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Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS

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Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Etc

Here is an article that contains some relevant information (How Hillary Clinton And Barack Obama Created ISIS  by streiff)

November 23, 2015 | RedState

How did it happen? How did a violent Islamic regime, a regime that is sort of like Saudi Arabia but with inferior grooming and hygiene, come to hold sway over large portions of Iraq and Syria? Over the weekend, Soviet Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev provided an interesting insight. During a visit to Kuala Lumpur, Medvedev laid blame for ISIS, and one must say for the attending chaos, squarely upon the narrow, unmanly shoulders of Barack Obama:

"The strengthening of the Islamic State became possible partially due to irresponsible policies of the United States. Instead of concentrating joint efforts on fighting terrorism, the United States and its allies decided to fight against the lawfully elected president of Syria Bashar Assad," Medvedev told journalists.

That is a huge claim. And it is made by a Russian. But we are beyond the political state where we can laugh at a statement made by Russians because over the past five or so years we've seen much more truth about the actions of the Obama administration coming from Russia than coming from the White House. At the least, the Russians haven't lied to the American people about the nature of the Iran nuclear deal nor have the Russians told us that the Benghazi attack was caused by an internet video.

Let's take a moment and evaluate Medvedev's claim. How did ISIS get here.

Bear with me for a moment. I am about to use a significant number of quotes from Vox.com. They will be from an article by Zack Beauchamp. Some of you may recognize the name. Beauchamp is the low-IQ, note-taking dunderkind who discovered there was a bridge between the West Bank and Gaza. I am not making that up. The reason I'm using Vox.com is that the left relies heavily upon Vox.com for the small daily intake of conventional wisdom and no one wishes to confuse them over an important issue by using unfamiliar sources.

Prelude

By 2009, almost all of AQI's fighters were dead or in prison, and the group was a shadow of itself. But it had learned a valuable lesson: Dissent from Sunnis under its rule could be disastrous. That's why, years later, ISIS has slaughtered members of Sunni tribes, such as Iraq's Abu Nimr, en masse. It sees brutality as the best way to prevent a replay of the 2006 uprising that led to its downfall.

Take note of the years mentioned. There will be a test later on.

By 2010, "Iraq finally had relatively good security, a generous state budget, and positive relations among the country’s various ethnic and religious communities," Zaid al-Ali, author of The Struggle for Iraq's Future, wrote in Foreign Policy. But it was squandered. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stripped political opponents of power, appointed his cronies to run the army, and killed peaceful protestors.

What else was going on in 2010? During 2010, Obama was in the midst of his promised troop draw-down in Iraq. He was deliberately sabotaging his own SOFA negotiations to use the failure of those negotiations as a reason for complete US withdrawal. This is significant. The Obama administration came into office with no foreign policy objective larger than doing the opposite of whatever George Bush had done. Without considering the consequences, the gains during The Surge were abandoned and, what is more important, the Sunni tribes who had supported us during The Surge were abandoned by the United States an caught between a hostile regime in Baghdad and resurgent terrorists.

Arab Spring

The Arab Spring provided a nice proving ground for the I'm-not-George-Bush foreign policy of the administration. We turned over one ally (Egypt) to the Islamists. We overthrew a harmless (outside of Libya) dictator and gave that country to Islamists. Next on the list was Syria. Syria has been plagued with revolts throughout its existence. The Arab Spring set off initially peaceful protests in January. We didn't take much notice. As late as March 2011, Hillary Clinton was calling Assad a reformer. By July, an armed insurgency (we won't even try to understand what it was) had begun.

"It was very much a strategic decision that the regime made, to militarize the conflict right away," Glenn Robinson, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, told me in a phone conversation. "I think, in their mind and correctly, if this becomes a political battle where populations matter, the regime probably only has support of a third of the country ... the opposition has the numbers."

Perhaps the most devious part of this strategy was Assad's deliberate effort to promote Islamic extremism among the opposition. In amnesties issued between March and October 2011, Assad released a significant number (exact counts are hard to know) of extremists from Syrian prisons. Hof called this an "effort to pollute the opposition with sectarianism": Assad gambled that if his enemies were Islamic militants, then the West wouldn't intervene against him.

He guessed wrong.

Ever the rational actor, Assad assumed that the United States would prefer him to an Islamic regime. The Obama administration, didn't even recognize what Assad was doing because they were fixated on showing the world that they could throw out dictators really, really cheap that they didn't even stop to consider what regime would regime would follow him. As bizarre as it sounds, they didn't consider this in either Egypt or Libya. The Turks saw ISIS as a way to prosecute their own "war on terror" against the Kurds. The Iranians saw the chance to expand their influence with Assad and Lebanese Hezbollah. All of these actors saw ISIS as a stalking horse to allow them to accomplish other objectives.

By August, Obama was calling on him to step down. By early 2012, the Obama administration was sending up trial balloons about using military force in Syria and we were running arms to "Syrian rebels" from Libya.

... ... ...

 


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 21, 2018] Timber Sycamore

A classified U.S. State Department cable signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported that Saudi donors were a major support for Sunni militant forces globally, and some American officials worried that rebels being supported had ties to Al Qaeda.[14]
Notable quotes:
"... Read more at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Timber Sycamore 20/04/2018 Timber Sycamore was a classified weapons supply and training program run by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supported by various Arab intelligence services, most notably that of Saudi Arabia . Launched in 2012 or 2013, it supplied money, weaponry and training to rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War . According to U.S. officials, the program has trained thousands of rebels. President Barack Obama secretly authorized the CIA to begin arming Syria's embattled rebels in 2013. [3] However, the CIA had been facilitating the flow of arms from Libya to Syria "for more than a year" beforehand in collaboration with "the UK ( United Kingdom ), Saudi Arabia and Qatar ."

The program's existence was suspected after the U.S. Federal Business Opportunities website publicly solicited contract bids to ship tons of weaponry from Eastern Europe to Taşucu , Turkey and Aqaba , Jordan. One unintended consequence of the program has been to flood the Middle East's black market with weapons including assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. The U.S. delivered weapons via Ramstein – supposedly in breach of German laws.

In July 2017, U.S. officials stated that Timber Sycamore would be phased out, with funds possibly redirected to fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or to offering rebel forces defensive capabilities.

... ... ...

According to American officials, the program has been highly effective, training and equipping thousands of U.S.-backed fighters to make substantial battlefield gains.[2][19] American officials state that the program began to lose effectiveness after Russia intervened militarily in the Syrian Civil War.[19] David Ignatius, writing in The Washington Post, remarked that while the CIA program ultimately failed in its objective of removing Assad from power, it was hardly "bootless": "The program pumped many hundreds of millions of dollars to many dozens of militia groups. One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies over the past four years."[8]

... ... ...

U.S.-backed rebels often fought alongside al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front, and some of the U.S. supplied weapons ended up in the hands of the al-Nusra Front, which had been a major concern of the Obama administration when the program was first proposed.[10]

... ... ...

The program remains classified,[14][10] and many details about the program remain unknown, including the total amount of support, the range of weapons transferred, the depth of training provided, the types of U.S. trainers involved, and the exact rebel groups being supported.[18] However, The Canberra Times reported that two thousand tons of Soviet era weapons were delivered to Aqaba as recently as April 2016.

Read more at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

[Dec 18, 2017] Can The Deep State Be Cured

Notable quotes:
"... The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured. ..."
"... The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state. ..."
"... Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business. ..."
"... Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command. ..."
"... Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't. ..."
"... The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. ..."
www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Karen Kwiatkowski via LewRockwell.com,

So, after getting up late, groggy, and feeling overworked even before I started, I read this article . Just after, I had to feed a dozen cats and dogs, each dog in a separate room out of respect for their territorialism and aggressive desire to consume more than they should (hmm, where have I seen this before), and in the process, forgot where I put my coffee cup. Retracing steps, I finally find it and sit back down to my 19-inch window on the ugly (and perhaps remote) world of the state, and the endless pinpricks of the independent media on its vast overwhelmingly evil existence. I suspect I share this distractibility and daily estrangement from the actions of our government with most Americans .

We are newly bombing Libya and still messing with the Middle East? I thought that the wars the deep state wanted and started were now limited and constrained! What happened to lack of funds, lack of popular support, public transparency that revealed the stupidity and abject failure of these wars?

Deep state. Something systemic, difficult to detect, hard to remove, hidden. It is a spirit as much as nerves and organ. How do your starve it, excise it, or just make it go away? We want to know. I think this explains the popularity of infotainment about haunted houses, ghosts and alien beings among us. They live and we are curious and scared.

The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured.

My summary of the long Jeffrey Goldberg piece is basically that Obama has become more fatalistic (did he mean to say fatal?) since he won that Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009 . By the way, the "Nobel prize" article contains this gem, sure to get a chuckle:

"Obama's drone program is regularly criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability, especially considering incomplete intelligence means officials are often unsure about who will die. "

[M]ost individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names," Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times."

This is about all the fun I can handle in one day. But back to what I was trying to say.

The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state.

Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business.

Can a lack of public support reduce the deep state, or impact it? Well, it would seem that this is a non-factor, except for the strange history we have had and are witnessing again today, with the odd successful popular and populist-leaning politician and their related movements. In my lifetime, only popular figures and their movements get assassinated mysteriously, with odd polka dot dresses, MKULTRA suggestions, threats against their family by their competitors (I'm thinking Perot, but one mustn't be limited to that case), and always with concordant pressures on the sociopolitical seams in the country, i.e riots and police/military activations. The bad dealings toward, and genuine fear of, Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party's wing of the deep state is matched or exceeded only by the genuine terror of Trump among the Republican deep state wing. This reaction to something or some person that so many in the country find engaging and appealing - an outsider who speaks to the growing political and economic dissatisfaction of a poorer, more indebted, and more regulated population – is heart-warming, to be sure. It is a sign that whether or not we do, the deep state thinks things might change. Thank you, Bernie and especially Donald, for revealing this much! And the "republicanization" of the Libertarian Party is also a bright indicator blinking out the potential of deep state movement and compromise in the pursuit of "stability."

Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command.

Maybe we will one day soon be able to debate how deep the deep state really is, or whether it was all just a dressed up, meth'ed up, and eff'ed up a sector of society that deserves a bit of jail time, some counseling, and a new start . Maybe some job training that goes beyond the printing of license plates. But given the destruction and mass murder committed daily in the name of this state, and the environmental disasters it has created around the world for the future generations, perhaps we will be no more merciful to these proprietors of the American empire as they have been to their victims. The ruling class deeply fears our judgment, and in this dynamic lies the cure.

Jim in MN Tallest Skil Aug 20, 2016 8:22 PM

I made a list of steps that could be taken to disrupt the Beast. It's all I can offer but I offer it freely.

https://www.scribd.com/document/67758041/List-of-Demands-October-6-2011

4:00 AM October 6, 2011

Kitchen Table, USA

LIST OF DEMANDS TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FROM FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE

I.CURB CORRUPTION AND EXCESSIVE POWER IN THE FINANCIAL ARMS OF THE US GOVERNMENT

A. FEDERAL RESERVE

1. Benjaman Bernanke to be removed as Chairman immediately

2. New York Federal Reserve Bank and all New York City offices of the Federal Reserve system will be closed for at least 3 years

3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

5. Interest rate manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

6. Balance sheet manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

B. TREASURY DEPARTMENT

1. Timothy Geithner to be removed as Secretary immediately

2. All New York City offices of the Department will be closed for at least 3 years

3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

5. Market manipulation/intervention to be prohibited for at least five years

7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

II. END THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF GIANT BANKS AND PROTECT AMERICANS FROM FURTHER EXPOSURE TO THEIR COLLAPSE

A. END CORRUPT INFLUENCE

1. Lifetime ban on government employment for TARP recipient employees and corporate officers, specifically including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase

2. Ten year ban on government work for consulting firms, law firms, and individual consultants and lawyers who have accepted cash from these entities

3. All contacts by any method with federal agencies and employees prohibited for at least five years, with civil and criminal penalties for violation

B. PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM FURTHER HARM AT THE HANDS OF GIANT BANKS

1. No financial institution with assets of more than $10billion will receive federal assistance or any 'arm's-length' bailouts

2. TARP recipients are prohibited from purchasing other TARP recipient corporate units, or merging with other TARP recipients

3. No foreign interest shall be allowed to acquire any portion of TARP recipients in the US or abroad

III. PREVENT CORPORATE ACCOUNTING AND PENSION FUND ABUSES RELATED TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

A. CORPORATE ACCOUNTING

1. Immediately implement mark-to-market accounting rules which were improperly suspended, allowing six months for implementation.

2. Companies must reserve against impaired assets under mark-to-market rules

3. Any health or life insurance company with more than$100 million in assets must report on their holdings and risk factors, specifically including exposure to real estate, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and other exotic financial instruments. These reports will be to state insurance commissions and the federal government, and will also be made available to the public on the Internet.

B. PENSION FUNDS

1. All private and public pension funds must disclose their funding status and establish a plan to fully fund accounts under the assumption that net real returns across all asset classes remain at zero for at least ten years.

Winston Churchill -> Sam Clemons Aug 20, 2016 7:26 PM

Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't.

sinbad2 -> Winston Churchill Aug 20, 2016 7:58 PM

Sir Humphrey Appleby: You know what happens when politicians get into Number 10; they want to take their place on the world stage.

Sir Richard Wharton: People on stages are called actors. All they are required to do is look plausible, stay sober, and say the lines they're given in the right order.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Some of them try to make up their own lines.

Sir Richard Wharton: They don't last long.

rlouis Aug 20, 2016 7:47 PM

The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

The failed coup in Turkey is a significant indication of institutional weakness and also vulnerability. The inability to exercise force of will in Syria is another. The list of failures is getting too long.

[Dec 10, 2017] When Washington Cheered the Jihadists Consortiumnews

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany. ..."
"... A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .) ..."
"... So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs." ..."
"... The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark. ..."
"... The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place. ..."
"... The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency." ..."
"... ancien régime, ..."
"... With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway. ..."
"... Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad. ..."
"... So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it. ..."
"... It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
"... I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them. ..."
"... The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. ..."
"... Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business. ..."
"... It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people! ..."
"... The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC. ..."
"... This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end. ..."
"... Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves. ..."
"... On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives. ..."
"... The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria. ..."
"... Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities. ..."
"... An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena." ..."
"... The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "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, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)." ..."
"... To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime." ..."
"... The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines. ..."
"... The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime. ..."
"... The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians. ..."
"... In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision." ..."
"... Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making ..."
"... General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria. ..."
"... The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection. ..."
"... That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions". ..."
"... The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces. ..."
"... I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm ..."
"... Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. ..."
"... Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. ..."
"... The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic. ..."
"... Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth. ..."
"... There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html ..."
"... Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg. ..."
"... The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth. ..."
"... The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292 ..."
"... This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions ..."
"... Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated ..."
"... So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either. ..."
"... From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm". ..."
"... For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree. ..."
"... I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit. ..."
"... Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking. The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences. ..."
"... I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r? ..."
"... Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars. ..."
"... Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy. ..."
"... Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace? ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

When a Department of Defense intelligence report about the Syrian rebel movement became public in May 2015, lots of people didn't know what to make of it. After all, what the report said was unthinkable – not only that Al Qaeda had dominated the so-called democratic revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for years, but that the West continued to support the jihadis regardless, even to the point of backing their goal of creating a Sunni Salafist principality in the eastern deserts.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative in August 2014.

The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?

It was impossible, which perhaps explains why the report remained a non-story long after it was released courtesy of a Judicial Watch freedom-of-information lawsuit . The New York Times didn't mention it until six months later while the Washington Post waited more than a year before dismissing it as "loopy" and "relatively unimportant." With ISIS rampaging across much of Syria and Iraq, no one wanted to admit that U.S. attitudes were ever anything other than hostile.

But three years earlier, when the Defense Intelligence Agency was compiling the report, attitudes were different. Jihadis were heroes rather than terrorists, and all the experts agreed that they were a low-risk, high-yield way of removing Assad from office.

After spending five days with a Syrian rebel unit, for instance, New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers wrote that the group "mixes paramilitary discipline, civilian policing, Islamic law, and the harsh demands of necessity with battlefield coldness and outright cunning."

Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, assured the Washington Post that "al Qaeda is a fringe element" among the rebels, while, not to be outdone, the gossip site Buzzfeed published a pin-up of a "ridiculously photogenic" jihadi toting an RPG.

"Hey girl," said the subhead. "Nothing sexier than fighting the oppression of tyranny."

And then there was Foreign Policy, the magazine founded by neocon guru Samuel P. Huntington, which was most enthusiastic of all. Gary Gambill's " Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists ," which ran on the FP web site just a couple of weeks after the DIA report was completed, didn't distort the facts or make stuff up in any obvious way. Nonetheless, it is a classic of U.S. propaganda. Its subhead glibly observed: "So the rebels aren't secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn't much matter."

Assessing the Damage

Five years later, it's worth a second look to see how Washington uses self-serving logic to reduce an entire nation to rubble.

First a bit of background. After displacing France and Britain as the region's prime imperial overlord during the 1956 Suez Crisis and then breaking with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser a few years later, the United States committed itself to the goal of defeating Arab nationalism and Soviet Communism, two sides of the same coin as far as Washington was concerned. Over the next half-century, this would mean steering Egypt to the right with assistance from the Saudis, isolating Libyan strong man Muammar Gaddafi, and doing what it could to undermine the Syrian Baathist regime as well.

William Roebuck, the American embassy's chargé d'affaires in Damascus, thus urged Washington in 2006 to coordinate with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to encourage Sunni Syrian fears of Shi'ite Iranian proselytizing even though such concerns are "often exaggerated." It was akin to playing up fears of Jewish dominance in the 1930s in coordination with Nazi Germany.

A year later, former NATO commander Wesley Clark learned of a classified Defense Department memo stating that U.S. policy was now to "attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years," first Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. (Quote starts at 2:07 .)

Since the United States didn't like what such governments were doing, the solution was to install more pliable ones in their place. Hence Washington's joy when the Arab Spring struck Syria in March 2011 and it appeared that protesters would soon topple the Baathists on their own.

Even when lofty democratic rhetoric gave way to ominous sectarian chants of "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the coffin," U.S. enthusiasm remained strong. With Sunnis accounting for perhaps 60 percent of the population, strategists figured that there was no way Assad could hold out against religious outrage welling up from below.

Enter Gambill and the FP. The big news, his article began, is that secularists are no longer in command of the burgeoning Syrian rebel movement and that Sunni Islamists are taking the lead instead. As unfortunate as this might seem, he argued that such a development was both unavoidable and far from entirely negative.

"Islamist political ascendancy is inevitable in a majority Sunni Muslim country brutalized for more than four decades by a secular minoritarian dictatorship," he wrote in reference to the Baathists. "Moreover, enormous financial resources are pouring in from the Arab-Islamic world to promote explicitly Islamist resistance to Assad's Alawite-dominated, Iranian-backed regime."

So the answer was not to oppose the Islamists, but to use them. Even though "the Islamist surge will not be a picnic for the Syrian people," Gambill said, "it has two important silver linings for US interests." One is that the jihadis "are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts" thanks to their skill with "suicide bombings and roadside bombs."

The other is that a Sunni Islamist victory in Syria will result in "a full-blown strategic defeat" for Iran, thereby putting Washington at least part way toward fulfilling the seven-country demolition job discussed by Wesley Clark.

"So long as Syrian jihadis are committed to fighting Iran and its Arab proxies," the article concluded, "we should quietly root for them – while keeping our distance from a conflict that is going to get very ugly before the smoke clears. There will be plenty of time to tame the beast after Iran's regional hegemonic ambitions have gone down in flames."

Deals with the Devil

The U.S. would settle with the jihadis only after the jihadis had settled with Assad. The good would ultimately outweigh the bad. This kind of self-centered moral calculus would not have mattered had Gambill only spoken for himself. But he didn't. Rather, he was expressing the viewpoint of Official Washington in general, which is why the ultra-respectable FP ran his piece in the first place.The Islamists were something America could employ to their advantage and then throw away like a squeezed lemon. A few Syrians would suffer, but America would win, and that's all that counts.

The parallels with the DIA are striking. "The west, gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition," the intelligence report declared, even though "the Salafist[s], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [i.e. Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency."

Where Gambill predicted that "Assad and his minions will likely retreat to northwestern Syria," the DIA speculated that the jihadis might establish "a declared or undeclared Salafist principality" at the other end of the country near cities like Hasaka and Der Zor (also known as Deir ez-Zor).

Where the FP said that the ultimate aim was to roll back Iranian influence and undermine Shi'ite rule, the DIA said that a Salafist principality "is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

Bottle up the Shi'ites in northwestern Syria, in other words, while encouraging Sunni extremists to establish a base in the east so as to put pressure on Shi'ite-influenced Iraq and Shi'ite-ruled Iran.

As Gambill put it: "Whatever misfortunes Sunni Islamists may visit upon the Syrian people, any government they form will be strategically preferable to the Assad regime, for three reasons: A new government in Damascus will find continuing the alliance with Tehran unthinkable, it won't have to distract Syrians from its minority status with foreign policy adventurism like the ancien régime, and it will be flush with petrodollars from Arab Gulf states (relatively) friendly to Washington."

With the Saudis footing the bill, the U.S. would exercise untrammeled sway.

Disastrous Thinking

Has a forecast that ever gone more spectacularly wrong? Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair. But thanks largely to the U.S.-backed sectarian offensive, 400,000 Syrians or more have died since Gambill's article appeared, with another 6.1 million displaced and an estimated 4.8 million fleeing abroad.

U.S.-backed Syrian "moderate" rebels smile as they prepare to behead a 12-year-old boy (left), whose severed head is held aloft triumphantly in a later part of the video. [Screenshot from the YouTube video] War-time destruction totals around $250 billion , according to U.N. estimates, a staggering sum for a country of 18.8 million people where per-capita income prior to the outbreak of violence was under $3,000. From Syria, the specter of sectarian violence has spread across Asia and Africa and into Europe and North America as well. Political leaders throughout the advanced industrial world are still struggling to contain the populist fury that the Middle East refugee crisis, the result of U.S.-instituted regime change, helped set off.

So instead of advancing U.S. policy goals, Gambill helped do the opposite. The Middle East is more explosive than ever while U.S. influence has fallen to sub-basement levels. Iranian influence now extends from the Arabian Sea to the Mediterranean, while the country that now seems to be wobbling out of control is Saudi Arabia where Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is lurching from one self-induced crisis to another. The country that Gambill counted on to shore up the status quo turns out to be undermining it.

It's not easy to screw things up so badly, but somehow Washington's bloated foreign-policy establishment has done it. Since helping to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Gambill has moved on to a post at the rightwing Middle East Forum where Daniel Pipes, the group's founder and chief, now inveighs against the same Sunni ethnic cleansing that his employee defended or at least apologized for.

The forum is particularly well known for its Campus Watch program, which targets academic critics of Israel, Islamists, and – despite Gambill's kind words about "suicide bombings and roadside bombs" – anyone it considers the least bit apologetic about Islamic terrorism.

Double your standard, double the fun. Terrorism, it seems, is only terrorism when others do it to the U.S., not when the U.S. does it to others.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Babyl-on , December 8, 2017 at 5:26 pm

I do not believe than anyone in the civil or military command ever believed that arming the jihadists would bring any sort of stability or peace to the region. I do not believe that peace was ever an interest of the US until it has once again gained hegemonic control of central Asia. This is a fight to retain US global domination – causalities do not matter. The US and its partners or co-rulers of the Empire the Saud family and the Zionist oligarchy will slaughter with impunity until someone stops them or their own corruption defeats them.

The Empire can not exist without relentless ongoing slaughter it has been at it every day now for 73 years. It worked for them all that time but that time has run out. China has already set the date for when its currency will become fully freely exchanged, less than 5 years. When that happens the world will return to the gold standard + Bitcoin possibly and US dollar hegemony will end. After that the trillion dollar a year military and the 20 trillion debt take on a different meaning. Before that slaughter non-stop will continue.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

Really, Baby-lon, your first short paragraph sums this piece by Lazare perfectly and makes the rest of his blog seem rather pointless. Even the most stupid person on earth couldn't think that the US was using murdering, butchering head choppers in a bid to bring peace and stability to the middle East. The Neocons and the other criminals that infest Washington don't want peace at any price because its bad for business.

Jerald Davidson , December 9, 2017 at 11:53 am

Babyl-on and John Wilson: you have nailed it. The last thing the US (gov't.) wants is peace. War is big business; casualties are of no concern (3 million Koreans died in the Korean War; 3 million Vietnamese in that war; 100's of thousands in Iraq [including Clinton's sanctions] and Afghanistan). The US has used jihadi proxies since the mujahedeen in 1980's Afghanistan and Contras in Nicaragua. To the US (gov't.), a Salafist dictatorship (such as Saudi Arabia) is highly preferable to a secular, nationalist ruler (such as Egypt's Nasser, Libya's Gaddafi, Syria's Assad).
So the cover story of the jjihadi's has changed – first they are freedom fighters, then terrorists. What does not change is that in either case they are pawns of the US (gov't.) goal of hegemony.
(Incidentally, Drew Hunkins must be responding to a different article.)

BannanaBoat , December 9, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Exactly Baby right on, Either USA strategists are extremely ignorant or they are attempting to create chaos, probably both. Perhaps not continuously but surely frequently the USA has promoted war prior to the last 73 years. Native Genocide , Mexican Wars, Spanish War, WWI ( USA banker repayment war)

Richard , December 9, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Exactly Babylon! Looks like consortiumnews is turning into another propaganda rag. Assad was allied with Russia and Iran – that's why the U.S. wanted him removed. Israel said that they would preferred ISIS in power over Assad. The U.S. would have happily wiped out 90% of the population using its terrorist proxies if it thought it could have got what it wanted.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

CN tends to make moderate statements so as to communicate with those most in need of them. One must start with the understandings of the audience and show them that the evidence leads further.

Richard , December 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

Sam F, no, it's a DELIBERATE lie in support of U.S. foreign policy. The guy wrote: "the NAIVE belief that jihadist proxies could be used to TRANSFORM THE REGION FOR THE BETTER." It could have been written as: "the stated justification by the president that he wanted to transform the region for the better, even though there are often ulterior motives."

It's the same GROTESQUE caricature of these wars that the mainstream media always presents: that the U.S. is on the side of good, and fights for good, even though every war INVARIABLY ends up in a bloodbath, with no one caring how many civilians have died, what state the country is left in, that civilian infrastructure and civilians were targeted, let alone whether war could have been prevented. For example, in 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War, Iraqis rose up against their regime, but George H. Bush allowed Saddam to fly his military helicopters (permission was needed due to the no-fly zones), and quell the rebellion in blood – tens of thousands were butchered! Bush said that when he told Iraqis to rebel, he meant the military generals, NOT the Iraqi people themselves. In other words, the U.S. wanted Saddam gone, but the same regime in place. The U.S. never cared about the people!

Either Robert Parry or the author wrote that introduction. I suspect Mr Parry – he always portrays the president as having a heart of gold, but, always, sadly, misinformed; being a professional journalist, he knows full well that people often only read the start and end of an article.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

What we have occurring right now in the United States is a rare divergence of interests within our ruling class. The elites are currently made up of Zionist-militarists. What we're now witnessing is a rare conflict between the two factions. This particular internecine battle has reared its head in the past, the Dubai armaments deal comes to mind off the top of my head.

Trump started the Jerusalem imbroglio because he's concerned about Mueller's witch hunt.

The military-industrial-complex sicced Mueller on Trump because they despise his overtures towards rapprochement with the Kremlin. The military-industrial-complex MUST have a villain to justify the gigantic defense [sic] spending which permeates the entire U.S. politico-economic system. Putin and Russia were always the preferred demon because they easily fit the bill in the minds of an easily brainwashed American public. Of course saber rattling towards Moscow puts the world on the brink of nuclear war, but no matter, the careerism and fat contracts are all that matter to the MIC. Trump's rhetoric about making peace with the Kremlin has always mortified the MIC.

Since Trump's concerned about 1.) Mueller's witch hunt (he definitely should be deeply concerned, this is an out of control prosecutor on mission creep), and 2.) the almost total negative coverage the press has given him over the last two years, he's made a deal with the Zionist Power Configuration; Trump, effectively saying to them: "I'll give you Jerusalem, you use your immense influence in the American mass media to tamp down the relentlessly hostile coverage toward me, and perhaps smear Mueller's witch hunt a bit ".

This is a rare instance of our elites battling it out behind the scenes, both groups being reprehensible power hungry greed heads and sociopaths, it's hard to tell how this will end.

How this all eventually plays out is anyone's guess indeed. Let's just make sure it doesn't end with mushroom clouds over Tehran, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Chicago, London, NYC, Washington and Berlin.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Trump's purported deviation from foreign policy orthodoxy regarding both Russia and Israel was a propaganda scam engineered by the pro-Israel Lobby from the very beginning. As Russia-gate fiction is progressively deconstructed, the Israel-gate reality becomes ever more despicably obvious.

The shamelessly Israel-pandering Trump received the "Liberty Award" for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

"We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent." VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

Trump's purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel's commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel's undivided capital, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has "1000 percent" support from the Trump regime.

Drew Hunkins , December 8, 2017 at 8:10 pm

If Trump were totally and completely subservient to Netanyahu he would have bombed Damascus to remove Assad and would have bombed Tehran to obliterate Iran. Of course thus far he has done neither. Don't get me wrong, Trump is essentially part and parcel of the Zionist cabal, but I don't quite think he's 1,000% under their thumb (not yet?).

I don't think the Zionist Power Configuration concocted Trump's policy of relative peace with the Kremlin. Yes, the ZPC is extremely powerful in America, but Trump's position of detente with Moscow seemed to be genuine. He caught way too much heat from the mass media for it to be a stunt, it's almost torpedoed his presidency, and may eventually do just that. It was actually one of the very few things Trump got right; peace with Russia, cordial relations with the Kremlin are a no-brainer. A no-brainer to everyone but the military-industrial-complex.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Russian. Missiles. Lets be clear: The military-industrial-complex wants plenty of low intensity conflict to fuel ever more fabulous weapons sales, not a really hot war where all those pretty expensive toys are falling out of the sky in droves.

Whether it was "bird strike" or something more technological that recently grounded the "mighty" Israeli F-35I, it's clear that America isn't eager to have those "Inherent Resolve" jets, so busily not bombing ISIS, painted with Russian SAM radar.

Russia made it clear that Trump's Tomahawk Tweet in April 2017 was not only under totally false pretenses. It had posed a threat to Russian troops and Moscow took extra measures to protect them.

Russian deployment of the advanced S-400 system on the Syrian coast in Latakia also impacts Israel's regional air superiority. The S-400 can track and shoot down targets some 400 kilometers (250 miles) away. That range encompasses half of Israel's airspace, including Ben Gurion International Airport. In addition to surface-to-air missiles installations, Russian aircraft in Syria are equipped with air-to-air missiles. Those weapons are part of an calculus of Israeli aggression in the region.

Of course, there's much more to say about this subject.

WC , December 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Here's a good one from Hedges (for what little good it will do). https://www.truthdig.com/articles/zero-hour-palestine/

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

Surely, Drew, even the brain washed sheep otherwise known as the American public can't seriously believe that their government armed head choppers in a bid to bring peace to the region, can they?

Drew Hunkins , December 9, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Yup Mr. Wilson. It's too much cognitive dissonance for them to process. After all, we're the exceptional nation, the beacon on the hill, the country that ONLY intervenes abroad when there is a 'right to protect!' or it's a 'humanitarian intervention.' As Ken Burns would say: Washington only acts "with good intentions. They're just sometimes misplaced." That's all. The biggest global empire the world has ever seen is completely out of the picture.

mike k , December 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

When evil people with evil intentions set out to do something in the world, the result is evil. Like Libya, or Iraq, or Syria. Why do I call these people who killed millions for their own selfish greed for power evil? If you have to ask that, then you just don't understand what evil is – and you have a lot of company, because many people believe that evil does not even exist! Such sheeple become the perfect victims of the evil ones, who are destroying our world.

john wilson , December 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Correction, Mike. The public do believe that evil exists but they sincerely think that Putin and Russia are the evil ones'

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

One of the ways to avoid recognizing evil is to ascribe it to inappropriate, incorrect sources usually as a result of believing misleading propaganda. Another common maneuver is to deny evil's presence in oneself, and believe it is always "out there". Or one can feel that "evil" is an outmoded religious concept that is only used to hit at those one does not like.

Mild - ly Facetious , December 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Oh Jerusalem: Requiem for the two-state solution (Gas masks required)

https://electronicintifada.net/content/oh-jerusalem-requiem-two-state-solution/22521

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

On 24 October 2017, the Intercept released an NSA document unearthed from leaked intelligence files provided by Edward Snowden which reveals that terrorist militants in Syria were under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the war which has now claimed half a million lives.

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/24/syria-rebels-nsa-saudi-prince-assad/

Marked "Top Secret" the NSA memo focuses on events that unfolded outside Damascus in March of 2013.

The US intelligence memo is evidence of internal US government confirmation of the direct role that both the Saudi and US governments played in fueling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, as well as military targets in pursuit of "regime change" in Syria.

Israel's support for terrorist forces in Syria is well established. The Israelis and Saudis coordinate their activities.

Abe , December 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

An August 2012 DIA report (written when the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist groups: "the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." The "deterioration of the situation" was predicted to have "dire consequences" for Iraq, which included the "grave danger" of a terrorist "Islamic state". Some of the "dire consequences" are blacked out but the DIA warned one such consequence would be the "renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena."

The heavily redacted DIA memo specifically mentions "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, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)."

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

To clarify just who these "supporting powers" were, mentioned in the document who sought the creation of a "Salafist principality," the DIA memo explained: "The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime."

The DIA memo clearly indicates when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates into ISIS: the "Salafist" (Islamic) "principality" (State). NATO member state Turkey has been directly supporting terrorism in Syria, and specifically, supporting ISIS. In 2014, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle's reported "'IS' supply channels through Turkey." DW exposed fleets of hundreds of trucks a day, passing unchallenged through Turkey's border crossings with Syria, clearly bound for the defacto ISIS capital of Raqqa. Starting in September 2015, Russian airpower in Syria successfully interdicted ISIS supply lines.

The usual suspects in Western media launched a relentless propaganda campaign against Russian support for Syria. The Atlantic Council's Bellingcat disinformation operation started working overtime.

The propaganda effort culminated in the 4 April 2017 Khan Shaykhun false flag chemical incident in Idlib. Bellingcat's Eliot Higgins and Dan Kaszeta have been paraded by "First Draft" coalition media "partners" in a vigorous effort to somehow implicate the Russians.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

In a January 2016 interview on Al Jazeera, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn admitted that he "paid very close attention" to the August 2012 DIA report predicting the rise of a "declared or undeclared Salafist Principality" in Syria. Flynn even asserts that the White House's sponsoring of terrorists (that would emerge as Al Nusra and ISIS) against the Syrian regime was "a willful decision."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Y274U7QIs

Flynn was interviewed by British journalist Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera's Head to Head program. Flynn made it clear that the policies that led to the "the rise of the Islamic State, the rise of terrorism" were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making:

Hasan: "You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan: "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision."

Hasan: "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "It was a willful decision to do what they're doing."

Holding up a paper copy of the 2012 DIA report declassified through FOIA, Hasan read aloud key passages such as, "there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Rather than downplay the importance of the document and these startling passages, as did the State Department soon after its release, Flynn did the opposite: he confirmed that while acting DIA chief he "paid very close attention" to this report in particular and later added that "the intelligence was very clear."

Lt. Gen. Flynn, speaking safely from retirement, is the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record saying the United States and other state sponsors of rebels in Syria knowingly gave political backing and shipped weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to put pressure on the Syrian regime:

Hasan: "In 2012 the U.S. was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups [Salafists, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda in Iraq], why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of quote-unquote Islamic extremists?"

Flynn: "I hate to say it's not my job but that my job was to was to to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be."

Flynn unambiguously confirmed that the 2012 DIA document served as source material in his own discussions over Syria policy with the White House. Flynn served as Director of Intelligence for Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during a time when its prime global mission was dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Flynn's admission that the White House was in fact arming and bolstering Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria is especially shocking given his stature. The Pentagon's former highest ranking intelligence officer in charge of the hunt for Osama bin Laden confessed that the United States directly aided the Al Qaeda terrorist legions of Ayman al-Zawahiri beginning in at least 2012 in Syria.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency

Full Transcript: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2016/01/transcript-michael-flynn-160104174144334.html

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm

"Flynn would later tell the New York Times that this 2012 intelligence report in particular was seen at the White House where it was 'disregarded' because it 'didn't meet the narrative' on the war in Syria. He would further confirm to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that Defense Department (DoD) officials and DIA intelligence in particular, were loudly warning the administration that jihadists were leading the opposition in Syria -- warnings which were met with 'enormous pushback.' Instead of walking back his Al Jazeera comments, General Flynn explained to Hersh that 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic.' Hersh's investigative report exposed a kind of intelligence schism between the Pentagon and CIA concerning the covert program in Syria.

"In a personal exchange on his blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, legendary DoD intelligence officer and former presidential briefer Pat Lang explained [ ] that the DIA memo was used as a 'warning shot across the [administration's] bow.' Lang has elsewhere stated that DIA Director Flynn had 'tried to persuade people in the Obama Administration not to provide assistance to the Nusra group.' It must be remembered that in 2012 what would eventually emerge as distinct 'ISIS' and 'Nusra' (AQ in Syria) groups was at that time a singular entity desiring a unified 'Islamic State.' The nascent ISIS organization (referenced in the memo as 'ISI' or Islamic State in Iraq) was still one among many insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad.

"In fact, only one year after the DIA memo was produced (dated August 12, 2012) a coalition of rebels fighting under the US-backed Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo were busy celebrating their most strategic victory to date, which served to open an opposition corridor in Northern Syria. The seizure of the Syrian government's Menagh Airbase in August 2013 was only accomplished with the military prowess of fighters identifying themselves in front of cameras and to reporters on the ground as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

"Public embarrassment came for Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford who reluctantly confirmed that in fact, yes, the US-funded and supplied FSA commander on the ground had personally led ISIS and Nusra fighters in the attack (Ford himself was previously filmed alongside the commander). This after the New York Times publicized unambiguous video proof of the fact. Even the future high commander of Islamic State's military operations, Omar al-Shishani, himself played a leading role in the US sponsored FSA operation."

Obama and the DIA 'Islamic State' Memo: What Trump Gets Right
By Brad Hoff
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/07/01/obama-and-the-dia-islamic-state-memo-what-trump-gets-right/

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

"one first needs to understand what has happened in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries in recent years. The original plan of the US and Saudi Arabia (behind whom stood an invisible Israel) was the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and his replacement with Islamic fundamentalists or takfiris (Daesh, al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra).

"The plan involved the following steps:

"It was an ambitious plan, and the Israelis were completely convinced that the United States would provide all the necessary resources to see it through. But the Syrian government has survived thanks to military intervention by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Daesh is almost defeated and Iran and Hezbollah are so firmly entrenched in Syria that it has driven the Israelis into a state of fear bordering on panic. Lebanon remains stable, and even the recent attempt by the Saudis to abduct Prime Minister Saad Hariri failed.

"As a result, Saudi Arabia and Israel have developed a new plan: force the US to attack Iran. To this end, the 'axis of good"' (USA-Israel-Saudi Arabia) was created, although this is nothing new. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States in the Persian Gulf have in the past spoken in favor of intervention in Syria. It is well known that the Saudis invaded Bahrain, are occupying it de facto, and are now at war in Yemen.

"The Israelis will participate in any plan that will finally split the Sunnis and Shiites, turning the region into rubble. It was not by chance that, having failed in Lebanon, they are now trying to do the same in Yemen after the murder of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"For the Saudis and Israelis, the problem lies in the fact that they have rather weak armed forces; expensive and high-tech, but when it comes to full-scale hostilities, especially against a really strong opponent such as the Iranians or Hezbollah, the 'Israel/Wahhabis' have no chance and they know it, even if they do not admit it. So, one simply needs to think up some kind of plan to force the Shiites to pay a high price.

"So they developed a new plan. Firstly, the goal is now not the defeat of Hezbollah or Iran. For all their rhetoric, the Israelis know that neither they nor especially the Saudis are able to seriously threaten Iran or even Hezbollah. Their plan is much more basic: initiate a serious conflict and then force the US to intervene. Only today, the armed forces of the United States have no way of winning a war with Iran, and this may be a problem. The US military knows this and they are doing everything to tell the neo-cons 'sorry, we just can't.' This is the only reason why a US attack on Iran has not already taken place. From the Israeli point of view this is totally unacceptable and the solution is simple: just force the US to participate in a war they do not really need. As for the Iranians, the Israeli goal of provoking an attack on Iran by the US is not to defeat Iran, but just to bring about destruction – a lot of destruction [ ]

"You would need to be crazy to attack Iran. The problem, however, is that the Saudis and the Israelis are close to this state. And they have proved it many times. So it just remains to hope that Israel and the KSA are 'crazy', but 'not that crazy'."

The Likelihood of War with Iran By Petr Lvov https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/09/the-likelihood-of-war-with-iran/

BobH, December 8, 2017 at 7:13 pm

The article raises a very serious charge. Up till now it appeared that supplying weapons to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria was just another example of Pentagon incompetence but the suggestion here is that it was a concerted policy and it's hard to believe that there was no one in the Pentagon that was privy to that policy who wouldn't raise an objection.

That it conformed with Israeli, Saudi and CIA designs is not surprising, but that there was no dissension within the Pentagon is appalling (or that Obama didn't raise objections). Clark's comment should put him on the hot seat for a congressional investigation but, of course, there is no one in congress to run with it. The policy is so manifestly evil that it seems to dwarf even the reckless ignorance of preceding "interventions".

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

There WAS dissension within the Pentagon, not only about being in a coalition with the Gulf States and Turkey in support of terrorist forces, but about allowing ISIS to invade Ramadi, which CENTCOM exposed by making public that US forces watched it happen and did nothing. In addition, CENTCOM and SOCOM publicly opposed switching sides in Yemen.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html

A senior commander at Central Command (CENTCOM), speaking on condition of anonymity, scoffed at that argument. "The reason the Saudis didn't inform us of their plans," he said, "is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think -- that it was a bad idea.

Military sources said that a number of regional special forces officers and officers at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) argued strenuously against supporting the Saudi-led intervention because the target of the intervention, the Shia Houthi movement -- which has taken over much of Yemen and which Riyadh accuses of being a proxy for Tehran -- has been an effective counter to Al-Qaeda.

The DIA report released by Gen. Flynn in 2012 predicted the Islamic State with alarm. That is why Flynn was fired as Director of DIA. He objected to the insane policy of supporting the CIA/Saudi madness and saw it as not only counter-productive but disastrous. His comments to AlJazeera in 2016 reinforced this position. Gen Flynn's faction of the American military has been consistent in its opposition to CIA support of terrorist forces.

BobH , December 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

Thanks, I never read anything about it in the MSM (perhaps Aljazeera was an exception?). However, this doesn't explain Gen. Flynn's tight relationship with Turkey's Erdogan who clearly backed the Al Qaeda affiliated rebels to the point of shooting down a Russian jet over Syria.

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

The fighter shoot-down incident was before Erdogan's reversals in Syria policy.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I see Gen. Flynn as a whistleblower. The 2012 report he circulated saw the rise of the Salafist Islamic state with alarm.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

B. THE SALAFIST, THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA.

C. THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY SUPPORT THE OPPOSITION; WHILE RUSSIA, CHINA, AND IRAN SUPPORT THE REGIME.

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, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN).

D. THE DETERIORATION OF THE SITUATION HAS DIRE CONSEQUENCES ON THE IRAQI SITUATION AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:

–1. THIS CREATES THE IDEAL ATMOSPHERE FOR AQI TO RETURN TO ITS OLD POCKETS IN MOSUL AND RAMADI, AND WILL PROVIDE A RENEWED MOMENTUM UNDER THE PRESUMPTION OF UNIFYING THE JIHAD AMONG SUNNI IRAQ AND SYRIA ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY

https://geopolitics.co/2015/12/22/dempseys-pentagon-aided-assad-with-military-intelligence-hersh/
London Review of Books Vol. 38 No. 1 · 7 January 2016
Military to Military: US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war
Seymour M. Hersh

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition. Turkey wasn't doing enough to stop the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons across the border. 'If the American public saw the intelligence we were producing daily, at the most sensitive level, they would go ballistic,' Flynn told me. 'We understood Isis's long-term strategy and its campaign plans, and we also discussed the fact that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.' The DIA's reporting, he said, 'got enormous pushback' from the Obama administration. 'I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.'

j. D. D. , December 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

Thank you. Gen Flynn also urged coordination with Russia against ISIS, so it doesn't take much to see why he was targeted. Ironically, the MSM is now going bananas over his support for nuclear power in the region, which he had tied to desalination of sea water, toward alleviating that crucial source of conflict in the area.

Abbybwood , December 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I believe Wesley Clark told Amy Goodman that he was handed the classified memo regarding the U.S. overthrowing seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and ending with Iran, in 2001, not 2006. He said it was right after 9/11 when he visited the Pentagon and Joint Chief of Staff's office and was handed the memo.

jaycee , December 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

The use of Islamist proxy warriors to help achieve American geo-political ends goes back to at least 1979, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Libya, and Syria. One of the better books on 9/11 is Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed's "The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism". The first section of that book – "The Geopolitics of Terrorism" – covers, across 150 well-sourced pages, the history and background of this involvement. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to be better informed on this topic.

One disturbing common feature across the years have been US sponsored airlifts of Islamist fighters facing defeat, as seen in Afghanistan in late 2001 and just recently in eastern Syria. In 2001, some of those fighters were relocated to North Africa, specifically Mali – the roots of the Islamist insurgency which has destabilized that country over the past few years. Where exactly the ISIS rebels assisted some weeks ago were relocated is yet unknown.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Jaycee, actually you have to go back much further than that to WW2. Hitler used the marginalized Turkic people in Russia and turned them into effective fighters to create internal factions within the Soviet Union. After Hitler lost and the Cold War began, the US, who had no understanding of the Soviets at the time radicalized and empowered Islamist including the Muslim Brotherhood to weaponize Islam against the Soviet Union.

Hence the birth of the Mujaheddin and Bin Laden, the rest is history.

j. D. D. , December 8, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The article does not support the sub-headline. There is no evidence provided, nor is there any evidence to be found, that Washington's policy in the region was motivated by anything other than geopolitical objectives.

David G , December 9, 2017 at 7:25 am

I think that phrasing may point to the hand of editor Robert Parry. The incredible value of CN notwithstanding, Parry in his own pieces (erroneously in my eyes) maintains a belief that Obama somehow meant well. Hence the imputation of some "naïve" but ultimately benevolent motive on the part of the U.S. genocidaires, as the whole Syria catastrophe got going on Obama's watch.

Anon , December 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

The imputation of naivete works to avoid accusation of a specific strategy without sufficient evidence.

Skip Scott , December 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

Although I am no fan of Obama, and most especially the continuation of the warmongering for his 8 years, he did balk at the "Red line" when he found out he was being set up, and it wasn't Assad who used chemical weapons. I don't think he "meant well" so much as he knew the exact length of his leash. His bragging about going against "The Washington playbook" was of course laughable; just as his whole hopey/changey thing was laughable with Citigroup picking his cabinet.

Stephen , December 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Off topic but you can listen to some of Obama's banking handiwork here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_loud_and_clear/201712091059844562-looming-government-shutdown-will-democrats-fight-trumps-pro-rich-plan/ It starts at about minute 28:14. It explains the whole reaction by Obama and Holder to the banking fiasco in my mind. Sorry but I had to get it from the evil Rooski radio program.

Lois Gagnon , December 8, 2017 at 8:41 pm

All these western imperial geostrategic planners are certifiably insane and have no business anywhere near the levers of government policy. They are the number one enemy of humanity. If we don't find a way to remove them from power, they may actually succeed in destroying life on Earth.

Stephen J. , December 8, 2017 at 8:42 pm

There is a volume of evidence that the war criminals in our midst were arming and training "jihadists." See link below. http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

MarkU , December 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare." What a load of old rubbish, naïve belief indeed. it is difficult to believe that anyone could write this stuff with a straight face.

Linda Wood , December 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Incompetence and stupidity are their only defense because if anyone acknowledged that trillions of dollars have been made by the usual suspects committing these crimes, the industrialists of war would face a justice symbolized by Nuremberg.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

That Gary Gambill character "outed" himself as a Zionist on September 4 of this year. He appears to have mastered the propaganda associated with the breed. At the link see if you can find any mention of the murders, thefts, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid of his adopted nation. Blaming the victim may be this fellow's specialty. Sample:

The well-intentioned flocked in droves to the belief that Israeli- Palestinian peace was achievable provided Israel made the requisite concessions, and that this would liberate the Arab-Islamic world from a host of other problems allegedly arising from it: bloated military budgets, intolerance of dissent, Islamic extremism, you name it.

Why tackle each of these problems head on when they can be alleviated all at once when Israel is brought to heel? Twenty years later, the Middle East is suffering the consequences of this conspiracy of silence.

Zachary Smith , December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-accidental-Zionist-504221

Gerry , December 9, 2017 at 4:51 am

The American groupthink rarely allows propaganda and disinformation disturb: endless wars and endless lies and criminality, have not disturbed this mindset. It is clever to manipulate people to think in a way opposite of truth so consistently. All the atrocities by the US have been surrounded by media propaganda and mastery of groupthink techniques go down well. Mention something unusual or real news and you might get heavily criticized for daring to think outside the box and doubt what are (supposedly) "religious truths". Tell a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

It takes courage to go against the flow of course and one can only hope that the Americans are what they think they are: courageous and strong enough to hear their cherished truths smashed, allow the scales before their eyes to fall and practise free speech and free thought.

Theo , December 9, 2017 at 6:35 am

Thanks for this article and many others on this site.In Europe and in Germany you hardly hear,read or see any of these facts and their connections.It seems to be only of marginal interest.

Josh Stern , December 9, 2017 at 6:49 am

The CIA was a key force behind the creation of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Most major incidents of "Islamic Terrorism" have some kind of CIA backing behind them. See this large collection of links for compiled evidence: http://www.pearltrees.com/joshstern/government-supporting/id18814292

triekc , December 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

This journalist and other journalists writing on some of my favorite Russian propaganda news websites, have reported the US empire routinely makes "deals with the devil", the enemy of my enemy is my friend, if doing so furthers their goal of perpetual war and global hegemony. Yet, inexplicably, these journalists buy the US empire's 911 story without question, in the face of many unanswered questions.

Beginning in the 1990's, neocons who would become W's cabinet, wrote detailed plans of military regime change in Middle East, but stating they needed a "strong external shock to the United States -- a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor", to get US sheeple to support increased militarism and global war. Few months after W took office, and had appointed those war mongering neocons to positions of power, Bin Laden (CIA staffer) and a handful of his men, all from close allied countries to the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, delivered the 2nd Pearl Harbor on 911. What a timely coincidence! We accept the US Empire provides weapons and military support to the same enemy, and worse, who attacked us on 911, but one is labeled a "conspiracy nut" if they believe that same US Empire would orchestrate 911 to justify their long planned global war. One thing about being a "conspiracy nut", if you live long enough, often you will see your beliefs vindicated

Joe Tedesky , December 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

You commented on what I was thinking, and that was, 'remember when al Queda was our enemy on 911'? So now that bin Laden is dead, and his al Queda now fights on our side, shouldn't the war be over? And, just for the record who did attack us on 911?

So many questions, and so much left unanswered, but don't worry America may run out of money for domestic vital needs but the U.S. always has the money to go fight another war. It's a culture thing, and if you ain't into it then you just don't pay no attention to it. In fact if your life is better off from all of these U.S. led invasions, then your probably not posting any comments here, either.

Knowing the Pentagon mentality they probably have an 'al Queda combat medal' to pin on the terrorists chest. Sarcasm I know, but seriously is anything not within the realm of believable when it comes to this MIC establishment?

Christene Bartels , December 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

Great article and spot on as far as the author takes it. But the world is hurtling towards Armageddon so I'd like to back things up about one hundred years and get down to brass tacks.

The fact of the matter is, the M.E. has never been at total peace but it has been nothing but one colossal FUBAR since the Ottoman Empire was defeated after WWI and the Allied Forces got their grubby, greedy mitts on its M.E. territories and all of that luscious black gold. First up was the British Empire and France and then it really went nuclear (literally) in 1946 when Truman and the U.S. joined in the fun and decided to figure out how we could carve out that ancient prime piece of real estate and resurrect Israel. By 1948 ..violà ..there she was.

So now here we sit as the hundred year delusion that we knew what the hell we were doing comes crashing down around us. Seriously, whoever the people have been who thought that a country with the historical perspective of a toddler was going to be able to successfully manage and manipulate a region filled with people who are still tribal in perspective and are still holding grudges and settling scores from five thousand years ago were complete and total arrogant morons. Every single one of them. Up to the present moment.

Which gets me down to those brass tacks I alluded to at the beginning of my comment. Delusional crusades lead by arrogant morons always, always, always end up as ash heaps. So, I would suggest we all prepare for that rapidly approaching conclusion accordingly. For me, that means hitting my knees.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Middle Eastern people are no more "tribal" or prone to holding grudges than any other people. Middle Eastern people have exhibited and practiced peaceful and tolerant living arrangements within several different contexts over the centuries. Iraq had a fairly thriving middle class and the Syrians are a cultured and educated people.

Gregory Herr , December 9, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Syrian society is constructed very much within the construct of close family ties and a sense of a Syrian homeland. It is solely the business of the Syrian people to decide whether the socialist Ba'ath government functions according to their own sense of realities and standards. Some of those realities may include aspects of a necessitated national security state (necessitated by CIA and Israeli subterfuge) that prompts shills to immediately characterize the Assad government as "an authoritarian regime" and of course that's all you need to know. Part of what pisses the West off about the Syrians is that they are so competent, and that includes their intelligence and security services. One of the other parts is the socialist example of government functioning in interests of the general population, not selling out to vultures.

