipated with cynical accuracy, the use of the September 11 attacks as "a war pretext incident."

The PNAC's reference to a "catastrophic and catalyzing event" echoes a similar statement by David Rockefeller to the United Nations Business Council in 1994:

"We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order."

Similarly, in the words Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, The Grand Chessboard:.

" it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus [in America] on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter was one of the key architects of the Al Qaeda network, created by the CIA at the onslaught of the Soviet Afghan war (1979-1989).

The "catastrophic and catalyzing event" as stated by the PNAC is an integral part of US military-intelligence planning. General Franks, who led the military campaign into Iraq, pointed recently (October 2003) to the role of a "massive casualty-producing event" to muster support for the imposition of military rule in America. (See General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution, November 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/EDW311A.html ).

Franks identifies the precise scenario whereby military rule will be established:

"a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world - it may be in the United States of America - that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event." (Ibid)

This statement from an individual, who was actively involved in military and intelligence planning at the highest levels, suggests that the "militarisation of our country" is an ongoing operational assumption. It is part of the broader "Washington consensus". It identifies the Bush administration's "roadmap" of war and "Homeland Defense." Needless to say, it is also an integral part of the neoliberal agenda.

The "terrorist massive casualty-producing event" is presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil are intended to facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures.

General Franks' statement reflects a consensus within the US Military as to how events ought to unfold. The "war on terrorism" is to provide a justification for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to "preserving civil liberties."

Franks' interview suggests that an Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack will be used as a "trigger mechanism" for a military coup d'état in America. The PNAC's "Pearl Harbor type event" would be used as a justification for declaring a State of emergency, leading to the establishment of a military government.

In many regards, the militarisation of civilian State institutions in the US is already functional under the facade of a bogus democracy.

War Propaganda

In the wake of the September attacks on the World Trade Center, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or "Office of Disinformation" as it was labeled by its critics:

"The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries -- as an effort to influence public opinion across the world. (Interview with Steve Adubato, Fox News, 26 December 2002.)

And, all of a sudden, the OSI was formally disbanded following political pressures and "troublesome" media stories that "its purpose was to deliberately lie to advance American interests." (Air Force Magazine, January 2003, italics added) "Rumsfeld backed off and said this is embarrassing." (Adubato, op. cit. italics added) Yet despite this apparent about-turn, the Pentagon's Orwellian disinformation campaign remains functionally intact: "[T]he secretary of defense is not being particularly candid here. Disinformation in military propaganda is part of war."(Ibid)

Rumsfeld later confirmed in a press interview that while the OSI no longer exists in name, the "Office's intended functions are being carried out". (Quoted in Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Secrecy News, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2002/11/112702.html , Rumsfeld's press interview can be consulted at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/dod111802.html ).

A number of government agencies and intelligence units --with links to the Pentagon-remain actively involved in various components of the propaganda campaign. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards "regime change" and "the restoration of democracy". Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping". The derogation of civil liberties --in the context of the so-called "anti-terrorist legislation"-- is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush's National Security Doctrine

Spelled out in the National Security Strategy (NSS), the preemptive "defensive war" doctrine and the "war on terrorism" against Al Qaeda constitute the two essential building blocks of the Pentagon's propaganda campaign.

The objective is to present "preemptive military action" --meaning war as an act of "self-defense" against two categories of enemies, "rogue States" and "Islamic terrorists":

"The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.

Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction ( )

The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare. As was demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.

The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, ( ). To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively."12 (National Security Strategy, White House, 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html )

To justify pre-emptive military actions, the National Security Doctrine requires the "fabrication" of a terrorist threat, --ie. "an outside enemy." It also needs to link these terrorist threats to "State sponsorship" by the so-called "rogue states."

But it also means that the various "massive casualty-producing events" allegedly by Al Qaeda (the fabricated enemy) are part of the National Security agenda.

In the months building up to the invasion of Iraq, covert 'dirty tricks' operations were launched to produce misleading intelligence pertaining to both Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Al Qaeda, which was then fed into the news chain.

In the wake of the war, while the WMD threat has been toned down, Al Qaeda threats to 'the Homeland' continue to be repeated ad nauseam in official statements, commented on network TV and pasted on a daily basis across the news tabloids.

And underlying these manipulated realties, "Osama bin Laden" terrorist occurrences are being upheld as a justification for the next phase of this war. The latter hinges in a very direct way:

1) the effectiveness of the Pentagon-CIA propaganda campaign, which is fed into the news chain.

2) The actual occurrence of "massive casualty producing events" as outlined in the PNAC

What this means is that actual ("massive casualty producing") terrorist events are part and parcel of military planning.

Actual Terrorist Attacks

In other words, to be "effective" the fear and disinformation campaign cannot solely rely on unsubstantiated "warnings" of future attacks, it also requires "real" terrorist occurrences or "incidents", which provide credibility to the Washington's war plans. These terrorist events are used to justify the implementation of "emergency measures" as well as "retaliatory military actions". They are required, in the present context, to create the illusion of "an outside enemy" that is threatening the American Homeland.

The triggering of "war pretext incidents" is part of the Pentagon's assumptions. In fact it is an integral part of US military history.(See Richard Sanders, War Pretext Incidents, How to Start a War, Global Outlook, published in two parts, Issues 2 and 3, 2002-2003).

In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled "Operation Northwoods", to deliberately trigger civilian casualties to justify the invasion of Cuba:

"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," "We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington" "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." (See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba"16 (See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html ).

There is no evidence that the Pentagon or the CIA played a direct role in recent terrorist attacks, including those in Indonesia (2002), India (2001), Turkey (2003) and Saudi Arabia (2003).

According to the reports, the attacks were undertaken by organizations (or cells of these organizations), which operate quite independently, with a certain degree of autonomy. This independence is in the very nature of a covert intelligence operation. The "intelligence asset" is not in direct contact with its covert sponsors. It is not necessarily cognizant of the role it plays on behalf of its intelligence sponsors.

The fundamental question is who is behind them? Through what sources are they being financed? What is the underlying network of ties?

For instance, in the case of the 2002 Bali bomb attack, the alleged terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiah had links to Indonesia's military intelligence (BIN), which in turn has links to the CIA and Australian intelligence.

The December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament --which contributed to pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war-- were allegedly conducted by two Pakistan-based rebel groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba ("Army of the Pure") and Jaish-e-Muhammad ("Army of Mohammed"), both of which according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) are supported by Pakistan's ISI. (Council on Foreign Relations at http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html , Washington 2002).

What the CFR fails to acknowledge is the crucial relationship between the ISI and the CIA and the fact that the ISI continues to support Lashkar, Jaish and the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM), while also collaborating with the CIA. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Fabricating an Enemy, March 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301B.html )

A 2002 classified outbrief drafted to guide the Pentagon "calls for the creation of a so-called 'Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group' (P2OG), to launch secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction -- that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to 'quick-response' attacks by U.S. forces." (William Arkin, The Secret War, The Los Angeles Times, 27 October 2002)

The P2OG initiative is nothing new. It essentially extends an existing apparatus of covert operations. Amply documented, the CIA has supported terrorist groups since the Cold War era. This "prodding of terrorist cells" under covert intelligence operations often requires the infiltration and training of the radical groups linked to Al Qaeda.

In this regard, covert support by the US military and intelligence apparatus has been channeled to various Islamic terrorist organizations through a complex network of intermediaries and intelligence proxies. In the course of the 1990s, agencies of the US government have collaborated with Al Qaeda in a number of covert operations, as confirmed by a 1997 report of the Republican Party Committee of the US Congress. (See US Congress, 16 January 1997, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html ). In fact during the war in Bosnia US weapons inspectors were working with Al Qaeda operatives, bringing in large amounts of weapons for the Bosnian Muslim Army.

In other words, the Clinton Administration was "harboring terrorists". Moreover, official statements and intelligence reports confirm links between US military-intelligence units and Al Qaeda operatives, as occurred in Bosnia (mid 1990s), Kosovo (1998-99) and Macedonia (2001).(See See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation, The Truth behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2003, Chapter 3, http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/truth911.html )

The Bush Administration and NATO had links to Al Qaeda in Macedonia. And this happened barely a few weeks before September 11, 2001, Senior U.S. military advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon, were fighting alongside Mujahideen in the terrorist attacks on the Macedonian Security forces. This is documented by the Macedonian press and statements made by the Macedonian authorities. (See Michel Chossudovsky, op cit). The U.S. government and the Islamic Militant Network were working hand in glove in supporting and financing the National Liberation Army (NLA), which was involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia.

In other words, the US military was collaborating directly with Al Qaeda barely a few weeks before 9/11.

Al Qaeda and Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI)

It is indeed revealing that in virtually all post 9/11 terrorist occurrences, the terrorist organization is reported (by the media and in official statements) as having "ties to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda". This in itself is a crucial piece of information. Of course, the fact that Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA is neither mentioned in the press reports nor is it considered relevant to an understanding of these terrorist occurrences.

The ties of these terrorist organizations (particularly those in Asia) to Pakistan's military intelligence (ISI) is acknowledged in a few cases by official sources and press dispatches. Confirmed by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), some of these groups are said to have links to Pakistan's ISI, without identifying the nature of these links. Needless to say, this information is crucial in identifying the sponsors of these terrorist attacks. In other words, the ISI is said to support these terrorist organizations, while at same time maintaining close ties to the CIA.

September 11

While Colin Powell --without supporting evidence-pointed in his February 2003 UN address to "the sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network", official documents, press and intelligence reports confirm that successive US administrations have supported and abetted the Islamic militant network. This relationship is an established fact, corroborated by numerous studies, acknowledged by Washington's mainstream think tanks.

Both Colin Powell and his Deputy Richard Armitage, who in the months leading up to the war casually accused Baghdad and other foreign governments of "harboring" Al Qaeda, played a direct role, at different points in their careers, in supporting terrorist organizations.

Both men were implicated --operating behind the scenes-- in the Irangate Contra scandal during the Reagan Administration, which involved the illegal sale of weapons to Iran to finance the Nicaraguan Contra paramilitary army and the Afghan Mujahideen. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Expose the Links between Al Qaeda and the Bush Administration, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO303D.html )

Moreover, both Richard Armitage and Colin Powell played a role in the 9/11 cover-up. The investigations and research conducted in the last two years, including official documents, testimonies and intelligence reports, indicate that September 11 was an carefully planned intelligence operation, rather than a act conducted by a terrorist organization. (For further details, see Centre for Research on Globalization, 24 Key articles, September 2003)

The FBI confirmed in a report made public late September 2001 the role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence. According to the report, the alleged 9-11 ring leader, Mohammed Atta, had been financed from sources out of Pakistan. A subsequent intelligence report confirmed that the then head of the ISI General Mahmoud Ahmad had transferred money to Mohammed Atta. (See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalization, op.cit.)

Moreover, press reports and official statements confirm that the head of the ISI, was an official visit to the US from the 4th to 13th of September 2001. In other words, the head of Pakistan's ISI, who allegedly transferred money to the terrorists also had a close personal relationship with a number of senior Bush Administration officials, including Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, whom he met in the course of his visit to Washington. (Ibid)

The Antiwar Movement

A cohesive antiwar movement cannot be based solely on the mobilization of antiwar sentiment. It must ultimately unseat the war criminals and question their right to rule.

A necessary condition for bringing down the rulers is to weaken and eventually dismantle their propaganda campaign.

The momentum of the large anti-war rallies in the US, the European Union and around the world, should lay the foundations of a permanent network composed of tens of thousands of local level anti-war committees in neighborhoods, work places, parishes, schools, universities, etc. It is ultimately through this network that the legitimacy of those who "rule in our name" will be challenged.

To shunt the Bush Administration's war plans and disable its propaganda machine, we must reach out to our fellow citizens across the land, in the US, Europe and around the world, to the millions of ordinary people who have been misled on the causes and consequences of this war.

This also implies fully uncovering the lies behind the "war on terrorism" and revealing the political complicity of the Bush administration in the events of 9/11.

September 11 is a hoax. It's the biggest lie in US history.

Needless to say, the use of "massive casualty producing events" as pretext to wage war is a criminal act. In the words of Andreas van Buelow, former German Minister of Technology and author of The CIA and September 11:

"If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars."

Yet it is not sufficient to remove George W. Bush or Tony Blair, who are mere puppets. We must also address the role of the global banks, corporations and financial institutions, which indelibly stand behind the military and political actors.

Increasingly, the military-intelligence establishment (rather than the State Department, the White House and the US Congress) is calling the shots on US foreign policy. Meanwhile, the Texas oil giants, the defense contractors, Wall Street and the powerful media giants, operating discreetly behind the scenes, are pulling the strings. If politicians become a source of major embarrassment, they can themselves be discredited by the media, discarded and a new team of political puppets can be brought to office.

Criminalization of the State

The "Criminalization of the State", is when war criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to decide "who are the criminals", when in fact they are criminals.

In the US, both Republicans and Democrats share the same war agenda and there are war criminals in both parties. Both parties are complicit in the 9/11 cover-up and the resultant quest for world domination. All the evidence points to what is best described as "the criminalisation of the State", which includes the Judiciary and the bipartisan corridors of the US Congress.

Under the war agenda, high ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military, the US Congress and the Judiciary have been granted the authority not only to commit criminal acts, but also to designate those in the antiwar movement who are opposed to these criminal acts as "enemies of the State."

More generally, the US military and security apparatus endorses and supports dominant economic and financial interests - i.e. the build-up, as well as the exercise, of military might enforces "free trade". The Pentagon is an arm of Wall Street; NATO coordinates its military operations with the World Bank and the IMF's policy interventions, and vice versa. Consistently, the security and defense bodies of the Western military alliance, together with the various civilian governmental and intergovernmental bureaucracies (e.g. IMF, World Bank, WTO) share a common understanding, ideological consensus and commitment to the New World Order.

To reverse the tide of war, military bases must be closed down, the war machine (namely the production of advanced weapons systems like WMDs) must be stopped and the burgeoning police state must be dismantled. More generally we must reverse the "free market" reforms, dismantle the institutions of global capitalism and disarm financial markets.

The struggle must be broad-based and democratic encompassing all sectors of society at all levels, in all countries, uniting in a major thrust: workers, farmers, independent producers, small businesses, professionals, artists, civil servants, members of the clergy, students and intellectuals.

The antiwar and anti-globalisation movements must be integrated into a single worldwide movement. People must be united across sectors, "single issue" groups must join hands in a common and collective understanding on how the New World Order destroys and impoverishes.

The globalization of this struggle is fundamental, requiring a degree of solidarity and internationalism unprecedented in world history. This global economic system feeds on social divisiveness between and within countries. Unity of purpose and worldwide coordination among diverse groups and social movements is crucial. A major thrust is required which brings together social movements in all major regions of the world in a common pursuit and commitment to the elimination of poverty and a lasting world peace.

Copyright Michel Chossudovsky 2003

[Jul 14, 2017] In the wake of the September attacks on the World Trade Center, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or "Office of Disinformation" as it was labeled by its critics

Notable quotes:
"... The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries -- as an effort to influence public opinion across the world. ..."
"... Yet despite this apparent about-turn, the Pentagon's Orwellian disinformation campaign remains functionally intact: "[T]he secretary of defense is not being particularly candid here. Disinformation in military propaganda is part of war."(Ibid) ..."
"... Rumsfeld later confirmed in a press interview that while the OSI no longer exists in name, the "Office's intended functions are being carried out". ..."
"... A number of government agencies and intelligence units --with links to the Pentagon-remain actively involved in various components of the propaganda campaign. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards "regime change" and "the restoration of democracy". Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping". ..."
Dec 15, 2003 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

This quote is from the article by Michel ChossudovskyAmerica's War for Global Domination (12/15/03). Originally published by Global Research

In the wake of the September attacks on the World Trade Center, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or "Office of Disinformation" as it was labeled by its critics:

"The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries -- as an effort to influence public opinion across the world. (Interview with Steve Adubato, Fox News, 26 December 2002.)

And, all of a sudden, the OSI was formally disbanded following political pressures and "troublesome" media stories that "its purpose was to deliberately lie to advance American interests." (Air Force Magazine, January 2003, italics added) "Rumsfeld backed off and said this is embarrassing." (Adubato, op. cit. italics added) Yet despite this apparent about-turn, the Pentagon's Orwellian disinformation campaign remains functionally intact: "[T]he secretary of defense is not being particularly candid here. Disinformation in military propaganda is part of war."(Ibid)

Rumsfeld later confirmed in a press interview that while the OSI no longer exists in name, the "Office's intended functions are being carried out". (Quoted in Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Secrecy News, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2002/11/112702.html , Rumsfeld's press interview can be consulted at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/dod111802.html ).

A number of government agencies and intelligence units --with links to the Pentagon-remain actively involved in various components of the propaganda campaign. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards "regime change" and "the restoration of democracy". Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping".

The derogation of civil liberties --in the context of the so-called "anti-terrorist legislation"-- is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

[Jul 12, 2017] The Syrian Test of the Trump-Putin Accord by Ray McGovern

Schizophrenic and very well armed America is a real danger to the world...
The USA is no longer can be considered as a country that can obey agreements and treaties signed. That means that it is pariah on international stage and only the power of Us military-industrial complex keeps other countries from spitting in the US representatives face.
Notable quotes:
"... Yet, the key to Putin's assessment of Donald Trump is whether the U.S. President is strong enough to make the mutually agreed-upon ceasefire stick. As Putin is well aware, to do so Trump will have to take on the same "deep-state" forces that cheerily scuttled similar agreements in the past. In other words, the actuarial tables for this cease-fire are not good; long life for the agreement will take something just short of a miracle. ..."
"... Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will have to face down hardliners in both the Pentagon and CIA. Tillerson probably expects that Defense Secretary James "Mad-Dog" Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo will cooperate by ordering their troops and operatives inside Syria to restrain the U.S.-backed "moderate rebels." ..."
"... But it remains to be seen if Mattis and Pompeo can control the forces their agencies have unleashed in Syria. If recent history is any guide, it would be folly to rule out another "accidental" U.S. bombing of Syrian government troops or a well-publicized "chemical attack" or some other senseless "war crime" that social media and mainstream media will immediately blame on President Bashar al-Assad. ..."
"... Last fall's limited ceasefire in Syria, painstakingly worked out over 11 months by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and approved personally by Presidents Obama and Putin, lasted only five days (from Sept. 12-17) before it was scuttled by "coalition" air strikes on well-known, fixed Syrian army positions, which killed between 64 and 84 Syrian troops and wounded about 100 others. ..."
"... In public remarks bordering on the insubordinate, senior Pentagon officials a few days before the air attack on Sept. 17, showed unusually open skepticism regarding key aspects of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement – like sharing intelligence with the Russians (an important provision of the deal approved by both Obama and Putin). ..."
"... The Pentagon's resistance and the "accidental" bombing of Syrian troops brought these uncharacteristically blunt words from Foreign Minister Lavrov on Russian TV on Sept. 26: ..."
"... "My good friend John Kerry is under fierce criticism from the U.S. military machine. Despite the fact that, as always, [they] made assurances that the U.S. Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, supported him in his contacts with Russia apparently the military does not really listen to the Commander in Chief." ..."
"... Lavrov specifically criticized Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia despite the fact, as Lavrov put it, "the agreements concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama [who] stipulated that they would share intelligence." Noting this resistance inside the U.S. military bureaucracy, Lavrov added, "It is difficult to work with such partners." ..."
"... Putin picked up on the theme of insubordination in an Oct. 27 speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club, in which he openly lamented: ..."
"... "My personal agreements with the President of the United States have not produced results. people in Washington are ready to do everything possible to prevent these agreements from being implemented in practice." ..."
"... It took, actually, not even Syria but Ukraine to expose a complete incohesiveness of US power structure–it is literally not treaty-worthy. It can not be since itself is divided into parties with, sometimes, diametrically opposite views (and objectives). It is really sad and embarrassing. ..."
"... Today was yet another corporate America Trump defamation day. Trump's son admitted that last year the Russians gave him evidence that H. Clinton did corrupt deals in Russia. What were these deals? No one cares! It does not matter, we all know she is corrupt. Clinton is not open for attack! The Trumpers committed treason by simply accepting such evidence! Impeach! ..."
"... America wanted regime change from the get-go. Rebels in Syria got huge amounts of weapons courtesy of America and its allies. John McCain pleaded for rebels to get weapons and support. The result was Al Qaida using American TOW missiles. ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

The immediate prospect for significant improvement in U.S.-Russia relations now depends on something tangible: Will the forces that sabotaged previous ceasefire agreements in Syria succeed in doing so again, all the better to keep alive the "regime change" dreams of the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists?

Or will President Trump succeed where President Obama failed by bringing the U.S. military and intelligence bureaucracies into line behind a cease-fire rather than allowing insubordination to win out?

These are truly life-or-death questions for the Syrian people and could have profound repercussions across Europe, which has been destabilized by the flood of refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the six-year proxy war that has ripped Syria apart.

But you would have little inkling of this important priority from the large page-one headlines Saturday morning in the U.S. mainstream media, which continued its long obsession with the more ephemeral question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would confess to the sin of "interference" in the 2016 U.S. election and promise to repent.

Thus, the headlines: "Trump, Putin talk election interference" ( Washington Post ) and "Trump asks Putin About Meddling During Election" ( New York Times ). There was also the expected harrumphing from commentators on CNN and MSNBC when Putin dared to deny that Russia had interfered.

In both the big newspapers and on cable news shows, the potential for a ceasefire in southern Syria – set to go into effect on Sunday – got decidedly second billing.

Yet, the key to Putin's assessment of Donald Trump is whether the U.S. President is strong enough to make the mutually agreed-upon ceasefire stick. As Putin is well aware, to do so Trump will have to take on the same "deep-state" forces that cheerily scuttled similar agreements in the past. In other words, the actuarial tables for this cease-fire are not good; long life for the agreement will take something just short of a miracle.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will have to face down hardliners in both the Pentagon and CIA. Tillerson probably expects that Defense Secretary James "Mad-Dog" Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo will cooperate by ordering their troops and operatives inside Syria to restrain the U.S.-backed "moderate rebels."

But it remains to be seen if Mattis and Pompeo can control the forces their agencies have unleashed in Syria. If recent history is any guide, it would be folly to rule out another "accidental" U.S. bombing of Syrian government troops or a well-publicized "chemical attack" or some other senseless "war crime" that social media and mainstream media will immediately blame on President Bashar al-Assad.

Bitter Experience

Last fall's limited ceasefire in Syria, painstakingly worked out over 11 months by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and approved personally by Presidents Obama and Putin, lasted only five days (from Sept. 12-17) before it was scuttled by "coalition" air strikes on well-known, fixed Syrian army positions, which killed between 64 and 84 Syrian troops and wounded about 100 others.

In public remarks bordering on the insubordinate, senior Pentagon officials a few days before the air attack on Sept. 17, showed unusually open skepticism regarding key aspects of the Kerry-Lavrov agreement – like sharing intelligence with the Russians (an important provision of the deal approved by both Obama and Putin).

The Pentagon's resistance and the "accidental" bombing of Syrian troops brought these uncharacteristically blunt words from Foreign Minister Lavrov on Russian TV on Sept. 26:

"My good friend John Kerry is under fierce criticism from the U.S. military machine. Despite the fact that, as always, [they] made assurances that the U.S. Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, supported him in his contacts with Russia apparently the military does not really listen to the Commander in Chief."

Lavrov specifically criticized Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford for telling Congress that he opposed sharing intelligence with Russia despite the fact, as Lavrov put it, "the agreements concluded on direct orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama [who] stipulated that they would share intelligence." Noting this resistance inside the U.S. military bureaucracy, Lavrov added, "It is difficult to work with such partners."

Putin picked up on the theme of insubordination in an Oct. 27 speech at the Valdai International Discussion Club, in which he openly lamented:

"My personal agreements with the President of the United States have not produced results. people in Washington are ready to do everything possible to prevent these agreements from being implemented in practice."

On Syria, Putin decried the lack of a "common front against terrorism after such lengthy negotiations, enormous effort, and difficult compromises."

Lavrov's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, meanwhile, even expressed sympathy for Kerry's quixotic effort, giving him an "A" for effort.after then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter dispatched U.S. warplanes to provide an early death to the cease-fire so painstakingly worked out by Kerry and Lavrov for almost a year.

For his part, Kerry expressed regret – in words reflecting the hapless hubris befitting the chief envoy of the world's "only indispensible" country – conceding that he had been unable to "align" all the forces in play.

With the ceasefire in tatters, Kerry publicly complained on Sept. 29, 2016: "Syria is as complicated as anything I've ever seen in public life, in the sense that there are probably about six wars or so going on at the same time – Kurd against Kurd, Kurd against Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sunni, Shia, everybody against ISIL, people against Assad, Nusra [Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate]. This is as mixed-up sectarian and civil war and strategic and proxies, so it's very, very difficult to be able to align forces."

Admitting Deep-State Pre-eminence

Only in December 2016, in an interview with Matt Viser of the Boston Globe , did Kerry admit that his efforts to deal with the Russians had been thwarted by then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter – as well as all those forces he found so difficult to align.

"Unfortunately we had divisions within our own ranks that made the implementation [of the ceasefire agreement] extremely hard to accomplish," Kerry said. "But it could have worked. The fact is we had an agreement with Russia a joint cooperative effort.

"Now we had people in our government who were bitterly opposed to doing that," he said. "I regret that. I think that was a mistake. I think you'd have a different situation there conceivably now if we'd been able to do that."

The Globe's Viser described Kerry as frustrated. Indeed, it was a tough way for Kerry to end nearly 34 years in public office.

After Friday's discussions with President Trump, Kremlin eyes will be focused on Secretary of State Tillerson, watching to see if he has better luck than Kerry did in getting Ashton Carter's successor, James "Mad Dog" Mattis and CIA's latest captive-director Pompeo into line behind what President Trump wants to do.

As the new U.S.-Russia agreed-upon ceasefire goes into effect on Sunday, Putin will be eager to see if this time Trump, unlike Obama, can make a ceasefire in Syria stick; or whether, like Obama, Trump will be unable to prevent it from being sabotaged by Washington's deep-state actors.

The proof will be in the pudding and, clearly, much depends on what happens in the next few weeks. At this point, it will take a leap of faith on Putin's part to have much confidence that the ceasefire will hold.

Ray McGovern was an Army officer and CIA analyst for almost 30 years. He now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). He can be reached at: rrmcgovern@gmail.com . A version of this article first appeared on Consortiumnews.com.

Andrei Martyanov , Website July 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

Only in December 2016, in an interview with Matt Viser of the Boston Globe, did Kerry admit that his efforts to deal with the Russians had been thwarted by then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter – as well as all those forces he found so difficult to align.

It took, actually, not even Syria but Ukraine to expose a complete incohesiveness of US power structure–it is literally not treaty-worthy. It can not be since itself is divided into parties with, sometimes, diametrically opposite views (and objectives). It is really sad and embarrassing.

Carlton Meyer , Website July 12, 2017 at 4:31 am GMT

Today was yet another corporate America Trump defamation day. Trump's son admitted that last year the Russians gave him evidence that H. Clinton did corrupt deals in Russia. What were these deals? No one cares! It does not matter, we all know she is corrupt. Clinton is not open for attack! The Trumpers committed treason by simply accepting such evidence! Impeach!

I watched part of Oliver Stone's interview. The reason Snowden remains in Russia is because the USA refuses to sign an extradition treaty with Russia. There are several Russians living in the USA wanted for looting large sums in Russia, and Putin wants justice, but they are exempt, like Hillary. Read about her Russian Uranium kickback deal, its on-line, but of no interest to our corporate media.

Not news in the USA!

Ram , July 12, 2017 at 10:06 am GMT

@Sean " Assad could not win a free election and everyone knows it. "

Just as everyone knows that Russia won the election for Trump as enunciated by the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

Jon Halpenny , July 12, 2017 at 10:33 am GMT

Sean, that is pure nonsense. America wanted regime change from the get-go. Rebels in Syria got huge amounts of weapons courtesy of America and its allies. John McCain pleaded for rebels to get weapons and support. The result was Al Qaida using American TOW missiles.

[Jul 08, 2017] Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... The downing of a Syrian warplane by a US F-18 Super Hornet on Sunday proves that Washington's real objective in Syria is not to defeat ISIS but to topple the government, carve up the country and install a puppet who will follow Washington's directives. ..."
"... The US ignored the normal protocols, failed to communicate their activities on the "de-confliction" hotline (as per their agreement with Moscow) and –BAM– the Syrian warplane was taken out with two missiles over Ja'Din in the western part of Raqqah province. The attack was a clear provocation. ..."
"... So far, the operation has made great strides as two main Syrian armies have pressed ahead on parallel tracks killing or routing jihadist fighters on the way. Sunday's attack (on the Syrian warplane) may have been a desperate attempt to slow the forward-progress of loyalist troops rapidly advancing on the cities of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Abu Kamal, all located on the banks of the Euphrates. ..."
"... The Russian MoD statement added that, "any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets." ..."
"... lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . ..."
"... It is not in anyone's interest for Russia to shoot down American aircraft. It is not in American interest too, despite US, indeed, spoiling for fight "within Syria only"–an idea floated by some US "strategists". ..."
"... There is no real strategy behind it–it is mostly irrational and a result of accumulating frustrations of US and its military losing so long cultivated appearance of the "finest fighting force in history", granted that this force was defeated already in Afghanistan, Iraq and its proxies have their asses handed to them in Syria. That is why it is dangerous, because it is all product of frustrated people throwing tantrums while still thinking that they can think rationally. ..."
"... like any spoiled child not getting their way they are acting out in a weak and embarrassing manner destroying things with no strategic value beyond the immediate tantrum ..."
"... Every time the pentagon does something stupid like this and Russia takes a deep breathe and goes about its business calmly its Washington and the neocons who look like fools and everyone everywhere can see it. ..."
"... Putin whatever else he is or may be speaks his mind quite publicly in interviews, at the UN and countless other venues. His message is consistent and he walks the talk. His public goal to maintaining Syrian sovereignty and territorial borders is well known among his friends and enemies. ..."
"... The Syrian war is over. Washington has lost and all Washington's allies in the overthrow Assad assemblage know it. Just pay attention who travels where the past 2 years. ..."
"... Seeing this in emotional terms is naive. There's always a plan. The reason why it looks senseless to you is because the US and Europe are obviously not working in their own interest. Their "elite" is mostly compromised. ..."
"... That makes it sound really close. For what it's worth I think that the Neocon/Deep State alliance needs a real National Emergency to take power. They surely need a dictatorship. ..."
"... Their 9/11 attempted Coup failed on the domestic side, and information about their treason is leaking out faster than ever with fewer American every day believing the WTC "collapse by fire" story. ..."
"... True. There's also a high probability of sabotage in the minefield. Trump is still disliked by the Deep State IMO. What's stopping them from deliberately walking a bunch of American goyim soldiers onto mines? ..."
"... Putin should continue patience with childish Washington. Daily revelations of CNN and other liars will undermine their politician positions and force more accountability. Some heads should roll, some networks should reboot. The rest of the world expects more from the USA that it does of itself. ..."
Jun 23, 2017 | www.unz.com

"The shooting down of the Syrian SU-22 is another demonstration that the US is prepared to resort to the most reckless means to defend its footholds in Syria and lay the basis for the broader war that is being prepared."

- Peter Symonds, World Socialist Web Site

The downing of a Syrian warplane by a US F-18 Super Hornet on Sunday proves that Washington's real objective in Syria is not to defeat ISIS but to topple the government, carve up the country and install a puppet who will follow Washington's directives. ISIS doesn't have an airforce nor is there any chance that the lumbering Soviet-era SU-22 was mistaken by the American pilot before it was shot down. No, the Syrian plane was positively identified on a clear day flying over Syrian territory. The US ignored the normal protocols, failed to communicate their activities on the "de-confliction" hotline (as per their agreement with Moscow) and –BAM– the Syrian warplane was taken out with two missiles over Ja'Din in the western part of Raqqah province. The attack was a clear provocation.

The downing comes on the heels of three other similar incidents in which Syrian troops were attacked by US-coalition forces in the area around al Tanf near the Jordanian border. All four of these provocations have taken place within the last month suggesting that Washington intends to prevent the Syrian army from liberating its cities and territory in the east where US-proxy militias are operating.

In late May, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched Operation "Grand Dawn" which combined the 800th Battalion of the Republican Guards, Hezbollah, Iranian combat troops, and Russian Special Forces (to assist in an advisory capacity.) Grand Dawn, which is the biggest operation of the war, is aimed at clearing the eastern border, liberating ISIS-held cities and territory east of the Euphrates, and reopening the corridor between Damascus to Baghdad. The campaign is an attempt to reestablish the central government's control over its land, its resources and its population centers in the East.

So far, the operation has made great strides as two main Syrian armies have pressed ahead on parallel tracks killing or routing jihadist fighters on the way. Sunday's attack (on the Syrian warplane) may have been a desperate attempt to slow the forward-progress of loyalist troops rapidly advancing on the cities of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Abu Kamal, all located on the banks of the Euphrates.

The surge of Syrian troops poses a clear threat to Washington's operational strategy called Plan B which is aimed at (a) splintering the state into smaller, US-controlled enclaves, (b) blocking the critical landbridge between Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Tehran, and (c) establishing a secure base for training Sunni militants to reenter Syria-proper and engage in future regime destabilizing operations. Seen in this light, the downing of a Syrian SU-22 might have been an attempt by coalition leaders to wave off the Syrian assault which is undermining Washington's fallback strategy.

The Russian response to the attack was fast and ferocious. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov condemned the action as "a massive violation of international law and military aggression."

He said: "This strike has to be seen as a continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of international law .(It is) an act of aggression designed to help to the very terrorists the US says it is fighting."

Not surprisingly, the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) announced it would end its cooperation with the US military under the terms of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria. In practical terms, that means that Moscow will terminate the use of a military hotline for preventing accidents in Syrian airspace. So while media giants like the Wall Street Journal applaud the reckless attack as "signaling an increased willingness by the Trump administration to directly challenge President Bashar al Assad and his allies", more sober analysts anticipate that the move will only ratchet up the tensions increasing the probability of a clash between the two nuclear-armed superpowers.

The Russian MoD statement added that, "any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets."

If the attack was intended to provoke a response, then it appears to have succeeded. If another Syrian warplane is shot down, Moscow will have to retaliate. Was that the intention?

Russia does not want to deepen its involvement in Syria. It's primary goal is to defeat ISIS, preserve the elected government, and prevent the country from disintegrating into failed state anarchy. Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed this topic recently in an interview where he was asked: "Can you explain why you sent troops to Syria and what your objective was?"

Putin answered: "It's very easy to explain. We saw what was happening to other countries in the region, particularly Iraq and Libya . due to the forceful ousting of their governments. The governments were destroyed, not simply ousted from power, and their leaders were killed. We don't want to see the same thing happen in Syria or the whole region will be plunged into chaos."

There it is in black and white. Russia has no territorial ambitions in Syria nor does it have any designs on Syria's resources , industry or pipelines. This isn't about money, oil or land. It's about Russia's national security which has been greatly impacted by the scourge of terrorism. It's also about defending "sovereignty", which is the bedrock principle upon which global security rests. This is why Russia is in Syria.

That said, it's not in Russia's interest to shoot down American aircraft, intensify the war on coalition-proxies or take any action that would lead to a military escalation. Putin does not want to prolong or expand the war, he wants to end it.

ORDER IT NOW

Unfortunately, there are so many players sharing the same, crowded battlespace that even the slightest miscalculation could lead to a serious conflagration. It's going to take enormous restraint to tip-toe through the Syrian minefield without triggering a Third World War. We'll have to see if Putin is up to the task or not.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

Andrei Martyanov Website , June 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm GMT

That said, it's not in Russia's interest to shoot down American aircraft, intensify the war on coalition-proxies or take any action that would lead to a military escalation.

It is not in anyone's interest for Russia to shoot down American aircraft. It is not in American interest too, despite US, indeed, spoiling for fight "within Syria only"–an idea floated by some US "strategists".

There is no real strategy behind it–it is mostly irrational and a result of accumulating frustrations of US and its military losing so long cultivated appearance of the "finest fighting force in history", granted that this force was defeated already in Afghanistan, Iraq and its proxies have their asses handed to them in Syria. That is why it is dangerous, because it is all product of frustrated people throwing tantrums while still thinking that they can think rationally. Small Russian contingent in Syria is the last US chance to fight "peer", whose military history dwarfs that of US, and the last chance to correct a rather abysmal US war record since WW II. Do not discount a deeply hidden but still manifesting itself complex of inferiority. As Sun Tzu stated: "Once you get mad–you lose". Pentagon is mad as hell while US journos (most of them anyway) are warmongering lowlifes.

paraglider , June 23, 2017 at 9:30 pm GMT

Washington does NOT want a conflagration with russia because it can not win, they know it and will not suffer the staggering losses Russia will inflict upon them thereby destroying forever the myth of American military invincibility.

Washington power and moral suasion is rapidly degrading. everyone can see it.

what we are seeing are 2 things:

  • like any spoiled child not getting their way they are acting out in a weak and embarrassing manner destroying things with no strategic value beyond the immediate tantrum
  • Second they hope to show the world Russia can not be relied upon as a calm and thoughtful partner. the pentagon/neocons dumbells are goading the russians into rash flamboyant foolishness much like the strikes we are seeing from washington.

Every time the pentagon does something stupid like this and Russia takes a deep breathe and goes about its business calmly its Washington and the neocons who look like fools and everyone everywhere can see it.

it was written centuries ago that a mans reputation arrives on foot and departs on horseback. a concept the neocons apparently never learned.

paraglider , June 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm GMT

@Sean you could not be more in error than if you are being paid to say this . are you? lol

Putin whatever else he is or may be speaks his mind quite publicly in interviews, at the UN and countless other venues. His message is consistent and he walks the talk. His public goal to maintaining Syrian sovereignty and territorial borders is well known among his friends and enemies.

The Syrian war is over. Washington has lost and all Washington's allies in the overthrow Assad assemblage know it. Just pay attention who travels where the past 2 years.

Both Americas allies in this effort and foes all travel to Moscow. It is Putin who will decide not Washington.

As for Washington not being able to stand by let Russia take them out. the blunt truth is Washington has been outplayed at every turn since October 1 2015. The feckless overrated Obama first and now his remnants in state/cia/pentagon not yet removed by trump.

Unless Washington wants to go nuclear and end up destroying life on earth they will have to comes to terms with being norma desmond the past her prime silent screen star in sunset boulevard dreaming things were not as they are and go quietly into the night becoming just another important nation not the ONLY important nation.

paraglider , June 23, 2017 at 11:10 pm GMT

one more thing Sean.

All the bluster out of Washington hides a profound systemic economic crisis brewing that may take down the entire USA economy. Trumps voters sensed it which is why he won against the psychopathic harridan hillary.

1. the underfunded pension system is about to implode. Illinois is the canary on this but is by no means alone heading over the cliff.

2 for several decades the usa economy has become habituated to the easy profits that come from pillaging other nations and their economies or bluntly intimidating them into paying protection.

3. our economy may not be able to survive without imploding into crisis and eventual deeply unpleasant restructuring without keeping pillage going.

4. on the home front our health care system is a rico style racket for the benefit of the insurance companies and healthcare providers like hospitals companies. without congress being paid off to allow this fraud based industry to get a pass on robinson-pattman act enforcement on pricing healthcare costs would never be in the sky as it is now.

4. the true line in the sand was october 1 2015 when putin spoke at the UN and told the world he and russia would no longer accept america pillaging the planet at will leaving mass misery and death in their wake. china although politely diplomatic to the Nth degree is right behind putin and has his back.

the days of American exceptionalism pillaging are all but over.

over the for the pentagon the military industrial complex, the wall street banks and rakeoffs the bought conressman and senator obtain by doling it all out.

Anonymous , June 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

mostly irrational and a result of accumulating frustrations

Seeing this in emotional terms is naive. There's always a plan. The reason why it looks senseless to you is because the US and Europe are obviously not working in their own interest. Their "elite" is mostly compromised.

Miro23 , June 24, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT

It's going to take enormous restraint to tip-toe through the Syrian minefield without triggering a Third World War.

That makes it sound really close. For what it's worth I think that the Neocon/Deep State alliance needs a real National Emergency to take power. They surely need a dictatorship.

Their 9/11 attempted Coup failed on the domestic side, and information about their treason is leaking out faster than ever with fewer American every day believing the WTC "collapse by fire" story.

So, in my view, they have no option than to shut down US Democracy – and soon – even if it risks WW3. All they care about is their own necks.

Anonymous , June 24, 2017 at 10:42 pm GMT

@Miro23

True. There's also a high probability of sabotage in the minefield. Trump is still disliked by the Deep State IMO. What's stopping them from deliberately walking a bunch of American goyim soldiers onto mines?

Both Trump and Russia could be held responsible in the MSM. Two birds with one stone.

Priss Factor , June 24, 2017 at 11:21 pm GMT

Putin is very Russian in that he has a Big Nation mentality. He takes time and works glacially. But he needs to be sharper.

Stalin was a bad guy, but he got some things right. In a dog-eat-dog world, his Caucasus cutthroat bandit-mentality crept to the top. This Caucasus mentality was a combination of savvy, cunning, patience, brutality, ruthlessness. A kind of hot-blooded fury with icy determination as coolant.

This mentality, plus intelligence and determination, enabled him to outmaneuver all other nationalities in the game of power. He beat Latvians, Ukrainians, Poles, Russians, and even Jews in the game of power.

Dr. Doom , June 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT

The Amerikan Empire is dying. These are its death throes. That "accident" where a US Navy destroyer was almost sunk by a Filipino Cargo Ship shows how weak this supposed "superpower" has become. It wasn't a sneak attack.

It was the Commitment to Diverskitty. That Diverskitty has pussified the US Military. Putin should go ahead and down a US Plane. These idiots are spread so thin its not even funny. The DMZ in Korea doesn't seem to have anywhere near the force Bush, sr and Bush, jr put into Kuwait and Iraq. Bush jr and his snipe hunt has winnowed the forces down. Anti-White Akhenaten II has downsized the Military to a small and ineffective force. The combat readies have probably left. The downsizing which sent career officers onto the streets and the Horrible VA scandal has probably sent the Legions home.

What is left is trash and theft. These clowns cannot whip eggs. That disaster at sea near Japan is a portent of Doom. If they push Putin, he should just shoot those old outdated F-18s down.

That F-35 chickenhawk is a giant turkey. They have started grounding the F-22 because they don't have enough certified pilots and the budget is bloated by welfare detritus best known for loafing, looting and sucking.

They said it was the American Century. Its over now. Did you enjoy the Empire building? The Nintendo War? The Snipe Hunt? This forever war just hit the reality of the crash of diversity and debt.

Munchen , June 27, 2017 at 11:48 pm GMT

Putin should continue patience with childish Washington. Daily revelations of CNN and other liars will undermine their politician positions and force more accountability. Some heads should roll, some networks should reboot. The rest of the world expects more from the USA that it does of itself.

[Jul 08, 2017] Absolutization of human rights is a part of american exceptionalism

Actually hima rights serve as pretext and justification for neocolonial actions on weaker countries.
Notable quotes:
"... "American exceptionalism," Sen. Sasse thus continued, "was an understanding about the historical moment in which the American founding flipped on its head the relationship between rights and government." ..."
"... "The American founding is a claim that God gives us rights, not government, and government is our secular-shared project to secure those rights. That's all American exceptionalism means. That's what Washington used to mean." ..."
Jul 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

"American exceptionalism," Sen. Sasse thus continued, "was an understanding about the historical moment in which the American founding flipped on its head the relationship between rights and government."

Sen. Sasse reached our conclusion. "The American founding is a claim that God gives us rights, not government, and government is our secular-shared project to secure those rights. That's all American exceptionalism means. That's what Washington used to mean."

[Jul 06, 2017] These hacking claims, or any other claims for that matter is spread by deep state in relations with western media that in turn spread this disinformation to western readers equal money and support for the military-industrial thugs.

Notable quotes:
"... These hacking claims, or any other claims for that matter is spread by deep state in relations with western media that in turn spread this disinformation to western readers = money and support for the military-industrial thugs. ..."
"... Racism against Russia ..."
Jul 06, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Jul 6, 2017 5:03:37 PM | 31

Since the promotion of Big Lies is at the foundation of Fake News, I was just reminded of an oldie-but-goodie:

"In this spring of 1953 the free world weighs one question above all others: the chance for a just peace for all peoples.

"The way chosen by the United States was plainly marked by a few clear precepts, which govern its conduct in world affairs.

"First: No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

"Second: No nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.

"Third: Any nation's right to form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

"Fourth: Any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.

"And fifth: A nation's hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.

"In the light of these principles the citizens of the United States defined the way they proposed to follow, through the aftermath of war, toward true peace".
Dwight David Eisenhower - Chance for Peace speech, http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/speeches/19530416%20Chance%20for%20Peace.htm

Ike's actions at the moment he uttered those words made them a mockery as did his later behavior. But the Big Lie was aimed at the domestic audience, to cover-up the depravity already committed and that which would be soon to follow.

tommy | Jul 6, 2017 12:14:22 PM | 9
2 reason

1. These hacking claims, or any other claims for that matter is spread by deep state in relations with western media that in turn spread this disinformation to western readers = money and support for the military-industrial thugs.
2. Racism against Russia

What we see is psyops carried out daily.

[Jul 05, 2017] War As Foreign Policy by Lois Danks

War is the health of neoliberal state...
Notable quotes:
"... Capitalism's best solution is the self-perpetuating armaments industry. The weapon makers, think tanks and contractors that service the Pentagon and spy agencies, together with the Wall Street banks who make high-interest loans to fund wars, thrive under a foreign policy of deadly conflict. ..."
"... Martin Luther King, Jr. rightly called this "the madness of militarization." Instead of spending on infrastructure and human services for the populace, our rulers promote war - to sound patriotic as they pocket the profits. ..."
"... The new president's war strikes are no different from those of other presidents since 9/11. But his practice of allowing the Pentagon to decide troop deployments, while keeping the White House, Congress and the public in the dark about military actions and civilian casualty numbers, is an escalation of the unchecked, undemocratic use of executive power. ..."
"... The threat of peace. The presumption of endless war by many is not surprising, because it's what this country has settled into. Trump's so-called foreign policy has no intention of ending conflicts and gaining peace. An end to hostilities would drastically damage U.S. capitalism. ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

, 2017 " Information Clearing House " - Trump started his presidency off with an explosion! Several of them in fact - bombing Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles costing $93 million taxpayer dollars; using the Mother of all Bombs in Afghanistan; striking homes with drones in Yemen; bombing civilians and aid workers in Iraq; sending more troops to Somalia; and threatening to nuke North Korea! Some have actually said it makes him more "presidential."

Actually, this is not abnormal behavior for the USA. Trump inherited at least seven ongoing conflicts from Presidents Obama and G.W. Bush. The United States has been fighting in Afghanistan for 15 years, ever since 9/11, under both Democratic and Republican rule. Over 660,000 Afghans have been displaced. Nearly 12,000 civilians died in 2016. The U.S. pours close to $611 billion a year into its budget for weapons, equipment, soldiers and contractors, far more than any other country. It amounts to 36 percent of all global spending on "defense."

Economic distress. The worn-out, 500-year-old system of capitalism is everywhere scrambling to revive disappearing markets and hang on to threatened wealth of the very few. This creates fierce competition between major and minor imperialist powers and their pet regimes - competition that means nothing less than war. For war is the ultimate profit machine, creator of very few winners and masses of losers.

Capitalism's best solution is the self-perpetuating armaments industry. The weapon makers, think tanks and contractors that service the Pentagon and spy agencies, together with the Wall Street banks who make high-interest loans to fund wars, thrive under a foreign policy of deadly conflict. They produce things that are immediately destroyed when used, and that creates demand for more of the same.

Martin Luther King, Jr. rightly called this "the madness of militarization." Instead of spending on infrastructure and human services for the populace, our rulers promote war - to sound patriotic as they pocket the profits.

The underlying reason for economic and political instability, especially in the Middle East but also in the U.S. and everywhere else, is that capitalism no longer works and cannot survive on egalitarian principles. Revolutionary impulses against massive poverty, austerity, and repression are not going to go away. So it makes sense that militarism is top of the agenda for today's rulers.

Pentagon handed power. Trump has appointed many war generals to top positions in government and the National Security Council. Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis, Marine Gen. John Kelly, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster have been heavily involved in nonstop, unsuccessful military conflicts for decades.

Yet Trump has authorized them to bomb whomever, wherever, and however they please, no matter the civilian casualties and chilling nuclear aspects. He has removed executive and legislative branch constraints on his favorite generals, in violation of a fundamental tenet of the Constitution - civilian control of the military.

As more and more troops are sent to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and other "unnamed" countries, and Trump threatens North Korea, he is expanding the war machine. North Korea has been asking for a peace treaty with Washington and Seoul for 64 years but has been flatly refused. Now U.S. bases, ships and missile sites surround the area and provocative war games take place off the Korean coast every year. And the North Koreans continue to build weapons to defend themselves.

The new president's war strikes are no different from those of other presidents since 9/11. But his practice of allowing the Pentagon to decide troop deployments, while keeping the White House, Congress and the public in the dark about military actions and civilian casualty numbers, is an escalation of the unchecked, undemocratic use of executive power.