It bothers me that Mr. Lazare wrote: "Syria's Baathist government is hardly blameless in this affair." Really? Well the Syrian government can hardly be blamed for the vile strategy of using terrorist mercenaries to take or destroy a people's homeland–killing horrific numbers of fathers, mothers, and children on the way to establish some kind of Wild West control over Damascus that can then be manipulated for the typical elite deviances. What was purposely planned and visited upon the Syrian people has had human consequences that were known and disregarded by the planners. It has been and continues to be a grave crime against our common humanity that should be raised to the roof of objection! People like Gambill should be excoriated for their crass appraisal of human costs .and for their contrived and twisted rationalizations and deceits. President Assad recently gave an interview to teleSUR that is worth a listen. He talks about human costs with understanding for what he is talking about. Gambill doesn't give a damn.

BASLE , December 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

From the October 1973 Yom Kippur War onward, the United States had no foreign policy in the Middle East other than Israel's. Daniel Lazare should read "A clean break: a new strategy for the Realm".

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

Yes, Israel is the cut-out or fence for US politicians stealing campaign money from the federal budget. US policy is that of the bribery sources and nothing else. And it believes that to be professional competence. For the majority of amoral opportunists of the US, money=power=virtue and they will attack all who disagree.

Herman , December 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

"Official Washington helped unleash hell on Syria and across the Mideast behind the naïve belief that jihadist proxies could be used to transform the region for the better, explains Daniel Lazare."

Lazare makes the case very well about our amoral foreign policy but I think he errs in saying our aim was to "transform the region for the better." Recent history, going back to Afghanistan shows a very different goal, to defeat our enemies and the enemies of our allies with little concern for the aftermath. Just observing what has happened to the people where we supported extremists is evidence enough.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men. We hope the conscience of our nation is bothered by our behavior but we know that is not true, and we sleep very well, thank you.

Marilyn Vogt-Downey , December 9, 2017 at 11:18 am

I am stunned that anyone could be so foolish as to think that the US military machine, US imperialism, does things "naively", bumbling like a helpless giant into wars that destroy entire nations with no end in sight. One need not be a "conspiracy theorist" to understand that the Pentagon does not control the world with an ever-expanding war budget equal to the next 10 countries combined, that it does this just because it is stuck on the wrong path. No! US imperialism develops these "big guns" to use them, to overpower, take over and dominate the world for the sake of profits and protection of the right to exploit for private profit.

There is ample evidence–see the Brookings Institute study among many others–that the Gulf monarchies–flunkies of US imperialism–who "host" dozens of US military bases in the region, some of them central to US war strategy–initiated and nourished and armed and financed the "jihadi armies" in Syria AND Libya AND elsewhere; they did not do this on their own. The US government–the executive committee of the US ruling class–does not naively support the Gulf monarchies because it doesn't know any better! Washington (following British imperialism) organized, established and backed these flunky regimes. They are autocratic, antediluvian regimes, allowing virtually civil rights, with no local proletariat to speak of, no popular base. They are no more than sheriffs for imperialism in that region of the world, along with the Zionist state of Israel, helping imperialism do the really dirty work.

I research this and gathered the evidence to support what I just asserted in a long study printed back in Dec. 2015 in Truthout. Here is the link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34151-what-is-the-war-on-terror-and-how-to-fight-it

Look at the evidence. Stop the totally foolish assessment that the US government spends all this money on a war machine just to "naively" blunder into wars that level entire nations–and is not taking on destruction of the entire continent of Africa to eliminate any obstacles to its domination.

No! That is foolish and destructive. Unless we look in the face what is going on–the US government since its "secret" intervention in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s, has recruited, trained, armed, funded and relied on jihadi armies to unseat regimes and destabilize and destroy populations and regimes the US government wants to overthrow, and destroy, any that could potentially develop into an alternative model of nationalist, bourgeois industrial development on any level.

Wake up!!! The evidence is there. There is no reason to bumble and bungle along as if we are in the dark.

Randal Marlin , December 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

Daniel Pipes, from what I've read of him, is among those who counsel the U.S. government to use its military power to support the losing side in any civil wars fought within Israel's enemy states, so that the wars will continue, sparing Israel the threat of unified enemy states. What normal human beings consider a humanitarian disaster, repeated in Iraq, Syria and Libya, would be reckoned a success according to this way of thinking.
The thinking would appear to lead to similar treatment of Iran, with even more catastrophic consequences.

Behind all this is the thinking that the survival of Israel outweighs anything else in any global ethical calculus. Those who don't accept this moral premise but who believe in supporting the survival of Israel have their work cut out for them. This work would be made easier if the U.S. population saw clearly what was going on, instead of being preoccupied with salacious sexual misconduct stories or other distractions.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

A Russian interceptor has been scrambled to stop a rogue US fighter jet from actively interfering with an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian Defense Ministry said. It also accused the US of provoking close encounters with the Russian jets in Syria.

A US F-22 fighter was preventing two Russian Su-25 strike aircraft from bombing an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates November 23, according to the ministry. The ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov described the episode as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State.

"The F-22 launched decoy flares and used airbrakes while constantly maneuvering [near the Russian strike jets], imitating an air fight," Konashenkov said. He added that the US jet ceased its dangerous maneuvers only after a Russian Su-35S fighter jet joined the two strike planes.

If this story is true, then it illustrates a number of things. First, the US is still providing ISIS air cover. Second, either the F-22 pilot or his commander is dumber than dirt. The F-22 may be a fine airplane, but getting into a contest with an equally fine non-stealth airplane at eyeball distances means throwing away every advantage of the super-expensive stealth.

Zachary Smith , December 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

https://www.rt.com/news/412590-russia-us-syria-air-force/

Pablo Diablo , December 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Gotta keep the War Machine well fed and insure Corporate control of markets and taking of resources.

Abe , December 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

In October 1973, a nuclear armed rogue state almost triggered a global thermonuclear war.

Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert
By Richard Sale
https://www.upi.com/Yom-Kippur-Israels-1973-nuclear-alert/64941032228992/

Israel obtained operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. In addition to the Israeli nuclear arsenal, Israel has offensive chemical and biological warfare stockpiles.

Israel, the Middle East's sole nuclear power, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In 2015, the US-based Institute for Science and International Security estimated that Israel had 115 nuclear warheads. Outside estimates of Israel's nuclear arsenal range up to 400 nuclear weapons.

Israeli nuclear weapons delivery mechanisms include Jericho 3 missiles, with a range of 4,800 km to 6,500 km (though a 2004 source estimated its range at up to 11,500 km), as well as regional coverage from road mobile Jericho 2 IRBMs.

Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear capability using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines.

The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering tactical and strategic nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and supported by their aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona, fled to the United Kingdom and revealed to the media some evidence of Israel's nuclear program and explained the purposes of each building, also revealing a top-secret underground facility directly below the installation.

The Mossad, Israel's secret service, sent a female agent who lured Vanunu to Italy, where he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled to Israel aboard a freighter. An Israeli court then tried him in secret on charges of treason and espionage, and sentenced him to eighteen years imprisonment.

At the time of Vanunu's kidnapping, The Times reported that Israel had material for approximately 20 hydrogen bombs and 200 fission bombs by 1986. In the spring of 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, and placed under several strict restrictions, such as the denial of a passport, freedom of movement limitations and restrictions on communications with the press. Since his release, he has been rearrested and charged multiple times for violations of the terms of his release.

Safety concerns about this 40-year-old reactor have been reported. In 2004, as a preventive measure, Israeli authorities distributed potassium iodide anti-radiation tablets to thousands of residents living nearby. Local residents have raised concerns regarding serious threats to health from living near the reactor.

According to a lawsuit filed in Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal, workers at the center were subjected to human experimentation in 1998. According to Julius Malick, the worker who submitted the lawsuit, they were given drinks containing uranium without medical supervision and without obtaining written consent or warning them about risks of side effects.

In April 2016 the U.S. National Security Archive declassified dozens of documents from 1960 to 1970, which detail what American intelligence viewed as Israel's attempts to obfuscate the purpose and details of its nuclear program. The Americans involved in discussions with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and other Israelis believed the country was providing "untruthful cover" about intentions to build nuclear weapons.

mike k , December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

The machinations of those seeking to gain advantages for themselves by hurting others, are truly appalling. If we fail to name evil for what it is, then we fail as human beings.Those who look the other way as their country engages in an organized reign of terror, are complicit in that enormous crime.

Den Lille Abe , December 9, 2017 at 8:54 pm

The path the US has chosen since the end of WWII has been over dead bodies. In the name of "security", bringing "Freedom" and "Democracy" and complete unconstrained greed it has trampled countless nations into piles of rubble. To say it is despised or loathed is an overwhelming understatement. It is almost universally hated in the third world. Rightly. Bringing this monstrosity to a halt is a difficult task, and probably cannot be done militarily without a nuclear war, economically could in the end have the same outcome, then how?

Easy! Ruin its population. This process has started, long ago. The decline in the US of health, general wealth, nutrition, production, education, equality, ethics and morals is already showing as cracks in the fabrics of the US.

A population of incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns, in a country with a crumbling infrastructure, full of environmental disasters is 21 st century for most Americans. In all the areas I mentioned the US is going backwards compared to most other countries. So the monster will come down.

turk151 , December 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I think you are being a little hard on the incarcerated, obese, low iQ zealot junkies, armed to teeth with guns

I am not sure who is more loathsome the evangelicals who were supporting the Bush / Cheney cabal murderous wars until the bitter end or the liberal intelligentsia careerist cheerleaders for Obama and Hilary's Wars in Iraq and Syria, who also dont give a damn about another Arab country being destroyed and sold into slavery as long as Hillary gets elected. At least with the former group, you can chalk it up to a lack of education.

Linda Wood , December 10, 2017 at 1:52 am

This is possibly the most intelligent and hopeful discussion I have read since 9/11. It says that at least some Americans do see that we have a fascist cell in our government. That is the first step in finding a way to unplug it. Best wishes to all of you who have written here. We will find a way to put war out of business.

Barbara van der Wal-Kylstra , December 10, 2017 at 2:46 am

I think this pattern of using Salafists for regime change started already in Afghanistan, with Brzezinski plotting with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan to pay and train Osama bin Laden to attack the pro Russia regime and trying to get the USSR involved in it, also trying to blame the USSR for its agression, like they did in Syri"r?

Sam F , December 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

Yes, the Brzezinski/Reagan support of fanatic insurgencies began in AfPak and was revived for the zionists. Russia happened to be on the side more or less tending to progress in both cases, so it had to be opposed. The warmongers are always the US MIC/intel, allied with the anti-American zionist fascists for Mideast wars.

Luutzen , December 10, 2017 at 9:15 am

Sheldon Adelson, Soros, Saban all wanted carving up of Arabic states into small sectarian pieces (No Nasseric pan-Arabic states, a threat to Israël). And protracted wars of total destruction. Easy.

mike k , December 10, 2017 at 11:05 am

The US Military is part of the largest terrorist organization on Earth. For the super rich and powerful rulers of that US Mafia, the ignorant religious fanatics and other tools of Empire are just pawns in their game of world domination and universal slavery for all but themselves. These monsters of evil delight in profiting from the destruction of others; but their insatiable greed for more power will never be satisfied, and will become the cause of the annihilation of every living thing – including themselves. But like other sold out human addicts, at this point they don't really care, and will blindly pursue their nightmare quest to the very end – and perhaps they secretly hope that that final end of everything will at last quench their burning appetite for blood and gold.

Joe Tedesky , December 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

I'm leaving a link to a very long David Swanson article, where Mr Swanson goes into quite a lot of detail to how the U.S. wages war.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/12/76-years-pearl-harbor-lies.html

Brendan , December 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

What's interesting of course is how not just Washington, but much of the 'left' also cheered on the jihadists.

Of course, they were told (by whom?) that the jihadists were 'democratic rebels' and 'freedom fighters' who just wanted to 'bring democracy' to Syria, and get rid of the 'tyrant Assad.' 5 years later, so much of the nonsense about "local councils" and "white helmets" has been exposed for what it was. Yet many 'free thinking' people bought the propaganda. Just like they do on Russiagate. Who needs an "alt-right" when America's "left" is a total disgrace?

[Dec 04, 2016] Chilcot: Intelligence reports confirm Iraq war created ISIS

Notable quotes:
"... " It is clear a significant number of former Baathist officers have formed the professional core of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq and have given that organization the military capability it has shown in conducting its operations. " ..."
"... A March 2007 JIC report warned Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which it terms AQ-I, had " no shortage of suicide bombers. AQ-I is seeking high-profile attacks. We judge AQ-I will try to expand its sectarian campaign wherever it can: suicide bombings in Kirkuk have risen sharply since October when AQ-I declared the establishment of the notional 'Islamic State of Iraq' (including Kirkuk). " ..."
"... " They claimed that the label 'jihadist' is becoming increasingly difficult to define: in many cases distinctions between nationalists and jihadists are blurred. They increasingly share common cause being drawn together in the face of Shia sectarian violence. " ..."
Oct 01, 2016 | www.rt.com
Intelligence reports examined and now released by the Chilcot inquiry appear to confirm Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was created by the Iraq war, a view now apparently backed by Britain's Tory Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. The reports from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which were previously classified, tell the story of the security services' increasing concern that the war and occupation was fuelling ever more extremism in Iraq.

The evidence also appears to debunk repeated claims by former PM Tony Blair that IS began in the Syrian civil war and not Iraq, positioning the brutal group's rise clearly within Iraq's borders.

The Chilcot findings were backed up Thursday by serving Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond. He told The Foreign Affairs Committee " many of the problems we see in Iraq today stem from that disastrous decision to dismantle the Iraqi army and embark on a program of de-Baathification ."

" That was the big mistake of post-conflict planning. If we had gone a different way afterwards we might have been able to see a different outcome, " he said.

Hammond conceded that many members of Saddam's armed forces today filled top roles in IS.

" It is clear a significant number of former Baathist officers have formed the professional core of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq and have given that organization the military capability it has shown in conducting its operations. "

The documents show that by 2006 – three years into the occupation – UK intelligence chiefs were increasingly concerned about the rise of Sunni jihadist resistance to the Western-backed regime of Shia President Nouri Al-Maliki.

A March 2007 JIC report warned Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which it terms AQ-I, had " no shortage of suicide bombers. AQ-I is seeking high-profile attacks. We judge AQ-I will try to expand its sectarian campaign wherever it can: suicide bombings in Kirkuk have risen sharply since October when AQ-I declared the establishment of the notional 'Islamic State of Iraq' (including Kirkuk). "

Many leading Al-Qaeda figures had been pro-regime Baathists and members of the former Iraqi Army disbanded by the occupation. They are broadly accepted to have later formed the basis for IS.

The report describes AQ-I as being " in the vanguard. "

" Its strategic main effort is the prosecution of a sectarian campaign designed to drag Iraq into civil war " at the head of a number of other Sunni militia groups.

" We judge its campaign has been the most effective of any insurgent group, having significant impact in the past year, and poses the greatest immediate threat to stability in Iraq. The tempo of mass-casualty attacks on predominantly Shia targets has been relentless, " the spies argue.

Chillingly, an earlier report from 2006 appears to echo some of the realizations made late in the Vietnam War that there were also strong elements of nationalism driving the insurgency.

" They claimed that the label 'jihadist' is becoming increasingly difficult to define: in many cases distinctions between nationalists and jihadists are blurred. They increasingly share common cause being drawn together in the face of Shia sectarian violence. "

The reports appear to suggest that the conditions also somewhat echo the Afghanistan war, which by that time was already underway, in that the anti-coalition forces displayed a mix of ideological and economic drivers to resist the occupation.

" Their motivation is mixed: some are Islamist extremists inspired by the AQ agenda, others are simply hired hands attracted by the money, " the spies warn.

The religious sectarianism involved, however, was distinctly Iraqi and reflected the power battle between the deposed Sunni forces and the US-installed Shia regime which replaced it.

They also appeared to believe that AQ-I was composed of local and not, as was claimed at the time, foreign fighters.

" We judge Al-Qaida in Iraq is the largest single insurgent network and although its leadership retains a strong foreign element, a large majority of its fighters are Iraqi.

" Some are drawn in by the opportunity to take on Shia militias: the jihadists' media effort stresses their role as defenders of the Sunni ," the report concludes.

Prophetically, even before IS began to germinate in Iraq, one now-declassified Foreign Office memo from January 2003 warned "all the evidence from the region suggests that coalition forces will not be seen as liberators for long, if at all. Our motives are regarded with huge suspicion. "

AHHA -> Blue Car 7 Jul

No there was a documentary on the rise of IS months ago on Dutch television coming to the same conclusion. Kicking all Baath party members (all Sunni people) out of the army, leaving only Shiite in created IS. Baath militairy specialists did it out of revenge. One former high Baath militairy officer even went up to the room of the American leadership on Irak to tell him that if they would kick Baath people out he would have no other option than to start fighting America. Because what would all those people have to live of. And they did not just kick them out of the army but out of all government posts. But the Americans and making one group less equal to another by treating them different, does that ring any bells. ?
AHHA -> Blue Car 8 Jul
It was not Fox, I loath them. It was a well built Dutch documentary not praising the Americans for a change but being real True, together with Bush and the rest of their accomplices, of the most horrific mass killings based on lies (more than a million innocent people have perished because of their deceitful actions)! We should all demand Justice for the sake of humanity, and also because it is the only way to deter feature self-righteous leaders like them from leading our world to more blood sheds and catastrophic destructions! No one should be above the law!
Blue Scissors -> Red Snow 7 Jul
No, Bush and Cheney are the biggest terrorist. Blair just followed behind them, like a sheep.
Linx 7 Jul
Its clear that the U.S. government was the instigator of the war in Iraq based on 911and WMD. Blair in his ambition to reached the top lied to his parliament because there is noway they did not have the intelligence there not WMDs. In a stunning but little-known speech from 2007, Gen. Wesley Clark claims America underwent a "policy coup" at the time of the 9/11 attacks. In this video, he reveals that, right after 9/11, he was privy to information contained in a classified memo: US plans to attack and remove governments in seven countries over five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. He was told: "We learned that we can use our military without being challenged . We've got about five years to clean up the Soviet client regimes before another superpower comes along and challenges us." "This was a policy coup these people took control of policy in the United States. The interview is still available in the internet.
Orange Tag 7 Jul
What I want to be informed about is the ICC court date set for Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the generals ordering the killings of innocent people in Iraq. It's time for the west to wake up and provide all and every help that Syrian legitimate government needs, and for west to stop the support of Saudis, Qatari and others alike regimes whom are the providers and are state sponsors of terrorism as Isis and others a like called " "moderates terrorist". Look you fly the Emirates you pay for the costs of their terrorism in Middle East.
keghamminas 7 Jul Edited
Very true about the blind destructive policy of the US-Nato that should have attacked Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq .The same faults are committed now against Syria and it's legal government ; the total destruction of this country will lead to more anarchy and new terrorist movements as what's happenning in Iraq. All the puppets ,like the UK are guilty by their criminal participation.
Malcolm stark 7 Jul
Yet another problem caused by Washington and Co and yet their are still people even here who say Russia, Russia, Russia. And will make excuses for the problems caused without blaming their own government.
CyanDog 7 Jul
Sexton: What a surprise. An investigation designed to whitewash the criminal activities of our beloved Western leaders turned out to be eminently successful. A playful slap on the wrist for Mr Blair, but basically the Western criminals made to look like good guys although a few unintentional mistakes were made. From now on the West can continue business as usual. I wonder which countries the West has currently set its future sights on? I would suggest that Iran, Russia and China should keep their powder dry. The Westerners are playing for keeps, and they do not care who gets hurt on either side.

[Dec 04, 2016] Trump: Obama and Hillary Created ISIS

Notable quotes:
"... ISIS is al-Qaeda re-branded and is supported by Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the Western military alliance. Obama didn't technically 'create' them. Nor did he do anything to stop them. When ISIS first emerged, the US State Department said they were caught completely "flat -footed". ISIS emerged like a mirage in the Iraq desert, fully equipped, fully armed and driving a convoy of matching Toyota trucks! ..."
"... I would like to say that Obama and Hillary Clinton were too weak or complacent to stop the Neoconservatives/Zionists/Establishment from creating ISIS. It was their way of toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and helping Israel to tighten the grip over stolen land. ..."
"... I would like to say watch the "Yuri Bezmenov" interviews, and realize there is no difference between the democrats and establishment GOP, they are the same thing. ..."
"... I was able to see through GW Bush, other establishment RINOs, and was honest enough to see the fraud. ..."
www.infowars.com

Allen Highsmith 7 months ago

We have been saying that for years that Isis was created and funded by the US ( Obama) he should have been impeached years ago and to this day he needs to impeached and locked up for life for all the lives he has killed and for all the crooked deals he has done behind our backs! He is not even a citizen of the US! Please God help us all!

ISIS is al-Qaeda re-branded and is supported by Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the Western military alliance. Obama didn't technically 'create' them. Nor did he do anything to stop them. When ISIS first emerged, the US State Department said they were caught completely "flat -footed". ISIS emerged like a mirage in the Iraq desert, fully equipped, fully armed and driving a convoy of matching Toyota trucks!

At least Trump is telling part of the truth.

Two of a Kind Turds 7 months ago
We all know why Hillary and Obama get away with literally murder and treason. The reason is that it is leverage over them by their puppet masters to ensure they stay on course with the New World Order agenda. When it is feared that they are getting a bit off script leaks occur of their heinous crimes and they get back on script. Both of these pathetic scum bags know what awaits them if they turn away from their puppet master's wishes. At the least prison for life and the worse is death in so many possible ways that it would be a replay of Kennedy with different patsies. This is why Hillary has a Cheshire cat grin and Obama plays more golf than any other president. They know they have a get out of jail free pass.
Mahboob Khan 7 months ago
I would like to say that Obama and Hillary Clinton were too weak or complacent to stop the Neoconservatives/Zionists/Establishment from creating ISIS. It was their way of toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and helping Israel to tighten the grip over stolen land.
Elapoides Mahboob Khan 7 months ago
I would like to say watch the "Yuri Bezmenov" interviews, and realize there is no difference between the democrats and establishment GOP, they are the same thing. The cancer of the democrat party bled into the GOP, hence the establishment, and organ of the democrat party. I was able to see through GW Bush, other establishment RINOs, and was honest enough to see the fraud.

I used my intellect, my brains, to see what was going on, and left the republican party many years ago. YOU are still defending the democrat party, Obama, and Hillary. Pathetic.

[Nov 21, 2016] Obama helped to create ISIS by turning a bling eye on US intelligence reports

Notable quotes:
"... Flynn: "I don't know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision, a willful decision." ..."
"... Hasan (Interviewer): "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?" ..."
"... Flynn: "A willful decision to do what they're doing, You have to really ask the President what is it that he actually is doing with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing." ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

THIS IS "CHANGE"

The successor of Susan Rice:

Hasan (Interviewer) (From 11.15 onwards into the interview): "In 2012, your agency was saying, quote: "The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda in Iraq [(which ISIS arose out of)], are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." In 2012, the US was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups. Why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of Islamic extremism?"

Flynn: "Well I hate to say it's not my job, but my job was to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be, and I will tell you, it goes before 2012. When we were in Iraq, and we still had decisions to be made before there was a decision to pull out of Iraq in 2011, it was very clear what we were going to face."

Hasan (Interviewer): You are basically saying that even in government at the time, you knew those groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan (Interviewer): "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision, a willful decision."

Hasan (Interviewer): "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "A willful decision to do what they're doing, You have to really ask the President what is it that he actually is doing with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing."

Former US Intelligence Chief Admits Obama Took "Willful Decision" to Support ISIS Rise

http://journal-neo.org/2015/08/13/former-us-intelligence-chief-admits-obama-took-willful-decision-to-support-isis-rise/

[Nov 18, 2016] Former US Intelligence Chief Admits Obama Took "Willful Decision" to Support ISIS Rise

Notable quotes:
"... "US votes against UN resolution condemning Nazism": http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/18/494118/US-UN-Russia-Nazi ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

From The Hague | Nov 18, 2016 7:06:06 AM | 64

THIS IS "CHANGE"

The successor of Susan Rice:

Hasan (Interviewer) (From 11.15 onwards into the interview): "In 2012, your agency was saying, quote: "The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda in Iraq [(which ISIS arose out of)], are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria." In 2012, the US was helping coordinate arms transfers to those same groups. Why did you not stop that if you're worried about the rise of Islamic extremism?"

Flynn: "Well I hate to say it's not my job, but my job was to ensure that the accuracy of our intelligence that was being presented was as good as it could be, and I will tell you, it goes before 2012. When we were in Iraq, and we still had decisions to be made before there was a decision to pull out of Iraq in 2011, it was very clear what we were going to face."

Hasan (Interviewer): You are basically saying that even in government at the time, you knew those groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn't listening?"

Flynn: "I think the administration."

Hasan (Interviewer): "So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?"

Flynn: "I don't know if they turned a blind eye. I think it was a decision, a willful decision."

Hasan (Interviewer): "A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Flynn: "A willful decision to do what they're doing You have to really ask the President what is it that he actually is doing with the policy that is in place, because it is very, very confusing."

Former US Intelligence Chief Admits Obama Took "Willful Decision" to Support ISIS Rise

http://journal-neo.org/2015/08/13/former-us-intelligence-chief-admits-obama-took-willful-decision-to-support-isis-rise/

POL | Nov 18, 2016 7:25:33 AM | 65

Obama support nazis at the UN:

"US votes against UN resolution condemning Nazism": http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/18/494118/US-UN-Russia-Nazi

[Nov 12, 2016] The Podesta emails - After Hillary, John Podesta had been seriously warned about the Syrian chaos

Nov 12, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.
globinfo freexchange
A letter under the title "Stay out of Syria" from Jon Soltz , an Iraq War Veteran and founder of VoteVets.org, to John Podesta in May, 2013, confirms the multiple, serious warnings that the Clinton/Podesta complex had received about the implications of the US involvement on Syrian mess.
Soltz's warnings couldn't be more clear. He points that " arming and training the Syrian rebels is a misguided and dangerous idea " and that he helped to train the Iraqi Army, and " their concern is that many of the anti-Assad forces are the same terrorists they've fought before and who continue to target them ". He also writes that " there is no winning scenario when we get involved in other nations' civil wars and proxy wars ".
Most important parts of the short letter:
Earlier this week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 in favor of arming and training the Syrian rebels. This is a misguided and dangerous idea. I helped to train the Iraqi Army during my second tour, and their concern is that many of the anti-Assad forces are the same terrorists they've fought before and who continue to target them . Plus, as Senator Tom Udall noted, once we introduce weapons, we have zero control over them . The United States "could turn over the weapons we're talking about and next day they end up in the hands of al-Qaida." Three Senators voted against the bill in committee, but we need you to send a strong message to the other 97 that you oppose intervention in Syria's civil war.
Moreover, there is no winning scenario when we get involved in other nations' civil wars and proxy wars . On this point, Senator Chris Murphy said it best: "We have failed over and over again in our attempts to pull the strings of Middle Eastern politics." Let's not make the same mistake again.
Full letter:
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/59165
Recall that, another letter from Clinton email series, released also by WikiLeaks, proves that Hillary had been seriously warned about the oncoming Syrian chaos , already since 2011.
Apparently, the Clinton/Podesta complex completely ignored those serious warnings. Hillary and her team are totally responsible for doing nothing to prevent, or at least restrict, the Middle East chaos.

[Nov 08, 2016] Obama and Clinton Are Complicit in Creating ISIS

See also Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Notable quotes:
"... The origins of Daesh, known commonly as the Islamic State or ISIS, tie back directly to Obama and Clinton policy delusions and half measures of the Iraq and Syria conflicts. ..."
"... The FSA exerted zero control over the dozens of rival militias fighting each other and the Assad regime in Damascus. The Syrian Rebel groups were like dozens of hungry baby vultures in a nest all competing for resources, and the worst and meanest destroyed their counterparts using the aid given them by their misguided American benefactors. ..."
"... The Sunni Arab Gulf states piled on behind the U.S. government to help their Sunni brethren with more arms and cash. The result was a true race to the bottom of Syrian Rebel groups. ..."
"... The chaos sewn globally by ISIS today grew directly from the bad seeds planted by the Clinton/Obama failures in the basics of statecraft. ..."
"... Obama/Clinton continued to approach the Middle East with the same naivety that led the Bush Administration into Iraq in the first place. For all of the criticism that Obama levied on Bush, he continued to apply a deeply delusional Washington perspective to Middle Eastern politics and culture - ignoring all we should have learned in 13 years of Iraq conflict and warfare. ..."
Jun 16, 2016 | breitbart.com

The origins of Daesh, known commonly as the Islamic State or ISIS, tie back directly to Obama and Clinton policy delusions and half measures of the Iraq and Syria conflicts.

With the recent release of an August 2012 classified intelligence memo to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton detailing the presence of the organization that became ISIS among the Syrian oppositional forces supported by the West, it's important to remember the history of exactly how the Islamic State arose from the ashes of a failed Obama/Clinton foreign policy.

The Syrian "Arab Spring" agitations that began in March 2011, where majority Sunnis rebelled against an Assad run Alawite Shia Ba'th Party, quickly dissolved into a multi sided proxy war. Clinton State Department policy grew into helping these Sunni rebels under the banner of the "Free Syrian Army (FSA)" with weapons, money and diplomatic support.

However, the reality is that the FSA existed only in the minds of the State Department leadership. The FSA exerted zero control over the dozens of rival militias fighting each other and the Assad regime in Damascus. The Syrian Rebel groups were like dozens of hungry baby vultures in a nest all competing for resources, and the worst and meanest destroyed their counterparts using the aid given them by their misguided American benefactors.

The Sunni Arab Gulf states piled on behind the U.S. government to help their Sunni brethren with more arms and cash. The result was a true race to the bottom of Syrian Rebel groups. All the while the Assad regime's traditional allies of Russia and Iran provided weapons, training, and even thousands of fighters themselves to combat the U.S. supported Sunni rebels. The Obama/Clinton team couldn't even do a proxy war correctly.

The chaos sewn globally by ISIS today grew directly from the bad seeds planted by the Clinton/Obama failures in the basics of statecraft.

... ... ...

Obama/Clinton continued to approach the Middle East with the same naivety that led the Bush Administration into Iraq in the first place. For all of the criticism that Obama levied on Bush, he continued to apply a deeply delusional Washington perspective to Middle Eastern politics and culture - ignoring all we should have learned in 13 years of Iraq conflict and warfare.

Erik Prince is a former Navy SEAL, founder of Blackwater, and currently a frontier market investor and concerned parent.

[Nov 06, 2016] Putin Tells Everyone Exactly Who Created ISIS - YouTube

Nov 06, 2016 | www.youtube.com
Published on Oct 1, 2015

Here's something you probably never saw or heard about in the west. This is Putin answering questions regarding ISIS from a US journalist at the Valdai International Discussion Club in late 2014.

dornye easton 2 hours ago

The White house and and the CIA ARE THE ONES causing this !!

Gilbert Sanchez 2 weeks ago

from the U.S.. much love for you Putin. you really opened the eyes of many, even in our country. this man is the definition of president and the u.s hasnt had one for over 40 years... smh.

IronClad292 2 weeks ago

As an American I can say that all of this is very confusing. However, one thing I believe is true, Obama and Hillary are the worst thing to ever happen to my country !!!! Average Americans don't want war with Russia. Why would we ?? The common people of both countries don't deserve this !!!!

lown baby 9 hours ago

We need Trump to restore our ties with the rest of the world or we are screwed!

david wood 3 months ago

He pretty much [said] that the President is a complete fucking idiot. I can't argue with him.

simon6071 6 days ago (edited)

+Emanuil Penev Obama is a human puppet who chose to be controlled, He is therefore culpable for his action of supporting Islamic terrorists. Right now Islamic invasion of western countries is the real problem. The USA is now under the control of Obama the Muslim Trojan horse who wants the world to be under the rule of an Islamic empire. USA's military action in the Middle East is the result of USA being under occupation by a Muslim Trojan horse that wants to create tidal waves of Muslim refugees harboring Muslim radicals and terrorists for invading Europe and the USA. Watch video (copy and paste for search) *From Europe to America The Caliphate Muslim Trojan Horse The USA is a victim, not a culprit, in the Muslim invasion of western counties. Obama and his cohorts are the culprits.

StarWarLean 38 minutes ago

America has become the evil empire

Nicholas Villegas 2 days ago

I hope we get better president and will have better ties and relations with Russia

machinist1337 1 month ago

basically Russia wants to be friends with America again and America ain't having it. they have the capabilities to set up shop all around the world. it's like putting guard towers in everyone's lawn just in case somebody wants commit crime. but you never see inside the towers or know who is in them but they have giant guns mounted on them ready to kill. that's how Putin feels. I mean I get it but every other country has nukes. get rid of the nukes and the missile defense will go away. if the situation were reversed it would be out president voicing this frustration. but Putin said it, America is a good example of success that's what Russia needs to do is be more like America. they have been doing it in the last year or so. I think America will come around and we will have good relations with Russia again. so wait... did we support isis as being generally isis or support all Qaeda / Saddam's regime which lead to isis??

Brendon Charles 2 months ago

The US supported multiple Rebel Groups that fought against Syria, they armed them, gave them money, and members of those groups split up and formed more Rebel groups or joined different ones. ISIS (at the time, not as large) was supported by the rebel groups the US armed and they got weapons and equipment from said Rebel Groups, even manpower as well.. That is how ISIS came to be the threat it is today.

benD'anon fawkes 3 months ago

putin doesnt view the us as a threat to russia..?? he has said countless times that he considers the us as a threat.. and that russian actions are a result of us aggression

indycoon 3 months ago (edited)

US people are a threat for all the world because they are not interested in politics, they don't want to know truth, they believe to their one-sided media and allow their government and other warmongers in the US military industry to do whatever they wish all over the world. US politics are dangerous and lead to a new big war where US territory won't stay away this time. It''s time for Americans to understand it. If you allow your son to become a criminal, don't be surprised that your house will be burned some day.

Wardup04 1 day ago

Obama and Clinton are progressive evil cunts funded by Soros. Their decision making is calculated and they want these horrendous results because it weakens the US and benefits globalism. Putin kicked the globalists the fuck out, and when Trump wins he will do the same! They are scared shitless. TRUMP/PENCE 2016

ThePoopMaster01 1 week ago

It's pretty sad when RT is more trustworthy than all other mainstream news networks

Michael Espeland 3 days ago

Someone owns mainstream media, so. Yeah. The rest is kinda self-explanatory

Daniel Gyllenbreider 1 month ago

With a stupid and warmongering opponent such as the USA, Russia do not need to construct a narrative or think out some elaborate propaganda. Russia simply needs to speak the truth. And this is why the US and its puppets hates Russia and Putin so much.

[Oct 22, 2016] The No Fly Zone was the strategy used to destroy Gaddafi. It's HRC's telegraph for invasion.

Oct 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

cocomaan October 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm

I respect Juan Cole as a scholar, but his political commentary got so muddled in apologizing for the Libyan disaster. I wrote him several times about problems in the Sahel, particularly among Tuareg, resulting from the Libyan invasion, but he wriggled out of it, going to Libya and talking about how great it was there and otherwise excusing the massacre.

Why suggest a no fly zone in Syria that can't be implemented. It is baffling.

Is it really that baffling? Read her emails. The No Fly Zone was the strategy used to destroy Gaddafi. It's HRC's telegraph for invasion.

Cole misses that when Wallace asked her if she'd shoot down a Russian plan that violated the no-fly zone, she dodged.

Not surprising, as it's the Libya playbook.

[Oct 21, 2016] Syria War 2016 - GoPro POV Footage Of Turkish Backed Turkmen Fighters In Heavy Clashes With The Syrian Army In Latakia

Oct 21, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

schlub | Oct 20, 2016 2:07:30 PM | 40

debate is over!
Back to the real world.
Anyone here care to give a more detailed view of this mess, who is allied with who where, etc?
OCT 20
Syria War 2016 - GoPro POV Footage Of Turkish Backed Turkmen Fighters In Heavy Clashes With The Syrian Army In Latakia

First Person point of view GoPro footage of Turkish backed Turkmen fighter groups in heavy clashes with the Syrian Arab Army in the border region between Turkey and Syria.

The fighters you see here are part of the so called Syrian Turkmen Brigades an informal armed opposition structure composed of Syrian Turkmen primarily fighting against the Syrian Army, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (YPG+FSA).

They are aligned with the Syrian opposition and are heavily supported by Turkey, who provides funding and military training along with artillery and aerial support.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=15f_1476976485

[Oct 20, 2016] Quotes from the Wikileaks stash of Hillary Clinton speeches and emails from her campaign chair John Podesta.

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also says that the no-fly zone bombing in Syria she is arguing for "would kill a lot of Syrians" - all for humanitarian reasons of course. ..."
"... While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia , which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region. ..."
"... Not new - the 2012 DIA analysis provided as much , and more, - but these email's prove that Clinton was and is well aware that U.S. allies are financing the radical Islamists in Syria and Iraq. ..."
Oct 12, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

... ... ...

Quotes from the Wikileaks stash of Hillary Clinton speeches and emails from her campaign chair John Podesta.

Clinton in a 2013 speech to the Jewish United Fund Advance & Major Gifts Dinner (via The Intercept ):

[Arming moderates has] been complicated by the fact that the Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons-and pretty indiscriminately-not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future, ...

Clinton also says that the no-fly zone bombing in Syria she is arguing for "would kill a lot of Syrians" - all for humanitarian reasons of course.

The following was written by Podesta, a well connected former White House Chief of Staff, in an 2014 email to Clinton. As introduction Podesta notes: "Sources include Western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region.":

While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia , which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.

Not new - the 2012 DIA analysis provided as much , and more, - but these email's prove that Clinton was and is well aware that U.S. allies are financing the radical Islamists in Syria and Iraq.

[Oct 20, 2016] US Allies are Funding ISIS (and Hillary Knew All Along)

Notable quotes:
"... It is fortunate for Saudi Arabia and Qatar that the furor over the sexual antics of Donald Trump is preventing much attention being given to the latest batch of leaked emails to and from Hillary Clinton . Most fascinating of these is what reads like a US State Department memo , dated 17 August 2014, on the appropriate US response to the rapid advance of Isis forces, which were then sweeping through northern Iraq and eastern Syria. ..."
"... The memo says: "We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region." ..."
"... An earlier WikiLeaks release of a State Department cable sent under her name in December 2009 states that "Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan]." But Saudi complicity with these movements never became a central political issue in the US. Why not? ..."
"... The answer is that the US did not think it was in its interests to cut its traditional Sunni allies loose and put a great deal of resources into making sure that this did not happen. They brought on side compliant journalists, academics and politicians willing to give overt or covert support to Saudi positions. ..."
"... Iraqi and Kurdish leaders said that they did not believe a word of it, claiming privately that Isis was blackmailing the Gulf states by threatening violence on their territory unless they paid up. ..."
"... Going by the latest leaked email, the State Department and US intelligence clearly had no doubt that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Isis. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton should be very vulnerable over the failings of US foreign policy during the years she was Secretary of State. But, such is the crudity of Trump's demagoguery, she has never had to answer for it. ..."
"... A Hillary Clinton presidency might mean closer amity with Saudi Arabia, but American attitudes towards the Saudi regime are becoming soured, as was shown recently when Congress overwhelmingly overturned a presidential veto of a bill allowing the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government. ..."
www.counterpunch.org
It is fortunate for Saudi Arabia and Qatar that the furor over the sexual antics of Donald Trump is preventing much attention being given to the latest batch of leaked emails to and from Hillary Clinton. Most fascinating of these is what reads like a US State Department memo, dated 17 August 2014, on the appropriate US response to the rapid advance of Isis forces, which were then sweeping through northern Iraq and eastern Syria.

At the time, the US government was not admitting that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies were supporting Isis and al-Qaeda-type movements. But in the leaked memo, which says that it draws on "western intelligence, US intelligence and sources in the region" there is no ambivalence about who is backing Isis, which at the time of writing was butchering and raping Yazidi villagers and slaughtering captured Iraqi and Syrian soldiers.

The memo says: "We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region." This was evidently received wisdom in the upper ranks of the US government, but never openly admitted because to it was held that to antagonise Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan would fatally undermine US power in the Middle East and South Asia.

For an extraordinarily long period after 9/11, the US refused to confront these traditional Sunni allies and thereby ensured that the "War on Terror" would fail decisively; 15 years later, al-Qaeda in its different guises is much stronger than it used to be because shadowy state sponsors, without whom it could not have survived, were given a free pass.

It is not as if Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and the US foreign policy establishment in general did not know what was happening. An earlier WikiLeaks release of a State Department cable sent under her name in December 2009 states that "Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan]." But Saudi complicity with these movements never became a central political issue in the US. Why not?

The answer is that the US did not think it was in its interests to cut its traditional Sunni allies loose and put a great deal of resources into making sure that this did not happen. They brought on side compliant journalists, academics and politicians willing to give overt or covert support to Saudi positions.

The real views of senior officials in the White House and the State Department were only periodically visible and, even when their frankness made news, what they said was swiftly forgotten. Earlier this year, for instance, Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic wrote a piece based on numerous interviews with Barack Obama in which Obama "questioned, often harshly, the role that America's Sunni Arab allies play in fomenting anti-American terrorism. He is clearly irritated that foreign policy orthodoxy compels him to treat Saudi Arabia as an ally".

It is worth recalling White House cynicism about how that foreign policy orthodoxy in Washington was produced and how easily its influence could be bought. Goldberg reported that "a widely held sentiment inside the White House is that many of the most prominent foreign-policy think tanks in Washington are doing the bidding of their Arab and pro-Israel funders. I've heard one administration official refer to Massachusetts Avenue, the home of many of these think tanks, as 'Arab-occupied territory'."

Despite this, television and newspaper interview self-declared academic experts from these same think tanks on Isis, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf are wilfully ignoring or happily disregarding their partisan sympathies.

The Hillary Clinton email of August 2014 takes for granted that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis – but this was not the journalistic or academic conventional wisdom of the day. Instead, there was much assertion that the newly declared caliphate was self-supporting through the sale of oil, taxes and antiquities; it therefore followed that Isis did not need money from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. The same argument could not be made to explain the funding of Jabhat al-Nusra, which controlled no oilfields, but even in the case of Isis the belief in its self-sufficiency was always shaky.

Iraqi and Kurdish leaders said that they did not believe a word of it, claiming privately that Isis was blackmailing the Gulf states by threatening violence on their territory unless they paid up. The Iraqi and Kurdish officials never produced proof of this, but it seemed unlikely that men as tough and ruthless as the Isis leaders would have satisfied themselves with taxing truck traffic and shopkeepers in the extensive but poor lands they ruled and not extracted far larger sums from fabulously wealthy private and state donors in the oil producers of the Gulf.

Going by the latest leaked email, the State Department and US intelligence clearly had no doubt that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Isis. But there has always been bizarre discontinuity between what the Obama administration knew about Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and what they would say in public. Occasionally the truth would spill out, as when Vice-President Joe Biden told students at Harvard in October 2014 that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates "were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world". Biden poured scorn on the idea that there were Syrian "moderates" capable of fighting Isis and Assad at the same time.

Hillary Clinton should be very vulnerable over the failings of US foreign policy during the years she was Secretary of State. But, such is the crudity of Trump's demagoguery, she has never had to answer for it. Republican challenges have focussed on issues – the death of the US ambassador in Benghazi in 2012 and the final US military withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 – for which she was not responsible.

A Hillary Clinton presidency might mean closer amity with Saudi Arabia, but American attitudes towards the Saudi regime are becoming soured, as was shown recently when Congress overwhelmingly overturned a presidential veto of a bill allowing the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government.

Another development is weakening Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies. The leaked memo speaks of the rival ambitions of Saudi Arabia and Qatar "to dominate the Sunni world". But this has not turned out well, with east Aleppo and Mosul, two great Sunni cities, coming under attack and likely to fall. Whatever Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the others thought they were doing it has not happened and the Sunni of Syria and Iraq are paying a heavy price. It is this failure which will shape the future relations of the Sunni states with the new US administration.

[Oct 13, 2016] Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding Saudia Arabia Support of ISIS

Oct 13, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
human October 13, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding Saudia Arabia Support of ISIS
October 12, 2016

"Aren't the Saudis your friends?" Obama smiled. "It's complicated," he said. "My view has never been that we should throw our traditional allies"-the Saudis-"overboard in favor of Iran." President Barack Obama

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

"We have as solid a relationship, as clear an alliance and as strong a friendship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as we have ever had." Secretary of State John Kerry

http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-01-24/kerry-says-us-saudi-friendship-stronger-than-ever

"I think it's important to the United States to maintain as good a relationship with Saudi Arabia as possible." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-09-21/saudi-arabia-s-clout-in-washington-isn-t-what-it-used-to-be

"The strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia is based on mutual interests and a longstanding commitment to facing our common threats together." Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

http://www.speaker.gov/general/continuing-dialogue-regional-security-partners-ryan-delegation-travels-riyadh

"I think Saudi Arabia is a valuable partner in the war on terror. If you want to lose Saudi Arabia as an ally, be careful what you wish for." Senator Lindsey Graham

"There is a public relations issue that exists. That doesn't mean that it's in our national interest to not have an alliance with them - I mean they're an important part of our efforts in the Middle East." said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/21/saudi-arabia-is-facing-unprecedented-scrutiny-from-congress/

"Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends." Senator John McCain

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/isis-saudi-arabia-iraq-syria-bandar/373181/

Citing Western Intelligence, U.S. Intelligence, and Intelligence from the Region, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-not just its rich donors– was providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups, we would like to know why President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senator Bob Corker, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator John McCain, would EVER consider the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia our ally.

Markedly, this is not complicated, nor is it a friendship, a special relationship, a valuable partnership, a clear alliance, a strategicpartnership, or a public relations issue.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sponsor of terrorism.

According to Western Intelligence, U.S. Intelligence and Intelligence from the region, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia clandestinely funds and logistically supports ISIS.

How could a nation like Saudi Arabia (or Qatar) that funds or logistically supports ISIS be considered an ally of the United States in the fight against ISIS?

The Saudis (and the Qataris) are funding and logistically supporting our enemy.

The United States Government should not condone, enable, or turn a blind eye to that fact.

As 9/11 family members whose husbands were brutally murdered by 19 radical Sunni terrorists, we strongly request these appointed and elected officials immediately explain their indefensible positions with regard to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its now clearly evident role in underwriting and logistically supporting radical Sunni terror groups worldwide.

We also look forward to these appointed and elected officials immediately explaining to the American public why they oppose JASTA or want to re-write JASTA anti-terrorism legislation specifically designed to hold the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accountable for its funding and logistical support of radical Sunni terror groups that kill Americans.

Finally, we would like to, once again, wholeheartedly thank all those members of Congress who saw the wisdom in making JASTA law. Clearly, this new evidence further validates your vote and support for JASTA. Furthermore, this evidence proves that JASTA was not a political vote, but rather a vote to keep Americans safer from terrorism.

Keep Americans Safe From Radical Sunni Terrorists

Hold The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Accountable

Keep JASTA The Law of The Land

http://www.salon.com/2016/10/11/leaked-hillary-clinton-emails-show-u-s-allies-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-supported-isis/

# # #

September 11th Advocates

Kristen Breitweiser
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken

(edited to clean up white space and high bit characters. links tested. any errors are mine)

[Oct 07, 2016] The media are misleading the public on Syria by Stephen Kinzer

Notable quotes:
"... For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it. ..."
"... Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?" ..."
"... This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery. ..."
"... Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media. ..."
"... Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus. ..."
"... Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her. ..."
"... The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous. ..."
Feb 18, 2016 | The Boston Globe

Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: "Don't send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin." Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants' hold on the city could be ending.

Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. "Turkish-Saudi backed 'moderate rebels' showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars," one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, "The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS - so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?"

This does not fit with Washington's narrative. As a result, much of the American press is reporting the opposite of what is actually happening. Many news reports suggest that Aleppo has been a "liberated zone" for three years but is now being pulled back into misery.

Americans are being told that the virtuous course in Syria is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. We are supposed to hope that a righteous coalition of Americans, Turks, Saudis, Kurds, and the "moderate opposition" will win. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans cannot be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics. Much blame for this lies with our media.

Under intense financial pressure, most American newspapers, magazines, and broadcast networks have drastically reduced their corps of foreign correspondents. Much important news about the world now comes from reporters based in Washington. In that environment, access and credibility depend on acceptance of official paradigms. Reporters who cover Syria check with the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, and think tank "experts." After a spin on that soiled carousel, they feel they have covered all sides of the story. This form of stenography produces the pabulum that passes for news about Syria.

Astonishingly brave correspondents in the war zone, including Americans, seek to counteract Washington-based reporting. At great risk to their own safety, these reporters are pushing to find the truth about the Syrian war. Their reporting often illuminates the darkness of groupthink. Yet for many consumers of news, their voices are lost in the cacophony. Reporting from the ground is often overwhelmed by the Washington consensus.

Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise. Saudi Arabia is portrayed as aiding freedom fighters when in fact it is a prime sponsor of ISIS. Turkey has for years been running a "rat line" for foreign fighters wanting to join terror groups in Syria, but because the United States wants to stay on Turkey's good side, we hear little about it. Nor are we often reminded that although we want to support the secular and battle-hardened Kurds, Turkey wants to kill them. Everything Russia and Iran do in Syria is described as negative and destabilizing, simply because it is they who are doing it - and because that is the official line in Washington.

Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on "an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva." The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan's UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.

Politicians may be forgiven for distorting their past actions. Governments may also be excused for promoting whatever narrative they believe best suits them. Journalism, however, is supposed to remain apart from the power elite and its inbred mendacity. In this crisis it has failed miserably.

Americans are said to be ignorant of the world. We are, but so are people in other countries. If people in Bhutan or Bolivia misunderstand Syria, however, that has no real effect. Our ignorance is more dangerous, because we act on it. The United States has the power to decree the death of nations. It can do so with popular support because many Americans - and many journalists - are content with the official story. In Syria, it is: "Fight Assad, Russia, and Iran! Join with our Turkish, Saudi, and Kurdish friends to support peace!" This is appallingly distant from reality. It is also likely to prolong the war and condemn more Syrians to suffering and death.

Stephen Kinzer is a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Follow him on Twitter @stephenkinzer.


kaisy 02/18/16 03:38 PM

The truth is that Kinzer is right. We have no idea what is going on in Syria. For the elites in Washington and their press lackeys to report that one side is moderate and the other is not is ludicrous.

When the uprising against Assad began three years ago, initially we were on the side of the angels, that is until we found out that they were mostly Al Queda. Fast forward and now we have ISIS, the sworn enemy of the US and anybody else that disagrees with them. So now, remarkably, some are looking at Assad as the voice of moderation. This is so akin to Afghanistan and, decades ago, Vietnam. When you don't understand the players and their ulterior motives, best to not get involved. Me, I'd leave this to the Saudis and Iran to fight over. Cruz talks about carpet bombing Syria until the sand glows (btw, real Christianlike there). I say defer to those over there. Eventually they'll run out of people to do the fighting (happening already with ISIS), then, and only then, we can go in and pick up the pieces.


jkupie02/19/16 07:16 AM

"Washington-based reporters tell us that one potent force in Syria, al-Nusra, is made up of "rebels" or "moderates," not that it is the local al-Qaeda franchise."

I don't know enough about the area to confirm or disprove most of Mr. Kinzer's points but I DO KNOW that this claim is false.

tyfox"n" 02/19/16 07:40 PM

jkupiue I absolutley agree. I have never read or heard al-Nusra described as anything but an al-Qaeda group, and it is stated every time al-Nusra is mentioned.

pegnva 02/19/16 07:58 AM

Hard to know the truth...but it is interesting Kinzer was able to QUOTE former Sec'ty of State, now presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the recent Milwaukee debate for falsely taking credit, some might say lying to the Am public.

kaisy 02/19/16 11:24 AM

Hillary is on the wrong side of this. She wants a no fly zone in Syria, just the Repubs. She doesn't speak to the consequences of the policy. Unfortunately Bernie has not challenged her on this. He really needs to.

NH-Repub 02/19/16 09:22 AM

Leftout is right and Hillary is the Queen of Doublespeak. Obama and his minions would like nothing better than to mislead the masses and keep them in the dark about everything. That way they control the media and by proxy - us!

[Oct 05, 2016] The VP Debate and Syria The American Conservative

Oct 05, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The vice presidential debate was an irritating and boring event. One notable part was when Mike Pence outlined his views of what the U.S. should do in Syria:

Asked how a Trump-Pence administration would stop the civil war carnage in Aleppo, Pence said that he, at least, "truly believe(s) that what America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and children can work out of those areas," and "work with our partners [to] make that happen. Provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength." If Russia "continues to be involved" in airstrikes along with the Syrian government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he said, "the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike the military forces of the Assad regime" and "prevent this crisis in Aleppo."

Trump has said very little about Syria's civil war–and advocated none of the measures Pence outlined.

That last part is not really true. Trump has endorsed creating safe zones in Syria on more than one occasion . While I don't believe Trump has a clear idea of what establishing a safe zone requires, he has had no problem voicing support for the idea several times. The fact that Pence felt comfortable outlining a very aggressive Syria policy in tonight's debate suggests that Trump doesn't really have a problem with what his running mate proposed. As I said when I was watching the debate, Pence's answer on Syria was deranged. He more or less threatened to initiate hostilities with Russia, and he seemed oblivious to the serious negative consequences this would have. He kept invoking "American leadership" and "American strength," as if uttering these phrases was all that mattered. Pence's advocacy for much more U.S. involvement in Syria could have been an easy target for Kaine, but of course he and Clinton have no disagreements with the Republican ticket on this issue. For all the quarreling between the two campaigns, both tickets apparently support U.S. escalation in Syria. As bad as the moderator for the debate was, she did at least manage to get both candidates to take positions on an issue that was completely ignored in the first presidential debate.

Overall, Kaine's performance was shaky and didn't seem all that impressive to anyone that didn't know much about him. Despite arguably having better foreign policy experience than Pence, he did a worse job of demonstrating his readiness to be president if needed. His constant interruptions of Pence were jarring and off-putting, and created the impression of being an overly loyal terrier trying to defend his master. Pence's repeated failure to come to Trump's defense in response to Kaine's many jabs presumably hurt Trump, but it also made Pence seem much less agitated and rattled. Neither VP nominee significantly harmed his running mate, but Pence did a better job of making the case for his party's ticket.

Who Stole The Strawberries?, says: October 4, 2016 at 11:48 pm
" it also made Pence seem much less agitated and rattled"

I agree. Kaine's nervousness, grimacing, and non-stop interruptions were annoying and a bit flaky. Pence seemed more composed and stable, even if some of what he said was a lot of nonsense straight out of the Interventionist Handbook.