The threat of peace. The presumption of endless war by many is not surprising, because it's what this country has settled into. Trump's so-called foreign policy has no intention of ending conflicts and gaining peace. An end to hostilities would drastically damage U.S. capitalism.

Permanent conflict between those who exploit and those who rise up against repression and poverty will only be solved when the profit system is widely condemned and overturned.

Send feedback to the author at: lfdanks@yahoo.com .

This article was first published by FSP

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

vincenr · 4 days ago

This is the punch line. This is where all the neo-conniving AIPAC slime monkeys have gotten us, a bankrupt nation! No viability! How would you like to be Netanyahu and start to realize your big bully boy Goliath just lost his other eye? You would be in a pickle as soon as everyone realizes your predicament. No subsidies to buy the expensive parts for your air force. AIPAC unable to sway anyone to do anything on your behalf . Now an experienced seriously battle hardened Hezbollah, backed by a similarly hardened SAA, on your southern border; all with new armaments. Oh boy the sleepless nights are just starting.
Guest99 · 4 days ago
Without wars, without all these big fake 'existential threats', the U.S. would have collapsed long ago.

The purpose of these wars are twofold. First and foremost, maintain the paramount prosperity of the military and the armament industry. Second, create victims for blame of America's troubles. The more the troubles, the more the enemies.

Today, the U.S. has the most enemy of any country in the world. This is why Trump gave war powers to his generals. Need more. Is there such a thing as a bubble for enemy?

maninhavana · 4 days ago
The problem is too many people are making a good living out of the system to jeopardise their fat pay cheques. Look at the millions working in academia , the surveillance,cops, prison and armament industries, the UN and EU apparatchiks and the thousands of secretaries and Armani suit sellers...all making big bucks. Even the CEO of Exxon ( no dummy obviously) must know what we know, that he is ruining the world for his grandchildren, says nothing.
Don't rock the boat just spew over the side and keep rowing is the ... I hate this word but it fits... meme.
DrS · 4 days ago
The Khazars will take down America.

Make no mistake, it has been their intention from the beginning.

tom anocu · 4 days ago
A brain rot destroying the social fabric of ameri3Ka. Has to be a pathology that comes with mother's milk to accept the bombing and death of millions and war, war, war after war. The worst part is people are helpless to do anything about it. It takes SACRIFICING time and body if necessary. Shutting the whole place down por days, weeks or months. Whatever it takes. People CAN stop wars, especially if they are the aggressors.
anon · 4 days ago
i'm authorizing all nations to bomb the united states for their war mongering crimes, if the people of the US wont stop their govt then the rest of the world must do it..
Schlüter 91p · 3 days ago
At the core of all this is the Fascism of the US Neocon Power Elite!
"A Reminder: Neocon Think Tanks and Fascism": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/a-remin...
Felix · 3 days ago
Thanks for the clip on Illinois budget issues. Since Reagan the US has been closely following the guide book for becoming a failed country. A handful of privileged folks take all the money and everyone else lives in poverty.
stan van houcke · 3 days ago
'War As Foreign Policy' This has been the case for 93 percent of the u.s. history. only 17 years since 1776 the u.s. had no war. why would this be?
barbara mullin · 3 days ago
Where would American be today, if Harry Truman hadn't reigned in General MacArthur who wanted to attack China?
dead vulcan zombie · 3 days ago
Hmm... actually, from what i recall, Trump didn't want to just keep the wars going, until after he was blackmailed by the lies which became "Russia-gate".

Upon retrospection, now that the NY times has retracted what they said about Russia-gate, it would appear that the liars behind it got what they wanted: another president committed to subordinating himself to the war-profiteering, psychopathic vampires and vultures behind the secret government.

The Trump presidency has made it all very clear who are behind the Federal government: "secret government" executives (who love to play dictators) and war-profiteers (vampires and vultures).

Jean-Louis · 2 days ago
War making is a big business. Billions upon billions are spent filling weapon manufacturing and world peace does nothing to promote war apparatus. I*n the hard news section of ICH, notice that 678 people were killed by war machinery yesterday, and that's only the tip of the iceberg as most war deaths from all the world's military are mostly kept out of the news. But most importantly, those deaths cannot forever be kept at bay in a world that is always shrinking. One day, it is my contention, as well as that of other more well-known prognosticators, that those who fight by their sword will die by their sword. Even though I am personally as agnostic as it gets, some of hose bible passages sure seem to hi the nails on the head.
joeanybody · 2 days ago
Smedley Butler called this one over eighty years ago with War Is A Racket. The biggest difference is that today the weapons are much deadlier.
maricia · 1 day ago
The rich wage wars
The poor go to die
doug · 1 day ago
The world needs hospitals, schools and clinics not more military destruction.
Rusti · 22 hours ago
See:- '''JFK to 911, Everything Is a Rich Man's Trick''', a Stunning article exposing the anti-communist motive behind the Banksters' & Billionaires' support for & creation of Hitler, Nazis , & Al CIA da terrorists & fascists around the world.
Rusti · 22 hours ago
See:-'''Blackshirts & Reds, Michael Parenti''' , ,'''The Real Causes of WW-2, Parenti''' , ,''' "Left" Anti-communism, the Unkindest Cut''', ,''' "Left" Conspiracy Phobia, Parenti'''
Rusti · 21 hours ago
See:-'''Script-Top 10 Staged Media Events''', ,'''Operation Mockingbird:- the Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA'''
Rusti · 2 hours ago
See:-'''Fascist Birch Society & Its Billionaire H.L.Hunt's Complicity in Assassination of JFK'''.(Alex Jones & the infiltrated new host of The Power Hour are mouthpieces of the Birch Society which plants damage control articles on searches of itself.) See:-'''Fascist Birch Society Ties to Western Goals-Nazis, CIA, CNP, World Anti-Communist League Death Squads, Hunt, Koch & Pew Billionaires''' , ,'''Claire Conner, Birch Society Insider Whistleblower'''

[Jul 04, 2017] Mourn on the Fourth of July, 2017

Notable quotes:
"... When did the East Germans take over? ..."
"... You can't drive past the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue today. It was "temporarily" closed to motorized traffic after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and that closure was officially made permanent after 9/11. Seldom a week passes without breathless reports of a "security incident." Someone touched the White House fence (everyone panic!) or was shot to death by police after making a wrong turn or panicking at a random roadblock. Air Force One? You can still see it. On TV, anyway. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

I visited Washington, DC for the first time in 1980. I was 13. Jimmy Carter was the president.

My family only had one day to see the sights. As I remember it, we went through what seemed a somewhat sketchy neighborhood (I was a country boy, so it may have just been nerves about The Big City), turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue, and drove past the White House and Capitol before taking in selected bits of the Smithsonian and visiting Arlington National Cemetery. Then we proceeded to Andrews Air Force Base, where my brother was stationed, and just for fun drove past Air Force One.

I saw a lot of really neat stuff that day, but right now I'm thinking about the stuff I didn't see, or at least didn't notice.

I don't recall seeing a single police officer anywhere, although I'm sure I must have. The only man with a gun I noticed at Andrews was the gate guard, who checked my brother's ID and waved us through. Nobody seemed to give us a second glance as we passed within a few hundred feet of the president's plane. I don't recall any security checkpoints, barricades or traffic barriers along Pennsylvania Avenue, and I think I would have remembered those.

This was in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis and only a few months after the Unabomber's attack on American Airlines Flight 444 as it flew into DC from Chicago. Central America was in the throes of successful and unsuccessful revolutions and the US wasn't terribly popular there. Carter was preparing to re-institute draft registration in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

And yet (aside from a surplus of marble monuments), Washington seemed on the whole to be a normal, American city.

When did the East Germans take over?

You can't drive past the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue today. It was "temporarily" closed to motorized traffic after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and that closure was officially made permanent after 9/11. Seldom a week passes without breathless reports of a "security incident." Someone touched the White House fence (everyone panic!) or was shot to death by police after making a wrong turn or panicking at a random roadblock. Air Force One? You can still see it. On TV, anyway.

You can still visit Washington, but if you plan to fly in, count on multiple instances of being required to show your papers and get felt up at the airports. My own kids can't remember a time without metal detectors, bag searches and dire warnings even at the entrances to such attractions as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

I guess every generation of adults feels like things have gone downhill since they were kids. But as someone a little too young to have understood Vietnam or Watergate and just exactly old enough to have exuberantly celebrated the nation's bicentennial, these days I find each 4th of July to surpass the last as an occasion for mourning an America that no longer exists.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism . He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.

[Jul 04, 2017] We Must Declare Independence by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... Think about NSA surveillance. As we have learned from brave whistleblowers like William Binney and Edward Snowden, the US intelligence community is not protecting us from foreigners who seek to destroy our way of life. The US intelligence community is itself destroying our way of life. Literally every one of our electronic communications is captured and stored in vast computer networks. Perhaps they will be used against "dissidents" in the future who question government tyranny. ..."
"... saying that you don't care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say. ..."
"... Think about the TSA. The freedom to travel is fundamental, and our Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures is the law of the land. But if you dare to exercise that right by purchasing an air ticket, you are treated like a Guantanamo Bay detainee. Don't dare question as the TSA agents commit acts that would be crimes were they done by anyone else. Yet so many Americans still believe this is what it takes to be "safe." ..."
"... Think about the military industrial complex. The US government spends more on its military empire than much of the rest of the world combined. Our so-called mortal enemy Russia spends ten cents to every dollar we spend on weapons of war. Yet we are told we must spend more! Imagine the amazing peaceful scientific discoveries that might be made were so many researchers and scientists not on the government payroll designing new ways to end life on earth. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Some 241 years later, Washington claims more of our money as its own than King George could have ever imagined. What do we get in this bargain? We get a federal government larger and more oppressive than before 1776, a government that increasingly views us as the enemy.

Think about NSA surveillance. As we have learned from brave whistleblowers like William Binney and Edward Snowden, the US intelligence community is not protecting us from foreigners who seek to destroy our way of life. The US intelligence community is itself destroying our way of life. Literally every one of our electronic communications is captured and stored in vast computer networks. Perhaps they will be used against "dissidents" in the future who question government tyranny.

We have no privacy in our computers or our phones. If the government wants to see what we are doing at any time, it simply switches on our phone camera or computer camera – or our "smart" television. Yet today we continue to hear, "I've got nothing to hide."

In a recent interview on our Liberty Report, Edward Snowden made the excellent point that, "saying that you don't care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say."

Think about the TSA. The freedom to travel is fundamental, and our Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures is the law of the land. But if you dare to exercise that right by purchasing an air ticket, you are treated like a Guantanamo Bay detainee. Don't dare question as the TSA agents commit acts that would be crimes were they done by anyone else. Yet so many Americans still believe this is what it takes to be "safe."

Think about the military industrial complex. The US government spends more on its military empire than much of the rest of the world combined. Our so-called mortal enemy Russia spends ten cents to every dollar we spend on weapons of war. Yet we are told we must spend more! Imagine the amazing peaceful scientific discoveries that might be made were so many researchers and scientists not on the government payroll designing new ways to end life on earth.

Think about the Fed. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 the US dollar has lost some 98 percent of its value. Is the destruction of our currency not a cruel form of tyranny, hitting hardest those who can least afford it?

I think it's time for us to declare our independence from an oppressive government that seeks to control our money and our lives in ways unimaginable to those who rebelled against the British Crown in 1776. Our revolution is peaceful, and it concentrates on winning hearts and minds one at a time. But it marches on. We must reclaim the spirit of independence every day and every night and intensify the struggle against those who seek to impose tyranny upon us.


Copyright © 2017 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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[Jul 04, 2017] I Sure Hope That I am Wrong, But by saker

Notable quotes:
"... Missile Crisis. Not only are Russian and US servicemen now deployed in the same war zone (the Americans totally illegally), but unlike what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis we have a US President who terminally lacks the willpower to deal with the crazies on the US side, I am talking about the Neocons, of course. ..."
"... In fact, under Kennedy there were no real Neocons to tackle to begin with. Now they are running the White House ..."
"... Second, it is absolutely clear that the US Ziomedia and Congress will declare any, any, positive outcome from the meeting as "Trump caved in to Putin" and try to get a pound of political flesh out of Trump for it. So for Trump any external success will mean an internal disaster. And we already know that the man does not have what it takes to deal with such attacks. Frankly, his only "tactic", so to speak, to deal with the Neocons has been to try to appease them. So short of Trump asking for political asylum in Russia and joining Snowden somewhere in Russia, I don't see him ever taking any independent action. ..."
"... Third, if we look at the people around Trump it is pretty clear that the only intelligent and rational person in the White House is Rex Tillerson. The rest of them are lunatics, maniacs and imbeciles – the current US what shall I call it-"actions" (can't call it a "policy") towards Syria clearly prove that the Executive Branch is completely out of control. ..."
"... We now can clearly see that Mattis and McMaster are not these military geniuses presented to us by the Ziomedia but that, in fact, they are both phenomenally incompetent and that their views of the conflicts in Syria and even Afghanistan can only be characterized as totally lacking anything remotely resembling any kind of vision. ..."
"... For all his intelligence, Tillerson can't even rein in this Nikki idiot at the United Nations. ..."
"... Please don't buy this sanctions canard. The damage these sanctions could do they have already done. The simple truth is that Russia has already survived the sanctions and come out even stronger, this is confirmed by international organizations and by the private sector . In fact, removing the sanctions right now would hurt the Russian economy far more, especially the agricultural sector, which has greatly benefited from the de-facto protectionist protection provided to the Russian economy by these sanctions. ..."
"... Besides, since Congress and UN Nikki have made it pretty darn clear that sanctions will remain in place until Russia agrees to return Crimea to the Ukraine, nothing will change until the current Ukraine finally breaks into three or four parts. ..."
"... As for the Ukraine, the situation there is so bad that an increasing number of specialists are saying that even the US has lost control of Banderastan and that now it's going to be all about intra-Ukie power plays: the social, political, military, cultural and economic disaster has reached what I would call an "escape velocity" when the various processes taking place are basically chaotic, unpredictable and unmanageable. I am personally very dubious that the Americans would have anything to offer the Russians. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

First, we should all stop kidding ourselves, Russia and the USA do not have "disagreements". The sad and frightening reality is that we are now closer to war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not only are Russian and US servicemen now deployed in the same war zone (the Americans totally illegally), but unlike what happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis we have a US President who terminally lacks the willpower to deal with the crazies on the US side, I am talking about the Neocons, of course.

In fact, under Kennedy there were no real Neocons to tackle to begin with. Now they are running the White House while Trump serves them coffee or watches TV in another room (I am joking of course, but just barely). In this context, to meet on the "sidelines" of a G20 conference is bordering on the criminally irresponsible. What the world would need is for Trump and Putin to meet in a "Camp David" like format for at least 3-5 days with all their key advisors and officials. Even if we assume 100% good will on both sides, meeting on the "sidelines" of an already big conference just won't make it possible to get anything done. In the very best of cases Lavrov and Tillerson could have done most of the hard work away from the public eye, but the truth is that the Russians say that so far the two sides have not even agreed upon an agenda.

Second, it is absolutely clear that the US Ziomedia and Congress will declare any, any, positive outcome from the meeting as "Trump caved in to Putin" and try to get a pound of political flesh out of Trump for it. So for Trump any external success will mean an internal disaster. And we already know that the man does not have what it takes to deal with such attacks. Frankly, his only "tactic", so to speak, to deal with the Neocons has been to try to appease them. So short of Trump asking for political asylum in Russia and joining Snowden somewhere in Russia, I don't see him ever taking any independent action.

Third, if we look at the people around Trump it is pretty clear that the only intelligent and rational person in the White House is Rex Tillerson. The rest of them are lunatics, maniacs and imbeciles – the current US what shall I call it-"actions" (can't call it a "policy") towards Syria clearly prove that the Executive Branch is completely out of control.

We now can clearly see that Mattis and McMaster are not these military geniuses presented to us by the Ziomedia but that, in fact, they are both phenomenally incompetent and that their views of the conflicts in Syria and even Afghanistan can only be characterized as totally lacking anything remotely resembling any kind of vision. Yet these two "geniuses" seem to be in charge.

For all his intelligence, Tillerson can't even rein in this Nikki idiot at the United Nations. We should stop kidding ourselves and stop pretending like there is anybody to talk to for the Russians. At best, they are dealing with a Kindergarten. At worst, they are dealing with an evil Kindergarten. But either way, there is nobody to talk to on the US side, much less so somebody to begin solving the many issues that need solving.

I will admit that I did have high hopes for Trump and his apparent willingness to sit down and have an adult conversation with the Russians. I was especially inspired by Trump's repeated rejection of the Ziomedia's narrative about Russia and by what appeared to me as his "no nonsense" approach towards getting things done. I wrote many articles for this blog saying that having hopes (not expectations!) for Trump was the right thing to do. And, frankly, I think that at the time it was. Last Fall I even wrote an entire chapter on this topic in the book " Russian Military Power 2017 " report. Since it is pretty well written, I actually recommend that you download and read it: it is a mix of pretty good information about the Russian Armed Forces and the garden variety nonsense about Russian hackers and their cyber-threat to US and its allies. Just set aside the clearly politically-induced nonsense and you are left with a rather well made summary of what the Russian Armed Forces are up to these days.

I have to thank the DIA for this report: it made me feel young again, like I was in the 1980s when all the students of warfare and of the Soviet military were reading these annual "Soviet Military Power" reports with great interest. But other than making some of us feel young, the real purpose of this document is clear and it is the very same one behind the Cold War era "Soviet Military Power" series: to justify an increase in "defense" (i.e. "aggression") spending by showing how scary these evil Commies/Russkies were/are.

This would all be rather funny, and nostalgic in a way, if it did not show the total lack of imagination of the folks at the Pentagon. Far from coming up with anything novel or interesting, they are bringing back into service stuff which for years had been collecting dust in the memories of now mostly retired Cold Warriors. It is rather pathetic, really.

Over the past 30 years or so, Russia went from being the Soviet Union, to being a Somalia-like "democratic hell" during the 1990s, to becoming a completely new entity – a "New Russia" which is dramatically different from the Soviet Union of the 1980s. In contrast, the US got completely stuck in its old patterns, except for this time they are "the same, but even worse". If the US did not have nukes that would almost be okay (after all, the world can let "Uncle Sam" slowly lose his sclerotic brain, who cares?) but when a nuclear superpower is acting like an out-of-control rogue state, this is very, very, scary.

So back to our G20 meeting again. The first thing which needs to be said is that Trump is weak, extremely weak: he goes in with the Ziomedia and Congress hating him and with a basically treacherous White House team clearly controlled by Pence, Kushner and the rest of the Neocon crazies. To make things worse, Trump can offer the Russians absolutely nothing they would want or need.

Please don't buy this sanctions canard. The damage these sanctions could do they have already done. The simple truth is that Russia has already survived the sanctions and come out even stronger, this is confirmed by international organizations and by the private sector . In fact, removing the sanctions right now would hurt the Russian economy far more, especially the agricultural sector, which has greatly benefited from the de-facto protectionist protection provided to the Russian economy by these sanctions. Likewise, the Russian defense industry has successfully adapted to the total severance by the Ukronazi regime of all the defense contracts with Russia and now 100% Russian military systems and parts are being produced in Russia at a cheaper price and of a higher quality. Besides, since Congress and UN Nikki have made it pretty darn clear that sanctions will remain in place until Russia agrees to return Crimea to the Ukraine, nothing will change until the current Ukraine finally breaks into three or four parts.

Trump could, in theory, offer the Russians to stop sabotaging the peace process in Syria and the Russians would surely welcome that. But since the US policy of illegal air and missile strikes combined with a deployment of US forces on the ground in Syria is failing anyway, see here and here , the Russians are going to get what they want whether the US wants it or not.

As for the Ukraine, the situation there is so bad that an increasing number of specialists are saying that even the US has lost control of Banderastan and that now it's going to be all about intra-Ukie power plays: the social, political, military, cultural and economic disaster has reached what I would call an "escape velocity" when the various processes taking place are basically chaotic, unpredictable and unmanageable. I am personally very dubious that the Americans would have anything to offer the Russians.

Mao Cheng Ji, July 3, 2017 at 8:07 pm GMT

In Syria, the only problem the Pentagon has is no air superiority. Without air superiority the Pentagon is helpless. Russia could give them that, maybe partially at least, in some areas. And Ukraine - without regular cash infusions Kiev is dead. And that's what Trump could offer (maybe. He would have to grow some balls). And that's a possible deal.

Anatoly Karlin, Website July 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm GMT

Yes, this sounds about right.

Russia should use this window of opportunity to aggressively push its geopolitical interests, including in Ukraine (it is most assuredly not going to break "into three or four parts" by itself).

If Trump 2016 wins out, great. If the neocons fully reassert control, Russia is gonna get squeezed further regardless.

Dod, July 4, 2017 at 3:23 am GMT

I find it unsettling that someone whom I trusted can see "Nikki" as a person, with personal ideas. She doesn't recall her real name and her religion; how could she give a damn about whatever she spouts on orders from whoever is the object of her sycophancy?

fnn, July 4, 2017 at 5:23 am GMT

The real enemy of the US is domestic. Ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer thinks he is waging war against them with his tweets:

http://non-intervention.com/2789/pour-it-on-mr-trump-tweet-the-lying-bastards-and-bitches-straight-to-hell/

He may be giving Trump too much credit, but I'm in no position to judge. Nevertheless, we know who the consistent warmongers have been.

[Jul 04, 2017] Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia by Gareth Porter

Notable quotes:
"... Recent hearings by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees reflected the rising tide of Russian-election-hacking hysteria and contributed further to it. Both Democrats and Republicans on the two committees appeared to share the alarmist assumptions about Russian hacking, and the officials who testified did nothing to discourage the politicians. ..."
"... The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a record of spreading false stories about alleged Russian hacking into US infrastructure , such as the tale of a Russian intrusion into the Burlington, Vermont electrical utility in December 2016 that DHS later admitted was untrue. There was another bogus DHS story about Russia hacking into a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011. ..."
"... So, there's a pattern here. Plus, investigators, assessing the notion that Russia hacked into state electoral databases, rejected that suspicion as false months ago. Last September, Assistant Secretary of DHS for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and state officials explained that the intrusions were not carried out by Russian intelligence but by criminal hackers seeking personal information to sell on the Internet. ..."
"... Illinois is the one state where hackers succeeded in breaking into a voter registration database last summer. The crucial fact about the Illinois hacking, however, was that the hackers extracted personal information on roughly 90,000 registered voters, and that none of the information was expunged or altered. ..."
"... "Any time you more carefully monitor a system you're going to see more bad guys poking and prodding at it," he observed, " because they're always poking and prodding." [Emphasis added] ..."
"... Reagan further revealed that she had learned from the FBI that hackers had gotten a user name and password for their electoral database, and that it was being sold on the "dark web" – an encrypted network used by cyber criminals to buy and sell their wares. In fact, she said, the FBI told her that the probe of Arizona's database was the work of a "known hacker" who had been closely monitored "frequently." ..."
"... The sequence of events indicates that the main person behind the narrative of Russian hacking state election databases from the beginning was former FBI Director James Comey. In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28, Comey suggested that the Russian government was behind efforts to penetrate voter databases, but never said so directly. ..."
"... The media then suddenly found unnamed sources ready to accuse Russia of hacking election data even while admitting that they lacked evidence. The day after Comey's testimony ABC headlined , "Russia Hacking Targeted Nearly Half of States' Voter Registration Systems, Successfully Infiltrating 4." The story itself revealed, however, that it was merely a suspicion held by "knowledgeable" sources. ..."
"... But that claim of a "likely" link between the hackers and Russia was not only speculative but highly suspect. The authors of the DHS-ODNI report claimed the link was "supported by technical indicators from the US intelligence community, DHS, FBI, the private sector and other entities." They cited a list of hundreds of I.P. addresses and other such "indicators" used by hackers they called "Grizzly Steppe" who were supposedly linked to Russian intelligence. ..."
"... But the highly classified NSA report made no reference to any evidence supporting such an attribution. The absence of any hint of signals intelligence supporting its conclusion makes it clear that the NSA report was based on nothing more than the same kind of inconclusive "indicators" that had been used to establish the original narrative of Russians hacking electoral databases. ..."
"... Russian intelligence certainly has an interest in acquiring intelligence related to the likely outcome of American elections, but it would make no sense for Russia's spies to acquire personal voting information about 90,000 registered voters in Illinois. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
Cyber-criminal efforts to hack into U.S. government databases are epidemic, but this ugly reality is now being exploited to foist blame on Russia and fuel the New Cold War hysteria

Recent hearings by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees reflected the rising tide of Russian-election-hacking hysteria and contributed further to it. Both Democrats and Republicans on the two committees appeared to share the alarmist assumptions about Russian hacking, and the officials who testified did nothing to discourage the politicians.

On June 21, Samuel Liles, acting director of the Intelligence and Analysis Office's Cyber Division at the Department of Homeland Security, and Jeanette Manfra, acting deputy under secretary for cyber-security and communications, provided the main story line for the day in testimony before the Senate committee - that efforts to hack into election databases had been found in 21 states.

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap also endorsed the narrative of Russian government responsibility for the intrusions on voter registration databases.

But none of those who testified offered any evidence to support this suspicion nor were they pushed to do so. And beneath the seemingly unanimous embrace of that narrative lies a very different story.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a record of spreading false stories about alleged Russian hacking into US infrastructure , such as the tale of a Russian intrusion into the Burlington, Vermont electrical utility in December 2016 that DHS later admitted was untrue. There was another bogus DHS story about Russia hacking into a Springfield, Illinois water pump in November 2011.

So, there's a pattern here. Plus, investigators, assessing the notion that Russia hacked into state electoral databases, rejected that suspicion as false months ago. Last September, Assistant Secretary of DHS for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and state officials explained that the intrusions were not carried out by Russian intelligence but by criminal hackers seeking personal information to sell on the Internet.

Both Ozment and state officials responsible for the state databases revealed that those databases have been the object of attempted intrusions for years. The FBI provided information to at least one state official indicating that the culprits in the hacking of the state's voter registration database were cyber-criminals.

Illinois is the one state where hackers succeeded in breaking into a voter registration database last summer. The crucial fact about the Illinois hacking, however, was that the hackers extracted personal information on roughly 90,000 registered voters, and that none of the information was expunged or altered.

The Actions of Cybercriminals

That was an obvious clue to the motive behind the hack. Assistant DHS Secretary Ozment testified before the House Subcommittee on Information Technology on Sept. 28 ( at 01:02.30 of the video ) that the apparent interest of the hackers in copying the data suggested that the hacking was "possibly for the purpose of selling personal information."

Ozment 's testimony provides the only credible motive for the large number of states found to have experienced what the intelligence community has called "scanning and probing" of computers to gain access to their electoral databases: the personal information involved – even e-mail addresses – is commercially valuable to the cybercriminal underworld.

That same testimony also explains why so many more states reported evidence of attempts to hack their electoral databases last summer and fall. After hackers had gone after the Illinois and Arizona databases, Ozment said, DHS had provided assistance to many states in detecting attempts to hack their voter registration and other databases.

"Any time you more carefully monitor a system you're going to see more bad guys poking and prodding at it," he observed, " because they're always poking and prodding." [Emphasis added]

State election officials have confirmed Ozment's observation. Ken Menzel, the general counsel for the Illinois Secretary of State, told this writer, "What's new about what happened last year is not that someone tried to get into our system but that they finally succeeded in getting in." Menzel said hackers "have been trying constantly to get into it since 2006."

And it's not just state voter registration databases that cybercriminals are after, according to Menzel. "Every governmental data base – driver's licenses, health care, you name it – has people trying to get into it," he said.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan told Mother Jones that her I.T. specialists had detected 193,000 distinct attempts to get into the state's website in September 2016 alone and 11,000 appeared to be trying to "do harm."

Reagan further revealed that she had learned from the FBI that hackers had gotten a user name and password for their electoral database, and that it was being sold on the "dark web" – an encrypted network used by cyber criminals to buy and sell their wares. In fact, she said, the FBI told her that the probe of Arizona's database was the work of a "known hacker" who had been closely monitored "frequently."

James Comey's Role

The sequence of events indicates that the main person behind the narrative of Russian hacking state election databases from the beginning was former FBI Director James Comey. In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. 28, Comey suggested that the Russian government was behind efforts to penetrate voter databases, but never said so directly.

Comey told the committee that FBI Counterintelligence was working to "understand just what mischief Russia is up to with regard to our elections." Then he referred to "a variety of scanning activities" and "attempted intrusions" into election-related computers "beyond what we knew about in July and August," encouraging the inference that it had been done by Russian agents.

The media then suddenly found unnamed sources ready to accuse Russia of hacking election data even while admitting that they lacked evidence. The day after Comey's testimony ABC headlined , "Russia Hacking Targeted Nearly Half of States' Voter Registration Systems, Successfully Infiltrating 4." The story itself revealed, however, that it was merely a suspicion held by "knowledgeable" sources.

Similarly, NBC News headline announced, "Russians Hacked Two US Voter Databases, Officials Say." But those who actually read the story closely learned that in fact none of the unnamed sources it cited were actually attributing the hacking to the Russians.

It didn't take long for Democrats to turn the Comey teaser - and these anonymously sourced stories with misleading headlines about Russian database hacking - into an established fact. A few days later, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff declared that there was "no doubt" Russia was behind the hacks on state electoral databases.

On Oct. 7, DHS and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement that they were "not in a position to attribute this activity to the Russian government." But only a few weeks later, DHS participated with FBI in issuing a "Joint Analysis Report" on "Russian malicious cyber activity" that did not refer directly to scanning and spearphishing aimed of state electoral databases but attributed all hacks related to the election to "actors likely associated with RIS [Russian Intelligence Services]."

Suspect Claims

But that claim of a "likely" link between the hackers and Russia was not only speculative but highly suspect. The authors of the DHS-ODNI report claimed the link was "supported by technical indicators from the US intelligence community, DHS, FBI, the private sector and other entities." They cited a list of hundreds of I.P. addresses and other such "indicators" used by hackers they called "Grizzly Steppe" who were supposedly linked to Russian intelligence.

But as I reported last January, the staff of Dragos Security, whose CEO Rob Lee, had been the architect of a US government system for defense against cyber attack, pointed out that the vast majority of those indicators would certainly have produced "false positives."

Then, on Jan. 6 came the "intelligence community assessment" – produced by selected analysts from CIA, FBI and National Security Agency and devoted almost entirely to the hacking of e-mail of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta. But it included a statement that "Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple state or local election boards." Still, no evidence was evinced on this alleged link between the hackers and Russian intelligence.

Over the following months, the narrative of hacked voter registration databases receded into the background as the drumbeat of media accounts about contacts between figures associated with the Trump campaign and Russians built to a crescendo, albeit without any actual evidence of collusion regarding the e-mail disclosures.

But a June 5 story brought the voter-data story back into the headlines. The story, published by The Intercept, accepted at face value an NSA report dated May 5, 2017 , that asserted Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, had carried out a spear-phishing attack on a US company providing election-related software and had sent e-mails with a malware-carrying word document to 122 addresses believed to be local government organizations.

But the highly classified NSA report made no reference to any evidence supporting such an attribution. The absence of any hint of signals intelligence supporting its conclusion makes it clear that the NSA report was based on nothing more than the same kind of inconclusive "indicators" that had been used to establish the original narrative of Russians hacking electoral databases.

A Checkered History

So, the history of the US government's claim that Russian intelligence hacked into election databases reveals it to be a clear case of politically motivated analysis by the DHS and the Intelligence Community. Not only was the claim based on nothing more than inherently inconclusive technical indicators but no credible motive for Russian intelligence wanting personal information on registered voters was ever suggested.

Russian intelligence certainly has an interest in acquiring intelligence related to the likely outcome of American elections, but it would make no sense for Russia's spies to acquire personal voting information about 90,000 registered voters in Illinois.

When FBI Counterintelligence chief Priestap was asked at the June 21 hearing how Moscow might use such personal data, his tortured effort at an explanation clearly indicated that he was totally unprepared to answer the question.

"They took the data to understand what it consisted of," said Priestap, "so they can affect better understanding and plan accordingly in regards to possibly impacting future election by knowing what is there and studying it."

In contrast to that befuddled non-explanation, there is highly credible evidence that the FBI was well aware that the actual hackers in the cases of both Illinois and Arizona were motivated by the hope of personal gain.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

Read more by Gareth Porter Why Afghanistan? Fighting a War for the War System Itself – June 13th, 2017 The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow – June 4th, 2017 Will Trump Agree to the Pentagon's Permanent War in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria? – May 14th, 2017 US 'Deep State' Sold Out Counter-Terrorism To Keep Itself in Business – April 23rd, 2017 New Revelations Belie Trump Claims on Syria Chemical Attack – April 14th, 2017

View all posts by Gareth Porter

[Jul 03, 2017] Corporations fall for the lure of power no less than a political class, and are many times better at it! The idea that "the free market" will check their activities, promoted by Libertarians, is surely as naïve as anything any Marxist ever said.

Jul 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

For corporations, too, fall into this downward spiral. It has become easy to forget that the only truly effective checks on greed are moral in nature, and will be effective only if the greedy are convinced they answer to a Being infinitely more powerful than they are (and even then, incompletely). Mere political checks on corporate power can never work when corporations have the money to buy political classes. When civic morality collapses into I'll-scratch-your-back-if-you'll-scratch-mine utilitarianism, those at the helm of corporations see accumulation as natural and even expected.

Is this not neoliberalism in a nutshell? I've heard neoliberalism described as "capitalism with the gloves off" as it is blamed for the worsening wealth gap. An important difference between neoliberalism and its classical liberal ancestor, though, is that its ancestor did not arise within and had no necessary connection to secular materialism. The version of classical liberalism developed most famously by Frederic Bastiat (1801 – 1850) in his slim classic The Law (1849), offered a Christian economics. Classical liberalism is not inherently materialist. The implicit joining of the two has been a catastrophe for the developed world. Power centered in global corporations answering only to each other has become the final economic reality, money their primary instrument. The long-term result, having come to fullest fruition since the financial crisis of 2008, is the wealth gap: the accumulation, in the hands of a group small enough to fit into a university auditorium with room to spare, of more wealth than is possessed by the entire bottom half of the world's population!

Corporations fall for the lure of power no less than a political class, and are many times better at it! The idea that "the free market" will check their activities, promoted by Libertarians, is surely as naïve as anything any Marxist ever said. They become not merely "too big to fail" but beyond the control of abstract "economic logic" which is just the increasingly puny decisions, in aggregate, of the increasingly moneyless and powerless. Money, after all, is power in materialist global civilization, and if you don't have it, you're impotent. Moneylenders discovered this at the regional level in the late 1700s. Their descendants have been expanding on the basic idea ever since. Leftists are right to believe this is an important factor behind the present surge of "populism" and other manifestations of unrest all over the world - rebellions against an insular elite, loyal only to money, whose idea of "work" is moving investments around all day and tallying the profits, while undermining and destroying the autonomy of indigenous populations.

Beefcake the Mighty Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

@Agent76 May 5, 2017 Hans-Hermann Hoppe: A World Without Theft

Dr. Hoppe's book 'The Economics and Ethics of Private Property' (mises.org/EEPP) is among the most important modern contributions to libertarian thought. Hoppe, like Rothbard, connects laissez-faire economics to normative libertarian theory with laserlike precision and inexorable logic.

https://youtu.be/D0DoeyI8YCI Outstanding, yes. If more libertarians were like Rothbard and Hoppe, they might provide a meaningful opposition movement. Instead they just offer a different brand of open borders lunacy and national suicide.

[Jul 03, 2017] What Would Putin Tell Trump by Israel Shamir

Notable quotes:
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net ..."
"... The Unz Review ..."
"... If only it were that simple – there is giant invisible elephant sitting in on that meeting – ISRAEL. Of course Putin is telling the truth. ISIS can easily be defeated by both the US and Russia working together – it is almost done now. It is 100% up to Trump - more war or a return to a measure of peace? ..."
"... You gave the American illiterate clown too much credit, credit he certainly do not deserve. If you expect him to become a fully fledge statesman like the one-in-a-century Vladimir Putin, you'll be disappointed. ..."
"... Mistakes and stupid decisions, there are many but one of his "mistakes" stands out above all: Giving the Pentagram & CIA free hand to run the US's wars as they see fit. He have now reduced himself to being a mere porch chimp, like Obongo, for his white ziocon owners. I hope Russia have back-channels to these two rough institutions because they are going to need it ..."
"... I don't know what he would tell the boob , but he should say, "Enough of the adolescent attention seeking behavior, OK?" Note to author: There is entirely too much hagiography for the USA's leading buffoon. ..."
"... Israel, you darn well know that the US (US interests, American people) have zero to gain in the Eternal Wars in the Middle East, and that all the serial aggressions over there are all to benefit Israel. Duh! Including the demand that 'Assad must go', and for Syria to come apart so Israel can pick at the carcass. ..."
"... So for Putin to tell Trump what Trump already knows is silly. We all know that the wars are all to benefit Israel, and we all know that what menaces the planet and Russia and the people of the US is the harsh reality of the Z USA. - That Zionist Jews completely dominate our media and deepstate (Pentagon, NSA, CIA, etc..). ..."
"... Let's hope Trump has enough wisdom to recognise how deep this swamp really is before it swallows him. ..."
Jul 03, 2017 | www.unz.com

Russia has had no leader equal in stature and public support to Putin since Stalin – in a recent poll for the greatest personality in history, a plurality of Russians placed Putin and Stalin at the top, preceding Pushkin, the Russian poet who occupies a place safeguarded for Shakespeare in English hearts...

They are very, very different. Their biggest difference lies in experience. Putin has led his country for (more or less) 17 years; he learned the tricks and skills of the power game the hard way, from being a frontman for the seven Jewish bankers who privatized Russia in Nineties, to a fully independent autocrat comparable to the penultimate Russian Tsar Alexander III, or to Napoleon III. He is a wise ruler, in the Confucian way, forever hiding his steel will under a velvet glove; always modest, moderate, temperate, not given to a momentary abandon of passion. He is in full control of himself, and the Sages tell us this is the most difficult and sublime subject of control. He is also a responsible and reliable statesman; his word is as good as his bond: he kept the ridiculous promises he gave to Yeltsin's family. He is also very popular with his subjects.

... ... ..

However, both leaders are severely handicapped. Trump is handicapped by the poisonous campaign insinuating that he had been elected due to Russian interference and that he is in thrall to Russia; at any conclusion short of a military strike the New York Times and CNN will smirk that he surrendered the crown jewels. Putin is handicapped by the fact that Russia is weaker than the US in every way excepting Doomsday weaponry. Russia is surrounded by US military bases; the US military budget is ten times bigger than the Russian one. Putin has very little leeway to retreat and he is likely to respond in force to a provocation.

... ... ...

Russia is a good friend of Iran and Syria, and it does not interfere with our friendship with Israel. Israelis understand that for us they are a Taiwan, while the rest of the Middle East is a China. You can do the same: make peace and friendship with Syria and Iran, while retaining friendship of Israel. They will understand; perhaps they will whine for a while, but they will eventually find a new modus vivendi.

Before getting into a war, define your objectives. If you will do this regarding Syria, you'll see that you are getting into a war for the interests of the army command, for the interests of global banking and for Israeli interests. I'd respect these interests, they are perfectly legitimate, but they aren't your interests, they aren't interests of the American people.

Generals like wars, that is their occupation; they want more wars, a bigger part of budget, more promotions. But a good ruler commands his generals, he does not follow their command. I have sent home three quarters of my generals, and my popularity did not suffer. How come? I appointed a silly-looking non-professional guy for Secretary of Defence with the brief to slim down the Army. He did it and he got all the flak. At the end, I fired him and the Army loved me even more.

You will really prosper and you will be called the best president of all time, if you will slim down your military. Russia has had many bases abroad, from Cuba to Vietnam, from Aden to the Arctic North; we disbanded them all, and we did not regret it for a day. Bases are an expensive thing, and it is better to do without them.

You know, my generals beseeched me to send troops into the Ukraine, but I didn't. We'd better spend money on the improvement of our citizens' life. Now a few million of Ukrainians have voted with their feet: they moved to live and work in Russia, because our way of life is better than theirs. And bear in mind: the Ukraine had been the richest part of the USSR in the time of the Union's breakup in 1991. Now they are quite poor. It is better to improve the economy than to fight wars.

The global bankers also like wars. I respect their wishes, but I do not intend to oblige them. The Jews like wars, but it is not necessary to grant them every wish. The US has not a single real interest to fight for Syria or Ukraine. Or for Estonia. I can promise you: our tanks will not roll into the Baltic states, though they were a part and parcel of Russia for three hundred years. Just take away the NATO bases from our vicinity. If you won't we'll have to defend ourselves.

Nixon also made a U-turn on his policy towards Russia. Instead of confrontation, he chose détente.

.... ... ..

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review .

Art Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT

Putin to Trump: You can do a U-turn on the Middle East wars your country has carried on for too long. These wars are futile. Everything you want to obtain in Syria, you can have without shooting a single bullet, without sending a single soldier.

If only it were that simple – there is giant invisible elephant sitting in on that meeting – ISRAEL. Of course Putin is telling the truth. ISIS can easily be defeated by both the US and Russia working together – it is almost done now. It is 100% up to Trump - more war or a return to a measure of peace?

Was campaign Trump telling the truth when he said America First – no more wars? We shall find out soon!

Peace - Art

p.s. I think that Trump's future depends on it – his base will desert him if he chooses Israel over America.

mikh as Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 6:56 am GMT

You gave the American illiterate clown too much credit, credit he certainly do not deserve. If you expect him to become a fully fledge statesman like the one-in-a-century Vladimir Putin, you'll be disappointed.

Mistakes and stupid decisions, there are many but one of his "mistakes" stands out above all: Giving the Pentagram & CIA free hand to run the US's wars as they see fit. He have now reduced himself to being a mere porch chimp, like Obongo, for his white ziocon owners. I hope Russia have back-channels to these two rough institutions because they are going to need it

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 7:04 am GMT

Russia is not a great country, it even is not large.
As to being great, economically it is comparable to Spain.
Its 1600 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 70ties technology, is the only greatness, these missiles guarantee the independence of Russia.
Russia has ONE aircraft carrier, the USA has dozens, as far as I know.
The capacity to retaliate is in this world the only guarantee to stay independent, as N Korea makes abundantly clear these days.
Russia is not even geographically large, it seems large on most maps, the Mercator projection, that stretches the North Pole point infinitely.
On top of that, most of N Russia, Siberia, is uninhabitable.
Global warming may change this.

Diversity Heretic Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 7:37 am GMT

I guess my first reaction is that Richard Nixon had to resign under threat of impeachment. Not sure I want to end my presidency under similar circumstances. I'm also skeptical of the claim that Nixon set the basis for prosperity. Wage stagnation began in the early 1970s, during his administration.

Robert Magill Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 9:34 am GMT

Trump and Putin may agree on the biggest possible deal that will provide both countries, China and Japan as well, a radically different future. Details follow https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/the-art-of-the-deal/

G. Mayre Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 10:49 am GMT

Putin is the only leader in the world left stupid enough to take Trump seriously and have hopes for "cooperation", when everyone else – even the likes of Duterte – are dissing on him, just waiting it out patiently until his inevitable impeachment. Speaks volumes about the desperate situation Putin is in.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 11:57 am GMT

What Would Putin Tell Trump?

I don't know what he would tell the boob , but he should say, "Enough of the adolescent attention seeking behavior, OK?" Note to author: There is entirely too much hagiography for the USA's leading buffoon. He's a baby faced narcissistic punk who should be nowhere near the levers of power because he'll stoop to anything for a little attention. And another thing. This is entirely too melodramatic.:

The consequences can be joyous – or fatal.

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 12:40 pm GMT

Jun 3, 2017 Putin defends Trump – 'Don't worry, be happy'

President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement caused anger and anxiety across the world. But is there more than meet the eye? How many critics have actually read the agreement themselves – as President Putin rightfully points out? The agreement is a framework agreement with no particular obligations. There are no guidelines as to how resources should be spent, and the resources which the US ratified are quite substantial.

The Scalpel Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra "Russia is not even geographically large "

Well it is the largest country on earth. Or maybe you are saying with respect to Russia, "You bad!" as in "You are very, very good"

Z-man Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT

Trump is surrounded by open and hidden enemies, by people who pray for his failure. He is opposed by his own secret services, by the media, by his own party. His popularity isn't certain.

So true.

If Putin were to speak his mind freely to Trump, and it is not likely, as their conversation will certainly be bugged, recorded and leaked by the NSA to the hostile media, he'd tell him:

The points you make about the current state of the world and affairs between the two countries is mostly spot on if a bit utopian but Putin should tell him these things anyway and to hell with the power of the evil Cabal !

nickels Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 2:17 pm GMT

"Uh, well Volodya, let me go ask Ivanka and Jared, then I'll get back to you you know, Jared, he's a real smart guy. He's very smart, you know "

John Brown Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm GMT

"Lenin was very, very friendly to Jews; he had many Jewish colleagues, but he never allowed them to ride upon him." No, he just let them kill millions of Russian Christians. Small detail in history, of course.

Rurik Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm GMT

What does the US want to have in Syria? You name it, you can have it, and without war, without expenditure, without trouble. And I do not mean in a part of a broken and fragmented Syria under occupation, I mean one Syria, united and complete, with its capital Damascus, and its president Bashar al Assad. There is nothing within reason that President Assad would refuse you and I'll second his promise.

Israel, you darn well know that the US (US interests, American people) have zero to gain in the Eternal Wars in the Middle East, and that all the serial aggressions over there are all to benefit Israel. Duh! Including the demand that 'Assad must go', and for Syria to come apart so Israel can pick at the carcass.

So for Putin to tell Trump what Trump already knows is silly. We all know that the wars are all to benefit Israel, and we all know that what menaces the planet and Russia and the people of the US is the harsh reality of the Z USA. - That Zionist Jews completely dominate our media and deepstate (Pentagon, NSA, CIA, etc..).

So this is the dilemma that confronts Putin, Trump, and all people of good will on the planet.

What Putin should tell Trump is to look at what Putin managed to pull off with a nation also absolutely under the thrall of antagonistic Rothschild minions, and how Putin managed (heroically) to wrest power from them. Putin is trained in Judo, which involves using your op0nents own momentum against them. That's what he did with the Jewish Oligarchs, he mollified some with kindness, and he attacked the most dangerous ones directly, throwing them all off balance and making them wonder what the next move might be, since the one certainty you're dealing with- is their own, honed to absolute lasers' perfection; self-interest.

So far Trump hasn't sent troops into Syria or bombed Iran. Hasn't downed a Russian jet or done anything so stupid that there's no turning back. We all have a shred of hope that Trump might manage to pull off a Putin, but any advise Putin could give would be great.

However, you should not allow these wonderful people to ride upon you as upon a horse.

exactly, but you have to make it look like they are right up until the point that Khodorkovsky / John Podesta is arrested on child abuse charges (or some other high ranking chump) This will send shock waves though their power structure, and have them all scrambling to protect their own arses, even as they turn on each other.

Their power is top down, yours is grass-roots up. Use that president Trump, play them as if they're Judo opponents always coming at you, and also keep in mind their galactic egos and preternatural self-interest, and somehow we might meet in the middle and toast the redemption and deliverance of mankind from the devil itself.

Rurik Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 3:38 pm GMT

please check out the lies being told as a pretext for a false flag chemical weapons attack on Syria. Putin, as usual speaks the plain truth, whereas the ZUS- as usual- speaks treacherous lies

Anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

@nickels Haha. There's a lot of truth in it.

I like Trump and he was definitely not the Deep State candidate but his knowledge is limited which puts him in a precarious position. I can only imagine how much irradiated garbage – masked as the "Truth" – he's getting fed daily. A "friendly" establishment veteran, with an intricate, detailed story, can sound very authoritative to the inexperienced.

Let's hope Trump has enough wisdom to recognise how deep this swamp really is before it swallows him. If I were him, I'd plug everyone to a Voight-Kampff test and keep a herd of hungry pigs in the WH's basement.

1Rw Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra You are wrong on every point. The US has 11 aircraft carriers, not dozens. While it's still more than Russia, it shows your ignorance. Russia is the largest country in the world, regardless of the projection, and has people living throughout its territory, even above the Arctic Circle. It's missiles are. It '70s tech, it has in fact continued upgrading its missile forces, with Bulava, Yars, and Sarmat systems being their latest SLBM, road mobile ICBM, and heavy, silk launched ICBM.

As to its economy being comparable to Spain, when was the last time Spain
- built a spaceship
- launched a nuclear submarine?
- launched a nuclear icebreaker?
- commissioned a fast beeeder reactor?
- developed a modern fighter plane?
- built a passenger jet?

Russia has done all of this in the last decade or so.

Wally Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm GMT

@mikh as And the alternative was .. Hillary.

Hillary's bus being pushed

http://cnsnews.com/s3/files/styles/content_60p/s3/woods4.jpg?itok=Z-tY9Coz

2010 Dems lost the House
2012 the Dems lost the Senate
2016 Dems lost the White House
The Democrats lost more than 1,000 seats at the federal and state level during Obama's presidency, including 9 Senate seats, 62 House seats, 12 governorships, and a startling 958 state legislative seats.

Wally Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra You're highly uninformed.