Temperamentally, Pence is the guy you'd want a heartbeat away from taking that 3:00AM call Kaine looked like he'd still be awake, jabbering into a dictaphone while vacuuming the Oval Office for the fifth time.

Dakarian , says: October 5, 2016 at 12:13 am
As far as Syria, and the middle east in general, this is sort of why I glossed over the statements that Hillary is a hawk: because I don't see any doves (that don't have far too many other problems to support). Trump started out sounding like he was but as time went on it sounded more and more like the regular republican "more money to the military. World Police! WIN!" talk.

So at this point it sounds like both are going to keep us in the middle east. Though it seems Trump may mess with the Iran deal (though it might be less attacking it as it is just poking at the administration any chance you get).

As far as the debate, Pence wanted a debate about policy while Kaine wanted a debate about Trump. if this was a presidential debate Pence probably would've been in a better standing.

But I think Kaine wasn't even fighting him. He wasn't after policy. Beyond stating his points and a token defense his primary purpose was one thing, to say "remember, you aren't voting for Pence, but for Trump." He's picturing the public saying "Oh, Pence seems pretty coo..oh yeah, but he's with Trump..ewww."

It pretty much sums up the entire deal with the republican side of the campaign. Take Trump out of it and you have a strong platform and an actual attempt at trying to extend somewhat past the old GOP mindset while evoking that Need For Change that pushed democrats back in '08. It's an actual strong case.

The issue is that it's all on the hopes of Trump. And THAT is the hard sell. I don't even see many supporters defending him. It's like Pence: they bypass him and either focus on the dream or the enemy.

Which leads to something interesting: If the roles were reversed: same platform, same general message, but Pence as President and Trump as VP, would it be hard for folks not two-feet in the Democratic ticket to vote R? Would there be a questioin as to who would win?

I have a feeling that many would say : " I don't know. But I would have liked that campaign I would have liked that campaign very much.

Old Dominionite , says: October 5, 2016 at 2:51 am
If you'd told me that one of the two gentlemen debating last night was a Virginian and asked me who it was, I would have said Pence, solely because of his demeanor.

Pence's thoughts on Syria were dumb (and dangerous), but I find it hard to hold that against run-of-the-mill politicians these days because they're getting such rotten information and advice from establishment "experts" and mainstream pundits. The country needs a changing of the guard when it comes to "experts".

Kaine struck me as a third stringer trying to compensate for his own weaknesses by poking a stick in the other fellow's spokes. And no better on Syria, that's certain.

furbo , says: October 5, 2016 at 7:29 am
The way the question was phrased, evoking endangered children and the classic what should America 'do' .doesn't really allow a candidate to say 'nothing – we have no vital interests in Syria'.
VikingLS , says: October 5, 2016 at 8:40 am
If Pence is pushing that same "get tough with Russia and Assad" idea he's taking the opposite tack than Trump. Either they aren't communicating, the campaign figured that they could get away with completely altering their position from one debate to the next, or Pence doesn't really care what Trump thinks and is an unreformed GOP hawk.

Either way this is very disappointing and stupid.

collin , says: October 5, 2016 at 8:52 am
Isn't the joke here Pence had a great debate running for President? In reality, it is very likely Pence does all the real work and all Donald really wants is the national audience to take the credit. So it was a goo debate for Pence that has minimal effect on the polls because the headliners personality are dominant this cycle.

Tim Kaine was overly-aggressive and appeared to be not ready for Prime time.

Nestor , says: October 5, 2016 at 8:54 am
Take Trump out of it and you have a strong platform

Idiotic.

Take Trump out of it, and you have more of the same GOP neoconservatism as ever:

-more pretend-resistance-but-actual-enabling of illegal immigration
-more wars-on-behalf-of-Israel neocon interventionism
-more manufacturing-base-killing free trade

Trump is the ONLY reason these three toxic policies are even being challenged.

EliteCommInc. , says: October 5, 2016 at 9:04 am
"The fact that Pence felt comfortable outlining a very aggressive Syria policy in tonight's debate suggests that Trump doesn't really have a problem with what his running mate proposed. As I said when I was watching the debate, Pence's answer on Syria was deranged. He more or less threatened to initiate hostilities with Russia, and he seemed oblivious to the serious negative consequences this would have. He kept invoking"

I didn't watch the debate. This morning, when I was asked about it - I didn't think it would be a contest. Gov. Pence, should have no issues.

But if I had watched and heard the above comments. I might have had conniptions. I am not going to say more at the moment. I would sound like I am abandoning my candidate. I like Gov. Pence, but that response is rife with campaign and policy self inflicting damages - good grief.

Steve in Ohio , says: October 5, 2016 at 10:22 am
Pence is a fine Christian man and I'm glad he did well last night. However, his hawkishness was disturbing. Somebody who is pro life should be wary of policies that lead to wars and thousands dying.

As somebody who wants our borders secured, I don't feel I have a choice on Nov. 8. I will be praying, though, that Trump doesn't delegate the FP heavy lifting to his vice president as Bush 43 did to his.

Uncle Billy , says: October 5, 2016 at 10:35 am
"Safe Zones" sound all well and good, but the only way to guarantee a safe zone is to have US troops on the ground in Syria. You cannot enforce a safe zone from the air.

So, it sounds like both parties are willing to commit US ground troops to Syria and risk a possible confrontation with Russian troops who are already there.

This is more Neocon nonsense being foisted on the American people by politicians who do not really understand the ramifications of their actions.

LHM , says: October 5, 2016 at 10:50 am
Jesus. Very disappointed in Pence's answer on Syria. War against russia would cost thousands of american lives. We need to stay out of Syria plain and simple. Pence's statememt also goes completely against "we need to beat ISIS" rant that trump goes on every two sentences. To beat ISIS we would have to be on the same side as Syria/Russia. This whole election is cluster .How the heck did we end up with these two choices?
RadicalCenter2 , says: October 5, 2016 at 11:21 am
LHM: exactly. I'd just add that war with Russia conventionally would probably costs hundreds of thousands of us soldier lives and could cripple our military for subsequent actual DEFENSE against the country that actually will have the means to threaten the very existence or freedom of the USA:

China, with an economy vastly bigger and more diversified than Russia's, a population eight times as numerous as Russia's, and for that matter a far, far larger diaspora to influence politics, culture, and economics in the formerly white western countries (USA, Canada (especially "British" Columbia), and Australia, in particular).

Also, as pointed out in columns on Unz and elsewhere, conventional war could escalate to nuclear exchange more easily than many people think. God help us.

Anonne , says: October 5, 2016 at 11:34 am
Pence did a better job selling his party because Pence thoroughly invented a different running mate.
Chris Chuba , says: October 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm
How many safe zones do we need in Syria, we already have 3.
1. Govt held areas (unless we bomb them).
2. Kurdish territory (unless Turkey bombs them).
3. The Turkish zone in N. Syria.

In fact weren't we begging Turkey to establish a zone just for this purpose?

Of course, what we really want is an Assad free zone that covers all of Syria and filled with Al Qaeda groups that we pretend are moderates.

EdK , says: October 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm
Trump needs to state clearly that he is not in agreement with Pence position on Russia & Syria. To beat ISIS we need to be on the same side as Russia. If Pence is a fine Christian, how can he be so carless to be on side of ISIS in Syria like Obama is, and have hand in destroying Syria the cradle of Christianity.
Dakarian , says: October 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm
@LHM

"Jesus. Very disappointed in Pence's answer on Syria. War against russia would cost thousands of american lives. We need to stay out of Syria plain and simple. Pence's statememt also goes completely against "we need to beat ISIS" rant that trump goes on every two sentences. To beat ISIS we would have to be on the same side as Syria/Russia."

it's the problem with being involved with the entire middle east without a firm desire of exactly what we want from there. We started out fighting Sunni threats, then took out the big Sunni country that we earlier set up to hold back the big Shi'a country we felt was a threat. So when said Shi'a country gained power we stood against them. And..well, that sort of ended up with us fighting both sides at the same time depending on the location.

It's much more complicated than that, which is why jumping in there without really understanding the region was a bad idea.

" This whole election is cluster .How the heck did we end up with these two choices?"

My belief.

Democratic voters are used to 'playing it safe' instead of going for more Left choices since "liberal" triggers a BIG backlash in this country. Thus why you get candidates like Clinton instead of candidates like Sanders and why you keep getting things like Obamacare's quasi-private insurance instead of single-payer.

Republican voters are sick of the GOP and wanted someone, anyone, who wasn't a democrat but wasn't holding the GOP platform. Remember how, other than Trump, the other Republican candidates were all trying to "Out Right" each other? Trump was the only one that did more than outright ignore them.

So in a way, the GOP caused it all by putting so much hate against the Left that the Left always plays it safe and caring so little about their base that they eloped to the first man that told them they were pretty and deserved better.

Clinton was the 'safe pick'. Trump smiled. And here we are.

It actuslly sounds less stupid when you see it that way. It's less that we're all idiots and more just a set of unfortunate events caused by a political scene that looked a lot like a youtube comment section.

DES , says: October 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm
I tend to discount Pence's comments on Syria in the debate. If Trump manages to win, he rather than Pence will be calling the shots on foreign policy. And to the extent that Trump has any coherent ideas on foreign policy, how could he come down hard on the mistake of invading Iraq and support getting deeply involved in Syria?

In fact, Trump may have welcomed Pence's statement on Syria, since it may have attracted the votes of some establishment and neocon types without binding him to any particular policy if he becomes president.

the danger of reinfestation , says: October 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm
"In fact, Trump may have welcomed Pence's statement on Syria, since it may have attracted the votes of some establishment and neocon types without binding him to any particular policy if he becomes president."

Altogether too close to the Bush-Cheney parallel for comfort. The last thing we want is for the neocons to come creeping back in through the Blair House back door.

Paul Asay , says: October 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm
Thought Pence was the superior of the two. Considering the options in Syria while running for President/VP you have to show a position of strength. My thought is that Trump wants to play nice with Putin for a while and eventually will pull out of Syria. You just can't say that during an election or you look weak.
Steve in Ohio , says: October 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm
@EdK

Pence is a fine Christian -- I admire his courage in bringing up abortion in such an important debate. Unfortunately, most conservatives have a blind spot toward Christians in the Mideast. Part of it might be bias–Orthodox Christians aren't "true" Christians. Also many Evangelicals have been brain washed into believing that support of Israel is the only thing that counts.

rayray , says: October 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm
@Paul Asay

"My thought is that Trump wants to play nice with Putin for a while and eventually will pull out of Syria."

One thing Trump has successfully done is to launch a campaign so free of any real policy that anything you want to believe can be projected onto him. Play nice with Putin and then pull out? Sure! He's never said that, and in fact he's said the exact opposite but why not?

[Oct 04, 2016] Should the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a museum of savage stupidity and war crimes ?

Notable quotes:
"... The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure. ..."
"... Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair. ..."
"... When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done. ..."
"... Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least. ..."
"... The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss. ..."
"... If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are. ..."
"... Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you. ..."
"... HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21 ..."
"... The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. ..."
"... One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. ..."
Oct 04, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:48 pm 284

@ 278 There's nothing quite so amusing as advocates of free speech 'commanding' the comments section of somebody else's blog and then issuing permissions to comment, or instructions to how and what to post. (fn, rich, colin, TM in one form, or another)

Merian is quite right that in the artificially and arbitrarily limited universe of a one-time choice between just two options, everything written can be seen as pro/con against one or the other if everything that is written has only one meaning and will be read and understood by all as having the same meaning.

The fact is that a great many people inside the US and outside the US may well lack any/much understanding of the decision-making processes that led up to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, not to mention America's long history with Iran, and America's support of Evil Axis bad guy number 1 Saddam Hussein. The dynamics are complex even for those familiar with the basic topography.

The rhetorical parallels leading up to the Iraq invasions and the presidential elections are striking and easy to identify. Facts don't matter, the urgency and severity of the threat demands uniform action, and the enemy is a once in an eon threat of epic proportion to the physical and moral existence of the known universe.

The potential threats both candidates pose are real. Those advocating Hillary as the better, safer choice cannot offer any reliable assurances that she will be able, or willing, to pursue policies that increase the well-being and security of any but the already affluent and secure.

Hillary's long and unhappy history of war-mongering has not, imho, received anything like the media scrutiny it deserves, and won't until she's correctly identified in the minds of most as an advocate of 'liberal interventionism'/violent regime change and on an equal footing of imbecility and irresponsibility in the minds of the public as Bush, Cheney, and Blair.

When the busts of Hillary, Bush, Blair, and Cheney form a Mt. Rushmore of savage stupidity for all to see and all school children studying the early 21st-century American-UK wars recognize the monument as such, that task of 'highlighting' her role in this enormously costly and damaging humanitarian and political disaster will be at least part way done.

kidneystones 10.01.16 at 10:54 pm 286
For Merian and others: a timely post from Matt Welch at Reason on Gary Johnson via the o'l perfessor who sees the coverage of Hillary and Trump as you.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/245272/

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:22 am
@ 300 "Assad Must Go" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34385354

Obama, as Stevenjohnson notes, has not entirely surrendered his dream of forcing 'democracy' on Syria. There is abundant evidence, however, the US and a number of other nations have been arming Syrian rebels (ISIL and Al Quaida) since 2011, at least.

The result of Obama and Hillary's love of violent regime change has been an increase in the suffering of millions in North Africa and the Middle East, the collapse of basic services such as fresh water and hospitals, and a new flood of refugees seeking to escape the beneficence of Hillary Clinton and her boss.

All this after the 'lessons' of Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are supporting Hillary you are supporting violent regime change in the Middle East and the love of violence of Bush and Cheney, not too mention drone strikes, the surveillance state. That's who you are.

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 3:58 am
ZM@ 303. The linked dialogue above explores the role Hillary and Obama, in particular, played in providing the arms and support to a rebellion that Assad, like Gaddafi, could have ended years ago.

Like Gaddafi, Assad is not being attacked by moderate democrats keen to legalize gay marriage, but rather Sunni militias deeply sympathetic to ISIL and Al Quaida, or those forces operating in Syria and western Iraq.

You're right to point out that the only result of US support of ISIL related Sunnis has been the prolonging of the civil war and the promulgation of the delusion that violent-regime change brings peace and security. Yes, five years of US arms, threats, and intimidation has destroyed Syria, in much the same was as the Hillary promoted war in Libya destroyed that regime.

The pro-Hillary-Obama media is extremely reluctant in the run-up to the election to point out explicitly what a spectacular FP failure the US has created for itself right now, with Russian jets flying over Aleppo and Assad about to finally humiliate the insurgents and all those like Hillary and Obama who encouraged the bloodshed.

The Obama-Hillary policy has been a five-year bloodbath and there's no sign Hillary wants to do anything but press for a no-fly zone over Syria in order for the US to continue to funnel more death and destruction into the already devastated moonscape.

It ain't like anyone she knows is dying over there. Syrians can't vote in November.

The attitude of her supporters seems be: fuck it – Syria is on the other side of the world, so what's the big deal?

Mitt Romney tied the family dog to the roof of his car. What about that ?

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 4:05 am
@ 305 Hi Merian.

Go tell your students that you're supporting the candidate who voted for the Iraq invasion (biggest mistake in modern US history), persuaded plenty of other Democrats and ordinary Americans to suspend their judgment and do the same. And who also played an instrumental role in destroying Libya, promotes violent regime-change in Syria and enjoys the support of all the same neocon warmongers who've made the US into a pariah state. Play the 'We came, we saw, he died – ha-ha-ha" Hillary CBS video for them.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-07/we-came-we-saw-he-died-%E2%80%93-revisiting-incredible-disaster-libya

Then explain to them that Hillary is the better candidate.

See what happens.

Omega Centauri 10.02.16 at 4:40 am 314
I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq or Libya. In the first case Iraq was a neocon/Bush project, and they were threatening to extract a terrible price from anyone who used their position to block their ambitions. Libya was primarily a Arab-league cum French-British project. Not supporting it could have potentially damaged our relationship with key allies France and Britain. Of course Libya was a slippery slope, once started it soon became obvious there was no solution where Qaddafi survived and the Libyan people wouldn't end up paying dearly. Not that her acquiescence in either case demonstrated either good long term judgement or courage, but it also doesn't demonstrate that she was a principle architect of either project.
kidneystones 10.02.16 at 5:15 am 316
314@ "I don't see HRC as a prime mover in either Iraq, or Libya."

That's probably a great comfort to the grifters keen to see her elected. The facts, however, suggest otherwise. Dealing first with Libya and Syria, Hillary Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, which makes her at least one of the prime architects of US foreign policy, and certainly the most important administration official after Obama responsible for foreign policy. Facts which place the burden of proof regarding her involvement in US foreign policy formation and execution squarely on you.

HRC's involvement in Iraq is less well-understood, and that's likely no accident either, given the mileage democrats have generated out of pinning the entire bi-partisan debacle on Bush and Cheney. From the linked dialogue above featuring Robert Wright and Max Abrahms (Northeastern) http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/43967?in=01:10&out=12:21

bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 7:49 pm
Anarcissie @ 239: We basically have a whole class of people, at the top of the social order, who seem devoid of a moral sense - a problem which the upcoming election isn't going to touch, much less solve. I don't blame Clinton for this . . .

JimV @ 317: I am sorry if I mischaracterized BW as implying that HRC is evil, . . .

Peter T @ 320: Whatever the merits of their individual stances, there is no reason to suppose that either Obama or Hillary can exert more than loose control over this mess [the multi-sided regional civil war engulfing Syria and northern Iraq]

stevenjohnson @ 324: The recent leak that Clinton is against nuclear armed cruise missiles and isn't committed to Obama's trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade appears to suggest she's not quite on board with plans for general war.

LFC @ 330: I disagree w the notion that the pt of nuclear 'modernization' is to make plausible the threat of "imminent general nuclear war." If U.S. military planners took hallucinogenic drugs and went nuts, they could "plausibly" threaten "imminent general nuclear war" right now with the US nuclear arsenal as currently configured. They don't need to upgrade the weapons to do that. The program is prob more the result of rigid, unimaginative thinking at top levels of Pentagon and influence of outside companies (e.g. Boeing etc) that work on the upgrades.

I don't know if that seems like a somewhat random collection of precursors to assemble as preface to a comment. I was thinking of picking out a few upthread references to climate change and the response to it (or inadequacy thereof) as well.

I am a little disturbed by the idea of leaving the impression that I think Hillary Clinton is "evil". What I think is that American politics in general is not generating realistic, adaptive governance.

I am using that bloodless phrase, "realistic, adaptive governance", deliberately, to emphasize wanting to step outside the passions of the Presidential election. I think the Manichean narrative where Trump is The Most Horrible Candidate Evah and Everyone Must Line Up Behind Clinton as an Ethical Imperative of a High Order is part of the process of propaganda and manipulation that distorts popular discussion and understanding and helps to create a politics that cannot govern realistically and adaptively. This is not about me thinking Trump is anything but a horrible mess of a candidate who ought to be kept far from power.

I see Clinton as someone who is trapped inside the dynamics of this seriously deranged politics qua political process. I don't see her as entirely blameless. Politicians like Obama and either Clinton, at the top of the political order, are masters (keeping in mind that there are many masters working to some extent in opposition to one another as rivals, allies, enemies and so on) of the process and create the process by the exercise of their mastery, as much as they are mastered by it. I see them as trapped by the process they have helped (more than a little opportunistically) to create, but trapped as Dr Frankenstein is by his Creature.

Clinton must struggle with the ethical contradictions of governance at the highest levels of leadership: she must, in the exercise of power in office and out, practice the political art of the possible in relation to crafting policy that will be "good" in the sense of passably effective and efficient - this may involve a high degree of foresightful wonkery or a lethally ruthless statesmanship, depending upon circumstances. Beside this business of making the great machinery of the state lumber forward, she must strive to appear "good", like Machiavelli's Prince, even while playing an amoral game of real politick, gathering and shepherding a complex coalition of allies, supporters, donors and cooperative enemies.

Machiavelli, when he was considering the Princely business of appearing "good", was contending with the hypocrisies and impossible idealism of authoritarian Catholic morality. He barely connected with anything that we would recognize as democratic Public Opinion and could scarcely conceive of what Ivy Lee or Edward Bernays, let alone Fox News, Vox and the world wide web might do to politics.

We are trapped, just as Clinton is trapped, in the vast communication nightmare of surrealistic news and opinion washing in upon us in a tide that never ebbs. We are trapped by the politics of media "gotchas" and Kinsley Gaffes (A Kinsley gaffe occurs when a political gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit.)

I don't think Clinton lacks a moral sense. What I think is that Clinton's moral sense is exhausted calculating what to say or do within the parameters of media-synthesized conventional wisdom policed by people who are themselves exhausted trying to manage it. Matt Lauer's interview with Clinton was notorious for the relentless and clueless questioning about the email server, although I, personally, was shocked when he asked her a question that seemed premised on the idea that veterans should be offended by admitting the Iraq War was a mistake.

I would think it is easy to see that the media circus is out of control, especially when a clown like Trump graduates from The Apprentice to the Republican nomination. YMMV, but I think this is a serious problem that goes beyond vividly imagined sepia-toned parodies of Trump's candidacy as the second coming of Mussolini.

While we're getting ourselves agitated over Trump's racism or threats to bar Muslims from entry, apparently the Military-Industrial Complex, left on autopilot, is re-designing the nation's nuclear arsenal to make the outbreak of nuclear war far more likely. And, the closest Clinton gets to a comment, campaign commitment or public discussion, let alone an exercise of power, is a PR "leak"!!!

The chaotic civil war in Syria and Iraq seems like another example where the U.S. is having a hard time "thinking" things thru realistically. Clinton offered up a sound-bite last year, saying that she favored imposing a "no-fly" zone, which was exposed as kind of crazy idea, given that the Russians as well as Assad's government are the ones flying, not to mention the recent experience with a no-fly zone in Libya. One interpretation is she's stupid and vicious as a badge of class honor, blissfully consistent with the bloodthirsty record of Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Unfortunately, that might be true, though I think if it is true, it is more likely a product of being caught up in the amoral bubble of political and media process that has enveloped the whole foreign policy establishment than any personal psychopathy. What's most alarming to me is that we cannot count on personal character to put the brakes on that process, which is now the process of governance. I am writing now of the process of governance by public relations that was has been exposed a bit in profiles of the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes.

In Syria, it has become almost comical, if you can overlook the bodies piling up, as the U.S. has sought a the mythical unicorn of Syrian Moderate Democrats whom the Pentagon or the CIA can advise, train and arm. This is foreign policy by PR narrative and it is insanely unrealistic. But, our politics is trapped in it, and, worse, policy is trapped in it. Layer after layer of b.s. have piled up obscuring U.S. interests and practical options. Recently, U.S. forces supporting the Turks have come dangerously close to blowing up U.S. forces supporting the Kurds. When you find yourself on opposing sides of a civil war like Charles I you may be in the process of losing your head. Some of the worst elements opposing Assad have been engaged in a transparent re-branding exercise aimed at garnering U.S. aid. And, U.S. diplomats and media face the high challenge of explaining why the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

But, hey, Clinton will get Robert Kagan's vote and a better tomorrow is only a Friedman unit away, so it is all good.

kidneystones 10.02.16 at 9:24 pm
@328 stevenjohnson and Peter T cover the details. As an outsider supportive of negotiated settlements in all cases, rather than unilateral military action and violent regime change, I'm interested principally in ensuring that partisan political preferences do not obscure the historical record. Bluntly put, dictators routinely abuse bomb their own civilians as the 'need' arises. Nor is the US the only state actor keen to profit in the broadest sense of the term from political division.

The UN was formed, in large part, to provide a forum/mechanism for peaceful conflict resolution. Each time state actors such as Russia, China, the US, France, and the UK either bypass the UN, or use the UN to sanction attacks by larger states on smaller states, the entire edifice becomes a little weaker.

Hillary is not the only individual with Libyan and Syrian blood on her hands. She's simply the only individual directly involved in Iraq, Libya, and Syria running to the 45th president of the US.

bruce wilder 10.02.16 at 9:54 pm
Rich Puchalsky @ 334

People are in information overload most of the time, and where politics are concerned, they really just want to know who to root for. They ask, "who is the good guy? who is the bad guy?" "Whose right?" "What should be done?" And, people like the opinions they have, whatever those opinions may be; they use their political opinions to feed their sense of self-esteem and social belonging, for better and for worse.

I have some friends, who are really into a particular sport as fans, not participants. One guy knows everything about baseball. It is fun to watch a game with him, because he knows when someone is about to try to steal a base and stuff like that and he can explain the manager's strategy and has gossip about the players careers and personal lives. And, apparently, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball history - appears to, anyway: what dramatic thing happened in game 3 of the 1967 World Series and so on and exactly why everyone hated Ty Cobb.

No one like that shows up at CT to talk politics. Maybe it is just as well. Sports guys can wield that knowledge and remain affable, but political guys tend to be arrogant and off-putting. But, I do think we could use more of that spirit sometimes.

I was thinking about what a brilliant innovation the Clinton Foundation is, how well it is designed to solve the problems of Machiavelli's Prince. But, we would struggle to discuss it in those terms; the partisan contest means that the CF is either horribly corrupt or prosaically innocent. The pressure to evaluate it is so high, that seeing the functional details is hard. I've seen some articles that attempt to understand the CF as a means to the political ambitions of the Clintons, but they seldom grasp the awesome accomplishment it is in ways that also fully understand why enemies of the Clintons are keen to attack it and why it so reliably produces the neoliberal pablum that Thomas Franks despises. If we could imagine a Marx tackling the CF as a vehicle of class interest, that would be pretty interesting.

[Sep 12, 2016] Syria decision the latest blow to Obamas Middle East legacy

Notable quotes:
"... Yemen is another war the US is involved in thanks to the "peace" Pres. Obama. He has tried to keep this war hidden from the public. His few mentions of this war have been limited to shallow statements about his concern of the civilian casualty. ..."
"... Moreover, by selling the Saudis cluster bombs and other arms being used on civilians, Obama has enabled the Saudis in the last 8 moths to kill and destruct in Yemen more than WW2, as evidence shows. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the US is complicit in international war crimes in Yemen. ..."
"... After Obama's election, he went to Cairo to make a peace speech to the Arab world aiming to diffuse the deep hatred towards the US created during the Bush era. Yet since then, Obama's foolish alliances with despotic Arab rulers infesting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the region, his drone warfare, and warped war policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have only expanded and strengthened ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and increased Arab citizens anger and hatred towards the US. This is Obama's legacy! ..."
"... I always think there are similarities in Clinton and Obama s upbringing that created the anormic sociopathic shape shifting personalities they demonstrate. ..."
"... amiable even charismatic enough to sell it to a stupid audience. ..."
"... Why do we maintain the myth that the Obama brand is in anyway his personal contribution. Anymore than Bush or Clinton. The only difference is the republicans are ideologues where's as the puppets offered by the democrats are just psychotic shape shifters. In either way on a clear day you can see the strings hanging from their wrists like ribbons. ..."
"... The US is Allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel, that makes Saudi Arabia's and Israel's enemies US enemies. ..."
"... The notion that Obama makes his own decisions is laughable except it aint funny.. ..."
"... There is no 'Obama legacy' in the ME. It is a US legacy of blown attempts to control unwilling countries and populations by coercion, and by military and economic warfare. ..."
"... With all due respects to M. Obama, this is another clear indication that the US President is just a figure head. He is a front for the corporations that run the US behind the scene - the so-called US military-industrial complex. ..."
"... Perhaps you intentionally miss out the fact that it is the west that has Israel and the Saudis as their best allies, considering their actions ( one with the largest/longest time concentration camp in history, the other the exporter of the horror show of ISIL , both an abomination of their respective religions . The west attempt to seek the moral high ground is more than a farce ... all the world can see and know the game being played, but the mass media wishes to assume everyone has half a brain... they are allergic to the truth , like the vampires to the light. ..."
"... The stick I'm talking about is the total capacity of the US, military and economic, to have things its way or make the opposition very unhappy. ..."
"... What has it gotten us? Nothing good. What has it gotten the top 1 percent? All the money we don't have. ..."
"... Obama is being an absolute idiot in sending special forces to fight with rebels who are fighting the legitimate government of Syria. This is stupidity of the highest order. What will he do when any of these special forces operatives are captured by IS or killed by Russian or Syrian airstrikes? ..."
"... That is a valid point: Syria is a sovereign nation recognized by the U.N., and any foreign troops within without permission would be considered invaders. Of course, the U.S. ignores international law all the time. ..."
"... Anyway, foreign troops in Syria who are there without an invitation by Syrian government or authorisation by UNSC are there illegally and can be tried for war crimes if captured. Why is Obama putting his soldiers in this situation? ..."
"... The U.S. strategy in Syria is in tatters as Obama lamely tries to patch it up. The U.S. was determined to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria in service of the Saudis, Turkey, and Israel, while pretending to go after ISIS, who the Saudis and Turks were covertly funding. The U.S. were arming jihadists to oust Assad. That game is up, thanks to the Russians. Putin decided he wasn't going to stand by while the U.S. and its proxies created another Libya jihadist disaster in Syria. The forceful Russian intervention in going after ISIS showed the U.S. to be a faker, and caused a sea-change in U.S. policy. Now the U.S. can't pretend to go after ISIS while really trying to oust Assad. The Emporer has no clothes. ..."
"... Israel is an ally of KSA who is funding IS, Al Nusra, Al-Qaida and Al-Shabab. They are also partners with KSA in trying to prevent Iran's reintegration into global society following the nuclear deal, and the lifting of sanctions. ..."
"... I suspect that Israel wants to annex the Syrian Golan Heights permanently, and to extend their illegal settlements into the area. That can only happen if Assad is defeated. ..."
"... Wow, you make a lot of sense. I always thought the US military heavy foreign policy became insane because of Reagan. Maybe it was the loss of the USSR? ..."
"... Everyone here grew up being taught that the US is the champion of all that is good (sounds corny today). When the USSR dissolved, everyone imagined huge military cuts with the savings being invested in social benefits. If someone had predicted that, instead, we would grow our military, throw our civil rights away, embrace empire, assasinate US citizens without a trial, create total surveillance, create secret one sided star-chamber FISA courts that control a third of our economy, and choose a Dept. name heard previously only in Nazi movies (Homeland Security) --- we'd have laughed and dismissed the warning as delusion. ..."
"... You are correct. Obama is breaking UN international law, the US has no right to invade Syria. Russia, though, has been asked by the Syrian government for help, a government fully recognized by the UN. Russia has full UN sanctioned rights to help Syria. US news media will never explain this to the public, sadly. ..."
"... Obama's presidency lost its credibility a long time ago. He made so many rash promises and statements which one by one he has broken, that no free thinking person believes anything he says anymore. ..."
"... There's a world of difference between Russia taking steps to protect its immediate geographic and political interests (which were largely the wishes of the resident populations - something critics tend to overlook) and the USA invading Iraq (2003) in a blatant act of war, based on bullshit and then aiding and abetting mercenary terrorists in Syria in defiance of any declaration of war, UN resolution or invitation from the Syrian government to intervene. ..."
"... You might have also noticed that Syria is a long, long way from the USA. Rhetorically, WTF is the US doing in the Middle East? Propping up Saudi or Israel? Or both? ..."
"... ISIS == Mercenaries sponsored by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Does a strategy against our own mercenaries make sense??? ..."
"... Think about, when's the last time Saudi Arabia did anything progressive or humane in its foreign policy? Now remember this very same country is on the same side as the Americans. This is the country that invaded Bahrain and Yemen and labelled the civil rights movements in those countries as 'Iranian interference.' The Saudis who have been seeking to turn civil rights movements with rather nationalistic demands into religious and sectarian conflicts by playing different groups against each other are allied with the U.S. and sitting at the table in Vienna talking about peace in Syria. Nonsense upon stilts! ..."
"... ISIS poses no threat to the Americans and vice versa. The Americans therefore do not have an interest in making sure that ISIS is wiped out. On the contrary they want regional foes to suffer. ..."
"... The American attempt at negotiating peace in Syria without Syrian representation is nothing short of ridiculous and best illustrates the convoluted state of American foreign policy. America lost any claim to 'leadership' by now. ..."
"... Unfortunately American policy and that eu have at time added fuel to the fire. ..."
"... Russian Iranian and hezbollah boots are invited boots by the legitimate government according to the UN Charter they are all acting legally and according to the Geneva Conventions etc. ..."
"... The US led coalition in bombing Syria were not, and the admitted introduction of troops into Syria is a an ACT OF WAR by the USA, and it is the AGRESSOR here, not doubt about it. It's a War Crime by every standard ..."
"... See the NATO creep into Eastern Europe against all agreements made with USSR. ..."
"... But their real agenda is to carve up Syria. In the deep recesses of their, the Corporate corrupt White House's, mind ISIS is not their immediate problem. ISIS is a means to an end - carve up Syria a sovereign country. ..."
"... Remember, only months ago, Kerry and Tory William Hague, was handing out cash to Syrian rebels who later turned out to be ISIS rebels. We must never forget, Syria, right or wrong, is a sovereign country. ..."
"... Look at the mess they made in, Ukraine, with their friends a bunch of, Kiev, murdering neo-Nazi's. ..."
"... Just out of curiosity...how will the US keep the DoD and CIA from duking it out at the opposite fronts on the Syrian soil? ..."
"... Washington has clearly chosen to break International Law. ..."
"... Westphalian sovereignty is the principle of international law that each nation state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another country's domestic affairs, and that each state (no matter how large or small) is equal in international law ..."
"... As the administration in Washington is firmly in the grasp of special interest groups such as Big Pharma, The Banksters, Big Agrobusiness, Big oil, the MIC and Israel there is no chance of getting good policy decisions out of there until there is a regime change. ..."
"... You might think that having criticized Assad for shooting demonstrators who demonstrated against the corruption and inefficiency of his regime, and having said that as a result his regime had lost its legitimacy, they would apply the same yardstick to President Poroshenko when he shot up two provinces of his country for asking for federation, killing thousands in the process, but on the contrary they sent "advisers" to train his military and his Fascist helpers to use their weapons better, to shoot them up more effectively. ..."
"... However, one cannot really expect people who are exceptional to behave like ordinary (unexceptional) human beings. ..."
"... What is the official US line on the legality of these deployments in terms of international law? ..."
Oct 30, 2015 | The Guardian

willpodmore 1 Nov 2015 10:30

NATO and its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria .... they make a desert and call it peace.

ID7582903 1 Nov 2015 06:19

"Credibility"? Beware and be aware folks. This isn't a monopoly game being played here; it's for real.

2015 Valdai conference is Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow's World. In the period between October 19 and 22, experts from 30 countries have been considering various aspects of the perception of war and peace both in the public consciousness and in international relations, religion and economic interaction between states. Videos w live translations and english transcripts (a keeper imho)
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50548

30 Oct, 2015 - The day US announces Ground troops into Syria, and the day before the downing/crash of the Russian Airbus 321 in the Sinai, this happened: Russia has conducted a major test of its strategic missile forces, firing numerous ballistic and cruise missiles from various training areas across the country, videos uploaded by the Ministry of Defense have shown.

A routine exercise, possibly the largest of its kind this year, was intended to test the command system of transmitting orders among departments and involved launches from military ranges on the ground, at sea and in the air, the ministry said Friday.

https://www.rt.com/news/320194-russia-missiles-launch-training/

30.10.2015 Since the beginning of its operation in Syria on September 30, Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out 1,391 sorties in Syria, destroying a total of 1,623 terrorist targets, the Russian General Staff said Friday.

In particular, Russian warplanes destroyed 249 Islamic State command posts, 51 training camps, and 131 depots, Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorate said.

"In Hanshih, a suburb of Damascus, 17 militants of the Al-Ghuraba group were executed in public after they tried to leave the combat area and flee to Jordan," he specified. "The whole scene was filmed in order to disseminate the footage among the other groups operating in the vicinity of Damascus and other areas", the General Staff spokesman said. In the central regions of the country, the Syrian Army managed to liberate 12 cities in the Hama province, Kartapolov said. "The Syrian armed forces continue their advance to the north," the general added.

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151030/1028992570/russian-airstrikes-syria-friday.html

fairviewplz 1 Nov 2015 04:47

Yemen is another war the US is involved in thanks to the "peace" Pres. Obama. He has tried to keep this war hidden from the public. His few mentions of this war have been limited to shallow statements about his concern of the civilian casualty. What an insult to our intelligence! We are well aware that the US provides the logistical and technical support, and refuelling of warplanes to the Saudi coalition illegal war in Yemen. Moreover, by selling the Saudis cluster bombs and other arms being used on civilians, Obama has enabled the Saudis in the last 8 moths to kill and destruct in Yemen more than WW2, as evidence shows. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the US is complicit in international war crimes in Yemen.

After Obama's election, he went to Cairo to make a peace speech to the Arab world aiming to diffuse the deep hatred towards the US created during the Bush era. Yet since then, Obama's foolish alliances with despotic Arab rulers infesting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in the region, his drone warfare, and warped war policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have only expanded and strengthened ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and increased Arab citizens anger and hatred towards the US. This is Obama's legacy!

Barmaidfromhell -> WSCrips 1 Nov 2015 03:52

Well said.

I always think there are similarities in Clinton and Obama s upbringing that created the anormic sociopathic shape shifting personalities they demonstrate. Obviously carefully selected to follow any line given them and amiable even charismatic enough to sell it to a stupid audience.

Why do we maintain the myth that the Obama brand is in anyway his personal contribution. Anymore than Bush or Clinton. The only difference is the republicans are ideologues where's as the puppets offered by the democrats are just psychotic shape shifters. In either way on a clear day you can see the strings hanging from their wrists like ribbons.

Michael Imanual Christos -> Pete Piper 1 Nov 2015 00:28

Pete Piper

In brief;

The US is Allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel, that makes Saudi Arabia's and Israel's enemies US enemies.

... ... ...

midnightschild10 31 Oct 2015 21:35

When Obama denounced Russia's actions in Syria, and blamed them for massive loss of civilian lives, Russia responded by asking them to show their proof. The Administration spokesperson said they got their information from social media. No one in the Administration seems to realize how utterly stupid that sounds. Marie Harf is happily developing the Administration's foreign policy via Twitter. As the CIA and NSA read Facebook for their daily planning, Obama reads the comments section of newspapers to prepare for his speech to the American public in regard to putting boots on the ground in Syria, and adding to the boots in Iraq. If it didn't result in putting soldiers lives in jeopardy, it would be considered silly. Putin makes his move and watches as the Obama Administration makes the only move they know, after minimal success in bombing, Obama does send in the troops. Putin is the one running the game. Obama's response is so predictable. No wonder the Russians are laughing. In his quest to outdo Cheyney, Obama has added to the number of wars the US is currently involved in. His original claim to fame was to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which then resulted in starting Iraq and Afghanistan Wars 2.0. Since helping to depose the existing governments in the Middle East, leading not only to the resurgence of AlQuaeda, and giving birth to ISIS, and leaving chaos and destruction in his wake, he decided to take down the last standing ruler, hoping that if he does the same thing over and over, he will get a different result. Obama's foreign policy legacy had been considered impotent at best, now its considered ridiculous.

SomersetApples 31 Oct 2015 20:03

We bombed them, we sent armies of terrorist in to kill them, we destroyed their hospitals and power plants and cities, we put sanctions on them and we did everything in our power to cut off their trading with the outside world, and yet they are still standing.

The only thing left to do, lets send in some special military operatives.

This is so out of character, or our perceived character of Obama. It must be that deranged idiot John McCain pulling the strings.

Rafiqac01 31 Oct 2015 16:58

The notion that Obama makes his own decisions is laughable except it aint funny....having just watched CNNs Long Road to Hell in Iraq....and the idiots advising Bush and Blair you have to wonder the extent to which these are almighty balls ups or very sophisticated planning followed up by post disaster rationalisation....

whatever the conclusion it proves that the intervention or non interventions prove their is little the USA has done that has added any good value to the situation...indeed it is an unmitigated disaster strewn around the world! Trump is the next generation frothing at the mouth ready to show what a big John Wayne he is!!

DavidFCanada 31 Oct 2015 13:56

There is no 'Obama legacy' in the ME. It is a US legacy of blown attempts to control unwilling countries and populations by coercion, and by military and economic warfare. That US legacy will forever remain, burnt into skins and bodies of the living and dead, together with a virtually unanimous recognition in the ME of the laughable US pretexts of supporting democracy, the rule of law, religious freedom and, best of all, peace. Obama is merely the chief functionary of a nation of lies.

Informed17 -> WSCrips 31 Oct 2015 13:47

Are you saying that there was no illegal invasion of Iraq? No vial of laundry detergent was presented at the UN as "proof" that Iraq has WMDs? No hue and cry from "independent" media supported that deception campaign? Were you in a deep coma at the time?

Informed17 -> somethingbrite 31 Oct 2015 13:36

No. But the US trampled on the international law for quite a while now, starting with totally illegal interference in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

WSCrips 31 Oct 2015 13:18

Hey Guardian Editors.....and all those who worshipped Obama....In America, there were folks from the older generation that warned us that this Community Organizer was not ready for the Job of President of the United States....it had nothing to do with his color, he just was not ready.....he was a young, inexperienced Senator, who never, ever had a real job, never had a street fight growing up pampered in Hawaii, was given a pass to great universities because his parents had money, and was the dream Affirmative Action poster boy for the liberal left. Obama has not disappointed anyone who tried to warn us......and now we will reap what he has sowed:

1. 8 Trillion to our debt
2. Nightmare in the Middleast (how is that Arab Spring)
3. Polarized America....Dems and Republicans hate each other....hate each other like the Irish and English...10 x over.
4. War on Cops
5. War with China
6. Invasion from Central America

I see a great depression and World War IV on the horizon....and I am being positive!

SaveRMiddle 31 Oct 2015 12:47

Nothing Obama says has any value. We've watched the man lie with a grin and a chuckle.

Forever Gone is all trust.

His continued abuse of Red Line threats spoke volumes about the lawyer who Reactively micromanages that which required and deserved an expert Proactive plan.

Let History reflect the horrific death CIA meddling Regime Change/Divide and Conquer creates.

HeadInSand2013 31 Oct 2015 12:45

Liberal activists were in little doubt that Obama has failed to live up to his commitment to avoid getting dragged directly into the war.

With all due respects to M. Obama, this is another clear indication that the US President is just a figure head. He is a front for the corporations that run the US behind the scene - the so-called US military-industrial complex.

Liberal activists are stupid enough to think that M. Obama is actually in charge of the US military or the US foreign policy. Just go back and count how many times during the last 6 years M. Obama has made a declaration and then - sometimes the next day - US military has over-ruled him.


Mediaking 31 Oct 2015 10:00

Perhaps you intentionally miss out the fact that it is the west that has Israel and the Saudis as their best allies, considering their actions ( one with the largest/longest time concentration camp in history, the other the exporter of the horror show of ISIL , both an abomination of their respective religions . The west attempt to seek the moral high ground is more than a farce ... all the world can see and know the game being played, but the mass media wishes to assume everyone has half a brain... they are allergic to the truth , like the vampires to the light.

USA forces coming to the aid of their 5 individuals... yes 1,2,3,4,5 ( stated by US command- there are only that amount of FSA fighters left - the rest have gone over to ISIL with their equipment -- ) the local population all speak of ISIL/Daesh being American/Israeli ,they say if this is a civil war how come all the opposition are foreigners -- I think perhaps it's like the Ukraine affair... a bunch of CIA paid Nazi thugs instigating a coup ... or like Venezuela agents on roof tops shooting at both sides in demonstrations to get things going. The usual business of CIA/Mossad stuff in tune with the mass media with their engineered narratives -- Followed by the trolls on cyber space... no doubt we shall see them here too.

All note that an Intervention in Syria would be "ILLEGAL" by Int. law and sooner than later will be sued in billions for it...on top of the billions spent on having a 5 person strong force of FSA...spent from the American tax payers money . Syria has a government and is considered a state at the UN . Iran and Russia are there at the request and permission of Syria .

Russia and Iran have been methodically wiping out Washington's mercenaries on the ground while recapturing large swathes of land that had been lost to the terrorists. Now that the terrorists are getting wiped out the west and the Saudis are are screaming blue murder !

I for one would have Assad stay , as he himself suggests , till his country is completely free of terrorists, then have free elections . I would add , to have the Saudis and the ones in the west/Turkey/Jordan charged for crimes against humanity for supplying and creating Daesh/ISIS . This element cannot be ignored . Also Kurdistan can form their new country in the regions they occupy as of this moment and Mosul to come. Iran,Russia,Iraq, Syria and the new Kurdistan will sign up to this deal . Millions of Syrian refugees can then come back home and rebuild their broken lives with Iranian help and cash damages from the mentioned instigators $400 billion . The cash must be paid into the Syrian central bank before any elections take place ... Solved...

My consultancy fee - 200ml pounds sterling... I know ... you wish I ruled the world (who knows !) - no scams please or else -- ( the else would be an Apocalypse upon the western equity markets via the Illuminati i.e a 49% crash )... a week to pay , no worries since better to pay for a just solution than to have million descend upon EU as refugees . It is either this or God's revenge with no mercy .

amacd2 31 Oct 2015 09:52

Obama, being more honest but also more dangerous than Flip Wilson says, "The Empire made me do it",

Bernie, having "reservations" about what Obama has done, says nothing against Empire, but continues to pretend, against all evidence, that this is a democracy.

Hillary, delighting in more war, says "We came, we bombed, they all died, but the Empire won."

Talk about 'The Issue' to debate for the candidates in 2016?

"What's your position on the Empire?"

"Oh, what Empire, you ask?"

"The friggin Empire that you are auditioning to pose as the president of --- you lying tools of both the neocon 'R' Vichy party and you smoother lying neoliberal-cons of the 'D' Vichy party!"

lightstroke -> Pete Piper 31 Oct 2015 09:41

Nukes are not on the table. Mutually Assured Destruction.

The stick I'm talking about is the total capacity of the US, military and economic, to have things its way or make the opposition very unhappy.

It's not necessary to win wars to exercise that power. All they have to do is start them and keep them going until the arms industry makes as much dough from them as possible. That's the only win they care about.

What has it gotten us? Nothing good. What has it gotten the top 1 percent? All the money we don't have.

Taku2 31 Oct 2015 09:26

Obama is being an absolute idiot in sending special forces to fight with rebels who are fighting the legitimate government of Syria. This is stupidity of the highest order. What will he do when any of these special forces operatives are captured by IS or killed by Russian or Syrian airstrikes?

How stupid can a President get?

Obama does need to pull back on this one, even though it will make his stupid and erroneous policy towards the Syrian tragedy seem completely headless. If this stupid and brainless policy is meant to be symbolic, its potential for future catastrophic consequences is immeasurable.

phillharmonic -> nishville 31 Oct 2015 08:56

That is a valid point: Syria is a sovereign nation recognized by the U.N., and any foreign troops within without permission would be considered invaders. Of course, the U.S. ignores international law all the time.

nishville 31 Oct 2015 08:35

Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State

And who are those then? Do they exist, do we have any reliable source confirming they are really simultaneously fighting IS and Syrian Army or is it yet another US fairy tale?

Anyway, foreign troops in Syria who are there without an invitation by Syrian government or authorisation by UNSC are there illegally and can be tried for war crimes if captured. Why is Obama putting his soldiers in this situation?

phillharmonic 31 Oct 2015 08:33

The U.S. strategy in Syria is in tatters as Obama lamely tries to patch it up. The U.S. was determined to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria in service of the Saudis, Turkey, and Israel, while pretending to go after ISIS, who the Saudis and Turks were covertly funding. The U.S. were arming jihadists to oust Assad. That game is up, thanks to the Russians. Putin decided he wasn't going to stand by while the U.S. and its proxies created another Libya jihadist disaster in Syria. The forceful Russian intervention in going after ISIS showed the U.S. to be a faker, and caused a sea-change in U.S. policy. Now the U.S. can't pretend to go after ISIS while really trying to oust Assad. The Emporer has no clothes.

amacd2 -> Woody Treasure 31 Oct 2015 08:31

Woody, did you mean "Obama is a foil (for the Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire--- which he certainly is), or did you mean to say "fool" (which he certainly is not, both because he is a well paid puppet/poodle for this Global Empire merely HQed in, and 'posing' as, America --- as Blair and Camron are for the same singular Global Empire --- and because Obama didn't end his role as Faux/Emperor-president like JFK), eh?

Nena Cassol -> TonyBlunt 31 Oct 2015 06:48

Assad's father seized power with a military coup and ruled the country for 30 years, before dying he appointed his son, who immediately established marshal law, prompting discontent even among his father's die-hard loyalists ...this is plain history, is this what you call a legitimate leader?

Cycles 31 Oct 2015 06:41

Forced to go in otherwise the Russians and Iranians get full control. Welcome to the divided Syria a la Germany after WW2.

TonyBlunt -> Nena Cassol 31 Oct 2015 06:36

"It does not take much research to find out that Assad is not legitimate at all"

Please share your source with us Nena. But remember Langley Publications don't count.

TonyBlunt -> oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 06:29

The Americans do not recognise international law. They do not sign up to any of it and proclaim the right to break it with their "exceptionalism".

Katrin3 -> herrmaya 31 Oct 2015 05:27

The Russians, US, Iran etc are all meeting right now in Vienna. The Russians and the US military do communicate with each other, to avoid attacking each other by mistake.

The Russians are in the West and N.West of Syria. The US is going into the N. East, near IS headquarters in Raqqa, to support the Kurdish YPG, who are only a few kilometers from the city.

Katrin3 -> ID6693806 31 Oct 2015 05:15

Israel is an ally of KSA who is funding IS, Al Nusra, Al-Qaida and Al-Shabab. They are also partners with KSA in trying to prevent Iran's reintegration into global society following the nuclear deal, and the lifting of sanctions.

I suspect that Israel wants to annex the Syrian Golan Heights permanently, and to extend their illegal settlements into the area. That can only happen if Assad is defeated.

centerline ChristineH 31 Oct 2015 04:48

The Kurds are the fabled moderate opposition who are willing to negotiate, and who have also fought with the Syrian government against US backed ISIS and al Nusra so called moderate opposition.

Pete Piper -> Verbum 31 Oct 2015 04:47

@Verbum
Wow, you make a lot of sense. I always thought the US military heavy foreign policy became insane because of Reagan. Maybe it was the loss of the USSR?

Everyone here grew up being taught that the US is the champion of all that is good (sounds corny today). When the USSR dissolved, everyone imagined huge military cuts with the savings being invested in social benefits. If someone had predicted that, instead, we would grow our military, throw our civil rights away, embrace empire, assasinate US citizens without a trial, create total surveillance, create secret one sided star-chamber FISA courts that control a third of our economy, and choose a Dept. name heard previously only in Nazi movies (Homeland Security) --- we'd have laughed and dismissed the warning as delusion.

gabriel90 -> confettifoot 31 Oct 2015 04:46

ISiS is destroying Syria thanks to the US and Saudi Arabia; its an instrument to spread chaos in the Middle East and attack Iran and Russia...

ChristineH 31 Oct 2015 04:21

So, on the day peace talks open, the US unilaterally announces advice boots on the ground to support one of the many sides in the Syrian War, who will undoubtedly want self determination, right on Turkey's border, as they always have, and as has always been opposed by the majority of the Syrian population. What part of that isn't completely mad?

Great sympathy for the situation of the Kurds in Syria under Assad, but their nationalism issue and inability to work together with the Sunni rebels, was a major factor in the non formation of a functioning opposition in Syria, and will be a block to peace, not its cause. It's also part of a larger plan to have parts of Turkey and Iraq under Kurdish control to create a contingent kingdom. Whatever the merits of that, the US deciding to support them at this stage is completely irrational, and with Russia and Iran supporting Assad will lengthen the war, not shorten it.

MissSarajevo 31 Oct 2015 04:21

Just a couple of things here. How does the US know who the moderates are?!? Is this another occasion that the US is going to use International law as toilet paper? The US will enter (as if they weren't already there, illegally. They were not invited in by the legitimate leader of Syria.

gabriel90 31 Oct 2015 04:19

Warbama is just trying to save his saudi/qatari/turk/emirati dogs of war... they will be wiped out by Russia and the axis of resistance...

Pete Piper -> Michael Imanual Christos 31 Oct 2015 04:08

Does anyone see anything rational in US foreign policy? When I hear attempts to explain, they vary around .. "it's about oil". But no one ever shows evidence continuous wars produced more oil for anyone. So, are we deliberately creating chaos and misery? Why? To make new enemies we can use to justify more war? We've now classified the number of countries we are bombing. Why? The countries being bombed surely know.

Pete Piper -> oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 03:50

You are correct. Obama is breaking UN international law, the US has no right to invade Syria. Russia, though, has been asked by the Syrian government for help, a government fully recognized by the UN. Russia has full UN sanctioned rights to help Syria. US news media will never explain this to the public, sadly.

Only the US routinely violates other nations' sovergnity. Since Korea, the only nation that has ever used military force against a nation not on its border is the US.

Can anyone find rationality in US foreign policy? We are supposed to be fighting ISIL, but Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to be helping ISIL to force Syrian regime change. And the US is supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia that are routed to ISIL. Supposedly because eliminating President Asad is more important than fighting ISIL? The US public is being misled into thinking we are NOW fighting ISIL. After Asad is killed, then we will genuinely fight ISIL? Russia, Iran, and more(?) will fight to keep Asad in power and then fight ISIL? THIS IS OBVIOUS BS, AND ALSO FUBAR.

By all means, get everyone together for some diplomacy.

oldholbornian -> lesmandalasdeniki 31 Oct 2015 03:36

Well lets look at Germany the centre of christian culture and the EU

http://www.infowars.com/this-is-our-future-germany-may-soon-have-8-million-muslims/

CAPLAN -> Lunora 31 Oct 2015 03:33

reminds me of emporer franz josef in europe about 100 years ago .. meant well but led to ruination ..i dont think that there has been an american president involved in more wars than obama

obama by his cairo speech kicked of the arab spring ..shows that words can kill

however.. the experience he now has gained may lead to an avoidance of a greater sunni shia war in syria if the present vienna talks can offer something tangible and preserve honour to the sunnis .. in the mid east honour and macho are key elements in negotiations

iran however is a shia caliphate based regime and unless it has learnt the lesson from yemen on the limitations of force may push for further success via army and diplomacy and control in syria and iraq

oldholbornian 31 Oct 2015 02:42

But Obama's latest broken promise to avoid an "open-ended action" in Syria could lead to a full-blown war with Russia considering that Russian military has been operating in Syria for weeks.