Russia's National Debt to Remain Lowest in Europe

http://www.russia-briefing.com/news/russias-national-debt-remain-lowest-europe.html/

Spain's national debt reaches highest level in over century

https://www.rt.com/business/356353-spain-debt-record-high/

NASA Data Proves Trump Right to Exit Paris Climate Accord

https://www.prisonplanet.com/nasa-data-proves-trump-right-to-exit-paris-climate-accord.html

'Global Warming' Is a Myth, Say 58 Scientific Papers in 2017

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/06/delingpole-global-warming-is-myth-58-scientific-papers-2017/

To Put America First Is to Put Our Planet's Climate First

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/16/america-first-climate/

Legates et al. (2015), for example, found that only 0.3 percent of 11,944 peer-reviewed articles on climate and related topics, published during the 21 years of 1991 to 2011, had explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly man-made.

"In the last 20 years, we have released more than a third of all the CO2 produced since the beginning of the industrial period. Yet global mean surface temperature has remained essentially constant for 20 years, a fact that has been acknowledged by the IPCC, whose models failed to predict it. NOAA's State of the Climate report for 2008 said that periods of 15 years or more without warming would indicate a discrepancy between prediction and observation – i.e., that the models were wrong. Just before the recent naturally occurring el Niño event raised global temperature, there had been 18 years and 9 months without any global warming at all."

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 4:35 pm GMT

@1Rw Thanks for informing me on the number of aircraft carriers.

Any globe can inform you that Russia is not large, especially not in land that can be used. On Spanish technical and military efforts, as it is already occupied by the USA it cannot defend itself against USA occupation, as Russia does.

Agent76 Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 4:44 pm GMT

April 07, 2017 Pentagon Trained Syria's Al Qaeda "Rebels" in the Use of Chemical Weapons. The Western media refutes their own lies

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2017/04/pentagon-trained-syrias-al-qaeda-rebels-in-the-use-of-chemical-weapons-prof-michel-chossudovsky/

Apr 9, 2017 No More

[Jul 03, 2017] War for Blair Mountain

Jul 03, 2017 | www.unz.com
Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm GMT

And where did Hitler worship get us?

Blonde hair blue eyed Waffen SS soldiers .I assume baptized Christian .being wasted by beautiful blonde haired Conservative Orthodox Christian Women Russian Snipers. This is what you will always get when you fall for the lies of the worshippers of Franco.

Hitler and Franco .enablers of the Mohammadan Gang Rape Army .Hitler's Waffen SS-Werhrmacht gang rape Army

Short tiny Andrew Anglin doesn't realize how much he has in common with the Jewish Antifas on a fundamental Level ..

War for Blair Mountain Show Comment Next New Comment July 3, 2017 at 3:19 pm GMT

History offers up important lessons for the Alt Right

There is a historic precedent for the Alt Right in US History:look no further than the late 19th-early 2oth Century US Labor Movement it was racially xenophobic .isolationist and economically progressive .The late 19th-early 2oth century Labor Movement gave us such wonderfull things such as The Chinese Legal Immigrant Exclusion Act and the Sihk Legal Immigrant Exclusion Act .not bad!!!

And let's honest The Alt Right kiddie brigade that worships Hitler Franco Pinochet .also swims in the sewage of JFK and Ronnie Reagan worship two scoundrels who unleashed race-replacement immigration policy on The Historic Native Born White American Working Class..

[Jul 03, 2017] boots-on-the-ground report

Notable quotes:
"... To put it perhaps bluntly, neoconservatism serves the Washington war machine, where the prevailing idea of "American exceptionalism" is "liberal democracy" forced on a reluctant world at gunpoint. Mainstream Republicans have also promoted the dominance of neoconservatism's flipside which we mentioned earlier, neoliberalism. Neoliberal economics underwrites the global capitalist consensus, as its public intellectuals, the first of whom were Hayek and Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), championed the unregulated market, rejected all forms of state-directed central planning (though they seemed okay with planning if corporations were doing it), lauded the privatization of public services (even prisons!), and recommended austerity to deal with public debt. Neoliberalism could be described by anyone who sought to do so as the triumph of the real Masters even if they'd never heard of Hegel: global-corporate CEOs able to buy political classes, tech billionaires often in bed with the deep state, hedge fund billionaires, corporate media pundits assuring us that all is well in the ship of state (or was until Trump got elected), Hollywood celebrities to keep us titillated and distracted, well-paid court economists and other court intellectuals to scold us against "populist" inclinations because, after all, There Is No Alternative! ..."
Jul 03, 2017 | www.stirjournal.com
and understand why working class whites voted so overwhelmingly for Trump. ( Note : that author was not supporting Trump and probably finds the alt-right horrifying.)

The alt-right, we should note, rejects the "movement" conservatism of the mainstream GOP as dead - compromised, intimidated, out of ideas, having no idea what it wants to conserve. For decades now mainstream Republicans have been walking gingerly around issues like affirmative action, because they are scared of their shadows of being called racists - a fact hardly lost on the Left. The result is a movement that has spent itself, and has little left to say. Think again of last year's GOP debates and how Trump owned them. Mainstream Republicans floundered helplessly in the face of his command of both mass media and social media. At the same time, one heard no new ideas at all from Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush or even Mitt Romney at one point. Mostly they just embarrassed themselves (and in the case of Bush, the original favorite of corporate insiders, wasted over $100 million in donor money).

Moreover, the bulk of GOP "satellite" institutions, the many "think tanks" (e.g., Heritage) and its major publications (e.g., National Review , Human Events , "conservative" syndicated columnists such as George Will, etc.), attacked Trump, but communicated no forward-looking path for the country. This was not lost on the alt-right.

The mainstream GOP has furthered not conservatism but neo conservatism. The differences are, uh, huge ! To put it perhaps bluntly, neoconservatism serves the Washington war machine, where the prevailing idea of "American exceptionalism" is "liberal democracy" forced on a reluctant world at gunpoint. Mainstream Republicans have also promoted the dominance of neoconservatism's flipside which we mentioned earlier, neoliberalism. Neoliberal economics underwrites the global capitalist consensus, as its public intellectuals, the first of whom were Hayek and Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006), championed the unregulated market, rejected all forms of state-directed central planning (though they seemed okay with planning if corporations were doing it), lauded the privatization of public services (even prisons!), and recommended austerity to deal with public debt. Neoliberalism could be described by anyone who sought to do so as the triumph of the real Masters even if they'd never heard of Hegel: global-corporate CEOs able to buy political classes, tech billionaires often in bed with the deep state, hedge fund billionaires, corporate media pundits assuring us that all is well in the ship of state (or was until Trump got elected), Hollywood celebrities to keep us titillated and distracted, well-paid court economists and other court intellectuals to scold us against "populist" inclinations because, after all, There Is No Alternative!

Against all this, the alt-right raises its fist and says, Hell No, We Won't Go! We demand our identity as white Americans, the right to preserve our own culture, and the right to live and associate with those of our choice!

So after all of this explication, why do I see the alt-right as an understandable and perhaps even justifiable response to our current situation, but otherwise at least partly wrongheaded, philosophically and culturally?

Recent history should help clarify matters. Generalized open borders policies born of a multiculturalist mindset do not result in stable mass societies. If they fail for a society of around 67 million people (roughly the population of France), then assuredly they won't work for one of over 325 million people (that of the U.S.). Such policies cannot work for those who do not consciously choose them, which is most people. The term the masses sounds derogatory. It need not be. It simply means the majority, those who are average , who go off experience and habit, whose lives are circumscribed by what affects them directly (family, work, church, filing a tax return once a year, etc.), who rarely think outside the boxes these supply, and who bring to the table the talents and skills they have, along with their individual hopes, dreams, fears, sweet spots, and pain points. They are often very good at what they've learned to do. Most can generally take care of themselves, so long as their lives are not disrupted by forces they neither understand nor can control. Most prefer the company of people like them, who think like them, who can relate to them, will trust them because they've known each other all their lives in some cases, and with whom they would be comfortable sharing a beer.

Interfere with these people, force them down paths not of their choosing, and barring the appearance of a Donald Trump you might not have a rebellion on your hands, but you will almost surely get slow but increasing dysfunction, as is the clearly the case with many working class white people who voted for Trump: the one population whose fortunes are shrinking along with their numbers, and whose tendencies toward chronic health problems, substance abuse, suicide, etc., are rising.

Other things being equal, I'd allow them (including those white people who find that the alt-right is making sense) to live as they see fit and be left alone. If they wish to separate, then let them separate. This is what the alt-right gets "right."

But before they depart I'd ask them: instead of rejecting just left-wing Hegelianism, why not reject the entire Hegelian paradigm? The embrace of right-wing Hegelianism is what the alt-right gets "wrong." The Master-Slave dichotomy may have seemed necessary, but never truly was. It was always an academic construct laid on top of a far more complex reality. Slave-consciousness may be overcome, in time, by self-reliance consciousness: a large frontage road alongside the Enlightenment superhighway of modernity, less traveled but fruitful for those who did. What is good and right about self-reliance consciousness is its absence of ethnic or gender specificity. White Europeans of various nationalities other than British chose it for decades when they came to the U.S. as immigrants with nothing but the shirts on their backs. They devoted themselves to the ways of their new home, learning English, and in many cases became successful business owners. Asians followed suit. They had a rougher ride, but also succeeded. Their children went on to earn doctorates in physics and engineering. "White privilege" did not stop them.

In American mass political culture, however, self-reliance was replaced by a sense of entitlement: government should take care of us . The Fabian-inspired New Deal has proven to have its dark side, this being chronic dependency on government (i.e., on taxpayers) and, in practice, has rendered ever more people vulnerable to being taken advantage of by predatory corporations (Big Insurance, Big Pharma). Obvious example: health care. One could write extensively on the dangers of too much comfort and convenience, especially for those who grow up immersed in it, absent any sense of the work that went into producing it. But that, too, is an essay for another day.

But just note in passing - and this is of crucial importance : before separating, one must consider that the price of separation and community self-determination in a world dominated by globalized power elites is self-reliance at a community level .

For example, speaking hypothetically, were a state or group of states to secede from the U.S. today, they would relinquish any right their people might have thought they had to Social Security, Medicare, and so on. Relinquishing these systems of dependency would be part of what they'd signed off on. What to put in place of those until they could transition back to self-reliance would become a major issue, and quickly!

Moreover, "populist" economics requires self-reliance because if "populists" are elected in a country, the economically powerful pull their investments and/or remove their operations, understandably fearful of the nationalization which happened in Chile when Salvador Allende was elected president in 1970. When a Hugo Chávez becomes president in a Venezuela, the corporate movers and shakers pull out. What happens: the economy tanks. Jobs vanish. Distribution systems collapse. Goods become scarce; price inflation soars. The "populists" are blamed for the debacle.

Without self-reliance at both an individual and community level, especially after decades of living in a relatively advancing civilization, it is a given that one's standard of living will drop. Venezuela has learned this the hard way! In the real world, there are only two ways of maintaining a given standard of living. One is to depend on others to supply it. The other is to work to sustain it. One of these might be sustainable in the long run. The other is not. Readers who have followed me this far will be intelligent enough to discern which is which.

[Jul 02, 2017] Warning! The USA preparing a new chemical attack in Syria

Jul 02, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile ,

June 30, 2017 at 10:37 pm

https://www.youtube.com/embed/109ERbPA4Qs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent


What a patronising, smirking piece of shit that spokesthing for the US government is!
marknesop , June 30, 2017 at 10:51 pm
She's just what they're looking for. They keep changing the spokesholes for the State Department pressers because they're looking for a way to defend the indefensible. If the rest of the people in the room actually are reporters who eat, sleep and breathe news, they know very well that there is – at the very least – doubt that Assad actually carried out any chemical attacks on 'his own people'. They know 'rebel' groups in Syria do possess chemical weapons, and there is considerable evidence of their staging events to pluck western heartstrings and initiate a western intervention to overthrow Assad. So when she just talks over him and repeats government talking points, they all know what she's doing. They all also know that the United States government continually claims to have irrefutable evidence of this thing and that war crime which it will not disclose. None of it, except for the shite they get from social media. You're just supposed to take their word for it.

That would be fine if they had never been caught in a lie. Or even not very often. As the situation is, well

Moscow Exile , July 1, 2017 at 12:05 am
Compare the performance of the US blonde spokeswoman with that of the Russian blonde spokeswoman.

Zakharova [09:57]:

" There are experts and they should be working. If we make conclusions that are based on politically charged motivations, then this is what we are witnessing now and shall continue to do so ".

The US journalist, in response to Zakharova's detailed criticism of the US policy of shooting first and not asking questions, namely of not using appointed specialists on the ground to check claims of who was/is responsible for chemical weapons attacks but instead just acting on what Washington thinks was/is the "reality" of the situation (and remember, there are some in Washington who claim that "reality" is their creation!), says that it is too dangerous for appointed investigators into chemical weapon usage to enter terrorist occupied zones in order to check on the facts [10:08]:

" But experts can't [get there] "

Zakharova responds [10:15]:

" But why can't they get there? Why exactly can't they get there? Is it Damascus saying that they can't go in? "

The US journalist states that Idlib is a "different situation" [10:27]

Zakharova [10:35], who now appears to be somewhat amused by the journalist's line of thought:

" So what, then, is the logic? If there is no security there, then we can make binding resolutions that are based on absolutely nothing at all? Is that correct? But that's well, that's well that's some kind of madness! "

The journalist then repeats that it still is very difficult, very dangerous, to enter the combat zones.

Zakharova replies [10:55]"

" So let's go to plan B - Colin Powell with a test-tube! Do I understand you correctly? If it's too dangerous to go there, then let's make decisions based on absolutely falsified grounds. But from our point of view, they have no basis upon which an objective opinion can be decided ".

Zakhorova then goes on to rip the US journalist's contentions apart in a manner vastly different to the way in which the US spokeswoman, Nauert, dealt with the journalist in Washington, who posed questions that she openly sneered and smirked at, as can be seen at the beginning of the clip.

Nauert , by the way, who is a former member of the Council on Foreign Relations , is married to Scott Norby, an investment banker who works at Goldman Sachs.

She is also employed by Fox News, FFS!

[Jul 02, 2017] It would seem that the CIA control of the USA media is complete

It not simply that CIA exert influence via some imbedded operatives. A more fundamental fact is that NYT and WaPo agenda is identical to CIA agenda.
Also it looks like that thanks to neocons dominance, the USA succumbs to war mentality and the press adopted the rule of war coverage for the peice time.
Notable quotes:
"... The outcome is predictable. The stories the journalists ..."
"... The mainstream media want their readers to believe that their narratives from war zones are genuine reporting. The above examples show that they are not. Their journalists ..."
"... Richard Pyle, Associated Press Saigon bureau chief during the war, described the [military press] briefings as, "the longest-playing tragicomedy in Southeast Asia's theater of the absurd." ..."
"... It would seem that the CIA control of the media is complete. What are the key phrases to bring them in and out of their trances? ..."
"... "...50 tons of flour...." Wow, how generous. And ~500.000 tons of weaponry for the Death Squads. David Gordon isn't he the one along with Judith Miller two chief propagandist of Bush'r regime for Iraq war? ..."
"... Ah, good old Michael Gordon. If memory serves, he was also as culpable for the NYT stories boosting the Iraq War as Miller was. Yet she was the only one to get fired ..."
"... Its not simply that the media is somehow being taken advantage of by a sly military, nor that there are CIA assets in the NYT and Wapo, its that both media outfits (with CNN and other companies) actively collaborate at the highest levels with AIPAC and the CIA to promote their agreed upon interpretation of current events. ..."
"... Monied interests rule and corrupt everything in order to secure their positions. So, they infiltrate government, corporations, academia. They all speak the same language and derive their belief systems from each other. To paraphrase John Ralston Saul, reality is not in the world, it's in the measurements made by professional bureaucrats. That's why you can see people bouncing between government service, board directorships, the CIA and then becoming pundits on the MSM. ..."
"... It's a circle jerk where each of the individuals know their roles, and their first rule is never turn on the system itself. ..."
"... Everything (and I mean everything) is a racket. ..."
"... The vaunted SDF is totally reliant on US support. Once that goes, so does their effectiveness. From experience, the US does not train foreign militaries to be anything more capable than a police force. The Russians on the other hand train foreign militaries to be fully capable and self supporting. ..."
"... "Syrian engineers have been trying to get one or two turbines running by cannibalizing parts from the wreckage. But with no Soviet-era parts on hand, nobody seems to think that the structure will be generating power in the months ahead, and the hazards of working in and around the dam are still significant: Last week, one newly trained Syrian demining expert was killed when he triggered an improvised explosive device. But the question foremost in the minds of Tabqa's residents is how they are going to return their lives to some semblance of normal. "There is no electricity, no food, no bread, and we need fuel for our trucks," said Khalid Mohammed Ali Tata, 54. "Also, there are no jobs." ..."
"... The unwritten story from the articles is that, had it not been for the pesky Russians interfering, the good ole' US fightin' boys would have defeated ISIS ages ago - and many of the commentators fall for this BS. ..."
"... Some time ago I ran onto a map showing oil fields and grain silos in Syria. The grain silos wre mostly in what is now the US/SDF held territory. I take it this is the main grain growing region of Syria. Now the US propaganda writers are saying they have no bread? ..."
"... Castellio - no CIA Assets at WaPo? You Sure about that? Amazon & The CIA ..."
"... The public is so inured to military action going on somewhere that the only thing that captures their attention is American casualties. People who read the NYT and Washpo know that these are fluff pieces and are aware and probably concerned that America's meddling in Syria might end badly. ..."
"... There's no groundswell of support for American involvement in Syria's civil war and the implications of an incident with Russian forces. Far from it. ..."
"... This is standard US military propaganda. It's a PR show, no doubt, but somehow I find it less reprehensible than the anonymously sourced anti-Russian and anti-Syrian pieces that dominate the NYT and WaPo on a daily basis. ..."
"... There is nothing new about this, BTW. Edward Bernays had already pulled it in 1953 in Guatemala, prior to the coup against Arbenz: journos who were walked in the "exotic jungles" with "brooding and submissive Indians", and could wear ridiculous pith helmets, ride horses through miles of plantations and drink White Label scotch served by pretty señoritas on some chosen veranda in the evening, while they watched the sunset. ..."
"... This is a most precise description of neocon U.S. foreign policy post-Libya. If the little people have grown skeptical of your fake WMD claims and they've grown inured to your cartoonish demonization of leaders you don't like, then replace the government to be regime-changed with an evil of your own creation (the Afghanistan Plan). ..."
"... Congress won't let the Pentagon attack and occupy Syria directly at Saudi's/Israel's behest? Solution: Create fake ISIS to conquer Syrian land/resources first, then get blanket Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) allowing Pentagon to kick them out any time, any where. ..."
"... Then justify endless occupation thereafter with the need for humanitarian aid, training local police forces and offering follow-on U.S. military protection until things stabilize. Except they never stabilize. ..."
"... The U.S. created Mujahedin in Pakistan training camps and the Afghan Liberation Front for that exact purpose in 1978. Someone to kick the Soviets out, but evil enough to justify the U.S. going after them. Whatever the Mujahedin were in 1978 morphed into something much darker by 2001, i.e., al Qaeda and the Taliban. ..."
"... it's not simply that the military coordinates with the press, and its not simply that there are CIA assets writing for the WaPo and the NYT, it's also the case that both media outfits (with CNN and other companies) actively collaborate at the highest levels with AIPAC and the CIA to promote their agreed upon interpretation of current events. ..."
Jul 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
When the U.S. military takes a bunch of journalists on a press junket to a foreign country it has a certain intention and prepares every detail in advance. There will be witnesses and local people who are briefed for their two minute talk with the journalists to convey exactly what the military wants them to convey. After enjoying local flair , for ten minutes max, some U.S. diplomatic official or a general will treat the journos to some good whiskey and a genuine local steak. The official will speak a few prepared lines on the record that will reinforce the story the locals were tasked to tell.

The outcome is predictable. The stories the journalists will write will be the same.

Michael Gordon in yesterday's New York Times and David Ignatius in yesterday's Washington Post both report of their latest junket, a visit of Tabqa in Syria.

Gordon's piece: In a Desperate Syrian City, a Test of Trump's Policies

The young man unburdened himself about the dark years of living under the Islamic State as a crowd of curious onlookers gathered in front of a weathered storefront in the town marketplace. The militants, said the man, a 22-year-old named Abdul Qadir Khalil , killed many residents, doled out precious jobs and severely limited travel to and from the city. ...

He ticked off a list of the things Tabqa needs: electricity, water, fuel and a sizable bakery . Then, laughing about his new freedom to openly denounce the militants, he said, "If they ever come back, they will slaughter all of us."

The Ignatius' piece: As the Islamic State falls in Syria, one city offers a preview of the country's future

A boisterous group of young Syrian men is gathered outside a tire and vehicle-parts shop across from the warehouse. American military advisers aren't sure at first that it's safe to talk with them, but the men press eagerly toward two visiting reporters. Abdul-Qadr Khalil, 22 , dressed in a bright blue-nylon jacket, speaks for the group. He complains that there's not enough food, water, gas or bread , and there are no jobs. But he dismisses the idea that the Islamic State will ever take hold here again.

"No, never!" says Khalil, and the young men around him nod in unison. "It will be impossible to live if they come back. They will kill all of us."

... ... ...

I agree with the British general. The reporting in the Washington Post and New York Times from this military press junket is not a work of beauty but pragmatism . These highly paid journalists do not want to get their new desert dress dirty. They pragmatically repeat what the well briefed (and bribed) locals say, picture the children that make V-signs (and receive the promised candy) and they stenograph whatever the military or some diplomats say. No real reporting, no thinking and no dirty boots are required for their job.

The military wanted to convey that nearly everything is fine now in Tabqa. The people love the U.S. occupation and all that is needed now are a few billion $$$ for some minor nation building. The journalists ate up the prepared bites and transmit exactly what the military wanted them to say.

The mainstream media want their readers to believe that their narratives from war zones are genuine reporting. The above examples show that they are not. Their journalists are simple recording highly choreographed shows the Pentagon and State Department press advisors made up and the local press officers prepared in advance. A modern version of the Vietnam war's five o'clock follies .

Richard Pyle, Associated Press Saigon bureau chief during the war, described the [military press] briefings as, "the longest-playing tragicomedy in Southeast Asia's theater of the absurd."

Back then most media did not fell for the nonsense. Now they willingly join in.

JSonofa | Jul 2, 2017 3:25:32 PM 1

It would seem that the CIA control of the media is complete. What are the key phrases to bring them in and out of their trances?

Trancesentintomedication.

dh | Jul 2, 2017 3:41:08 PM | 3
Great post b. It's all orchestrated. As for "Back then most media did not fell for the nonsense" ...back then there was a protest movement.
Chauncey Gardiner | Jul 2, 2017 3:41:33 PM | 4
"...50 tons of flour...." Wow, how generous. And ~500.000 tons of weaponry for the Death Squads. David Gordon isn't he the one along with Judith Miller two chief propagandist of Bush'r regime for Iraq war?
P Walker | Jul 2, 2017 3:44:27 PM | 5
Ah, good old Michael Gordon. If memory serves, he was also as culpable for the NYT stories boosting the Iraq War as Miller was. Yet she was the only one to get fired.
Chauncey Gardiner | Jul 2, 2017 3:47:29 PM | 6
let me see...
September 8, 2002
New York Times

U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts
By Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 - More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.

In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.

The diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq's nuclear program, officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken place in recent months.

http://www.realdemocracy.com/abomb.htm

What can I say, Goebbels would be proud of him.

Castellio | Jul 2, 2017 3:51:04 PM | 8
Its not simply that the media is somehow being taken advantage of by a sly military, nor that there are CIA assets in the NYT and Wapo, its that both media outfits (with CNN and other companies) actively collaborate at the highest levels with AIPAC and the CIA to promote their agreed upon interpretation of current events.
P Walker | Jul 2, 2017 3:57:20 PM | 10
Monied interests rule and corrupt everything in order to secure their positions. So, they infiltrate government, corporations, academia. They all speak the same language and derive their belief systems from each other. To paraphrase John Ralston Saul, reality is not in the world, it's in the measurements made by professional bureaucrats. That's why you can see people bouncing between government service, board directorships, the CIA and then becoming pundits on the MSM.

It's a circle jerk where each of the individuals know their roles, and their first rule is never turn on the system itself.

Everything (and I mean everything) is a racket.

Anonymous | Jul 2, 2017 4:14:02 PM | 11
The Gordon piece reveals some interesting details of how the Taqba dam operation worked.

"The Tabqa operation was proposed in mid-March to Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the American-led task force that is battling the Islamic State, by the top commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the combination of Syrian Kurds and Arab fighters who would provide the ground troops for the battle. It was approved without a single White House meeting. Just one week later, hundreds of Arab and Kurdish fighters, including many who had never flown before, were airlifted on American helicopters and Osprey planes to the southern banks of Lake Assad, across from Tabqa. Barges ferried their vehicles across the azure water while another group of Syrian fighters to the east hopped from island to island as they zipped along the Euphrates on American fast boats."