" For the first time ever, the American strategists have developed an illusion that they may defeat a nuclear power in a non-nuclear war," Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin told AP. "It's nonsense, and it will never happen."

http://www.infowars.com/flashback-obama-says-no-boots-on-the-ground-in-syria-before-sending-troops/

Any US / terrorist engagement with the Syrian security forces will include engaging with its allies Russia

Once the firing starts Russia will include the US as terrorists with no rights to be in Syrian and under the UN RULES have the right to defend themselves against the US

HollyOldDog -> foolisholdman 31 Oct 2015 02:32

Hmm Foreign snipers on rooftops ( not in the control of the government) how many times is this scenario going to be played out before the 'press' twigs it than something is not making sense.

HollyOldDog -> foolisholdman 31 Oct 2015 02:29

Though in one demonstration there was snipers on rooftops shooting both deconstratirs and the police - far more police were killed than demonstrators - what does this reming you of? Was these actions seemingly out of the control of the government a preliminary to what happened in Kiev during the maidan - practices get the technics right I suppose. - outside forces were obviously at work ' stirring the pot.

Anna Eriksson 31 Oct 2015 02:24

Let's hope that the US will help out with taking in some refugees as well! In Germany, and Sweden locals are becoming so frustrated and angry that they set refugee shelters on fire. This is a trend in both Sweden and Germany, as shown in the maps in the links. There have almost been 90 arsons in Germany so far this year, almost 30 in Sweden.

Map of Sweden fire incidents: http://bit.ly/1MiaMX9

Map of Germany arson incidents: http://bit.ly/1LZzEUh

betrynol 31 Oct 2015 01:56

Nobody tells the American people and nobody else really cares, but these 40-something guys being sent to Syria are possibly there as:

The Russian and Iranian troops on the ground will soon engage and sweep anti-Assad forces in key regions in Western Syria. This will be slightly impeded if Americans are among them. But accidents do happen, hence the term "cannon fodder".

The Russians and Iranians will likely take a step back militarily though for the duration of talks, so the American plan to protect Saudi backed fighters is likely to work.

I never involved or mentioned ISIS because this is NOT about fighting ISIS. It's about counteracting the Russian/Irania sweep in the area, and ultimately keeping the Americans in the game (sorry, war).

petervietnam 31 Oct 2015 01:13

The world's policeman or the world's trouble maker?

Austin Young -> Will D 31 Oct 2015 00:34

But he's the "change we can believe in" guy! Oh right... Dem or republican, they spew anything and everything their voters want to hear but when it comes time to walk the walk the only voice in their head is Cash Money.

lesmandalasdeniki -> Bardhyl Cenolli 30 Oct 2015 23:34

It frustrates me, anyone who will be the problem-solver will be labeled as dangerous by the Western political and business leaders if the said person or group of people can not be totally controlled for their agenda.

This will be the first time I will be speaking about the Indonesian forest fires that started from June this year until now. During the period I was not on-line, I watched the local news and all channels were featuring the same problem every day during the last two-weeks.

US is also silent about it during Obama - Jokowi meeting, even praising Jokowi being on the right track. After Jokowi came back, his PR spin is in the force again, he went directly to Palembang, he held office and trying to put up an image of a President that cared for his people. He couldn't solve the Indonesian forest fires from June - October, is it probably because Jusuf Kalla has investment in it?

My point is, US and the Feds, World Bank and IMF are appointing their puppets on each country they have put up an investment on terms of sovereign debt and corporate debt/bonds.

And Obama is their puppet.

Will D 30 Oct 2015 23:30

Obama's presidency lost its credibility a long time ago. He made so many rash promises and statements which one by one he has broken, that no free thinking person believes anything he says anymore.

He has turned out to be a massive disappointment to all those who had such high hopes that he really would make the world a better place. His failure and his abysmal track record will cause him to be remembered as the Nobel Peace prize wining president who did exactly the opposite of what he promised, and failed to further the cause of peace.

Greg_Samsa -> Greenacres2002 30 Oct 2015 23:07

Consistency is at the heart of logic, all mathematics, and hard sciences.

Even the legal systems strive to be free of contradictions.

I'd rather live in world with consistency of thought and action as represented by the Russian Federation, then be mired in shit created by the US who have shed all the hobgoblins pestering the consistency of their thoughts and actions.

Never truly understood the value of this stupid quote really...

Phil Atkinson -> PaulF77 30 Oct 2015 22:28

There's a world of difference between Russia taking steps to protect its immediate geographic and political interests (which were largely the wishes of the resident populations - something critics tend to overlook) and the USA invading Iraq (2003) in a blatant act of war, based on bullshit and then aiding and abetting mercenary terrorists in Syria in defiance of any declaration of war, UN resolution or invitation from the Syrian government to intervene.

You might have also noticed that Syria is a long, long way from the USA. Rhetorically, WTF is the US doing in the Middle East? Propping up Saudi or Israel? Or both?

MainstreamMedia Propaganda 30 Oct 2015 22:03

ISIS == Mercenaries sponsored by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Does a strategy against our own mercenaries make sense???

2012 DIA Document (R050839Z) - Defense Intelligence Agency
Public Affairs Office: 202-231-5554 or DIA-PAO@dodiis.mil
http://www.mintpressnews.com/media-blacks-out-pentagon-report-exposing-u-s-role-in-isis-creation/206187/
http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/pgs-287-293-291-jw-v-dod-and-state-14-812-2/

DarrenPartridge 30 Oct 2015 22:03

I think blatant policy changes like this show just how ineffectual the US president actually is. The hand over between Bush and Obama has been seamless. Gitmo still going, patriot act renewed, Libya a smoldering ruin (4 years down the line), no progress on gun control, troops in Afganistan and Iraq... it goes on...

HowSicklySeemAll 30 Oct 2015 21:58

"It's really hard to see how this tiny number of troops embedded on the ground is going to turn the tide in any way."

Or the U.S. could carry out air strikes against Hezbollah which has been fighting ISIS for a while now. They could also supply weapons to ISIS (who are dubbed 'moderates') to counter Russian airstrikes and Iranian man power.

Think about, when's the last time Saudi Arabia did anything progressive or humane in its foreign policy? Now remember this very same country is on the same side as the Americans. This is the country that invaded Bahrain and Yemen and labelled the civil rights movements in those countries as 'Iranian interference.' The Saudis who have been seeking to turn civil rights movements with rather nationalistic demands into religious and sectarian conflicts by playing different groups against each other are allied with the U.S. and sitting at the table in Vienna talking about peace in Syria. Nonsense upon stilts!

Phil Atkinson -> Harry Bhai 30 Oct 2015 21:57

Fuck the al-Sauds and their oil. If the US wants their oil (and there's plenty of other oil sellers in the world) then just take it. Why not be consistent?

templeforjerusalem 30 Oct 2015 21:51

IS has shown itself to be deeply hateful of anything that conflicts with their narrow religious interpretations. Destroying Palmyra, murdering indiscriminately, without any clear international agenda other than the formation of a new Sunni Sharia State, makes them essentially enemies of everybody. Although I do agree that belligerent secular Netanyahu's Israel sets a bad example in the area, Israel does not tend to murder over the same primitive values that IS uses, although there's not much difference in reality.

IS uses extermination tactics, Israel used forced land clearance and concentration camp bombing (Gaza et al), while the US in Iraq used brutal force. None of this is good but nothing justifies the shear barbarism of IS. Is there hope in any of this? No. Is Russian and US involvement a major escalation? Yes.

Ultimately, this is about religious identities refusing to share and demand peace. Sunni vs Shia, Judeo/Catholic/Protestant West vs Russian Orthodox, secular vs orthodox Israel. No wonder people are saying Armageddon.

HowSicklySeemAll 30 Oct 2015 21:50

ISIS poses no threat to the Americans and vice versa. The Americans therefore do not have an interest in making sure that ISIS is wiped out. On the contrary they want regional foes to suffer. The only countries and groups that have been successfully fighting ISIS - Assad's forces, Iranians, Hezbollah, Russians, and Kurds are in fact enemies of either the U.S., Saudis, Israelis, or Turks. Isn't that strange? The countries and peoples that have suffered the most and that have actually fought against ISIS effectively are seen as the enemy. Do the powers that be really want to wipe out ISIS at all costs? No, especially if it involves the Iranians and Russians.

VengefulRevenant 30 Oct 2015 21:44

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pretext. It's an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, wilful choice by [President Obama] to invade another country. [The US] is in violation of the sovereignty of [Syria. The US] is in violation of its international obligations."

Verbum -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:41

How are Russian boots on the ground - of which there have been many for some time - ok and American boots bad?

The difference is that of a poison and the antidotum. The American/NATO meddling in Iraq, Libya and Syria created a truly sick situation which needs to be fixed. That's what the Russians are doing. Obviously, they have their own objectives and motives for that and are protecting their own interests, but nevertheless this is the surest way to re-establish semblance of stability in the Middle East, rebuilt Syria and Iraq, stop the exodus of the refugees, and mend relations in the region.

The American attempt at negotiating peace in Syria without Syrian representation is nothing short of ridiculous and best illustrates the convoluted state of American foreign policy. America lost any claim to 'leadership' by now.

I feel sorry for Mr Obama, and indeed America, because he is a decent person, yet most of us are unaware what forces he has to reckon with behind the scenes. It is clear by now that interests of corporations and rich individuals, as well as a couple of seemingly insignificant foreign states, beat the national interest of America all time, anytime. It is astonishing how a powerful, hard working and talented nation can become beholden to such forces, to its own detriment.

In the end, I do not think the situation is uniquely American. Russia or China given a chance of total hegemony would behave the same. That's why we need a field of powers/superpowers to keep one another in check and negotiate rather than enforce solutions.

ID9309755 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:02

Unfortunately American policy and that eu have at time added fuel to the fire. Yes, the me has its own problems, including rival versions of Islam and fundamentalism as well as truly megalomaniac leaders. But in instances (Libya for example) they did truly contribute to the country's destruction (and I am not excusing Gaddafi, but for the people there sometimes having these leaders and waiting for generational transformations may be a better solution than instant democracy pills.)


ID7582903 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 21:00

Russian Iranian and hezbollah boots are invited boots by the legitimate government according to the UN Charter they are all acting legally and according to the Geneva Conventions etc.

The US led coalition in bombing Syria were not, and the admitted introduction of troops into Syria is a an ACT OF WAR by the USA, and it is the AGRESSOR here, not doubt about it. It's a War Crime by every standard

Obama and the "regime" that rules the United Snakes of America have all gone over the edge into insanity writ large.

ID9309755 -> pegasusrose2011 30 Oct 2015 20:55

To clarify, I meant that all these groups are funded by these Arabic sheikhdoms and it increasingly appears that th us of a is not as serious in eradicating all of them in the illusion that the so called softer ones will over through Assad and then it will be democracy, the much misused and fetishised term. Meanwhile we can carve up the country, Turkey gets a bite and our naughty bloated allies in Arabia will be happy with their influence. Only if it happened that way...

There is much more than this short and simplified scenario, and yes Russia played its hand rather well taking the west off guard. And I am not trying to portray Putin as some liberation prophet either. So perhaps you could say that yes, maybe I have looked into it deep...

BlooperMario -> RedEyedOverlord 30 Oct 2015 20:52

China and Russia are only responding to NY World Bank and IMF cheats and also standing up to an evil empire that has ruined the middle east.
Time you had a rethink old chap and stopped worshipping Blair; Bush; Rumsfeld etc as your heros.

See the NATO creep into Eastern Europe against all agreements made with USSR.

Silly Sailors provoking Chinese Lighthouse keepers.

RoyRoger 30 Oct 2015 19:30

Their Plan B is fucked !!

But their real agenda is to carve up Syria. In the deep recesses of their, the Corporate corrupt White House's, mind ISIS is not their immediate problem. ISIS is a means to an end - carve up Syria a sovereign country.

Remember, only months ago, Kerry and Tory William Hague, was handing out cash to Syrian rebels who later turned out to be ISIS rebels. We must never forget, Syria, right or wrong, is a sovereign country.

The real battle/plan for the Corporate corrupt White House is to try and get a foothold in Syria and establish a military dictator after a coup d'etat'. As we know it's what they, the West, do best.

Look at the mess they made in, Ukraine, with their friends a bunch of, Kiev, murdering neo-Nazi's.

In the interest of right is right; Good Luck Mr Putin !! I'm with you all the way.

weematt 30 Oct 2015 19:25

War (and poverty too) a consequence, concomitant, of competing for markets, raw materials and trade routes or areas of geo-political dominance, come to be seen as 'natural' outcomes of society, but are merely concomitants of a changeable social system.

... ... ...

Greg_Samsa 30 Oct 2015 19:21

Just out of curiosity...how will the US keep the DoD and CIA from duking it out at the opposite fronts on the Syrian soil?

This gives a whole new dimension to the term 'blue-on-blue'.

Kevin Donegan 30 Oct 2015 18:59

Washington has clearly chosen to break International Law.

"Westphalian sovereignty is the principle of international law that each nation state has sovereignty over its territory and domestic affairs, to the exclusion of all external powers, on the principle of non-interference in another country's domestic affairs, and that each state (no matter how large or small) is equal in international law. The doctrine is named after the Peace of Westphalia, signed in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War, in which the major continental European states – the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France, Sweden and the Dutch Republic – agreed to respect one another's territorial integrity. As European influence spread across the globe, the Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order.[1]"

foolisholdman 30 Oct 2015 18:41

As the administration in Washington is firmly in the grasp of special interest groups such as Big Pharma, The Banksters, Big Agrobusiness, Big oil, the MIC and Israel there is no chance of getting good policy decisions out of there until there is a regime change.

If ever there was a government hat had lost its legitimacy the present US government is it.

foolisholdman -> Johnny Kent 30 Oct 2015 18:31

Johnny Kent

The slight question of legality in placing troops in a sovereign country without permission or UN approval is obviously of no importance to the US...and yet they criticise Russia for 'annexing Crimea...

Yes, but you see: the two cases are not comparable because the USA is exceptional.

You might think that having criticized Assad for shooting demonstrators who demonstrated against the corruption and inefficiency of his regime, and having said that as a result his regime had lost its legitimacy, they would apply the same yardstick to President Poroshenko when he shot up two provinces of his country for asking for federation, killing thousands in the process, but on the contrary they sent "advisers" to train his military and his Fascist helpers to use their weapons better, to shoot them up more effectively.

However, one cannot really expect people who are exceptional to behave like ordinary (unexceptional) human beings.

WalterCronkiteBot 30 Oct 2015 17:11

What is the official US line on the legality of these deployments in terms of international law?

Noone seems to even raise it as an issue, its all about congressional approval. Just like the UK drone strikes.

[Sep 09, 2016] Americas True Role in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... In January, the New York Times finally reported on a secret 2013 Presidential order to the CIA to arm Syrian rebels. As the account explained, Saudi Arabia provides substantial financing of the armaments, while the CIA, under Obama's orders, provides organizational support and training. ..."
"... What kinds of arms are the US, Saudis, Turks, Qataris, and others supplying to the Syrian rebels? Which groups are receiving the arms? What is the role of US troops, air cover, and other personnel in the war? The US government isn't answering these questions, and mainstream media aren't pursuing them, either. ..."
"... Through occasional leaks, investigative reports, statements by other governments, and rare statements by US officials, we know that America is engaged in an active, ongoing, CIA-coordinated war both to overthrow Assad and to fight ISIS. America's allies in the anti-Assad effort include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and other countries in the region. The US has spent billions of dollars on arms, training, special operations forces, air strikes, and logistical support for the rebel forces, including international mercenaries. American allies have spent billions of dollars more. The precise sums are not reported. ..."
"... To those at the center of the US military-industrial complex, this secrecy is as it should be. Their position is that a vote by Congress 15 years ago authorizing the use of armed force against those culpable for the 9/11 attack gives the president and military carte blanche to fight secret wars in the Middle East and Africa. Why should the US explain publicly what it is doing? That would only jeopardize the operations and strengthen the enemy. The public does not need to know. ..."
"... I subscribe to a different view: wars should be a last resort and should be constrained by democratic scrutiny. This view holds that America's secret war in Syria is illegal both under the US Constitution (which gives Congress the sole power to declare war) and under the United Nations Charter, and that America's two-sided war in Syria is a cynical and reckless gamble. The US-led efforts to topple Assad are not aimed at protecting the Syrian people, as Obama and Clinton have suggested from time to time, but are a US proxy war against Iran and Russia, in which Syria happens to be the battleground. ..."
"... The stakes of this war are much higher and much more dangerous than America's proxy warriors imagine. As the US has prosecuted its war against Assad, Russia has stepped up its military support to his government. In the US mainstream media, Russia's behavior is an affront: how dare the Kremlin block the US from overthrowing the Syrian government? The result is a widening diplomatic clash with Russia, one that could escalate and lead – perhaps inadvertently – to the point of military conflict. ..."
"... This is the main reason why the US security state refuses to tell the truth. The American people would call for peace rather than perpetual war. Obama has a few months left in office to repair his broken legacy. He should start by leveling with the American people. ..."
www.defenddemocracy.press

- Defend Democracy Press

Syria's civil war is the most dangerous and destructive crisis on the planet. Since early 2011, hundreds of thousands have died; around ten million Syrians have been displaced; Europe has been convulsed with Islamic State (ISIS) terror and the political fallout of refugees; and the United States and its NATO allies have more than once come perilously close to direct confrontation with Russia.

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama has greatly compounded the dangers by hiding the US role in Syria from the American people and from world opinion. An end to the Syrian war requires an honest accounting by the US of its ongoing, often secretive role in the Syrian conflict since 2011, including who is funding, arming, training, and abetting the various sides. Such exposure would help bring to an end many countries' reckless actions.

A widespread – and false – perception is that Obama has kept the US out of the Syrian war. Indeed, the US right wing routinely criticizes him for having drawn a line in the sand for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over chemical weapons, and then backing off when Assad allegedly crossed it (the issue remains murky and disputed, like so much else in Syria). A leading columnist for the Financial Times, repeating the erroneous idea that the US has remained on the sidelines, recently implied that Obama had rejected the advice of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to arm the Syrian rebels fighting Assad.

Yet the curtain gets lifted from time to time. In January, the New York Times finally reported on a secret 2013 Presidential order to the CIA to arm Syrian rebels. As the account explained, Saudi Arabia provides substantial financing of the armaments, while the CIA, under Obama's orders, provides organizational support and training.

Unfortunately, the story came and went without further elaboration by the US government or follow up by the New York Times. The public was left in the dark: How big are the ongoing CIA-Saudi operations? How much is the US spending on Syria per year? What kinds of arms are the US, Saudis, Turks, Qataris, and others supplying to the Syrian rebels? Which groups are receiving the arms? What is the role of US troops, air cover, and other personnel in the war? The US government isn't answering these questions, and mainstream media aren't pursuing them, either.

On more than a dozen occasions, Obama has told the American people that there would be "no US boots on the ground." Yet every few months, the public is also notified in a brief government statement that US special operations forces are being deployed to Syria. The Pentagon routinely denies that they are in the front lines. But when Russia and the Assad government recently carried out bombing runs and artillery fire against rebel strongholds in northern Syria, the US notified the Kremlin that the attacks were threatening American troops on the ground. The public has been given no explanation about their mission, its costs, or counterparties in Syria.

Through occasional leaks, investigative reports, statements by other governments, and rare statements by US officials, we know that America is engaged in an active, ongoing, CIA-coordinated war both to overthrow Assad and to fight ISIS. America's allies in the anti-Assad effort include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and other countries in the region. The US has spent billions of dollars on arms, training, special operations forces, air strikes, and logistical support for the rebel forces, including international mercenaries. American allies have spent billions of dollars more. The precise sums are not reported.

The US public has had no say in these decisions. There has been no authorizing vote or budget approval by the US Congress. The CIA's role has never been explained or justified. The domestic and international legality of US actions has never been defended to the American people or the world.

To those at the center of the US military-industrial complex, this secrecy is as it should be. Their position is that a vote by Congress 15 years ago authorizing the use of armed force against those culpable for the 9/11 attack gives the president and military carte blanche to fight secret wars in the Middle East and Africa. Why should the US explain publicly what it is doing? That would only jeopardize the operations and strengthen the enemy. The public does not need to know.

I subscribe to a different view: wars should be a last resort and should be constrained by democratic scrutiny. This view holds that America's secret war in Syria is illegal both under the US Constitution (which gives Congress the sole power to declare war) and under the United Nations Charter, and that America's two-sided war in Syria is a cynical and reckless gamble. The US-led efforts to topple Assad are not aimed at protecting the Syrian people, as Obama and Clinton have suggested from time to time, but are a US proxy war against Iran and Russia, in which Syria happens to be the battleground.

The stakes of this war are much higher and much more dangerous than America's proxy warriors imagine. As the US has prosecuted its war against Assad, Russia has stepped up its military support to his government. In the US mainstream media, Russia's behavior is an affront: how dare the Kremlin block the US from overthrowing the Syrian government? The result is a widening diplomatic clash with Russia, one that could escalate and lead – perhaps inadvertently – to the point of military conflict.

These are issues that should be subject to legal scrutiny and democratic control. I am confident that the American people would respond with a resounding "no" to the ongoing US-led war of regime change in Syria. The American people want security – including the defeat of ISIS – but they also recognize the long and disastrous history of US-led regime-change efforts, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

This is the main reason why the US security state refuses to tell the truth. The American people would call for peace rather than perpetual war. Obama has a few months left in office to repair his broken legacy. He should start by leveling with the American people.

[Sep 09, 2016] Why Hillary Clinton Should Not Be The Democratic Presidential Nominee

Notable quotes:
"... The Ambassador's urging to her said: "The actions of June 28 can only be considered a coup d'etat. ... It bears mentioning that, whereas the resolution [by the junta] adopted June 28 refers only to Zelaya, its effect was to remove the entire executive branch. ... His forced removal by the military was clearly illegal, and [puppett-leader Roberto] Micheletti's ascendance as 'interim president' was totally illegitimate." ..."
"... However, instead, she joined with then-Senator Jim DeMint (now head of the Heritage Foundation and the chief sponsor of the political career of Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz) in propping up the fascist regime. ..."
www.huffingtonpost.com

Hillary's corruption goes beyond that, however.

When a fascist putsch, a coup d'etat, overthrew at gunpoint the popular progressive democratic President of Honduras on 28 June 2009, and all countries of the world except Israel and the United States promptly declared the junta-installed government illegitimate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to join all other nations in rejecting the fascist regime. As I previously reported this matter in detail, the U.S. Ambassador to Honduras told her in a cable, that President Manuel Zelaya had been illegally replaced by the junta-appointed stooge Roberto Michelettti, yet she still refused.

The Ambassador's urging to her said: "The actions of June 28 can only be considered a coup d'etat. ... It bears mentioning that, whereas the resolution [by the junta] adopted June 28 refers only to Zelaya, its effect was to remove the entire executive branch. ... His forced removal by the military was clearly illegal, and [puppett-leader Roberto] Micheletti's ascendance as 'interim president' was totally illegitimate."

However, instead, she joined with then-Senator Jim DeMint (now head of the Heritage Foundation and the chief sponsor of the political career of Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz) in propping up the fascist regime.

Promptly Honduras descended into hell, suddenly having the world's highest murder-rate, and becoming a haven of narco-trafficking. What was Hillary thinking? She expressed contempt for Zelaya, but what was really happening here was that American international companies liked paying their Honduran contractors sub-human wages to workers at their plants in Honduras. The Honduran aristocrats owned those factories, and the U.S. aristocrats shared with them the profits from this "free-market" slavery. What did Hillary care about the ongoing terror, murders, and soaring narco-trafficking?

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.

[Sep 09, 2016] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Enabled the Coup in Honduras

Notable quotes:
"... Under longstanding and clear-cut US law, all US aid to Honduras - except democracy assistance - including all military aid, should have been immediately suspended following the coup. ..."
"... Why wasn't US aid to Honduras suspended following the coup? The justification given by Clinton's State Department on August 25 for not suspending US aid to Honduras was that events in Honduras were murky and it was not clear whether a coup had taken place. Clinton's State Department claimed that State Department lawyers were studying the murky question of whether a coup had taken place. ..."
"... This justification was a lie, and Clinton's State Department knew it was a lie. By July 24, 2009, the State Department, including Secretary Clinton, knew clearly that the action of the Honduran military to remove President Zelaya on June 28, 2009, constituted a coup. On July 24, US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens sent a cable to top US officials, including Secretary of State Clinton, with subject: "Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup," thoroughly documenting the assertion that "there is no doubt" that the events of June 28 "constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup." ..."
Feb 23, 2016 | www.truth-out.org

On June 28, 2009, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by a military coup. The United Nations, the European Union and the Organization of American States (OAS) condemned the coup, and on July 5, Honduras was suspended from the OAS.

Under longstanding and clear-cut US law, all US aid to Honduras - except democracy assistance - including all military aid, should have been immediately suspended following the coup.

On August 7, 15 House Democrats, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva, sent a letter to the administration which began, "As you know, on June 28th, 2009, a military coup took place in Honduras," and said: "The State Department should fully acknowledge that a military coup has taken place and follow through with the total suspension of non-humanitarian aid, as required by law."

Why wasn't US aid to Honduras suspended following the coup? The justification given by Clinton's State Department on August 25 for not suspending US aid to Honduras was that events in Honduras were murky and it was not clear whether a coup had taken place. Clinton's State Department claimed that State Department lawyers were studying the murky question of whether a coup had taken place.

This justification was a lie, and Clinton's State Department knew it was a lie. By July 24, 2009, the State Department, including Secretary Clinton, knew clearly that the action of the Honduran military to remove President Zelaya on June 28, 2009, constituted a coup. On July 24, US Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens sent a cable to top US officials, including Secretary of State Clinton, with subject: "Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup," thoroughly documenting the assertion that "there is no doubt" that the events of June 28 "constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup."

... ... ...

[Sep 09, 2016] Hillary the Hawk

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats' Athena only differs from Bush on the details. ..."
"... Her bellicose interventionism has a history: it was Hillary, you'll recall, who berated her husband for not bombing Belgrade soon enough and hard enough. As Gail Sheehy relates in Hillary's Choice: ..."
"... Hillary would have occupied Iraq a decade earlier, riding into Baghdad at the head of her troops like Pallas Athena descending on the Trojans, striding boldly into what Gen. William E. Odom has described as "the greatest strategic disaster in our history." ..."
"... Hillary, however, didn't let any inconvenient facts get in her way. She boasted that it was under a Democratic administration that the U.S. "changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change" and took credit for the bright idea of putting Ahmad Chalabi, convicted embezzler and known liar, on the U.S. payroll. Her speech reads like a Weekly Standard editorial, reiterating each of the War Party's talking points-the bio-weapons fantasy, the links to al-Qaeda gambit, the phantom nuclear arsenal: "This much," she maintaind, "is undisputed." ..."
"... When it comes to Iran, however, she is just as belligerent as the next neocon: Pelosi co-sponsored legislation imposing draconian economic sanctions on Iran and stops just short of calling another war. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com

The Democrats' Athena only differs from Bush on the details.

Hillary's newfound centrism isn't completely insincere. Her bellicose interventionism has a history: it was Hillary, you'll recall, who berated her husband for not bombing Belgrade soon enough and hard enough. As Gail Sheehy relates in Hillary's Choice:

Hillary expressed her views by phone to the President: 'I urged him to bomb.' The Clintons argued the issue over the next few days. [The president expressed] what-ifs: What if bombing promoted more executions? What if it took apart the NATO alliance? Hillary responded, 'You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?' The next day the President declared that force was necessary.

Together with Madeleine Albright-who famously complained to Colin Powell, "What good is it having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?"-Hillary constituted the Amazonian wing of the Democratic Party during the years of her husband's presidency. Her effort to outflank the Republicans on the right when it comes to the Iran issue is a logical extension of her natural bellicosity.

Hillary is nothing if not consistent: in her floor speech to the Senate during the debate over the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, she declared, "the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt"-a statement she has never acknowledged regretting. Particularly endearing to the War Party, she framed her "aye" vote in terms of the classic neoconservative myth of Bush I's betrayal:

The first President Bush assembled a global coalition, including many Arab states, and threw Saddam out after forty-three days of bombing and a hundred hours of ground operations. The U.S.-led coalition then withdrew, leaving the Kurds and the Shiites, who had risen against Saddam Hussein at our urging, to Saddam's revenge.

Hillary would have occupied Iraq a decade earlier, riding into Baghdad at the head of her troops like Pallas Athena descending on the Trojans, striding boldly into what Gen. William E. Odom has described as "the greatest strategic disaster in our history."

Hillary hails the 1998 bombing of Iraq, ordered by her husband, which killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, and recounts the official mythology promulgated by the Bush administration: "[T]he so-called presidential palaces in reality were huge compounds well suited to hold weapons labs, stocks, and records which Saddam Hussein was required by UN resolution to turn over. When Saddam blocked the inspection process, the inspectors left." As we now know, there was nothing even approaching WMD in those palaces, and Iraq had been effectively disarmed at that point. In late February or early March, Scott Ritter, then a UN arms inspector, met with then-U.S. ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson. Ritter was told to provoke an incident so the U.S. could finish bombing by the start of the Islamic New Year holiday.

Hillary, however, didn't let any inconvenient facts get in her way. She boasted that it was under a Democratic administration that the U.S. "changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change" and took credit for the bright idea of putting Ahmad Chalabi, convicted embezzler and known liar, on the U.S. payroll. Her speech reads like a Weekly Standard editorial, reiterating each of the War Party's talking points-the bio-weapons fantasy, the links to al-Qaeda gambit, the phantom nuclear arsenal: "This much," she maintaind, "is undisputed."

What is undisputed these days is that the entire rationale for war was based on trumped-up evidence of Iraq's alleged transgressions, but Hillary is unrepentant: "No, I don't regret giving the president authority because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade."

But there was no threat to the U.S. and Hillary knows it. What's more, her hardcore constituency knows it, and they are becoming increasingly alienated from-even actively hostile to-their putative presidential frontrunner over this issue. Their anger is stoked by evidence that Hillary has imbibed the same neocon Kool-Aid that has intoxicated the Bush administration and blinded it to the failure of its policies in Iraq.

On a trip to Iraq during which 55 people-including one American soldier -were killed by suicide bombers, Hillary was merrily chirping that the occupation was "functioning quite well" and that the surge of suicide attacks indicated that the insurgency was failing. Security was so bad that the road to the airport was impassable, and the Senate delegation had to be transported to the Green Zone by military helicopter. They dared not venture out into the streets of Baghdad.

The disconnect between rhetoric and reality, between the antiwar views of Hillary's left-wing base and the militant interventionism of Wittmann and the DLC crowd, finally forced her to come to grips with the contradiction-or at least to appear to do so. This occurred not in a public speech but in an e-mail sent to her supporters in which the trouble she is in is acknowledged in the first sentence: "The war in Iraq is on the minds of many of you who have written or who have called my office asking questions and expressing frustration." Chances are, these callers were expressing frustration not only with the policies of the Bush administration but with her own complicity with Bush's Middle Eastern agenda of seemingly endless aggression.

She falls back on the old "there are no quick and easy answers" ploy to give an aura of thoughtfulness to a dishonest and constantly shifting position on the war. While insisting that we should not "allow this to be an open-ended commitment without limits or end," she reassures the War Party by distancing herself from John Murtha and others who want an orderly withdrawal in a relatively short time: "Nor do I believe that we can or should pull out of Iraq immediately." She hails the elections as the signal that we can start the withdrawal process sometime "in the coming year," but not completely: we must leave behind "a smaller contingent in safer areas with greater intelligence and quick strike capabilities"-a tripwire, in short, in the form of permanent bases.

... ... ...

What does Hillary want? A smarter, smoother, better-planned interventionism, one that our allies find more amenable and yet is, in many ways, more militant than the Republican version-one that "levels with the American people" about the costs of empire and yet doesn't dispute the alleged necessity of American hegemony. As she finds her voice as a would-be commander in chief, it isn't one the traditional Left in this country will recognize.

... ... ...

If the Democratic establishment's stance on the war is at odds with the party's antiwar activist base, then their outright warmongering on the Iranian issue puts the two factions on a collision course. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi-who effectively quashed fellow California Democrat Lynn Woolsey's resolution calling for a withdrawal timetable -has followed the Hillary-Emanuel-DLC party line, while managing somehow to assuage her constituents with plenty of pork and partisan rhetoric. When it comes to Iran, however, she is just as belligerent as the next neocon: Pelosi co-sponsored legislation imposing draconian economic sanctions on Iran and stops just short of calling another war.

[Aug 27, 2016] Obama is back to his old game: Assad should go

Notable quotes:
"... russia sees this bs crap about 'moderate' for what it is... just another shell game to play hide and seek, switch flags, etc, etc... until the 'moderate' opposition drop their military arms, it ain't 'moderate'... would 'moderate' opposition to the usa leadership be allowed to use weapons? that's the answer to that bs... ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

okie farmer | Aug 27, 2016 8:23:27 AM | 80

OT
GENEVA - The United States and Russia say they have resolved a number of issues standing in the way of restoring a nationwide truce to Syria and opening up aid deliveries, but were unable once again to forge a comprehensive agreement on stepping up cooperation to end the brutal war that has killed hundreds of thousands.

After meeting off-and-on for nearly 10 hours in Geneva on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov could point to only incremental progress in filling in details of a broad understanding to boost joint efforts that was reached last month in Moscow.

Their failure to reach an overall deal highlighted the increasingly complex situation on the ground in Syria - including new Russian-backed Syrian government attacks on opposition forces, the intermingling of some of those opposition forces with an al-Qaida affiliate not covered by the truce and the surrender of a rebel-held suburb of Damascus - as well as deep divisions and mistrust dividing Washington and Moscow.

The complexities have also grown with the increasing internationalization of what has largely become a proxy war between regional and world powers, highlighted by a move by Turkish troops across the Syrian border against Islamic State fighters this week.

Kerry said he and Lavrov had agreed on the "vast majority" of technical discussions on steps to reinstate a cease-fire and improve humanitarian access. But critical sticking points remain unresolved and experts will remain in Geneva with an eye toward finalizing those in the coming days, he said.
```
Lavrov echoed that, saying "we still need to finalize a few issues" and pointed to the need to separate fighters from the al-Nusra Front, which has ties to al-Qaida, from U.S.-backed fighters who hold parts of northwest Syria.

"We have continued our efforts to reduce the areas where we lack understanding and trust, which is an achievement," Lavrov said. "The mutual trust is growing with every meeting."

Yet, it was clear that neither side believes an overall agreement is imminent or even achievable after numerous previous disappointments shattered a brief period of relative calm earlier this year.

The inability to wrest an agreement between Russia and the U.S. - as the major sponsors of the opposing sides in the stalled Syria peace talks - all but spells another missed deadline for the U.N. Syria envoy to get the Syrian government and "moderate" opposition back to the table.
```
In a nod to previous failed attempts to resurrect the cessation of hostilities, Kerry stressed the importance of keeping the details secret.
```
And, underscoring deep differences over developments on the ground, Kerry noted that Russia disputes the U.S. "narrative" of recent attacks on heavily populated areas being conducted by Syrian forces, Russia itself and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia. Russia maintains the attacks it has been involved in have targeted legitimate terrorist targets, while the U.S. says they have hit moderate opposition forces.
~~~
At the same time, the Obama administration is not of one mind regarding the Russians. The Pentagon has publicly complained about getting drawn into greater cooperation with Russia even though it has been forced recently to expand communication with Moscow. Last week, the U.S. had to call for Russian help when Syrian warplanes struck an area not far from where U.S. troops were operating.

U.S. officials say it is imperative that Russia use its influence with Syrian President Bashar Assad to halt all attacks on moderate opposition forces, open humanitarian aid corridors, and concentrate any offensive action on the Islamic State group and other extremists not covered by what has become a largely ignored truce.

For their part, U.S. officials say they are willing to press rebels groups they support harder on separating themselves from the Islamic State and al-Nusra, which despite a recent name change is still viewed as al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria.

Those goals are not new, but recent developments have made achieving them even more urgent and important, according to U.S. officials. Recent developments include military operations around the city of Aleppo, the entry of Turkey into the ground war, Turkish hostility toward U.S.-backed Kurdish rebel groups and the presence of American military advisers in widening conflict zones.

Meanwhile, in a blow to the opposition, rebel forces and civilians in the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya were to be evacuated on Friday after agreeing to surrender the town late Thursday after four years of grueling bombardment and a crippling siege that left the sprawling area in ruins.

The surrender of Daraya, which became an early symbol of the nascent uprising against Assad, marks a success for his government, removing a persistent threat only a few miles from his seat of power.

Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 27, 2016 11:06:17 AM | 85
Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 27, 2016 8:23:27 AM | 80

Re: Geneva negotiations...
Love the goto clause:

"In a nod to previous failed attempts to resurrect the cessation of hostilities, Kerry stressed the importance of keeping the details secret."

Yeah, keeping the details secret so that next time the Yankees backstab Russia, observers won't immediately realise that they were, in fact, just shooting themselves in the foot. Again.

james | Aug 27, 2016 4:27:25 PM | 99
@92 harrylaw...i agree with you..

russia sees this bs crap about 'moderate' for what it is... just another shell game to play hide and seek, switch flags, etc, etc... until the 'moderate' opposition drop their military arms, it ain't 'moderate'... would 'moderate' opposition to the usa leadership be allowed to use weapons? that's the answer to that bs...

as for turkey, clearly the apk has a 'get rid of the kurds' agenda.. works well in their alliance with isis up to a point.. as for turkish/usa alliance and a no fly zone - if russia goes along with this, they better get a hell of a trade off out of it.. i can't see it, although i see the usa continuing on in their support of saudi arabia etc, using their mercenary isis army and saudi arabia to continue to funnel arms sales and weaponry... it is what they do best, bullshite artists that they are...

james | Aug 27, 2016 4:32:33 PM | 100

for the latest dose of bullshite - watch

8 minute propaganda video.. one could flip it around to say the usa supports isis, al nusra, and all the other 'moderate' terrorists they are arming... amazing how these state dept. spokespeople can lie so continuously and not be called out on any of it by the corporate media journalists.. obviously those journalists are paid to go along with the lies, keep their mouth shut, and not ask any hard questions...

[Aug 26, 2016] Clinton emails - Proof that the West had lost control of the situation in Libya already since 2011

Notable quotes:
"... A letter from Clintons' top advisor Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton in 2011, proves that the West was losing control of the situation in Libya, very fast, already since 2011. Dangerous weapons were going to wrong hands through the black market. ..."
"... (Source Comment: According to very sensitive sources, the Libyan rebels are concerned that AQIM may also obtain SPIGOTT wire-guided anti-tank missiles and an unspecified number of Russian anti-tank mines made of plastic and undetectable by anti-mine equipment. This equipment again was coming through Niger and Mali, and was intended for the rebels in Libya. They note that AQIM is very strong in this region of Northwest Africa.) ..."
"... Yet, despite the absolute mess, the Western vultures are racing above the Libyan corpse to take as much as they can. ..."
"... Their primary goal was probably to overthrow the Chinese economic influence and prevent Russia to expand its sphere of influence. Apparently, preventing the destruction of a whole country is not a top priority issue for them. ..."
Aug 23, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

On March 16, 2016 WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for 30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547 pages of documents span from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014. 7,570 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton.

The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the US State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. The final PDFs were made available on February 29, 2016.

globinfo freexchange

A letter from Clintons' top advisor Sidney Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton in 2011, proves that the West was losing control of the situation in Libya, very fast, already since 2011. Dangerous weapons were going to wrong hands through the black market.

The Western clowns have failed, one more time, to bring stability and led another country to absolute chaos and destruction. Waves of desperate people are now trying to reach European shores to save themselves from the hell in Libya, as it happens in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Key parts:

Full letter:

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/13013

Yet, despite the absolute mess, the Western vultures are racing above the Libyan corpse to take as much as they can.

Their primary goal was probably to overthrow the Chinese economic influence and prevent Russia to expand its sphere of influence. Apparently, preventing the destruction of a whole country is not a top priority issue for them.

[Aug 25, 2016] Arms Industry Donating to Hawkish Clinton Over Incoherent Trump Common Dreams Breaking News Views for the Progressive Com by Deirdre Fulton

www.commondreams.org

'My view is Hillary is far more aligned with the types of issues that are important to the defense industry than Trump is'

Employees of 25 of the nation's largest defense companies-such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon-are choosing to fill the coffers of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over those of her rival, GOP nominee Donald Trump.

That's according to a new analysis by Politico, published Wednesday and based on federal campaign finance filings.

Indeed, Politico found that Clinton-whose hawkish tendencies have been front-and-center during the 2016 campaign-is leading Trump "by a ratio of 2-to-1 in campaign donations from employees working for defense giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. That's a sharp turnaround from 2012, when defense contractors gave more to then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney than to President Barack Obama."

Specifically, employees of those 25 firms have donated $93,000 to Clinton, compared with $46,000 for Trump. "Clinton's donor rolls also include more than two dozen top defense executives, while Trump's show just two," Politico adds.

It's no wonder why defense giants prefer Clinton.

"My view is Hillary is far more aligned with the types of issues that are important to the defense industry than Trump is," Linda Hudson-who ran the U.S. branch of British defense firm BAE Systems, the Pentagon's eighth largest contractor, from 2009 to 2014-told Politico.

And an anonymous lobbyist told the publication: "With Hillary Clinton we have some sense of where she would go, and with Trump we have none."

Signs abound pointing to "where she would go." As commentator JP Sottile wrote earlier this month of Clinton, "she's weaponized the State Department. She really likes regime change. And her nominating convention not only embraced the military, but it sanctified the very Gold Star families that neocon-style interventionism creates."

Or, as investigative journalist Robert Parry declared in June: "Clinton is an unabashed war hawk who has shown no inclination to rethink her pro-war attitudes."

Parry quoted the New York Times as calling Clinton "the vessel into which many interventionists are pouring their hopes."

And defense contractors, too, it seems. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

[Aug 22, 2016] A Hard Look at the War Criminals, Um, Hawks Who Say Never Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Let's start with the last bit: "the leader of the free world." That's what journalists used to call the U.S. president, and occasionally the country as a whole, during the Cold War. Between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the "free world" included all the English-speaking countries outside Africa, along with western Europe, North America, some South American dictatorships, and nations like the Philippines that had a neocolonial relationship with the United States. ..."
"... I have absolutely no doubt that he and his eastern European countrymen were far from free. I do wonder, however, how free his counterparts in the American-backed Brazilian, Argentinian, Chilean, and Philippine dictatorships felt. ..."
"... Some countries in the Third World refused to be pawns in the superpower game, and created a non-aligned movement , which sought to thread a way between the Scylla and Charybdis of the U.S. and the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Among its founders were some of the great Third World nationalists: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, along with Yugoslavia's President Josip Broz Tito. ..."
Aug 22, 2016 | naked capitalism
Posted on August 22, 2016 by Yves Smith Yves here. This article by Rebecca Gordon does a fine job of calling out the recklessness and disregard for the law of a group of foreign policy "experts" who signed a letter calling Trump unfit for office. But it's disconcerting to see Rebecca Gordon document how these individuals have engaged in the same sort of unacceptable behavior that they Trump would undertake, and then argue that Trump is obviously dangerous, and by implication, Clinton is not. Clinton is fully on board with the policies that these experts represent, so how exactly is she better? Gordon needs to make a case, not just assert superiority in the face of facts she presents that indicate otherwise. Gordon tries arguing for Manafort as proof that Trump is tainted. But Manafort was a recent hire and has just been dispatched, while long-term Clinton key player John Podesta's firm also appears to have advised pro-Russia parties in Ukraine .

By Rebecca Gordon, who teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books). Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua . Originally published at TomDispatch

It's not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happening more and more frequently . The most recent example: we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men - and a few women - who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump.

They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer "lacks the character, values, and experience to be president."

That's true of course, but it's also pretty rich, coming from this bunch. The letter's signers include, among others, the man who was Condoleezza Rice's legal advisor when she ran the National Security Council (John Bellinger III); one of George W. Bush's CIA directors who also ran the National Security Agency (Michael Hayden); a Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations and Iraq (John Negroponte); an architect of the neoconservative policy in the Middle East adopted by the Bush administration that led to the invasion of Iraq, who has since served as president of the World Bank (Robert Zoellick). In short, given the history of the "global war on terror," this is your basic list of potential American war criminals.

Their letter continues, "He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world."

There's a sentence that could use some unpacking.

What Is The "Free World"?

Let's start with the last bit: "the leader of the free world." That's what journalists used to call the U.S. president, and occasionally the country as a whole, during the Cold War. Between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the "free world" included all the English-speaking countries outside Africa, along with western Europe, North America, some South American dictatorships, and nations like the Philippines that had a neocolonial relationship with the United States.

The U.S.S.R. led what, by this logic, was the un-free world, including the Warsaw Pact countries in eastern Europe, the "captive" Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, the People's Republic of China (for part of the period), North Korea, and of course Cuba. Americans who grew up in these years knew that the people living behind the " Iron Curtain " were not free. We'd seen the bus ads and public service announcements on television requesting donations for Radio Free Europe , sometimes illustrated with footage of a pale adolescent man, his head crowned with chains.

I have absolutely no doubt that he and his eastern European countrymen were far from free. I do wonder, however, how free his counterparts in the American-backed Brazilian, Argentinian, Chilean, and Philippine dictatorships felt.

The two great adversaries, together with the countries in their spheres of influence, were often called the First and Second Worlds. Their rulers treated the rest of the planet - the Third World - as a chessboard across which they moved their proxy armies and onto which they sometimes targeted their missiles. Some countries in the Third World refused to be pawns in the superpower game, and created a non-aligned movement , which sought to thread a way between the Scylla and Charybdis of the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Among its founders were some of the great Third World nationalists: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, along with Yugoslavia's President Josip Broz Tito.

Other countries weren't so lucky. When the United States took over from France the (unsuccessful) project of defeating Vietnam's anti-colonial struggle, people in the U.S. were assured that the war that followed with its massive bombing, napalming, and Agent-Oranging of a peasant society represented the advance of freedom against the forces of communist enslavement. Central America also served as a Cold War battlefield, with Washington fighting proxy wars during the 1980s in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, where poor campesinos had insisted on being treated as human beings and were often brutally murdered for their trouble. In addition, the U.S. funded, trained, and armed a military dictatorship in Honduras, where John Negroponte - one of the anti-Trump letter signers - was the U.S. ambassador from 1981 to 1985.

The Soviet Union is, of course, long gone, but the "free world," it seems, remains, and so American officials still sometimes refer to us as its leader - an expression that only makes sense, of course, in the context of dual (and dueling) worlds. On a post-Soviet planet, however, it's hard to know just what national or geographic configuration constitutes today's "un-free world." Is it (as Donald Trump might have it) everyone living under Arab or Muslim rule? Or could it be that amorphous phenomenon we call "terrorism" or "Islamic terrorism" that can sometimes reach into the "free world" and slaughter innocents as in San Bernardino , California, Orlando , Florida, or Nice , France? Or could it be the old Soviet Union reincarnated in Vladimir Putin's Russia or even a rising capitalist China still controlled by a Communist Party?

Faced with the loss of a primary antagonist and the confusion on our planet, George W. Bush was forced to downsize the perennial enemy of freedom from Reagan's old " evil empire " (the Soviet Union) to three "rogue states," Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, which in an address to Congress he so memorably labeled the " axis of evil ." The first of these lies in near ruins; the second we've recently signed a nuclear treaty with; and the third seems incapable of even feeding its own population. Fortunately for the free world, the Bush administration also had some second-string enemies to draw on. In 2002, John Bolton, then an undersecretary of state (and later ambassador to the U.N.), added another group "beyond the axis of evil" - Libya, Syria, and Cuba. Of the three, only Cuba is still a functioning nation.

And by the way, the 50 Republican national security stars who denounced Donald Trump in Cold War terms turn out to be in remarkably good company - that of Donald Trump himself (who recently gave a speech invoking American Cold War practices as the basis for his future foreign policy).

"He Weakens U.S. Moral Authority "

After its twenty-first century wars , its " black sites ," and Guantánamo , among other developments of the age, it's hard to imagine a much weaker "moral authority" than what's presently left to the United States. First, we gave the world eight years of George W. Bush's illegal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as CIA torture sites, "enhanced interrogation techniques," and a program of quite illegal global kidnappings of terror suspects ( some of whom proved innocent of anything). Under President Obama, it seems we've traded enhanced interrogation techniques for an "enhanced" use of assassination by drone (again outside any "law" of war, other than the legal documents that the Justice Department has produced to justify such acts).

When Barack Obama took office in January 2009 his first executive order outlawed the CIA's torture program and closed those black sites. It then looked as if the country's moral fiber might be stiffening. But when it came to holding the torturers accountable, Obama insisted that the country should "look forward as opposed to looking backwards" and the Justice Department declined to prosecute any of them. It's hard for a country to maintain its moral authority in the world when it refuses to exert that authority at home.

Two of the letter signers who are so concerned about Trump's effect on U.S. moral authority themselves played special roles in "weakening" U.S. moral authority through their involvement with the CIA torture program: John Bellinger III and Michael Hayden.

June 26th is the U.N.'s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. To mark that day in 2003, President Bush issued a statement declaring, "Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example."

The Washington Post story on the president's speech also carried a quote from Deputy White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to the effect that all prisoners being held by the U.S. government were being treated "humanely." John Rizzo, who was then the CIA's deputy general counsel, called John Bellinger, Condoleezza Rice's legal counsel at the National Security Council, to express his concern about what both the president and McClellan had said.

The problem was that - as Rizzo and his boss, CIA director George Tenet, well knew - many detainees then held by the CIA were not being treated humanely. They were being tortured or mistreated in various ways. The CIA wanted to be sure that they still had White House backing and approval for their "enhanced interrogation" program, because they didn't want to be left holding the bag if the truth came out. They also wanted the White House to stop talking about the humane treatment of prisoners.

According to an internal CIA memo , George Tenet convened a July 29, 2003, meeting in Condoleezza Rice's office to get the necessary reassurance that the CIA would be covered if the truth about torture came out. There, Bellinger reportedly apologized on behalf of the administration, explaining that the White House press secretary had "gone off script," mistakenly reverting to "old talking points." He also "undertook to [e]nsure that the White House press office ceases to make statements on the subject other than [to say] that the U.S. is complying with its obligations under U.S. law."

At that same meeting, Tenet's chief counsel, Scott Muller, passed out packets of printed PowerPoint slides detailing those enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, so that Bellinger and the others present, including Rice, would understand exactly what he was covering up.

So much for the "moral authority" of John Bellinger III.

As for Michael Hayden (who has held several offices in the national security apparatus), one of his signature acts as CIA Director was to approve in 2005 the destruction of videotapes of the agency's waterboarding sessions. In a letter to CIA employees, he wrote that the tapes were destroyed "only after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries."

Of course destroying those tapes also meant that they'd never be available for any future legislative or judicial inquiry. The letter continued,

"Beyond their lack of intelligence value the tapes posed a serious security risk. Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the program, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaeda and its sympathizers."

One has to wonder whether Hayden was more concerned with his CIA colleagues' "security" from al-Qaeda or from prosecution. In any case, he deprived the public - and any hypothetical future prosecutor - of crucial evidence of wrongdoing.

Hayden also perpetuated the lie that the Agency's first waterboarding victim, Abu Zubaydah - waterboarded a staggering 83 times - was a crucial al-Qaeda operative and had provided a quarter of all the information that the CIA gathered from human subjects about al-Qaeda. He was, in fact, never a member of al-Qaeda at all. In the 1980s, he ran a training camp in Afghanistan for the mujahedin , the force the U.S. supported against the Soviet occupation of that country; he was, that is, one of Ronald Reagan's " freedom fighters ."

Bellinger later chimed in, keeping the Abu Zubaydah lie alive by arguing in 2007 on behalf of his boss Condoleezza Rice that Guantánamo should remain open. That prison, he said, "serves a very important purpose, to hold and detain individuals who are extremely dangerous [like] Abu Zubaydah, people who have been planners of 9/11."

"He Appears to Lack Basic Knowledge About and Belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Laws, and U.S. Institutions "

That's the next line of the open letter, and it's certainly a fair assessment of Donald Trump. But it's more than a little ironic that it was signed by Michael Hayden who, in addition to supporting CIA's torture project, oversaw the National Security Agency's post-9/11 secret surveillance program. Under that program , the government recorded the phone, text, and Internet communications of an unknown number of people inside and outside of the United States - all without warrants .

Perhaps Hayden believes in the Constitution, but at best it's a selective belief. There's that pesky 4th Amendment, for example, which guarantees that

"[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Nor does Hayden appear to believe in U.S. laws and institutions, at least when it comes to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established the secret courts that are supposed to issue exactly the sort of warrant Hayden's program never requested.

John Negroponte is another of the signers who has a history of skirting U.S. laws and the congress that passes them. While ambassador to Honduras, he helped develop a murderous " contra" army, which the United States armed and trained to overthrow the government of neighboring Nicaragua. During those years, however, aid to the contras was actually illegal under U.S. law. It was explicitly prohibited under the so-called Boland Amendments to various appropriations bills, but no matter. "National security" was at stake.

Speaking of the Constitution, it's instructive to take a look at Article 6, which states in part that "all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land." Such treaties include, for example, the 1928 Kellogg-Briand non-aggression pact (whose violation was the first charge brought against the Nazi officials tried at Nuremberg ) and Article 51 of the U.N. charter, which permits military action only "if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations."

In 1998, Robert Zoellick, another of those 50 Republicans openly denouncing Trump, signed a different letter , which advocated abrogating those treaties. As an associate of the Project for a New American Century , he was among those who urged then-President Bill Clinton to direct "a full complement of diplomatic, political, and military efforts" to "remove Saddam Hussein from power." This was to be just the first step in a larger campaign to create a Pax Americana in the Middle East. The letter specifically urged Clinton not to worry about getting a Security Council resolution, arguing that "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council."