The vaunted SDF is totally reliant on US support. Once that goes, so does their effectiveness. From experience, the US does not train foreign militaries to be anything more capable than a police force. The Russians on the other hand train foreign militaries to be fully capable and self supporting.

The Taqba dam is also a poisoned chalice for the Amerians. They now 'own it':

"Syrian engineers have been trying to get one or two turbines running by cannibalizing parts from the wreckage. But with no Soviet-era parts on hand, nobody seems to think that the structure will be generating power in the months ahead, and the hazards of working in and around the dam are still significant: Last week, one newly trained Syrian demining expert was killed when he triggered an improvised explosive device. But the question foremost in the minds of Tabqa's residents is how they are going to return their lives to some semblance of normal. "There is no electricity, no food, no bread, and we need fuel for our trucks," said Khalid Mohammed Ali Tata, 54. "Also, there are no jobs."

No electricity, no food, no bread, no jobs ...

This has all the makings of a typical US tactical victory and strategic defeat.

Yonatan | Jul 2, 2017 4:22:30 PM | 12
The unwritten story from the articles is that, had it not been for the pesky Russians interfering, the good ole' US fightin' boys would have defeated ISIS ages ago - and many of the commentators fall for this BS.

I, for one, look forward to the glorious Hollywood blockbusters detailing exactly how the US defeated ISIS all on its own.

Peter AU | Jul 2, 2017 4:28:36 PM | 13
Some time ago I ran onto a map showing oil fields and grain silos in Syria. The grain silos wre mostly in what is now the US/SDF held territory. I take it this is the main grain growing region of Syria. Now the US propaganda writers are saying they have no bread?

Presidential envoy Brett McGurk visits Tabqa with two of his best/most trusted propaganda writers.... Aircraft carrier arrived off Israel... plus the recent CW crap from Spicer and UN. Yanks seem to be cooking something up.

JSonofa | Jul 2, 2017 4:47:27 PM | 15

Castellio - no CIA Assets at WaPo? You Sure about that? Amazon & The CIA

peter | Jul 2, 2017 5:03:21 PM | 16
No body bags. No problem. That's the only thing that matters to the hoi polloi in the US. That and the draft.

The public is so inured to military action going on somewhere that the only thing that captures their attention is American casualties. People who read the NYT and Washpo know that these are fluff pieces and are aware and probably concerned that America's meddling in Syria might end badly. It's hardly surprising that two different reporters at the same event posted similar accounts.

Obviously their minder explained the concerns about young minds being warped by ISIS indoctrination and it was duly reported. That's not fake news. Child soldiers in the DR Congo come to mind.

I'm sure when the SAA liberates a village there's some coverage of happy residents. I'm sure they spring for some flour too. I mean, no matter who gets those ISIS fuckers out of your hair, you're going to be happy to see them. These are filler pieces. They don't mean anything. They don't shape opinion. There's no groundswell of support for American involvement in Syria's civil war and the implications of an incident with Russian forces. Far from it.

Any embedded reporter expects and gets a high degree of skepticism from the readers. Besides, the readers are much more interested in watching Trump's meltdown in real time. They watch their healthcare under assault and somehow Syria matters fade to black. They will pay attention to any new shootdowns but don't give a fuck about the feel-good stories.

WorldBLee | Jul 2, 2017 5:27:28 PM | 18
This is standard US military propaganda. It's a PR show, no doubt, but somehow I find it less reprehensible than the anonymously sourced anti-Russian and anti-Syrian pieces that dominate the NYT and WaPo on a daily basis.
Clueless Joe | Jul 2, 2017 5:32:35 PM | 19
If that's the best that freedom of the press can bring us, then fuck freedom of the press. Mainstream media fully deserves to live the rest of the century under Stalin's rule, with the people cheering when they're shipped to gulag.
Lea | Jul 2, 2017 5:36:40 PM | 20
Cheers for your "spot the difference" piece, B. Great job.

There is nothing new about this, BTW. Edward Bernays had already pulled it in 1953 in Guatemala, prior to the coup against Arbenz: journos who were walked in the "exotic jungles" with "brooding and submissive Indians", and could wear ridiculous pith helmets, ride horses through miles of plantations and drink White Label scotch served by pretty señoritas on some chosen veranda in the evening, while they watched the sunset.

Upon return, they "knew the situation on the ground" in Guatemala.

Do these people ever read history? I mean, it's not as if a ton of books had not been published on this kind of subject. You can pull the same trick on them over and over, and do they notice a pattern or something? No.

Who are these geniuses?

PavewayIV | Jul 2, 2017 5:39:12 PM | 21
"...I mean, no matter who gets those ISIS fuckers out of your hair, you're going to be happy to see them..."

This is a most precise description of neocon U.S. foreign policy post-Libya. If the little people have grown skeptical of your fake WMD claims and they've grown inured to your cartoonish demonization of leaders you don't like, then replace the government to be regime-changed with an evil of your own creation (the Afghanistan Plan).

Congress won't let the Pentagon attack and occupy Syria directly at Saudi's/Israel's behest? Solution: Create fake ISIS to conquer Syrian land/resources first, then get blanket Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) allowing Pentagon to kick them out any time, any where.

The RoboCop AUMF. Then justify endless occupation thereafter with the need for humanitarian aid, training local police forces and offering follow-on U.S. military protection until things stabilize. Except they never stabilize.

The U.S. created Mujahedin in Pakistan training camps and the Afghan Liberation Front for that exact purpose in 1978. Someone to kick the Soviets out, but evil enough to justify the U.S. going after them. Whatever the Mujahedin were in 1978 morphed into something much darker by 2001, i.e., al Qaeda and the Taliban. I can't believe that wasn't without the help of the U.S. - we needed to create an evil, cartoonish enemy to justify military action (with or without U.S. Congressional approval). 9/11 - whether it was staged or not - ushered in the RoboCop AUMF to go after the evil guy in an Afghani cave because he orchestrated 9/11.

A long time from now, someone is going to read about this in a history book and just laugh - nobody could be so stupid as to fall for such a preposterous ruse, and certainly not over and over again.

Castellio | Jul 2, 2017 5:57:56 PM | 22
@15 JSonofa

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. There are certainly CIA assets writing both for WaPo and the NYT, and the editors and owners are aware.

It would have been better if I had written - it's not simply that the military coordinates with the press, and its not simply that there are CIA assets writing for the WaPo and the NYT, it's also the case that both media outfits (with CNN and other companies) actively collaborate at the highest levels with AIPAC and the CIA to promote their agreed upon interpretation of current events.

Jackrabbit | Jul 2, 2017 7:08:45 PM | 23
As @3 ...back then there was a protest movement.

There was a protest movement mostly because there was a draft.

[Jul 01, 2017] Deception Inside Deception The Alleged Sarin Gas Attack by Paul Craig Roberts

Jun 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Seymour Hersh, America's most famous investigative reporter, has become persona non grata in the American Propaganda Ministry that poses as a news media but only serves to protect the US government's war lies. Among his many triumphs Hersh exposed the American My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Abu Ghraib torture prison run by the Americans in Iraq. Today his investigative reports have to be published in the London Review of Books or in the German Media.

From Hersh's latest investigative report, we learn that President Trump makes war decisions by watching staged propaganda on TV. The White Helmets, a propaganda organization for jihadists and the "Syrian opposition," found a gullible reception from the Western media for photographs and videos of alleged victims of a Syrian Army sarin gas attack on civilians in Khan Sheikhoun. Trump saw the photos on TV and despite being assured by US intelligence that there was no Syrian sarin gas attack, ordered the US military to strike a Syrian base with Tomahawk missiles. Under international law this strike was a war crime, and it was the first direct aggression against Syria by the US which previously committed aggression via proxies called "the Syrian opposition."

Reporting on his sources, Hersh writes: "In a series of interviews, I learned of the total disconnect between the president and many of his military advisers and intelligence officials, as well as officers on the ground in the region who had an entirely different understanding of the nature of Syria's attack on Khan Sheikhoun. I was provided with evidence of that disconnect, in the form of transcripts of real-time communications, immediately following the Syrian attack on April 4."

The belief that sarin gas was involved in the attack comes from what appears to be a gas cloud. Hersh was informed by US military experts that sarin is oderless and invisible and makes no cloud. What appears to have happened is that the explosion from the air attack on ISIS caused a series of secondary explosions that produced a toxic cloud formed by fertilizers and chlorine disinfectants that were stored in the building that was hit.

US officials spoke with Hersh, because they are distrubed that President Trump based a war decision on TV propaganda and refused to listen to the detailed counter-assessments of his intelligence and military services. A national security source told Hersh: "Everyone close to him knows his proclivity for acting precipitously when he does not know the facts. He doesn't read anything and has no real historical knowledge. He wants verbal briefings and photographs. He's a risk-taker. He can accept the consequences of a bad decision in the business world; he will just lose money. But in our world, lives will be lost and there will be long-term damage to our national security if he guesses wrong. He was told we did not have evidence of Syrian involvement and yet Trump says: 'Do it."'

Concerns about Trump's purely emotional reaction to TV propaganda persist. Hersh reports that a senior national security adviser told him: "The Salafists and jihadists got everything they wanted out of their hyped-up Syrian nerve gas ploy" (the flare up of tensions between Syria, Russia and America). The issue is, what if there's another false flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria? Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He's incapable of saying he made a mistake."

As we know, the White House has already released a statement predicting that Assad is preparing another chemical attack, for which, the White House promises, he will "pay a heavy price." Clearly, a false flag attack is on the way. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/06/30/washington-new-threat-against-syria-russia-iran-invitation-false-flag-operation.html

By all means, read Hersh's report: https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html It reveals a president who makes precipitious decisions likely to cause a war with Russia.

I do not doubt Sy Hersh's integrity. I accept that he has accurately reported what he was told by US officials. My suspicions about this story do not have to do with Hersh. They have to do with what Hersh was told.

Hersh's report puts Trump in a very bad light, and it puts the military/security complex, which we know has been trying to destroy Trump, in a very good light. Moreover, the story strikes me as inconsistent with the subsequent attack on the Syrian fighter-bomber by the US military. If the Tomahawk attack on the Syrian base was unjustified, what justified downing a Syrian war plane? Did Trump order this attack as well? If not, who did? Why?

If national security advisers gave Trump such excellent information about the alleged sarin gas attack, completely disproving any such attack, why was he given such bad advice about shooting down a Syrian war plane, or was it done outside of channels? The effect of the shootdown is to raise the chance of a confrontation with Russia, because Russia's response apparently has been to declare a no-fly zone over the area of Russian and Syrian operations.

How do we know that what Hersh was told was true? What if Trump was encouraged to order the Tomahawk strike as a way of interjecting the US directly into the conflict? Both the US and Israel have powerful reasons for wanting to overthrow Assad. However, ISIS, sent to do the job, has been defeated by Russia and Syria. Unless Washington can somehow get directly involved, the war is over.

The story Hersh was given also serves to damn Trump while absolving the intelligence services. Trump takes the hit for injecting the US directly into the conflict.

Hersh's story reads well, but it easily could be a false story planted on him. I am not saying that the story is false, but unless we learn more, it could be.

What we do know is that the story given to Hersh by national security officials is inconsistent with the June 26 White House announcement that the US has "identified potential preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime." The White House does not have the capability to conduct its own foreign intelligence gathering. The White House is informed by the national security and intelligence agencies.

In the story given to Hersh, these officials are emphatic that not only were chemical weapons removed from Syria, but also that Assad would not use them or be permitted by the Russians to use them even if he had them. Moreover, Hersh reports that he was told that Russia fully informed the US of the Syrian attack on ISIS in advance. The weapon was a guided bomb that Russia had suppied to Syria. Therefore, it could not have been a chemical weapon.

As US national security officials made it clear to Hersh that they do not believe Syria did or would use any chemical weapons, what is the source for the White House's announcement that preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime have been identified?

Who lined up UN ambassador Nikki Haley and the UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon to be ready with statements in support of the White House announcement? Haley says: "Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people." Fallon says: "we will support" future US action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

How clear does an orchestration have to be before people are capable of recognizing the orchestration?

The intelligence agencies put out the story via Hersh that there were no chemical attacks, so what attacks is Niki Haley speaking about?

A reasonable conclusion is that Washington's plan to use ISIS to overthrow Syria and then start on Iran was derailed by Russian and Syrian military success against ISIS. The US then tried to partition Syria by occupying part of it, but were out-manuevered by the Russians and Syrians. This left direct US involvement as the only alternative to defeat. This direct US military involvement began with the US attack on the Syrian military base and was followed by shooting down a Syrian war plane. The next stage will be a US-staged false flag chemical attack or alleged chemical attack, and this false flag, as has already been announced, will be the excuse for larger scale US military action against Syria, which, unless the Russians abandon Syria, means conflict with Russia, Iran, and perhaps China.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/us-military-put-alert-washington-waiting-excuse-attack

[Jun 30, 2017] The Late Show team shot four or five pieces in Russia -- an explanationwhy the ageing clown Colbert went to Russia

Notable quotes:
"... An explanation – of sorts – of why the ageing arse-clown Colbert went to Russia: ..."
"... "In total, the Late Show team shot four or five pieces in Russia, but the host didn't specify when these remote segments might air. The trip took months of planning, Colbert said, and yielded a week's worth of content. Perhaps not coincidentally, Emmy nomination-round voting closed Monday night - just days after Colbert made his trip public, first through a snarky tweet addressed to Donald Trump. ..."
"... By planning a week's worth of content, it seems Late Show wants to make certain that its trip to Russia lands with the greatest impact - and ends with a shiny new Emmy. After all, what would bother the president more than his archenemy in late-night taking home an award that Trump never managed to win himself?" ..."
"... Poison and antidote. Hooking them up on a drug and then extorting junkies for all their money for a new dose. ..."
Jun 30, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh ,

June 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm
An explanation – of sorts – of why the ageing arse-clown Colbert went to Russia:

Vanity Fear: Why Stephen Colbert really went to Russia

The Late Show host is back in the U.S., with a week's worth of episodes from his trip-but there's another, bigger reason for his jaunt abroad

"In total, the Late Show team shot four or five pieces in Russia, but the host didn't specify when these remote segments might air. The trip took months of planning, Colbert said, and yielded a week's worth of content. Perhaps not coincidentally, Emmy nomination-round voting closed Monday night - just days after Colbert made his trip public, first through a snarky tweet addressed to Donald Trump.

Though we don't know when his Russia segments will air, it seems safe to assume they'll broadcast some time before final-round Emmy voting begins in August, or during the voting period itself. Colbert will host this year's Emmy ceremony in September, and after a year of hard work to overtake Jimmy Fallon in the ratings, the comedian and his team would love to walk home with some statuary as well. It's almost certain that Late Show itself will be nominated - and ambitious pieces filmed off-site could boost the host's chances of actually winning. After all, it was during his week of episodes from last year's Republican National Convention that Colbert found his groove as a network late-night host in the first place.

Colbert isn't the first late-night host to travel to Russia. Two years ago, John Oliver made waves when he interviewed Edward Snowden there. And last fall, Samantha Bee's team tracked down some Russian trolls for fascinating interviews. Outside the late-night sphere, Megyn Kelly also made the journey earlier this month for her dull interview with Vladimir Putin. Colbert's trip could carry even more weight than those of his late-night contemporaries simply because of timing - Oliver went before the presidential campaign had ramped up, and Bee went before Trump's victory.

By planning a week's worth of content, it seems Late Show wants to make certain that its trip to Russia lands with the greatest impact - and ends with a shiny new Emmy. After all, what would bother the president more than his archenemy in late-night taking home an award that Trump never managed to win himself?"

Here you go! Russia is a "commodity" on the Media market. You know – this "internationally isolated" (c) "gas station masquerading as a country" (c) that "produces nothing" (c). Here how it works. Talking heads create the illusion of "oppressive" and "forbidden" Russia, that is oh so dangerous to visit. And then they "brave" to visit it – woo-hoo! Surely, if they are so brave, that they MIRACLOUSLY survived numerous assassination attempts (remember, kids – billions of journos are killed in Russia daily!) then everything they say must be true .

Poison and antidote. Hooking them up on a drug and then extorting junkies for all their money for a new dose.

https://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=156204

Lyttenburgh , June 28, 2017 at 3:46 pm
Addendum.

On the previous page yalensis made a very important observation – Colbert, Oliver, Stewart etc. are court jesters of the so-called Western liberal democracy. In ages past, court jesters were (wait for it!) present at this or that feudal lord's court but they were not of the court themselves. They were anti-court, and they looked the part: instead of a crown they wore a cap with bells, instead of regal scepter and orb – a stick with pig's bladder, instead of rich vestment and mantle – an eyegouging ridiculous attire. No one could possibly mistake them for "normal" people.

That was the point. They were tolerated because they were not perceived as normal.

Modern day court jesters don't stand out. They wear suits, and ties and expensive shoes – just like the members of elite they diss/serve under. They look normal and thus are perceived as normal. Which is wrong and deceitful. People consider them "journalists" and "reporters" – which they are not. The fool's role is to embellish, to tell parables and to exaggerate – and, yes, to lie.

They are fools, all right. But how would you call the people, their enormous audience, who listen to fools and believe their every single word?

Cortes , June 28, 2017 at 4:42 pm
I beg to disagree with your penultimate paragraph.

Proper court jesters are still around and wear not the attire of the perspiring middle class.

As the best courtroom potboiler puts it: I'd like to present Prosecution Exhibit #1:

http://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2002/08/19/charlesandcamilla/

Reply

[Jun 30, 2017] What we see at present in Syria is war between USA and collaborators, as Israel, Germany, France and the Netherlands, against Russia, Assad and Iran,

Jun 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 7:18 am GMT

" about how a military confrontation between Russia and the United States would play out. "

Funny sentence, Syria IS a military confrontation between USA and Russia, as the Spanish Civil War was a military confrontation between Germany and Italy, with tacit USA and GB support, on the one hand, and the USSR on the other. The USA rebellion against GB long ago also was a world war, in the end the list of countries supporting the Yankees became very long.

What we see at present in Syria is war between USA and collaborators, as Israel, Germany, France and the Netherlands, against Russia, Assad and Iran, with Turkey sitting on the fence. Both sides know that all out war will be the end of the world, both sides do not want to give up.

So this may be going on indefinitely, the only solution I see is that Trump creates a normal relationship with Russia, thereafter they can divide the ME between them, as Sykes and Picott already did in 1916. In order to create a normal relationship with Russia Trump first has to win his war with Deep State.

Three CNN journalists were fired, or resigned. If this is the beginning of the end of CNN, I hope so, but am not at all sure.

peterAUS Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 8:20 am GMT

@Avery {The willpower, courage and determination of the Russian solider is stronger than his US counterparts by many orders of magnitude.}

By many orders of magnitude?

    One order of magnitude is 10. Two orders of magnitude is 100. Many is .....what 1,000?

Russian warriors are at the minimum 10X better than American warriors?

You don't actually believe that, do you?

Their leaders - both military and civilian - may be incompetent, corrupt, treasonous (e.g. USS Liberty betrayal by their Commander in Chief),etc, etc.....but American professional warriors lack neither willpower, nor courage, nor determination.

One example: the "Black Hawk Down"/Battle of Mogadishu firefight.

Their leaders sent them into a harebrained Globalist mission without proper support, but once all Hell broke loose, Americans fought with great courage and determination. Fought like lions, in fact.

The notion that Russian pros are, quote, 'many orders of magnitude' stronger in warrior quality (...and skills) is truly delusional on Saker's part. Agree, up to a point.
These debates are like those "which is better, AK or M-16 platform' .good for amateurs.

Now, it is a fact that the West, since Iraq, hasn't fought conventional war and even that was against much weaker opponent. COIN only.
Russians have fought decent conventional wars Georgia and Ukraine, against similar opponent.
I'd hazard a guess that, on operational level, Russian Command and Control is better than US.

The problem, for Russians, is quality of support/logistics and on tactical level (from division to including a battalion or, better, battlegroup).

Anyway that's all actually besides the point.

I believe we'll be looking at 'border clashes' from '1984′, done by special forces and contractors. Teams killing each other under the radar.
For a starter.

But, I believe, WHEN push comes to shove Russians will step back and mark another line in sand.
And another.
The Empire will be pushing, carefully, and Russians will be retreating, slowly ..

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger

Imho if US indeed ever decides to strike Russian forces in Syria it would constitute the act of war and war is not limited to no theater of operations. Considering USA huge superiority in this area I do not think Russia would invest heavily over there, but instead would use this to strike where it is more important for Russia security. USA anti missiles installations around Russia borders would have been a good important targets. Around Syria as Sacker mentioned US has a lot of bases which would make fair game for Russian missile capabilities amptly shown in Syrian campaign and which imho are just a tip of the iceberg. Hopefully it won't come to this because no one knows where it may end. "USA anti missiles installations around Russia borders would have been a good important targets."
Particularly because of that: "Putin: Foreign intel services support terrorist groups on Russia's borders" https://www.rt.com/news/394518-putin-foreign-spies-support-terrorism/

If "US indeed ever decides to strike Russian forces in Syria" the first response should be towards Israel. The more clarity in this regard the better. There should be the time of "harvest" for the ziocons.

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

not good

https://www.rt.com/usa/394474-haley-no-place-for-assad/

the zio-deepstate must be showing Trump how easily they JFK'd JFK

I suspect that Trump doesn't want to play along with their 'seven countries' narrative, and would prefer peace and prosperity as his legacy

but he's forced to play a razor's edge game as he slowly and methodically inserts personnel loyal to the US vs. the deepstate, without triggering a "heart attack" or however they'd do it.

If he can survive a year or two, and get his own people in, without causing a full-on hot war with Russia, perhaps he can prevail. But this new development is a very bad sign.

Kilo 4/11 Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger Imho if US indeed ever decides to strike Russian forces in Syria it would constitute the act of war and war is not limited to no theater of operations. Considering USA huge superiority in this area I do not think Russia would invest heavily over there, but instead would use this to strike where it is more important for Russia security. USA anti missiles installations around Russia borders would have been a good important targets. Around Syria as Sacker mentioned US has a lot of bases which would make fair game for Russian missile capabilities amptly shown in Syrian campaign and which imho are just a tip of the iceberg. Hopefully it won't come to this because no one knows where it may end. Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road.

Tom Welsh Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road. Your comment brilliantly illustrates the problems that the rest of the world has with Americans. Beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt, Russia has every right to be in Syria where the legitimate government has invited its help. The USA has no right at all to set a single foot inside Syria without the Syrian government's permission, which it emphatically does not have.

By attacking Syria – as it has done persistently for the past six years and more, through US forces, NATO forces, Israeli forces, Daesh and dozens of other alphabet terrorist soup organizations – the USA has flagrantly disobeyed the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles, the whole body of international law, and – more often than not – the very US Constitution.

That any American doesn't know these things – or, knowing them, sees fit to pretend he doesn't – is an appalling testimonty to American arrogance, ignorance and stupidity.

Tom Welsh Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

@Priss Factor How is that US and EU get to do this to a nation and still give sermons about peace and human rights to the world?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cbBXk4iW5Q

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor to neutralize the US navy, it got punished with total destruction.

US and EU totally wrecks a nation that did NOTHING to either, but they go around promoting themselves as defenders of freedom and 'liberal global order'. "When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor to neutralize the US navy, it got punished with total destruction".

When Japan launched a sneak surprise attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur in 1904, it succeeded brilliantly. The Russian East fleet was crippled and Russia had to resort to sending its Baltic fleet halfway round the world – where it too was promptly sunk.

Theodore Roosevelt, who was US president at the time, was jubilant. He saw the Japanese – whom he had recently dignified with the title of "honorary Aryans" – as the essential US proxy for the conquest of Asia. And he hated the Russians.

But what of FDR – who was 22 at the time, and such a fanatic about all matters naval that he boasted of having collected thousands of books on the subject? Are we to believe he was oblivious to the highly successful tactic of launching a surprise naval attack before declaring war? Hardly.

Yet 37 years later, we are supposed to believe that, having deliberately driven Japan into a corner with the specific intention of forcing it to declare war, it never occurred to him that the Japanese – facing a far more powerful enemy than Russia in 1904, whose main fleet was hanging out halfway across the Pacific simply asking to be sunk – would use the same trick.