... ... ...

relstprof , August 22, 2016 at 2:02 am

At least give us some lesser evilism, Prof. Gordon. No? But really, Clinton's endorsement of Kissinger and the lack of political and MSM response to that endorsement is perhaps the most shocking thing. My introduction to Kissinger's crimes was via Hitchens, who then promptly backed the Bush regime's interventionism. I shouldn't be surprised anymore at establishment Three-Card Monte.

Next homework assignment for Gordon: Hillary on Kissinger. What it means, why it matters.

Better yet: we should get John Oliver on it.

clarky90 , August 22, 2016 at 2:24 am

(1) The Republican Party is ALSO the Party of the Great Redeemer, Abraham Lincoln.

(2) Word(s) are not Things, they are change, change, changing signifiers of nothing.

(3) The divide (spectrum) is NOT, left to right! The Neo-Bolsheviks (cons/libs) have used money and influence to appropriate (own) BOTH the "Left" and the "Right". They own (as in bought and sold "own") the discussion.

(4) The true spectrum is up and down. The 99% vs the 1%.

(5) 1%ers, aspiring 1%ers, the service staff of the 1% (managers etc) should definitely vote for Hillary Clinton. She is the candidate (voice for) The Unique.

(6) Donald Trump is seeking to be a voice for the 99%. IMO, this make him The Progressive.(The Walt Whitman Progressive) People who see themselves as members of the Masses, The People, The Crowd, The Gaia, The 99%, EveryMan/EveryWoman/EveryGender

(7) Trump does not look or sound the way most of us imagine, The Redeemer should look. (Obama was a perfectly looking redeemer, IMO, except, he was a false messiah ). IMO, Trump is the Redeemer, the real McCoy .

(8) " Inattentional blindness, also known as perceptual blindness , is a psychological lack of attention that is not associated with any vision defects or deficits. It may be further defined as the event in which an individual fails to recognize an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight. When it simply becomes impossible for one to attend to all the stimuli in a given situation, a temporary blindness effect can take place as a result; that is, individuals fail to see objects or stimuli that are unexpected and quite often salient."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inattentional_blindness

Trump is right in front of us. Stop listening to all the bullshit and open your eyes and ears to what is going on. (IMO, of course!)

digi_owl , August 22, 2016 at 3:09 am

The empire is naked.

jgordon , August 22, 2016 at 3:31 am

No matter how bad Trump is, Hillary is worse. Hell I wouldn't be voting for Trump if Hillary weren't in the race, that's for damn sure.

So just go ahead and keep doing more oppo research on Trump. Please–I beg you. Because no matter what you manage to pull out of your butt I'm just nodding my head and saying to myself, "yep. Probably true, but still far better than Hillary."

Madmamie , August 22, 2016 at 4:22 am

" But it's disconcerting to see Rebecca Gordon document how these individuals have engaged in the same sort of unacceptable behavior that they Trump would undertake, and then argue that Trump is obviously dangerous, and by implication, Clinton is not. Clinton is fully on board with the policies that these experts represent, so how exactly is she better? Gordon needs to make a case, not just assert superiority. "

Isn't this just another good example of why we shouldn't be afraid of the truth and plain talk? When we finally start using words like "liar", "cheater", "thief" "murderer" "assassin" to describe those (politicians) guilty of such crimes, we might be able to get rid of them. PC is too often a trap for the one practicing it. It dims the bright lights we want to shine on the wrong-doer and robs us of our ability to debate . There's a reason why plain-talking demagogues like Trump are so successful. Instead of wrapping ourselves even more tightly in the saran wrap of genteel good manners (sometimes just another way of showing superiority?) we should be honing our language skills and engaging with the enemy.

Pavel , August 22, 2016 at 6:46 am

Here's to using the right words. "War" (or, nowadays, military intervention or (ha!) humanitarian intervention - what's "humanitarian" about dropping bombs and destroying infrastructure and causing environmental devastation?) is murder .

Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton - all mass murderers. The latter two who weep public tears every time there is a mass shooting in the US that kills a dozen or so victims. Hillary is all about "arms control" in the US and slammed Bernie because he was too "lenient" on guns, while she razed Libya and caused the spread of masses of weapons from Libya to Syria.

There is mass murder going on in Yemen as I type, aided and abetted by the US military, using weapons sold by Obama and HRC to the Saudis.

Trump is a bloviating idiot (at best) but a simple question: how many people has he actually killed compared to Bush, Obama, and the two Clintons? And never forget Albright's "it was worth it" comment regarding 500,000 Iraqi children killed as a result of Bill Clinton's sanctions.

The hypocrisy of all this is stunning.

Tom , August 22, 2016 at 6:54 am

"The Iraq war was a big, fat, mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes .. but this one was a beauty!"
Donald Trump

EndOfTheWorld , August 22, 2016 at 7:18 am

If Hill actually shows up for the debates, this is one thing Donald can hammer her about without people screaming at him for being mean to the little lady--which is what they will do if he rips into her on some of the other stuff he will rip into her on. HRC will hide behind her skirts, like the phony "feminist" she is.

Pavel , August 22, 2016 at 7:47 am

I just stumbled on a new post at CounterPunch regarding Hillary's fake "feminism", including the following 'grafs:

During her husband's presidency, Hillary was a vocal advocate for the barbaric sanctions regime, as well as the No-Fly Zone and other belligerent actions taken by her husband against the Iraqi Government of Saddam Hussein. In fact, many experts have noted that the Clinton Iraq policy essentially laid the groundwork for George W. Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. In particular, Hillary was a leading proponent of the sanctions which, according to the UN, killed roughly 500,000 children.

And, of course, there's Hillary's infamous support for Bush's Iraq War when she was a Senator from New York. Clinton explained to the Council on Foreign Relations in December 2003, "I was one who supported giving President Bush the authority, if necessary, to use force against Saddam Hussein. I believe that that was the right vote .I stand by the vote." Of course this was in the immediate aftermath of the invasion of Iraq and subsequent capture of Saddam Hussein, a time when one could still justify support for a war that, just a few years later, proved to be politically unpalatable, to say nothing of it being an egregious war crime, as we all knew from the beginning.

And Hillary was not perturbed in the slightest at the hundreds of thousands of women and children whose lives were irrevocably destroyed by the war and its aftermath, one which is still being reckoned with today.

Hillary and Bill – the power couple tag team of Washington – also led the charge to bomb Serbia in 1999. During the 78 days of "Operation Allied Force" more than 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children. Naturally, this was of little consequence to the great feminist heroine Hillary who, according to biographer Gail Sheehy, proudly proclaimed "I urged [Bill Clinton] to bomb [Serbia]." The barbarism and sheer viciousness of someone who gleefully takes credit for the deaths of scores of children and countless thousands of women should give anyone who believes in the Hillary the feminist mythos serious pause.

Who could forget Libya? In the war championed by Hillary Clinton, who is regarded by experts as being the loudest voice in favor of regime change against Gaddafi and the destruction of the country, tens of thousands of women were raped, lynched, and murdered by the glorious "rebels" (read terrorists) backed by Clinton and her imperial coterie . Perhaps the great feminist hero could speak to the children of Misrata, Sirte, and Bani Walid who have now grown up without their mothers and fathers, and explain to them just how "worth it" the war was. Maybe Clinton could look mothers in the eyes and tell them how the deaths of their children from war, disease, and terrorism is a small price to pay for the foreign policy objectives of Washington.

[My emphasis]

–Eric Draitser: Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman 'Feminist'

Amazing the amount of cognitive dissonance going on with the Clinton "liberal" supporters.

Ché Pasa , August 22, 2016 at 7:33 am

The failure of so many partisans to recognize what is going on is startling. This is really one of the most remarkable political seasons in my memory, and I go back to Stevenson/Eisenhower days. (Criminy.)

We're watching what amounts to a reversal of political polarities, with the Democrats led by Hillary becoming sort of hopped-up post-modern high-end Republicans (what the Republicans would have become if they hadn't gone insane with power during and following the Reagan regime) and the Republicans becoming the party of a hopped-up and angry rabble. Their spokesman is Trump, but he's not their leader by any means. For the moment, there isn't one, but if this reversal/realignment is sustained - and I think it will be - there will be a Leader of the Rabble. It's too juicy an opportunity to resist.

Hillary is signaling in every way possible that she will govern as a hot-dog Republican, fully on board with the War Party which has been the driving force of the Republican and a significant part of the Democratic establishment since Bush the Old. Hillary is become what Jeb! was supposed to be.

The Establishment's War Party is fully on board with Herself as well.

This could turn ugly very quickly. They have been telling us very loudly that they want a confrontation with Russia and then with China to establish once and for all the dominance of the American Empire over the entire globe. They are prepared - and apparently eager - to crush any resistance with whatever force they choose, whenever they choose. Moscow and Beijing to be turned to seas of glowing glass if they do not yield sufficiently and in a timely fashion.

That's the threat this War Party under Mrs. Clinton holds out.

That is the threat the Republicans and their Party would have held out if the War Party had continued to hold sway within it. Trump has short-circuited that by insisting that glassing the "terrorists" is the right course of action, leaving the Russians and Chinese pretty much alone. Except that's not what the War Party wants. The "terrorists" in fact are their allies in the quest for ultimate power.

Instead, the goal seems to be to dismember/destroy Russia and to contain and control China, exploiting both for whatever resources can be extracted, ultimately leaving both as empty husks.

Trump says he has other goals, but they amount to a similar program with somewhat different victims.

Partisans see one as ultimate Evil, the other as Less Evil and therefore Good.

But it's a goon show. The War Party is determined to have its way again. Clinton will follow their lead; Trump would try to lead it. Neither we nor they can escape it.

When somebody comes up with a way to disable the War Party within the permanent government, I'll listen. Until then, we are as they say, f**ked.

[Aug 20, 2016] No, Ambassador McFaul Putin Didnt Order Me to Fall in Love with Donald Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul penned a scathing piece in the Washington Post accusing the Kremlin of intervening in the American election, based solely on the evidence of a harsh article regarding Clinton published by Sputnik News. Boy, was he wrong! ..."
"... On Wednesday night, Michael McFaul took to the Washington Post to opine that the article was part of a Kremlin-led conspiracy to subvert the American election, referring to the person running the Sputnik Twitter account (that particular day being me) as a "Russian official," before warning (threatening) that we "might want to think about what we plan to do" if Clinton becomes president. ..."
"... Pursuant to 18 US Code Chapter 115, I'd be writing this article to you from prison, if not awaiting a death sentence, if I were writing content ordered down to me by the Kremlin with a view towards subverting the American election. I am instead writing this piece from my favorite coffeeshop in downtown DC. I am not a Russian official. Our staff members are not Russian officials. We are not Kremlin controlled. We do not speak with Vladimir Putin over our morning coffee. ..."
"... In fact, the Atlantic Council's Ben Nimmo leveled a completely different view on Friday morning, calling our coverage "uncharacteristically balanced," but arguing that, because we report generally negative stories on both candidates, our real target is American democracy itself. ..."
"... It may surprise Mr. McFaul and Mr. Nimmo to learn that, in my previous work on political campaigns, I actually helped fundraise for Hillary Clinton - the candidate whose inner circle is now labelling my colleagues and I as foreign saboteurs. It is neither my fault nor Sputnik's fault that Secretary Clinton's campaign has devolved into one predicated upon fear and conspiracy, where the two primary lines are "the Russians did it" and that she is not Trump. ..."
"... The fact that more than 50% of the country dislikes both presidential candidates is not a Kremlin conspiracy. Would it be appropriate for us to present to our readers an alternate universe a la MSNBC, which defended Clinton's trustworthiness by saying she only perjured herself three times? ..."
"... Returning to the substance of the article to which Mr. McFaul took exception. This piece was written because it was newsworthy - it informed our readers and forced them to think. The provocative headline of the story was based on a statement by Trump that is a bit of a stretch (notice the air quotes on the title), but which highlights a major policy decision made by this administration that has not been properly scrutinized by the mainstream media. In the article, for those who actually read it, I refer to the 2012 DNI report that correctly calculated that Obama's policy in Syria would lead to the development of a Salafist entity controlling territory and that this outcome was "wanted." Hence, the title. ..."
"... Today, the Obama Administration grapples with a similar debate over whether to continue to support the "moderate rebels" in Syria, despite the fact that they have now melded with al-Nusra (an al-Qaeda affiliate until they rebranded), under the banner of the Army of Conquest in Syria. ..."
sputniknews.com

Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul penned a scathing piece in the Washington Post accusing the Kremlin of intervening in the American election, based solely on the evidence of a harsh article regarding Clinton published by Sputnik News. Boy, was he wrong!

My name is Bill Moran. A native Arizonan, I have worked on dozens of Democratic Party campaigns, and am more recently a proud writer for Sputnik's Washington, DC bureau.

It also seems, as of Thursday morning, that I am the source of controversy between the United States and Russia - something I never quite could have imagined - for writing an article that was critical of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a stinging headline and a harsh hashtag.

So, what is this controversy all about? This weekend I published a piece with the headline, "Secret File Confirms Trump Claim: Obama, Hillary 'Founded ISIS' to Oust Assad." I also tweeted out this story from our platform with the hashtag #CrookedHillary. Guilty as charged.

On Wednesday night, Michael McFaul took to the Washington Post to opine that the article was part of a Kremlin-led conspiracy to subvert the American election, referring to the person running the Sputnik Twitter account (that particular day being me) as a "Russian official," before warning (threatening) that we "might want to think about what we plan to do" if Clinton becomes president.

I feel it is necessary to pause, here, before having a substantive argument about the article's merits and purpose within the public discourse, to address the severity of the accusation leveled against me and Sputnik's staff (not by name until now), and its disturbing implications on freedom of speech, dissent, and American democracy - implications that I hope Mr. McFaul, other public proponents of the Hillary campaign, and the cadre of Russian critics consider.

Pursuant to 18 US Code Chapter 115, I'd be writing this article to you from prison, if not awaiting a death sentence, if I were writing content ordered down to me by the Kremlin with a view towards subverting the American election. I am instead writing this piece from my favorite coffeeshop in downtown DC. I am not a Russian official. Our staff members are not Russian officials. We are not Kremlin controlled. We do not speak with Vladimir Putin over our morning coffee.

Mr. McFaul worked side-by-side with the former Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, and his routine accusations that Trump supporters are siding with Putin leaves me to imagine that he is a Clinton insider if not a direct campaign surrogate. That such a public official would suggest reprisals against those with differing viewpoints in the event that she wins is disturbing.

Our outlet does not endorse or support any particular US presidential candidate, but rather reports news and views for the day in as diligent a manner as we possibly can. This is evident in our very harsh headlines on Trump, which Mr. McFaul failed to review before making his attack.

In fact, the Atlantic Council's Ben Nimmo leveled a completely different view on Friday morning, calling our coverage "uncharacteristically balanced," but arguing that, because we report generally negative stories on both candidates, our real target is American democracy itself.

It may surprise Mr. McFaul and Mr. Nimmo to learn that, in my previous work on political campaigns, I actually helped fundraise for Hillary Clinton - the candidate whose inner circle is now labelling my colleagues and I as foreign saboteurs. It is neither my fault nor Sputnik's fault that Secretary Clinton's campaign has devolved into one predicated upon fear and conspiracy, where the two primary lines are "the Russians did it" and that she is not Trump.

Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating since presidential polling began. Until recently, Clinton had the second lowest approval rating since presidential polling began. Their numbers are worse than even Barry Goldwater and George Wallace, in fact.

The fact that more than 50% of the country dislikes both presidential candidates is not a Kremlin conspiracy. Would it be appropriate for us to present to our readers an alternate universe a la MSNBC, which defended Clinton's trustworthiness by saying she only perjured herself three times?

There is a reason why both presidential candidates have received less than fawning coverage from our outlet: they have not done anything to warrant positive coverage. My colleagues, also Americans, like so many others in this country, wish they would.

Returning to the substance of the article to which Mr. McFaul took exception. This piece was written because it was newsworthy - it informed our readers and forced them to think.

The provocative headline of the story was based on a statement by Trump that is a bit of a stretch (notice the air quotes on the title), but which highlights a major policy decision made by this administration that has not been properly scrutinized by the mainstream media.

In the article, for those who actually read it, I refer to the 2012 DNI report that correctly calculated that Obama's policy in Syria would lead to the development of a Salafist entity controlling territory and that this outcome was "wanted." Hence, the title.

Today, the Obama Administration grapples with a similar debate over whether to continue to support the "moderate rebels" in Syria, despite the fact that they have now melded with al-Nusra (an al-Qaeda affiliate until they rebranded), under the banner of the Army of Conquest in Syria.

We do not pretend that these decisions exist in a vacuum with a clear right and wrong answer upon which no two intelligent people differ, but this is a matter worthy of public discourse.

And what about that hashtag? Why would I use #CrookedHillary? I mean, I could have put #Imwithher, but I wasn't trying to be ironic. When a hashtag is featured at the end of a sentence, its purpose is for cataloging. Some people, usually non-millennials, use hashtags as text to convey a particular opinion. I was not doing that. I also used #NeverTrump in a separate article.

But Mr. McFaul lazily cherry-picked, and then labeled (maybe unwittingly) Sputnik's American writers traitors to this country.

That, I personally, expect an apology for.

[Aug 19, 2016] 6 Problems With Medias Reaction To Trumps ISIS Comments

This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works.
This is nice example of how difficult is for ordinary person to cut threw media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) that is not much else.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump did something downright shocking for a debate a few days before an important Republican primary. He went after the country's last Republican president, George W. Bush. Hard. He went after the Republican Party's general foreign policy approach. Hard. ..."
"... Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right? The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don't even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction. ..."
"... Trump said, "The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign, remember that That's not keeping us safe." ..."
"... Compare that little vignette with this week, when Donald Trump repeatedly said that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were founders/co-founders/MVPs of ISIS. ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... DT: I don't care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay? ..."
"... Vanity Fair ..."
Aug 12, 2016 | thefederalist.com

Back in February, candidates for the Republican nomination for president debated each other in South Carolina. The Saturday evening discussion was raucous. Donald Trump did something downright shocking for a debate a few days before an important Republican primary. He went after the country's last Republican president, George W. Bush. Hard. He went after the Republican Party's general foreign policy approach. Hard.

Moderator John Dickerson asked him about his 2008 comments in favor of impeaching George W. Bush. He had said that year that Bush had "lied" to get the United States into a war in Iraq. Trump said to Dickerson:

Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right? The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don't even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.

Jeb Bush attempted to defend his brother's honor, saying, "And while Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I'm proud of what he did."

Trump said, "The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign, remember that That's not keeping us safe."

And on it went. Yes, many in the crowd booed. Yes, many Republicans opposed his conspiracy theories about George W. Bush. The media were able to report Trump's challenges to Republican foreign policy without weighing in on the veracity of his claims. The most interesting thing of all? Trump easily won the South Carolina primary a week later with 33 percent of the vote.

Compare that little vignette with this week, when Donald Trump repeatedly said that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were founders/co-founders/MVPs of ISIS. Even though the media had more than shot their outrage wad for the week, the media doubled, tripled, even quadrupled down on their outrage for the Wednesday night-Thursday news cycle. Here are six problems with the media's complete meltdown over the remarks.

  1. Why Did This Become an Issue Now and Not 7 Months Ago?

    Republicans who oppose Trump claim the media encouraged Trump when he was setting fire to Republican opponents but have fought him tooth and nail in the general. Ammunition for that claim includes the distinct ways the media have reacted to his long-standing claim that Obama and Clinton founded ISIS.

    As the Washington Examiner notes, Trump said this three times in January alone:

    'They've created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,' he said during a campaign rally in Mississippi.

    Trump restated the claim in an interview on CBS in July. 'Hillary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies,' he said. 'She is responsible for ISIS.'

    He said it again during a rally in Florida one month later. 'It was Hillary Clinton – she should take an award from them as the founder of ISIS.'

    Needless to say, the media response to these comments was more bemused enabling than the abject horror they reserved for this week. The full media meltdown over something Trump has been saying all year long is at best odd and unbecoming. At worst, it suggests deep media corruption.

  2. Hyperliteralism

    Listen, Trump might be an effective communicator with his core audience, but others have trouble understanding him. His speaking style couldn't be more removed from the anodyne and cautious political rhetoric of our era. This can be a challenge for political journalists in particular. His sentences run on into paragraphs. He avoids specificity or contradicts himself when he doesn't. His sentences trail into other sentences before they finish. He doesn't play the usual games that the media are used to. It's frustrating.

    So the media immediately decided Trump was claiming that Obama had literally incorporated ISIS a few years back. And they treated this literal claim as a fact that needed to be debunked.

    Politifact gave the claim one of their vaunted "pants on fire" rulings: ... ... ...

    The "fact" "check" admits that both President Barack Obama's leadership in Iraq and Hillary Clinton's push to change regimes in Libya led to the explosion of ISIS but says that since Trump said he really, totally, no-joke meant Obama and Clinton were co-founders, that they must give him a Pants On Fire rating.

    Even ABC News had a piece headlined, "Obama Is Not the 'Founder' of ISIS – These Guys Are." Nobody can be this stupid, not even our media.

    As for the CNN chyron which appears to be deployed never in the case of Hillary Clinton's many serious troubles with truth-telling, or when Joe Biden told black voters that Republicans were going to "put y'all back in chains," but repeatedly in the case of Donald Trump speaking hyperbolically, this tweet is worth considering:

  3. Failure to Do Due Diligence

    On Thursday morning, Trump did a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt. The media clipped one part of his answer and used it to push a narrative that Donald Trump was super serial about Obama literally going to Baghdad, attending organizational meetings, and holding bake sales to launch his new organization ISIS.

    Kapur's tweet went viral but so did about eleventy billion other reporter tweets making the same point. The Guardian headline was "Trump reiterates he literally believes Barack Obama is the 'founder of Isis'."

    You really need to listen to the interview to get the full flavor of how unjournalistic this narrative is.

    Yes, Trump does reiterate over and over that Obama is the founder of ISIS. And yes, he says he really meant to say Obama founded ISIS. But that's definitely not all. How hard is it to listen for an additional minute or read an additional few words? The relevant portion of the interview is from 15:25 to 16:53. So this is not a huge investment of your time.

    First off, let's note for our hyperliteral media that Trump says "I'm a person that doesn't like insulting people" a few seconds before Hewitt asks about the ISIS comments. (Fact check: Pants on fire, amiright?) In this minute and a half, Trump says "I meant he's the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton." Hewitt pushes back, saying that Obama is trying to kill ISIS. Trump says:

    DT: I don't care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?

    Here, journalists and pundits, is your first slap across the face that maybe, just maybe, Trump is not talking about articles of incorporation but, rather, something else entirely.

    Hewitt says, yeah, but the way you're saying it is opening you up to criticism. Was it a mistake? Trump says not at all. Obama is ISIS's most valuable player. Then Trump asks Hewitt if he doesn't like the way he's phrasing all this! And here's where journalists might want to put on their thinking caps and pay attention. Hewitt says he'd say that Obama and Hillary lost the peace and created a vacuum for ISIS, but he wouldn't say they created it:

    HH: I don't. I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn't create ISIS. That's what I would say.

    DT: Well, I disagree.

    HH: All right, that's okay.

    DT: I mean, with his bad policies, that's why ISIS came about.

    HH: That's

    DT: If he would have done things properly, you wouldn't have had ISIS.

    HH: That's true.

    DT: Therefore, he was the founder of ISIS.

    HH: And that's, I'd just use different language to communicate it, but let me close with this, because I know I'm keeping you long, and Hope's going to kill me.

    DT: But they wouldn't talk about your language, and they do talk about my language, right?

    Now, this is undoubtedly true. When people critique Obama's policies as Hewitt did, the media either call the critic racist or ignore him. When Trump critiques Obama's policies, they do talk about the way he does it. Maybe this means the message gets through to people.

    No matter what, though, the media should have stuck through all 90 seconds of the discussion to avoid the idiotic claim that Trump was saying Obama was literally on the ground in Iraq running ISIS' operations. He flat-out admits he's speaking hyperbolically to force the media to cover it.

  4. Pretending This Rhetoric Is Abnormal

    People accuse their political opponents of being responsible for bad things all the time. Clinton accused Trump of being ISIS' top recruiter. Bush's CIA and NSA chief said Trump was a "recruiting sergeant" for ISIS. Former NYC mayor Rudy Guiliani said Hillary Clinton could be considered a founding member of ISIS. Here was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, just a few weeks ago, making a completely false claim of Republican's literal ties to ISIS:

    Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum placed blame for ISIS on Obama and Clinton. Sen. John McCain said Obama was "directly responsible" for the Orlando ISIS attack due to his failure to deal with the terror group. President Obama said he couldn't think of a more potent recruiting tool for ISIS than Republican rhetoric in support of prioritizing help for Christians who had been targeted by the group. Last year, Vanity Fair published a piece blaming George W. Bush for ISIS. Heck, so did President Obama. There are many other examples. This type of rhetoric may not be exemplary, but we shouldn't pretend it's unique to Trump.


  5. Missing Actual Problems with His Comments

    Huge kudos to BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski for avoiding the feigned outrage/fainting couch in favor of an important critique of Trump's comments. He didn't pretend to be confused by what Trump was saying. By avoiding that silliness, he noticed something much more problematic with Trump's comments.

    Trump has cited the conservative critique of President Obama's Iraq policy - that the withdrawal of troops in 2011 led to a power vacuum that allowed ISIS to flourish - in making the claim.

    'He was the founder of ISIS, absolutely,' Trump said on CNBC on Thursday. 'The way he removed our troops - you shouldn't have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq. Totally against it.' (Trump was not against the war as he has repeatedly claimed.) 'The way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, OK?' Trump later said.

    But lost in Trump's immediate comments is that, for years, he pushed passionately and forcefully for the same immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. In interview after interview in the later 2000s, Trump said American forces should be removed from Iraq.

    Read the whole (brief) thing. One of the Trump quotes in the piece specifically has him acknowledging the civil unrest in Iraq that led to ISIS flourishing. It's a devastating critique and a far smarter one than the silly hysteria on display elsewhere.

  6. We're Still Not Talking about Widespread Dissatisfaction with Our Foreign Policy

    Let's think back to the opening vignette. Trump went into the South in the middle of the Republican primary and ostentatiously micturated over George W. Bush's Iraq policy. The voters of South Carolina rewarded him with a victory.

    Here's the real scandal in this outrage-du-jour: by pretending to think that Trump was claiming Obama had operational control over ISIS' day-to-day decision making, the media failed to cover widespread dissatisfaction with this country's foreign policy, whether it's coming from George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

    Many Americans are rather sick of this country's way of fighting wars, where enemies receive decades of nation-building instead of crushing defeats, and where threats are pooh-poohed or poorly managed instead of actually dealt with.

    Trump may be an uneven and erratic communicator who is unable to force that discussion in a way that a more traditional candidate might, but the media shouldn't have to be forced into it. Crowds are cheering Trump's hard statements about Obama and Clinton's policies in the Middle East because they are sick and tired of losing men, women, treasure and time with impotent, misguided, aimless efforts there.

    The vast majority of Americans supported invading Iraq, even if many of them deny they supported it now. Americans have lost confidence in both Republican and Democratic foreign policy approaches. No amount of media hysteria will hide that reality.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

[Aug 18, 2016] Clinton is actively seeking Henry Kissingers endorsement.

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton's respect for Kissinger has been noted before I think, and it's awful. Even if she were free of that shithead, though, her current goal is to demolish Trump. Voices on the GOP side really are important to erode his support not just among voters but within the party and the donor base. This could be a historic walloping. If monsters can help the effort to flip the senate, court the monsters. ..."
crookedtimber.org
Ah, it's official: Clinton is actively seeking Henry Kissinger's endorsement. The man who helped scuttle the peace talks in 1968, prolonging the Vietnam War by seven years, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Who was at the heart of the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos-personally selecting targets for bomber runs-which led to the destabilization of Cambodia and ultimately the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian genocide. Who firmly backed the Pakistani military in its genocidal slaughter in Bangladesh. As Greg Grandin, whose book about Kissinger is must-reading, wrote not so long ago, "The full tally hasn't been done, but a back-of-the-envelope count would attribute 3, maybe 4 million deaths to Kissinger's actions, but that number probably undercounts his victims in southern Africa."

This is the man whose support Hillary wants. Because Kissinger sways so many votes in Ohio or Georgia? No, because he's prudential, realistic, respectable, unlike that irresponsible reckless madman Donald Trump.

I'm actually beginning to welcome the "we've never had someone as bad as Trump before" meme. I can't think of a greater (and deliciously unintentional) indictment of the United States than that claim. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/clinton-republican-elder-statesmen-kissinger-226680#ixzz4GklOFXfV 441

Corey Robin 08.09.16 at 5:02 pm

Greg's actually just written an excellent piece on the abomination that is Henry Kissinger and Clinton's attempt to secure his endorsement.

https://www.thenation.com/article/henry-kissinger-hillary-clintons-tutor-in-war-and-peace/

LFC 08.09.16 at 5:07 pm 442
A glance at the Politico piece reveals it's a bit vague on the details, saying that, according to an unnamed source, the Clinton campaign has "sent out feelers" to Kissinger, Baker, Schultz, and Rice. But yeah, that's a mistake. Her campaign doesn't need them, and why HRC does not do everything to keep her distance from Kissinger - I mean as a political matter (if they want to be on friendly terms in private life, I guess that's their business) - is mystifying. Maybe Bill Clinton, who attended anti-Vietnam War protests in London while a student at Oxford, shd have a long talk w/ HRC about the period. Since, though she lived through it, it apparently did not make that much of an impact. Anyway, I'd be surprised if Kissinger ends up publicly endorsing her.

The Temporary Name 08.09.16 at 5:09 pm

This is the man whose support Hillary wants. Because Kissinger sways so many votes in Ohio or Georgia? No, because he's prudential, realistic, respectable, unlike that irresponsible reckless madman Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton's respect for Kissinger has been noted before I think, and it's awful. Even if she were free of that shithead, though, her current goal is to demolish Trump. Voices on the GOP side really are important to erode his support not just among voters but within the party and the donor base. This could be a historic walloping. If monsters can help the effort to flip the senate, court the monsters.

Corey Robin 08.09.16 at 5:13 pm 445

It's really not mystifying. Clinton has long courted that imprimatur of foreign policy mainstream respectability, and while the origins of that courting may have been instrumental and strategic, pure political calculation, it has since become a part of her political identity. I don't this is cynicism anymore; she believes it.

Meanwhile, the poll numbers keep climbing for her. Virtually every mainstream journalist now recognizes what some of us have been saying for months. Absent a "miracle," as Rothenberg says here, Trump will be squashed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/08/09/donald-trump-needs-a-miracle-to-win/?wpisrc=nl_most-draw5&wpmm=1

[Aug 13, 2016] F. William Engdahl - Ambassador John Bass - professional CIA agent provocateur

This transformation of State Department into the branch of CIA started under Madeleine Albright and reached crescendo during Hillary Clinton.
Notable quotes:
"... I personally have suggested investigating the person of the US Ambassador in Ankara John Bass, who was Ambassador in Republic of Georgia in 2008 and who was involved in dirty business in Iraq, and also seems to be involved in "Color revolution" in Kiev. There are very few "traditional" diplomats in a state department. ..."
Katehon think tank

The new evidence of the US participation in the coup attempt in Turkey emerged. Greek press published a photo made a day before the coup. It shows the US ambassador in Turkey John Basse together with the Turkish senior officer, who looks like one of the leaders of the coup Col. Ali Yazıcı (former military adviser to President Erdogan). They had a private meeting in Cengelkoy café the day before the coup.

F. William Engdahl - historian, economic researcher, writer comments this:

The US right now is on a defensive. Erdogan has openly challenged leading NATO generals. There is investigation of evidences of the US involvement in the coup. I personally have suggested investigating the person of the US Ambassador in Ankara John Bass, who was Ambassador in Republic of Georgia in 2008 and who was involved in dirty business in Iraq, and also seems to be involved in "Color revolution" in Kiev. There are very few "traditional" diplomats in a state department.

[Aug 06, 2016] Vladimir Putin Issued a Chilling Warning to the United States

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is aware of the United States' plans for nuclear hegemony ..."
"... The Russian president also highlighted the fact that although the United States missile system is referred to as an "anti-missile defense system," the systems are just as offensive as they are defensive: ..."
"... Putin further explained the implications of this missile defense system's implementation without any response from Russia. The ability of the missile defense system to render Russia's nuclear capabilities useless would cause an upset in what Putin refers to as the "strategic balance" of the world. Without this balance of power, the U.S. would be free to pursue their policies throughout the world without any tangible threat from Russia. Therefore, this "strategic balance," according to Putin, is what has kept the world safe from large-scale wars and military conflicts. ..."
Aug 04, 2016 | theantimedia.org

(ANTIMEDIA) As the United States continues to develop and upgrade their nuclear weapons capabilities at an alarming rate, America's ruling class refuses to heed warnings from President Vladimir Putin that Russia will respond as necessary.

In his most recent attempt to warn his Western counterparts about the impending danger of a new nuclear arms race, Putin told the heads of large foreign companies and business associations that Russia is aware of the United States' plans for nuclear hegemony. He was speaking at the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"We know year by year what will happen, and they know that we know," he said.

Putin argued that the rationale the U.S. previously gave for maintaining and developing its nuclear weapons system is directed at the so-called "Iranian threat." But that threat has been drastically reduced since the U.S. proved instrumental in reaching an agreement with Iran that should put to rest any possible Iranian nuclear potential.

The Russian president also highlighted the fact that although the United States missile system is referred to as an "anti-missile defense system," the systems are just as offensive as they are defensive:

"They say [the missile systems] are part of their defense capability, and are not offensive, that these systems are aimed at protecting them from aggression. It's not true the strategic ballistic missile defense is part of an offensive strategic capability, [and] functions in conjunction with an aggressive missile strike system."

This missile system has been launched throughout Europe, and despite American promises at the end of the Cold War that NATO's expansion would not move "as much as a thumb's width further to the East," the missile system has been implemented in many of Russia's neighboring countries, most recently in Romania.

Russia views this as a direct attack on their security.

"How do we know what's inside those launchers? All one needs to do is reprogram [the system], which is an absolutely inconspicuous task,"

Putin stated.

Putin further explained the implications of this missile defense system's implementation without any response from Russia. The ability of the missile defense system to render Russia's nuclear capabilities useless would cause an upset in what Putin refers to as the "strategic balance" of the world. Without this balance of power, the U.S. would be free to pursue their policies throughout the world without any tangible threat from Russia. Therefore, this "strategic balance," according to Putin, is what has kept the world safe from large-scale wars and military conflicts.

Following George W. Bush's 2001 decision to unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, Russia was, according to Putin, left with no choice but to upgrade their capabilities in response.

Putin warned:

"Today Russia has reached significant achievements in this field. We have modernized our missile systems and successfully developed new generations. Not to mention missile defense systems We must provide security not only for ourselves. It's important to provide strategic balance in the world, which guarantees peace on the planet.

Under the guise of following an anti-nuclear weapons policy, the Obama administration has announced plans for a $1 trillion nuclear weapons plan, which - let's face it - is targeted at Russia.

Neutralizing Russia's nuclear potential will undo, according to Putin, "the mutual threat that has provided [mankind] with global security for decades."

There is no winner in a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. This has been not only confirmed but repeatedly warned about by atomic scientists who - if we are being honest - are the people whose opinion on this topic should matter the most.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that NASA scientists want to colonize the moon by 2022 - we may have to if we don't drastically alter the path we are on. As Albert Einstein famously stated:

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

This article (Vladimir Putin Just Issued a Chilling Warning to the United States) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Darius Shahtahmasebi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.

[Aug 06, 2016] Empire's Chain Reaction

Notable quotes:
"... Whatever the character of America's involvement in the Middle East before 1980, when Bacevich's account begins, it was not a war, at least not in terms of American casualties. "From the end of World War II to 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in that region," he notes. "Within a decade," however, "a great shift occurred. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere except in the Greater Middle East." ..."
"... The sequence of events, lucidly related by Bacevich, would be a dark absurdist comedy if it weren't tragically real. To check Iran, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88, whose final phase, the so-called "Tanker War," involved direct U.S. military engagement with Iranian naval forces. (Bacevich calls this the real first Persian Gulf War.) ..."
"... Finally, George W. Bush decided to risk what his father had dared not: invading Iraq with the objective of "regime change," he launched a third Gulf War in 2003. The notion his neoconservative advisers put into Bush's head was that, with only a little help from American occupation and reconstruction, the void left by Saddam Hussein's removal would be filled by a model democracy. ..."
"... Yet the first Bush had been right: Iran, as well as ISIS, reaped the rewards of regime change in Baghdad. And so America is now being drawn into a fourth Gulf War, reintroducing troops-styled as advisors-into Iraq to counter the effects of the previous Gulf War, which was itself an answer to the unfinished business of the wars of 1991 and the late 1980s. Our military interventions in the Persian Gulf have been a self-perpetuating chain reaction for over three decades. ..."
"... "Wolfowitz adhered to an expansive definition of the Persian Gulf," notes Bacevich, which in that young defense intellectual's words extended from "the region between Pakistan and Iran in the northeast to the Yemens in the southwest." Wolfowitz identified two prospective menaces to U.S. interests in the region: the Soviet Union-this was still the Cold War era, after all-and "the emerging Iraqi threat"; to counter these Wolfowitz called for "advisors and counterinsurgency specialists, token combat forces, or a major commitment" of U.S. forces to the Middle East. ..."
"... The military bureaucracy took advantage of the removal of one enemy from the map-Soviet Communism-to redirect resources toward a new region and new threats. As Bacevich observes, "What some at the time were calling a 'peace dividend' offered CENTCOM a way of expanding its portfolio of assets." Operation Desert Storm, and all that came afterward, became possible. ..."
"... The final lesson of this one is simple: "Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect." ..."
The American Conservative

Bacevich's latest book, America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, is a bookend of sorts to American Empire. The earlier work was heavy on theory and institutional development, the groundwork for the wars of the early 21st century. The new book covers the history itself-and argues persuasively that the Afghanistan, Iraq, and other, smaller wars since 9/11 are parts of a larger conflict that began much earlier, back in the Carter administration.

Whatever the character of America's involvement in the Middle East before 1980, when Bacevich's account begins, it was not a war, at least not in terms of American casualties. "From the end of World War II to 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in that region," he notes. "Within a decade," however, "a great shift occurred. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere except in the Greater Middle East."

Operation Eagle Claw, Carter's ill-fated mission to rescue Americans held hostage in Iran, was the first combat engagement in the war. Iran would continue to tempt Washington to military action throughout the next 36 years-though paradoxically, attempts to contain Iran more often brought the U.S. into war with the Islamic Republic's hostile neighbor, Iraq.

The sequence of events, lucidly related by Bacevich, would be a dark absurdist comedy if it weren't tragically real. To check Iran, the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88, whose final phase, the so-called "Tanker War," involved direct U.S. military engagement with Iranian naval forces. (Bacevich calls this the real first Persian Gulf War.)

Weakened and indebted by that war, and thinking the U.S. tolerant of his ambitions, Saddam then invaded Kuwait, leading to full-scale U.S. military intervention against him: Operation Desert Storm in 1991. (By Bacevich's count, the second Gulf War.) President George H.W. Bush stopped American forces from pushing on to Baghdad after liberating Kuwait, however, because-among other things-toppling Saddam would have created a dangerous vacuum that Iran might fill.

A decade of sanctions, no-fly zones, and intermittent bombing then ensued, as Washington, under Bush and Clinton, would neither depose Saddam Hussein nor permit him to reassert himself. Finally, George W. Bush decided to risk what his father had dared not: invading Iraq with the objective of "regime change," he launched a third Gulf War in 2003. The notion his neoconservative advisers put into Bush's head was that, with only a little help from American occupation and reconstruction, the void left by Saddam Hussein's removal would be filled by a model democracy. This would set a precedent for America to democratize every trouble-making state in the region, including Iran.

Yet the first Bush had been right: Iran, as well as ISIS, reaped the rewards of regime change in Baghdad. And so America is now being drawn into a fourth Gulf War, reintroducing troops-styled as advisors-into Iraq to counter the effects of the previous Gulf War, which was itself an answer to the unfinished business of the wars of 1991 and the late 1980s. Our military interventions in the Persian Gulf have been a self-perpetuating chain reaction for over three decades.

Iran released its American hostages the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president: January 20, 1981. So what accounts for another 35 years of conflict with Iran and Iraq? The answer begins with oil.

Bacevich takes us back to the Carter years. "By June 1979, a just-completed study by a then-obscure Defense Department official named Paul Wolfowitz was attracting notice throughout the national security bureaucracy." This "Limited Contingency Study" described America's "vital and growing stake in the Persian Gulf," arising from "our need for Persian-Gulf oil and because events in the Persian Gulf affect the Arab-Israeli conflict."

"Wolfowitz adhered to an expansive definition of the Persian Gulf," notes Bacevich, which in that young defense intellectual's words extended from "the region between Pakistan and Iran in the northeast to the Yemens in the southwest." Wolfowitz identified two prospective menaces to U.S. interests in the region: the Soviet Union-this was still the Cold War era, after all-and "the emerging Iraqi threat"; to counter these Wolfowitz called for "advisors and counterinsurgency specialists, token combat forces, or a major commitment" of U.S. forces to the Middle East.

(Bacevich is fair to Wolfowitz, acknowledging that Saddam Hussein was indeed an expansionist, as the Iraqi dictator would demonstrate by invading Iran in 1980 and seizing Kuwait a decade later. Whether this meant that Iraq was ever a threat to U.S. interests is, of course, a different question-as is whether the Soviet Union could really have cut America off from Gulf oil.)

Wolfowitz was not alone in calling for the U.S. to become the guarantor of Middle East security-and Saudi Arabia's security in particular-and President Carter heeded the advice. In March 1980 he created the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), predecessor to what we now know as the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which has military oversight for the region. The RDJTF's second head, Lt. Gen. Robert Kingston, described its mission, in admirably frank language, as simply "to ensure the unimpeded flow of oil from the Arabian Gulf."

Iraq and Iran both posed dangers to the flow of oil and its control by Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies-to use the term loosely-of the United States. And just as the U.S. was drawn into wars with Iran and Iraq when it tried to play one against the other, America's defense of Saudi Arabia would have grave unintended consequences-such as the creation of al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was outraged when, in 1990, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd declined his offer to wage holy war against Saddam Hussein and instead turned to American protection, even permitting the stationing of American military personnel in Islam's sacred lands. "To liberate Kuwait," writes Bacevich, bin Laden had "offered to raise an army of mujahedin. Rejecting his offer and his protest, Saudi authorities sought to silence the impertinent bin Laden. Not long thereafter, he fled into exile, determined to lead a holy war that would overthrow the corrupt Saudi royals." The instrument bin Laden forged to accomplish that task, al-Qaeda, would target Americans as well, seeking to push the U.S. out of Muslim lands.

Bin Laden had reason to hope for success: in the 1980s he had helped mujahedin defeat another superpower, the Soviet Union, in Afghanistan. That struggle, of course, was supported by the U.S., through the CIA's "Operation Cyclone," which funneled arms and money to the Soviets' Muslim opponents. Bacevich offers a verdict on this program:

Operation Cyclone illustrates one of the central ironies of America's War for the Greater Middle East-the unwitting tendency, while intently focusing on solving one problem, to exacerbate a second and plant the seeds of a third. In Afghanistan, this meant fostering the rise of Islamic radicalism and underwriting Pakistan's transformation into a nuclear-armed quasi-rogue state while attempting to subvert the Soviet Union.

America's support for the mujahedin succeeded in inflicting defeat on the USSR-but left Afghanistan a haven and magnet for Islamist radicals, including bin Laden.

Another irony of Bacevich's tale is the way in which the end of the Cold War made escalation of the War for the Greater Middle East possible. The Carter and Reagan administrations never considered the Middle East the centerpiece of their foreign policy: Western Europe and the Cold War took precedence. Carter and Reagan were unsystematic about their engagement with the Middle East and, even as they expanded America's military presence, remained wary of strategic overcommitment. Operation Eagle Claw, Reagan's deployment of troops to Lebanon in 1983 and bombing of Libya in 1986, and even the meddling in Iran and Iraq were all small-scale projects compared to what would be unleashed after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The military bureaucracy took advantage of the removal of one enemy from the map-Soviet Communism-to redirect resources toward a new region and new threats. As Bacevich observes, "What some at the time were calling a 'peace dividend' offered CENTCOM a way of expanding its portfolio of assets." Operation Desert Storm, and all that came afterward, became possible.

The Greater Middle East of Bacevich's title centers strategically, if not geographically, upon Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. But its strategic implications and cultural reach are wide, encompassing Libya, Somalia, and other African states with significant Muslim populations; Afghanistan and Pakistan (or "AfPak," in the Obama administration's parlance); and even, on the periphery, the Balkans, where the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. That Clinton-era intervention is examined in detail by Bacevich: "Today, years after NATO came to their rescue," he writes, "a steady stream of Bosnians and Kosovars leave their homeland and head off toward Syria and Iraq, where they enlist as fighters in the ongoing anti-American, anti-Western jihad."

Much as George W. Bush believed that liberal democracy would spring up in Saddam Hussein's wake, the humanitarian interventionists who demanded that Bill Clinton send peacekeepers to Bosnia and bomb Serbia on behalf of the Kosovars thought that they were making the world safe for their own liberal, multicultural values. But as Bacevich notes, the Balkan Muslims joining ISIS today are "waging war on behalf of an entirely different set of universal values."

Bacevich's many books confront readers with painful but necessary truths. The final lesson of this one is simple: "Perpetuating the War for the Greater Middle East is not enhancing American freedom, abundance, and security. If anything, it is having the opposite effect."

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative.

[Aug 06, 2016] Saudi Arabia funds and exports Islamic extremism The truth behind the toxic U.S. relationship with the theocratic monarchy

Notable quotes:
"... "In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other," Daoud continued. "This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on." ..."
"... In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent an estimated $100 billion exporting its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide. It infuses its fundamentalist ideology in the ostensible charity work it performs, often targeting poor Muslim communities in countries like Pakistan or places like refugee camps, where uneducated, indigent, oppressed people are more susceptible to it. ..."
"... What is not contested, on the other hand, is that Saudi elites in the business community and even segments of the royal family support extremist groups like al-Qaida. U.S. government cables leaked by WikiLeaks admit "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." ..."
"... Sen. Graham has nevertheless insisted that the possibility that elements of the Saudi royal family supported the 9/11 attackers should not be ruled out. In his 2004 book "Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror," Graham further argued these points, from his background within the U.S. government. ..."
"... The independent, non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has detailed the allegations and possible evidence - or lack thereof - of Saudi ties to the 9/11 attacks on its website FactCheck.org. ..."
"... Yet despite its brutality and support for extremism, the U.S. considers the Saudi monarchy a "close ally." The State Department calls Saudi Arabia "a strong partner in regional security and counterterrorism efforts, providing military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation." It stated in September 2015 it "welcomed" the appointment of Saudi Arabia to the head of a U.N. human rights panel. "We're close allies," the State Department remarked. ..."
"... During the Cold War - and particularly during the Soviet war in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s - the U.S., hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia, actively encouraged religious extremism. They stressed that socialist and communist movements were often atheistic, and pitted far-right religious fundamentalists against the secular leftists. The remnants of this policy are the extremist movements we see throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia today. ..."
"... In order to decimate the left in the Cold War, the U.S. emboldened, armed and trained the extreme-right. The Frankenstein's monsters it created in the pursuit of this policy are the al-Qaedas and ISISes of the world. ..."
"... Saudi Arabia is truly a country that was created through Western imperialism. Before Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud, Saudi Arabia was a relatively weak country with little global political influence. It was Western, and principally U.S., patronage that turned Saudi Arabia into what it is today. ..."
"... Women are essentially second-class citizens in Saudi Arabia. They are given nowhere near equal rights with men - who basically own their wives and daughters - and cannot travel without men accompanying them. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing among women, even though many are educated, and they were only just granted the right to vote in December 2015 - although they do not have any actual effectual politicians to vote for under an absolute monarchy. ..."
"... The U.S. will realize that there really is an easy way to stop terrorism: It will stop participating in it, and end its alliance with Saudi Arabia. ..."
"... "There was no 'overthrow.'" ..."
"... I've seen for myself the investments that Saudi Arabia has made in Kyrgyzstan to turn their Muslim majority into a destabilizing force. They pay for brand new Mosques with gleaming spires, and these are the locations where the local Muslims become radicalized and where guns, ammunition and explosives are held. ..."
"... one reason the usa government loves saudi is that the government activities enrich the officers of state. dubya not only promoted a war, he enriched his family with munitions contracts. look at the 'carlyle group.' ..."
"... It's no wonder the average Middle Easterner thinks the US is behind ISIS. ..."
www.salon.com

"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it." So advised world-renowned public intellectual Noam Chomsky, one of the most cited thinkers in human history.

The counsel may sound simple and intuitive - that's because it is. But when it comes to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. ignores it.

Saudi Arabia is the world's leading sponsor of Islamic extremism. It is also a close U.S. ally.

... ... ...

Saudi Arabia is a theocratic absolute monarchy that governs based on an extreme interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law). It is so extreme, it has been widely compared to ISIS. Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud characterized Saudi Arabia in an op-ed in The New York Times as "an ISIS that has made it."

"Black Daesh, white Daesh," Daoud wrote, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. "The former slits throats, kills, stones, cuts off hands, destroys humanity's common heritage and despises archaeology, women and non-Muslims. The latter is better dressed and neater but does the same things. The Islamic State; Saudi Arabia."

"In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other," Daoud continued. "This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on."

In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent an estimated $100 billion exporting its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide. It infuses its fundamentalist ideology in the ostensible charity work it performs, often targeting poor Muslim communities in countries like Pakistan or places like refugee camps, where uneducated, indigent, oppressed people are more susceptible to it.

Whether elements within Saudi Arabia support ISIS is contested. Even if Saudi Arabia does not directly support or fund ISIS, however, Saudi Arabia gives legitimacy to the extremist ideology ISIS preaches.

What is not contested, on the other hand, is that Saudi elites in the business community and even segments of the royal family support extremist groups like al-Qaida. U.S. government cables leaked by WikiLeaks admit "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide."

Supporters of the Saudi monarchy resist comparisons to ISIS. The regime itself threatened to sue social media users who compared it to ISIS. Apologists point out that ISIS and Saudi Arabia are enemies. This is indeed true. But this is not necessarily because they are ideologically different (they are similar) but rather because they threaten each other's power.

There can only be one autocrat in an autocratic system; ISIS' self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi refuses to kowtow to present Saudi King Salman, and vice-versa. After all, the Saudi absolute monarch partially justifies his rule through claiming that it has been blessed and ordained by God, and if ISIS' caliph insists the same, they can't both be right.

Some American politicians have criticized the U.S.-Saudi relationship for these very reasons. Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham has been perhaps the most outspoken critic. Graham has called extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda "a product of Saudi ideals, Saudi money and Saudi organizational support."

... ... ...

Sen. Graham has nevertheless insisted that the possibility that elements of the Saudi royal family supported the 9/11 attackers should not be ruled out. In his 2004 book "Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror," Graham further argued these points, from his background within the U.S. government.

The independent, non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has detailed the allegations and possible evidence - or lack thereof - of Saudi ties to the 9/11 attacks on its website FactCheck.org.

Whatever its role, what is clear is that Saudi Arabia's support for violent extremist groups is well documented. Such support continues to this very day. In Syria, the Saudi monarchy has backed al-Nusra, al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate. The U.S. government has bombed al-Nusra, but its ally Saudi Arabia is funding it.

Yet despite its brutality and support for extremism, the U.S. considers the Saudi monarchy a "close ally." The State Department calls Saudi Arabia "a strong partner in regional security and counterterrorism efforts, providing military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation." It stated in September 2015 it "welcomed" the appointment of Saudi Arabia to the head of a U.N. human rights panel. "We're close allies," the State Department remarked.

... ... ...

During the Cold War - and particularly during the Soviet war in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s - the U.S., hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia, actively encouraged religious extremism. They stressed that socialist and communist movements were often atheistic, and pitted far-right religious fundamentalists against the secular leftists. The remnants of this policy are the extremist movements we see throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia today.

In order to decimate the left in the Cold War, the U.S. emboldened, armed and trained the extreme-right. The Frankenstein's monsters it created in the pursuit of this policy are the al-Qaedas and ISISes of the world.

... ... ...

Saudi Arabia is truly a country that was created through Western imperialism. Before Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud, Saudi Arabia was a relatively weak country with little global political influence. It was Western, and principally U.S., patronage that turned Saudi Arabia into what it is today.

The Saudi monarchy presents itself as modernized, yet it is still feudal in essence. There is almost no developed civil society in Saudi Arabia, because the regime has made all independent institutionalized forms of dissent illegal.

Women are essentially second-class citizens in Saudi Arabia. They are given nowhere near equal rights with men - who basically own their wives and daughters - and cannot travel without men accompanying them. Unemployment rates are skyrocketing among women, even though many are educated, and they were only just granted the right to vote in December 2015 - although they do not have any actual effectual politicians to vote for under an absolute monarchy.

... ... ...

If it is truly interested in stopping terrorism, then, the U.S. and the rest of the West will heed Chomsky's advice. The U.S. will realize that there really is an easy way to stop terrorism: It will stop participating in it, and end its alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Ben Norton is a politics staff writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @BenjaminNorton.

Publicola,

@RobertSF claims without evidence:

"There was no 'overthrow.'"

CIA documents directly contradict your claim.

----------------------------

CIA admits role in 1953 Iranian coup

Declassified documents describe in detail how US – with British help – engineered coup against Mohammad Mosaddeq

Monday 19 August 2013

The CIA has publicly admitted for the first time that it was behind the notorious 1953 coup against Iran's democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, in documents that also show how the British government tried to block the release of information about its own involvement in his overthrow.

On the 60th anniversary of an event often invoked by Iranians as evidence of western meddling, the US national security archive at George Washington University published a series of declassified CIA documents.

"The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government," reads a previously excised section of an internal CIA history titled The Battle for Iran.

The documents, published on the archive's website under freedom of information laws, describe in detail how the US – with British help – engineered the coup, codenamed TPAJAX by the CIA and Operation Boot by Britain's MI6...

Mosaddeq's overthrow, still given as a reason for the Iranian mistrust of British and American politicians, consolidated the Shah's rule for the next 26 years until the 1979 Islamic revolution. It was aimed at making sure the Iranian monarchy would safeguard the west's oil interests in the country.