If so, I have a fleet of very old battleships to sell you.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

@headrick So what if the US does launch this massive air campaign, -- then what? Is the US
army ready to occupy Syria - on the ground.- forever? IN 2006 Hezbollah kicked the
Israeli's out of Lebanon border areas. Imagine the pain inflicted on a US occupation
force who can't handle Afghanistan. And if the Russian air base is hit, they can I believe
sink a US capital ship or two, and announce, any further direct action against Russian forces in Syria will call for a full nuclear strategic response against the US. Then what does the US do? Suck up the loss of carrier or Ageis warship, of face world war III. This whole act would produce a domestic firestorm in the US, and it would not be controllable. Shiite Allies in Bahrain would attack
US assets and Bases there and in Bahrain, and they would not need Russian coaching to do it.
Hezbollah would probably begin to attacks on Israel and Israel knows how that turned out. Just more pain for Team USA. There is no follow up strategy for such a US air action against Syria/Russia/Iran. Just huge pain and an ignominious back down -or upon unchecked escalation, world war III.
Air power, without a plan for follow up ground action, is worse than pointless. It is suicidal. If the US just wants Chaos in the region, and thinks they can find Muslim proxies to do the ground work, well that was the ISIS plan, and soon there will be no ISIS, so how does the US find proxies on the ground to occupy the country? https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/29/the-next-world-war-wont-just-be-over-there/

"The Next World War Won't Just Be "Over There," by BILL WILLERS
" with every hostile American denigration of Russia, every aggressive push against Russia's borders, every move that imperils Russia's place on the world stage, the prospect of massive world war becomes increasingly plausible. And in this world made so small by terrifying, sophisticated weaponry, any powerful adversary of the US would make certain that "over there" was shared, so as to become "over here" from the US point of view, with major east coast cities certain to be prime targets. The Russians understand very well from agonizing experience what modern, catastrophic war on one's homeland is like, while we in the US do not, although we are on a path to find out. It is a path of our own creation."
Sigh.

Rurik Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road.

when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam.

do you realize that the Soviet Union is dead and gone?

and that Russia today is acting like the only adult on the world's stage with any respect for international law, (or what's left of it, since the Z US has been waging illegal wars of aggression all over the planet, destroying nation after nation, all based on lies).

Today Russia is the last great hope of the planet as a bulwark against the rabid dog that is the ZUSA, slaughtering and displacing millions upon millions of people even as its causing the permanent destruction of Europe and N. America for all time.

what kind of future do your American grandchildren have in the ZUSA, as the immigrants pour in and the future is bankrupted to slaughter people and destroy nations that Israel doesn't like?

At least Putin's Russia is trying to protect some kind of future for the Russian people and their progeny, as the ZUSA is like a drooling beast on the world's stage, and doing all it can do destroy Western civilization in the process, and your nation's (and grandchildren's) future with it.

how anyone here at the Unz Review could still look at Russia today and see the Soviet Union!, is beyond me.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm GMT

The dying empire:
"The elephants did not climb up the trees. Warning them off was successful," they say." http://www.moonofalabama.org
And then they exhibit a very special Nikki Haley who was generously"cued" by Israel: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/21/israel-vs-united-nations-nikki-haley-doctrine .
Syrian update: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/06/syrian-update-ttg.html
My sympathies for the competent American patriots shoved away from all positions of influence in the US government by ziocons (abetted by war profiteers of all stripes). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/06/harper-mattis-walks-back-from-syria-cw-claims.html#comments
See the story of a honorable and superbly competent Col. Lang and the dumb Douglas Feith (the Idiot of a ziocon stock): http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/05/12/selective-intelligence

anonymous Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 4:58 pm GMT

I'd hate to see the Trump presidency go down in the smoke of a Syrian/Russian military conflict. Voters did not want the confrontation promised by Clinton and voted for domestic issues such as re-industrialization, population stability and so on. There are just way too many unknowns involved with this potential clash for the US to risk intruding itself any more than it already has. We really don't know how all these weapon systems would work out in an actual war, short and intense or drawn out. Then there's the prospect of Americans getting killed and taken prisoner in a very public way which would drive them to ratchet things up yet higher. Same for the Russians. It's hard to see what the American endgame really is. Perhaps it's just to deny Russia and Iran any allies so perhaps chaos and the destruction of Syria as a state is a goal rather than a result.
Putin is a legalistic moderate. Were Russia to suffer a humiliating defeat directly from the Americans then it's probable he'll be succeeded by a hardliner seeking to even the score. Wars always have unintended consequences so we could end up having Cold War II for the next fifty years. Of course this might be desired since it would tie Europe to the US due to this 'threat'.

annamaria Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 No, I don't recognize that the USSR is gone, because the SAME FUCKING TROGLODYTES THAT RAN IT are running Russia today, starting with Putin, the mope that weeps over its demise. As we said in the Marines "Payback is a motherfucker" and you're finding that out aren't you.

"Today Russia is the last great hope of the planet" is one of the most pathetic memes currently hiding in the guise of received wisdom. Tell that to the besieged Ukrainians of occupied Ukraine, who only want to keep their country intact, but due to Russia's total incapability of recognizing Ukrainians as a separate people with a right to self-determination and Russians' desperation to continue seeing themselves as a world power, no matter what other nation has to be crushed, continue getting killed every day by Russians and their proxies. And you talk of respecting international law! Hold your horses, Kilo 4/12. Nobody needs Ukraine but ZUSA, for the supposedly "defensive" purposes. Look at the amazing transformation of the "liberated" Ukraine after the 2014 coup d'etat: The neo-Nazis are openly in the Ukrainian government, Banderites parade Nazi collaborator Bandera in Kiev and L'viv; a proposal for federalization of Ukraine (you know, federalism, similar to the US) has been criminalized by Kiev government; a new prime-minister is certain Mr. Groysman, and the index of Ukrainian corruption is staying stubbornly high.
Considering that the USSR had amassed the neighboring lands (Polish, Rumanian, and Hungarian) to make the modern state of Ukraine, you need to decide whether you want to continue with the Soviet tradition and keep the Soviet territories or you should finally return the annexed territories to the proper owners.
It seems that you still didn't get it – in 2014, Ukraine had become a protectorate of ZUSA. There is no independent Ukraine anymore.
This is what your thuggish government in Kiev has rejected: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism_in_the_United_States

Che Guava Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT

@David Great article. I would be interested to read some knowledgeable reflections on the US Navy ship running into a Japanese cargo ship a week or so ago. It seems that a lot of things would have to go wrong to make that possible, indicating considerable rot in the US Navy. We haven't even heard of the ship's commander losing his commission. The container ship was going to Japan, not Japanese, Philippines flag, mainly (or all) Philippino crew.

That ship ran imto the US ship, not vice versa.

However, according to Japanese news and the captain of the cargo ship, they sounded the foghorn, tried signals, radio contact. Those giant ships are not at all agile, not designed to be. Turning radii are huge.

From the sounds of the captain's injuries, he was asleep.

The interesting question is, what the fuck were the bridge duty officer(s) and crew doing at the time, that they noticed nothing? Playing video games? Engrossed in Twit or Faescesbook? Little party? Having or seeking sex?

Even if the reports of warnings from the cargo giant are false (which I strongly doubt), if the bridge people were not behaving stupidly at the time, they would have spotted it on radar and with eyes.

I did a quick search, as said earlier, must sleeping soon, I was finding the captain's name, but not the name of whoever was in charge on the bridge. Interesting.

It is such a shame for the seven dead, I am not a fan of US imperialism, but I like many US people. Their deaths were very sad and pointless.

The clear and tragic incompetence on the bridge has some connection with the Saker's article.

Randal Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:14 pm GMT

No sale and kiss my ass with the "stupidity" remark. Russia is playing its old imperial grand chessboard game and it matters not that Assad "invited" him. Think Putin was going to stay out of Syria w/o this "invitation"?

If you really believe that Russia would have any significant military involvement in Syria today in the absence of its longstanding alliance with that country and its consequent interest in protecting it from regime change then you are either profoundly stupid or profoundly ignorant. Or both, of course.

the SAME FUCKING TROGLODYTES THAT RAN IT are running Russia today, starting with Putin

Again, you merely highlight your own lack of knowledge and pig-headed refusal to recognise any change in the world from that (presumably) of your youth.

And you talk of respecting international law!

The simple fact is that (as has been pointed out to you by several people) Russia's military presence in Syria is perfectly legal, being at the invitation of Syria's government, while the US has a long track record of contempt for international law, from the attack on Yugoslavia to the invasion of Iraq and on down to its recent murders of Syrian servicemen without even an attempt to pretend to any legal justification.

No sale and kiss my ass with the "stupidity" remark

No "stupidity" remark that I can see in the comment by Rurik to which you claim to be replying, but your subsequent determination to insist that black is in fact white on several points suggest he would have been justified in such a personal criticism.

Sean Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm GMT

Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria.

jacques sheete Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 No, I don't recognize that the USSR is gone, because the SAME FUCKING TROGLODYTES THAT RAN IT are running Russia today, starting with Putin, the mope that weeps over its demise. As we said in the Marines "Payback is a motherfucker" and you're finding that out aren't you.

"Today Russia is the last great hope of the planet" is one of the most pathetic memes currently hiding in the guise of received wisdom. Tell that to the besieged Ukrainians of occupied Ukraine, who only want to keep their country intact, but due to Russia's total incapability of recognizing Ukrainians as a separate people with a right to self-determination and Russians' desperation to continue seeing themselves as a world power, no matter what other nation has to be crushed, continue getting killed every day by Russians and their proxies. And you talk of respecting international law!

As we said in the Marines "Payback is a motherfucker" blah blah blah

Looks like you could use a dose of Marine MG Butler's wisdom.

Knock yerself out toughie

" I spent most of my [33 years in the Marine Corps] being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers.

In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for [crony] capitalism."

Major General Butler USMC, War is a Racket, 1935

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

Elder Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 7:52 pm GMT

@Kilo 4/11 Why does Russia get to strike out of theater if the U.S. hits them in Syria? We did not get to strike out of theater when Russia was supplying our enemy in North Viet Nam. Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S. Russia had better think twice and think again before going down that road.

Russia has no more right to be in Syria than the U.S.

The Russians are in Syria at the request of the sovereign nation of Syria.
The USA is in Syria as an illegal invading force providing support to Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
I never would have guessed that the rot in the USA would have progressed to the point where the Russians would be 100% in the right, both legally and morally, and the USA would be 100% in the wrong, both legally and morally, but here we are.

Randal Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT

@Erebus It seems to me that if the US delivers either an ultimatum, or a direct attack on Russian assets in Syria, Russia's response will depend primarily on what it believes its allies can and will deliver. The SAA, Hezbollah, and Iraqi PMUs are already doing yeoman's service and probably can't do much more. In any case, the boots-on-the-ground part would come some time after a stand-off weapon exchange.
Can Iran be depended on to commit, knowing they're next if the American gambit succeeds? Hard to tell. They could do a lot of damage to US assets around the Gulf in very short order. Doha and Manama are but a few minutes away as the missile flies, and those missiles could fly from anywhere along a mountainous 2500km coastline. If Iran can be counted on, the Russians can play much harder ball than on their own.

The big question mark is China. Not for any military contribution, obviously, but for the fact that it can cripple the U$ system on which American military power rests, and they can do it almost instantly. There's some pain in it for China, though not nearly as much as is sometimes assumed, but it would make any military "victory" the USM might be dreaming of Pyrrhic. In addition to losing a bunch of hardware and expensive personnel, they'd be staring at an economic catastrophe. With that, they'd also be staring at the "Decline and Fall" moment in the Zempire's timeline.

In its present domestic socio-political state, the US could simply fly apart from the combined shock. From where I sit, that looks all but inevitable.

Be that all as it may, the Kremlin had surely gamed all the possible variations to exhaustion before making their move into Syria. They committed, and since Sept 31, 2015 they've been driving, not reacting to, events. They went in fully committed to success, and they knew what ramifications their success could trigger. They must have had viable contingency Plans A thru Z in place before the ever cautious, meticulous Putin would have been confident enough that he had all bases covered to sign off on it. I'm pretty sure that none of Plans A thru Z included turning tail and running away when the American started barking.

Putin would have been confident enough that he had all bases covered to sign off on it. I'm pretty sure that none of Plans A thru Z included turning tail and running away when the American started barking.

Yes, seems to me this was a calculated gamble for the highest stakes by Putin, and I think he must have known that once he went all in there would be no further option to fold under US presure that wouldn't be disastrous for Russia and for him, personally. I suspect he decided at the time that he would take it all the way if necessary.

But that doesn't mean, of course, that he and the Russians thought they couldn't lose. Just that they thought the situation was serious enough to justify such a move, which inevitably involves a degree of risk and the highest of stakes.

What they did know, and still know, is that the costs to the US of even a "victory" in Syria could be made high enough that the US leadership would almost certainly blink first (rightly, given that the whole regime change attempt in Syria involves no vital US interests and serves the purposes of foreigners, wealthy business cliques and issue obsessives).

And so it has come to pass, so far, fortunately for humanity and for both the US and Russia. Who knows if that would still be the case if Clinton had won the election? Who really knows if it will remain the case under the highly suspect Trump?

Can Iran be depended on to commit, knowing they're next if the American gambit succeeds?

Difficult to predict in such a dramatic situation, but Iran obviously knows that it is next in the firing line after Syria goes down and Hezbollah is targeted (as the plans of the regime changers hope for). However Iran really adds little to Russia's strength overall, though as you point out they can contribute substantially in the region. On the other hand, Iran's involvement would ensure far more enthusiastic cooperation with the US by Israel and Saudi Arabia, who might otherwise balk at a direct attack on Russian forces.

The big question mark is China. Not for any military contribution, obviously, but for the fact that it can cripple the U$ system on which American military power rests, and they can do it almost instantly.

I think the record suggests China would be far too cautious to intervene directly in that way in such a situation, though I'm sure they would give Russia plenty of indirect support.

Randal Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 9:56 pm GMT

@Sean Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria.

Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria.

Yes that's right because history demonstrates clearly that appeasement and passive acceptance is the best way to protect yourself against ongoing lawless aggression by a major power. If nothing else, there's always that faint, fading hope that if you are meek enough you might at least be left for last, eh?

If only the Russians had had the patience and strength of mind to continue with the wisdom of the Yeltsin years, in kowtowing to the US declaration of a global US sphere of influence and a universal US right, nay duty, of regime changing interventionism

sad and scared Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 11:49 pm GMT

This sucker (the Syrian conflict) could take all sorts of twists and turns, acquire a life of its own, and do who knows what. Since there seems to be no rational motive at play, at least on the US side, this mess defies rational analysis. What is the US objective in Syria, after all? I doubt anyone can answer that. What benefit will accrue if Assad ends up going? It simply seems to be a psychopathic game of power, more power, and yet more power ("full spectrum dominance" – not a Hitler statement that, but officially stated US policy) Full dominance to what aim? (try raising that on mass media, good luck) To stand tall in a graveyard of humanity as the last human survivor? To add to the already long list of countries and peoples destroyed? To be acknowledged as the toughest and meanest kid on the block? I think all bets are off, this sucker could go any way, any time.

SimplePseudonymicHandle Show Comment Next New Comment June 29, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT

The Saker

makes a basic mistake, he assumes that the [Americans] will act like idiots and fight the kind of war the [Russia] would want to impose upon them.

And he does so in nearly every article he writes. It would be amusing except for quotes like this.

There are good points to be made. The US will have certain habits that must be deliberately deviated from. The US deploys too much and exposes its fighting style too much.

But the Saker is silly, Capital S, silly, to think that the US would fight Russia the way he imagines it.

Just the same: we must not fight. Russia and the US, must, not fight. It must not happen.

The silliest thing is all the imagining of it. We should steel all our efforts to assure this never, ever happens.

Mongrel Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:37 am GMT

IMO, a massive US attack to gain air superiority in Syria is completely unrealistic for the following reasons among others:

1. If an aircraft carrier takes part in the attack, if could be sunk by the Russians with moral justification. Sinking an aircraft carrier would cause the dollar to plummet by revealing the phony nature of American military might.

2. The Russians could lose their entire Syrian forces and the larger military balance would not be affected in the short run, nor would the Russian regime be threatened by internal revolution. If the US lost significant numbers of aircraft, especially F-35's and/or F-22's, it would be a US disaster. There would be no hiding from the US public that we are at war for no discernable purpose. The sleepwalking goyim could very well take their eyes off Kim Kardashian's ass and the Trump circus and wake up. The political effects are utterly unpredictable.

3. Russia and China could announce an international gold standard, effectively removing a major source of US income via dollar creation. With US inflation raging, military cutbacks would ensue, kicking off a downward spiral for the ZUSA empire.

4. War in Syria would precipitate a US financial crisis, because US markets are held aloft with smoke and mirrors. We have runaway federal debt, states about to default, a pension crisis, and a consumer debt crisis. When this thing blows, the 2000 crash will look like a picnic. Unemployment will skyrocket from an already high level, and the deep state will be fighting off multiple Occupy Wall Street-like movements. Sure hope those new surveillance tools work well, 'cause the deep state is gonna need 'em.

Of course, empires often show the brains of a dinosaur. Did the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and German empires plan to disappear when they entered WWI?

peterAUS Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:47 am GMT

@sad and scared This sucker (the Syrian conflict) could take all sorts of twists and turns, acquire a life of its own, and do who knows what. Since there seems to be no rational motive at play, at least on the US side, this mess defies rational analysis. What is the US objective in Syria, after all? I doubt anyone can answer that. What benefit will accrue if Assad ends up going? It simply seems to be a psychopathic game of power, more power, and yet more power ("full spectrum dominance" - not a Hitler statement that, but officially stated US policy) Full dominance to what aim? (try raising that on mass media, good luck) To stand tall in a graveyard of humanity as the last human survivor? To add to the already long list of countries and peoples destroyed? To be acknowledged as the toughest and meanest kid on the block? I think all bets are off, this sucker could go any way, any time.

What is the US objective in Syria, after all? I doubt anyone can answer that.

Maybe .just .CONSTANT low level chaos as it is now.
Just to keep that region unstable and unusable for anyone.
Serves a couple of purposes, one of them is weakening Russia.

What benefit will accrue if Assad ends up going?

The same.
But even with Assad not going, just keeping things as they are now is good for The Empire.
Or, it is better for The Empire than it is for Russia.
Or it is less worse for The Empire than it is for Russia.

utu Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT

@Rurik


allows one a glimmer of hope
I'm clinging to it for now

he didn't do much damage to that Syrian airfield he bombed and he warned everyone over there that he was going to do it, and by doing so, he completely shut up the snake-pit, from John McBloodstain to Chucky Schumer to the length and breath of the zio-msm.

I sense he's trying to play them, and it seems at times like he's playing them like a fine fiddle.

Saying 'Assad has to go' will cause tingles and chills up their legs, and cut him some slack with the Republicucks, so perhaps he can get more of his people appointed.

So long as he has a back-door channel to Putin, they can pretend like they're enemies, while mollifying the Fiend and its minions as ISIS is routed and Syria's sovereignty and border integrity becomes more and more a reality on the ground.

At least that's my hope. Of course I could be wrong. So long as he has a back-door channel to Putin

Putin receives former U.S. diplomat Kissinger in Kremlin

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-kissinger-idUSKBN19K2QN

U.S. Retreats From Al-Tanf – Gives Up On Occupying South East Syria

http://www.moonofalabama.org

Mikel Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 1:05 am GMT

Could anyone kindly explain how the Israeli planes manage to avoid the Syrian Pantsirs and S-300s every time they enter Syrian air space and take out some target? (and one presumes that the Syrians must be waiting for the next Israeli incursion 24×7).

Thanks.

KenH Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 2:44 am GMT

Girly man Sean Spicer's pronouncement that the U.S. possesses "intelligence" to the effect that Assad is planning a chemical attack on innocents is just a bogus pretext for war. It's Iraqi weapons of mass destruction all over again.

It's designed to soften Americans up for greater illegal and unilateral military action in Syria. And if my fellow countrymen fall for it yet again just because they're enamored with Trump's hollow promises and circus like rallies then I will have absolutely no sympathy for them when the economy implodes and if somehow the war comes to U.S. soil.

Gee, who gets all the refugees when we bring hell to Syria? Not Saudi Arabia or Israel. Oh no, princess Ivanka will see to it that we get our share just as long as they're nowhere near her, Jared or any other Manhattan millionaire liberal.

Putin should announce the sale of long range nuclear missiles to the People's Republic of N. Korea. Hopefully this would give Nimrata Haley and Trump aneurysms along with the rest of the American likudniks. Then he should follow up and begin supplying the Taliban with surface to air missile batteries, anti-drone technology and advanced weaponry for combat operations.

in the middle Show Comment Next New Comment June 30, 2017 at 1:37 am GMT

@Sean Russia has made a bad mistake in appearing to side with Iran in Syria. NO! The Zios-Anglos made the mistake of siding with the terrorists in Syria.

[Jun 28, 2017] Considering that Russia was gang-raped by Bill Clinton's Oligarch friends .a gang rape that caused a demographic collapse of the Russian population .Russia's subsequent recovery has been miraculous

Jun 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

War for Blair Mountain

June 22, 2017 at 10:44 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack


The only thing that Russia wanted from Ukraine is not to allow themselves to become threat to Russia by joining NATO. Ukraine, having wasted all other options for normal development, couldn't resist taking the offer of cashing in on becoming a threat to Russia. Ukraine tries to justify this based on some past historical grievances from the 1930's.
What total lunacy and hippocracy. Do I really need to remind you that before 2014 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, NATO membership was not a popular option for most Ukrainians. But now, after the deceitful land grab by Russia of Crimea and three years of proxy directed war in Donbas orchestrated in Moscow, most Ukrainians now look favorably towards NATO membership. Latest polls show that 55.9% o Ukrainians now favor NATO integration (I think that pre 2014 it was less than 15%) and 66.4% now favor EU integration. You reap what you sew, Putinista fanboys. Bye, bye 'NovoRossiya'! http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2017/06/17/7147228/ The engine that drove the US into an economic power house was decades of violating free market principles

The engine that drove German economic success was being bailed out by the US right after WW2..

Considering that Russia was gang-raped by Bill Clinton's Oligarch friends .a gang rape that caused a demographic collapse of the Russian population .Russia's subsequent recovery has been miraculous

OOPS These comments were meant for Priss Factor not Mr. Hack

[Jun 28, 2017] Trump Has Been Continuing Obamas Syria-Policy by Eric Zuesse

Jun 27, 2017 | off-guardian.org

U.S. President Donald Trump, who during the election-campaign ferociously condemned Barack Obama's foreign policies, while asserting nothing concrete of his own, has, as the U.S. President, committed himself quite clearly to continuing Obama's publicly stated policy on Syria, which policy was to place, as the first priority, the elimination of ISIS, and as the policy to follow that, the elimination and replacement of Syria's government. I have previously indicated that on June 19th "Russia Announces No-Fly Zone in Syria - War Against U.S. There" , and that the early indications are that Trump has changed his Syria-policy to accommodate Russia's demands there; but, prior to June 19th, Trump was actually following Obama's publicly stated Syria-policy.

As also will be shown here, Obama's publicly stated policy - to destroy ISIS and then to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad - was actually less extreme than his real policy, which was to overthrow Assad and to use the jihadist forces in Syria (especially Al Qaeda in Syria) to achieve that objective. Trump, at least until 19 June 2017, has been adhering to Obama's publicly stated policy. Russia's warning was for him not to adopt and continue Obama's actual policy (to overthrow Assad).

Here is the part, of the by-now-famous 12 August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analysis of the intelligence regarding Iraq and in Syria, that the press (despite its extensive reporting about the document) has not yet reported from the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures (which had included that document and many others), but which part of it shows even more than the part that has been reported from the document, Obama's having made an informed choice actually to protect Al Qaeda in Syria, so as to bring down and replace the Syrian government - Obama's actual prioritization (contrary to his publicly stated one) of overthrowing Assad, even above defeating the jihadists in Syria; and this was clearly also a warning by the DIA to the Commander-in-Chief, that he can have either an overthrow of Assad, or else a non-jihadist-controlled Syria, but not both, and that any attempt to bring down Assad by means of using the jihadists as a proxy army against him, would ultimately fail:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version.pdf

page 69 of 100:

D. AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq], through spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) Abu Muhammed Al Adnani, declared the Syrian regime as the spearhead of what he is naming Jibha Al Ruwafdh (forefront of the Shiites) because of its (the Syrian regime) declaration of war on the Sunnis. Additionally, he is calling on the Sunnis in Iraq, especially the tribes in the border regions (between Iraq and Syria), to wage war against the Syrian regime, regarding Syria as an infidel regime for its support to the infidel party Hezbollah, and other regimes he considers dissenters like Iran and Iraq.

E. AQI considers the Sunni issue in Iraq to be fatefully connected to the Sunni Arabs and Muslims.

page 70:

A. The [Syrian] regime will survive and have control over Syrian territory.

page 71:

B. Development of the current events into a proxy war: with support from Russia, China, and Iran, the regime is controlling the areas of influence along coastal territories (Tartus and Latakia), and is fiercely defending Homs, which is considered the primary transportation route in Syria. On the other hand, opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to the western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighboring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these [jihadist] efforts

And here is from the part that the press did report:

https://www.facebook.com/ayssar.midani/posts/10152479627582395

Ayssar Midani, May 23, 2015 · Paris, France:

"C: If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

The "supporting powers" are: western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey The DIA warns that the creation of such an Salafist principality would have "dire consequences" for Iraq and would possibly lead to the creation of an Islamic State and: create the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.
These DIA folks really earned their salary.

The Obama administration, together with other supporter of the Syrian "opposition", knew that AQ was a large part of that "opposition" from the very beginning. The U.S. and others wanted a Salafist [i.e., fundamentalist Sunni] principality in east Syria to cut Syria and Lebanon off from a land route to Iran. It was warned that such a principality would create havoc in Iraq and to the return of AQ in Iraq (today the Islamic State) to Mosul and Ramadi.

I quoted from that part in December 2016 , which was the time when the two Presidents, Obama and Turkey's Erdogan, began their joint effort to relocate ISIS from Mosul Iraq, into Der Zor Syria, in order to culminate their (and the Sauds') joint plan to use ISIS so as to bring down Assad. Then, I headlined, on 30 April 2017, that they had actually completed this task of moving Iraq's ISIS into Syria, "How Obama & Erdogan Moved ISIS from Iraq to Syria, to Weaken Assad" . That's why the Syrian government is now fighting to take Der Zor back from ISIS control.

Other portions of the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures which received little or no press-coverage (and that little being only on far-right blogs - not mainstream 'news' sites) add still further to the evidence that Obama was using Al Qaeda and its friends, as a proxy army of jihadists to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and replace him by a jihadist regime that would be loyal to America's fundamentalist-Sunni 'allies', the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia, and the Thanis who own Qatar. (Of course, now, the Sauds are trying to destroy the Thanis, too.)

These unpublished or little-published portions from the Judical Watch disclosures, also add to the ample published evidence that the Obama regime was transporting (as these documents acknowledged on page 4) "weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya" which "were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria," for use by Obama's 'moderate rebels' (a.k.a.: jihadists) in Syria. Specifically:

page 4:
18 Sep 2012

2. During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amounts of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

3. The weapons shipped from Libya to Syria during late-August 2012 [i.e., the period immediately prior to this memo] were sniper rifles, RPGs, and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles.

It's now clear that Trump (at least until June 19th) has been continuing Obama's stated policy of killing ISIS and then overthrowing Assad. But of course no one can yet know whether or not he would be continuing it in precisely the way that Hillary Clinton made clear that she would do, which is to announce a no-fly zone in Syria and thus grab control over some portion of the sovereign nation of Syria. That way would result, now after 19 June 2017 ( Russia's warning to shoot down U.S. aircraft that attack Syrian government-allied forces ), either in U.S. retreat or else shooting down Russian planes in Syria, and war between U.S. and Russia, ending in nuclear war.

When I presented, in my December 2016 report, what I referred to above as "the part of the 12 August 2012 DIA analysis of the intelligence regarding Iraq and in Syria that the press has not yet reported from the Judicial Watch FOIA disclosures," I didn't mention then that one news-medium did report a part of that section, and it was a rabidly pro-Republican site, Glenn Beck and his "The Blaze," which headlined about this matter, very appropriately, "'It Is Damn Near Criminal': Glenn Beck Says the U.S. Is Using Islamic State as a 'Pawn'," which point, Beck presented rather well in the video accompanying it. Unfortunately, however, closed-minded 'liberals' and 'progressives' paid no attention to this and to the other evils perpetrated by Obama ( such as these ). Regardless of how untrustworthy Beck is, his statements about that particular matter were actually spot-on.

Obama was using ISIS in this way, but after Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, Obama joined in so as not to make obvious to the world that he had been protecting and even arming ISIS until that date, and that prior to Russia's bombing ISIS, the U.S. had actually ignored ISIS.

Now that ISIS in Syria seems to be on its last legs there, only Kurds and Al Qaeda in Syria ( and their backers especially the U.S. and Sauds ) remain as big threats to Syria's sovereignty, and the evidence at least till June 19th, has been that Trump definitely backs the Kurds there, and might also be backing Al Qaeda there as well. If he continues backing the Kurds and Al Qaeda there, after Russia's warning on June 19th (which the neoconservative Washington Post called only "bluffing" and the neoconservative CNBC called "bluster" ), then the U.S. will be at war not only against Russia, but also against Turkey, and also against Iran, and it would be World War III because it would be U.S.-v.-Russia. Turkey is already at war against the Kurds; and, if America is fighting for the Kurds, to break up Syria, then Turkey - a member of the NATO anti-Russia alliance - will paralyze NATO; and the U.S. will then be waging its war without NATO's support.

Trump would need to be very stupid to do such a thing. It would be an intelligence test which, if Trump fails, the world will end, in nuclear winter - with or without support from the rest of NATO. But, nonetheless, some in the American 'elite' and its employees, say that it would merely be a recognition of Russia's "bluffing" and "bluster." One wonders what objective this 'elite' believes to be worthy of taking the risk that they're wrong. What do they actually hope to 'win', fighting on the side of the Sauds (and their Israeli agents), in order to conquer Syria? Why are they so desperate, to do that?

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

Eric Blair says June 27, 2017

Moon of Alabama commented yesterday on the US and its allies defeat (so far) in S.E. Syria. At an MSM ignored DoD press conference the US military admitted as much. From MoA's article:

Q: [ ] [W]hat potential threat do you believe these Iranian backed militias and regime forces continue to pose to your forces and your partner forces in the At Tanf - Abu Kamal area?

COL. DILLON: Well if the Syrian regime - and it looks like they are making a concerted effort to move into ISIS held areas. And if they show that they can do that, that is not a bad sign. We are here to fight ISIS as a coalition, but if others want to fight ISIS and defeat them, then we absolutely have no problem with that. And as they move eastward toward Abu Kamal and to Deir Ezzour, if we - as long as we can de-conflict and make sure that we can focus on what it is we're there to do, without having any kind of strategic mishaps with the regime or with pro-regime forces or with Russians, then that is - we're perfectly happy with that.

In a later part the spokesperson also concedes that the forces in al-Tanf are now very constricted in their movement:

if the regime is - has moved into an area that is towards Abu Kamal, then we are going to be limited to how far out we do patrols [from al-Tanf] with our partner forces.

Somewhat later the point is made again and even clearer – al-Tanf is now useless and the Syrian army is free to do what it does:

COL. DILLON: So what I was saying about that is that, out of the At Tanf area, we have used that to train our partner forces and to continue to - to fight ISIS, you know, if they are in and around that area.

You know, now that the regime has moved in, and they have made some significant, you know, progress, as it looks, towards moving to Abu Kamal and perhaps Deir Ezzour, if they want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then, you know, that - that would be welcome.

We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We're in the killing ISIS business, and that is what we want to do. And if - if the Syrian regime wants to do that, and they are going to, again, put forth a concerted effort and show that they are - are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir Ezzour or elsewhere, that means that we don't have to do that in those locations.

So I guess that - what I'm saying is, in the At Tanf area, we will continue to train our partner forces. We will continue to do patrols in and around At Tanf in the Hamad desert. But if our access to Abu Kamal is shut off because the regime is there, that's okay.

Hmm the US military standing down? I haven't looked at the entire transcript yet but this seems almost too good to be true. Of course these press conference proclamations need to be washed down with a generous helping of delicious salt. Even if the statements are sincere, the interventionists, their media "partners" and think tank propagandists will keep on pushing for "regime change" (a coup by any other name ) and the destruction of Syria.

On the bright side US/NATO uncontested domination of the globe was stopped in its tracks by the Russian military in Syria on 30.09.2015 and there is simply no way Washington can bribe, threaten or beat every nation in the world into submission.

bevin says June 26, 2017
This is a culture at the end of its tether: it simply cannot put up with dissent or contradiction, so brittle is it. It is all part of a refusal to face ugly reality, symptomatic of which is the relegation-to Die Welt's Sunday edition- of Seymour Hersh's latest investigation of US state mendacity its irresponsibility in the matter if the recent "Sarin" attack blamed on Assad.
Ray McGovern has a piece at Counterpunch today in which he reveals that "Even the London Review of Books, which published Hersh's earlier debunking of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin-gas incident, wouldn't go out onto the limb this time despite having paid for his investigation.

"According to Hersh, the LRB did not want to be "vulnerable to criticism for seeming to take the view of the Syrian and Russia governments when it came to the April 4 bombing in Khan Sheikhoun." So much for diversity of thought in today's West."
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/26/hershs-big-scoop-bad-intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack/

captain Swing says June 27, 2017
Very interesting article from Counterpunch. Thanks.
Jerry Alatalo says June 27, 2017
bevin,
The facts Seymour Hersh's article lays out pushes one in the direction that Trump – totally ignoring his intelligence and military experts telling him their was no certainty Assad was responsible – had knowledge the event was a false flag. Trump couldn't be so stupid as to not understand what his experts were telling him. After launching the 50 Tomahawk missiles, he lied through his teeth to the world, saying "we know we have the evidence..", then UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (like Colin Powell, before the illegal Iraq War) blasted Assad falsely, held up pictures at the Security Council of dead children which were quickly plastered on the front pages of newspapers globally,, and literally warned Syria's Bashar al-Jaafari of impending war.

Hersh's article shows Trump, Haley and the U.S. administration, UK/France and other United Nations representatives were lying about "we have the evidence", and owe their citizens and the world an explanation, plus an apology. These psychopath liars are extremely dangerous and must become held to account for their deceptions.

archie1954 says June 26, 2017
If the US were to persist in this dangerous dance with the devil, I could imaging NATO being split by Turkey, refusing to get involved any further and even separately protecting Europe from Russian retaliation by entering into a defense treaty with Russia. The US then would be shouldering the whole foolish confrontation by itself and perhaps having to deal with China and North Korea at the same time. Now that would be an interesting scenario.
Michael Leigh says June 26, 2017
I think the worthy Historian, Eric Zuesse has not considered the possibility that a new midlle East regional grouping, offers the best chance of allowing the USA to gracefully avoid the ultimate failure of its Middle East policy by conceding to the combined alliance, of the major traditional Nations and their forces of the Middle East; being Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Currently divided by a false religious and secular division, posed by primarily Great Britain and the USA, it was the British who over 100 years ago financed and invented the Sunni Wahhabi division which sunni division represents the most murderous of the current Islamic terrorist outrages financed also by the USA and Saudi Arabia throughout the region and globe.

Similarly, the Anglo-Franco financed and hosting of the Muslim Brotherhood to further frustrate and end Turkey's leadership of the declining Otterman Empire, formally lead by Turkey.

The most important factor against a new alignment of those three aforementioned regional leaders; is the current illegimate counter-alliance of " the lawless Hebrew State of Israel " and the Teflon-guarded deep state, which appears to own and really run the also infamous North America State?

[Jun 28, 2017] Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... Russia and Putin weren't effective issues for Hillary, and they're not effective issues now, yet the Democratic leadership insists on flogging them. The corrupt, sclerotic, and incompetent Democratic leadership is aloof and out of touch...and needs to go. ..."
Jun 28, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH , June 27, 2017 at 06:27 AM

Earth to the Democratic leadership: Stop talking so much about Russia.

"Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia.

Democratic leaders have been beating the drum this year over the ongoing probes into the Trump administration's potential ties to Moscow, taking every opportunity to highlight the saga and forcing floor votes designed to uncover any business dealings the president might have with Russian figures.

But rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare.
In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift.
"We can't just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren't really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn," Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. "They're trying to figure out how they're going to make the mortgage payment, how they're going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like.

"And if we don't talk more about their interest than we do about how we're so angry with Donald Trump and everything that's going on," he added, "then we're never going to be able to win elections."

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/339248-dems-push-leaders-to-talk-less-about-russia

Russia and Putin weren't effective issues for Hillary, and they're not effective issues now, yet the Democratic leadership insists on flogging them. The corrupt, sclerotic, and incompetent Democratic leadership is aloof and out of touch...and needs to go.

[Jun 27, 2017] In case you did not have time to look for the widely available information on how the US has been supplying certain forces in Syria with various weaponry, including anti aircraft weapons

Jun 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

MarkinLA June 25, 2017 at 10:01 pm GMT

@annamaria In case you did not have time to look for the widely available information on how the US has been supplying certain "forces" in Syria with various weaponry, including anti aircraft weapons, here is a summary: "How America Armed Terrorists in Syria: Another Middle East debacle" By GARETH PORTER • June 22, 2017
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-america-armed-terrorists-in-syria/

"The Obama administration's Syria policy effectively sold out the U.S. interest that was supposed to be the touchstone of the "Global War on Terrorism"-the eradication of al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates... In October 2012, U.S. officials acknowledged off the record for the first time to the New York Times that "most" of the arms that had been shipped to armed opposition groups in Syria with U.S. logistical assistance during the previous year had gone to "hardline Islamic jihadists"- obviously meaning al Qaeda's Syrian franchise, al Nusra. ...

In early March 2015, the Harakat Hazm Aleppo branch dissolved itself, and al Nusra Front promptly showed off photos of the TOW missiles and other equipment they had captured from it. ... But that wasn't the only way for al Nusra Front to benefit from the CIA's largesse.

The non-jihadist armed groups getting advanced weapons from the CIA assistance were not part of the initial assault on Idlib City. After the capture of Idlib the U.S.-led operations room for Syria in southern Turkey signaled to the CIA-supported groups in Idlib that they could now participate in the campaign to consolidate control over the rest of the province. According to Lister, the British researcher on jihadists in Syria who maintains contacts with both jihadist and other armed groups, recipients of CIA weapons, such as the Fursan al haq brigade and Division 13, did join the Idlib campaign alongside al Nusra Front without any move by the CIA to cut them off. As the Idlib offensive began, the CIA-supported groups were getting TOW missiles in larger numbers, and they now used them with great effectiveness against the Syrian army tanks. That was the beginning of a new phase of the war, in which U.S. policy was to support an alliance between "relatively moderate" groups and the al Nusra Front."

And more of the same CIA judged to be "relatively moderate" anti-Assad groups

These CIA assessments are always loaded with weasel words and half truths like some child admitting he stuck his hand in the cookie jar but didn't actually take one. It is all designed as a silly whitewash of their actions. Admit just enough but stop short of something illegal.

When the CIA finally had to admit they were aware of the drug dealing during the Reagan administration by the Contras, they came out with some lame report where they admitted they were aware that some elements were trafficking drugs but the CIA wasn't directly involved. Of course, the pilots flying the arms in and drugs out all had CIA connections. The DEA also never made any significant arrests.

The CIA knows there are no "relatively moderates".

Priss Factor Show Comment Next New Comment June 25, 2017 at 10:25 pm GMT

What is happening in Syria is an Extreme Steroidal version of what is happening in the West.

Westerners are told 'diversity' and 'inclusion' are highest values.

Well, Syria wouldn't have been such a powder keg if it weren't so diverse filled with so many resentments. And it was the weakening of borders and 'inclusion' of Jihadis and foreign military that made things much worse. So, much for blessings of diversity and inclusion(euphemism for intrusion and invasion).

Two sicknesses of the globalized world: Diversease and Incluenza.

[Jun 27, 2017] How Israel Manages Its Message

economistsview.typepad.com
Those of us who are highly critical of Israel's ability to manipulate U.S. foreign policy frequently note how sites that permit comments on our articles are almost immediately inundated with hostile postings that are remarkably similar in both tone and substance. Given that it is unlikely that large numbers of visitors to the sites read the offending piece more-or-less simultaneously, react similarly to its content, and then go on to express their disgust in very similar language, many of us have come to the conclusion that the Israeli government or some of the groups dedicated to advancing Israeli interests turn loose supporters who are dedicated to combating and refuting anything and everything that casts Israel in a negative light.

The fact is that Israel is extremely active in an enterprise that falls in the gray area between covert operations and overt governmental activity. Many governments seek to respond to negative commentary in the media, but they normally do it openly with an ambassador or press officer countering criticism by sending in a letter, writing an op-ed, or appearing on a talk show. Such activity is generally described as public diplomacy when it is done openly by a recognized government official and the information itself is both plausible and verifiable, at least within reasonable limits. Israel does indeed do that, but it also engages in other activities that are not so transparent and which are aimed at spreading false information.

When an intelligence organization seeks to influence opinion by creating and deliberately circulating "false news," it is referred to as a "disinformation operation."

But Israel has refined the art of something that expands upon that, what might be referred to more accurately as "perception management" or "influence operations" in which it only very rarely shows its hand overtly, in many cases paying students as part-time bloggers or exploiting diaspora Jews as volunteers to get its message out. The practice is so systemic, involving recruitment, training, Foreign Ministry-prepared information sheets, and internet alerts to potential targets, that it is frequently described by its Hebrew name, hasbara, which means literally "public explanation." It is essentially an internet-focused "information war" that parallels and supports the military action whenever Israel enters into conflict with any of its neighbors or seeks to influence public opinion in the United States and Europe.

... ... ...

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has sent a letter out to a number of pro-Israel organizations emphasizing the "importance of the internet as the new battleground for Israel's image." Haaretz reported in 2013 how Prime Minister Netanyahu's office collaborated with the National Union of Israeli Students to establish "covert units" at the seven national universities to be structured in a "semi-military" fashion and organized in situation rooms. Students are paid as much as $2,000 monthly to work the online targets.

The serious collaboration between government and volunteers actually began with Operation Cast Lead in early 2009, an incursion into Gaza that killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, when the Foreign Ministry pulled together a group of mostly young computer savvy soldiers supplemented by students both overseas and within Israel to post a number of government-crafted responses to international criticism.

Many of the initial volunteers worked through a website giyus.org (an acronym for Give Israel Your United Support). The website included a desktop tool called Megaphone that provided daily updates on articles appearing on the internet that had to be challenged or attacked. There were once believed to be 50,000 activists receiving the now-inactive Megaphone's alerts.

There have also been reports about a pro-Israel American group called Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) preparing to enter its own version of developments in the Middle East on the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. E-mails from CAMERA reveal that the group sought volunteers in 2008 to edit material on Wikipedia "to help us keep Israel-related entries from becoming tainted by anti-Israel editors," while also recommending that articles on the Middle East be avoided initially by supporters so as not to arouse suspicions about their motives. Volunteers were also advised to use false names that did not hint at any Israeli or Jewish connection and to avoid any references to being organized by CAMERA. Fifty volunteers reportedly were actively engaged in the program when it was exposed in the media and the program was put on hold.

CAMERA is an Internal Revenue Service-approved 501(c)(3) organization, which means that contributions to it are tax exempt. Such exemptions are granted to organizations that are either charitable or educational in nature and they normally preclude any involvement in partisan political activity. As CAMERA would not appear to qualify as a charity, it is to be presumed that its application for special tax status stressed that it is educational. Whether its involvement in "un-tainting" Wikipedia truly falls within that definition might well be debated, particularly as it appears to have been carried out in semi-clandestine fashion. CAMERA might well also be considered to be a good candidate for registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), as its activity is uniquely focused on promoting the perceived interests of a foreign government.

The use of Israel's universities as propaganda mills by the government also raises other significant issues. The growing BDS movement has included some Israeli universities as targets because of their alleged involvement with the government in the occupation of the West Bank. That the universities are also involved in possible government-sponsored information operations might be an additional convincing argument that BDS supporters might use to justify blacklisting at least some Israeli academic institutions.

Every government is engaged in selling a product, which is its own self-justifying view of what it does and how it does it. But the largely clandestine Israeli effort to influence American opinion is unique in that it comes from a country which receives more than $3 billion annually from the U.S. taxpayer. We Americans are therefore paying to be propagandized by people working for a foreign government who often pretend to be our fellow citizens but are not. What is occurring is essentially an intelligence operation directed against the United States, something that the CIA would have run back in the 1970s and 1980s.

That Israel can continue to reap huge amounts of aid and political cover from Washington while it is actively working to make sure that Americans are poorly informed about the Middle East reveals more than anything the corruption of our political class and media, both of which appear to be ready to sell out for thirty shekels to anyone with the cash in hand. Time to drain the swamp, indeed.

exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 4:47 am GMT

This is documented long-term foreign influence which has reached treason levels in the past, for instance at the time the USS Liberty was sunk in June, 1967. This can be contrasted with the phony Russia accusations levelled by many of the same people whose first loyalty is to the Israeli state rather than to the yankee imperium employing them. I don't see this ending well.

Wally Website Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT

Tip of the iceberg:

The True Cost of Parasite Israel
Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

"Jewish groups get up to 97% of grants from the Homeland Security"

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/islamophobia-shmislamophobia-97-of-homeland-security-security-grants-go-to-jewish-orgs

Zionist Wikipedia Editing Course

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139189

The Zionist attempt to control language.
The Israel Project's 2009 GLOBAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARY

https://www.transcend.org/tms/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sf-israel-projects-2009-global-language-dictionary.pdf

The commander behind the pro-Israel student troops on U.S. college campuses

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page//.premium-1.709014

Israel tech site paying "interns" to covertly plant stories in social media

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/israel-tech-site-paying-interns-covertly-plant-stories-social-media

Israeli students to get $2,000 to spread state propaganda on Facebook

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-students-get-2000-spread-state-propaganda-facebook

Not to mention that every US taxpayers "loan" that 'Israel' receives has never been paid back. The Israeli Occupied Congress curiously "forgives" all these huge debts. As if it wasn't assumed at the beginning.

"Jame Bamford of Wired subsequently reported that the NSA had hired secretive contractors with extensive ties to Israeli intelligence to establish 10 to 20 wiretapping rooms at key telecommunication points throughout the country."
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-impact-of-nsa-domestic-spying-2013-6#ixzz3NxPMujNo

"Two Secretive Israeli Companies Reportedly Bugged The US Telecommunications Grid For The NSA"
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/israelis-bugged-the-us-for-the-nsa-2013-6#ixzz3NxPnnUFg

"IDF Unit 8200 Cyberwar Veterans Developed NSA Snooping Technology"
Read more: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/06/08/idf-unit-8200-cyberwar-veterans-developed-nsa-snooping-technology/

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

Mark Green Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Israel's global news penetration (via hasbara) and other disinformation strategies are routine. Diabolical, but routine.

The Zionist state's various tricks and manipulations are legendary and ruthless. They function as a backdoor attack on intellectual liberty as well as open political discourse. They are anti-democratic.

Thus, even 'freedom of expression' in America is under constant Israeli pressure and surveillance. No stone goes unturned.

This is why Holocaust 'education' is ubiquitous and, when possible, mandatory. If the stories fail, inject guilt. It's an unscrupulous strategy that is working.

Meanwhile, Zionist myths rain down endlessly via American TV and throughout American mass media. Deep Zionist victimology has penetrated even US public schools. Hasbara is strategic. It is unrelenting. Ironically, it represents the tribal interest of a foreign power. Do Americans live under soft occupation? It increasingly looks that way.

This explains why Jewish suffering, Jewish innocence, and Jewish victimology are now compulsory subjects in American life–from schools to children's TV, to higher education and adult cinema. 'Dominare the message'.

On the other hand, Israel's commitment to segregation between Jews and gentiles is quietly steadfast. "Unshakable'. This head-scratching phenomena has been obscured by the Fake News meme involving America's 'Judeo-Christian' heritage. Yet it is an absolute ruse. No such heritage exists. These are Zionist-lead political movements and Zionist headlines. They tread on the thin, manufactured ice. Theydo not exist organically.

Christ's teachings were in fact a break from Judaism. Christ said as much. Christianity is an Open Admissions theology that stresses universal ethics that are non-racial. On the other hand, Israel is tribal, racial and exclusionary. This wouldn't be so repulsive if not for Israel's vociferous (and insincere) support for 'equality' and its pious contempt for 'white nationalism'.

Jewish racism is commanded by God. And Israel's ethical basis is polluted by nepotism, 'chosenness' and racial favoritism under God. It is a collection of myths and yarns that drip with tribal supremacism.

It's worth remembering also that Jews in Israel have a distinct word for their version of 'Apartheid'. It is 'Hafrada', which means 'separation' in Hebrew. Ever heard of it? Of course not! Hasbara operatives and their cousins in US news media make sure of that.

Sadly, we Americans live under soft occupation.

Significantly, few non-Jews have ever heard of 'hafrada'. But everyone has heard of 'Apartheid'.
Gee. How come?

We can thank the legions of young Israeli activists (and their elders) for this deliberate omission and assorted side shows. Control speech. Control thought.

Make no mistake about it: Israel is a racial supremacist state. Segregation is a core Zionist value. Jewish exceptionalism is their paramount goal. America is a useful, but temporary, ally. This is the nature of the 'special relationship.'

jilles dykstra Show Comment Next New Comment June 27, 2017 at 6:56 am GMT

Zionists never foresaw that having an own state would demonstrate what jews are capable of.
In 1948, thanks to the persecutions of the jews during WWII, Israel had a lot of sympathy in the world.
Nowadays, with no solution anywhere in sight for the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed in 1948, in Germany a Secretary for, against, Antisemitism seems necessary.
Germany debates if criticism of Israel, antizionism, is he same as antisemitism.
Norman Finkelstein and Ilian Pappe recently were not allowed to speak in