The archived CIA documents include a draft internal history of the coup titled "Campaign to install a pro-western government in Iran", which defines the objective of the campaign as "through legal, or quasi-legal, methods to effect the fall of the Mosaddeq government; and to replace it with a pro-western government under the Shah's leadership with Zahedi as its prime minister".

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/cia-admits-role-1953-iranian-coup

(emphasis mine)

T Kosciuszko,

{The Nixon administration created a "Twin Pillars" Middle East policy, in which the U.S.-backed monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Iran were considered pillars of stability. In 1953, the CIA backed a coup that overthrew Iran's first and only democratically elected head of state, Mohammad Mosaddegh}

That is a rather odd correlation -- Mr. Nixon was inaugurated in 1973 -- 20 yrs after the CIA/MI6 (Mossad was likely lurking, too) toppled Mr. Mosaddegh.

The Nixon effect stems from Mr. Kissinger's amorous connection -- he made love to Saudi Arabia, and they had a child named Petro-$. It was the birth of the greatest financial con in Human history.

If one has a grasp of the nature of the Supreme Power behind that curtain, the events unfolding in the world right now, make much sense.

Helmey91,

I've seen for myself the investments that Saudi Arabia has made in Kyrgyzstan to turn their Muslim majority into a destabilizing force. They pay for brand new Mosques with gleaming spires, and these are the locations where the local Muslims become radicalized and where guns, ammunition and explosives are held.

They were successful in starting an armed revolution against of the Kyrgis government in 2010 in this otherwise peaceful country where Muslims and non-Muslims had coexisted for years in peace and harmony. (During my visit, I even had a Muslim business owner thank George Bush during my visit for our USAID support - I was shocked. Muslims are not the enemy. Extremists and authoritarian governments like SA are. They don't want the two cultures to mix.)

Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest opponent to peace in the Middle East.

al loomis,

one reason the usa government loves saudi is that the government activities enrich the officers of state. dubya not only promoted a war, he enriched his family with munitions contracts. look at the 'carlyle group.'

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NEW304A.html

asynchronicity,

It's no wonder the average Middle Easterner thinks the US is behind ISIS.

walkingmountain,

Until the problem of Saudi Arabia is solved, the problems in the Middle East will not be solved. We thought we could go in the back door by changing Iraq, but we only made things worse. Take away the oil and we would have invaded after 9/11.
The royal family is basically paying off the radicals to leave them, and their wealth, alone.

ELYDOG 5ptsFeatured

Americans have to accept that fact that the U.S. and other western governments prefer fundamentalism - which sells us oil - to democracy, socialism or Arab nationalism. It loves a good theocracy. These really are feudal regimes.

In Palestine, in Afghanistan, in Libya, in Iraq and now Syria, the U.S. and its allies have DIRECTLY funded Al Quada and its offshoots. Much of the weaponry sent from Libya to Syria for 'secular freedom fighters' ended up in the hands of Daesh. The U.S. has worked to crush partially secular regimes over and over again, even using the early Islamic Hamas fundamentalists in Palestine against the PLO, DFLP, PFLP etc. Before that they undermined Nasser, Mossedegh, and ANY left nationalists in sight.

All for oil. It is still the oil barons and the militarists that back the Saudis and this will not change until the US. government is undermined itself.

mwcarlton 5ptsFeatured

These issues are being debated over on MIchael Totten's web site.

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/saudi-iranian-eruption

For once I fear I am in full agreement with Ben Norton.

[Aug 04, 2016] Anti-Russian Hysteria, Rigged Primaries Americas Longest War Gets Longer

Notable quotes:
"... Anti-Russian hysteria in America reached its apogee this week as Democrats tried to divert attention from embarrassing revelations about how the Democratic Party apparatus had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders by claiming Vlad Putin and his KGB had hacked and exposed the Dem's emails. ..."
"... Unnamed US 'intelligence officials' claimed they had 'high confidence' that the Russian KGB or GRU (military intelligence) had hacked the Dem's emails. These were likely the same officials who had 'high confidence' that Iraq had nuclear weapons. ..."
"... And what a joy for the war party that those dastardly Ruskis are now back as Enemy Number One. Much more fun than scruffy Arabs. The word is out: more stealth bombers, more warships, more missiles, more troops for Europe. The wicked Red Chinese will have to wait their turn until Uncle Sam can deal with them. ..."
"... I always find conventions depressing affairs. Rather than the cradle of democracy, they remind me of clownish Shriners Conventions. Or as the witty Democratic advisor Paul Begala said, `Hollywood for ugly people.' What, I kept wondering, is the rest of the world thinking as it watching this tawdry spectacle? ..."
"... One thing that that amazed me was the Convention's lack of attention to America's longest ever war that still rages in the mountains of Afghanistan. For the past thirteen years, America, the world's greatest military and economic power, has been trying to crush the life out of Afghan Pashtun mountain tribesmen whose primary sin is fiercely opposing occupation by the US and its local Afghan opium-growing stooges. ..."
"... But the war was far from being 'almost won.' The US-installed puppet regime in Kabul of President Ashraf Ghani, a former banker, holds on only thanks to the bayonets of US troops and the US Air Force. Without constant air strikes, the US-installed Ghani regime and its drug-dealing would have been swept away by Taliban and its tribal allies. ..."
"... So the US remains stuck in Afghanistan. Obama lacked the courage to pull US troops out. Always weak in military affairs, Obama bent to demands of the Pentagon and CIA to dig in lest the Red Chinese or Pakistan take over this strategic nation. The US oil industry was determined to assure trans-Afghan pipeline routes south from Central Asia. India has its eye on Afghanistan. Muslims could not be allowed to defeat the US military. ..."
"... This longest of wars has cost nearly $1 trillion to date – all of its borrowed money – and caused the deaths of 3,518 US and coalition troops, including 158 Canadians who blundered into a war none of them understood. ..."
"... No one has the courage to end this pointless war. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Afghans are being killed. Too bad no one at the Democratic or Republican Conventions had time to think about the endless war in forgotten Afghanistan. ..."
www.strategic-culture.org

Anti-Russian hysteria in America reached its apogee this week as Democrats tried to divert attention from embarrassing revelations about how the Democratic Party apparatus had rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders by claiming Vlad Putin and his KGB had hacked and exposed the Dem's emails.

This was rich coming from the US that snoops into everyone's emails and phones across the globe. Remember German chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone being bugged by the US National Security Agency?

Unnamed US 'intelligence officials' claimed they had 'high confidence' that the Russian KGB or GRU (military intelligence) had hacked the Dem's emails. These were likely the same officials who had 'high confidence' that Iraq had nuclear weapons.

Blaming Putin was a master-stroke of deflection. No more talk of Hillary's slush fund foundation or her status as a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street. All attention was focused on President Putin who has been outrageously demonized by the US media and politicians.

Except for a small faux pas – a montage of warships shown at the end of the Democratic Convention is a blaze of jingoistic effusion embarrassingly turned out to be Russian warships!

Probably another trick by the awful Putin who has come to replace Satan in the minds of many Americans.

And what a joy for the war party that those dastardly Ruskis are now back as Enemy Number One. Much more fun than scruffy Arabs. The word is out: more stealth bombers, more warships, more missiles, more troops for Europe. The wicked Red Chinese will have to wait their turn until Uncle Sam can deal with them.

I always find conventions depressing affairs. Rather than the cradle of democracy, they remind me of clownish Shriners Conventions. Or as the witty Democratic advisor Paul Begala said, `Hollywood for ugly people.' What, I kept wondering, is the rest of the world thinking as it watching this tawdry spectacle?

One thing that that amazed me was the Convention's lack of attention to America's longest ever war that still rages in the mountains of Afghanistan. For the past thirteen years, America, the world's greatest military and economic power, has been trying to crush the life out of Afghan Pashtun mountain tribesmen whose primary sin is fiercely opposing occupation by the US and its local Afghan opium-growing stooges.

The saintly President Barack Obama repeatedly proclaimed the Afghan War over and staged phony troops withdrawals. He must have believed his generals who kept claiming they had just about defeated the resistance alliance, known as Taliban.

But the war was far from being 'almost won.' The US-installed puppet regime in Kabul of President Ashraf Ghani, a former banker, holds on only thanks to the bayonets of US troops and the US Air Force. Without constant air strikes, the US-installed Ghani regime and its drug-dealing would have been swept away by Taliban and its tribal allies.

So the US remains stuck in Afghanistan. Obama lacked the courage to pull US troops out. Always weak in military affairs, Obama bent to demands of the Pentagon and CIA to dig in lest the Red Chinese or Pakistan take over this strategic nation. The US oil industry was determined to assure trans-Afghan pipeline routes south from Central Asia. India has its eye on Afghanistan. Muslims could not be allowed to defeat the US military.

Look what happened to the Soviets after they admitted defeat in Afghanistan and pulled out. Why expose the US Empire to a similar geopolitical risk?

With al-Qaida down to less than 50 members in Afghanistan, according to former US defense chief Leon Panetta, what was the ostensible reason for Washington to keep garrisoning Afghanistan? The shadowy ISIS is now being dredged up as the excuse to stay.

This longest of wars has cost nearly $1 trillion to date – all of its borrowed money – and caused the deaths of 3,518 US and coalition troops, including 158 Canadians who blundered into a war none of them understood.

No one has the courage to end this pointless war. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Afghans are being killed. Too bad no one at the Democratic or Republican Conventions had time to think about the endless war in forgotten Afghanistan.

EricMargolis.com

[Aug 03, 2016] Hillary Clinton took $100,000 of cash from a company she ran (and worked for in the 80s and 90s) that also funded ISIS in Syria.

www.theguardian.com

doublreed -> legalimmigrant

DryBack, Voilà: Wikileaks recently released documents proving that Hillary Clinton took $100,000 of cash from a company she ran (and worked for in the 80's and 90's) that also funded ISIS in Syria. French industrial giant, Lafarge, gave money to the Islamic state to operate their (Lafarge's) cement plant in Syria, and purchased oil from ISIS. Lafarge are also large donators to Clinton's election and the Clinton Foundation. More is here: http://yournewswire.com/clinton-was-director-of-company-that-donated-money-to-isis/

Lafarge is a regular donor to the Clinton Foundation – the firm's up to $100,000 donation was listed in its annual donor list for 2015.


rberger -> doublreed

Lame. When Clinton worked as a lawyer, she did some legal work for Lafarge. She later said on the board. This was in 1991. The so-called association with ISIS happened in 2014. Clinton did not take $100,000 from the company. The company donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which is a non-profit organization and not a cent goes to Clinton.

[Jul 31, 2016] Clearly, from Hickenloopers speech before Clinton, the military brass cant wait for her becoaming POTUS!

Notable quotes:
"... 0bama v Bush43, who was the More Effective Evil? At least Bush43 didn't have the passion for Crapifying social insurance like 0bama did – IIRC Bush43 meekly tried to privatize SS & then let it go. Bush43 didn't push any Rigged Trade Outsourcing deals the size of TPP, perhaps there was a minor one (DR-CAFTA?). ..."
"... I'd guesstimate 0bama is even worse than Bush43. The sad thing is that I fear the Fockin New Guy will be even worse than 0bama ..."
"... Well, Bush43 has Iraq going for him. And IMNSHO, the only reason Obama didn't seriously put "boots on the ground" is that Iraq and Afghanistan broke the army. But I bet they're recovered enough now, and ready for Hillary! ..."
"... Clearly, from Hickenlooper's speech before Clinton, the brass can't wait! ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
ProNewerDeal , July 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

BTW, do you think we "dodge 2 bullets" & make it to Jan 2017 without 0bama being able to implement his beloved TPP & Grand Ripoff?

Flying Spaghetti Monster Willing, I hope so!

0bama v Bush43, who was the More Effective Evil? At least Bush43 didn't have the passion for Crapifying social insurance like 0bama did – IIRC Bush43 meekly tried to privatize SS & then let it go. Bush43 didn't push any Rigged Trade Outsourcing deals the size of TPP, perhaps there was a minor one (DR-CAFTA?).

0bama's passion is allowing the 1%ers enrichment by parasitically ripping off 99%ers. In contrast Bush43's passion was neocon Middle East warmongering regime-change, & Christian Theocratic stances like banning stem cell research & gay marriage, & fellow theocrat SCOTUS nominations.

I'd guesstimate 0bama is even worse than Bush43. The sad thing is that I fear the Fockin New Guy will be even worse than 0bama.

Perhaps there is a small chance for HClinton to be less bad than 0bama if the Sanders-ish social democrats (typically labeled Progressives) can force HClinton to halfway stick to the 2016 platform. Based on HClinton's behavior during the campaign, I doubt that is possible – she seems to detest the Progressive faction, based off the Kaine nomination & authoritarian banning of Sanders delegates from the convention floor, etc, & so far HClinton seems to get away with this "hippie punching" behavior.

One positive aspect is that I feel like that HClinton will be unable to use the 0bama excuses to valid Progressives' policy critiques of

  1. You are a sexist for critizing Dear Leader! (racist in 0bama's case)
  2. Those Evil Rs won't let her do that policy

These bogus replies are "dead horses" after continual use by 0bamabots, that IMHO will not be available for HClinton to use.

Lambert Strether Post author , July 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Well, Bush43 has Iraq going for him. And IMNSHO, the only reason Obama didn't seriously put "boots on the ground" is that Iraq and Afghanistan broke the army. But I bet they're recovered enough now, and ready for Hillary!

Clearly, from Hickenlooper's speech before Clinton, the brass can't wait!

[Jul 31, 2016] Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger

Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton. Vote for Trump in November. See also another look at Hillary's war record. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNu-0Vrvrf0&feature=youtu.be
Notable quotes:
"... How can anyone vote for that corrupt warmonger? Seriously, can someone explain why she has 50% of the votes in the USA. Unbelievable. ..."
"... Killary, like Barry, loves killing people. Psychopaths--both of them. ..."
"... I honestly don't care if Trump wins. I don't think it will be good, but whatever. But I know for a fact that no matter what, Hillary must not win. ..."
"... Oy Vey! It's funny how Liberals, most Muslims etc are offended by Trump but not offended by the direct policies of the same old warmongers resulting in the deaths of millions of people in the Middle East for a decade and on going in the sham war on t3rror. The fuck? ..."
YouTube
aspiesresearchmom1 week ago
This video should be viral. #KweenKrookedKillary and her moronic minions don't have a chance when Bernie's voters get on board the #TrumpTrain2016
Oxymoron2
How can anyone vote for that corrupt warmonger? Seriously, can someone explain why she has 50% of the votes in the USA. Unbelievable.
gspotjazz
Killary, like Barry, loves killing people. Psychopaths--both of them.
Jim Mooney
Funny the Dems are so hot for Hillary and don't recognize she's a regime-changing warmonger on a par with Bush, responsible for millions of dead and displaced in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine.
Bad Dog
Exactly how nuts do you have to be to think you can go to war with Russia? Even if you come out on top, what's the environment going to be like? Is emerging from your bunker with 70% of the population dead and no atmosphere left considered a win? FUCK HILLARY RAW.
Alex O.
I honestly don't care if Trump wins. I don't think it will be good, but whatever. But I know for a fact that no matter what, Hillary must not win. She's bad news.
Tina Siz
WE ARE WITNESSING THE MOST CORRUPT, MAFIA-LIKE.. ANTI AMERICAN WOMAN IN HISTORY OF POLITICS. THERE ARE REASONS WHY SCANDALS AND LIES AND DEATHS HAVE FOLLOWED HER FOR YEARS.

Truth Archives

Oy Vey! It's funny how Liberals, most Muslims etc are offended by Trump but not offended by the direct policies of the same old warmongers resulting in the deaths of millions of people in the Middle East for a decade and on going in the sham war on t3rror. The fuck?

2eyesofhorus

Hillary has become in effect, a NeoConservative, not a Democrat-she votes for war continually

Aisha K

Actually a lot of Muslims don't support Hillary or Trump and prefer Bernie because Bernie really did vote against the war in Iraq, while Trump only claims he was once against it. Regardless of that fact, Trump makes a powerful argument against voting for Hillary because of her warmonger record in Iraq, Libya and any other place she gets involved in, and the damage it has caused the entire world, including USA.

1800 Pupusas

I'm Hispanic but I prefer Trump

De Selby

she will literally say anything to benefit herself. the country will be ruined if she is elected president.

NSA Spying

Hilary Clinton is our generation's Henry Kissinger.

oanimalinho2

+NSA Spying No, she isn't. She is much worse than that.

Christopher Horton
This Trump ad gives us a taste of what the Democrats will be up against if we have to try to mobilize the voters behind Hillary to stop him. And why so many of us won't be able to put our hearts into it. Because on this issue he is absolutely right. Hillary's record on foreign policy is reprehensible - and terrifying. But it's not just on this issue - she has been lying about many things, among them the state of the economy. With no public voting record to defend, no fundamental commitment to the truth or reality, with a prostitute press that selectively forgets what he said yesterday, Trump can be selectively right - and righteous - on any issue he chooses. Until it no longer suits him.

Do I think Trump would be better than Clinton on issues of war and peace? Not for a minute. Would he be worse? Maybe - I'm honestly not sure...

Garou

Take it from me .. She's a monster.

gamira007

+PeaceAndJustice Yes absolutely she is propped up by the MSM and the Corporate death machine. The Majority do know this woman is pure evil but our rulers hand pick who is prez here cause if voting did really matter then it would be illegal.

PeaceAndJustice

+Philo Beddoe

Her 'support' is driven by the MSM which is completely controlled by the PRC (Predatory Ruling Class). Basically the people that believe the television think she is just a swell lady.

[Jul 26, 2016] Huge See, I Told You So Hillary Admits We Backed ISIS in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Obama has been refusing to help Iraq for at least a year. A year ago, it would have been easy, comparatively, to wipe out ISIS. They were still gathering tightly together in their staging zones. ..."
"... Had you heard of ISIS a year ago? I venture to say that most people heard of ISIS for the first time in the past couple months. So Obama had plenty of chances. In fact, ladies and gentlemen, if Obama had wanted to take out ISIS, he would not have formed a supportive relationship with them in Syria! ISIS is who is "the rebels" in Syria opposing Bashar al-Assad. Before I get to Syria, I just want to put the exclamation point on this thought. ..."
"... Barack Obama, the Democrat Party, and the media (their willing accomplices) need Iraq to be always seen as a Bush miserable failure, a Bush war, a Bush failure. Just as Vietnam was supposed to be seen as a failure for Nixon. Now, you may be learning for the first time that the rebels in Syria were ISIS. Over the weekend, it was reported that Hillary Clinton ripped into Obama for his failure to help the Syrian rebels and that this failure to help the Syrian rebels led to the rise of ISIS. ..."
"... MCINERNEY: I happen to agree with her. I'm not sure why it's just coming out now. I was pushing for the Free Syrian Army. They were a huge ally. We ended up arming the wrong people over there, and, remember, ISIS was formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and so look at what we have now create -- we didn't create it. By doing nothing, we let it create itself. And if we don't stop it now and stop it and protect the Kurds, we have a huge problem not only in the Middle East, but globally. ..."
"... I said, "I'm not defending Assad. As always, I'm interested in the truth, and I just don't believe --" I had to work hard to get to a point where I automatically reject everything I hear coming out of the news media in Washington when the Democrats are in power because, by and large, when it comes to foreign policy, every story is made to cover up for their inadequacies, their incompetence, and the fact that they're wrong about everything. But here's McInerney again because there's a little hidden gem in this sound bite that I want to see, if by some chance, some of you picked up. ..."
Aug 11, 2014 | The Rush Limbaugh Show

RUSH: Now, I mentioned this, I think, in first hour, previously on the program. Obama has been refusing to help Iraq for at least a year. A year ago, it would have been easy, comparatively, to wipe out ISIS. They were still gathering tightly together in their staging zones.

Had you heard of ISIS a year ago? I venture to say that most people heard of ISIS for the first time in the past couple months. So Obama had plenty of chances. In fact, ladies and gentlemen, if Obama had wanted to take out ISIS, he would not have formed a supportive relationship with them in Syria! ISIS is who is "the rebels" in Syria opposing Bashar al-Assad. Before I get to Syria, I just want to put the exclamation point on this thought.

Barack Obama, the Democrat Party, and the media (their willing accomplices) need Iraq to be always seen as a Bush miserable failure, a Bush war, a Bush failure. Just as Vietnam was supposed to be seen as a failure for Nixon. Now, you may be learning for the first time that the rebels in Syria were ISIS. Over the weekend, it was reported that Hillary Clinton ripped into Obama for his failure to help the Syrian rebels and that this failure to help the Syrian rebels led to the rise of ISIS.

It's in The Atlantic in a story by Jeffrey Goldberg. It's a long interview. But there is this knife-in-the-back criticism that Hillary directs at Obama, a comment that he made while Hillary was his secretary of state. Do you remember he praised her, "best secretary of state ever"? She might be, he said. On the day she resigned or the day they announced of her resignation, there was a joint presser.

Obama is praising Hillary to the nines and talking about how she may be one of the best secretaries of state ever, and now here comes Hillary back-stabbing Obama by claiming that his failure to help the Syrian rebels led to the rise of ISIS. Right here it is, Jeffrey Goldberg: "The former secretary of state, and probable candidate for president, outlines her foreign-policy doctrine.

"She says this about President Obama's: 'Great nations need organizing principles, and "Don't do stupid stuff" is not an organizing principle.'" It's a slam, but I wonder: Are reset buttons organizing principles? Because, let's not forget that Mrs. Clinton actually showed up with a Soviet leader... (pfft, slap myself) a Russian leader with a plastic and red toy that said, in crudely spelled words, "reset button." I kid you not!

... ... ...

The conventional wisdom was that Assad was gassing his own people. Remember, Obama, in the previous summer of 2013, issued this red line and dared Assad not to cross it. (imitating Obama) "You cross that red line, pal, you're gonna have me to deal with," and we never did anything. But the word was out that Assad was gassing and harming his own people. And I remember saying on this program -- Koko, go back to that era and just for the website today, go find what I said on those days and relink it, 'cause I made the point, I asked the question, "What if it isn't Assad? What if the people creating mayhem in Syria are actually Assad's enemies disguising themselves as protesters of Assad and trying to make it appear as though he's doing this, when in fact he's not?"

And after I'd mentioned that, I got an e-mail from a friend who is somewhat aware of the circumstances in Iraq and I was told that I was more right than I knew. And Hillary is now coming along and essentially saying the same thing. She's not suggesting that ISIS was there. She is suggesting that our lack of doing anything about it led to ISIS taking over the anti-Assad movement, when in fact it was ISIS all along. ISIS was doing it and they were making it look like Assad did it. And just like the media was biased toward Hamas, so was the media biased toward the same type of people in Syria who are trying to make it look like Assad was doing this.

I had never seen any evidence that Bashar Assad -- his father was different. His father, Hafez al-Assad, was a brutal guy and did commit atrocities to keep people in line. But there's no evidence that Bashar had really done it. I knew that Al-Qaeda's on the march and they're trying to gain control. The Muslim Brotherhood's trying to gain control, that whole area. It was a lot of Christians in Syria that were being beaten up, killed, assaulted, what have you, and it was made to look like it was Assad, and now we've learned that it wasn't.

The point is I called it. I was right, and that's what Hillary is now claiming that Obama missed and that she was right about, but she never said it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. Here's me, folks, from this program on September 11th, 2013. By the way, Koko, if you want to find the website history to link to what I originally said about this, find September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, somewhere in there, my memory is. But this was September 11th of last year.

RUSH ARCHIVE: Here we are 12 years later after 9/11, and think about it. Twelve years later we are supporting Muslim terrorists in Syria. Muslim terrorists who are threatening to kill Syrian Christians if they don't convert to Islam. That's who our allies are. Those are the rebels that Bashar Assad is supposedly gassing. So we're aligned with 'em because we're aligned against Assad. They're threatening to kill Syrian Christians if they don't convert to Islam.

RUSH: This was ISIS, folks, and we were anti-Assad. It was made to look like Assad was doing the gassing. He wasn't, as it turns out. This morning on Fox & Friends, Brian Kilmeade spoke to retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney about Clinton's remarks criticizing Obama's handling of ISIS and here's what the general said about Hillary's remarks.

MCINERNEY: I happen to agree with her. I'm not sure why it's just coming out now. I was pushing for the Free Syrian Army. They were a huge ally. We ended up arming the wrong people over there, and, remember, ISIS was formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and so look at what we have now create -- we didn't create it. By doing nothing, we let it create itself. And if we don't stop it now and stop it and protect the Kurds, we have a huge problem not only in the Middle East, but globally.

RUSH: Well, that's General McInerney. I've got 15 seconds before the break. It turns out that my sources on this way back a year ago were absolutely right, that Assad was not the bad guy.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know, I tell you what's funny about this is Hillary Clinton. It's clear to me that Hillary Clinton obviously thinks that foreign policy is still gonna be her strong pantsuit, as she heads into the campaign. She really does. That's why she's doing all of this. But I want to play this audio sound bite again from General McInerney, because there's a gem in this that is another example of how Obama and the left, the Democrats, the media lied for five years, 2004 to 2009. Actually, 2003 to 2008 would be the specific time period, bashing Iraq every day, every night, every day of the year.

One other thing. Koko has found exactly what I was talking about. There was a post at RushLimbaugh.com on September 3rd, "What if Assad Didn't Do It?" And my memory has now been refreshed. I had a couple of sources and an e-mail from a friend confirm, so three different confirmations here from people, that what we were getting in the news every day that Assad was gassing his people probably wasn't true. That it was, it turns out ISIS, at the time known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq that was doing it, and making it look like it was Assad, and that's who our allies were. We were anti-Assad and we actually had an alliance, loose though it was, formed with the very people we're now bombing in Iraq.

I remember I took my fair share of heat, and I always do when I'm not part of the conventional wisdom. Assad's easy to hate. Assad's a dictator. Assad has a typical bad image and when somebody says he's gassing his own people, it's automatically believed. And here I came, all of Washington supports the idea that Assad was doing it, and I said, "I'm not so sure. What if."

"Rush, you didn't have to say anything. Why are you going out on a limb? Why do you want to sound like you're defending Assad?"

I said, "I'm not defending Assad. As always, I'm interested in the truth, and I just don't believe --" I had to work hard to get to a point where I automatically reject everything I hear coming out of the news media in Washington when the Democrats are in power because, by and large, when it comes to foreign policy, every story is made to cover up for their inadequacies, their incompetence, and the fact that they're wrong about everything. But here's McInerney again because there's a little hidden gem in this sound bite that I want to see, if by some chance, some of you picked up.

MCINERNEY: I happen to agree with her. I'm not sure why it's just coming out now. I was pushing for the Free Syrian Army. They were a huge ally. We ended up arming the wrong people over there, and, remember, ISIS was formerly Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and so look at what we have now create -- we didn't create it. By doing nothing, we let it create itself. And if we don't stop it now and stop it and protect the Kurds, we have a huge problem not only in the Middle East, but globally.

RUSH: In the early days of 2002 when Bush was traveling the country making the case for invading Iraq and getting rid of Saddam Hussein, I remember a couple of instances pointing out that Al-Qaeda, prior to 9/11, had done some training in Iraq. And one of the things that had been found was a hollowed-out shell of an airliner fuselage.

Now, the conventional wisdom was that Al-Qaeda had never been in Iraq, that Bush was making this up, or that the intel was all wrong, but likely it was just Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld lying to make their case, because Al-Qaeda was clearly the enemy after 9/11. Al-Qaeda had hijacked the planes at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and Al-Qaeda was the evil, Osama bin Laden, and Bush was going after them in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq.

The Democrats and the media, led by Obama starting in 2002, and other Democrats, Teddy Kennedy, they were all -- I mean, John Kerry, they were all making fun and mocking the idea that Al-Qaeda had anything to do with Iraq. Al-Qaeda was never in Iraq and nobody can prove it, they said. Saddam had nothing to do with 911. Now, the Bush people at the time were saying, "We can't afford --" 9/11 had just happened. "What happened here is real. And any time there is anybody in the world vowing to do that or more, we are going to take it seriously."

They were making the case for preemptive military strikes. That's what all this was called, because the left and the Democrats were arguing that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, therefore it was not moral or strategically wise to hit Iraq. They had nothing to do with it. The Bush people were saying, whether they did or didn't, it doesn't matter, they're threatening to do the same thing. And after it's happened once, we are in charge of protecting this country and defending the people, and we can't sit here and take these threats lightly.

Saddam at the time was lying to the UN inspectors about his weapons of mass destruction. It turned out that he was big timing and he was trying to look like the most powerful Arab in the region by being the most feared. So he was lying about at least the size of his weapons of mass destruction stock. And part of the lie, part of the illusion was to not let the inspectors in. He wanted everybody to conclude that he had a boatload of the stuff. And the Bush administration was trying to tell everybody we can't afford to wait to be hit again to take action. We've got to hit preemptively.

I'll never forget any of this, folks. Because I'll never forget the Democrats arguing about it. Because the Democrats, even after 9/11, after a week of solidarity went by, the Democrats conceived a political strategy, the purpose of which was to make sure Bush did not secure any long-lasting credit for any policy he instituted following 9/11.

Also remember this, along those same lines. Bill Clinton, it was reported -- he later denied it -- but Clinton, according to some famous well-known Democrats, was lamenting that 9/11 didn't happen on his watch, because it prevented him an opportunity to show greatness and leadership. He was upset that it had happened with Bush. If it was gonna happen, why couldn't it have happened during his time? We reported that and all hell broke loose. A string of denials were forthcoming.

But the point is they politicize everything. There was unity for a week and after that the Democrats devised a political strategy, the purpose of which was to make sure Bush did not secure one positive achievement in the aftermath of 911. So these guys began opposing everything Bush wanted to do when it came to Iraq. At first they even opposed the use of force in Afghanistan. That's when they asked for the vote a second time.

Remember, there was a memo uncovered, a memo that was written by Jay Rockefeller, Democrat senator from West Virginia, in which it was stated that as a strategy -- and this had come from James Carville and Stan Greenberg in a memo. It was then written up by Rockefeller, who was the Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat in the Senate. He said that they had to make Bush out to be a liar.

And it said if they were to succeed with this, that their strategy depended on convincing people that Bush was lying about all of this in order to depress and lower his high approval numbers. So, as I say, here's the gem that was in McInerney's piece ('cause I'm running out of time here). Throughout all of this in the run-up to invading Iraq, whenever the possibility that Al-Qaeda might have been in Iraq came up, the Democrats said, "No way!

"Al-Qaeda never found its way to Iraq! They wouldn't know how to get to Iraq if you gave 'em a map. They haven't been to Iraq. They don't have anything to do with Saddam! They were helpless." Now listen to what we just heard here. ISIS was originally known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Now, some of you might be saying, "Well, maybe so, Rush, but Al-Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist before we attacked."

It did!

We were able to confirm that elements of Al-Qaeda did connect with Saddam for training exercises and so forth. But the point is, in hindsight, look at what we're learning here. ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Iraq are all over the Middle East, just like the Muslim Brotherhood. And in Syria, we were actually, stupidity and maybe unknowingly (given this bunch, I could believe it was unknowingly) supporting them

Because we had concluded that Bashar Assad was the one gassing his own people. I had never seen any evidence that Assad treated his own people that way. I knew he treated political enemies that way, which is why it was not a very long leap to making people believe that he might gas his own people if he's gassed others. Ditto, Saddam and the Kurds. But there hadn't been any evidence that Bashar Assad gassed his own people.

So, anyway, that's that, and it's just... Some of it's ancient history, but some of it's just last year and some of it's just yesterday, and so much of it is lies. And so many of these lies are why we're even here today. So all of these lies about all of this stuff is one of the very large reasons why Obama was elected in the first place. It's just dispiriting in a way -- and in another way, surely frustrating, and that's why I've been so ticked off all day.

END TRANSCRIPT

[Jul 25, 2016] Hillary Clinton Admits U.S. Created Al Qaeda, ISIS

Notable quotes:
"... If destroying Syria is the way we "help" Israel, how many other nations must the U.S. destroy to "help" Israel? And before John Hagee's braindead disciples start shouting "Destroy them all!" I remind you that Syria and other parts of the Middle East is the historic home of millions of Christians going back to the time of the Apostle Paul. ..."
"... On the whole, Neocons and Neolibs are people without conscience. At their core, they have no allegiance to the United States or any other country. They are globalists. The only god they serve is the god of power and wealth, and they don't care how many people--including Americans--they kill to achieve it. The blood of millions of dead victims around the world is already dripping from their murderous hands. ..."
chuckbaldwinlive.com
May 26, 2016

Why isn't the Mainstream Media (MSM) in America reporting the fact that Hillary Clinton admitted in public that the U.S. government created Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Nusra, etc.? Why does the MSM refuse to tell the American people that the United States has not ever actually fought ISIS but instead has surreptitiously and very actively supported ISIS and the other radical Muslim terrorists in the Middle East? Why has the media refused to reveal the fact that ever since Russia started to fight a true offensive war against ISIS the terrorist organization has been reduced to almost half?

I'll tell you why: the MSM is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the U.S. government--no matter which party is in power. The MSM doesn't work for the U.S. citizenry. It doesn't even work for its corporate sponsors. It works for the Washington Power Elite permanently ensconced in D.C. (and yes, those same Power Elite control most of those media corporate sponsors).

It is a sad reality that if one wants to get accurate news reporting, one must mostly bypass the U.S. propaganda media and look to sources outside the U.S. Here is a Canadian publication that covered the Hillary admission:

"The following video features Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton acknowledging that America created and funded Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war:

"'Let's remember here the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago.

"'Let's go recruit these mujahideen.

"'And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing their Wahabi brand of Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union.'"

"What she does not mention is that at no time in the course of the last 35 years has the US ceased to support and finance Al Qaeda as a means to destabilizing sovereign countries. It was 'a pretty good idea', says Hillary, and it remains a good idea today:

"Amply documented, the ISIS and Al Nusrah Mujahideen are recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command, with the support of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.

"The more fundamental question:

"Should a presidential candidate who candidly acknowledges that 'We created Al Qaeda' without a word of caution or regret become president of the US, not to mention Hillary's commitment to waging nuclear war on Russia if and when she becomes president of the United States of America."

The report continues:

"The Global War on Terror (GWOT) is led by the United States. It is not directed against Al Qaeda.

"Quite the opposite: The 'Global War on Terrorism' uses Al Qaeda terrorist operatives as their foot soldiers.

"'Political Islam' and the imposition of an 'Islamic State' (modeled on Qatar or Saudi Arabia) is an integral part of US foreign policy."

The report further states:

"It is a means to destabilizing sovereign countries and imposing 'regime change'.

"Clinton's successor at the State Department, John Kerry is in direct liaison with Al Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliated organization in Syria, integrated by terrorists and funded by the US and its allies.

"In a bitter irony, John Kerry is not only complicit in the killings committed by Al Nusra, he is also in blatant violation of US anti-terrorist legislation. If the latter were to be applied to politicians in high office, John Kerry would be considered as a 'Terror Suspect'".

See the report here:

Hillary Clinton: "We Created Al Qaeda". The Protagonists Of The "Global War On Terrorism" Are The Terrorists

Think it through, folks: the U.S. government creates the radical Islamic terror networks that justify America's "Global War On Terror" which directly results in millions of refugees (and no doubt plants terrorists among them) flooding Europe. At the same time, it purposely refuses to protect our own borders and even forces states and local communities to accept hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees (but the government is not sending any Christian refugees to America, even though a sizable percentage of the refugees include Christians also) and pushes NATO to the doorstep of Russia, which to any objective observer could only be regarded as an overt incitement to war.

Furthermore, why doesn't the MSM report the words of Hillary saying that the "best way to help Israel" is to destroy Syria? Why doesn't the media acknowledge that official U.S. foreign policy is to foment perpetual war, not in the name of the safety and security of the United States, but in the name of "helping" Israel?

Here is how the same Canadian publication covers this part of the story:

"A newly-released Hillary Clinton email confirmed that the Obama administration has deliberately provoked the civil war in Syria as the 'best way to help Israel.'

"In an indication of her murderous and psychopathic nature, Clinton also wrote that it was the 'right thing' to personally threaten Bashar Assad's family with death.

"In the email, released by Wikileaks, then Secretary of State Clinton says that the 'best way to help Israel' is to 'use force' in Syria to overthrow the government."

It continues:

"Even though all US intelligence reports had long dismissed Iran's 'atomic bomb' program as a hoax, (a conclusion supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency), Clinton continues to use these lies to 'justify' destroying Syria in the name of Israel."

And again:

"The email proves--as if any more proof was needed--that the US government has been the main sponsor of the growth of terrorism in the Middle East, and all in order to 'protect' Israel.

"It is also a sobering thought to consider that the 'refugee' crisis which currently threatens to destroy Europe, was directly sparked off by this US government action as well, insofar as there are any genuine refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria.

"In addition, over 250,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, which has spread to Iraq--all thanks to Clinton and the Obama administration backing the 'rebels' and stoking the fires of war in Syria."

See the report here:

Hillary Clinton: Destroy Syria For Israel: "The Best Way To Help Israel"

If destroying Syria is the way we "help" Israel, how many other nations must the U.S. destroy to "help" Israel? And before John Hagee's braindead disciples start shouting "Destroy them all!" I remind you that Syria and other parts of the Middle East is the historic home of millions of Christians going back to the time of the Apostle Paul.

The truth is, Hillary (and the rest of the grubby gaggle of Neocons) doesn't give a tinker's dam about Israel. Neocons such as Hillary Clinton simply use Israel (and the misguided passions of Christians and conservatives who blindly support Israel) as cover to accomplish their real agenda: manipulating world governments to the enrichment and empowerment of themselves.

Donald Trump is untested. But if Hillary should be elected, I'm confident she would not make it through her first term without taking us into another G.W. Bush-type war (or worse)--except she will also add the attempted disarmament of the American people to her nefarious agenda.

That's what Neocons do: they foment war. To their very soul, they are warmongers. And never forget that Hillary Clinton is a true-blue Neocon. Or if the word "Neoliberal" sounds better to you in describing Hillary, so be it. They both mean the same thing: WAR.

Here is a good explanation of how both Neocons and Neolibs are working from the same script:

Neocons And Neolibs: How Dead Ideas Kill

On the whole, Neocons and Neolibs are people without conscience. At their core, they have no allegiance to the United States or any other country. They are globalists. The only god they serve is the god of power and wealth, and they don't care how many people--including Americans--they kill to achieve it. The blood of millions of dead victims around the world is already dripping from their murderous hands.

And if you think my indictment against the Neocons is an exaggeration, Paul Craig Roberts (Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan) was even more scathing in his condemnation of them:

"The remaining danger is the crazed American neoconservatives. I know many of them. They are completely insane ideologues. This inhuman filth has controlled the foreign policy of every US government since Clinton's second term. They are a danger to all life on earth. Look at the destruction they have wreaked in the former Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, in Georgia and South Ossetia, in Africa, in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The American people were too brainwashed by lies and by political impotence to do anything about it, and Washington's vassals in Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan had to pretend that this policy of international murder was 'bringing freedom and democracy.'

"The crazed filth that controls US foreign policy is capable of defending US hegemony with nuclear weapons. The neoconservatives must be removed from power, arrested, and put on international trial for their horrendous war crimes before they defend their hegemony with Armageddon.

"Neoconservatives and their allies in the military/security complex make audacious use of false flag attacks. These evil people are capable of orchestrating a false flag attack that propels the US and Russia to war."

See Roberts' column here:

The Fall Of The Unipower

And make no mistake about it: the national news media is a deliberate and willing facilitator of these international crimes against humanity.

© Chuck Baldwin

[Jul 24, 2016] Hillary Clinton Didnt Create ISIS, But America Can Still Blame Itself

Notable quotes:
"... Robert Mackey would like you to know that many in the Arab-speaking world are doing some genuine soul-searching about their culture's own role in the emergence of ISIS and that these conspiracy theories have simply been a haven for the obstinate and the self-deluded; Muslims who are too afraid to look themselves and their societies in the mirror. ..."
"... Ha, ha. "Washington." What buffoons! ..."
"... In a report this week on the blistering efficiency and military prowess of ISIS, ABC News reporter James Gordon Meek got an incredibly great, short answer as to where the Islamic State gained its technical expertise: "Probably the Chechens," a U.S. official said. ..."
"... ISIS, or ISIL, or the Islamic State-whatever you want to call it-was nearly dead in 2007, after U.S. forces in Iraq and local Sunni tribes successfully joined forces against the group. It wasn't until the Syrian uprisings that it reemerged as a potent force, after a failed merger with the al-Qaida-affiliated Syrian rebel group al-Nusra, lead most of al-Nusra's foreign-born jihadis to defect to ISIS . ..."
"... "Foreign-born jihadis" here meaning career Islamists like the Chechen groups, which have been conducting terror campaigns, kidnappings, and suicide bombings in Russia , with a reasonable degree of success, for over 15 years now. Some of the most prominent leaders now fighting with ISIS are Chechens: the ginger-bearded "rising star" Omar al-Shishani and the group's Che Guevara, Muslem al-Shishani (the unnervingly studly viking face pictured above). In addition to Saudi and Pakistani assistance, many of the Chechens were led and supported by the CIA-trained Afghan mujahideen, up-to-and-including Osama bin Laden: ace mentors, in other words, with proven experience in a professional terror setting. ..."
"... When not actively defending the Chechen extremists with weirdly bipartisan neocon-neoliberal advocacy groups , policy makers and government officials in Washington have turned a proactively blind eye to Chechen Islamist activities in Russia and here in the United States with infamously fatal consequences. Both the 9/11 Commission Report and FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley have shown that senior-level officials refused to classify Islamic terrorists in Chechnya-like their then-leader Ibn al Khattab who had direct contact with bin Laden-as actual terrorists, thus preventing the FBI from properly investigating "20th hijacker" Zaccarias Moussaoui before 9/11. ..."
"... A big part of the reason for this sensitivity is that covertly letting the Saudis and their Islamic radicals chip away at the oil-rich rubble on the fringes of the collapsed Soviet empire has been America's favored strategy for collecting the spoils of the Cold War. ..."
"... "The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army," a former CIA analyst told Swiss journalist Richard Labévière back in the late 1990s . "The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia." ..."
blackbag.gawker.com

Wise Men of Foreign Affairs have jumped at the chance to debunk a wild rumor that Hillary Clinton bragged about creating ISIS in her new memoir-truly an easy layup in the annals of punditry. The rumor even got the name of Clinton's memoir wrong. But, that's OK: The remaining facts still allow America to feel guilty.

According to at least one Egyptian blogger, the conspiracy theory-complete with fake quotes from a fantasy version of Clinton's memoir entitled Plan 360-emerged from the hothouse of Egypt's Pro-Mubarak/Pro-Military Facebook pages: a social circle in which it is already de rigueur to suggest that the U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood secretly conspired to orchestrate the Arab Spring. This screenshot of a Facebook page for the Egyptian military's counter-terrorism and special operations unit, Task Force 777, and its reconnaissance special operations unit, Task Force 999, depicts one of the earliest appearances of the fake Clinton quotes:

Leaving aside for the moment the question of why Clinton would brag about this covert operation, in progress, in her memoir, what foreign policy objectives could possibly be achieved by America manufacturing ISIS? Like: Why do that? To what ends?

One version involves Israel (obviously), and something about balkanizing Israel's Mid-East neighbors to both justify their nefarious Zionist expansion, or whatever, and remove opposition to it. Another version, as The Week pointed out Tuesday, claims that the U.S. would plan to recognize an ISIS caliphate and that this caliphate would turn out to be (somehow) very amenable to America's strategic and economic interests.

Despite the fact that the U.S. Embassy in Beirut felt compelled to publicly debunk all this on their Facebook page, it's unclear how many people in the region actually believed it.

The hashtag #HilaryClintonsMemoirs ( #مذكرات_هيلاري_كلينتون) quickly started trending across social media in the region, Huffington Post UK reported, "with satirical tweets mocking the theory with outlandish claims about what else the Secretary of State might have written-like a secret CIA plot to close all the restaurants in Cairo and replace them with McDonalds."

Good one, the Middle East. I'm lovin' it.

Not everyone appreciated the Middle East's jokes, however. Writing in his "Open Source" column for the New York Times, Robert Mackey would like you to know that many in the Arab-speaking world are doing some genuine soul-searching about their culture's own role in the emergence of ISIS and that these conspiracy theories have simply been a haven for the obstinate and the self-deluded; Muslims who are too afraid to look themselves and their societies in the mirror.

For instance, the Lebanese scholar Ziad Majed wrote on his blog that at least six factors from the recent history of the Middle East helped give birth to the militant movement, including "despotism in the most heinous form that has plagued the region," as well as "the American invasion of Iraq in 2003," and "a profound crisis, deeply rooted in the thinking of some Islamist groups seeking to escape from their terrible failure to confront the challenges of the present toward a delusional model ostensibly taken from the seventh century."

That sort of introspection is not for everyone, of course, so a popular conspiracy theory has spread online that offers an easier answer to the riddle of where ISIS came from: Washington.

Ha, ha. "Washington." What buffoons!

Let's learn a valuable lesson from the psychological projections of these weak-willed Third World plebes: desert Archie Bunkers and izaar-clad Tony Sopranos too parochial in their worldview and too much in denial of their own culpability to face this present danger.

America is better than that.

Let us examine with clear eyes all the ways in which our own democratically elected government-in Washington-is responsible for where ISIS came from.

U.S. Policy in Chechnya

In a report this week on the blistering efficiency and military prowess of ISIS, ABC News reporter James Gordon Meek got an incredibly great, short answer as to where the Islamic State gained its technical expertise: "Probably the Chechens," a U.S. official said.

ISIS, or ISIL, or the Islamic State-whatever you want to call it-was nearly dead in 2007, after U.S. forces in Iraq and local Sunni tribes successfully joined forces against the group. It wasn't until the Syrian uprisings that it reemerged as a potent force, after a failed merger with the al-Qaida-affiliated Syrian rebel group al-Nusra, lead most of al-Nusra's foreign-born jihadis to defect to ISIS.

"Foreign-born jihadis" here meaning career Islamists like the Chechen groups, which have been conducting terror campaigns, kidnappings, and suicide bombings in Russia, with a reasonable degree of success, for over 15 years now. Some of the most prominent leaders now fighting with ISIS are Chechens: the ginger-bearded "rising star" Omar al-Shishani and the group's Che Guevara, Muslem al-Shishani (the unnervingly studly viking face pictured above). In addition to Saudi and Pakistani assistance, many of the Chechens were led and supported by the CIA-trained Afghan mujahideen, up-to-and-including Osama bin Laden: ace mentors, in other words, with proven experience in a professional terror setting.

When not actively defending the Chechen extremists with weirdly bipartisan neocon-neoliberal advocacy groups, policy makers and government officials in Washington have turned a proactively blind eye to Chechen Islamist activities in Russia and here in the United States with infamously fatal consequences. Both the 9/11 Commission Report and FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley have shown that senior-level officials refused to classify Islamic terrorists in Chechnya-like their then-leader Ibn al Khattab who had direct contact with bin Laden-as actual terrorists, thus preventing the FBI from properly investigating "20th hijacker" Zaccarias Moussaoui before 9/11. Another pre-9/11 FBI investigation, this time into a Florida summer camp run by the Saudi-funded World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), discovered that the group was showing children videos praising Chechen bombers, only to be pulled off the case according to an FBI memo, ID 1991-WF-213589, uncovered by Greg Palast for the BBC and Vice.

Upon further digging by Palast:

Several insiders repeated the same story: U.S. agencies ended the investigation of the bin Laden-terrorist-Chechen-jihad connection out of fear of exposing uncomfortable facts. U.S. intelligence had turned a blind eye to the Abdullah bin Laden organisation [yes, WAMY was run by a bin Laden brother] because our own government was more than happy that our Saudi allies were sending jihadis to Afghanistan, then, via WAMY, helping Muslims to fight in Bosnia then, later, giving the Russians grief in Chechnya. The problem is that terrorists are like homing pigeons – they come home to roost.

As Joe Trento of the National Security News Service, who helped me on the investigation, said, "It would be unseemly if [someone] were arrested by the FBI and word got back that he'd once been on the payroll of the CIA What we're talking about is blow-back. What we're talking about is embarrassing, career-destroying blow-back for intelligence officials."

The agency has gone to great lengths to paper over this. When former CIA agent Robert Baer-whose writing served as the factual basis for that weird George Clooney movie Syriana-wanted to cite Russian sources about the Saudi-Chechen connection in his book Sleeping With the Devil, the agency pressured him not to. This despite the fact that it was publicly available information he'd acquired after retiring from government service.

A big part of the reason for this sensitivity is that covertly letting the Saudis and their Islamic radicals chip away at the oil-rich rubble on the fringes of the collapsed Soviet empire has been America's favored strategy for collecting the spoils of the Cold War.

"The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army," a former CIA analyst told Swiss journalist Richard Labévière back in the late 1990s. "The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia."

Granted: The events of September 11th made this grand strategy a little tricky, domestically, but as you may have noticed over the past few years, particularly in Russian-allied Syria, it's mostly back on track.

[Jun 18, 2016] 51 US Diplomats Urge Strikes Against Assad in Syria

51 neocons warmongers, who need to be send to Afghanistan for some on site learning. Nuland's birds of feather try to get worm places in Hillary new administration, playing on her war hawk tendencies... Those "diplomats" forgot about the existence of Saudis and other theocracies which are much more brutal and less democratic, viewing woman as domestic animals. These are dark times for American foreign policy. the easy part is to depose Assad. But what might happen after Assad is disposed of? You know, the hard part, what follows?
Notable quotes:
"... These Diplomats should be fired as idiots. Did they not just live through the Iraqi occupation, destruction and disaster? ..."
"... Are you a bit confused as to who these neocon dissenters at State support in the Syrian civil war? ..."
"... This is simply a roll call of neocon diplomats making a case for another non-strategic war that would badly hurt US interests. It does not represent State Department policy. The neocons have been very persistent in securing career appointments at State for decades now. ..."
"... You are pushing the world closer to war. ..."
"... what is intolerable about the position of the 51 "diplomats" in the memo is that it is their (failed) efforts to dislodge Assad by proxy, facilitating and organizing the flow of arms that more often than ended up in the hands of hard-line jihadists, that has led to almost 400,000 deaths (not to mention wounded) and the flight of over a million refugees. ..."
"... Wow, sounds like some housecleaning is needed at State. Whatever happened to jaw-jaw being better than war-war? If they are so keen on military action, they're in the wrong building. I'm sure some of the overworked troops and officers in the armed forces would be happy to let these guys take a few of the chances of getting shot or blown up that they deal with daily. ..."
"... It is troubling that the State Department, long a bulwark of common sense against America's foreign adventurism, has become as hawkish as its former head, Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... The Middle East Institute is financed, primarily, by the petroleum and arms industries. The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy has HRC's close ally, Dennis Ross; who, with Martin Indyk, founded AIPAC in the mid-80's. ..."
"... This group's contention that direct confrontation with Russia could be avoided echoes their 2002 claim that Operation Iraqi Freedom would be a three month cake walk. ..."
"... Since WWII, U.S. foreign policy has been rooted in the projection and use of force (covert and overt) as the primary means to achieve whatever goals the executive office seeks. It placed the world on notice that the U.S. was ready and willing to use violence to back its foreign policy objectives. Just as in Vietnam and before the disastrous decision to escalate the use of ground forces, President Johnson's national security advisors (all holdovers from Kennedy's Presidency) pressed Johnson to use aerial bombardment against N. Vietnam to induce them to seek a negotiated peace that would allow the U.S. to withdraw from the conflict and save face while preserving the policy of projecting force as a means to maintain world order in accordance with U.S. designs. ..."
"... My oldest son is now completing his sixth Afghan/Iraq tour.I don't want him in Syria. Let these 51 diplomats volunteer their sons/daughters for Syria.That'll demonstrate their commitment.I'll bet not one of these 51 "geniuses" has a child on active military duty in Iraq/Afghan. ..."
"... These folks are, it appears, mid-level foreign service officers like I was. They are utterly unqualified to make these judgements as the Department of State is a failed organization culturally and functionally. Like HRC, who is still advocating for forced regime change if she wins, they have learned nothing from the past and again have no answer for what follows Asad being deposed. A majority Sunni regime in Syria will tear Iraq apart and there is no likelihood of it avoiding the trajectory of other "pluralistic" Arab state attempts. The fact that State has no culture of strategic analysis informing operational design and operational planning which, in turn, spawn series of tactical events, comes clear in situations like this. Doing nothing is the best case here. Tragic but still the best case. President Obama has seen this. Asad needs to regain control of Syria's territory, all of it. Feeding the hopes of the Ahmed Chalabi equivalents in Syria is perpetuating the violence. And, there is no room for an independent Kurdistan in the region, nor is it in the United States' interest for there to be one. ..."
"... That's the same class of people who figured that invading in Iraq in 2003 would turn out all right. ..."
"... Exhibit A being Samantha Power, the latest in a long line of militaristic, European-born white Americans (see Albright, Kissinger, Brzezinski) who believe that American firepower can bring order to the world. ..."
"... Sorry hawkish diplomats, but you're living in a fantasyland where the invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not permanently tarnish the image of the USA and wreck its credibility as an honest arbiter. That is the reality all US presidents will have to face in the post-Bush 43 era. ..."
"... Are those 51 U.S. Diplomats responsible for advising the Obama Administration to bomb Libya back in 2011? Apparently they have not learned from their mistakes. Or maybe they should just go work for their true Employer, The Military Industrial Complex. ..."
"... This is reckless and irresponsible. US backed "moderates" are fighting elbow to elbow with the Nusra Front and other radicals groups; that is why the cease-fire is collapsing. ..."
"... If we weaken Assad, Islamists will take over Damascus and if Damascus falls, soon Beirut will follow. These folk at State are neo cons, as usual shooting from the hip. ..."
"... Vietnam, 212,000 dead and countless north and south Vietnamese and citizens. Unjust and unwarranted war on Iraq with 4,491 and counting dead and countess Iraqi citizens. Now, Syria? Are you wanting the draft returned? You asking for boots on the ground? How about you 50 join up. I will willingly pay for taxes just arm you and send you in. Along with every other know it all who wants us 'TO DO MORE'!! Spare me. You have learned NOTHING in your past failures, have you? 1956, Iran. Cause the over throw of a duly elected government for the Shahs which led to 1980 revolution to fear of them acquiring nuclear weapons. Vietnam led to 'WHAT'? Now Iraq. ..."
"... The worse destabilization in that area I can remember. Not even during their many attacks on Israel when Egypt got a clue. Fire Saddam Hussein's soldiers and they become ISIS by 2006, yet one bright senator lied and said Obama caused them when we left which was President Bush's treaty Maliki. They did not want us there. Leave per the Iraqi people, also. When ISIS showed up they ran and left the weaponry we gave them and the money in the banks for them to grab. Now, you want us steeped into Syria. It's been said, hindsight is 20/20, ..."
"... In these so called diplomats cases, it is totally and legally blind. Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles has a better perception and one of them is dead. ..."
"... The war hawks, so comfortably away from the battle, are banging those drums of war again. Easy to do when your life and the lives of your fellow military are not at risk. ..."
"... We all know now that the invasion of Iraq by Mr. Bush junior was a) a mistake, and b) a War Crime - there were no threatening WMDs nor did Saddam hold hads with Al Quaeda (he was, actually, their worst enemy - and our security!), so, Iraq was c) total stupidity. It was an aggressive war without any cause - for the USA! ..."
"... This is much more about what Mark Landler thinks than about what those generic diplomats think. The Times's principal hawk, Landler has book and a series of articles pushing his neocon view. I guess we should assume the Times agrees. ..."
"... Having spent substantial time as a private consultant at the US Embassy in Kabul I was shocked by the lack of feelings of midlevel officials there with regard to the dead and injuries of American Troops. The Embassy shared a wall with the ISAF/NATO Main Quarters and every single day the US Flag there was half-mast to acknowledge the dead of our troops on that day in that country. The Embassy never shared this sadness and all midlevel officials there were only concerned about their paycheck, quality of meals served, having a drink, going for a swim, and their frequent trips back to the US; for such people wanting to have a say in when to fight in Syria is a sad state of affair. ..."
"... Perhaps we should figure out one take-down before we move on to the next. After 13 years, we still haven't figured out life in Iraq without Saddam. Any thoughts, neocons, on what might happen after Assad is disposed of? You know, the hard part, what follows? ..."
"... Get Rid of Assad, make relations with Russia worse (they back Assad) and allow ISIS to effectively take over Syria. Sounds like a great plan. I guess our military-industrial complex is getting itchy for a new war. And, of course, doing what these diplomats want will also result in putting boots on the ground. This will be a great legacy for Ms. Clinton (under her watch ISIS came into being), Mr. Kerry (who continued Clinton's failed legacy) and Mr. Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize president; who wasn't). ..."
"... The signers of the dissent letter are militarist neocons (of the Victoria Nuland ilk). More than any other, these people and their CIA collaborators are responsible for the death and destruction in Syria and the ensuing refugee crisis. They can't even give a cogent reason for deposing Assad other than point to the carnage of the civil war they fomented-as if Assad were solely responsible. Assad is acting no differently than the US did during it's own Civil War. ..."
"... The value of the memo can be summed up in one sentence as described in the article itself "what would happen in the event that Mr. Assad was forced from power - a scenario that the draft memo does not address." ..."
"... I wonder about the arrogance of these mid-level State Department foreign service officers. ..."
"... Sure -- a few well-placed cruise missiles will make it all good. Yeah, right. ..."
"... Absolutely amazing. My first question is who released this memo? Having a back channel does not permit anyone to unilaterally decide to release information that could cost lives and ruin negotiations that the releasing person knows nothing about. If you do not like the chain of command, then leave. We cannot continue to be involved in sectarian conflicts that cannot be resolved except by the combatants. Haven't we learned anything from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Vietnam? No neocon insanity. We have lost enough lives and treasure in the ME. ..."
"... Are these the same ingrates who urged Bush to attack Iraq - his legacy - ISIS! ..."
"... As a 26 year Marine Corps combat veteran I have a hard time trying to figure out what is going on here, and a harder time not becoming totally disgusted with our State Department. ..."
"... My suggestion would be that we arm these 51 individuals, given them a week's worth of ammunition and rations, and drop them into Syria, I am sure they can lead the way in showing us how to solve the mess in the ME. ..."
"... It's the fact that these are not "widely known names" which scares me most. However, Western-instituted regime change in that region has proven disastrous in every single country it has been tried. If possible, I would investigate these diplomats' ties to defense contractors. ..."
"... US intervention created the rubble and hell that is now Syria. When Assad had full control of Syria, the human rights of the people of Syria suffered under him but many if not most people led a civilised life. They had water and electricity. Past US interventions created Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. To puy it simply, life expectancy in all these countries dropped by 20 to 30 years after the US intervened, each time with the highest utopian ideals, and increased the power of Sunni supremacists after each act. ..."
"... Let's not forget that Bush's hasty appointment of Paul Bremer as the hapless Governor of Iraq following the defeat of Hussein's military regime led immediately to the disbanding of the entire Iraqi military, an incredibly short-sighted and reckless move that essentially unleashed 400,000 young trained fighters (including a honed officers corps) absent support programs to assimilate back into Iraqi society, only to have them emerge as readily available fodder essential for ISIS's marshalling a strong military force almost overnight. A huge price is now being exacted for this astounding stupidity. ..."
"... This is conveniently laying grounds for Hillary's grand comeback to the theatre of "humanitarian interventionism" in the Middle East. God help us all, as this is a prelude to the WW3. ..."
"... Wow the neo-cons are beating the war drums yet again! They have already created a huge mess throughout the Middle East with wars and revolutions directly attributable to the United States in invading Afghanistan and Iraq under false pretenses, helping overthrow the government in Libya, and arming rebels in Syria and Yemen. ..."
"... Unfortunately if Hillary Clinton wins, she is a neo-con puppet and we will be at war in Syria and/or Iran within a year or two. God help us! ..."
"... First of all, if this was a channel for employees to share "candidly and privately" about policy concerns, why is it on the front page of the NY Times? Additionally, as usual, it seems the war hawks are hawking war without thought for what comes next. We've done this most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, all of which are now failed states and havens for terrorists. Because this seems rather obvious, either we are pathologically incapable of learning from past mistakes, or there are people who have an agenda different from the publicly stated one. ..."
"... The U.S. has a lengthy, very sordid history of leaping into the fray in areas such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central America and Afghanistan, among others - all with catastrophic results, for which we never seemed to have a credible, well- crafted plan, nor have we ever comprehended the millennia of internecine tribal hatred and sectarian warfare. ..."
"... I am more scared of US diplomats and politicians than terrorists! Have they learned nothing from the US efforts to create western style democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria (by supporting separatists att an early stage). The US diplomats proposal would ensure more chaos, death and prolonged wR. 38 % of the population are Alewits. They will be killed, Christians will be killed. ..."
The New York Times

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC 16 hours ago

These Diplomats should be fired as idiots. Did they not just live through the Iraqi occupation, destruction and disaster?

A few years ago, a diplomat who quit was complaining about Syria at a conference I attended. When I asked who would fill the void if Assad was deposed he said, "That is a difficult question to answer." What he really meant to say is, "I don't have a clue."

We have already disrupted Syria by supporting rebels/terrorists. The region cannot tolerate another Iraq.

Dan Stewart, NYC 16 hours ago

Are you a bit confused as to who these neocon dissenters at State support in the Syrian civil war?

Here's a helpful hint:

If they have beards down to their belt buckles and seem to be hollering something about Allah, those are the guys the neocons support.

If they're recently shaved and wearing Western attire, in other words, if they look like anyone you might bump into on a US city street, those are the people the neocons call the enemy.


Retroatavist,
DC 10 hours ago

This is simply a roll call of neocon diplomats making a case for another non-strategic war that would badly hurt US interests. It does not represent State Department policy. The neocons have been very persistent in securing career appointments at State for decades now. It's as if we hadn't forgotten the endless horrible mess they got us and the rest of the world into by breaking Iraq and destroying all its institutions with the insane de-baathification policy. And it all started with a similar steady drumbeat for war throughout the mid and late '90s and up to the 2003 disastrous invasion. Did we not learn anything? Really: Whose interest would an open US war against Assad really serve, and what predictable outcome would be in the US's strategic favor?

Robert Sawyer, New York, New York 14 hours ago

How many among the 51 are members of "Hillary's Legions, " the same geniuses responsible for the unqualified success we achieved in Libya?

Gennady, Rhinebeck 16 hours ago

Stop this irresponsible reporting. You are pushing the world closer to war. Humanitarian support is all we should bring to the Syrian people, regardless of which side they are on.

ScottW, is a trusted commenter Chapel Hill, NC

These Diplomats should be fired as idiots. Did they not just live through the Iraqi occupation, destruction and disaster?

A few years ago, a diplomat who quit was complaining about Syria at a conference I attended. When I asked who would fill the void if Assad was deposed he said, "That is a difficult question to answer." What he really meant to say is, "I don't have a clue."

We have already disrupted Syria by supporting rebels/terrorists. The region cannot tolerate another Iraq.

Alyoshak, Durant, OK

Isn't Congress supposed to declare war, and the President command our armed forces when such declarations occur? But what is intolerable about the position of the 51 "diplomats" in the memo is that it is their (failed) efforts to dislodge Assad by proxy, facilitating and organizing the flow of arms that more often than ended up in the hands of hard-line jihadists, that has led to almost 400,000 deaths (not to mention wounded) and the flight of over a million refugees. But no, these casualties have nothing to do with our attempts at regime change, No!, the blame for them lies squarely upon Assad for not scooting out of town immediately and submissively when the U.S. decided it was time for him to go. So now we're supposed to double-down on a deeply immoral and flawed strategy? How many more Syrians' lives must be ruined to "save" them from Assad?

Everyman, USA 16 hours ago

Wow, sounds like some housecleaning is needed at State. Whatever happened to jaw-jaw being better than war-war? If they are so keen on military action, they're in the wrong building. I'm sure some of the overworked troops and officers in the armed forces would be happy to let these guys take a few of the chances of getting shot or blown up that they deal with daily.

Dan, Alexandria 16 hours ago

It is troubling that the State Department, long a bulwark of common sense against America's foreign adventurism, has become as hawkish as its former head, Hillary Clinton.

I am grateful to President Obama for resisting this foolishness, but make no mistake, no matter who gets into office in January, the kind of farcical, counterproductive, unrealistic "limited engagement" advocated by these so-called diplomats will be our future. Clinton is champing at the bit for it, and Trump is too weak to do anything but go along with it.

Clark M. Shanahan, Oak Park, Illinois 16 hours ago

Sadly, they'll most likely have a more accommodating commander and chief with HRC.

The Middle East Institute is financed, primarily, by the petroleum and arms industries. The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy has HRC's close ally, Dennis Ross; who, with Martin Indyk, founded AIPAC in the mid-80's.

This group's contention that direct confrontation with Russia could be avoided echoes their 2002 claim that Operation Iraqi Freedom would be a three month cake walk.

Paul Cohen, is a trusted commenter Hartford CT 15 hours ago

Since WWII, U.S. foreign policy has been rooted in the projection and use of force (covert and overt) as the primary means to achieve whatever goals the executive office seeks. It placed the world on notice that the U.S. was ready and willing to use violence to back its foreign policy objectives. Just as in Vietnam and before the disastrous decision to escalate the use of ground forces, President Johnson's national security advisors (all holdovers from Kennedy's Presidency) pressed Johnson to use aerial bombardment against N. Vietnam to induce them to seek a negotiated peace that would allow the U.S. to withdraw from the conflict and save face while preserving the policy of projecting force as a means to maintain world order in accordance with U.S. designs.

Nixon carried on this bombing for peace strategy to insane war crime level. This heavy reliance on military force over a diplomatic solution has never worked. It didn't work for our knee-jerk response to 9/11 by immediately resorting to military force without first thinking through the consequences. We are now into our 15th year of aggression against the Muslim World. The time is long past due to question our failed policy and seek an alternative solution.

Bud, McKinney, Texas 16 hours ago

My oldest son is now completing his sixth Afghan/Iraq tour.I don't want him in Syria. Let these 51 diplomats volunteer their sons/daughters for Syria.That'll demonstrate their commitment.I'll bet not one of these 51 "geniuses" has a child on active military duty in Iraq/Afghan.

Abu Charlie, Toronto, Ontario 14 hours ago

These folks are, it appears, mid-level foreign service officers like I was. They are utterly unqualified to make these judgements as the Department of State is a failed organization culturally and functionally. Like HRC, who is still advocating for forced regime change if she wins, they have learned nothing from the past and again have no answer for what follows Asad being deposed. A majority Sunni regime in Syria will tear Iraq apart and there is no likelihood of it avoiding the trajectory of other "pluralistic" Arab state attempts. The fact that State has no culture of strategic analysis informing operational design and operational planning which, in turn, spawn series of tactical events, comes clear in situations like this. Doing nothing is the best case here. Tragic but still the best case. President Obama has seen this. Asad needs to regain control of Syria's territory, all of it. Feeding the hopes of the Ahmed Chalabi equivalents in Syria is perpetuating the violence. And, there is no room for an independent Kurdistan in the region, nor is it in the United States' interest for there to be one.

AR, is a trusted commenter Virginia 15 hours ago

How undiplomatic. I don't care that these people are diplomats and that many of them probably have impeccable academic pedigrees with degrees from the usual suspects such as the Ivy League schools, SAIS, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Kennedy. That's the same class of people who figured that invading in Iraq in 2003 would turn out all right. Obama is correct to ignore these people, who more often than not are possessed by the notion of American Exceptionalism. Exhibit A being Samantha Power, the latest in a long line of militaristic, European-born white Americans (see Albright, Kissinger, Brzezinski) who believe that American firepower can bring order to the world.

Let this be made clear: Any escalation of American involvement in Syria will be interpreted as 1) an attempt to enhance the national security of Israel, 2) a means of benefiting the revenue stream of the American military industrial complex, or 3) both. Only the most naive and foolish people, since the absolutely disastrous events of 2003, would be inclined to believe that American military intervention in Syria is motivated mainly by humanitarian impulses.

Sorry hawkish diplomats, but you're living in a fantasyland where the invasion of Iraq in 2003 did not permanently tarnish the image of the USA and wreck its credibility as an honest arbiter. That is the reality all US presidents will have to face in the post-Bush 43 era.

Robert Roth, NYC 14 hours ago

Everyone closes their eyes and imagines all the bloodshed they will prevent by all the bloodshed they will cause.

Samsara, The West 16 hours ago

Have Iraq and Libya taught these State Department officials NOTHING??

Simon, Tampa 15 hours ago

The neo-cons who love regime change that never works. Let us examine their track record:

Iraq - a mess and infested with ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Libya - now an anarchist state infested with ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Yemen - bombing and murdering thousands of innocents and Al Qaeda.

Syria, the only secular Arab state, destroyed and infested with ISIS and Al Qaeda. The only reason Syria hasn't completely fallen apart is thanks to Assad and his Sunni dominated army, Iran, and the Russians. So of course, these neo-cons want to complete the job at the behest of the money they will be getting from the Saudis and the other Gulf States.

Don't worry you warmongering greedy neocon, Hillary Clinton is one of you and will be president soon enough.

Title Holder, Fl 15 hours ago

Are those 51 U.S. Diplomats responsible for advising the Obama Administration to bomb Libya back in 2011? Apparently they have not learned from their mistakes. Or maybe they should just go work for their true Employer, The Military Industrial Complex.

Andrea, New Jersey 15 hours ago

This is reckless and irresponsible. US backed "moderates" are fighting elbow to elbow with the Nusra Front and other radicals groups; that is why the cease-fire is collapsing. Syrians and Russians can not split hairs on the battlefield.

If we weaken Assad, Islamists will take over Damascus and if Damascus falls, soon Beirut will follow. These folk at State are neo cons, as usual shooting from the hip.

Jett Rink, lafayette, la 15 hours ago

Here's the thing most people don't get about ISIS. They thrive on us being involved in the Middle East. They are willing to kill other Muslims in order to keep us involved. As long as we are there, terrorism will persist, over there and here too. They are playing us like chumps. They use our tendency to knee-jerk reactions against us. They're out smarting us at every juncture.

Of course it's human nature to want to help people in such dire straights. But that's exactly what ISIS wants, and correctly predict, that we'll do. So as long as they out-think us, they'll continue to win.

If you want to help the innocent people caught in the cross-hairs of ISIS, the best thing we could possibly do is pack up and leave. There'll be some more carnage, but eventually the backlash from within will force them to stop the wrecking and killing. Many people will die, but in the end, the tally would be far fewer.

Their goal is to keep us engaged. Ours should be to get out! As long as we stay, they win. And that's how they're able to convince long-wolf's to strike us here, even when here is home to them too.

Joane Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio 15 hours ago

Vietnam, 212,000 dead and countless north and south Vietnamese and citizens. Unjust and unwarranted war on Iraq with 4,491 and counting dead and countess Iraqi citizens. Now, Syria? Are you wanting the draft returned? You asking for boots on the ground? How about you 50 join up. I will willingly pay for taxes just arm you and send you in. Along with every other know it all who wants us 'TO DO MORE'!! Spare me. You have learned NOTHING in your past failures, have you? 1956, Iran. Cause the over throw of a duly elected government for the Shahs which led to 1980 revolution to fear of them acquiring nuclear weapons. Vietnam led to 'WHAT'? Now Iraq.

The worse destabilization in that area I can remember. Not even during their many attacks on Israel when Egypt got a clue. Fire Saddam Hussein's soldiers and they become ISIS by 2006, yet one bright senator lied and said Obama caused them when we left which was President Bush's treaty Maliki. They did not want us there. Leave per the Iraqi people, also. When ISIS showed up they ran and left the weaponry we gave them and the money in the banks for them to grab. Now, you want us steeped into Syria. It's been said, hindsight is 20/20,

In these so called diplomats cases, it is totally and legally blind. Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles has a better perception and one of them is dead.

Bev, New York 16 hours ago

Yes the war machine wants more wars. Who will take the place of the evil Assad? We have removed a number of evil dictators in that area of the world and all it has done is sap our resources, killed hundreds of thousands of innocents, made millions hate us, and created vacuums of power which are then filled with Saudi-assisted ISIS - AND profited our war machine (that's the important part!) We need less involvement in the Mideast, not more. Bring them all home and start transitioning from a war economy to an economy that serves the American citizens here.

ME, Toronto 13 hours ago

Thank goodness Obama kept his head and didn't (and hopefully won't) listen to such crazy advice. To call the signers "diplomats" is a real stretch. It seems that somewhere back in time various U.S. "diplomats" decided that they have the right to decide who and what the government should be in various jurisdictions throughout the world. Of course this is motivated by purely humanitarian concerns and love of democracy and not the self-interest of the U.S., as in having a friendly government in place. As despicable as some governments are, the lessons over many years now should be that military strikes are just as (maybe more) likely to produce something bad as anything good. Better to talk and try to influence the development of nations through positive reinforcement (as Obama has done in Iran). Undoubtedly this is a slow and somewhat frustrating process but that is something real "diplomats" should be good at. If this process had been pursued in Syria we would all be better off today and especially the Syrian people.

Mitchell, New York 16 hours ago

I assume these people at State also believe in the Tooth Fairy. The fantasy of "moderate" rebels who will be grateful to us after they depose a tyrant and put in a fair democratic government that takes into account all of our Western ideals and freedoms is so unrealistic that these people at State need to find a job where their last words are, "Can I supersize that for you?" Our involvement in the Middle East displacing despots and replacing them with chaos has been the biggest disaster in foreign policy in many decades. Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and even Syria (remember the line in the sand?). We should join with Russia in destroying ISIS and use our leverage to push Assad to make some level of concessions.

Dan, Sandy, UT 15 hours ago

Here we go again. The war hawks, so comfortably away from the battle, are banging those drums of war again. Easy to do when your life and the lives of your fellow military are not at risk.

Second thought, as stated by a political comedian/satirist, let the Middle East take its own trash out.
I couldn't agree more.

blackmamba, IL 16 hours ago

Since 9/11/01 only 0.75% of Americans have volunteered to put on the military of any American armed force. They have been ground to emotional, mental and physical dust by repeated deployments. Getting rid of Arab dictators has unleashed foreign ethnic sectarian socioeconomic political educational civil wars that cannot be resolved by American military power.

Assad is an Arab civil secular dictator. Just like many of Americas Arab allies and unlike those American Arab allies who are Islamic royal fossil fuel tyrants. But Assad is an Alawite Shia Muslim allied with Russia. The alternatives to Assad are al Qaeda, ISIL and al Nusra. Diplomats need to stick to diplomacy.

Jo Boost, Midlands 16 hours ago

This situation is not that simple.

There is not -as people in Washington who know better have told for years now- one big bad wolf called Assad preying and devouring all poor little peaceful lambs (who, accidentally, have been armed to their teeth by a certain Ms. Clinton and her Saudi friends - even with poison gas which was, then, blamed on the said Assad).
We have here a follow-up civil war to the (also US started) one in Libya.

Let us just look at International Law, as understood since the Nuremberg Trials:

We all know now that the invasion of Iraq by Mr. Bush junior was a) a mistake, and b) a War Crime - there were no threatening WMDs nor did Saddam hold hads with Al Quaeda (he was, actually, their worst enemy - and our security!), so, Iraq was c) total stupidity. It was an aggressive war without any cause - for the USA!
But a great cause for Saudi "Royals" whose cousins had been thrown out of Iraq, which is good enough cause, in Arab customs, for a bloody feud and revenge.
The same applies to Syria, and could one, therefore, still wonder why ISIL was so well equipped for the follow-up (envisaged) invasion?

Libya was a danger for Saudi Autocrates, because a secular Arab country with such a living standard from fair distribution of oil wealth would be a dangerous advertisement for a Mother of All Arab Springs in the desert.

So, we have one side with interest - and one without any - but the latter does the dirty work. Is there more than one tail that wags the US dog?

Bonnie Rothman, NYC 13 hours ago

How brilliant---not! And what do these 50 people expect to happen if and when Assad falls, chaos prevails and ISIS rushes in? Not to mention the immediate nasty confrontation with Putin. This isn't 1941 and big Armies and big bombs are useless, USELESS against ISIS which operates like cancer cells in the human body. And the last time we toppled a tyrant we midwived the ISIS group which is funded by the Saudis which is funded by our own use of oil. Don't you dopes ever read history and see the "whole" problem? Sheesh.

Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma, is a trusted commenter Jaipur, India. 16 hours ago

Given the complexity of the Syrian crisis and the multipower stakes involved in Syria, it would be foolish for the US to direct its unilateral military fury at toppling the Assad regime ignoring its fall out and the military financial cost to the US itself, specially when except for meeting the common challenge and threat of the ISIS no direct national interests are at stake for the US in Syria. The state department's dissenting memo to the President seems an attempt by the vested interests to further complicate President Obama's Middle East policy that's on the right track following the Iran deal.

Dennis Sullivan, NYC 16 hours ago

This is much more about what Mark Landler thinks than about what those generic diplomats think. The Times's principal hawk, Landler has book and a series of articles pushing his neocon view. I guess we should assume the Times agrees.


Rudolf, New York 7 hours ago

Having spent substantial time as a private consultant at the US Embassy in Kabul I was shocked by the lack of feelings of midlevel officials there with regard to the dead and injuries of American Troops. The Embassy shared a wall with the ISAF/NATO Main Quarters and every single day the US Flag there was half-mast to acknowledge the dead of our troops on that day in that country. The Embassy never shared this sadness and all midlevel officials there were only concerned about their paycheck, quality of meals served, having a drink, going for a swim, and their frequent trips back to the US; for such people wanting to have a say in when to fight in Syria is a sad state of affair.

pat knapp, milwaukee 16 hours ago

Perhaps we should figure out one take-down before we move on to the next. After 13 years, we still haven't figured out life in Iraq without Saddam. Any thoughts, neocons, on what might happen after Assad is disposed of? You know, the hard part, what follows?

Mike Edwards, Providence, RI 16 hours ago

In what way do the views of the State Department officials in ISIS differ from those in the US State Department who signed this memo?

Recent terrorist attacks in France and the US have been inspired by ISIS, not Mr. Assad. ISIS is our enemy right now. Let Mr. Assad do what he can to eliminate them.

And haven't we learnt that the removal of a head of State, be it in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya does not lead to an improvement; it actually causes an outright deterioration.

Finally, please let's also do away with this twaddle about "moderate" forces being present in the Middle East, ready to enact our fantasy of what a peaceful Middle East should be like. They don't exist in the Middle East. Ask the Israelis. Those moderates that do exist seem to serve one purpose, which is to hand over the weapons supplied to them by the West to the terrorists.

I wish the signatories would have had the guts to spell it out. The Middle East is home to a number of weal nations, a situation the stronger ones don't wish to correct. The only solution would be for the West to take over the running of those countries and provide for their policing and defense, as once the West leaves, a vacuum is created allowing terrorist groups to proliferate.

I doubt there is any appetite in the West for such a cause.

Donald, Yonkers 16 hours ago

Interesting how these " moderate" Syrian rebels so often fight alongside al Nusra.

The death toll in Syria is as high as it is because the rebels have outside help, Somehow no one in the American mainstream, including the NYT, ever points this out. Incidently, note how the NYT always uses the largest estimates for the death toll-- quite different from what they did in Iraq.

Nick Metrowsky, is a trusted commenter Longmont, Colorado 17 hours ago

Get Rid of Assad, make relations with Russia worse (they back Assad) and allow ISIS to effectively take over Syria. Sounds like a great plan. I guess our military-industrial complex is getting itchy for a new war. And, of course, doing what these diplomats want will also result in putting boots on the ground. This will be a great legacy for Ms. Clinton (under her watch ISIS came into being), Mr. Kerry (who continued Clinton's failed legacy) and Mr. Obama (the Nobel Peace Prize president; who wasn't).

So, guess what? The US starts bombing Syria, Assad will use human shields. ISIS is already using human shields. So, the US will have more innocent blood on their hands. Of course, the US follows through with these diplomats idea, ISIS, and their allies, will increase the risk of terrorism attacks in the US. More mass shootings and bombings.

Of course, in an election year, the political rhetoric will be pushed up a notch between the two wonderful people now running for president. Both who are more than willing to love the diplomat's idea to show they are "strong". Mr. Obama may or may not follow through, but he hand may be forced. Clinton or Trump will go after him, as both would pull the trigger first and ask questions later.

But, rest assured,. if you feel that a terrorist is lurking around each corner now, just wait until the US decides that getting in the middle of the Syrian civil war is some warped good idea.

Diplomacy can be messy, as can politics.

Dan Stewart, NYC 16 hours ago

The signers of the dissent letter are militarist neocons (of the Victoria Nuland ilk). More than any other, these people and their CIA collaborators are responsible for the death and destruction in Syria and the ensuing refugee crisis. They can't even give a cogent reason for deposing Assad other than point to the carnage of the civil war they fomented-as if Assad were solely responsible. Assad is acting no differently than the US did during it's own Civil War.

For five years the US has been promoting Muslim extremists in Syria that move with fluidity between the ranks of ISIL, al Nusra, al Qeada, etc. There are no reliable "moderates" in Syria. The best hope for a stable Syria lies only with Bashar Assad, the secular Western-trained optometrist (and his J.P. Morgan investment banker wife, Asma), who has kept Syria stable and free of terrorists for decades.

To end the killing in Syria, and to defeat ISIL, the US should immediately stop arming and funding the Islamic jihadists trying to overthrow the Assad government and join with Russia to support Assad's military in regaining control over all Syrian territory and borders.

CT View, CT 17 hours ago

The value of the memo can be summed up in one sentence as described in the article itself "what would happen in the event that Mr. Assad was forced from power - a scenario that the draft memo does not address."

Why on earth would we support deposing a secular dictator who has multi-ethnic multi-religious support in favor of a non-secular/ie religious leadership that has no moderates...remember we tried to train vetted moderates, we found about 2 dozen and gave up on the program after half were killed and the rest defected to the radicals WITH THE WEAPONS WE SUPPLIED. Perhaps, since the military is anti-intervention and these diplomats are pro-intervention, the diplomats can take the front line...would that change their opinion?

Gimme Shelter, 123 Happy Street 17 hours ago

I wonder about the arrogance of these mid-level State Department foreign service officers. Do they think the National Security Council hasn't considered all options with respect to the use of air power to affect the political situation in Syria? Do they think the President is unaware of the what is required to stem the humanitarian crisis? How certain are they that their recommendations will lead to their desired outcome? Do they not realize their actions undermine the commander in chief in effectively addressing these issues?

Sure -- a few well-placed cruise missiles will make it all good. Yeah, right.

Wayne, Lake Conroe, Tx 7 hours ago

Absolutely amazing. My first question is who released this memo? Having a back channel does not permit anyone to unilaterally decide to release information that could cost lives and ruin negotiations that the releasing person knows nothing about. If you do not like the chain of command, then leave. We cannot continue to be involved in sectarian conflicts that cannot be resolved except by the combatants. Haven't we learned anything from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Vietnam? No neocon insanity. We have lost enough lives and treasure in the ME.

Chagrined, La Jolla, CA 10 hours ago

Are these the same ingrates who urged Bush to attack Iraq - his legacy - ISIS!

Real Americans don't want any more squandered blood and treasure in wars in the Middle East!

It is sad that our tax dollars pay the salaries for these insidious State Department war mongering fools. How many neocons are among them?

The war in Syria is tragic as was the war in Iraq. Even more tragic would be more squandered American blood and treasure.

Fifteen hundred American Jews joined the IDF terrorists to commit the "Gaza Genocide." Perhaps they will volunteer to go to Syria.??

President Obama has the intellect, sophistication and morals not to repeat the mistakes of the Bush administration. These State Department rank and file are obviously attempting to undermine him just as many members of congress attempted to undermine him by supporting Netanyahu and Israel during the Iran Diplomacy debate. Betraying America has become sport for so many insidious ingrates. America deserves better!

xtian, Tallahassee 11 hours ago

As a 26 year Marine Corps combat veteran I have a hard time trying to figure out what is going on here, and a harder time not becoming totally disgusted with our State Department.

So these 51 mid-level diplomates want to bomb a bit more, and that is going to do what????? And how will that bring peace to that region of the world? Oh, and by the way, the Department of Defense is not in agreement with that course of action. How wonderful.

My suggestion would be that we arm these 51 individuals, given them a week's worth of ammunition and rations, and drop them into Syria, I am sure they can lead the way in showing us how to solve the mess in the ME.

David Henry, Concord 17 hours ago

War is easy to do. Ask "W."

Lives matter! These "diplomats" should be fired.

Yinka Martins, New York, NY 17 hours ago

It's the fact that these are not "widely known names" which scares me most. However, Western-instituted regime change in that region has proven disastrous in every single country it has been tried. If possible, I would investigate these diplomats' ties to defense contractors.

PKJharkhand, Australia 7 hours ago

US intervention created the rubble and hell that is now Syria. When Assad had full control of Syria, the human rights of the people of Syria suffered under him but many if not most people led a civilised life. They had water and electricity. Past US interventions created Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. To puy it simply, life expectancy in all these countries dropped by 20 to 30 years after the US intervened, each time with the highest utopian ideals, and increased the power of Sunni supremacists after each act.

Jai Goodman, SF Bay Area 7 hours ago

These "diplomats" should instead be urging US to pressure Turkey and Saudi to stop supporting terrorists in the region. Both Al Nusra and ISIS. That'll be the right step.

Thank you.

cml, pittsburgh, pa 10 hours ago

How many of these are the same (or same sort) of "wise" men that advised ignoring our weapon's inspectors and invading Iraq? They're living inside an echo chamber. In a world of imperfect choices I would prefer Assad to the Nusra Front or ISIL, as apparently our president does as well.

Lawrence, Washington D.C. 15 hours ago

How many of those 51 diplomats haves served in front line units and seen combat? How many have their children in uniform? They wouldn't allow it.
Each bombing mission costs more than a million dollars, and we live in a nation of Chiraq and Orlando.
We have more pressing needs at home, and you can't fix stupid mixed with superstition, topped with hatred.
These diplomats want to continue to strap suicide vests on the rest of us, while they sip champagne.
Out now, no more of our children wasted for corporate profits.

John, San Francisco 15 hours ago

50 employees? There are approximately 24,000 employees in the state department. That's 0.002833%. Not really a significant voice. Don't listen.


Vanessa Hall, is a trusted commenter Millersburg MO 13 hours ago

Reminds me of those 47 idiots in the House who signed on to the warmonger Tom Cotton's treasonous letter.

John Townsend, Mexico 15 hours ago

Let's not forget that Bush's hasty appointment of Paul Bremer as the hapless Governor of Iraq following the defeat of Hussein's military regime led immediately to the disbanding of the entire Iraqi military, an incredibly short-sighted and reckless move that essentially unleashed 400,000 young trained fighters (including a honed officers corps) absent support programs to assimilate back into Iraqi society, only to have them emerge as readily available fodder essential for ISIS's marshalling a strong military force almost overnight. A huge price is now being exacted for this astounding stupidity.

Hobart, Los Angeles, CA 7 hours ago

This is conveniently laying grounds for Hillary's grand comeback to the theatre of "humanitarian interventionism" in the Middle East. God help us all, as this is a prelude to the WW3.

rice pritchard, nashville, tennessee 12 hours ago

Wow the neo-cons are beating the war drums yet again! They have already created a huge mess throughout the Middle East with wars and revolutions directly attributable to the United States in invading Afghanistan and Iraq under false pretenses, helping overthrow the government in Libya, and arming rebels in Syria and Yemen. Apparently no regime that does not knuckle under to the U.S. war machine is "fair game". This turmoil is sending millions of refugees fleeing their homeland, many trying to swamp Europe, but the arm chair warriors in the diplomatic corps, Congress, Wall Street, and the military contractors still cry for more intervention, more bombing, more blockades, more invasions, etc.! Sheer madness! The more America meddle in the Middle East the worse things become and unrest and fighting spread. Unfortunately if Hillary Clinton wins, she is a neo-con puppet and we will be at war in Syria and/or Iran within a year or two. God help us!

xmas, Delaware 13 hours ago

HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST????? When people demand an invasion of a foreign country, can they please add the total cost of the bill to their request? Instead of saying "we need to invade," can they say, "I want your support to spend $1.7 trillion for invading this other country for humanitarian reasons. Oh, by the way, sorry, about all the cuts to domestic spending. We just don't have the money." We spent $1.7 TRILLION on Iraq. $1.7 TRILLION. I can think of several things I would have preferred to spend a fraction of that on. I'm sure you can too.

Robert G. McKee, Lindenhurst, NY 12 hours ago

This is a very interesting development within the walls of the State Department. There seems to be much enthusiasm for escalating war in the Middle East. My only question is does this enthusiasm extend to the deaths and maiming of these same State Department officials' children and grandchildren? Or do they propose that other people's children should die pursuing their high ideals in this endless and fruitless religious civil war in Syria?

Kathy, Flemington, NJ 13 hours ago

First of all, if this was a channel for employees to share "candidly and privately" about policy concerns, why is it on the front page of the NY Times? Additionally, as usual, it seems the war hawks are hawking war without thought for what comes next. We've done this most recently in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, all of which are now failed states and havens for terrorists. Because this seems rather obvious, either we are pathologically incapable of learning from past mistakes, or there are people who have an agenda different from the publicly stated one.

Rebecca Rabinowitz, . 13 hours ago

The U.S. has a lengthy, very sordid history of leaping into the fray in areas such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central America and Afghanistan, among others - all with catastrophic results, for which we never seemed to have a credible, well- crafted plan, nor have we ever comprehended the millennia of internecine tribal hatred and sectarian warfare. We have "been there, done that" countless times, at the cost of our precious military blood and treasure, and incurring the enmity of hundreds of millions of people. I empathize with the frustration of these State Department employees - but apparently, they do not recall our overthrow of the Shah of Iran when it suited our "cause du jour," or our fraudulent "domino theory" in Vietnam, or the hard reality that no one has ever successfully invaded or "governed" Afghanistan, not to mention being able to battle ideology with weapons. The President has already presided over significant mission creep in the Iraq cesspool left by the Cheney-Bush neo-con crowd. His judicious caution is to be lauded when it comes to Syria. Are these mid-level State Department employees advocating a war against Vladimir Putin?

Yngve Frey, Sweden 12 hours ago

I am more scared of US diplomats and politicians than terrorists! Have they learned nothing from the US efforts to create western style democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria (by supporting separatists att an early stage). The US diplomats proposal would ensure more chaos, death and prolonged wR. 38 % of the population are Alewits. They will be killed, Christians will be killed.

The only way will probably be to work with Russia and force other opposition groups to sign a peace agreement. Then we should arrange an intensive training course for US diplomats as well as Syrian leaders: "There is no final truth: we have to learn the art of tolerance and accept to live in a society where people you don't agree with also can live."

[Jun 17, 2016] Know-Nothing Diplomats Prepare For Hillarys War On Syria

Looks like State Department became a paradise for neocons. Protest of diplomats is typical trick used by State Departement during color revolution. That actually means this "color revolution" trick came to the USA. Our presidents come and go, Republican or Democrat, but our Strangeloves remain permanent employees of State Department. .
Notable quotes:
"... The State Department and the CIA's 'Plan C' (or are they on 'Plan D' yet?) is an independent Syrian Kurdistan. ..."
"... A desperate attempt to save the rebels, who now hate them and completely understand how they have been thrown under the bus by the State Department neocons. I really don't think the rebels will be the least bit impressed by the phony theatrics of a internal memo by mid-level bureaucrats. ..."
"... The Pentagram is in a bit of a different pickle. They have to do something to stop the Wahhabi head-choppers, but its a bit like herding cats. The best they've come up with is ginning up the SDF to take/hold ISIS territory. But they can't arm the Kurds or Arab members with any REAL weapons because that would anger Turkey. So they give them a bunch of eastern European AKs and a few pickup trucks with anti-aircraft guns, promise air support and toss in a few SF guys ..."
"... The MSM (as CIA lapdogs are paid to do) constantly try to reinforce the message that the independent YPG/YPJ militias are somehow 'the PYD's army'. Nothing is further from the truth - it's all MSM spin to create the impression that the Syrian Kurds uniformly desire the usurped PYD vision of an independent Kurdistan. In reality, the U.S. State Department neocons and the CIA are the ones that want an independent Syrian Kurdistan for their own scheming (and to deny Assad the land/water/oil). The MSM is constantly on message with this to set the narrative to the American public for Syrian partition - most people have no clue. ..."
"... For what it's worth, Assad is keenly aware of his history with the Kurds. Even by Kurdish media reports , he is willing to work with the Syrian Kurds as part of a unified Syrian state. He does not object to Kurdish rights or autonomy, just the U.S. meddling to goad the PYD into creating a separate Kurdish state. ..."
"... The whole Syria nightmare was planned from the US Embassy in Damascus in 2006 because Assad was so broadly popular in the country and "the region." Can't have that so a strategy was drummed up: http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-and-conspiracy-theories-it-is-a-conspiracy/29596 ..."
"... I'm sure the US will throw the Syrian Kurds "under the bus" when their usefulness is finished. I'm sure also that a lot of Syrian Kurds know this, and are hedging their bets. ..."
"... http://www.globalresearch.ca/france-building-military-bases-in-syria-report/5531259 "The use of proxy forces to destroy the secular government of Syria is now starting to give way to stealth methods of direct ground deployment of Western Special Forces and ground troops under the guise of assistance and coordination with "moderate" terrorists. "With a wide variety of Western-backed terrorist groups ranging from "extremist" terrorists like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusra to the "moderate" terrorists of the FSA and the loose collection of terrorists, Kurds, and Arabs like the SDF, the West has a kaleidoscope of proxy forces on the ground already. ..."
"... So Russian peace talks with US evil empire in Syria were a disaster, which makes Putin look like an idiot, as well as the supporters of this idiocy. As well as Russian invitations for the US to join it in Syria makes it one of the most stupidest invitations ever. ..."
"... A preview on America's future strategies? http://www.cnas.org/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/CNASReport-EAP-FINAL.pdf ..."
"... The Iranians have been warring with Kurds by the border with Turkey. Neither the Turks nor the Iranians - nor the Syrians, but they do need the Kurds now - want a Kurdistan. The Kurds must know by now - must have been betrayed enough by now - to know that the US will tell them anything, promise them anything, and deliver nothing but betrayal in the end. ..."
"... As regards the State Department, the Pentagon, the US government ... what's required is a neo-con purge, top to bottom. They are all working against American interests and against the American people. and have been for the past two decades. The likelihood of such a purge is about zero. Neither Trump nor Hillary has the will or the backbone to stand up to anyone. Trump's all mouth and looking out for number one, and Hillary's plugged in to the money-mosaic as well. Obama's getting ready to cash in his chips. ..."
"... I am amazed at your unflagging obsession with holding Putin responsible for the US/UK/EU/NATO/GCC destruction of Syria. You've set him up as your omnipotent god and he's failed you, somehow. Putin, Rusia, is not responsible for the death, devastation, and destruction of Iraq, Syria, Libya or the rest of the middle east or north africa. You're throwing your stones at the wrong guy, at the only guy who's done anything at all to help the Syrians and to forestall the monstrous neo-con plan. ..."
"... Israeli bombed military base in Homs province with impunity from S400 http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.723701 ..."
"... There is more about Russian de-facto acquiescence for Syrian partition and pivot to Israel: STRANGE DAYS: Did Israelis Pivoted to Russia? Or the other way around. https://syrianwarupdate.wordpress.com/ ..."
"... On the bright side, maybe the 50 signatures are just trying to get noticed by the Clinton transition crew. ..."
"... The document you posted is a typical wet dream written by utterly incompetent neocons (Kagan's and Zoellik names are a tell), people who can not and must not be allowed to operate with serious strategic and operational categories in any "advisory" role. ..."
"... i read about 30 of 160 or so comments on this article at NYT. given who the audience of that shit rag is & that comments are vetted, overwhelmingly commenters stated increased military involvement is retarded. ..."
"... How can Russia, which dwarfs Israel in every meaningful category -- from economy to military -- and who does remember her history well can "pivot" to largely regional player -- I don't know. Russian "neocons" are a dramatically different breed than US ones, for starters they are much more educated and, actually, support Assad. Israel's pivot to Russia in some sense is inevitable, albeit it could be fairly protracted, with Russia being observed as honest broker. They are not completely stupid in Israel and are very aware of real situation in American politics, economy and military. ..."
"... I note that the 'moderate' Hillary Clinton is a blood-soaked queen of chaos, who if elected is certain to embroil us in pointless wars and spread death and devastation across even more of the world. ..."
"... Donald Trump is admittedly a gamble, but depute his over-the-top stage persona, his track record is of actually getting along with people and brokering stable working relationships. ..."
"... At this point I wish I could vote for Richard Nixon (!), but we have the choice that we have... ..."
"... This piece out of the NYT is pure propaganda. Period. Here's the big clue - where's the memo? It's not embedded in the article. It can't be found anywhere on the web. It's b/c it doesn't exist. The reader is 'TOLD' by a third party journalist few follow who writes for a MIC/Political/Policy corporate mouthpiece. ..."
"... We see the point of all the saber-rattling by NATO on Russia's borders: to get Putin tied up in a diversionary direct threat to Russia, thereby mitigating or eliminating his efforts in behalf of Assad. And you know what? Americans on the street couldn't care one way or the other what Obama or CIA or DoS does or says about Syria. 280,000 dead, millions displaced and Americans are more concerned by a factor of 1000 about 4 dozen gays in Orlando. ..."
"... Saudi Arabia rejoining Turkey: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950326000441 ..."
"... These 51 useful idiots are IMO auditioning for the Clinton team while also providing cover for the neo-cons above them like Nuland, Powers, etc. And directionless Kerry says he'll rush home to confer with these idiots rather than dismissing them out of hand. Kerry could only be useful to anyone if Lavrov was in the room with him at all times to keep him in line -- otherwise he reverts to his normal mindless servant of US empire viewpoint, which is to follow whichever way the winds of power are blowing through Washington, DC. ..."
"... Hillary is the neocon's neocon. Pravy Sektor's honorary storm trooper Vicky Nuland is a Hillary protege. NYT has been positioning its readers to embrace Kerry's Plan B for the last month-plus. ..."
"... How many of these diplomats were bribed by Saudi Arabia? ..."
"... This clown Kagan is also the husband of the infamous Victoria Nuland who somehow, defying all logic, still has her job post imbroglio that is the Ukraine today. Hell, she's probably being hailed for that and is an inspiration for lowly State employees. ..."
"... Thank you Victoria, for giving Crimea back to the Russian Federation where it belongs. ..."
"... There are almost exactly 7 months until either Trump or Clinton takes office (presuming that the elites manage to completely control any bad news prior to the Dem nominating convention in late July; if the email dam breaks after that I have no idea what the Dem elites will do, but I figure they won't choose the obviously best candidate against Trump, Bernie). ..."
"... might the West actually directly take on Russia/Syrian government forces? Claiming, of course, some version of R2P ..."
"... State Department Diplomats who have captained failure after failure? If these people were Russian or Chinese they would have been executed for their serial failures in the ME and Afghanistan. The main problem with being 'exceptional' is that the 'exceptional' ones never make a mistake. "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" ..."
"... So I was kind of wondering what psychopathic qualities the U.S. War... er, State Department is looking for in potential parasitic career bureaucrats, and came across this self-promotion page on their site. ..."
"... Counterpunch had a great article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/17/the-case-for-not-voting-in-defense-of-the-lazy-ungrateful-and-uniformed/ ..."
"... And though the content of the review by Army Gen. John W. Nicholson is secret, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan received a major incentive this month when President Obama decided to expand America's involvement with more airstrikes against insurgents, giving the U.S. military wider latitude to support Afghan forces, both in the air and on the ground." ..."
"... No respect for R2P warriors at the State Department, nor for HRC, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. ..."
"... For Israel to bomb the Syrian military right under the nose of Russian s-400s? Russia, supposedly so dedicated to defending sovereignty, smiles and yawns benignly? A dirty deal has been made... ..."
"... Saudi Arabia desperately needs battlefield success, or there will be a prince, I mean price, to pay http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-officials-fear-saudi-collapse-if-new-prince-fails-n593996 ..."
"... "Earlier this week as America was trying to make sense of the deadliest case of Islamic terrorism on US soil since 9/11, I wrote a detailed article here at Breitbart News that laid out the clear factual case about Hillary Clinton's top assistant Huma Abedin. I showed how she has deep, clear, and inarguable connections to a Saudi Arabian official named Abdul Omar Naseef, a powerful Kingdom insider who has helped lead a group called the Muslim World League. The Muslim World League is the huge "charity" whose goal is to spread Islam throughout the world and which has been connected to terror groups like Al Qaeda. ..."
"... What is Huma's relationship with a Saudi Arabian official named Abdullah Omar Naseef? ..."
"... Was he the founder of a Saudi charity called the Rabita Trust? ..."
"... Right after 9/11, was the Rabita Trust put on a list by the U.S. government of groups that were funding terrorism? ..."
"... the State Department official obviously has an agenda by providing it to the NYT. The NYT has its own agenda filled as well by prominently posting the article on the top of the front page . ..."
"... One senior official said that the test for whether these proposals for more aggressive action are given high-level consideration will be whether they "fall in line with our contention that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria." ..."
"... It's important for Russia to ensure that the remains of the first "Israeli" jet it shoots down falls to earth inside Syria. If you've seen a story about the IAF doing something courageous it's bullshit. ..."
"... Wonder how many of these 51 war mongers were appointed by Hillary. ..."
"... The EU-Turkey deal's financial package includes one billion euros in humanitarian aid. There are undoubtedly needs in Turkey, a country which currently hosts close to three million Syrian refugees, but this aid has been negotiated as a reward for border control promises, rather than being based solely on needs. This instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid is unacceptable. ..."
"... kreepy kerry is "running out of patience" since his most desired regime change isn't happening fast enough. ..."
"... The difference between Hillary and ISIS: the latter "takes" the head of enemies, Hillary "gives" head to donors. Forgive the graphic. ..."
"... 50 diplomats petition president for war. Was that written by Orwell? ..."
"... Allow me to further my argument against American Exceptionalism. It is not merely the fact that the U.S. is far from exceptional. From education to infant mortality, the U.S. is woefully behind much of the world. ..."
"... So Hillary, the bloodthirsty Goddess of War, is longing for a second Libya, i.e., a Syria smashed to smithereens, in ashes and ruins, ruled by a chaotic bunch of mad Takfiri extremists, at war all against all. ..."
"... The FBI is stonewalling, keeping the contents of Mateen's 911 call unavailable - though it's part of the public record - presumably because it undermines the "ISIS did it" meme poured over the Orlando mass murder. Apparently Mateen may have mentioned ISIS not quite in the same light as has been portrayed. ..."
"... Now the NYTimes/WSJ are doing the same thing with the 50 dancing diplomats. Releasing what they want us to know and redacting what we want to know : the names of those 50 dancing diplomats. ..."
"... I suppose it comes under the CIA's blanket excuse for secrecy? "Methods and means", or whatever their boilerplate. ..."
"... No doubt the State Department dwarves were ginned up by "Cookies" Nuland and Count Kagan by visions of "x memorandum" of 1946 immortality by attacking the resistance to an unipolar hegemony. Mixing it up in Syria with the Russian presence seems civilization limiting at the outer limits of challenge/ response in a military confrontation. ..."
Moon of Alabama

There are at least 51 stupid or dishonest "diplomats" working in the U.S. State Department. Also - Mark Lander is a stupid or dishonest NYT writer. The result is this piece: Dozens of U.S. Diplomats, in Memo, Urge Strikes Against Syria's Assad

WASHINGTON - More than 50 State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration's policy in Syria, urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad to stop its persistent violations of a cease-fire in the country's five-year-old civil war.

Note that it was Ahrar al Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra and other U.S. paid and supported "moderates" who on April 9 broke the ceasefire in Syria by attacking government troops south of Aleppo. They have since continuously bombarded the government held parts of Aleppo which house over 1.5 million civilians with improvised artillery.

Back to the piece:

The memo, a draft of which was provided to The New York Times by a State Department official , says American policy has been "overwhelmed" by the unrelenting violence in Syria. It calls for "a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process."
...
The names on the memo are almost all midlevel officials - many of them career diplomats - who have been involved in the administration's Syria policy over the last five years, at home or abroad. They range from a Syria desk officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs to a former deputy to the American ambassador in Damascus.

While there are no widely recognized names, higher-level State Department officials are known to share their concerns. Mr. Kerry himself has pushed for stronger American action against Syria, in part to force a diplomatic solution on Mr. Assad.

...

The State Department officials insisted in their memo that they were not "advocating for a slippery slope that ends in a military confrontation with Russia," but rather a credible threat of military action to keep Mr. Assad in line.

These State Department loons have their ass covered by Secretary of State Kerry. Otherwise they would (and should) be fired for obvious ignorance. What "judicious" military threat against Russian S-400 air defense in Syria is credible? Nukes on Moscow (and New York)?

In the memo, the State Department officials argued that military action against Mr. Assad would help the fight against the Islamic State because it would bolster moderate Sunnis , who are necessary allies against the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Would these "diplomats" be able to name even one group of "moderate Sunnis" in Syria that is not on the side of the Syrian government? Are Ahrar al-Sahm and the other U.S. supported groups, who recently killed 50 civilians out of purely sectarian motives when they stormed the town of Zara, such "moderate Sunnis"?

These 50 State Department non-diplomats, and the stinking fish head above them, have obviously failed in their duty:

The NYT writer of the piece on the memo demonstrates that he is just as stupid or dishonest as the State Department dupes by adding this paragraph:

[T]he memo mainly confirms what has been clear for some time: The State Department's rank and file have chafed at the White House's refusal to be drawn into the conflict in Syria .

How is spending over $1 billion a year to hire, train, arm and support "moderate rebels" against the Syrian government consistent with the claim of a U.S. "refusal to be drawn into the conflict"?

It is obvious and widely documented that the U.S. has been fueling the conflict from the very beginning throughout five years and continues up to today to deliver thousands of tons of weapons to the "moderate rebels".

All the above, the "diplomats" letter and the NYT writer lying, is in preparation of an open U.S. war on Syria under a possible president Hillary Clinton. (Jo Cox, the "humanitarian" British MP who was murdered yesterday by some neo-nazi, spoke in support of such a crime.)

The U.S. military continues to reject an escalation against the Syrian government. Its reasonable question "what follows after Assad" has never been seriously answered by the war supporters in the CIA and the State Department.

Unexpected support of the U.S. military's position now seems to come from the Turkish side. The Erdogan regime finally acknowledges that a Syria under Assad is more convenient to it than a Kurdish state in north-Syria which the U.S. is currently helping to establish:

"Assad is, at the end of the day, a killer. He is torturing his own people. We're not going to change our stance on that," a senior official from the ruling AK Party told Reuters, requesting anonymity so as to speak more freely.

"But he does not support Kurdish autonomy. We may not like each other, but on that we're backing the same policy ," he said.

Ankara fears that territorial gains by Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria will fuel an insurgency by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an armed struggle in Turkey's southeast for three decades.

The Turks have suddenly removed their support for their "Turkmen" proxies fighting the Syrian government in Latakia in north west Syria. Over the last few days the "Turkmen" retreated and the Syrian army advanced . It may soon reach the Turkish border. Should the Latakia front calm down the Syrian army will be able to move several thousand troops from Latakia towards other critical sectors. The Turkish government, under the new Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, is now also sending peace signals towards Russia.

The situation in Syria could rapidly change in favor of the Syrian government should Turkey change its bifurcating policies and continue these moves. Without their Turkish bases and support the "moderate rebels" would soon be out of supplies and would lack the ability to continue their fighting. The Russians and their allies should further emphasize the "Kurdish threat" to advance this Turkish change of mind.

The race to preempt a Hillary administration war on Syria, which the "diplomats" memo prepares for, is now on. May the not-warmongering side win.

Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 17, 2016 1:43:36 AM | 1
This is the Yankees trying to pretend that they're still exceptionally invincible, in order to conceal the fact that they never were. One only need look at all the tentative tiptoeing around China & Russia to see that they're trying to convince themselves that Russia and China are run by people as loony and disconnected as the self-seducers in charge of AmeriKKKan Foreign Policy.

SmoothieX got it 100% right in the previous thread..

Roitan | Jun 17, 2016 2:22:17 AM | 2
"The names on the memo are almost all medeival offiCIAls ..."

There, fixed it for you. Enjoying the calm before the Goldman Sturm, the takeover of the US Executive in 2017 for the Final Solution on liberating the Fifth Quintile's Last Free Life Savings, and plunging the globe into a New Dark Ages: Trump or Clinton, allatime same-same.

PavewayIV | Jun 17, 2016 2:36:19 AM | 3
The State Department and the CIA's 'Plan C' (or are they on 'Plan D' yet?) is an independent Syrian Kurdistan.

The FSA Sunnistan plan has been going down the tubes for months. With the imminent fall of the last few FSA strongholds, the State Department has gone berserk with their latest standoff bombing memo 'leak' nonsense. A desperate attempt to save the rebels, who now hate them and completely understand how they have been thrown under the bus by the State Department neocons. I really don't think the rebels will be the least bit impressed by the phony theatrics of a internal memo by mid-level bureaucrats.

The Pentagram is in a bit of a different pickle. They have to do something to stop the Wahhabi head-choppers, but its a bit like herding cats. The best they've come up with is ginning up the SDF to take/hold ISIS territory. But they can't arm the Kurds or Arab members with any REAL weapons because that would anger Turkey. So they give them a bunch of eastern European AKs and a few pickup trucks with anti-aircraft guns, promise air support and toss in a few SF guys. This almost works, but not completely. For what it's worth, I don't think the Pentagram cares at all about an independent Syrian Kurdistan, unifying the cantons or who gets what land/resources, as long as it's taken from ISIS. When ISIS is wiped out, the SDF will cease to exist and the SF guys will leave. The SDF and especially the YPG/YPJ will NOT ever be incented to provoke or go to war with Assad after ISIS is gone. That's a problem for the State Department and CIA

The neocon State Department and CIA - normally at odds with the Pentagon's increasing reluctance to get involved at all - are taking this opportunity to agitate for an independent Kurdistan. This is done by funding the Kurdish PYD political party which purports to speak for all Kurds. The State Department and CIA also fund the PYD's growing Asayish thug secret police 'enforcers'. The PYD took control of Rojava by throwing out all the other political parties last year and crowning itself the King of all Syrian Kurds. But most Kurds don't trust the PYD, figuring that either Assad or the U.S. is really pulling the strings. The Kurds agree with the original PYD ideology, but not its current land/resource-grabbing frenzy NOR the kind of independent Kurdistan the PYD is suggesting. They want more rights and control of their affairs, but they do not want an actual or de facto independent Syrian Kurdistan.

The MSM (as CIA lapdogs are paid to do) constantly try to reinforce the message that the independent YPG/YPJ militias are somehow 'the PYD's army'. Nothing is further from the truth - it's all MSM spin to create the impression that the Syrian Kurds uniformly desire the usurped PYD vision of an independent Kurdistan. In reality, the U.S. State Department neocons and the CIA are the ones that want an independent Syrian Kurdistan for their own scheming (and to deny Assad the land/water/oil). The MSM is constantly on message with this to set the narrative to the American public for Syrian partition - most people have no clue.

For what it's worth, Assad is keenly aware of his history with the Kurds. Even by Kurdish media reports , he is willing to work with the Syrian Kurds as part of a unified Syrian state. He does not object to Kurdish rights or autonomy, just the U.S. meddling to goad the PYD into creating a separate Kurdish state. The U.S. State Department does NOT want Rojava to be part of Syria or the Syrian State and spins the Assad/Kurd relation as antagonistic in the MSM. This is the 'Plan C' Syrian partition scheme. Hopefully, the average Kurd can see through their scheming and will not follow the dictates of a usurped PYD to go to war with Syria for their independence. They would be better off dumping and outlawing the PYD completely and working with the new Syrian government on the future AFTER ISIS (and hopefully without any U.S. State Department and CIA).

okie farmer | Jun 17, 2016 3:45:06 AM | 4

Finally!
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-strike-idUSKCN0Z306L
Russia strikes U.S.-backed rebels in Syria: U.S. official

Felicity | Jun 17, 2016 3:55:04 AM | 5
The whole Syria nightmare was planned from the US Embassy in Damascus in 2006 because Assad was so broadly popular in the country and "the region." Can't have that so a strategy was drummed up: http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-and-conspiracy-theories-it-is-a-conspiracy/29596

Your assessment above is a supremely eloquent assessment and a scream for sanity to return. Thank you so very much for your always illuminating writings.

Laguerre | Jun 17, 2016 5:17:21 AM | 7
re 3 Paveway.

I think you're quite right. That corresponds with what I've thought for some time. I'm sure the US will throw the Syrian Kurds "under the bus" when their usefulness is finished. I'm sure also that a lot of Syrian Kurds know this, and are hedging their bets.

Penelope | Jun 17, 2016 5:20:17 AM | 8
http://www.globalresearch.ca/france-building-military-bases-in-syria-report/5531259 "The use of proxy forces to destroy the secular government of Syria is now starting to give way to stealth methods of direct ground deployment of Western Special Forces and ground troops under the guise of assistance and coordination with "moderate" terrorists. "With a wide variety of Western-backed terrorist groups ranging from "extremist" terrorists like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusra to the "moderate" terrorists of the FSA and the loose collection of terrorists, Kurds, and Arabs like the SDF, the West has a kaleidoscope of proxy forces on the ground already.

"Yet, even as Syria's military clashes with the West's proxies, the United States, Britain, and France have begun moving in Special Forces soldiers to assist in the mission of destroying the Syrian government, a mission that Israeli, Jordanian, and Turkish officers have joined in as well. That is, of course, despite the fact that Russian Special Forces are on the ground fighting on the side of the Syrian military.

"Likewise, both the United States and Russia are busy building military bases in the northern regions of Syria to use as staging grounds for new operations."

tom | Jun 17, 2016 5:31:31 AM | 9
So Russian peace talks with US evil empire in Syria were a disaster, which makes Putin look like an idiot, as well as the supporters of this idiocy. As well as Russian invitations for the US to join it in Syria makes it one of the most stupidest invitations ever.

Since B is not mentioning it, he might as well not mention that the French terrorist invaders along with the already US terrorists, and possibly German invaders will be occupying parts of Syria.

Oh, but that's alright because Putin invited the evil minions of the Us empire into Syria, you know, because the bad PR opportunity is a much better outcome then world War three.

Nicola | Jun 17, 2016 5:37:58 AM | 10
A preview on America's future strategies? http://www.cnas.org/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/CNASReport-EAP-FINAL.pdf
jfl | Jun 17, 2016 5:47:50 AM | 11
The Iranians have been warring with Kurds by the border with Turkey. Neither the Turks nor the Iranians - nor the Syrians, but they do need the Kurds now - want a Kurdistan. The Kurds must know by now - must have been betrayed enough by now - to know that the US will tell them anything, promise them anything, and deliver nothing but betrayal in the end.

As regards the State Department, the Pentagon, the US government ... what's required is a neo-con purge, top to bottom. They are all working against American interests and against the American people. and have been for the past two decades. The likelihood of such a purge is about zero. Neither Trump nor Hillary has the will or the backbone to stand up to anyone. Trump's all mouth and looking out for number one, and Hillary's plugged in to the money-mosaic as well. Obama's getting ready to cash in his chips.

It looks to be more of the same, until they really do go after Russia, when it will be all over for all of us. I can't imagine that they really believe they can get away with this, but this bunch is all 'mid-level', 'just following orders', it won't be 'their fault' and that's the level they're working at. The people calling the tune think they can play the real world as they do their fake financial world, making up new rules as they go along, as they redefine success after each of their serial failures.

Talk about boiled frogs. How in the hell have we let it get this far?

jfl | Jun 17, 2016 6:00:26 AM | 12
@9 Tom

I am amazed at your unflagging obsession with holding Putin responsible for the US/UK/EU/NATO/GCC destruction of Syria. You've set him up as your omnipotent god and he's failed you, somehow. Putin, Rusia, is not responsible for the death, devastation, and destruction of Iraq, Syria, Libya or the rest of the middle east or north africa. You're throwing your stones at the wrong guy, at the only guy who's done anything at all to help the Syrians and to forestall the monstrous neo-con plan. This letter may be, as b says, a measure of theneo-cons' fear that it will all be over for 'their guys' in Syria by 21 January. If that were to come to pass, Vladimir Putin will have had a big hand in it.

harrylaw | Jun 17, 2016 7:40:46 AM | 13
Nicola @10 from your link 'Extending American power' I had to laugh at this... 4. "All of which provides the basis for our strong belief
that the United States still has the military, economic,
and political power to play the leading role in pro
-tecting a stable rules-based international order". 'Rules based',ha, the US is the leading regime change state, acting always contrary to International law to benefit its hegemonic ambitions. All five veto wielding powers and their friends are above International law for all time. Thankfully, Russia and China cannot be threatened militarily and will confront the monstrous US designs in Syria, once the head choppers are defeated the victors should move against the real source of terrorism in the region, Saudi Arabia and the various GCC satraps. b's article above is excellent and is echoed in this piece in Antiwar.com http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/06/16/something-going-worse-thought/
Kalen | Jun 17, 2016 8:50:40 AM | 14
There are other worrying development in Syroi a namely changing of Riusssian attitude to Assaad. First Lavrov said that Russia is not Syrian government ally, they just fight terrorists together. An obvious nonsense.

And now this.

Israel, following several similar air raids in previous months just bombed SAA installation in Homs province, in the middle of Syria just 45 second flight of S400 rockets located in latakia, while Netanyahu was smiling with Putin in Moscow.

Israeli bombed military base in Homs province with impunity from S400 http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.723701

Can you explain WTF? All of that while IDF artillery provides cover for ANF commanded by formed ISIL commander in Golan Heights foothills,

There is more about Russian de-facto acquiescence for Syrian partition and pivot to Israel: STRANGE DAYS: Did Israelis Pivoted to Russia? Or the other way around. https://syrianwarupdate.wordpress.com/

Michael | Jun 17, 2016 9:14:54 AM | 15
On the bright side, maybe the 50 signatures are just trying to get noticed by the Clinton transition crew.
Yul | Jun 17, 2016 9:17:33 AM | 16
@ b Come on, U.S. military have a role to play in helping to export American values . Even with threats, Assad told Powell to "get lost". This interview says a lot about the US of A: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/04/a-conversation-with-colin-powell/305873/
okie farmer | Jun 17, 2016 9:52:11 AM | 18
15,000 FSOs, 51 signed the doc.
SmoothieX12 | Jun 17, 2016 10:09:54 AM | 20
@10
A preview on America's future strategies?

This is not preview nor is it a strategy, since strategies are based on more or less professional and realistic, I may add, assessments of the outside world. I do not have any recollection of any serious US doctrinal (policy or military wise) document in the last 20 years written from the position of comprehensive situational awareness--this is a non existent condition among most of US current "power elites". The document you posted is a typical wet dream written by utterly incompetent neocons (Kagan's and Zoellik names are a tell), people who can not and must not be allowed to operate with serious strategic and operational categories in any "advisory" role. They simply have no qualifications for that and are nothing more than a bunch of ideologues and propagandists from Ivy League humanities degree mill. Back to "preview"--it is a dominant ideology of "exceptionalism" which afflicted US "elites" today, this document is just another iteration of this ideology.

jason | Jun 17, 2016 10:11:33 AM | 21
i read about 30 of 160 or so comments on this article at NYT. given who the audience of that shit rag is & that comments are vetted, overwhelmingly commenters stated increased military involvement is retarded. Of course, many of those speak from ignorance of what's really going on, but the knee-jerk suspicion of US Syria policy & these FSO dickheads seems a good sign.
SmoothieX12 | Jun 17, 2016 10:25:16 AM | 22
@Kalen
There is more about Russian de-facto acquiescence for Syrian partition and pivot to Israel:

It is exactly the other way around. How can Russia, which dwarfs Israel in every meaningful category -- from economy to military -- and who does remember her history well can "pivot" to largely regional player -- I don't know. Russian "neocons" are a dramatically different breed than US ones, for starters they are much more educated and, actually, support Assad. Israel's pivot to Russia in some sense is inevitable, albeit it could be fairly protracted, with Russia being observed as honest broker. They are not completely stupid in Israel and are very aware of real situation in American politics, economy and military. In other words -- they know how to count and see who pulls the strings. And then there is another "little tiny" factor--Israelis know damn well who won WW II in Europe. It matters, a great deal.

dahoit | Jun 17, 2016 10:38:36 AM | 23
12; I'm amazed at your unflagging obsession in stating Trump will be a pushover for the Ziomonsters.:)
TG | Jun 17, 2016 10:49:55 AM | 24
Interesting as always.

I note that the 'moderate' Hillary Clinton is a blood-soaked queen of chaos, who if elected is certain to embroil us in pointless wars and spread death and devastation across even more of the world. I say this not because I am psychic, but because that is her unambiguous record.

Donald Trump is admittedly a gamble, but depute his over-the-top stage persona, his track record is of actually getting along with people and brokering stable working relationships.

This November I'm going for the wild-card who at least sounds rational (if you listen to what he actually proposes, and not his style) and has a track record of actually being pragmatic, over certain doom.

At this point I wish I could vote for Richard Nixon (!), but we have the choice that we have...

okie farmer | Jun 17, 2016 10:57:48 AM | 25
Kalen is a bit of a troll.
h | Jun 17, 2016 11:04:23 AM | 26
This piece out of the NYT is pure propaganda. Period. Here's the big clue - where's the memo? It's not embedded in the article. It can't be found anywhere on the web. It's b/c it doesn't exist. The reader is 'TOLD' by a third party journalist few follow who writes for a MIC/Political/Policy corporate mouthpiece.

If an article does not link to an original source OR quotes only 'anon sources' be skeptical. Journalism, especially alt news journalists, site original sources AND try like hell to get sources to go on the record.

My apologies in advance if I'm being offensive to our generous host. That is not my intent. Rather, it's venting a long held frustration I've had with the division within corporate newsrooms who are there solely to sell the readers the news, even if it's made up out of thin air.

Denis | Jun 17, 2016 11:17:36 AM | 27
Yeah . . .agree 90%. Here are some minor details that need to be tidied up, and a couple thoughts.

1.

b: it was Ahrar al Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra and other U.S. paid and supported "moderates" who on April 9 broke the ceasefire in Syria.

This is not quite accurate. Resolution 2254 exempted al Nusra from the cease-fire, not sure about al Sham and whatever others you are referring to. If they were excluded from the cease-fire, then they couldn't break it.

2.
The NYT writer is Mark Landler, not Lander. If you're going to accuse him of being stupid or dishonest, you want to get the name right. Mark Lander, whoever he is, might have a pack of bulldog lawyers.

3.
I don't see in Landler's article a link to the memo or a list of the people who signed it. Someone needs to publish that list of signatories to preserve the record of who the DOS idiots are.

4.
We see the point of all the saber-rattling by NATO on Russia's borders: to get Putin tied up in a diversionary direct threat to Russia, thereby mitigating or eliminating his efforts in behalf of Assad. And you know what? Americans on the street couldn't care one way or the other what Obama or CIA or DoS does or says about Syria. 280,000 dead, millions displaced and Americans are more concerned by a factor of 1000 about 4 dozen gays in Orlando.

Les | Jun 17, 2016 11:19:27 AM | 28
Trump makes reference to this article in blaming Obama and Clinton for Orlando attack

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/14/hillary-clinton-received-secret-memo-stating-obama-admin-support-for-isis/

SitoAurora | Jun 17, 2016 11:23:30 AM | 29

Saudi Arabia rejoining Turkey: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950326000441

WorldBLee | Jun 17, 2016 11:36:33 AM | 30
Thanks for sharing your outrage, b. I completely agree. I have been ranting about this all morning and it's good to see someone else stating the case so the rest of us don't feel isolated in our anger at this vicious and dangerous stupidity. These 51 useful idiots are IMO auditioning for the Clinton team while also providing cover for the neo-cons above them like Nuland, Powers, etc. And directionless Kerry says he'll rush home to confer with these idiots rather than dismissing them out of hand. Kerry could only be useful to anyone if Lavrov was in the room with him at all times to keep him in line -- otherwise he reverts to his normal mindless servant of US empire viewpoint, which is to follow whichever way the winds of power are blowing through Washington, DC.
M | Jun 17, 2016 11:45:35 AM | 31
CIA .... YPG .... ALNUSRA.... FSL , all these acronyms are so confusing , how about considering the level of sanity and intelligence of these groups ( which is probably below that of a wounded flea .... ) why not call them Scoobidoos vs the Syrian Army

so the article would go something like this :

In the memo, the Scoobidoos State Department officials argued that military action against Mr. Assad would help the fight against the Scoobidoos because it would bolster moderate Scoobidoos, who are necessary allies against the group, also known as Scoobidoos .

:)

shargash | Jun 17, 2016 11:54:36 AM | 32
I thought it was a "cessation of hostilities" not a case fire. The difference is not trivial, and State Department employees should know the difference. The signers are either incompetent or evil (not mutually exclusive, of course).
5 dancing shlomos | Jun 17, 2016 12:07:16 PM | 33
dont think landler is stupid. dishonest and deceiving would be my say. he is a nyt's jew writing, maybe lying, regarding syria. NYT: only news acceptable to jews. sometimes, many times we have to make up stories and facts to (maybe) fit.

cant find any of the dissenting names.

like to know how many are jew if story not total fake

then there is the political hatchet job on the russian track/field olym team.

Mike Maloney | Jun 17, 2016 12:26:08 PM | 34
I think the key takeaway is b's last two sentences: "The race to preempt a Hillary administration war on Syria, which the 'diplomats' memo prepares for, is now on. May the not-warmongering side win."

Hillary is the neocon's neocon. Pravy Sektor's honorary storm trooper Vicky Nuland is a Hillary protege. NYT has been positioning its readers to embrace Kerry's Plan B for the last month-plus.

Whether during or shortly after Hillary's first 100 days in office, U.S. military engagement with Libya and Syria will likely be significantly greater than it is now.

james | Jun 17, 2016 12:26:55 PM | 35
thanks b and thanks to some of the posters here too - paveway, smoothie and a few others..
bored muslim | Jun 17, 2016 12:46:59 PM | 36
This is the exact reason the Ministers of Defense of Syria, Russia and Iran held meeting in Teheran just recently. My assumption is they are planning on rolling up the acres, so to speak in Syria. All before the new POTUS comes to office. Also, Hezbollah just announced it's sending in reinforcements to the battlefield. All this while the Chinese continue to sleep. Sigh.
Edward | Jun 17, 2016 1:10:22 PM | 37
How many of these diplomats were bribed by Saudi Arabia?
bored muslim | Jun 17, 2016 1:16:44 PM | 38
@3, paveway.

The Kurds are the last great hope for the oil and especially natural gas pipelines dream from the GCC to Europe, but still, Israel is not happy. They wanted a branch-off pipeline for themselves. Also Jordan was to get a small branch-off too. Israel is no more than a parasite, look up the definition. It's exact. Turkey would benefit economically due to transit fees. That's why the Turks are so heavily involved. Turkey, who's economy is done for due to Chinese cheap products swamping the M.E; is crashed. Jordan is broke (hence they allow the head choppers to be trained on their territory). The U.S is the overlord who wants this project to be implemented so as to deny Russia the European market (see Saudia too).

Netanyahu has visited Russia 3-4 times (not sure)to dissuade Putin on his support for Bashar ( who said yes to the Friendship pipeline- Running from Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria..to the Mediterranean thru to Greece, Europe). No other World leader makes that many visits is such a short time to another capital. Netanyahu obviously failed in his endeavor, as the Russians are familiar with these Zionist snakes very well. All they have to look at is the genocide perpetrated by said Zionists in their very own 20th Century history. I even read that Putin irked Netanyahu when Putin offered him back the Pale of Settlement if they wanted to make the smart choice. Beautiful if true. Probably wishful thinking tho.

Anyways, Israel runs the U.S State Department(see, the Crazies in the Basement). They don't call it Foggy Bottom for nothing. Must be foggy now due to too many employess smoking bongs in the downstairs cafeteria, hence the ridiculous memo. Also the writer of the memo is most certainly another member of the chosen tribe.

bored muslim | Jun 17, 2016 1:24:16 PM | 39
@11, jfl,

Yes, a 'Night of the Broken Glass' or 'Night of the Long Knives' is much needed to save Humanity essentially. But don't hope for it. Congress, Capital Hill leaders , MSM heads and head anchors, most everybody in the Whit house(except the kitchen staff) would have to be rounded up.

The only hope would have been the U.S Military Officer Corp. before the great purges post 9-11. Now it's I'm possible. God help the American people and the World.

bored muslim | Jun 17, 2016 1:32:08 PM | 40
@20, smoothie,

This clown Kagan is also the husband of the infamous Victoria Nuland who somehow, defying all logic, still has her job post imbroglio that is the Ukraine today. Hell, she's probably being hailed for that and is an inspiration for lowly State employees.

Thank you Victoria, for giving Crimea back to the Russian Federation where it belongs.

jawbone | Jun 17, 2016 1:41:07 PM | 41
Re: Mike M @ 24 --

There are almost exactly 7 months until either Trump or Clinton takes office (presuming that the elites manage to completely control any bad news prior to the Dem nominating convention in late July; if the email dam breaks after that I have no idea what the Dem elites will do, but I figure they won't choose the obviously best candidate against Trump, Bernie).

Seven months. If Russia lends more of its strength, is it possible to gain the territory and hold it to the point that, oh, the West's illegal bases will have to close down? Or might the West actually directly take on Russia/Syrian government forces? Claiming, of course, some version of R2P

ALberto | Jun 17, 2016 1:49:25 PM | 44
State Department Diplomats who have captained failure after failure? If these people were Russian or Chinese they would have been executed for their serial failures in the ME and Afghanistan. The main problem with being 'exceptional' is that the 'exceptional' ones never make a mistake. "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength"
sejmon | Jun 17, 2016 2:15:32 PM | 45
#12 jfl - Thanks..VVP/LAVROV know what they doing
PavewayIV | Jun 17, 2016 2:56:22 PM | 46
So I was kind of wondering what psychopathic qualities the U.S. War... er, State Department is looking for in potential parasitic career bureaucrats, and came across this self-promotion page on their site. They seem to feel that working for them immerses you in a 'Culture of Leadership'. I guess the 'Culture of Chaos and Death' theme, although more neocon-appropriate, was shot down in favor of tempting potential employees with the possibility of more power and control.

Offered for your enjoyment and/or revulsion: Congratulations on taking the first step towards your new career!

Picture Hillary watching streaming video of Stevens get whacked in Benghazi when you read through that list of Leadership and Management Principles.

rg the lg | Jun 17, 2016 3:17:01 PM | 47
There are times the depressing mood on MoA is mitigated by some of the rather classic spelling errors. I sometimes wonder if they might be intentional in order to lighten the mood?

Or not ...

Counterpunch had a great article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/17/the-case-for-not-voting-in-defense-of-the-lazy-ungrateful-and-uniformed/

I think maybe (maybe, I think) this is also good advice regarding posting to blogs, or not?

ALberto | Jun 17, 2016 3:39:15 PM | 49
June 17, 2016 - You cannot make this stuff up ...

In the inner halls of Pentagramagon nothing succeeds financially like serial designed failure ...

KABUL, Afghanistan - "The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan has submitted his first three-month assessment of the situation in the war-torn country and what it's going to take to defeat the Taliban, a U.S. military official has told The Associated Press.

And though the content of the review by Army Gen. John W. Nicholson is secret, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan received a major incentive this month when President Obama decided to expand America's involvement with more airstrikes against insurgents, giving the U.S. military wider latitude to support Afghan forces, both in the air and on the ground."

source - http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2016/06/16/afghanistan-nicholson-commander-pentagon-report-war/85972056/

Oui | Jun 17, 2016 3:59:47 PM | 52
No respect for R2P warriors at the State Department, nor for HRC, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Jo Cox as former Oxfam executive was moved by the same massacres of Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Darfur.

Unwittingly (?) the R2P argument was used by the Obama White House to intervene in Libya and Syria. The US took R2P a step further to force regime change which is illegal by International law. See George Bush and Tony Blair to white-wash the cruelty of torture, rendition, Abu Ghraib, extrajudicial assassinations, etc, etc.

Former US Ambassador to Syria Robert S. Ford was an apprentice of John Negroponte in Baghdad, Iraq.

Oui | Jun 17, 2016 4:00:47 PM | 53
White Supremacist Hate Crime

No political motive about the Brexit discussion ... a local incident waiting to happen for more than a decade.

Thomas Mair a Long Time neo-Nazi of National Alliance

paul | Jun 17, 2016 4:08:30 PM | 54
If I were Assad, I would be shaking in my boots right now and having Gaddafi dreams. Russia has clearly allied itself closely to Israel and Nato in Syria. Some kind of sanctions relief deal must be in the works. Syria will be split up soon. Assad is a dead man.

For Israel to bomb the Syrian military right under the nose of Russian s-400s? Russia, supposedly so dedicated to defending sovereignty, smiles and yawns benignly? A dirty deal has been made...

Les | Jun 17, 2016 4:23:28 PM | 55
Saudi Arabia desperately needs battlefield success, or there will be a prince, I mean price, to pay http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-officials-fear-saudi-collapse-if-new-prince-fails-n593996
ALberto | Jun 17, 2016 4:41:44 PM | 56
"Earlier this week as America was trying to make sense of the deadliest case of Islamic terrorism on US soil since 9/11, I wrote a detailed article here at Breitbart News that laid out the clear factual case about Hillary Clinton's top assistant Huma Abedin. I showed how she has deep, clear, and inarguable connections to a Saudi Arabian official named Abdul Omar Naseef, a powerful Kingdom insider who has helped lead a group called the Muslim World League. The Muslim World League is the huge "charity" whose goal is to spread Islam throughout the world and which has been connected to terror groups like Al Qaeda. If that sounds like a serious accusation, you're damn right it is."

"The three questions are very simple, very straightforward, and, frankly, anybody can research the answers themselves. They are:

1) What is Huma's relationship with a Saudi Arabian official named Abdullah Omar Naseef?

2) Was he the founder of a Saudi charity called the Rabita Trust?

3) Right after 9/11, was the Rabita Trust put on a list by the U.S. government of groups that were funding terrorism?"

source - http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/15/roger-stone-three-questions-huma-abedin-hillary-wont-answer/

ALberto | Jun 17, 2016 4:49:33 PM | 57
paul @54

"If I were Assad, I would be shaking in my boots right now and having Gaddafi dreams."

Interesting opinion? If you made a list of democratically elected Presidents and National Leaders the US/GB/ISR axis have terminated you will fill a book. From Patrice Lumumba to Hugo Chavez the list goes on and on. Could you supply me with a list of National Leaders that Russia under Putin has terminated?

PavewayIV | Jun 17, 2016 4:54:52 PM | 58
State Dept: 'No Plans' to Make Public Memo Urging Strikes on Syrian Gov't
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Department of State has no plans to make public an internal memo calling for the United States to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said in a briefing on Friday. "There's no plans to make it public," Kirby stated when asked when the State Department would release the dissent letter.

Furthermore, Kirby said there will be no investigation as to how the letter ended up in the public domain.

By 'public domain', Kirby means on some writer's desk at the NYT, never to be seen by the unwashed masses. To be fair, the State Department's "Dissent Memo" program is supposed to be confidential even within the State Department itself to encourage its use. Mark Landler said in his article that a draft of it was leaked by 'a State Department official' to the NYT. So some skepticism of the existence or eventual submission of the actual memo is warranted. Not that Landry is lying or hasn't verified it, but the State Department official obviously has an agenda by providing it to the NYT. The NYT has its own agenda filled as well by prominently posting the article on the top of the front page .

Mina | Jun 17, 2016 5:08:46 PM | 60
Nyt participating in these pressures is coordinated with medecins sans frontiere announcing today that they ll refuse eu money to protest on the treatment of refugees and with recent surge in french and uk msm of so called white helmets exclusive pictured
Laguerre | Jun 17, 2016 5:24:14 PM | 61
re 60 mina

I've not fully understood the refusal of médecins sans frontieres of European funding. It's a major source, I think. They've gone American, I suppose.

james | Jun 17, 2016 5:24:58 PM | 62
@ why bother engaging people who change their handle and say the same thing over again?
okie farmer | Jun 17, 2016 5:27:58 PM | 63
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-cable-idUSKCN0Z3087

Obama, despite dissent on Syria, not shifting toward strikes on Assad

The U.S. administration sought on Friday to contain fallout from a leaked internal memo critical of its Syria policy, but showed no sign it was willing to consider military strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces called for in the letter signed by dozens of U.S. diplomats.

Several U.S. officials said that while the White House is prepared to hear the diplomats' dissenting viewpoint, it is not expected to spur any changes in President Barack Obama's approach to Syria in his final seven months in office.

One senior official said that the test for whether these proposals for more aggressive action are given high-level consideration will be whether they "fall in line with our contention that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria."

Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 17, 2016 5:32:25 PM | 64
Posted by: paul | Jun 17, 2016 4:08:30 PM | 54

It's important for Russia to ensure that the remains of the first "Israeli" jet it shoots down falls to earth inside Syria. If you've seen a story about the IAF doing something courageous it's bullshit.

lysias | Jun 17, 2016 6:01:45 PM | 66
Mid-level bureaucrats trying to establish a case for being promoted when and if Hillary becomes president.
jfl | Jun 17, 2016 6:27:23 PM | 67
@55 Les, 'Saudi Arabia desperately needs battlefield success, or there will be a prince, I mean price, to pay'

The Prince is in the Oval office. Looks like the Houthi currency has tanked , Obama is going to ( try to ) pay off in Assad 's?

South Front's map is finally up to date? Eisenhower follows Truman into the Mediterranean.

Vollin | Jun 17, 2016 6:37:47 PM | 68

Wonder how many of these 51 war mongers were appointed by Hillary.

james | Jun 17, 2016 7:08:01 PM | 69
How about know-nothing state dept spokespeople preparing for assad to leave to be replaced by isis?
Oui | Jun 17, 2016 7:10:10 PM | 70
@Laguerre
MSF: Nothing remotely humanitarian about EU policies

The EU-Turkey deal's financial package includes one billion euros in humanitarian aid. There are undoubtedly needs in Turkey, a country which currently hosts close to three million Syrian refugees, but this aid has been negotiated as a reward for border control promises, rather than being based solely on needs. This instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid is unacceptable.

Last week the European Commission unveiled a new proposal to replicate the EU-Turkey logic across more than 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

These deals would impose trade and development aid sanctions on countries that do not stem migration to Europe or facilitate forcible returns, rewarding those that do. Among these potential partners are Somalia , Eritrea , Sudan and Afghanistan – four of the top ten* refugee generating countries.

Barbara | Jun 17, 2016 7:35:09 PM | 71
kreepy kerry is "running out of patience" since his most desired regime change isn't happening fast enough. How many others are in the works? I'm running-out-of-patience waiting for the regime change anyone with 1/2 a brain wants, right here in the U.S. Regime Change US. It's our turn. I just read Putin's speech at the St. Petersburg Int'l Forum. He must have used the word "cooperation" at least 20 times. We need such a great leader. Terroristic turds like kerry and co. belong in jail.
metni | Jun 17, 2016 7:50:24 PM | 72
The difference between Hillary and ISIS: the latter "takes" the head of enemies, Hillary "gives" head to donors. Forgive the graphic.
steelhead23 | Jun 17, 2016 7:53:07 PM | 73
50 diplomats petition president for war. Was that written by Orwell? Isn't it enough that this "peaceful" nation arms the world and places economic "pressure" on those nations that displease her to the point of causing millions to die - do we really have to "kill the village to save it?" Yes, I agree, each and every one of those "career diplomats" should be looking for other work. They have not merely lost their way, they have lost their minds. My contempt for them is manifest, as is my contempt for the entire MIC. That those trained in diplomacy should send such a despicable petition illuminates the deep corrupting influence of American Exceptionalism - a force for the kind of nationalism Germany endured 1933-45. Idiots.

Allow me to further my argument against American Exceptionalism. It is not merely the fact that the U.S. is far from exceptional. From education to infant mortality, the U.S. is woefully behind much of the world. My objection is that belief in exceptionalism leads to moral decay. It is the functional equivalent of the 19th Century preachers who endorsed slavery, who preached that negroes carried the mark of Cain, etc. Whites were God's chosen. The pseudo-righteousness that preaching created in believers was largely responsible for America's Civil War. Americans will be better people, with a better society, if we dispel this myth immediately. We're OK, you're OK. Then we could have peace. Wouldn't that be nice?

Enrique Ferro | Jun 17, 2016 7:58:26 PM | 74
So Hillary, the bloodthirsty Goddess of War, is longing for a second Libya, i.e., a Syria smashed to smithereens, in ashes and ruins, ruled by a chaotic bunch of mad Takfiri extremists, at war all against all. The Queen of Chaos, indeed, loves these scenarios. Especially because her quick attack as first thing should she win the White House would shut the mouths of her critics wanting her prosecuted for her crooked political and business corruption. But she and her State Department surrogates would be in for a surprise: Russian and Syrian defences would not remain silent. And afterwards, what would be left? How would the Exceptionalist who "gets things done" proceed?
jfl | Jun 17, 2016 8:28:15 PM | 75
The FBI is stonewalling, keeping the contents of Mateen's 911 call unavailable - though it's part of the public record - presumably because it undermines the "ISIS did it" meme poured over the Orlando mass murder. Apparently Mateen may have mentioned ISIS not quite in the same light as has been portrayed.

Now the NYTimes/WSJ are doing the same thing with the 50 dancing diplomats. Releasing what they want us to know and redacting what we want to know : the names of those 50 dancing diplomats.

I suppose it comes under the CIA's blanket excuse for secrecy? "Methods and means", or whatever their boilerplate.

Releasing their names might give us the means to track the 5th column as it winds its way through 'our' government, and that must be prevented at all costs. Think it might lead through Hillary? Seems no doubt here.

Jay M | Jun 17, 2016 8:30:36 PM | 77
No doubt the State Department dwarves were ginned up by "Cookies" Nuland and Count Kagan by visions of "x memorandum" of 1946 immortality by attacking the resistance to an unipolar hegemony. Mixing it up in Syria with the Russian presence seems civilization limiting at the outer limits of challenge/ response in a military confrontation.

[Feb 17, 2016] Bigger Than Watergate - Hillary Clinton And The Syrian Bloodbath

While we would be the first to admit that Jeffrey Sachs was the godfather of "shock therapy" (aka "the economic rape of Russia" and several other xUSSR republics), he is right as for the ongoing Syria bloodbath which has come to define the geopolitical situation for the past 3 years. And how this is an event that would "surely rival Watergate in shaking the foundations of the US establishment" if the truth were fully known, we agree 100 percent.
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton bears heavy responsibility for that carnage, which has by now displaced more than 10 million Syrians and left more than 250,000 dead. ..."
"... As every knowledgeable observer understands, the Syrian War is not mostly about Bashar al-Assad, or even about Syria itself. It is mostly a proxy war, about Iran. And the bloodbath is doubly tragic and misguided for that reason. ..."
"... Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the leading Sunni powers in the Middle East, view Iran, the leading Shia power, as a regional rival for power and influence. Right-wing Israelis view Iran as an implacable foe that controls Hezbollah, a Shi'a militant group operating in Lebanon, a border state of Israel. Thus, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel have all clamored to remove Iran's influence in Syria. ..."
"... And Israeli right-wingers are naïve, and deeply ignorant of history, to regard Iran as their implacable foe, especially when that mistaken view pushes Israel to side with Sunni jihadists. ..."
"... Yet Clinton did not pursue that route. Instead she joined Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and right-wing Israelis to try to isolate, even defeat, Iran. In 2010, she supported secret negotiations between Israel and Syria to attempt to wrest Syria from Iran's influence. Those talks failed. Then the CIA and Clinton pressed successfully for Plan B: to overthrow Assad. ..."
"... When the unrest of the Arab Spring broke out in early 2011, the CIA and the anti-Iran front of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey saw an opportunity to topple Assad quickly and thereby to gain a geopolitical victory. Clinton became the leading proponent of the CIA-led effort at Syrian regime change. ..."
"... Clinton has been much more than a bit player in the Syrian crisis. Her diplomat Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi was killed as he was running a CIA operation to ship Libyan heavy weapons to Syria. Clinton herself took the lead role in organizing the so-called "Friends of Syria" to back the CIA-led insurgency. ..."
"... This instrument of U.S. foreign policy has not only been in stark violation of international law but has also been a massive and repeated failure. Rather than a single, quick, and decisive coup d'état resolving a US foreign policy problem, each CIA-led regime change has been, almost inevitably, a prelude to a bloodbath. How could it be otherwise? Other societies don't like their countries to be manipulated by U.S. covert operations. ..."
"... And where is the establishment media in this debacle? The New York Times finally covered a bit of this story last month in describing the CIA-Saudi connection , in which Saudi funds are used to pay for CIA operations in order to make an end-run around Congress and the American people. The story ran once and was dropped. Yet the Saudi funding of CIA operations is the same basic tactic used by Ronald Reagan and Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s (with Iranian arms sales used to fund CIA-led covert operations in Central America without consent or oversight by the American people). ..."
"... Clinton herself has never shown the least reservation or scruples in deploying this instrument of U.S. foreign policy. Her record of avid support for US-led regime change includes (but is not limited to) the US bombing of Belgrade in 1999, the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Iraq War in 2003, the Honduran coup in 2009, the killing of Libya's Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, and the CIA-coordinated insurrection against Assad from 2011 until today. ..."
"... Many historians believe that JFK was assassinated as a result of his peace overtures to the Soviet Union, overture he made against the objections of hardline rightwing opposition in the CIA and other parts of the U.S. government. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton has never shown an iota of bravery, or even of comprehension, in facing down the CIA She has been the CIA's relentless supporter, and has exulted in showing her toughness by supporting every one of its misguided operations. The failures, of course, are relentlessly hidden from view. Clinton is a danger to global peace. She has much to answer for regarding the disaster in Syria. ..."
"... She is totally unqualified, a disaster of a secretary of state, has incredibly poor judgement is a terrible candidate and should never be allowed to serve in any government capacity - EVER. ..."
"... Well said. Hillary is a warmonger neocon just like Bush/McCain/Graham/Cheney. Trump and Bernie are not. ..."
"... Pundits do not realize when they heap praises at Hillary Clinton's debate performances that ordinary people watching cannot get past her lack of trustworthiness and her dishonesty; and that whatever she says is viewed in that context and is therefore worthless. ..."
"... It's dismaying that the blowback from the 1953 CIA-assisted overthrow of Mossadegh is still behind the instability of the Middle East, and that we have continued to commit the same mistakes over and over. Can't we just get rid of this agency? ..."
"... The CIA repeated this stunt in Vietnam 10 years after the Mossadegh mess and have been doing it at least once every decade since then. In every case, it has been a failure. How supporting that nonsense is seen as foreign policy experience, I'll never know. ..."
"... Hillary helped facilitate the arming of terrorists in Syria in 2010 and 2011. She as far as I al concerned, Hillary supported the deaths of Syrians and terrorism. So why on earth would I want her to be president? Hello? ..."
"... More like a continuance of a disaster deferred. Thanks to John Kerry cleaning up the mess of her disastrous term as SoS. Syria is still a mess, but he has been working his butt off to be every bit of diplomat that Hillary was not. ..."
"... she was for an all out invasion by the USA into Syria to remove Assad. She, John McCain, and Linsey Graham had to settle for just arming the Al Queda and IS for the time being. ..."
"... Clinton, Obama, Bush, etc DC corruption used to bring down regimes that have continually destabilized America & the world. ..."
"... Where & Why was Obama & Holder not as directly held accountable in this discussion. Trump rightfully points that Americans have died for nothing yet the villains who are the catalysts of these atrocities still have jobs & stature in US. America needs to be rebooted once again & bring in leadership not buoyed by greed. power & indifference of those before him. ..."
"... The problem here really is the fact that Americans bitch and don't vote every election and this has let money just walk in and buy more influence, you want a real revolution, ..."
"... That is about it, Clinton is a repub in dem clothing and the US is the biggest threat to world peace when it can not get its way in another countries politics or to get them to follow the US master plan that mainly supports the US's goal. ..."
"... what makes her so maddeningly hawkish? what credentials she has that her peace-loving supporters believe that she can lead the US/world for peace? wake-up, and let's get united behind bernie. ..."
"... They believe the mythology that if women ruled the world it would be a better place...I beg to differ....Margaret Thatcher, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I were not exactly peace lovers... ..."
"... years ago I was shocked to see that there were women members of the KKK. So much for women by their gender alone saving the world. ..."
"... But let us not forget Hillary Clinton's "regime change" record in Ukraine with Victoria "Fuc# the E.U.!" Nuland, wife of Neocon Robert Kagan and an Under Secretary of Hillary Clinton's at The State Department. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's fingerprints are all over Ukraine: ..."
"... Yes, Somehow the so-called MSM refuses to expose the continuing debacle of our worldwide acts of Terrorism! The failure after failure of "our" military establishment such as targeted assassinations ..."
"... Further it is American war industry in partnership with our military that is arming the world with military grade weapon systems, tons and tons of munitions, and training to use them for such terror weapons as IEDs. It is MSM control by the establishment that enables the failures of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Obama, Clinton to treat horrendous failures as successes! ..."
"... Hillary Clinton supporters don't care, they don't care that she could be a felon nor do they care she is owned by Wall Street and many other corporate special interest, they just don't care. ..."
"... Up here in New Hampshire, we soundly rejected untrustworthy, dishonest, disingenuous and corrupt Hillary, we just wish the rest of the nation had as much time to get to know the candidates as we had up here! ..."
www.huffingtonpost.com

In the Milwaukee debate, Hillary Clinton took pride in her role in a recent UN Security Council resolution on a Syrian ceasefire:

But I would add this. You know, the Security Council finally got around to adopting a resolution. At the core of that resolution is an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva, which set forth a cease-fire and moving toward a political resolution, trying to bring the parties at stake in Syria together.

This is the kind of compulsive misrepresentation that makes Clinton unfit to be President. Clinton's role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian bloodbath, not to bring it to a close.

In 2012, Clinton was the obstacle, not the solution, to a ceasefire being negotiated by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan. It was US intransigence - Clinton's intransigence - that led to the failure of Annan's peace efforts in the spring of 2012, a point well known among diplomats. Despite Clinton's insinuation in the Milwaukee debate, there was (of course) no 2012 ceasefire, only escalating carnage. Clinton bears heavy responsibility for that carnage, which has by now displaced more than 10 million Syrians and left more than 250,000 dead.

As every knowledgeable observer understands, the Syrian War is not mostly about Bashar al-Assad, or even about Syria itself. It is mostly a proxy war, about Iran. And the bloodbath is doubly tragic and misguided for that reason.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the leading Sunni powers in the Middle East, view Iran, the leading Shia power, as a regional rival for power and influence. Right-wing Israelis view Iran as an implacable foe that controls Hezbollah, a Shi'a militant group operating in Lebanon, a border state of Israel. Thus, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel have all clamored to remove Iran's influence in Syria.

This idea is incredibly naïve. Iran has been around as a regional power for a long time--in fact, for about 2,700 years. And Shia Islam is not going away. There is no way, and no reason, to "defeat" Iran. The regional powers need to forge a geopolitical equilibrium that recognizes the mutual and balancing roles of the Gulf Arabs, Turkey, and Iran. And Israeli right-wingers are naïve, and deeply ignorant of history, to regard Iran as their implacable foe, especially when that mistaken view pushes Israel to side with Sunni jihadists.

Yet Clinton did not pursue that route. Instead she joined Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and right-wing Israelis to try to isolate, even defeat, Iran. In 2010, she supported secret negotiations between Israel and Syria to attempt to wrest Syria from Iran's influence. Those talks failed. Then the CIA and Clinton pressed successfully for Plan B: to overthrow Assad.

When the unrest of the Arab Spring broke out in early 2011, the CIA and the anti-Iran front of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey saw an opportunity to topple Assad quickly and thereby to gain a geopolitical victory. Clinton became the leading proponent of the CIA-led effort at Syrian regime change.

In early 2011, Turkey and Saudi Arabia leveraged local protests against Assad to try to foment conditions for his ouster. By the spring of 2011, the CIA and the US allies were organizing an armed insurrection against the regime. On August 18, 2011, the US Government made public its position: "Assad must go."

Since then and until the recent fragile UN Security Council accord, the US has refused to agree to any ceasefire unless Assad is first deposed. The US policy--under Clinton and until recently--has been: regime change first, ceasefire after. After all, it's only Syrians who are dying. Annan's peace efforts were sunk by the United States' unbending insistence that U.S.-led regime change must precede or at least accompany a ceasefire. As the Nation editors put it in August 2012:

The US demand that Assad be removed and sanctions be imposed before negotiations could seriously begin, along with the refusal to include Iran in the process, doomed [Annan's] mission.

Clinton has been much more than a bit player in the Syrian crisis. Her diplomat Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi was killed as he was running a CIA operation to ship Libyan heavy weapons to Syria. Clinton herself took the lead role in organizing the so-called "Friends of Syria" to back the CIA-led insurgency.

The U.S. policy was a massive, horrific failure. Assad did not go, and was not defeated. Russia came to his support. Iran came to his support. The mercenaries sent in to overthrow him were themselves radical jihadists with their own agendas. The chaos opened the way for the Islamic State, building on disaffected Iraqi Army leaders (deposed by the US in 2003), on captured U.S. weaponry, and on the considerable backing by Saudi funds. If the truth were fully known, the multiple scandals involved would surely rival Watergate in shaking the foundations of the US establishment.

The hubris of the United States in this approach seems to know no bounds. The tactic of CIA-led regime change is so deeply enmeshed as a "normal" instrument of U.S. foreign policy that it is hardly noticed by the U.S. public or media. Overthrowing another government is against the U.N. charter and international law. But what are such niceties among friends?

This instrument of U.S. foreign policy has not only been in stark violation of international law but has also been a massive and repeated failure. Rather than a single, quick, and decisive coup d'état resolving a US foreign policy problem, each CIA-led regime change has been, almost inevitably, a prelude to a bloodbath. How could it be otherwise? Other societies don't like their countries to be manipulated by U.S. covert operations.

Removing a leader, even if done "successfully," doesn't solve any underlying geopolitical problems, much less ecological, social, or economic ones. A coup d'etat invites a civil war, the kind that now wracks Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. It invites a hostile international response, such as Russia's backing of its Syrian ally in the face of the CIA-led operations. The record of misery caused by covert CIA operations literally fills volumes at this point. What surprise, then, the Clinton acknowledges Henry Kissinger as a mentor and guide?

And where is the establishment media in this debacle? The New York Times finally covered a bit of this story last month in describing the CIA-Saudi connection, in which Saudi funds are used to pay for CIA operations in order to make an end-run around Congress and the American people. The story ran once and was dropped. Yet the Saudi funding of CIA operations is the same basic tactic used by Ronald Reagan and Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s (with Iranian arms sales used to fund CIA-led covert operations in Central America without consent or oversight by the American people).

Clinton herself has never shown the least reservation or scruples in deploying this instrument of U.S. foreign policy. Her record of avid support for US-led regime change includes (but is not limited to) the US bombing of Belgrade in 1999, the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Iraq War in 2003, the Honduran coup in 2009, the killing of Libya's Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, and the CIA-coordinated insurrection against Assad from 2011 until today.

It takes great presidential leadership to resist CIA misadventures. Presidents get along by going along with arms contractors, generals, and CIA operatives. They thereby also protect themselves from political attack by hardline right-wingers. They succeed by exulting in U.S. military might, not restraining it. Many historians believe that JFK was assassinated as a result of his peace overtures to the Soviet Union, overture he made against the objections of hardline rightwing opposition in the CIA and other parts of the U.S. government.

Hillary Clinton has never shown an iota of bravery, or even of comprehension, in facing down the CIA She has been the CIA's relentless supporter, and has exulted in showing her toughness by supporting every one of its misguided operations. The failures, of course, are relentlessly hidden from view. Clinton is a danger to global peace. She has much to answer for regarding the disaster in Syria.


Steven Beliveau, Northeastern University
The people of the United States do not want that woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton to have relations with the people of the United States. She is totally unqualified, a disaster of a secretary of state, has incredibly poor judgement is a terrible candidate and should never be allowed to serve in any government capacity - EVER.
Matt Hemingway
Simple equation....war=money=power. Perpetual warfare is the post 911 gold rush and every establishment politician in every country is the snake oil salesman pushing this through. The people on the top make money and the rest of us get killed and go broke.
Max South
Not only the root cause, but also to-ols are important: now Western media/StateDep try depict what happens in Syria as sectarian, all while majority of both Syrian army and government are Sunni (even Assad's wife is Sunni) -- secular ones.

Syrian government is only hope for them, as well as for Christians, Kurds and all other ethnic and religious minorities that fight against Wahhabi/Salafist jihadists.

Ram Samudrala, Professor and Chief, Division of Bioinformatics at SUNY Buffalo
Sanders' platform is expansive and IMO he has provided the most detail on how he will get things done, which anyone can find out with a bit of investigation (http://berniesanders.com/issues/). But all of it doesn't matter since you can't predict how events will unfold. In this regard, I trust Sanders more than anyone else to decide what is best for all people in the the country (and even the world). I personally will do well with anyone but I think Sanders is looking out for the average person more than anyone else.
Charles Hill, Works at Seif employed
Well said. Hillary is a warmonger neocon just like Bush/McCain/Graham/Cheney. Trump and Bernie are not.
Masha Manning, Houston, Texas
Pundits do not realize when they heap praises at Hillary Clinton's debate performances that ordinary people watching cannot get past her lack of trustworthiness and her dishonesty; and that whatever she says is viewed in that context and is therefore worthless.
Eric Smith, Burlington, Vermont
It's dismaying that the blowback from the 1953 CIA-assisted overthrow of Mossadegh is still behind the instability of the Middle East, and that we have continued to commit the same mistakes over and over. Can't we just get rid of this agency?
Bijan Sharifi
as an iranian-american (and veteran), i appreciate sen sanders bringing this up in the debate.
Eric Smith, Burlington, Vermont
Bijan Sharifi Indeed. The CIA repeated this stunt in Vietnam 10 years after the Mossadegh mess and have been doing it at least once every decade since then. In every case, it has been a failure. How supporting that nonsense is seen as foreign policy experience, I'll never know.
Timothy Francis, Project Manager at CHC Consulting
Hillary helped facilitate the arming of terrorists in Syria in 2010 and 2011. She as far as I al concerned, Hillary supported the deaths of Syrians and terrorism. So why on earth would I want her to be president? Hello?
Dianne Primmer, Houston, Texas
This is the much vaunted foreign policy that Hillary's supporters think qualify her for the presidency. That's a disaster waiting to happen.

Christopher Head, Lighting Designer at Freelance Lighting Designer

More like a continuance of a disaster deferred. Thanks to John Kerry cleaning up the mess of her disastrous term as SoS. Syria is still a mess, but he has been working his butt off to be every bit of diplomat that Hillary was not. As soon as she returns to office expect more of her warfare first and diplomacy 'meh'.
Gary Pack
Ignacio, she was for an all out invasion by the USA into Syria to remove Assad. She, John McCain, and Linsey Graham had to settle for just arming the Al Queda and IS for the time being.
Sheia Mahone
This is what Trump has been alluding to in re Clinton, Obama, Bush, etc DC corruption used to bring down regimes that have continually destabilized America & the world.

Where & Why was Obama & Holder not as directly held accountable in this discussion. Trump rightfully points that Americans have died for nothing yet the villains who are the catalysts of these atrocities still have jobs & stature in US. America needs to be rebooted once again & bring in leadership not buoyed by greed. power & indifference of those before him.

Ronald Burker, Boonsboro Senior High
James Elliott cheerleading will not get anything done, I don't think Bernie understands how to get things done in our system, reality is 40 years of bad will not be fixed in even 4 years.

The problem here really is the fact that Americans bitch and don't vote every election and this has let money just walk in and buy more influence, you want a real revolution, vote every election you are alive and you will let your children and their children a better life.

Harvey Riggs
That is about it, Clinton is a repub in dem clothing and the US is the biggest threat to world peace when it can not get its way in another countries politics or to get them to follow the US master plan that mainly supports the US's goal.

More messes in this world has been started with covert means in order to get what we want and millions upon milllions are suffering and the rest of the world countries 1'%ers who run those countries are scared to stand up aguinst the US and lose that under the table support.

Robert Chan
what makes her so maddeningly hawkish? what credentials she has that her peace-loving supporters believe that she can lead the US/world for peace? wake-up, and let's get united behind bernie.
Kathleen Lowy, MSW: Rutgers
They believe the mythology that if women ruled the world it would be a better place...I beg to differ....Margaret Thatcher, Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I were not exactly peace lovers...

Additionally, years ago I was shocked to see that there were women members of the KKK. So much for women by their gender alone saving the world.

Sheila Rajan
Looking at the various misguided US excursions over the past 2 decades from outside of America, this comes as no surprise. Clinton's deep involvement in these venal adventures comes as no surprise either. Bill Clinton may have been adored in liberal America, but he was NOT, outside of your borders. To us he appeared as just another one in a long line of Presidents under the sway of the arms manufacturers, CIA, banks and financiers. Hillary Clinton is just an offshoot.
Charlene Avis Richards, Works at Self-Employed
Excellent article.

But let us not forget Hillary Clinton's "regime change" record in Ukraine with Victoria "Fuc# the E.U.!" Nuland, wife of Neocon Robert Kagan and an Under Secretary of Hillary Clinton's at The State Department.

Hillary Clinton's fingerprints are all over Ukraine:

See More

Leo Myers, Univ. of Minnesota
Yes, Somehow the so-called MSM refuses to expose the continuing debacle of our worldwide acts of Terrorism! The failure after failure of "our" military establishment such as targeted assassinations as an official policy using drones, black ops, spec ops, military "contractors", hired mercenaries, war lord militias and the like; the illegal and immoral acts of war cloaked in the Israeli framed rubric of "national defense".

Further it is American war industry in partnership with our military that is arming the world with military grade weapon systems, tons and tons of munitions, and training to use them for such terror weapons as IEDs. It is MSM control by the establishment that enables the failures of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Obama, Clinton to treat horrendous failures as successes!

James Aliberti, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Hillary Clinton supporters don't care, they don't care that she could be a felon nor do they care she is owned by Wall Street and many other corporate special interest, they just don't care.

Up here in New Hampshire, we soundly rejected untrustworthy, dishonest, disingenuous and corrupt Hillary, we just wish the rest of the nation had as much time to get to know the candidates as we had up here!

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